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Michael J. Dolan: “I Was A Misogynist Comedian”

In a new opinion piece for The Skinny, a site that focuses on independent cultural journalism, comedian Michael J. Dolan talks about the realization that he was a misogynist. As the article goes:

In June this year I put out my first stand-up record. Self-released, I tried to rattle up some press but mostly I was told to shove it. In the end I managed to get two reviews on indie comedy blogs and I was grateful for those. One was lovely. Enthusiastic, positive, the kind of thing I was hoping for. The other called me a misogynist and compared me to Bernard Manning. I was a little bit fucking shocked
….
I called a friend (hey, look at that, some of my best friends are women). Well-read when it comes to contemporary feminism, little gets past her. I thought she would tell me the reviewer was full of shit, that I had nothing to worry about and that would be that. I asked her straight if she thought that any of the material was misogynistic. She said yes.

Dolan then takes himself to task over his jokes.

This is something we should all do in our own lives. Even as a self-proclaimed feminist (or feminist-ally if necessary), I have been called out on things I have said jokingly as reinforcing such terrible stereotypes. I had always thought that the way to poke fun at such things is to be ridiculous about them, you know, the way David Cross talks about racist zombies or supporting the troops…but, I am not a comedian with a platform to make a difference. So, my jokes simply come of us faux-liberal, woman-hating comments. Did I like being called on it? No. Am I glad I was? Absolutely. It took some time, but I eventually had to accept my male privilege, and accept that I was helping perpetuate the problem, rather than working as a solution to the problem. Whether male or female, gay, straight, queer, asexual, black, asian, white, latino, whatever…which are you? Part of the problem? Or part of the solution?!

Eventually, in the article, Dolan comes to the conclusion that: “A new generation of comedians are about to be left behind. Those peddling misogyny, homophobia or other varieties of hate to drunks who don’t know better are going to find themselves out of favour.” We can only hope that he is right.

Go read the whole article here.

– Cameron

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