RIP Phyllis Diller, Groundbreaking Comedienne
This has been a sad couple of weeks in the world of funny feminism. First, we lost Helen Gurley Brown, the Cosmopolitan editrix who made it okay for women to talk about sex out loud. And yesterday morning, Phyllis Diller passed away at 95. Diller was a comedian who, in the words of Joan Rivers, made it work in "an era that insisted a woman had to look funny in order to be funny." She mostly made her name guest-starring and appearing on talk shows, cigarette in hand and irreverent, husband-bashing jokes up her sleeve. In a typically funny yet spot-on analysis, she summed up the situation for a woman such as herself in a few choice words: "I decided that if I was to be an idiot broad, I might as well make it pay."
We can't help but think that all the women writers at R29 wouldn't be where we are today without the path she paved for us decades ago. And we hope she'll inspire young girls to break boundaries for years to come. RIP, Phyllis.
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures.