People We Love

People We Love: Hannah Gadsby

Shockwaves have been sent through the entertainment community and beyond courtesy of Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby’s radical Netflix special Nanette. Acting as a perfect, if perhaps unintended, corollary to the #MeToo movement and its attempt to make a clean sweep of the rampant sexual abuse entrenched in contemporary society, Nanette is at once both an exploration of Gadsby’s own experience with assault and a clarion call to dismantle the culture of oppression and abuse that has for so long harmed members of marginalized groups.

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Gadsby claims in her show that she is going to quit standup because it causes those outside of “normal” to exist in a perpetual state of tension as they manipulate their storytelling to mollycoddle the sensitivities of their audiences. Her show forces listeners to confront the tension she lives with head on as she deftly recounts a particularly gruesome incident she suffered at the hands of a drunk stranger in her deeply homophobic hometown.  “This tension is yours… . You need to learn what this feels like, because this tension is what not-normals carry inside of them all of the time,” she says to a stunned and silent audience. Gadsby is shedding light on a reality faced by many in the LGBTQ community and demanding that those who participate (knowingly or otherwise) in the systemic misogyny and homophobia currently brutalizing countless victims reckon with their own culpability. Lauded by comedians and viewers alike, Nanette is a must-watch and Hannah Gadsby a mouthpiece of a movement.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Erin Jordan

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