Stand up comedy

(21 Posts)
Milander Wed 02-Nov-16 08:00:23

I go to a stand up comedy night. So often the comedians entire 10min set is just really taking the piss out of women. I feel as though I am the only one to notice or be bothered by it.. Am I perhaps too sensitised to this? I don't actually think so as there is no acts taking the piss out of men - they would be boring man hating feminists after all. In fact many female comedians have a lot of self deprecating women's body jokes too.
I feel like a grumpy woman finding offence - but I don't want to hear a couple of hours of 'comedy' where I'm the butt of all the jokes..

Milander Wed 02-Nov-16 08:11:37

A recent joke / story was about how some women talk about their child being the thing they are most proud of. The comedien went on to mock women who say this, going in to re-enact a scenario: a woman goes on a girls night out, all dressed up with friends Sharon and Tracey. They have loads to drink, speak to a group of men, making the most of free drinks. Insert jokes about one of the group being too ugly to pull etc. Then the woman gets a bit friendly with one of the blokes and he offers her some coke. She goes into the toilet and takes it, the man follows her and and makes the most of her drugged situation and has sex with her, then runs off into the night, never to be seen again, and leaving her pregnant. And the punchline is, that this is the woman's proudest moment.
This is the comedy, I'm supposed to laugh, everyone else is, but I feel sick.

growapear Wed 02-Nov-16 09:04:52

Well, I'm a man and I don't find that funny in the slightest.

I think that there is an underlying feeling that women don't need to be funny whereas men do. Men need to be funny because women like to be made to laugh, and find men who can make them laugh are attractive and wit is a sign of intelligence etc, that they will be good company etc etc.

Women don't need to do anything because men already find them attractive, so they are in effect othered from humour. It's kind of misogyny 101, the basic idea is that women can get sex just by existing (which in itself is insulting to all the women who presumably don't think they can) but that men, well men have to earn it by dint of being funny, rich, successful, whatever - women don't have to be anything.

I kind of went off the point there OP, sorry. This joke is kind if in line with all of that because it's suggesting the woman is celebrating something that she did absolutely nothing for.

deydododatdodontdeydo Wed 02-Nov-16 10:00:58

I'm really surprised by that because it seems extremely outdated.
The comedy I see is very much left / liberal and a little bit PC with certainly no racist, disablist or sexist content, although often gets close with the sexism.

That comedian sounds awful btw, can't imagine him having any success in the mainstream.

HillaryFTW Wed 02-Nov-16 13:17:15

That's a rape joke. It's not funny.

HillaryFTW Wed 02-Nov-16 13:18:13

"This joke is kind if in line with all of that because it's suggesting the woman is celebrating something that she did absolutely nothing for"

It's not. It's a joke about how the high point of a woman's life is being drugged, raped and impregnated against her will.

HillaryFTW Wed 02-Nov-16 13:19:16

And that this violent crime is her high point because she is ugly.

Misogynistic, ain't it?

marvelousdcomics Wed 02-Nov-16 14:38:39

That's horrible sad

FerretFred Wed 02-Nov-16 14:40:37

Sounds crap with poor comedians.

So why keep going back and endorsing them with your cash?

Dervel Wed 02-Nov-16 15:06:34

I think this whole women/comedy thing is bit reductive. Stand-up comedy is not the only area of comedy. There are a hordes of very very funny women who are actresses or write. If you strip it down to wit, comedic timing etc.

Most of my favourite sit-coms simply wouldn't work without the women writers and actresses. I was also pleased to hear Sandi Toksvig replacing Stephen Fry, as much as I love him I actually think she is funnier.

Stand up is a peculiar male preserve though isn't it? My guess, and it is a guess mind you is that having male as the default makes most of the material that male comedians perform more universal. I think there are male stand up comedians who are less technically skilled, but are shored up by more relatable material. Wheras there are some techically more skilled women who have an uphill struggle.

If I can bring up the recent Ghostbusters reboot, I'd actually say the recent female cast are comprised of more skilled comedians (with the exception of Bill Murray who is a bit of a one off). Melissa McCarthy is actually the top physical comedian in the business right now (of either gender). What let the reboot down was I think there are better female directors that would hit the bullseye better. Although thanks to the 4 leads I found a lot to enjoy in it.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Wed 02-Nov-16 15:09:57

One of my prouder moments was at a stand-up event for International Women's Day. During his routine the warm-up, a bloke, said he didn't see why women needed a special day. I called out "It's because you buggers get all the rest of them." OK, it's not that clever, he was looking for a comeback, but I got one of the best laughs of the night.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 02-Nov-16 15:15:27

Well done, prawn - esp because perhaps one of the many factors in the misogyny of some standups is that women are less likely to heckle than men?

MaudlinNamechange Wed 02-Nov-16 15:28:01

"I think that there is an underlying feeling that women don't need to be funny whereas men do. Men need to be funny because women like to be made to laugh, and find men who can make them laugh are attractive and wit is a sign of intelligence etc, that they will be good company etc etc."

no I don't think this is the primary issue.

