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Writer's Q&A: Shappi Khorsandi

Thu 23 August, 2018

Writer's Q&A: Shappi Khorsandi

What would you do if you were in power for the day? 

I would make it compulsory for young people to do 10 weeks on a community drama project with a group of people from all walks of life. It would be a kind of national service that you can do wearing leggings. 

If I was in power, grandparents and relatives would be given a government allowance as they do childcare for working parents as would other caregivers within a family.

Siblings would never be separated in foster care or in the adoption process and scooters for school aged children would be banned. 

Bras would also be abolished (except when necessary for exercising) and a spell would be cast on us all so we made no differentiation between droopy boobs and perky boobs. 


Who is your ‘Woman in Power’ and why?

My daughter Genevieve who is five. I have never seen anyone attack life’s joy and opportunity with such compassion and gusto. She is ten children rolled into one and I admire her wit, wisdom, hedonistic attitude as well as her fearless risk taking spirit. I also admire the way she thinks nothing of producing real tears and howling when she discovers that her brother can whistle while she cannot yet. 


What do you hope audiences will take away from Women in Power?

I hope they will take away some fun and feel a great gap between our time in history has been bridged with Aristophanes’ time. I hope they’ll get that humour is timeless and has, from the very start, been the very best way to make sense of the world and connect with each other.


In the fight for gender equality, where do you hope we will be in ten years’ time? 

In ten years’ time I hope women will value their output much more and enter financial negotiations about their pay more frequently and with more confidence. 

I hope that menopause will no longer be something we speak about in hushed tones and see it as the beginning of something new, rather than a gloomy end.

I hope no woman is forced, tricked, coerced into a marriage, or be maimed in the name of tradition or religion. And I hope we will listen to women’s thoughts and opinions regardless of how attractive we find them and not call them ‘boring’ when they talk about motherhood. 


What influences did you draw on when writing Women in Power?

I think 20 years as a stand-up influenced my writing the most.

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