Don’t get me wrong, I love these panel shows! There seems to be an unlimited supply of them; would I lie to you, mock the week, 7 days, 8 out of 10 cats, big fat quiz etc. However they seriously need to pick up their game in terms of representation!
They usually have at least one lone woman on the show, generally reaching up to a huge maximum of two women. Well except for Mock the Week where “there has never, in 77 shows, been an episode in which two women have appeared.” (x)
It makes sense seeing as how comedy is an old boys club with it being (wrongly) assumed that women are not funny. That and I guess “the public” wouldn’t want too hear many “house wives trilling away at each other” (in the words of Kerre Woodham).
Initially I found when I was watching these shows most of the female comedians didn’t contribute much unless called upon or unless there was an adequate gap. They “wait for a pause in a room of interrupters.” (x)
Studies have shown that in collaborative settings “the time that women spoke was significantly less than their proportional representation—amounting to less than 75 percent of the time that men spoke.” “(x)
The format is not made to suit how we are brought up. It is stacked against women already. “when you find yourself in conversation with a circle of men and, against your better judgment and all your feminist impulses, you just turtle up. You retire. You forfeit, because their lungs are bigger, they’re groomed for assertiveness since birth, and you’re groomed to assume that nobody will take you seriously anyway.” (x)
As female comedians don’t have the opportunity to contribute as many jokes as the men, this furthers the idea that women are not funny perpetuating the myth that females are less funny than males.
Which is plain unfair.
Also, they have no-one to back them up and let them know “yes that joke is funny, the men don’t get it but why should they”.
Our girls have enough barriers and hurdles to getting into stand up. As Lynch explains “What men mean by ‘a sense of humor’ is that they want someone who laughs at their jokes, and what women want is [someone who’s] funny.” (x)
I want to see more women in comedy shows they can feel comfortable contributing to. I want to encourage more women into comedy and dispel the old ‘women aren’t funny’ myth once and for all.
This is great!
A recent episode of QI featured an all-woman panel, and it was really, really hilarious. I was so pleased (although they did make a few jokes that relied on negative gender roles, but no one is perfect). I’m really loving how QI is getting more and more women on.
Although on some panel shows (I’m looking at you, 8 Out of 10 Cats), when there is an attractive female guest on, they get SO OBJECTIFIED. I don’t know if this makes them feel uncomfortable, but it sure makes me feel uncomfortable on their behalf. It just seems like a way of under-mining them - “You’re here because you’re hot, it’s okay if you’re not funny. Your looks are what matters.” Probably I am over-reacting, but it’s just really annoying for these women comediens to be pretty much sexually harassed on international television and everyone laughs.
You might say that “it’s just a joke, get a sense of humour”, but the joke in question (hot women and objectifying them) is old, unfunny, completely over-done, and tired as all hell. It’s time to move on. I get that it’s meant to be a joke, but it’s not nearly as funny as men (and some women) seem to think it is.
It’s also super annoying when the line up is male comedian, male comedian, male comedian, lady presenter. Then everyone watches and is all wow ladies aren’t funny and theres a bunch of lady comedians at home going ‘man I wish I had some fucking paid work’.