Men aren’t funny to be attractive to women. They are funny because it is an enjoyable way of being good at something and showing off.

When women are funny, men often find it an affront because the moment of being made to laugh is a little loss of control. Which is why it is fun - it is like a rollercoaster, (if you like rollercoasters) - to be out of control and just enjoying the experience of rolling with the laughs. Men don’t like to surrender that control to women AND also resent having to admit that they have that skill and power.

Of course being in control can be done in different ways - you can be a dick about it, or not.

Someone on here mentioned recently the Clive Anderson chat show where the BeeGees walked off, and I re-watched it. I’m afraid Anderson was being a total dick. He was interrupting and insulting constantly from the word go. I remembered that this was a very common thing in comedy in the 90s, wasn’t it - that whole gabbling egotistical John Sessions / Clive Anderson kind of thing, where the whole thing was about no one else finishing a sentence without you jumping in and making a stupid pun on one of the words in it, ideally showing up the speaker in some way. It was exhausting and annoying. At least I think so now. But there is no way that any of those men who were treating each other in that way, would put up with that sort of aggressive piss-taking from a woman. No way.

I don’t go to a lot of live comedy so I can’t comment on stand up trends. But I did have a massive row with my ex a couple of years ago at a stand up night where there was a whole riff on “my girl friend’s vagina” which was mainly supposedly funny because vaginas are hilarious. I didn’t enjoy it and exP started to mansplain to me why I should find it funny and things didn’t end well

No, it is unreasonable to not enjoy being the butt of all the jokes.

growapear Wed 02-Nov-16 16:25:57

Men aren’t funny to be attractive to women. They are funny because it is an enjoyable way of being good at something and showing off.

Not sure about this, why do men show off ? I mean, i don't often hear men saying stuff like, I went for her because she made me laugh. They often say stuff about how they were dumb struck by her beauty or the way she held her self or whatever. Maybe the just say that because they think its partly what she wants to hear ? On the other hand it is perfectly acceptable for a woman to say that about her partner. In general women are allowed to be interested in a man because of his brain, and they "trade up" whereas it is unusual for a man to admit that the first thing that attracted him to a woman was her achievements. I guess this is patriarchy in action ?

Anyway - it's off topic I guess. I agree that the joke is a) not funny and b) very nasty about women.

VestalVirgin Wed 02-Nov-16 16:39:38

I recommend that we don't pay for any stand-up comedy unless it is guaranteed to be free of sexism. Surely there are ways of finding out the contents of a show before one pays for it / goes there?

Any publicity is good publicity, so complaining after paying the money won't achieve much.

Men really aren't funny (or anything else) to be attractive to women. Women might be attracted to funny men, but there is no large trend of men trying to cater to that.
There's enough guys who are misogynist arseholes and still complain about not being able to find a girlfriend. They refuse to learn basic human decency in their endeavour to get a girlfriend, so I find it highly unlikely that they'd learn stand-up comedy.

AntiHop Wed 02-Nov-16 16:47:18

I avoid stand up comedy due to the amount of misogyny I've seen.

Dervel Wed 02-Nov-16 17:07:36

Actually the argument that women don't need to be funny is fallacious. Humour is a crucial part of rhetoric and the communication of ideas. If anyone try to makes the case that women need not be funny are essentially saying women don't need to communicate ideas.

If anyone thinks the only use of comedy is to get laid then I'm afraid there are a lot of good jokes they will miss out one. Besides the prevailing view is gay men are applauded for humour, and sex isn't the hardest thing to come by on the gay scene, so what purpose does humour for them serve?

growapear Wed 02-Nov-16 17:09:12

Men really aren't funny (or anything else) to be attractive to women

I happen to know for a fact that a large number of men are motivated to do things because they think that those things impress women. There is evidence that women are attracted to men they think are successful, women who are successful at something on the other hand, are unlikely to have been originally motivated to do it to meet boys. I could be wrong on that last one.

HumphreyCobblers Wed 02-Nov-16 17:17:23

You could read Shrill by Lindy West OP. It is a very interesting look at comedy and misogyny.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 02-Nov-16 22:14:29

That comedian sounds awful btw, can't imagine him having any success in the mainstream
Jimmy Carr and the odious Frankie Boyle are deeply unpleasant and very successful.

KickAssAngel Thu 03-Nov-16 01:46:57

Anyone wanting to make money from stand-up has to pretty much sacrifice their home life. So it tends to be dominated by men, as they often go on tour leaving the wife/girlfriend and kids at home.

Which makes it all self-perpetuating.

I'm a teacher. I spend all day every day getting a crowd to listen to me (and they can be pretty belligerent) and use comedy/gentle humour as much as possible. I also manage to avoid 'isms' like racism, sexism (and sexual innuendo) etc etc. I'm sure a comic could manage the same.

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