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Gina Barreca

1. When you hear the old shibboleth that “women don’t have a sense of humor” or are “less funny than men,” your immediate response is

“HAHAHA—no really, say that again? That’s hilarious."

2. Were you funny as a kid? Were you funnier (or less funny) as teenager?

I learned to be funny as kid so I could entertain my sad Mom but learned to disguise my humor as a teenager because I believed that, if I didn’t, I would never, ever date.

3. What’s the most notable way your life would be different if you didn’t have your sense of humor?

If I didn’t have a sense of humor, I would be screaming “HEATHCLIFF! HEATHCLIFF!” on the streets of Brooklyn, New York. Not that anybody would notice.

4. If you could have a magnificent dinner with three women—real, fictional, mythological—who would you choose as your guests?

Mae West, Dorothy Parker, Colette

5. Do you those closest to you admire you for your sense of humor-- or despite your sense of humor?

I used to worry that those closest to me liked me despite my sense of humor and now I worry they like me only because of my sense of humor; I cant win.

Hailed as “smart and funny” by People, Gina Barreca was deemed a “feminist humor maven” by Ms. She has written for most major publications, including The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Cosmopolitan, and The Harvard Business Review. Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor at UCONN as well as winner of its highest award for excellence in teaching, Gina’s written ten books including If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse?; It’s Not That I’m Bitter; Babes in Boyland: A Personal History of Coeducation in the Ivy League; and the bestselling They Used to Call Me Snow White But I Drifted. You can find her in the Library of Congress or the makeup aisle at Walgreens.


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