5.8. “Where are all the gals?”: Sex, Gender & The Redefintion of Satire

Jo and Adam speak to Drs Jasmine Jagger and Heather Hind, curators of ‘Comic Women’s Poetry of the 19th Century‘: an ever-growing, open access digital archive which, at the time of writing, holds over 1000 comic poems written by more than 200 19th-century women. After talking about the enormous volume of hilarious and prescient comic works that Jasmine and Heather have found, Adam and Jo return once again to the question of why it is that – if so many women have been doing so much satire all this time – satire is still considered to be (and to have always been) a man’s game. Perhaps, they suggest, it is because the figurative language used in so many (male-authored) definitions of satire is coded as masculine, creating a critical blind spot in which generations of readers and scholars have failed to recognize that women have been engaging in satirical behavior all along… Jo and Adam also talk about Skinner & Minner’s Literary Journey: Pope & Swift on Sky Arts and compare the shocking leaked covid-era Whatsapp messages of key government officials with a series of parody Whatsapp messages of key government officials published in Private Eye magazine a year earlier.

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