Lily Tomlin has been a feminist longer than I’ve been alive, so when she says things have changed for women in terms of comedy, character acting, and raising girls to be feminist, I believe her. 

While talking to Vanity Fair, Tomlin commented on Girls, Tina Fey, and shifts in feminism. She joked about getting scolded in the early ‘70s for saying “boner” on stage during a bit and laughs off old memories of audience reactions to her brash comedy style. Nowadays, she’s not laughing as much when she sees what’s happening on television. When asked about whether or not seeing female empowerment through the lens of Lena Dunham makes her proud, she has this to say:  

“I think it’s too sexually focused. I think it should have a little more range. But the sexuality is what is going to bring the big audience, and a lot of young girls, I suppose, puzzling over what to do and what not to do or how to do it. Life is very different from the time when I was 20 and the time Lena is.”

If “boner” nearly got her barred from a comedy club, then this may get her banned from a guest speaker spot in a middle school P.E. class:

"One of the fallouts of feminism is that girls became more accessible. Maybe not wisely accessible. A lot of young girls-- they're expected to give blow jobs now. Young, young girls, as far as I can perceive. Maybe 12 or 13 years old. I mean, that's a rite of passage, I suppose. As a feminist, I don't want those girls to be used. Maybe they love giving blow jobs, I don't know. Maybe they do? But I don't think you really love giving boys in general blow jobs without any feeling to someone you're not close to. I don't try to speak for people that young. I'm not that young anymore. But my own sense of self-- I wouldn't give myself away that easily."

Oh, Lily, you’re one classy lady. There's some truth to her point though, and it really makes us put more consideration into how the definition of feminism has changed. Teaching young girls to empower themselves is not supposed to be about how to give the best blowjob in town-- at least I hope not, because that would sure make “Sex Ed Day” way more awkward.

Image via Vanity Fair.

Tagged in: Vanity Fair, Lily Tomlin, lena Dunham, girls, feminism, blowjob   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.


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