It’s been a month since the Russell Brand allegations became public. This is how women in comedy are feeling…

It’s been a month since the Russell Brand allegations became public. This is how women in comedy are feeling…

Do you think the comedy circuit has a misogyny problem? Are there environmental factors specific to comedy that make it worse?

I think there’s two parts to this. Comedy historically has been so misogynistic, and people have been able to get away with abuse against women through comedy and joking. And then what happens is, when a woman calls that out, they’re accused of being a boring,feminist snowflake. It’s a really good way to silence women, because in comedy you’re made to feel like you have to be like, fun and like down with it, and never offended I’ve done shows before where I was about to go on stage, and the man in front of me was making really bad rape jokes. I was like, now I have to go on stag? So, I think there’s that one part, which is the actual comedy in itself being misogynistic, which is changing, obviously, but still taking quite a long time.

And then in terms of industry wise, most industries are still misogynistic. There are so few industries that aren’t. So, I think in that sense, it’s still systemically run by a few powerful men who get to decide who gets to go and what panel shows. I don’t think women are respected as much in comedy as men are. I don’t think men find women as funny as they should. I think men in comedy are really afraid of finding women funny, because then they think that they’re going to lose work, if women are funnier than them.

Can you tell me about any personal experiences of misogyny you’ve faced in the comedy industry?

I’m very lucky because I’ve been able to slightly isolate myself from more traditional sides of comedy, by building my own audience, and working with women and queer comedians. I actually very rarely work with straight men. But when I was starting out, yes.

Men would find ways to patronise me, or men who would be inappropriate  because I go on stage and have my tits out, and wear quite revealing clothes. I look hot when I’m on stage, and they think that means they can say creepy stuff to me.

Did you hear the rumours about Russell Brand before the allegations were made public?

Yeah, I heard [the rumours] when I started doing stand up, like six years ago.

How do you feel about the conversations that have ignited since the Brand investigation broke?

I wasn’t shocked [by the allegations]. But I just feel like every time something like this happens it depresses me on such a deep level, because nothing is changing. And the way that a lot of the internet responded, by denying reality and saying what they [the alleged victims] were saying wasn’t true. That affects me deeply, and sends a message to other people who have been raped not to do anything about it.

Do you think the culture has changed within comedy in recent years?

It’s very hard to know. We’re almost eight years on from #MeToo and not much has changed. It changes in very small ways. I think the more that men are scared of being held accountable for their behaviour, the more that their behaviour will change. They need to be afraid of doing the wrong thing, and then they will be forced into doing the right thing. But, there is an amazing support network in comedy amongst women. There are so many older women who’ve really protected me and made sure that I’m okay. Women just talk to each other more about this stuff.

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