Where are the girls?
How many female comedians can you name? It’s hard isn’t it; I mean there’s the obvious few but compared to male comedian’s women are hugely outnumbered. The ratio of men: women in the comedy world is vastly different. But why? Is there a secret man only club that you join when you start stand up comedy, a top secret union of some sort? Well I would like to find out why.
During my research for this blog post I found an article by the Guardian written in 2012 posing the same question. Why are there so few women in the world of comedy? But that this was back in 2012 so why today in 2019 do we have the same issue. An article written by Michele A ‘Court interestingly talks about how much she is sick of this question being posed too her and how being a woman shouldn’t matter. In her article she poses some reasons as to why there may be fewer woman in the stand up world. But I’m going to be focusing on from my point of view, a fifteen-year-old girl, why I think there aren’t as many women in the world of comedy.
It’s a heavily male world there’s no denying it, take a look on Mock of the Week most people have noticed nowadays there is a token woman chair. At least Dave is trying to be more inclusive? But personally I don’t feel like the female gender should be treated as a minority because we aren’t but I suppose women are a minority in the world of comedy. Why is this? The preposterous phrase ‘men are funnier than women’ surely can’t be the reason why, as people who say this have clearly never met my male biology teacher- dry as a maths department Christmas party. But I do think that stupid phrase has something to do with it, if as a society we tell young girls they aren’t funny, stop trying to be funny when a man is much funnier, than why in the world would that young girl want to get up on a stage and tell an audience some jokes. Because it’s a very nerve-wracking thing to do you either get laughed at or laughed with. So socially if you are told you just aren’t that funny why would you want to make a career out of it? And it is a valid point I make because there are still people, stupid people, who think men as a whole are funnier than women. But what i’ve found is some people don’t have an issue with female comedians they have a problem with the type of, materiel they have. For example, Rob Miles says on a forum website; “I think that Katherine Ryan isn't too bad, as she's charming, a but quirky and doesn't make many jokes specifically about her being a woman.” The part, “doesn’t make many jokes specifically about her being a woman “I have a bit of an issue with. Obviously humour is subjective but it’s also relatable I don’t know about you but the things I laugh at in stand up is normally things where I go oh I do that you laugh at the little things you do that you thought no one had noticed. So saying you only like female comedians who don’t talk about being a woman is frivolous, yes Rob you might not be able to relate to some of Katherine Ryan’s jokes but 50% of the population can.
So what is the solution? Well I don’t think there is a clear cut one an obvious one is for people to stop saying stupid things like girls aren’t funny, another maybe for everyone to try and be just a little bit more welcoming for all, not just middle aged white men. And of course if you're a girl reading this and want have a crack at making other people laugh then come down to the Feeling Funny Youth Club the first and third Wednesday of the month. Rob Miles might think you’ll be rubbish at it but I think whatever you say will be funnier than him! If you know anyone between the ages of 11-18 who is even just mildly funny tell them about the club and get them to come down and we can prove to Rob Miles girls can be funny too.
P.S (everyone is welcome to attended whatever gender you are but please if you are a girl I personally would love to see you there me and Phoebe are the only girls and we feel slightly outnumbered)