lördag 12 oktober 2013

Equality everybody would gain from in Swedish show business


Moa Svan is a Swedish stand up comedian who lives her life among sceens and crowds. She is a fun and bold feminist beyond her fame and working experience - She has recently written about the daily situation of female comedians in Sweden in bang.se and she has described the difficulty of working as equals in an showbiz environment where male comedians get huge recognition fast.

Moa refers to a rather difficult competing situation and I find it especially interesting that she shares her view on equality for the women in the business who's work and career aren't being much recognised. According to Moa, lack of reckognition of female comedians is a notable problem. The Swedish showbiz market is rather small and even though comedians mostly work independently and launch their own shows, agents and managers are still able to dominate the turn-over through their contact nets and booking abilities. They play an important part as promoters, so they do influence the careers of many whenever they choose to follow the lead of the popular comedians enjoying the greatest demand. According to Moa the current situation rather much lacks of scrutiny. Right now, the system of prefering mostly key male comedians at the shows is having an aggravating effect on a multitude of careers as well as on the diversity of talents. The problem gets specifically striking for those of them who live and operate outside the hetero norm - Having a different sexual orientation can lead to less bookings from show launchers. From Moa you get a clear idea of a rather intricate working situation where "official social acceptance" compete with "real" cognitive bias and polarized opinions about genus norms and female versus male controversies and where concrete lack of questioning attitudes turns out to be a big challenge for many indepentently working comedians. As for the notable "booking  problem" the quota currently gets filled by the men who enjoy a positive flow of their careers.

Female comedians, especially those outside the hetero norm need to belong to a more equal and supportive showbiz community, this is a momentum 22 that maybe hasn't been seen as a democracy deficit until now but as Moa Svan stresses is a serious matter not the least in cultural terms. I think people should start talking about the dilemma because it concerns all of us. Especially striking for me is the fact that Moa opens up about the mocking on TV shows by male comedians who personally oppose to feminism. Ridicularizing her jokes or her person when something fun is beeing said about the female world turns out to be a deceivingly making fun of female standards and a hidden source of a strong anti gender criticism.

To summarize, I think that Swedish popular comedians should start a trend. From the moment they start profitting from an unique, favorable situation they should actively take an open stand against the informal mechanisms that narrow the range of choices. Some of the male comedians in the spot light are followed by hundreds of thousands of people who listen to their messages on the scene, on twitter, youtube and their blogs, they are in a professional situation that allows them to make statements and some of them has even earned attention as role models. Using one's popularity and telling the world and the Swedish comedian community about the consequences of underbookings of female stand-up comedians" shouldn't be a problem.

Right now the system supports discrimination. It is crucial that bookers and agencies start debating about the importance of having an equal amount of male and female comedians in showbiz and independently of sexual orientation. The audience is as diverse as the comedian community is homogeneous right now. People work with messages all the time. To which side of the stand do we want to belong?

Publicerat den 2013-10-12 och uppdaterad den 2013-11-21.