February 2017 was notable – I was published for the first time…. and no I will not stop banging on about it. I can (nay will) be referenced!
I get to use the best of all phrases in my PhD thesis now… the textbook ‘as I have argued elsewhere’. Exciting times.
The article evolved from a conference presentation I gave way back in 2014 at the University of Hull and centres around the argument that 2013, although notable for its many high profile successes for female comics, was not the ‘FINALLY THE WOMEN HAVE ARRIVED’ all-out party the media seemed to think it was. In terms of the party metaphor, it wasn’t really even time to open the buffet. In fact just as with every advancement for women into areas of labour outside the home, there was a swift inverse reaction, this time played out through reactionary and sexist humour.
I’m in the process of finishing the draft of my follow up article which will explore uses of self-deprecation in stand-up comedy. I was in total lock down over the Xmas period finishing the thesis chapter upon which this article will be based and am now counting the seconds until the end of term so I can get a day off.
Oh yeah and I have also recently co-founded a research network (Mixed Bill) – more on that here.
In other news…..
A random recent moment was the sudden posting of this image to social media by a fellow student of my high school (a school that has subsequently had both a name change and a complete facelift… as if in a kind of witness protection programme for buildings). The classic Sixth Form leaving book activity of ‘Person most likely’ – decorated with some pretty flipping snazzy clip art.
I had a vague memory of this… but here it was again in black and white. Five words that drive at the very heart of everything that, as an adult, regularly and completely does my head in.
FEMALE. VERSION. OF. PAUL. MERTON
This was the early 2000s (equality was achieved by then right, guys – *eye roll*) and 18 year old me didn’t really think twice about this – fast forward 3 years and this would have not stood for a second. At university I learnt that I’m not the female version of anything, thanks very much. I’m not some kind of rubbish tribute act to a guy who’s funny on TV.
I’ll be tackling this kind of subtle reinforcing of gendered expectation in the introduction to my research – as this really gets to the crux of why I am interested my area. The enduring need for society to define people in binary and to give women power or station only in its relation to their male counterparts. This renegotiation of gendered expectations constantly plays out through humour… another thing for the introduction to the thesis then.
Oh and my bestie Amy is kick-ass CBT therapist, not an interior designer – so take that The Man!