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Michigan comedian tells us which “Men to Avoid” by creating new memes with old art


You never know what can happen on Twitter. Just ask Nicole Tersigni, a writer and comedian currently based in metro Detroit. What started as a single joke on her Twitter evolved into a viral tweet thread, which ultimately became a book that was published this month. The topic — and title — is Men to Avoid in Art and Life

Each page pairs a traditional Western European-style painting with a contemporary joke about men saying the darndest things. It's a funny (and painfully relatable) commentary on what women and nonbinary folks sometimes have to navigate in conversations with men, such as dismissive language, patronizing, and “mansplaining.”

Tersigni says the book’s reception has been  “overwhelmingly positive,” prompting a flood of Twitter users to share their own experiences with "men to avoid." Some men, she said, have even spoken out after recognizing themselves in the book, promising to work on checking their behavior in the future. 

"I think that if you can make people laugh about things, they're more open to connecting about them, you know, more open to meeting you at your level and saying 'I understand where you're coming from a little bit because you're making me laugh. You're making me laugh at myself and the situation,’” Tersigni explained. 

Read more about the project and see some excerpts from Men to Avoid in Art and Life in the slideshow above.

Support for arts and culture coverage comes in part from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

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