Russell Kane is a sexist bully
Russell Kane, on Thursday night, was featured in a BBC Comedy Festival special from Edinburgh. In his short set, he said that women ‘moan’ about getting unwanted male attention but then ‘put a short skirt and makeup on’, implied that he has considered sleeping with vulnerable women with low self-esteem to make himself feel better, asked an audience to feel sympathy for ‘desperate, rapey gits’, and joked about putting women in vans and chasing women with limps in order to have sex with or rape them.
Some people may find this hard to believe. Russell Kane’s stand-up used to be gentle, thoughtful, even funny. But with his new image seems to have come a new, misogynistic persona. Put him away and get the old Russell back, please.
I found this routine pretty disgusting in its casual use of misogynistic attitudes, and makes light of women being harassed, followed home and threatened. Shouting ‘get in the van!’ or ‘chase her! She’s got a limp!’ at a woman can’t be construed as anything other than making light of kidnap, stalking, rape, sexual abuse and harassment – all very real threats that women have to face every day. Russell Kane, a male stand-up comedian, thinks he has the right to joke about the experiences that have plagued mine and millions of other women’s lives, all in the name of a cheap laugh.
Some might say that because he is also mocking men, that the routine isn’t sexist. Of course it is sexist – against both men and women. Men are not feral creatures, only after a shag. They’re people. Women aren’t virgins or whores. They’re people.
The fact that because he’s been single for a while (either in his comedy persona or in reality), apparently makes Kane thinks it’s okay to create humour out of horrific situations. He was mocking the weakest of the weak – rape victims, women with physical disabilities, people who are emotionally broken – and this makes him no better than people like Jeremy Clarkson or Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown. He is a bully. I hope women know better than to go out with him. I’ve been out with men like him before – they grind your self-esteem down so that you’ll stay with them. They’re pathetic misogynists. Find someone who wants you for you, who treats you with respect, and who is a big enough person to tell when they’ve made a mistake.
I already though Russell Kane was a bully, even before I took to Twitter to express my outrage.
I tweeted, ‘Just watched some pretty disgusting stand up from Russell Kane. Apparently if you don’t want to be perved on, don’t wear makeup… and we should feel sorry for ‘rapey’ men who harass insecure women… Kidnap, rape, all hilarious subjects obviously…’
I then tweeted Kane with my concerns, thinking that perhaps he might apologise and think more about how his material affects people. I said, ‘I saw you live two years ago. I was a fan. Then I watched your routine on Edinburgh Comedy Fest Live. That was disgusting… Even as a joke, telling women that if they wear makeup they deserve to get perved on is sick… As is making an audience feel sorry for ‘desperate, rapey gits’. Rape and sexual harassment are disgusting… Did you think that up to 1 in 4 women watching this show are rape survivors/victims? How do you think you make us feel?’
His response? To call me a ‘thick cunt’, a ‘reactionary weak fuck’, ‘INSANE’, a ‘tiny person’ and, perhaps the most insulting, he said that I ‘fellate the right and kowtow to it.’
Great response – call a woman feminist who criticises your comedy, fairly politely, a thick cunt, because that’s not misogynistic. Make a joke about blowjobs, because that’ll improve your feminist credentials!
Perhaps most laughably of all, he said to me, ‘Do you understand misogyny?’ and claimed his set was ‘creatively feminist’. If creatively feminist means ‘massively sexist’ then I suppose it was creatively feminist. And how dare he, as a powerful white man, ask a woman who’s been taking shit from boys and men for her whole life, if she understands misogyny.
Yes, I understand misogyny. It sickens me. Russell Kane, on the other hand, uses it to bully, to reinforce stereotypes, to ‘kowtow’ (a word he likes) to rape culture and to have a good laugh at rape victims’ expense.
I want him to donate his fee to Edinburgh Women’s Rape and Sexual Assault Centre and to publicly apologise. Anything less is insulting.
Russell Kane = Unfunny…end of……
Didn’t see that particular routine so can’t comment – I have had the misfortune to see him live though.
He does come across as quite a nasty little piece of work; One of those kids at school who was never quite smart enough, never quite cool enough, who just slunk around with a few sad losers that he could dominate in order to make him feel a little better about his empty life.
Don’t worry – he’ll have his moment and then fade away. You can’t just shock and gurn without being funny – or at least original.
It won’t be long before he’s advertising insurance.
An utter waste of skin.
Saw this and thought of your blog post.http://www.heraldscotland.com/mobile/news/home-news/heard-the-one-about-the-rapist-not-now-the-fringe-has-gone-feminist.21841835?_=62eaedeada371f634322780ae8ff95e6c269ebf3
Things are changing.
Maybe if you paid him money and have him some free watches he’d say whatever you wanted on Twitter…
3 rd rate Brandista,available in plastic only.You are all dancing about architecture…give no space to these pointless ‘sexist’accusers,fake modern ‘c’ lebs and uptight wannabe lesbians.Your generation suck
the fact is hes not a good enough comedian to pull these deeply offensive jokes off.
You kinda have to make the audience like and trust you a bit before you hit em with the “get in the van” whammy.
What the hell happend to him anyway i saw a few years ago he was telling jokes about his dad’s favourite curry house and generally being loveable and cockney
now hes some kind of camp assbag with stupid hair
what a fake attention seeking mong
Oh! I miss the episode. Can you share the link on where I could watch the video? Looking forward to hear from you soon.
