CELEBRITIES / FEB. 12, 2014
version 3, draft 3

BBC to Impose Gender Rules on Comedy

Everybody loves comedy. No matter who you are, you have laughed at a joke. Sadly the feminists have struck again; the BBC, who are one of the great purveyors of comedy in the English speaking world, are now seeking to regulate it along gender lines. The fantastic panel shows which so many people love, are now having gender rules imposed upon them.

What is Going On?

The BBC wants to be more ‘PC’ and is pandering to the feminist lobby. So because panel shows tend to usually consist of only men, from now on there must be at least one woman in the panel. The BBC’s entertainment controller Mark Linsey, said that he wanted to improve shows, with a greater mix of the sexes on the programmes. "I’m making it clear to production teams that there’s just no excuse for delivering all-male guest lists,”. Programmes such as Mock the Week, QI, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Have I Got News For You, were highlighted as rarely including women.  After Victoria Wood in all her wisdom complained about the, "testosterone-fuelled nature" of panel shows. "A lot of programmes are very male-dominated, because they rely on men topping each other, which is not a very female thing.” These comments in 2009 were followed by a publication of a study in 2012 by the Cultural Diversity Network which singled out panel shows QI and Mock the week for rarely featuring women.

Will It Work?

It is true, women are poorly represented on these shows, but there are reasons for this. The real stumbling block is actually women themselves who have, in many cases turned down invitations to appear on these shows. This is because as Victoria Wood said they don’t like the competitive nature of the shows. Female comedian Jo Brand said, "We didn’t like the prospect of having to bite someone’s foot off before they let us say something."

 If they are competitions where you have to answer questions, then surely it will be a competitive atmosphere. If you can’t compete with the other comics, then don’t complain about it. It seems very odd, that what you have going on here is positive discrimination, because women comics feel like competitive shows, are too competitive. So are they trying to actually regulate competition here? How on earth will this make the shows better? Surely if you make the shows less competitive, then they will be duller and less funny.

There is another problem of course and that is one simply of supply and demand. The fact of the matter is that there simply aren’t as many female comics as male comics. Jo Brand herself said "There are far more male comics than women. When I started, there were about 200 male stand-ups and about 20 female – roughly one woman for every two-and-a-half panel shows." It seems that it is an idea that cannot work. Regulating comedy is not really feasible, especially if it is motivated by women not liking competition. Positive discrimination has a history of turning out bad for all involved. It didn’t exactly have a good effect on our University system, did it? Lowering the entry requirements for students from minorities for top universities was not a positive step for our University rankings.

What is really needed, is more quality female comics, who are not afraid to compete with the men. The feminist lobby can complain all they want, but these shows are mostly populated by lefty fairly PC comedians anyway. It is not like it is a right wing old man’s club they are trying to break into. If the feminists could at least keep their fiendish little hands away from comedy then it would be a nice respite. Is anything left for them not to sabotage?

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