There are plenty of stereotypes about women all over the world, ranging from ‘Women are terrible drivers’ (There is an accident? Oh, must be a woman driver!) to ‘Women can’t drink alcohol as much as men’ to ‘A woman’s first mission in life is to reproduce’ (Hey, thanks for seeing us as only baby-breeding machines) to a pretty ‘funny’ one: ‘Women are not funny’. It is not always easy to transcend stereotypes and to challenge clichés attributed to women. However, it is common sense that gender does not determine who is good at specific things, especially when it comes to comedy and making people laugh, which is just a human characteristic.
But why, when we think of comedians and stand up performers, do we often think of men and can’t seem to recall female comedians? Why can’t they take hold of the industry like their male counterparts do? In fact, only one female comedian, Amy Schumer, was ranked among the Forbes list of the world’s highest paid comedians in 2017. So why is comedy such a boy’s club?
Well, it is time to change this and prove all clichés attributed to women wrong, one comedy show at a time. All funny, smart women out there in Istanbul, you are invited to Ha Ha Hanımlar: All Women Comedy Show on Saturday, October 14th. It will feature a variety of female performers from diverse backgrounds, including women from Turkey, the US, Syria, Morocco, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Egypt, Iran, and Guatemala. All the comedians are based in Istanbul and they will take the stage to share their experiences about life, love and the pursuit of humor. You will get to listen to these talented women from all over the world, whose experiences of womanhood transcend border and culture, their personal stories of how modern women deal with stereotypes imposed upon them, and how they dedicate themselves to rid the world of such generalizations through humor.
The show will be in English, and is organized by Istanbul&I, a volunteer youth community dedicated to creating social impact. All revenue from the show will benefit Istanbul&I’s programs, including projects for young refugees, social enrichment programs, and much more. What is better than laughing out loud for a good cause, right? Perhaps then, it is not diamonds that are a girl’s best friend, but laughter, and making others laugh in the face of a world that claims comedy and the stage belong to men. Laughing itself is a revolutionary act, after all.