I love hearing how people are using their talents and expertise to speak out against street harassment. Lucé Tomlin-Brenner is speaking out and raising awareness through stand-up comedy.
If you’re in the DC-area, see her TONIGHT at “Bellylaughs in Bethesda” at Caddies on Cordell in Bethesda, MD, 8-10 p.m.
“I’ve started doing stand-up comedy recently here in Washington, DC, and my material is all based on different times I’ve been harassed on the street or Metro, and I wanted to share my most recent video…I have battled lots of anxiety since I’ve moved here over just leaving the house because not a day has gone by that I haven’t been harassed, and most of it happens on Metro.
About a month ago this dude and his friends sitting across from me on the red line around midnight on the weekend kept making all of these blowjob insinuations about the bottle of water I was drinking. When I put on my headphones and ignored them they started talking about me being a bitch and just making fun of me in general.
I was really freaked out about it since I was alone and they were in a group. It got even scarier when the further out of downtown we got (I live in SS) they were not getting off the train and I was convinced they were going to follow me off when I got to my stop.
Luckily they got off one stop before mine, but I was so shaken up by it I was anxious my whole walk home. The next day I started writing these bits about the experience and I found being able to make fun of him and all the stupid things he said to me felt really empowering. I eventually polished these jokes into one whole bit that I performed at RFD in Chinatown about a week ago.
I was nervous about the crowd’s reaction because it was made up of mostly males… But to my surprise and delight the crowd loved it and lots of dudes came up to me afterward to compliment my writing and original material. It was so empowering to make fun of this asshole who harassed me in front of a room full of people and have them laugh and agree with me.
I think humor is a great way to show some more light on this issue because when done well comedy has the ability to set societal norms. Just think of how the average college Freshman still puts Animal House posters in their college dorms, and how that film has narrated Greek life on so many campuses to this day. Talking to all the dudes after my show about the material, many of them said they didn’t realize how much that kind of interaction affected or upset women. It was totez awesome to reach all these guys that never think about feminist issues.”
Way to go, Lucé!