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  • Emma Birkbeck

BRAVE: This Woman Isn’t Funny


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It’s no secret that society is constantly telling women how they should and shouldn’t act. Don’t wear too short a skirt, smile at people when they talk to you, stop asking me if I have any coke. We’ve all heard it before. But one brave woman at the University of Iowa is taking a stand against all of that. Emma Birkbeck refuses to be funny. She will never tell you something that makes you laugh, nor will she playfully poke fun at the weird shape of your head. Because she just isn’t that kind of girl. She’s not funny.


We sat down with this trailblazer to interview her about her experiences being as unfunny as humanly possible. When asked how she became so wholly not funny she said, “You know, I just felt like my friends only called me up when they wanted to joke around or have fun, or they needed someone around to liven up a party. And I’m not about that anymore. Everyone always expected me to be hilarious all the time, and it was just too much pressure. So I decided to quit being funny. I don’t tell jokes anymore. I don’t make people laugh. It’s actually been months since anyone has even smiled when they see me. And it feels so freeing.”


“Emma has literally never made me laugh, not even once,” said an anonymous friend of Birkbeck’s. Another commented that she has never once expected Birkbeck to be funny, nor has she ever been invited to a party, so she’s not entirely sure where that idea came from.

Nonetheless, Birkbeck’s parents are proud of her bravery. When reached for comment they said, “It’s so refreshing to see a woman go against the grain. All the other women I know are funny, so when you finally meet one who’s willing to take a stand, it’s like a breath of fresh air.”


Birkbeck considers herself an inspiration to women everywhere. She wakes up every day with a grimace and brushes her teeth while staring blankly back at her stone cold eyes. This is someone who refuses to be funny.

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