I Love Lucy

“Smurfette Syndrome”: The Incredible True Story of How Women Created Modern Comedy Without Being Funny

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Far more than a common trend in cartoons and superhero teams, the Smurfette Principle is an ingrained interpretative framework that limits female achievement to a model for male imitation, rather than an argument for female inclusion. In comedy, “Smurfette Syndrome” is a bias that asks whether individual women are “as funny as men,” rather than assessing women’s collective contribution as creators of comedy genres.