Superwog at Enmore Theatre

Things I loved about Superwog‘s show, ‘Fake It Til You Make It’ at Enmore Theatre last night:

  • The ‘hero-ing’ of the word ‘wog’ – not just the reclamation and reappropriation of it.
  • The audience was 99% wogs – where else do you see that at the theatre? This speaks volumes about representation. We’re drawn to characters that reflect or represent us and to stories that are relatable.
  • The way the stereotypes are stretched so far that they become absurd and (very often) ridiculously hilarious.

But I have a problem with Superwog. A lot of their content is sexist and misogynistic. It’s appallingly offensive towards women. Those are the bits I didn’t find funny at all, but a lot of the audience did. Can this sexism be excused by artistic/comedic licence in satire? I don’t think it should be. Are the Superwog creators challenging the stereotype of the sexist wog dad/brother/boyfriend with this content or are they perpetuating this stereotype? I think they’re perpetuating it and normalising it for a whole new generation – the average age of the audience I would guess to be around 17-30 yrs old – and most were men.

Writer, performer and filmaker, Koraly Dimitriads challenged Superwog to do differently in her article, “When will migrant culture stop making jokes at the expense of women?” in 2015. Obviously they never took up that challenge. Koraly’s article is a good read if you care about how women are represented in this genre and the challenges of entrenched sexism.

As much as I love a good laugh at the expense of my own lived experience as a child of migrants, I won’t be buying another ticket to see Superwog anytime soon.

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