Completely think you have read far too much into his set, and sounds like you’re using him as a punchbag for your own dark issues. At no point did kane express the word rape, and “get in the van” can be taken in exactly the same way as his cheeky take on the stereotypical essex women with his other lines like “up against the bins”. With the low self esteem he claimed to suddenly become attracted to this not that he was using them as a target. To be honest it’s clear your own issues have made you take his standup way out of context. If you want to attack someone for rape jokes and offensive material then there are plenty of other comedians that use that material for a cheap laugh. To try and exaggerate and find your own interpretation of a decent gig and try and voice that is disgusting personally. Maybe comedy isn’t your thing!
I am stunned by his response to you on twitter- outrageous- my own post on a bit of twitter argy bargy was thankfully reasonably mild but this is just terrible. He should be ashamed of himself for speaking to you like that.
“No one forces you to come here Steve, if you don’t like us ‘self-righteous thickos’ you can leave. Isn’t it somewhat ironic that you’re asking us not to try to score points but still continuing to post here yourself?”
I’m pointing out that if you castigate everyone who differs from your exact opinion at every opportunity (as often happens here), you won’t change many minds, you’ll only become less accessible.
Lis wanted “him to donate his fee to Edinburgh Women’s Rape and Sexual Assault Centre and to publicly apologise. Anything less is insulting.” He replied she was a ‘thick cunt’, a ‘reactionary weak fuck’, ‘INSANE’, a ‘tiny person’ and, perhaps the most insulting ‘fellate the right and kowtow to it.’ I suspect before the exchange there wasn’t a huge difference between them politically. I also suspect that now there’s rather more of a gap between them that runs quite deep. It seems to me another person is being run out of town for not being on message enough.
Please just let me also clarify that the comments about women dressing revealingly and wearing makeup were actually made in relation to them then not liking it when men give them subsequently give them attention. Nowhere was it said they were asking for a rape. Context please?
I feel a bit like I’m being taken out of context actually.. I’ve not dedicated my life to slagging off Russell Kane, I just objected to something and aired my grievances, both on Twitter and here. I don’t need to get a life or do something more useful, because this isn’t the be-all and end-all of my life.
Also, things people say are important. People are angry because I’m saying something. Well, Russell Kane said lots of things in that short set, a lot of which were horrendous. So it’s not ‘just a joke’ or something I should ignore. It was a televised broadcast. He was making light of kidnapping women, raping women, sexually harassing women and all manner of disgusting things – not contextualising it, not saying that sexual desire does not result in rape. He was saying, to strongly paraphrase, ‘haha desperate men want women with low self-esteem who they can do as they like with’. Haha silly men – as if this is of no consequence to women. It was sick.
If Kane is a feminist, I’m a banana.
@MattS Agree about his responses. Bizarre.
Ali, I like Hicks too but he can be really misogynistic.
Bill Hicks was obsessed with porn and treated (some would say) women quite badly. He also poked fun at the underclass. None of which I have a problem with as he was a very good guy and I’d have paid through the nose to spend an afternoon with him rather than with the holier than thou self-righteous thickos that pick up on someone’s every action and word to score points in some kind of pedantic wankfest.
No one forces you to come here Steve, if you don’t like us ‘self-righteous thickos’ you can leave. Isn’t it somewhat ironic that you’re asking us not to try to score points but still continuing to post here yourself?
Liz: OK, I don’t want to defend every utterance Hicks made, but I’d like to think he’d have at least engaged more constructively and less abusively if/when picked up on individual routines. Maybe I’m wrong though.
I actually saw this show live. Russell had an amazing way of making me realise the way in which society creates gender stereotypes, how men and women interact, and made me far more aware of how I think about what it is that makes a man. The show was definitely creatively feminist. Your post misses the point entirely, and your energy would be better suited spreading positive awareness rather than bitter remarks criticising an extremely female-aware comedian.
You’ve taken his quotes completetly out of context, so yes, you are a thick cunt and reactionary fuck.
Personally I have much less of a problem with the initial joke (though I didn’t think it was particularly funny, which is obviously a problem in a comedy routine) than I do with the response, which was horrendously abusive.
Sorry Kate, but you have COMPLETELY have the wrong end of the stick. I LOVE Russell Kane [I also ADORE Bill Hicks, he was a genius!] I am a 38 year old woman, with cerebral palsy, who yes…has a limp. Under NO circumstances do I consider myself – not privileged’ and ‘lacking in representation’, ‘not powerful’. That really is patronising! You really should listen to his gig with a more open mind. And remember, it is a show, a creative piece of writing per say, and I’m pretty sure he has used artistic licence to get a few laughs. I have no problem with this what so ever. Fair enough that you were offended by parts of it, that is your perogative, but I think it has more to do with your issues, not his comedy.
As a woman, a feminist, comdey fan and a rape survivor- you’re an idiot. Why don’t you stop looking for offense and do some actual activist work if you want to be helpful.
To paraphrase the late great Bill Hicks, who you probably also don’t like, I reckon I would agree with you if I didn’t think I might become like you.
I’m a big fan of Bill Hicks, but the difference between him and Russell Kane (other than actually being funny) was that he wasn’t controversial just for the sake of it, he had a point to his work, and it was to attack people in positions of power and authority, in politics, or the media, or religion, not the victims of those people. I don’t think any topics should be off limits to comedians, but if they’re going to say things that are crass, offensive and unfunny they should expect to get picked up on it, and shouldn’t just respond to that criticism with a stream of (frankly bizarre) abuse.
Apologies – by ‘weak’ I meant ‘not privileged’ and ‘lacking in representation’, ‘not powerful’. I should have used one of those phrases instead.
So you (rightfully) call out misogyny and then call women with disabilities ‘the weakest of the weak’? I’d like to think that feminism is not just for the able bodied.