As a child, Lindy West was told she was ‘off the charts’. In this exclusive extract from her new book, Shrill, she explains how society’s fixation on thinness warps women’s lives – and why she would rather be ‘fat’ than ‘big’ [more inside]
Feminist Lindy West writes in The Guardian about how she's experienced years of extreme online harassment from a misogynist blogger and his minions, and about why she's not particularly happy to see them receive the same treatment.
I don’t mean that you shouldn’t strive for health in 2016, if health is what’s important to you. But a number on a scale is not health. A dress size is not health. Work with your body, not against it. This isn’t some radical tenet of fat-acceptance either – any life coach, self-help guru, or even personal trainer will tell you the same: set reachable goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure. [more inside]
Internet firebrand/comedian/awesome feminist Lindy West on being a fat bride. Late last year, West also wrote a post about being a fat bride and how people seem to think fat women don't get married: "It’s an aggressively entrenched paradigm that I’ve only recently managed to excise from my own psyche – me, the feminist killjoy shrew – so I really can’t begrudge anyone that initial reaction. But, every time, the subtext is clear: you are reaching above your station, fat lady." [more inside]
Melissa McEwan - Ladies' Man: "When I tell people that I adore Iain for how much he likes women, the very compliment is received with suspicion... Straight men aren't supposed to like women, unless they want to fuck them." (via Phire) [more inside]
Jerry Seinfeld, in an interview, is unhappy about the current state of comedy. (slESPN) "They just want to use these words: 'That’s racist;' 'That’s sexist;' 'That’s prejudice.' They don’t know what the f--k they’re talking about.” [more inside]
Feminist writers are so besieged by online abuse that some have begun to retire, an opinion piece by Michelle Goldberg at The Washington Post. Geek Feminism Wiki has a page on mitigating internet trollstorms, snippet: "This document intends to provide actionable guidance for people who are being attacked or who are concerned about being attacked in the future, and includes both information security, physical security, and self-care advice drawn from the experiences of the Geek Feminism community."
Former The Stranger and now GQ writer Lindy West talks on This American Life with an abusive troll who pretended to be her dead father immediately after his death. Don't let the description put you off: he apologizes, for real. [more inside]
The groundbreaking decision in California to address rape culture with a new standard that aids in defining sexual consent was signed into law this week by Governor Jerry Brown. The men's magazine GQ immediately provided a useful (and progressive!) guide called "Nine Signs She Wants to Have Sex with You (Even in California)".
These are just ordinary teenagers, here and there in ordinary towns, with (at least at first) no particular training, no sophisticated equipment, no teams of writers, no management, no professional editors, and, somehow, literally millions of fans—fans rabid enough to form fandoms and rivalries and elaborate webs of platonic shipping. Fans who have never heard of Brad Pitt. It's an entire economy based on almost nothing but the thrill of saying/seeing whatever you want where your parents can't catch you—where you can be flamboyantly gay or ask embarrassing questions or carve out a social space for yourself or even be cruel to other kids because it makes you feel safe for a minute. Lindy West on the modern YouTube celebrity.
Instead, your article suggests that women should be focused on making one shitty dude's life better.
If a man finds himself attracted to a woman who doesn't conform to this list (more on the specifics of the list in a minute), does he not count as a man? What if she's "perfect" for him? What if she makes him feel like a whole person for the first time in his life, but she just happens to have chunky ankles? What does "perfect" mean then? What does "hot" mean? What does "the One" mean? What we're setting up here is an impossible cultural standard that excludes...well...100% of women. Because literally no one is that weird Frankenstein's Monster-with-Benefits that your art department put together. In her typical masterful style, Jezebel's Lindy West reminds us that being a perfect woman is no excuse for being actively harmful to humanity.