Degendering The Laughs In India

As the women take to the comedy stage, they are breaking glass ceilings with humour.


“I have realized saying the word sanitary napkin in public is like standing in a Hogwarts common room and saying Voldemort”. Aditi Mittal is out there among the top ten stand-up comedians in India, and doing it her own way. She is back with things they won’t let her say on Netflix.



From husband-wife jokes on WhatsApp to the slapstick comedy on Kapil Sharma’s show, Indian jokes have managed to evoke collective giggles for sly sexism. From body shaming, slut blaming to transphobia, humour has propagated stereotypes for too long.


But now are the times when comedy is being used to talk about gender equality. Comedians like Mallika Dua, Neeti Palta, Sumukhi Suresh, Vasu Primlani, Aditi Mittal, Punya Arora and Radhika Vaz are out there making gender disparity funny and showing how illogical it is to think of women as different.


They talk about how the difficulty of using women products, dressing “appropriately” and behaving “properly”. By subverting expectations from women figures, they are highlighting the irrationality of societal expectations.


Sumukhi Suresh’s “Behti Naak” series talks about serious issues like American politics, labour issues and marriage failures, while shutting the body shammers with a smile. Neeti Palta is another comedian who has turn “wife is irritating” jokes on their head.


While humour is being used to break gender barriers, the field of stand-up comedy itself is in a nascent stage. While Aditi Mittal asserted that she made it without the circulating bro support, other women artists affirm that real talent and conviction will find its way in the audience, regardless of gender parity in terms of opportunity.


While the issue of gender discrimination is deeply entrenched, humour could be a good way to disarm the patriarchy. This band of women warriors are out with their skills to break the glass ceiling with their humour.


(Image credits- youtube)