One mindset that seems oddly to be increasingly widespread is the idea that women aren't funny. Worse, that women don't have much of a sense of humour. I wrote not that long ago (I seem to have a comedy subject only short list of writing ideas) about my disappointment in Jongleurs comedy club owner Maria Kempinska suggestion that women don't go to comedy clubs for love of comedy, but because they are merely accompanying their male partners – from whom they take their cue to laugh. In a discussion about misogyny becoming more and more fashionable on the stand up circuit Kempinska told Jenny Murray that: “women often go into comedy clubs because of their men.”
Kempkinska said this in a discussion with stand up comedian Michael J Dolan, who had recently taken out all the misogynist jokes from his set. It is a complicated question, why there aren't more women in comedy or why there aren't more successful women in comedy. It gets even more complicated we try to address the problem with solutions. This only implies funny, adult women need someone to hold their hands before they can reel off a joke. Everybody needs a thick skin or an overwhelming determination to do stand up, male or female.
Dolan has demonstrated support for women by removing misogyny from his set. Before anyone comments about women making jokes at men's expense – Dolan's zinger was about burying his girlfriend alive HAHAHA. Bit different from being rubbish at shopping for instance. How else can the comedy world make way for more women?
This could be called an all male short list but instead we call it the norm. the Default.
It is kind of infuriating to see that this year's Comic Relief – founded by Elton's sometime collaborator Richard Curtis and Lenny Henry – will feature an all male list of comics to host. This could be called an all male short list but instead we call it the norm. The default. I doubt anyone would notice or care like they do when there's more than one token women on a QI panel or Have I Got News For You.
I recently attended a workshop where one of the speakers said she no longer spoke at venues that were inaccessible. She realised this one woman boycott might not shake the world any time soon but it's a gesture that makes the people concerned think. It might seem churlish to boycott something that raises money for charity but you know what I would really like to see? What I think would make a difference? Male comedians boycotting men only lists.
Sheer or Cystitis: Which is Less Funny?
Women Unite, Take Back the Mic