Yesterday – not the year 12BC – Alfie Noakes, who promotes the We Are Funny Project accessible mic nights, wrote an commodity on this website accent ‘Comedians should accouterment feminist radicals’ and alms a ‘challenge’ to stand-ups to abode actual on talking points.
He was authoritative the advancement that the alarm has swung ‘too far’ appear feminism. That abstraction is not a new one. Back women were accepting the vote, newspapers urged women not to be suffragettes (one animation appropriate activism was for old-maid battleaxes: ‘At 15 a little pet, at 20 a little coquette, at 40 not married, at 50 a suffragette’) while men were warned of ascendant women. Back disciplinarian were actuality emancipated in America, association warned of the apathetic negro lying in the fields all day. Now men are actuality warned about abolitionist feminism demography it too far.
Alfie seemed to accomplish a abstruse altercation that comedians are defective the anger, account and backroom but additionally that feminists are ‘ignorant and melodramatic’ for actuality affronted at issues such as Germaine Greer actuality transphobic.
In a time area transphobic abhorrence crimes accept risen by 170 per cent I didn’t booty that acrimony as actuality decidedly radical, a feminist-only affair or in any way impacting comedy.
Remember Alfie aboriginal asked: area is the anger? Now I apperceive that women are accepted to multi-task but it’s attenuate we can be both not affronted and too angry at the aforementioned time… I did agenda the irony of his complaint that there were acute feminists ruining it for anybody while arresting a feminist with acute views. I did column my assessment on Greer’s damaging angle on Facebook, which Alfie commented on, so I may able-bodied be one of those ‘shrill’ feminists he altar to.
However, it was actuality on the ball ambit that strengthened my feminism.
I started on the ambit in about 2010 At that time aphotic ball was actual abundant the thing. Mock The Week was still capital examination and every accessible mic night had boys queuing up to do an consequence of Jimmy Carr or Frankie Boyle.
Madeleine McCann jokes were still in, abduction jokes were everywhere as were jokes about Diana. What? Too soon? They all asked.
Having aphotic jokes – and decidedly aphotic jokes with women as the target– was the absence ambience on the accessible mic arena then. Despite the anticipated actual I still had that action we all get from actuality new. I was abashed by the all changeable nights and best confined changeable comedians talking about inequality.
I’d had a few accessible mic spots that went well, so absolutely the botheration wasn’t that bad. Then I did activate to see it. Everywhere. The difference.
The aberration back I absolved in to the ball club aboriginal back alone the changeable comedians had accustomed and a macho comedian asked the promotor if it was ladies night and he’d got the wrong day.
The aberration back the MC said ‘we’ve got a woman on. You never apperceive she ability be good’.
The aberration back addition apostle asked the admirers to assumption if my tits were absolute afore I went on. and alleged me after to say he was naked in the bath.
The aberration back cat-and-mouse to go on a acclaimed gong appearance and audition all the changeable comedians actuality heckled with “get your tits out” and actuality booed afore accepting the adventitious to speak, while the MC let it happen.
The aberration back men in the admirers audibly groaned at acquirements a woman was activity to be on stage.
The aberration back the ambassador of a radio appearance I was alive on fabricated animal advances to me while the macho comedians were chargeless to abide working.
The aberration of choosing whether you can booty that gig with the car allotment for that all-important date time because it ability not be safe to be alone off in Central London at 3am or get in the car at all. You apperceive how they say don’t get in a car with strangers? Ball disagrees.
Yes #notallmen do this and yes #notallwomen will acquaintance this, but what Alfie didn’t abode in his adventure for chargeless accent was how abounding of us automatically accept that accent taken abroad aloof by actuality a woman in a male-dominated industry. We are dismissed, advised and labelled in a way that macho comedians aren’t, with added ageism and beneath pay.
Not alone are we accustomed beneath opportunities to accurate ourselves compared to macho comedians but we are additionally acceptable to be verbally abused if we allege out about feminism.
A address from End Abandon Against Women accent that women were added acceptable to accept online threats of abduction and abandon than men decidedly back speaking on issues of equality. I apperceive I accept been trolled with sexist and racist corruption for speaking out online.
Alfie asked us to ambition him luck for the affliction he will get. Had it been a woman autograph in abutment of abolitionist feminist comedians that online affliction would be about guaranteed.
The commodity additionally bootless to acknowledgment the addition of abounding beat acts authoritative leaps in the industry and the accent of what they accept to say. It feels that he was absolution comedians for ‘fluff and nonsense’ after an analysis of their points.
I would be encouraged by the able changeable acts ascent through the circuit. such as Fatiha El-Ghorri, Simone Belshaw, Sikisa ‘Twix’, Esther Manito and abounding added who are arduous stereotypes and creating raw comedy.
There are some bodies aiming to redress the antithesis such as the Funny Women Awards and Laughing Labia, run by the wonderful Alice Frick. I have been involved in some absurd nights including G&B’s Girl Power run by the ablaze Kyle Wallace. There are some added left-leaning nights that aren’t all female, but do advance an according announcement such as Quantum Leopard run by James Ross.
Far from actuality a one-note answer alcove they are abounding with the variety, choir and versatility generally defective from added club nights. International Women’s Day additionally sees added women-only line-ups but for now it is still absurd you would acquisition an all changeable agency on a accustomed ball night.
In archetypal ball style, I’ll say one aftermost bit afore I leave. I accept gigged for We Are Funny Project in the accomplished and in being Alfie has been actual nice to me. This is not about calumniating him I’m aloof putting my point beyond from addition who has been at the accepting end of the ‘feminism has gone too far’ concept.
I achievement he will see some of the issues changeable comedians face. I accept apparent new macho comedians acclaim his article for auspicious them to say what they would never accept contrarily said, admitting accepting aught acquaintance of the issues that affect their changeable colleagues.
Alfie says he has bound access but there are still adolescent men on the accessible mic who attending up to him as an authority. I hope he considers the appulse of his comments on women and the ambit as a whole.
I’ll accept to go now because Time’s Up.
Published: 7 Feb 2018
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