The Crass ceiling: Female comedians and an analysis of sexism withing stand up comedy
LE3 .A278 2016
Master of Arts
This thesis examines and analyzes female comedians and the existence of gendered barriers within the stand up comedy industry. A long history of the exclusion of women from the mainstream and ‘normal’ spheres of life contributes, at least in part, to the perceived “otherness” of female comedy and helps to contextualize how and why women have been and continue to be considered less “funny” than men. I use a feminist standpoint methodology, incorporating 12 qualitative interviews, observations, and a quantitative content analysis of the number of men and women headliners at a comedy club in Toronto for 12 months to explore how cultural perceptions depicting men as the sole (or natural) producers of comedy have created barriers for women in comedy. Such barriers are theorized to be the crass ceiling, and explicate the strange phenomenon whereby which women are largely prevented from achieving similar levels of success than their male counterparts.
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