A Bic For Her
A Bic for Her, The Stand
in The Telegraph on August 15th, 2013
A Bic for Her is an hour of comedy about feminism. This might well set “earnest” alarm bells ringing, and Christie certainly makes no apologies for the fact that she is as cross as hell and not afraid to show it.
While it’s understandable that she should have opted for such a fulminatory tone, it’s a pity, too. This is in many ways a craftsmanlike hour of comedy, as full of imaginative jokes as it is of righteous anger, yet you may emerge from it feeling lectured and hectored.
Feminism, she argues, doesn’t need to be funny, as she draws a deft twin-parallel with Amnesty International and Martin Luther King at which it is nevertheless impossible not to laugh. She is too smart to argue censoriously against pornography, railing instead about the way we are these days odiously obliged – online, in newsagents even – to choose to opt out of it rather than into it, and building to a simultaneously self-mocking and self-congratulatory account of how she turned her frustrations into low-level direct action.
En route to a conclusion that emotively embraces Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old girl shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls’ education, there’s a fine little repeated motif about Thatcher’s “turning”, an unrepeatable gem about her proposed revenge for tennis commentator John Inverdale’s infamous “never going to be a looker” remark, and a great demolition of the patronising Bic For Her pastel-coloured biro that gives the show its title. How on earth, she suggests, did the Brontë sisters ever manage without one?
Pretty chilly, though, is the passage on racing-driver Stirling Moss, in the wake of his comment earlier this year that women lack “the mental aptitude” to compete in Formula 1. It goes on far too long, and – especially during a show fired by a passion for reason and fairness – a younger person poking protracted fun at an injured octogenarian leaves an unpleasant taste, idiotic though that statement of his was.