Women can do stand up too

A doctor, a teacher, an actress and many other women are dipping their toes in the world of stand-up comedy in Portugal -- and proving it's not an art form exclusively for men. 

Catia Bruno
Cátia Bruno NewsMavens, Portugal
Women can do stand up too - NewsMavens
Microphone, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

Stand-up comedy is a fairly recent phenomenon in Portugal, becoming popular only in 2003, due to a TV show called "Levanta-te e Ri". The show made two things clear: first, that Portuguese people loved this way of doing humor; and second, that women weren't welcome on that stage.

Fast-forward 15 years. The show is returning for a one-time special episode and perhaps it will not only be men who will stand there in front of the audience.

The number of women doing stand-up has increased tremendously in Portugal.

The seven women featured in the article recommended below are great examples that comedy can come in different shapes and sizes, as well as through different approaches. The topics they mention are diverse, but most of the comediennes agree that as women they face an array of obstacles while doing stand-up that their male colleagues can't even imagine.  

Details from the story:

  • The women in this story are all different ages (from 22 to 39 years old), come mostly from the two biggest Portuguese cities (Lisboa and Porto) and most are highly educated, having studied in fields such as journalism, medicine or psychology.
  • It is still difficult to make ends meet in stand-up comedy, most claim. Rita Leitão highlights how during her first years in comedy she couldn't even get paid. That is why a couple of them have other jobs besides comedy.
  • Most of these women claim they face obstacles due to their gender. "Your material is very good for a woman", someone said to Joana Santos once. Joana Gama, on the other hand, says she was never limited by being a woman.
  • Sociologist Nuno Amaral Jerónimo claims that in Portugal, unlike in the United States, humor is not seen as a space where women are allowed. 
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