Apr 10, 2012

Comediennes needed ASAP

Where does this preconception that women simply aren't funny even come from? I know plenty of witty, quick, hilarious, confident women... famous and not-so famous... It's depressing to see the comedy stages filled with men who all crack the SAME jokes, a few of them cracking mysogynistic ones... which, in my opinion, are NOT funny! But it's a sad fact, men dominate the stage and the award shows. 
Sad stats: 

*Of the 20 highest-earning standup comedians in Britain at the moment, just one – Sarah Millican – is a woman. 
*In the 31-year history of the Edinburgh comedy award, there have been only two solo female winners, Jenny Eclair and Laura Solon. 
*A 2010 poll conducted by Channel 4 found that 94 out of the 100 greatest standups were men, with Eclair, Victoria Wood, Jo Brand, Shappi Khorsandi, Joan Rivers and Roseanne Barr being the exceptions. 
*Last month's shortlist for the Chortle awards named just two solo women comics in a list of 54 nominations (Dana Alexander and Susan Calman; on Tuesday night, Calman won the compere award). 

Reaching the 50% equality spectrum? Forget it, we need to get to 10% before thinking any further..... 

But why do people think women aren't funny? Is it in our genes? I highly doubt it...

Is it because they're not backed and supported as much as men? Probably (resonates with other areas of society as well....)

But here's a list of very funny women (although the list of men would take up this whole post....): Victoria Wood, Sarah Millican, Miranda Hart, Jo Brand, Catherine Tate, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Shappi Khorsandi, Ruby Wax, Rhona Cameron but is there space for new ones? Is it easy to break into such a (yet another one) male dominated circuit?

According to comedienne Kate Smurthwaite: “the truth is sexism in comedy is getting worse, the door doesn’t seem to be truly open to a new Victoria Wood, Jo Brand or French and Saunders.”

Comedy is subjective of course, but there are so many male comedians who just aren't very funny but it seems clubs are less willling to replace them with women and would rather get another shit act on stage....

What is needed is for funny women to have the courage to stand up and say: "hey, yeah I'm funny, give me a try" and for the audience, when they see a great comedienne to stand up and say: "hey, yeah she's funny, let's go see HER again."


Women hold up half the sky

Mao Zedong famously said that women hold up half the sky and he was right.... we make up 50% of the population yet we are discrimated against, abused, denied civil rights and perceived as inferior..... When will this change? And how can we change this?

Half the Sky is a book written by two dedicated journalists and leaders in championing women's rights - Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
"Just as slavery was the defining struggle of the nineteenth century and totalitarianism that of the twentieth, the fight to end the oppression of women and girls worldwide defines ours."

BUT, change is happenning. From Somaliland to Cambodia to Afghanistan, oppression is being confronted and real, meaningful solutions are being fashioned—through health care, education and economic empowerment for women and girls. 

From the book, a documentary project was inspired, you can watch the trailer here and below are some of the best quotes I picked out:

"Issue of gender equality globally must be addressed if the problems that we share across the world are to be solved" Ruth J. Simmons, President, Brown University.

"Women are not the problem, they are the solution" Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

"You can't come up with something more beautiful than a young, innocent girl. And to inflict that experience on that human being is unspeakably cruel" Meg Ryan

"I want to inspire survival, to stand up and say no, if they want to say no" Somaly Mam

"We shouldn't allow the violence that is being inflicted on women to continue, it must stop because it can stop and they need to part of the solution" Amie Kandeh

"This is not a problem that is unsolveable, that we have to invent something new, it just takes political will" Sheryl WuDunn

"The rights we want; we want to choose our husband, we want to own the land, we want to go to school; we dont want to be cut anymore, we want also to make decisions, we want to participate in politics, to be leaders, we want to be equal" Rebecca Lolosoli 

"The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world" Desmond Tutu