Women in Internet Comedy
Over recent years, feminist activism and participation in India has been gaining mainstream coverage where news headlines celebrate the efforts of women from all walks of life in fighting sexual violence and inequities. Perhaps less visible is the feminist movement in the film and television industries where, with the exception of a few, the spheres of celebrity discourse largely disidentify with the term feminist. However, there is an emerging, yet relatively unknown, movement on social media in which female Indian comedians are producing content which challenges sexist norms and practices in ways that their traditional media counterparts have not yet done. The growing participation of women in the predominantly male spaces of comedy is celebrated by some as providing a subversive and alternative voice. This chapter sheds light on the ways in which female comedians in India enlist the power of comedy and the internet in the service of digital feminism and how, in doing so, are disrupting the male gaze (Mulvey, Screen 16:8–18, 1975) which has long influenced traditional media representations of women as well as one-dimensional notions of Indian womanhood.
KeywordsComedy Feminism Gender Gender Politics Male gaze Representation
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