Tiff Stevenson: being a funny woman in a man's world

This article is from 2015

Tiff Stevenson: being a funny woman in a man's world

'Then they say "don't worry, just do the job and I'll dock your pay 19.7%"'

Being a woman in a man's world is just being a woman isn't it? I'm no different to any other woman. I turn up for work and the booker will say 'where is your penis? Did you forget your penis again?' I'll say yes and apologise for forgetting my penis and I'll offer to go home and get my penis. Then they say 'don't worry, just stay and do the job and I'll dock your pay 19.7%'. So like every other woman I'll do my job and get paid consistently less than men to do it. I'll be given less visibility and have to work 10 times harder to prove myself. Then I'll try to forget all of that and just be funny.

The comedy world is no different to the rest of the world which is a man's world. Actually, make that a white man's world. I work in entertainment which is supposed to reflect society. Women are 51% of society so actually the majority. However, TV screens and cinema screens can sometimes make us feel like we don't exist. Sometimes positive discrimination has to happen just to balance it out. The more young girls see female comics on TV, the more they are encouraged that comedy is a viable career. If you can see it then you can be it! I saw Joan Rivers and suddenly it clicked into place, I could do that!

Sometimes you just try and do your best, I can't be everything to everyone but I can be an inspiring woman to someone. Hopefully a little girl who dreams of making people laugh one day

Tiff Stevenson: Mad Man, until 29 Aug, The Stand, 558 7272, 4.05pm, £8–£10.

Tiff Stevenson: Mad Man

Self-assured and self-deprecating deliberations about the thorny issues of body image, racism, sexism and sexuality in a modern world ruled by conformity.