Comedians, and I use the term loosely, Corinne Grant and Tom Ballard are currently engaged in a feud over the perceived misogyny and sexism of gay male comedians.
It all started with an opinion piece written by Grant for Daily Life where she took issue with gay male comedians making sexist jokes, some of the jokes she mentions as offensive including
“Don’t get me wrong, I love Christina Aguilera–I just can’t hear her singing over the sound of her chins wobbling.”
“If women had penises, then I’d talk to them.”
“Every time I even think the word ‘vagina’, I want to gag.”
with the former
Shithouse Skithouse house star and Rove Live conspirator going on to complain that
If a straight male said something like that, the audience would destroy him. However, it’s a different story for a gay male comedian. Gay male comics can declare how disgusting they find women’s bodies, how ugly older women are, how women are hags, nags, sluts, bitches and whores and the audience will laugh.
She quotes Ballard in the piece as saying that the reason he thinks gay men get away with it is that they are perceived as having strong bonds with women and therefore don’t really mean what they say, and in the case of jokes about finding vaginas disgusting they may just be being brutally honest, with Grant concluding, “I know Tom and I know he cares about women; his routines often point out the hypocrisy of discrimination against them… it’s not deliberate sexism, it’s simply not always recognising it for what it is.”
Ballard, not one to take a blow lying down, has come back at Grant on his own blog saying her piece “tars all gay male comics with the same brush. It doesn’t name names, it just refers to some general examples that Corinne presumes constitute generally-agreed-upon evidence of misogyny, without a real acknowledgement of comedy’s role in breaking taboos, exploring uncomfortable truths and challenging the status quo.”
Personally though, I feel that Ballard has missed the point entirely here, the point being that Grant’s understanding of sexism seems far too broad. For instance, in her piece she writes that “Honesty does not cancel out misogyny. Finding vaginas revolting is hating something that is exclusively female. We would be horrified by a straight man saying such a thing and yet we exempt gay males from the same scrutiny.” Is it just me or does this sound catastrophically stupid. Hating vaginas doesn’t make you sexist, it makes you gay, just like hating Thai food doesn’t make you a racist it just makes you stay out of Newtown.
This is political correctness gone mad. If we live in a world where a gay man can’t make jokes about his preference of genitalia without being labelled a sexist, we may as well all move to Saudi Arabia. Do any women seriously take offence to a gay man saying he hates vaginas? If so, I don’t think the issue here is sexism, I think it’s chronically low self esteem, which in regards to Grant makes sense considering the turgid dross she’s been passing off as comedy for years. Who let her out of her cage under Rove’s bed anyway?