“Comedienne” vs. “Comedian”

I am neither a comedienne nor an actress, so take my opinion on this with a grain of salt. I cannot stand it when women comics and actresses say they want to be referred to as comedians and actors. To me, it suggests they think comediennes and actresses are less than comedians and actors and therefore, it’s insulting to be referred to as a comedienne or an actress.

I’m writing this on November 2, 2019. I just watched some of a Patreon livestream during which the multi-hyphenate comedian Whitney Cummings said she doesn’t want to be referred to as a “comedienne.” I took to Twitter to ask her why, I’ll let you know if she responds, and decided to write this post.

We know the experiences of women and men comics and actresses and actors aren’t the same, so why should we use the same term to describe them? For me, the practice of using the masculine form of a word as the gender-neutral form of a word doesn’t work. It’s just a way to erase women as opposed to leveling the playing field for us. Just my two cents I’m not even sure I have the right to give.

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