I don’t usually stay up very late, but when I do, it’s because I’m doing something crazy awesome like seeing Aziz Ansari live at The Hideout at midnight. For those of you who are not Chicago hipsters, The Hideout is a little wooden house in the middle of a bunch of warehouses in Bucktown, right next to a big parking lot that a whole bunch of the city’s dump trucks call home. Not so very long ago it was the go-to bar for the industrial workers of the neighborhood, and it has lately become a much loved venue for many little-known but super talented music and comedy artists. And for those of you who live in caves, Aziz Ansari is anything but little-known, so the fact that he performed at The Hideout is kind of insane.
My friend was one of the lucky few to pick up two tickets to this show, which apparently sold out in all of thirty minutes, and I was the lucky friend who had no family in town and no plans the next morning. Normally I’m a total baby about missing out on sleepy time, and I’m not even much of a stand-up comedy fan, but you just don’t say no to a chance to see someone who can pack a 5,000-person theater doing a show for 200 people in a little house bar. From what he said, it sounds like he’s on a development tour, doing small shows on short notice to test out new material.
Of course the show was hilariously funny, but the really interesting part is that it was remarkably feminist. It seemed like at least half the time was devoted to drawing attention to underrated ways in which women have a tougher time than men, especially related to sex. Birth control pills? Ladies — take it every single day, at the exact same time, without fail, or fear for your uterus. Dudes — relax, you’re good. Want to wait to have kids? Ladies — pay tens of thousands of dollars and take weeks of self-injected hormones in order to undergo an invasive egg extraction procedure so you can freeze your cells and use them later. Dudes — no worries, your sperm will be fine in ten years! Even the way we teach sexual education (when we teach it at all) explicitly explains the physical motion by which men get off and completely ignores the fact that most women require something different. The best bit was about the un-sexiness of cleanup after condom-less sex. I’ll let you imagine the details there.
Women, of course, deal with this stuff on a daily basis and are perfectly aware of these disparities, but it was sort of nice to hear a man complain on our behalf, even in a joking way. It’s not as if any of this is a big secret, but I’m willing to bet that most men never even think about it. So thanks, Aziz, for making all the men in that room think about it, at least for one night. And thanks to Tim, Katie, and everyone at The Hideout for putting on such a great show!