Question Time with Jo Brand

Great interview with Jo Brand in the Guardian today, full of so many choice quotes that I want to copy and paste the whole damn thing, but here’s my favourites:

Do you think the majority of male comedians are sexist?

Yes. I don’t think that means you can’t be friendly with them or get on with them. I just have to distance myself from that side of their personality. The vast majority of men are like it; that doesn’t make them bad people. But with most male comics it’s an inbuilt thing that’s as natural as breathing. There is a bit of a new wave of misogyny going on in comedy.

I wonder whether she challenges this sexism? I imagine it would be a massive task to take on alone, and sometimes you do let things slip just so you can get on with your day without being permanently enraged. Either way, I like how she calmly acknowledges that sexism is the norm, but that this doesn’t necessarily mean all men are terrible: in many cases it’s just an inevitable result of growing up in a sexist world.

I think this is something we should always bear in mind; while there are of course out and out bastards, lock-em-up-and-throw-away-the-key types, if we position men as inherently bad – if men really are inherently bad – we have no hope of changing society. By recognising that sexist attitudes and the problems that stem from them are largely a product of socialisation we can began to tackle the root causes of women’s oppression and work towards a freer, fairer society. Doesn’t mean Jimmy Carr isn’t a twat (IMHO), or that misogyny in comedy is OK, but at least we know that things can change.

You did Trinny and Susannah a while ago; do you follow any of their advice today?

As you can see, I don’t. They told me not to wear black, so I’ve ignored that completely.


Even when I wasn’t overweight I was never one of those girls or women who wanted to look nice. I always thought it wasn’t important. I have a utilitarian approach to dressing; as long as I quite like it and it covers me up, I don’t care what it is. I wouldn’t say I have no style, because if I didn’t I’d just wear the same sack every day for the rest of my life, but I can’t be arsed to make the effort.

How refreshing to see a woman proclaiming her complete lack of interest in making an effort with clothes! Not to mention sticking two fingers up at style bullies Trinny and Susannah. Hurrah for Brand, I say.

You can read the rest of the interview here.