I’m Kate Smurthwaite and I’ve been doing feminist comedy since before it was fashionable. In fact someone should probably call the Guinness Book of Records because it’s certainly the first time anything has become fashionable while I was doing it.
Of course the rights of 52% of the worlds population shouldn’t really ever be out of vogue. But hey, something has to make way for mindfulness and knee-high boots so enjoy it while it lasts.
There were certainly times a few years ago when being an ‘out’ feminist on a comedy stage felt like a pretty lonely business. To be honest a lot of the time I still feel like my comedy genre gets defined as ‘female’ rather than ‘political’.
Relevant anecdote the first: fans of mine, and friends, regularly send me links to articles about Sarah Millican, never about Mark Thomas. I love Sarah’s work but I don’t see why it is particularly relevant to my own. Unless you’re sat in the 21st century judging comedy on how you imagine people’s genitals…
Relevant anecdote the second: one time after years of begging I was finally given a spot at a political comedy show I have been a fan of forever. Afterwards the promoter remarked: “that was great, I’ve never really thought of feminism as politics”.
Well newsflash – feminism IS politics and yes some of us funny women do do politics.
I’ve been hosting the Feminism In London conferences since the very first one and luckily they seem to have grown at about the same speed as my career so I’m flattered every year when they ask and they’re equally thrilled when I say yes.
I can’t recommend coming enough. The speaker line-up is jaw dropping as usual. Shami Chakrabarti, Maryam Namazie, Nimco Ali, Beatrix Campbell, but more important is just the chance to hang out with inspiring women and be inspired to get involved with amazing campaigns or even start your own.
Of course there’s also an afterparty with a comedy-heavy line-up. You should come along quick before caring about women’s rights in your own life and all around the world goes out of fashion again!
The Feminism in London Conference takes place on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th October at the Hilton Metropole London. You can read their position statement regarding gender binary and sex workers here. For more information and tickets click here!