When it comes to programming any comedy show, creating a gender-balanced bill can be tricky, especially if you’re a lazy, close-minded promoter who gives zero fucks about making the entertainment world a more interesting place. If your version of inclusivity is maybe having a single, token female on any given show, the forthcoming rant has been lovingly crafted for you.
TBH, gender equality in the arts isn’t exactly something I love talking about (like, why, why, is this still an issue), but given the current state of comedy scenes across Canada and, likely, around the world (don’t quote me on that – I’m not that well travelled), it has to be said: not only are there a million reasons you should be booking more female comics on each and every one of your bills (I mean, at the very least, it makes you look good), there are a plethora of reasons why women, from a completely objective standpoint, are born and bred to be some of the best comics in the game. Here are just a few.
You like your comics tortured?
You’re in luck! Odds are, any woman living and breathing on this goddamn, unjust planet we call earth has experienced more hardship, pain and overwhelming absurdity in their lives by the time they turn 20 than you will in your entire fragile, male existence. I’m so sorry you can’t quite cope with being so intellectually superior to everyone else, or whatever it is you pretentious dude comics are always yammering on about. I truly am. It must be so hard for you. OK, G2G contemplate whether or not life is worth living, given the fact my actions, emotions, opinions and general existence are totally undervalued by the majority of society. Ciao!
You like self-loathing?
Well, wouldn’t ya know it? Women and self-loathing go back like ODB and Mariah. From the very day a woman is born, she is literally conditioned to hate everything about herself! A lifetime of self-hatred = a wealth of comedic material! Bonus: the world around us has developed in such a way that nothing we ever do is considered good enough, so we’re also, like, really hard workers.
You like neurosis?
It kind of comes with the territory. When you spend a good few hours a week suspecting you just may be assaulted and/or murdered at any moment, you wind up in a strange headspace.
You like weird shit?
As previously mentioned, living as a woman in this world is an intrinsically absurd experience. The roles we’re expected to fill and spaces we’re expected to occupy are at once disturbing, hilarious, schizophrenic and straight-up ridiculous (combine the Madonna-whore complex with the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope, then add 12-88 other adjectives). Plus, some of us unexpectedly bleed out of our genitals every few weeks. That’s some straight up Tim & Eric shit, right? Like, so totally ~random~.
You like a comic who can handle hecklers?
Another A+ reason to enlist the services of female-identifying comics. We experience unwanted criticism and negative attention from total strangers on the reg! We’re even used to this sort of harassment getting physical and are ready to defend ourselves against that kind of aggression 24/7! Every day is just a nightmare waiting to reveal itself as such! And this is coming from a white woman from a middle class background. I’m straight-up privileged! I have it so, so easy in comparison to the throngs of amazingly talented, horrendously underrepresented women of colour, trans women and gender fluid folks out there.
The most incredible part of all this? We experience these injustices, this fear, every single day of our fucking lives and we rarely talk about it! We don’t need to brag about how troubled we are because we consider suffering a given. Think about the number of dude comics you’ve seen do full sets that can essentially be summed up as “Life is hard, let me count the ways and explain why my shit is worse than yours.” Do we really want to spend another 7-10 minutes of our lives validating that bullshit? Like, life’s fucking hard. Deal with it, softboy. Can we talk about literally anything else? I thought this was supposed to be funny.
TL;DR: Add more female comics to your line ups. If the audience doesn’t laugh at their jokes, they’re obvs just sexist lol. Hey, and while you’re at it, go see THE FUTURE IS FEMALE, a show that “dares” to feature an all female-identifying line-up (gasp! Are they sure they wanna do that? Sounds risky!) and takes place at PSYCHIC CITY this Friday, January 13 at 7:30PM. If you respect the space and act like a decent human being, we’ll think twice before completely phasing the cis-bro species out of existence 10 years from now ;)