Everyone I know right now is counting down the days to All Jane No Dick, our wondrous celebration of women in comedy, so at least three people have emailed me today about this poster:
- Stacey Hallal/All Jane No Dick
It's a doctored version of All Jane's promotional poster, the original text replaced with what looks like an MRA-inspired misreading of the event. I say MRA-inspired, because I mean, "feminazi"? Really? Are we in sixth grade? I hoped it was a joke.
So I called up Stacey Hallal, creator and artistic director of All Jane No Dick, to look into it. Hallal told me that the All Jane team first caught wind of the posters when a Google alert popped up yesterday linking to a Craigslist post (copied below) organizing a protest of All Jane No Dick:
——Join me in protest of "All Jane No Dick" festival.—-
I will be following the events of the All Jane No Dick festival quietly protesting it's sexist connotations. The outright segregation of any person's due to their sex alone is prejudice. It's simple, it feeds a sense of angst towards men just for being men.
I plan to stand outside the event as close as I legally can holding a sign. This wont be a verbal protest. Meaning, I wont be shouting any slogans, chants, or making comments to attendants. I would prefer that if any joins me, they don't engage in shouting etc as well. I will however answer questions that people have if they wish to approach me.
You, being male or female are welcome to join me.
If you have a video camera, that would be hugely helpful to insure the protection of our rights. Or even just to video tape the protest. Journalist are welcome to come as well.
The statement is simple. Sexism is wrong. Period.
Thank you and hope to see you then. Please contact me for details. Thanks.
Hallal said that her first instinct after just seeing the Craiglist post was to let it go. But then she noticed that All Jane posters had begun disappearing and were replaced with the distorted protest posters. Organizing a peaceful protest is one thing, but actively working to undermine All Jane's publicity is quite another.
"This person has been ripping our posters down," Hallal said. "And that's actually active damage to us. I wanna laugh it off as much as I can. But the fact that he's destroying our marketing materials—it's not harmless and it's not funny."
Putting on any large-scale arts event—and especially one that focuses on spotlighting people who are already marginalized within a given industry—takes a huge amount of time, effort, and funding. Artists need to be paid. Tickets need to be sold. "And being under attack is a threat to all of those things," said Hallal. She told me that the All Jane team hasn't found out exactly who is behind the posters being torn down, but that one of her colleagues, who had been in contact with the person via text message, was able to conduct a search on his phone number, allegedly finding records of annoyance call complaints.
What's truly sad about all this is that All Jane No Dick is an inclusive comedy festival. To suggest that it is sexist or "man-bashing" simply because it highlights female and non-binary-identifying comedians makes no sense when you consider that only 17 to 19 percent of people working in the comedy industry are women. That's what real, systemic sexism looks like.
"It's sad to me that people continue to be threatened by the idea of women sharing their perspectives and experiences," said Hallal. "[The person who did this] is a man who's threatened by this event."