born to reign over us?


In my humble subjective opinion, the power dynamics impacting on harmonious gender relations are complex, contextual and constantly shifting.

Which is why we live in a country where sadly two women every week are killed by a partner / ex partner and yet, for over half a century, one woman has presumed the celestial, legal and physically enforceable right to reign over the rest of us.

Last week EYEhad a difference of opinion about some of those dynamics with a man who presumes to be an expert in comedy and, to a lesser extent, ‘equality’.


EYEis far from an expert in comedy but I do know that comedians have a voluntary code of conduct promoting the notion of always ‘punching up’. I also suspect that Richard Herring knows damn well that a few jabs in his International Women’s Day routine are intended to land squarely below the belt.

‘I hate it when infantile feather-bedded thesps lecture the public on issues’…          Michael Burke

Personally EYEbelieve that his headline grabbing annual act of twitter pedantry and virtue signalling falls flat on it’s face at the precise point where it can (however unintentionally) be seen to demonstrably exist to undermine a campaign attempting to show some love to disenfranchised victims of domestic and sexual violence.

He didn’t agree with me, decided I was being rude and, in the stereotypically predictable fashion of a fainting couch feminist who has just lost the argument, suddenly felt the need to block me for his own personal piece of mind.


But EYEis an eternal optimist. Which is why (spoiler alert) I like to imagine that the titular dance settee that cushions Richard’s spectacular pratfall in his latest DVD, is also intended to serve, on some secret or subconscious level, as a constant, dignified, reminder of the comedic excesses of modern fainting couch feminism.

Like a tiny statue of a long since forgotten suffragette that age will not wither.

So EYEwant to try and make amends for my perceived rudeness and suggest a way that he could very easily fine tune the moral frequency of his ‘joke.’

If he ever really wants to.

Last year EYEsupported the vision of equity between the sexes by mirroring Richard’s spring shenanigans and spending 24 hours (of the 8,760 available) correcting anyone on twitter expressing the opinion that every day is International Men’s Day (when it’s only really the 19th of November).

Some may argue that this was a cynical attempt to appropriate Richard’s comedy in support of the very gender equity campaign that he had appropriated to be the butt of a joke invented to support another.

But that would be childish.

EYEsupports both campaigns, which is why I invite Richard to take over my shift on the 19th of November and promote a positive message to his 181k twitter followers and beyond.

Richard tweets a lot on that day already but I guess my offer could arguably double his social justice clicktivsim workload for the year, which is why EYEsuggest he jobshares.

In the spirit of extending a symbolic and friendly hand across the legendary divide that exists between Oxford and Cambridge alumni, EYEpropose that he invite fellow comedian Sandi Toksvig to join forces with him and commit twelve hours twice a year to a joint campaign of comedic twitter pedantry in the name of gender equality.

In case they ever read this and decide that EYEis taking the piss, let me assure them that I’m not.


I am asking them both to put their money where their mouth is and start supporting the notion that we should encourage champions of gender equality to spend at least 24 hours (of the 8,760 annually available) promoting positive messages about women and men, as well as reflecting on some of the unique challenges that they can face in their lifetime.

Because despite the important causes and positive messages that both campaigns promote, people can sadly also use them to divide us, feather their own nests or co-opt a cause for the benefit of their own personal political perspective or cult of personality

After all International Capitalist Fat Cat Day (6th January) exists for a reason.


Some people say that the 19th of November has been hijacked and undermined by the words and actions of chauvinists and wassocks.

EYEsay don’t let them because the issues it highlights are just too important to let the wassocks win. Sandi and Richard just happen to be in a relatively unique position to do help do something about that. They could be heroes, just for one day.

Then again what do EYEknow, I don’t take the Guardian and I didn’t have an especially privileged education.

Maybe I’m just one of those furiously jealous ignorant cheese helmets that doesn’t deserve to be given a voice or maybe even a vote.

This is the thing where I’m tired in politics now, I’m tired of people being in opposition.  I think that what happens sometimes is that a Government or a leader of the opposition has a great idea and the other side automatically decides it’s rubbish, or decides to rubbish it, and that needs to stop.

We need to start having a conversation now and stop shouting. Sandi Toksvig 2016


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