Did you hear the one about the woman who went into the Irish comedy scene? Well, it’s far from funny. Nobody’s laughing about the allegations of sexual harassment and abuse that female comedians say are endemic in the Irish comedy scene.
Comedian Ruth Hunter found the abuse so bad that she left Irish stand-up to move to Glasgow. Now, she is working on a new code of conduct and consent workshops that will, hopefully, benefit the next generation of female comedians.
At least 40 clubs across Ireland have agreed to implement the code. Here’s hoping it will help to usher in an era of respect and accountability.
More work is still needed to challenge another lingering sexist belief – that woman aren’t funny. Hilary Rose, who stars in the third series of Young Offenders starting Friday on RTE1, said she was once asked if women were funny but didn’t even justify the question with an answer.
She was right. All the same, it is worth saying again. There is no gender bar when it comes to being funny.