Thursday, March 23, 2017

Shrill: In a certain light, feminism is just the long, slow realization that the stuff you love hates you.

Lady comic memoirs, you are a THING I  am super into and feminist lady comic memoirs is pretty much a dream. I've enjoyed Lindy West's writing on Jezebel for a while* so I was excited when I heard she had a book out. Plus I mean, the whole lady comic memoir love.
A League of Their Own is a classic family comedy that mines the age-old question: What if women...could do things?
West talks about all the things you expect her to talk about: growing up, her weight, being a loud feminist on the internet and the shit that comes with that, relationships, her writing. It's a mix of columns she published elsewhere and new work, although I don't actually know which is which so hey, it's all new to me!

I'm not going to lie, West intimidates me. This book shows her growing into her loud, shrill self (there's a chapter "How to Stop Being Shy in Eighteen Easy Steps"), but I am still in awe of how unapologetic she is about her self, in a world that VERY much wants people like her to shut up. And perhaps because she made her way on the internet, she feels like she's more 'in the trenches" than someone like a Tina Fey or Amy Poehler, who OF COURSE dealt with insane and insulting things. But the internet is its own beast.
Conventional wisdom says, "Don't engage. It's what they [the trolls] want." Is it? Are you sure our silence isn't what they want?
I laughed through the whole book, but almost teared up when she discussed talking to an internet troll who set up a profile of her (recently deceased) father to taunt her. To hurt her in a way that the multiple rape threats she was getting every day couldn't do. And she confronted the guy in one of her columns. And THE GUY CAME FORWARD AND APOLOGIZED. I mean, some of his apology was an "I'm sorry but..." and then a series of excuses, but hey, apology from a troll. That's pretty good.
I do fight monsters, just like I always dreamed, even if they are creeps in basements who hate women instead of necromancers in skull-towers who hate lady knights.
So yeah, I was a fan of this. I mean, that was sort of a given and West didn't disappoint. But really, feminism. Fat-positivity. Lady comics. Yeah, this was going to be a good one.

Gif rating:
*Have you read her reviews of Love Actually and Titanic? Regardless of your feelings about those movies, read these and love yourselves. Also instead of writing this I spent a couple hours reading her reviews. Oops.

Title quote from page 19, location 188

West, Lindy. Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman. Hatchette Books, 2016. Kindle