Happy Mother’s Day!!! Hey, I have a great idea for Mother’s Day. Can we stop rape and sexual harassment? Wouldn’t that be a GREAT Mother’s Day present to all of the mothers out there?
From Nicholas Kristof:
(After a rape…) Her family rushed her to the hospital, where she endured hours of humiliating scrutiny as nurses collected a rape kit: DNA, hairs, fibers, anything that could be found on her body. The police took a statement from Natasha and picked up the rape kit from the hospital.
Then they did nothing. For years.
That was 1991. The Police Department here in Robbins, a struggling, low-income suburb of 5,000 people just south of Chicago, allowed rape kits to sit untested on the shelves. Officers don’t seem to have seriously investigated the assault, and the rapist got away with his crime — even as Natasha was tormented by it.
This is a crime that on top of a crime. How can you not even investigate this rape? I really and truly don’t understand. The folks in the Police Department in Robbins should be horse whipped. There is no excuse.
Comedy is a job. Comedy clubs are workplaces. Stages are offices. When a comedian touches, catcalls or verbally sexualizes a female comedian, her ability to work is threatened. And more so, she is challenged as to how to deal with the matter. We, girl comedians, want to be funny and clever. We want to fit in, which can be difficult in a male-dominated workplace.
Recently, I’ve had several female comics approach me for advice. The requested advice isn’t for such things as a list of good show recommendations or suggestions for productive open mics. It’s always the same question, just a slightly different set up: How do I deal with [creepy, semi-successful guy in comedy]? He said if I don’t come over to write, he will never book me on his show. [Gross, very successful dude comic] said if I don’t pick him up from this party, he will ban me from all Los Angeles comedy clubs. Last night, [disgusting, neck-bearded not successful but well-liked male comedian] introduced me onstage as a “superhot chick he’d like to f-ck.”
What does one do in this situation?
Here are my suggestions: call him out, tell him to stop, tell the manager.
What if said slimy comedian bans me? But I want to fit in. What if I am seen as sensitive?
Much like my childhood rubber-balls situation, “telling” on a comedian isn’t possible. We want to play it cool because we want to be taken seriously as a comic, because we want to be part of “The Boys Club.” The distorted logic is that in order to be let into the inner circle, comics have to accept the behavior thrown at them. So, you must fight fire with fire. You respond to rubber balls with rubber balls. He grabs your waist from behind and presses himself against you, you respond with statements like: “Your dick is so small, I can’t even feel it.” However, this method validates the sexual harassment. Which means the behavior will only continue. (more…)