Affordable Access

Access to the full text

Gender, Humour and Transgression in Canadian Women’s Theatre

Authors
  • Meisner, Natalie
  • Mounsef, Donia
Type
Published Article
Journal
Prague Journal of English Studies
Publisher
Walter de Gruyter GmbH
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2014
Volume
3
Issue
1
Pages
47–63
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2478/pjes-2014-0017
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Are humour and laughter gender-specific? The simple answer, like most everything that is ideological, is “yes”. Many feminists in recent years have grappled with the question of humour and how it is often the site of much contestation when it comes to women using it as a tool of transgression. This paper probes the seemingly timeless antipathy between humour and representations of femininity through recourse to performance and theories of the body. This article holds the term “woman” up to scrutiny while simultaneously examining the persistence of both critical and philosophical recalcitrance and the way humour continues to function in both gendered and violent ways. How does gender “do” or “undo” humour? Laughter is no simple matter for women, due to the legacy of profoundly polarized and hyper-sexualized historical ambivalence between femininity and laughter. Acknowledging the problematic nature of the category “woman”, and after clearing some terminological distinctions (comedy, humour, irony, satire, and parody), this article investigates humour’s complicated and volatile relationship to gender and the way the laughing body of women on stage presents a fascinating double helix of sexual aggression and power

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times