"I was once told that I couldn't do a show because the 'woman's spot' was filled for the show, and that's a show with about seven, eight, or nine comedians on it," comedian Emily McWinter told Glamour for a video about the sexist and misogynistic culture that exists in comedy. "They reserve one spot for a woman, and if there's two deserving candidates, one just can't be on the show."
That's just one of many examples detailing how this boys' club results in male performers' voices consistently being elevated over females'. Of course, the road to fixing this issue is long, but one thing you can do right now to help is give your time and money to female stand-up comedians. Watching these 14 specials, below, is a great place to start.
Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready (2019) Haddish hosts this new comedy special in which she gives us some of her own genius comedy as well as shines a light on six of her favorite up-and-coming comedians. If Tiffany Haddish thinks Chaunté Wayans, April Macie, Tracey Ashley, Aida Rodriguez, Flame Monroe, and Marlo Williams are hilarious, then we're game to listen. Streaming on Netflix.
Katherine Ryan: Glitter Room (2019) Ryan's latest comedy special is pure gold—or should we say glitter. She tackles several different topics throughout her hour-long set, including the Kardashians' "revenge bodies," school bullies, and raising, as she calls her, a "very fancy" child. Streaming on Netflix
Amy Schumer: Growing (2019) Of course Schumer has one of the most honest, hilarious specials about pregnancy in comedy history. “I didn’t know that being pregnant could be really hard,” she says at one point. “You bitches all lie about it.” And that's all you need to know before tuning in. Steaming on Netflix
Ali Wong: Baby Cobra (2016) Wong's brand of sharp, deadpan humor is perhaps best encapsulated in Baby Cobra. which she filmed for Netflix when she was seven months pregnant. She covers that, plus other personal topics like sex, hoarding, and feminism. If you're on the fence about watching, just watch the clip, below, in which Wong delightfully tears into the double standard surrounding male and female comedians after they have kids. Streaming on Netflix
Amy Schumer: The Leather Special (2017) Schumer's frank and unapologetic opinions on sex and relationships catapulted her to the center of the comedy universe in early 2015. Not long after this she released her first feature film, Trainwreck, and followed this up with Snatched, costarring Goldie Hawn, in 2017. All these experiences fuel Schumer's Leather Special for Netflix. It combines the raunchy humor that classic Schumer fans love, along with postfame pop-culture commentary that keeps things interesting. Streaming on Netflix
Anjelah Johnson: Not Fancy (2015) Johnson's comedy career spans over a decade, starting with MADtv, where she developed iconic characters like Bon Qui Qui, and moving on to her own stand-up specials and film appearances. Her 2015 special, Not Fancy, combines her signature brash style with fresh new stories. Her "I will cut you" bit, below, sums things up beautifully. Streaming on Netflix
Christina P: Mother Inferior (2017) Christina Pazsitzky takes on motherhood specifically with this refreshingly candid special, addressing issues like giving birth, getting older, and her own personal childhood. "It's kind of crazy when you think about it: how much it takes to make every one of you," Pazsitzky says to her audience at one point. "And I gotta tell you: Most of you, not worth it." Drag me, please. Streaming on Netflix
Cristela Alonzo: Lower Classy (2017) Alonzo gives her goofy, sarcastic take on everything from rooting for a losing sports team to Latino stereotypes to her relationship with her mother. If you miss Alonzo's gone-too-soon sitcom, Cristela, then definitely check this out. Many of the elements that made her show funny are in this stand-up special. Streaming on Netflix
Tig Notaro, Boyish Girl Interrupted (2015) Notaro's dry sarcasm and minimalist style is a welcome reprieve from the slew of stand-up comedians who think "bigger is better." On Boyish Girl Interrupted, she comments (with her signature deadpan) on a variety of subjects, including her breast-cancer diagnosis and the death of her mother. The latter topic was the subject of Notaro's amazing but short-lived Amazon show One, Mississippi. Available on HBO Go and HBO Now
Iliza Shlesinger: Confirmed Kills (2016) Shlesinger may take a few unwarranted jabs at beloved Disney princess, Ariel, in this special, but that aside it's a hysterically good time, covering dating, family dynamics, and everything in between. Only watch the trailer, below, if you want to know the context of "confirmed kills" before checking out this special. Streaming on Netflix
Leslie Jones: Problem Child (2009) Before she was slaying our lives weekly on Saturday Night Live, Jones was a stand-up comedian refining her signature irreverent style. Her pre-SNL special Problem Child sums up that aesthetic to a tee, diving deep into sexual politics in a hilarious, unfiltered way. Streaming on Youtube and Google Play
Joan Rivers: Don't Start With Me (2012) Rivers' brand of politically incorrect pop-culture humor isn't for everyone. At times it's even downright offensive, but the late comedian's icon status makes Don't Start With Me worth a watch. Streaming on YouTube
Jen Kirkman: Just Keep Livin’ (2017) Women's lives in 2017 and 2018 take center stage on Just Keep Livin', with Kirkman riffing on relevant issues like catcalling and male feminists. Don't worry, though: She does squeeze in some deliciously wacky stories as well, like the time she thought her Italian tour guide was a ghost. Streaming on Netflix
Katherine Ryan: In Trouble (2017) Ryan makes not one but two Taylor Swift jokes during her stand-up special. They're good-natured, though, so the Swifties can lower their pitchforks. Ryan's incredibly self-deprecating, as well, which makes for some very funny stand-up. Streaming on Netflix
Kathy Griffin: Balls of Steel (2012) Griffin's entire shtick is making fun of celebrities, so only the most ravenous pop-culture consumers should watch her stand-up. On Balls of Steel, she takes (playful) shots at all your faves, including Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, and Paul Abdul. Available for rent on Amazon
Originally Appeared on Glamour