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It's a given, at this point, that any woman writer who tries to contradict Christopher Hitchens's airtight assertion that "Women Aren't Funny" (which he later amended, of course, to 'Non-"hefty, dykey, or Jewish" women aren't funny') will be on the receiving end of a predictable, nyah-nyah "You just proved my point." But today, in a review of two new tv shows featuring "funny" men and ornamental, dim ladies, Alessandra Stanley puts herself on the line for the women-are-funny cause:

Vanity Fair is now needling the nation with Christopher Hitchens's essay "Why Women Aren't Funny." It could also be that most men are not so funny, either, and women are just better at flattery and fake laughter.

We think you just rocked Hitchens's world, Alessandra, and maybe even dented his thesis. Why, if we follow your logic, we have to consider the possibility that every time Hitchens has graced a woman with one of his genius "said the bishop to the barmaid" jokes, and she's emitted "that real, out-loud, head-back, mouth-open-to-expose-the-full-horseshoe-of-lovely-teeth, involuntary, full, and deep-throated mirth; the kind that is accompanied by a shocked surprise and a slight (no, make that a loud) peal of delight," she's quite possibly just been flattering him and faking it! And if that's the case, who knows what else she's been faking.

Male Misery Just Loves Female Company [NYT]