‘I’ve had men rub their genitals against me’: female comedians on extreme sexism in standup

‘I’ve had men rub their genitals against me’: female comedians on extreme sexism in standup

August 6, 2020

For years, sexual predators have infested the live comedy scene. But female comedians are demanding action. Is this British standup’s #MeToo moment?

‘If this was a normal office where, on your first day, someone higher up than you goes: ‘Here’s a list of guys in the office who might rape you,’ you would go straight to HR. But there’s no HR – there’s nowhere we can go to say this is happening,” says Laura Duddy, who started out in standup comedy last year.

“For new comics, it’s normal that a more established comic will give them a list of open-mic gigs to try,” says Ellie Calnan, who began standup 18 months ago. “Whereas for women, it’s: ‘Here’s the people and gigs to avoid.’”

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