I love working with men. There. It's out there.
Working in comedy means I'm vastly outnumbered gender-wise and therefore, spend most of my time with the unfair sex (I'm sure that's the proper opposite of "fairer"). And despite the ongoing tedium which is the debate about whether women really are funny, blah fucking blah, and whether we'll ever reach equal status in this industry, I can't help but admit that I seem right at home in the company of comedy dudes.
So why do I feel so guilty admitting this? No, not guilty. ANXIOUS.
Because the moment you say you like working with men, there are idiots who read into that as "I don't like working with women." Well guess what. I don't really like working with women who think that way. So HA!
The other day, I had a radical thought: maybe that's the whole unspoken secret of this gender-lopsided world which is comedy. The women who are attracted to it can not only "handle" the inequality of it - but dare I say it - like being the minority?
Oh, now I'm making myself REALLY anxious.
I will say this: feminism, especially feminism on the comedy circuit, is in a weird place right now. From my experiences the past few years doing stand up, I've learnt that if you're a woman on the circuit you're expected to feel a certain way about certain issues, shun certain organisations, promoters and publications, and conversely, embrace others. There's apparently an automatic agenda when you sign up to be a female comic, whether you want it or not. Which to me, seems decidedly un-feminist. Because isn't the whole point of feminism having an equal shot at something, rather than being told who you should and shouldn't align with lest you BETRAY THE AGENDA?
I really like the women I've met on the comedy circuit. Although it's rare that we gig together, because putting two on a bill is like rubbing two vaginas together to try to make a fire, apparently (which according to some sexy books I've read, is actually possible). But we don't always get to "meet each other" unless we're gigging for someone who dares to, erm, what's the term, "double twat it" maybe, or if we take part in some all-female comedy gathering. Which to be honest, and although I've given a variety of these a fair shot, often makes me feel like I'm in the special comedy Olympics. Or, like I'm at a rally for which I've not read the fine print and show up feeling unprepared to bitch about "The Man." "I hate the Man!" "Yeah, me too! Wait, which Man do we mean? I mean, I like some men." "GET OUT!"
But then I don't even feel that all this needs to be spelled out here. I didn't set out to write an article about feminism, after all; I simply want to say, without any agenda or insult to my own sex that sometimes, being in a car full of guys is the most freeing, interesting, and fun experience a girl can have.
Bantering with, and being in the presence of men, is decidedly different than being with women. Dare I say it - it's sometimes EASIER. Less complicated. Less being sized up and analysed and compared to and with, less emotionally laden and just - simpler. I love a chin wag with an amazing woman - and being in the company of good, talented, and creative women is an amazing inspiration and something I could never do without. But as I've learned, so is bombing down the M5 with four guys of varying ages and backgrounds and listening to them try to get their heads around what makes 30 Rock so great, and whether Stewart Lee really IS a god or a tad overrated (on that one, I've seen men openly shun and STOP TALKING to anyone who argues the latter. Made for an awkward three hours back from Wolverhampton for "Comic X.")
I don't want to go so far as to say that all women who enter comedy secretly prefer being around more men than women, so I'll only speak for myself: I secretly prefer being around more men than women. This is because I learned long ago that there are certain women I just don't get, and don't know how to be around. Women who are into things which I've never connected with, like spray tanning, or marrying assholes who they then take great sport in complaining about. And fish pedicures. What is WRONG with you people?
Oh, I see where I need to cover my tracks, now. Is this about sex, you ask? About feeling like the "only girl in the room," fantasy thing? Are the fish pedicure regulars reading this and thinking "Taylor Glenn, that slag. She's no better than Shirlene, the class flirt who always "accidentally" walked into the boys' locker room at school so she could be alone with a bunch of naked penises." Nah, I don't think that's it. For starters, I'm a happily married woman. Seriously, those exist. And I'm even married to a man who trusts me implicitly. Especially considering that I come home all hours of the night, having spent my time with men, with wads of cash in hand. Yeah, I should say he's pretty secure. And he should be. I'm gratefully past that painful stage of life where anything with stubble turns me on and makes me feel a giddy crush which renders me novocaine-mouthed and incapable of reasonable self-control. No, it isn't about sex.
Maybe it's because I've got two older brothers, and I like them both. I'm sure that being hazed into that sort of environment from a young age (and I do mean hazing - karate chopped to the floor onto our rough living room carpet, stuffed into a suitcase, teased about a moustache which I only recently discovered NEVER EXISTED) conditioned me to feel comfortable around menfolk. Especially menfolk who are creatively inclined, self-deprecating, and full of clever banter. You can keep the boring and cliché asshole types to yourselves, mind you, but they don't tend to do comedy. Or if they do, they don't stand a chance amongst the banter. Survival of the fittest, that's what I always say about comedy car journeys. Until someone interrupts me and changes the subject to suit THEIR AGENDA. Jerks.
I didn't have any sisters. Maybe that conditioned me to feel less comfortable around women. Maybe I've been drawn into a man-heavy playing field because being around too many women would make me feel overwhelmed and confused. Women can be like bugs to me. A few of us are pretty cute, and very, very interesting - but a whole hoard makes me want to run the other way.
But then, on the occasions when I DO get to meet The Others - the women who are braving this crazy industry - I feel like I'm in such good company. Women who understand me, and who I understand. Women who have funny and creative brains and who don't get bogged down in boring Heat Magazine bullshit. Three dimensional, wonderful women who have something to say and the balls to say it on stage.
Hmm, I guess maybe I just like people who do comedy, male or female. Is that what this whole blog was really about after all? How boring. Let's stick with the man thing. Cuz looking at the bill for my next gig: yup, I'm the only girl.
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