Rachel Berger Venus was her name!



The Melbourne international comedy festival has hit town! So we thought we would bring you a little something from one of our favourite female comedians, the one and only Rachel Berger. Widely acknowledged as one of Australia's finest Stand Up Comedians. Her material is political, psychological and socially conscious. It encompasses contemporary lifestyles, offering an hilarious and poignant expose of human foibles. Her dynamic presence and engagingly sharp observations have made her an extremely popular performer both live and on television, across Australia and overseas.

So sit back and get a headstart on the comedy festival. Have a laugh with Rachel, on Lycra clad, 'human bratwurst??'


This year's 50 eligible bachelors in Cleo magazine will tell us they love independent, assertive, sporty, sexy women. They have every other year. It appears all those qualities were more than acceptable, indeed desired, until Venus Williams surfaced on centre court last month, like Botticelli's version of her, but without the shell. She is the breathing, slamming, running, triumphant embodiment of all the above. She didn't have a "hole in her top" as one journalist described it. Any fashion monkey will tell you it's a design feature, pah-lease! She looked fantastic and she won didn't she? What's the problem? Maybe that's it.

Did the superintendent in charge of Testosterone-leakage knock off and forget to leave a deputy? We saw cleavage. No more than is revealed on any popular American sitcom about saucy-eyed, successful women. These professional females flaunt big teeth, big hair, big jobs and if they can afford it, big cleavage. It's part of their contract. The difference is that Venus Williams is active and potent. She's got biceps to-die-for and employs them masterfully. Many of the shrinking women on these television shows eat so little they can only stand for as long as it takes for the camera to shoot their scene. Then they're returned into a darkened room and hooked back onto their drip. They give the illusion of life but never actually suck in too much oxygen in case they inhale their own faces.

"This is sport, not fashion", said one crunchy-voiced radio commentator. Where was he during the Olympics? Maybe he's forgotten the American male sprinters, but I haven't. They were covered in lycra, yes ma'am! Lycra turns any-one into a human bratwurst. It exposes every lump, gland and over-ripe cherry. Along with their chosen brand name, they wore gold chains, fancy runners and at regular intervals preened and moulded their handsomeness. I bet they smelt good too. Some punters thought they were too sissy. He-llo!

These are elite sports people in a highly competitive, limited shelf-life career. They do whatever they can to stand out and stay on top. If Venus says the outfit wasn't a distraction for her, then why not believe her? Is it possible that the tugging and pulling of the garment was a skilful tactic to distract her opponent? What do I know from competition. I can't concentrate for long enough to play Snap.
Young women are encouraged to be strong, independent and self-sufficient. To honour and respect their bodies, not apologise for them. What makes "the sensible white outfits" worn by other female players (their choice) sensible? Maybe they're scratchy and leave huge welts under their armpits? Perhaps the women who wear them aren't as interested in colour and accessories the way Venus and Serena are? All these women are strong, healthy and in control. They're individuals and they don't seek to please. Hooray! It's the year of the snake but thankfully, the only apple I could be seduced by is one with bigger RAM.


- Rachel Berger 2001



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