On women, feminism, comedy and the media.

I most definitely support feminism, and I mean, from my perspective it’s pretty much impossible to read about the facts of feminism and then go “nah, not really”. If you fancy having a read, I’d recommend going here for a great list of texts! But I’m not going to delve much into feminism itself today. Instead, I’m going to talk about two different situations that have both gotten under my skin – for two different reasons.

First off, I found what I unfortunately feel the need to call an inappropriate use of the feminist movement. It’s situations like these that give the rest of the feminist populace a bad reputation. Basically what happened is that someone on Twitter took an issue that there are more male guests than female guests on the tv show Adam Hills Tonight. They then went on to claim that he only has ‘token women’ on the show and that he’s degrading women by only having one female guest (speaking about the last few episodes of the season).

Now whilst I would agree that seeing more women on the show would be a nice thing, I don’t understand the pent-up hatred of the show that this person then takes out via social media, reaching out to others to back them up, calling it a “boys’ show” and asking Adam Hills if it’s a “gay thing” and claiming he has an “aversion to women”. Now I’m no rocket scientist, but Hannah Gadsby – who you may have noticed I’m a fan of – is most definitely a woman. She’s in every episode, and has her own segments, as well as being part of the conversation for the whole show. Does she not count for anything? Or does being a regular discredit her from any value these so called “token women” bring to the show. I think not.

Also, what does it matter if the show is mostly men? I mean, you don’t see people complaining that there’s a majority of men on sports talk shows and don’t you even dare tell me those shows only have a male demographic, some of us girls like to watch them too. The Project – another tv show – usually has a panel of mostly men, where’s the public outcry? Most media, you will find, has an uneven ratio of men to women, and that in my opinion holds no serious reflection on the creator’s moral compass.

What I would take offence to, and this brings me on to the second situation, is if the publicity focused only on one sex, and made it a point to exclude one particular gender solely on account of their gender. Now the below poster appeared on the internet of a gig that happened earlier this week:

Now this, I take issue with. First off, taking and misquoting the words of Annie Lennox annoys me. But part of me thinks that this is done deliberately just to get people like me all bothered about how they’ve used it – for the shock factor and the ensuing publicity it will stir up. Well in that respect it’s worked, here I am talking about it. But I’ve deliberately posted this after the gig itself, so they will be earning no revenue from me.

If this was advertised as just a fun ‘blokey’ night, perhaps with the intention to narrow the comedian’s material to make it more potent and relevant to what men find funny, then sure – I’d have absolutely no issue with it. But as a further description on the facebook event page reads:

“Are you sick of watching white, middle-class women standing on stage talking endlessly about their vaginas? Don’t you think it’s about time the male half of the species had some representation on this supposedly equal comedy scene? Then come on down to witness another Situation Comedy first – an all-male comedy night from start to finish.”

Mmm, makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, no? *barf* I mean, “supposedly equal comedy scene”?!? Most comedians are men, in my experience women both have a harder time breaking out onto the comedy scene, and once they do they are often overlooked by people who have preference for the established idea of male comedians.

After reading some of the rather uplifting comments on the event page from people equally as appalled as I was, I learned that the people organising this comedy night are also the ones who put on a “comedy rape debate” in the past. Just like that, all my remaining sympathy and ‘aw, maybe they do mean well’ vanished like hair off a man with early-onset male pattern baldness.

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