In her book Bossypants, Tina Fey recounted a moment during a read-through for Saturday Night Live wherein Amy Poehler was doing a crude and "unlady-like" bit that Jimmy Fallon jokingly said he didn't like. In response, Amy turned on him, dead serious, and said "I don't fucking care if you like it". Amy was still new to SNL at that time, but from then on she made it clear that she was going to do her comedy her way. After SNL, she went on to star in films like Blades of Glory, starred in and produced the hit series Parks and Recreation, and founded Smart Girls, an organization dedicated to providing a space for young women to be funny and intelligent and creative, all at the same time.
“It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for.”
- from her memoir, Yes Please)
Cameron Esposito not only has a killer side mullet, but also a killer sense of humor. She's a stand up comedian who has appeared on various talks shows such as The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Chelsea Lately. She also has a webseries on BuzzFeed called "Ask A Lesbian" where she answers questions about her sexuality. Most of her work revolves around topics of gender, which are simultaneously funny and eye-opening.
"For me, to be a woman in comedy is to be is to want to be recognized as important to the field, because of my talent and because of my diversity." (From her article "What it's like to be a woman in comedy." x
She's best known for her role as Gina Linetti on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and for her various appearances on theKroll Show. But, she's also a writer for a couple of Parks and Rec episodes as well as a stand up comedian. It's mostly in her stand up and podcast, "Call Chelsea Peretti" that she drops truth bombs about how our society views gender.
“There’s so many women who are so competent and then they work under incompetent men!”
- From an episode of her podcast "Call Chelsea Peretti"
Though her time as an SNL cast member was brief due to an f-bomb in her very first sketch, Jenny Slate still went on to do comedic roles in other series such as House of Lies, Bob's Burgers, Parks and Rec, Kroll Show,and Married. She also starred in the film Obvious Child, wherein she played a stand up comic (much like her real life self) who got pregnant and was planning to go through an abortion. Her role in the film got her a Critics' Choice award for Best Comedic Actress.
"Am I a feminist? Fuck yeah, I'm a feminist! I think that unfortunately, people who are maybe threatened by feminism think that it's about setting your bra on fire and being aggressive, and I think that's really wrong and really dangerous."
- From an interview with MTV
As a correspondent for The Daily Show, she has done a lot of segments with feminist themes, such as one on campus sexual harassment. She's so hilarious and well-loved that when Jon Stewart announced that he was leaving, she popped into everyone's minds as his replacement. But ultimately, she declined the suggestion. She is also an active member of the improv group Upright Citizens Brigade and a guest star on Girls.
"I am a Black woman and I am a feminist and I am so many things. I am truly honored that people love my work. But I am not yours."
- from her tweet in response to a white feminist blogger saying she had "imposter syndrome" and that she had to "lean in."
Margaret Cho is a woman of many talents. She's a comedian as well as an actress, author, fashion designer, and singer-songwriter. Her feminist agenda is clear in her stand up, where she talks about her standing on social and political issues about sexuality and race. As an advocate for women, Asian-Americans, and the LGBTQ community, she has received multiple accolades.
"I don’t want young girls to fear the word feminism, because they will desperately need it out in the world, and to fear what will help you, make you stronger, better, happier -– it makes no sense." x
"I'm a feminist who wants to work with other feminists. I would wager that only a masochist sexist would want to work at a show with an opinionated female lead and show-runner. So I work with people who love women. That's a nice thing." x
- From an interview with Lena Dunham for Rolling Stone
click photos for sources