26. Feb, 2020

In the Company of a Bestselling Brand

Jo Brand
Jo Brand is an icon, with her thinning hair tied back off her head with a well chosen head scarf and her trademark Dr Marten’s arriving on stage to rapturous applause, she settles. Jo even admits to the label of icon herself, although is clearly embarrassed and proud in equal measure. Her book Born Lippy having read it starts strong, full of human stories and wisdom, an embodied knowledge pours out from the stage and onto the pages. However, from chapter 10 onward it becomes a little lack lustre, very untypical for Jo, who is a charismatic and provocative character, who I would welcome a chat with all day and night.

She claims that she felt it hilarious to tell people how to live their life as a feminist, given that she feels she is not a typical one - I think I am not typical version she says and references her appearance.
Tabloids have turned feminism into something that is grubby; the tabloids and much social media sniggers at it and has secret digs. Both tabloids and many people hate feminists, so her aim is to rebrand it. What’s wrong with wanting equality or pay or opportunity?

Claims –
Her mum was a staunch feminist who was destined for Oxford but gave it up to marry and have children – she says she regretted it throughout her life.
She says she and many others are threatened. While doing live comedy while she didn’t accept it she acknowledged the criticism. She knew who the perpetrators were. She explains with clear regret the trolls that plague social media threatening to kill or maim or rape people that are in the public eye. However, she goes on to say she would like to fall on Donald Trump and kill him and likens the planned assassination to how Graham Greene kills one of his characters https://genius.com/Graham-greene-a-shocking-accident-annotated. This is a contradiction for a feminist who feels so strongly about equality and the safety of those in the public eye!

When asked what has improved since the 1960s she needed much prompting – it’s easy to identify the negative in human behaviours when the success of your role depends on finding what’s dysfunctional about life and people. She went on to say that she felt communication had improved the accessibility and the opportunities, but felt that this progress comes with great responsibility.

On mental health, she explained that we must not separate this from the people for example saying that drug users were not to be trusted meant that they were not given the opportunities that other patients benefited from.