A Book for Her is the comedian Bridget Christie’s account of how she came to do standup about feminism. The title is a spin on A Bic for Her, which was the name of one of her Fringe shows inspired by the fact that the Bic pen company came out with a pen that was made for women. In her book, she seeks to knock away some myths about feminism as well as talk on important issues like female genital mutilation. There’s also plenty of show biz stuff, like transcripts of standup routines and pilot episodes that never got made, for those of you looking for that sort of thing. Personally, I really enjoyed this book and recommend you pick up a hard copy from Powells or the audio version from Audible.
Bridget Christie is an Irish standup comedian who grew up in Gloucester, England. She is the creator of the radio series Bridget Christie Minds the Gap and the author of A Book For Her.
11 Facts about Bridget Christie
Bridget Christie’s nickname was “leather-ass”
This is because she used to be a biker. In her 2013 interview with The Guardian, she says, “You get your test, you buy a bike, you go around with the local Hells Angels. Well, they weren’t Hells Angels. They were called the Wolves Outlaws. We all rode to the Swiss Alps when I was 17.” Christie being the most responsible one (i.e. didn’t get as drunk and crazy as the others on a night out), the bikers entrusted Christie with the key to the flat they’d rented. It was the only key, and the biker told her to put it in a safe place. So, before they went out that night, she put it in her suitcase under her bed, which meant the biker who had given it to her had to break into the flat through the air ducts later that night.
Bridget Christie used to eat an entire stick of celery on stage
Before Bridget Christie “found her feminist persona” on stage, she used to hide behind characters, such as the ant, wherein she’d come onto the stage in a homemade ant costume and do a routine that replaced “woman” with “ant,” as a satire of the way female comics are perceived. (Check this out on the bonus features of The Alternative Comedy Experience season 1.) But there were other, less conventional characters she played, from historical figures to abstract concepts. One character was diarist Samuel Pepys, who came to the future to read out some modern blogs, one of which was about eating celery. To demonstrate how boring blogs are, Christie, as Pepys, would eat an entire stick of celery on stage. Without water, she nearly choked, and it took forever to get through it.
Bridget Christie was fired from being a milk maid
On RHLSTP, Christie claims that milking cows on a farm was the most stressful time of her life. At age 15, she was getting newly born calves into a pen and crying while the farmer was laughing from his kitchen window. Confusing the appearance of cows feed and gravel, she fed the cows from the wrong sack. Trying to get hay bales down from the loft, she cried because she was scared of heights. She got covered in piss and shit from a cow who Christie claims knew she was new, and as a result the farmer hosed her down with cold water in the courtyard. And that was just day one. It was mutually agreed that she should not come back.
Bridget Christie was nearly arrested at Belfast Airport
Christie used to do a show about Catholicism. There was a bit in the act where she used a fishing wire to reel a little baby Jesus up into the ceiling to symbolize the ascension. However, Belfast Airport refused to let her on the plane with a fishing wire in her carry-on because it could be used as a weapon. Even after an argument with Christie over this, they never addressed the fact that the fishing wire was attached to a baby Jesus.
Bridget Christie had a first date who massaged his ex’s feet in front of her
In A Book for Her, Christie recounts the time she had a first date with a man who brought his ex girlfriend along. When she complained her feet were sore and asked him to massage them for her, he did, right in front of Christie. How weird!
Bridget Christie gigged inside an inflatable hat
The City of London Festival thought it would be a good idea to create a venue inside a giant inflatable bowler hat in Paternoster Square. It’s a cute idea but completely unfeasible when, in order to keep the venue inflated, you need to run a generator so noisy it completely drowns out the voices of the performers. Christie was one of the performers forced to suffer through this ridiculous situation.
Bridget Christie had to get dental surgery when a mugger knocked her teeth out
Bridget Christie was mugged in Brixton, which is only briefly mentioned in A Book for Her. On RHLSTP, she recounts: “I was really poor at the time, so I didn’t want to give him my five pounds. I wish I had because he knocked my front teeth out, and they ended up costing a lot more than five pounds to sort out….It was five o’clock in the afternoon….Did you know he hit me so hard, I spun ’round! Did like a pirouette.”
Bridget Christie throws away lad magazines in shops
It seems that Christie’s large-scale decisions are spurred by moronic shop workers. After all, her book is about a man who farted in the women’s study section at a bookshop, which led her into her role as a “feminist comedian.” Similarly, after a shop worker couldn’t figure out why having naked lady magazines on the bottom shelf next to Dora the Explorer magazines where her kids could see them was a problem, Christie has since been going into shops and throwing away the lads magazines.
Bridget Christie made a short documentary about FGM
Leyla Hussein, the survivor of Female Genital Mutilation who made the documentary The Cruel Cut, had seen some of Christie’s work and asked her if they could do a short film together, one that presses on the important issues of FGM but does so in a comedic way. In the film, Christie interviews Hussein about her experiences, but her questions are all ones that highlight the many misconceptions of the damaging practice. It’s all played completely straight.
Bridget Christie had to get her wedding ring sawed off
On Christie’s radio show about feminism Bridget Christie’s Mind the Gap, she spoke about the ridiculousness of the way that people treated Mary Beard when she had been on television recently. Christie claimed that the men were confused because Beard didn’t fit with their expectation of what a woman on TV should be like–she was neither sexy nor boring. Christie was a little concerned about whether Beard would appreciate such a defense, but when she got a message saying that Beard had just tweeted about liking the bit, Christie was so thrilled and distracted, she injured herself while walking and, in order to repair her hand, had to get her wedding and engagement rings sawed off. There is something symbolic about a feminist statement leading to a wedding ring hacked off…but I don’t know what it is.
Bridget Christie was spat on by a New York City thug
On RHLSTP, Christie recounts: “When I was in New York once and I was on the subway, there was like a proper gang, hooded, kind of on a lot of stuff, and the train was packed. One of them spat on me, and I went, ‘Eh, uh, oh, [handing it back] I think that’s yours!’…There was a moment where he looked at me and I looked at him, and the whole lot of them looked at me, and I thought this might be it or this might be really bad. All his friends started laughing and said, ‘She got you, ahaha.’ I thought, he’s lost status. He’s going to have to get his status back, so he’s now going to have to do something much worse, but he started laughing as well. He said, ‘You’re all right,’ and went like that [waving hand sign], and then I got off and fainted.”
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