BBC 100 Women Comebacks for International Women’s Day

Kate Stone

Kate Stone

“It’s just banter!”

The three words that make any woman want to lose it, usually coming from a boat shoe clad, swaggering idiot wearing a pastel shirt and reeking of vapid, infuriating sexism. It’s the tagline to our generation’s culture of everyday sexism, a verbal elbow in the ribs – can’t you take a joke?

Now I love a nervous laugh more than anything, when a joke is daring and cleverly constructed I’ll neck it down like a shot of tequila on a Friday night and savour the taste of irony. But this? This isn’t funny and I’m not going to be made to feel like I’m the one with a bad sense of humour because I don’t ‘get it’ enough to laugh. I’ve had enough, we’ve had enough. 

Funny Women alongside BBC’s 100 Women (so many brilliant women!) are sick of being the punchline to an already shit joke.

Let’s make something clear, it’s not up to women to think of a witty retort to sexism, life isn’t one huge game of Whose Line Is It Anyway? especially when a lot of the ‘banter’ being thrown at you is about as funny as when someone stands on the back of your heel during rush hour.  But the world doesn’t work like that does it? If 2016 taught us anything it’s that sometimes logic loses out in life and sometimes you want to say something back because you know, you’re human.

So we’ve got some retorts for you, some comebacks. We might not be able to salvage the joke but we can change the punchline. BBC 100 Women have some Funny Women for you including one of our Funny Women Award Winner’s Desiree Burch, Tiff Stevenson, Ellie Taylor and Shazia Mirza all equipped with some ideas on how to react to sexist ‘banter’.

We know it’s not enough. We know that when you’re walking home on your own that ‘sexist banter’ looks more threatening, it’s darker and nastier and stalks you to your front door. There is so much left to do to tackle this culture of everyday sexism that we live in and as much as we at Funny Women loved sitting in a room going ‘God I wish I said this’ we know we’ve got a lot more stuff to do. But comedy is great because it helps us talk about stuff that sometimes we just don’t want to talk about, it makes us braver in that everlasting dialogue about sexism.

It’s 2017. Get better banter mate. Evolve.

Watch the retorts here!

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Comedy Shorts Award Entry Requirements

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Funny Women NextUp…Comedy Shorts Award

Are you a budding Director? Producer? Screenwriter? Are you collaborating with friends to make a funny video? Then we are looking for YOU!

If you have a short film or sketch that you think is hilarious, then enter your work for our Comedy Shorts Award to be in with a chance of winning some life-changing support and mentoring from comedy professionals.


A 1- 6 minute film that can take the form of anything comical. It’s a great opportunity to show us your creative flair and have fun!


This award is open to all women filmmakers and content developers. The film must be an original narrative created, produced and devised by a woman, or women, although male cast and crew members are allowed.


Yes – we require all films to be 6 minutes or under, to be entirely original dialogue, to not feature brand logos and most importantly, to only use music with the written consent of the performer and/or publisher either personally or via the PRS system .


We will broadcast selected entries on our Funny Women YouTube channel and social media (so keep an eye out) and the top 10 finalists’ films will also hosted on a dedicated Funny Women Comedy Shorts Awards page on our website. We will also broadcast the final 3 entries as part of the grand final night.


Films are judged for production, concept, delivery/performance, creativity, writing and overall funniness. The top 10 films are then viewed by an independent judging panel of top television and film industry professionals who will choose one overall winner and two runners up. The final three will be invited to attend the grand final in London on the 23rd September.


2021 Funny Women Awards Prizes

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