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The Dos & Don’ts of Being a Lady

By The Second City, Chelsea Devantez | Oct 17, 2013

Last week, we addressed what it’s like being a woman in the improv community. But what about being a lady in real life? Here are some basic dos and don’ts to help guide your journey.
DON’T take on masculine qualities in order to be a strong woman. Use the qualities about you that are inherently female and change the definition of “strong!” That’s right, use your sensitive, nurturing side to to tell that obnoxious guy who is cat-calling you that he should shut the fuck up, in a calm and educated way that is palatable for his brain.

DO take on masculine qualities in order to be a strong woman! Men get to do some awesome shit, so hell yes, do that shit! One time at the most fabulous Barbara Streisand/Beyonce mash-up show I’ve ever seen, I realized that one of the reasons drag queens are awesome is because they show us women at the strength level they are meant to be at.

DON’T call each other “bitch.” It’s derogatory and offensive to women. Plus, it encourages lame female/dog wordplay jokes.

DO call each other “bitch!” It’s derogatory and offensive to women, so by using it in a way that means “Hey, girlfriend” or “Waddup, my awesome pal with whom I share trays of enchiladas with at 3 a.m. after a Whodunnit? marathon” takes all the power away from the word, rendering it harmless.

DON’T talk about your relationship/spouse with your girlfriends. There are other things going on in the world; help movies stop stereotyping women as conduits for relationship exposition by not being that stereotype.

DO talk about your relationship/spouse with your girlfriends! Who else has the heart and the wisdom to shake you and say, “Hey! A man with two phones is up to no good. Wait, one of them is an iPhone and other is a flip phone?! Run!Ruuuunnnn!”

DON’T diet. Chipotle exists.

DO diet! You’re gunna try at least once in your life, so just get it over with.

DON’T dress provocatively. By wearing tights as pants, skirts as dresses and rompers as adult onesies, you are aiding a culture that already objectifies women and encouraging the world to see you for your body– instead of your intelligence, thoughts and opinions on how rompers are the epitome of a “sexy baby” look.

DO dress provocatively. Our bodies are glorious! Celebrate them exactly as they are right now in this moment! You can be strong, intelligent, thoughtful and respected… and still dress in a way that doesn’t hide your body. There is no correlation between women who are raped* and women who aren’t raped and if they were dressed sexily or not.
*Though slutty dresses will get used as court room evidence, so keep that in mind.

DON’T make rape jokes! See what I did a couple sentences ago? Yikes! It is the most eviscerating, heinous crime– and the statistics are mind-numbing. Any joke that encourages harming women can affect our culture and promote the crime itself. “Silly jokes” can have a lot of power.

DO make rape jokes– IF you are doing it in a way that illuminates an answer or an idea that does not encourage rape and is used to spread awareness for how to be safe and respect women. Comedy is an art form that can illuminate a new way of thinking through laughter to a group of people who may have been closed minded otherwise. “Silly jokes” can have a lot of power.

DON’T wear make-up. Accept yourself as you are, and spend 15 minutes every morning reading a newspaper instead. If you can find a newspaper. Nevermind, read an intelligent blog!

DO wear make-up! Women get this special tool that lets us highlight our eyes and cover up acne. Men don’t get that; they have to wear crazy fedoras to distract from their face, poor suckers.

DON’T follow rules for how to be a lady. If women followed rules for how to be a lady, we still wouldn’t have the right to vote.


Chelsea Devantez is a member of The Second City Touring Company where she flies around the country with the help of Xanax. She improvises with The Second City’s Improv All-Stars and understudies the Second City’s Mainstage and E.T.C. theaters. She is a co-creator of the series Modern Women on the Network.  She also co-created and stars in a pilot you can see at  www.stupidbitchsyndrome.comwhich is a finalist in the Comedy Central-New York Television Festival. This is her idea of a website: 


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