Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Badass of the Year: Lindy West

Lindy West, you are our hero.

Thank you for standing up for the power of comedy to shape our world. 

In case you haven't heard, Lindy did a rape joke debate with Jim Norton on Totally Biased.  The crux of this argument is basically the same thing we've been writing about here for years- Lindy says comedy influences culture, a point Jim denies ("as long as you're trying to be funny, you're okay.")

She did an amazing job. My favorite of Lindy's lines:
"I'm sure it's super comfortable and nice to believe that there aren't systemic forces affected by speech, but it's not true and those of us who are affected by those forces know that that's not true.... you don't get to say that comedy is the sacred, powerful vital thing that we have to protect because it's speaking truth to power and also be like, 'oh it's just a joke, I mean, language doesn't affect our lives at all, so shut up.'"
YES. So much love and appreciation for her. To be fair, this match was fixed. Lindy's straight up smarter than Jim. And she's right.

And everyone on Twitter thanked her and comedians who make shitty rape jokes realized the error of their ways and apologized! We wish. Actually, enter hundreds of hateful tweets aimed at Lindy.

In response to the backlash, Jim Norton made a ridiculously wimpy half-hearted suggestion on Opie and Anthony that his fans not write her hateful messages. Actually, he said "you can write whatever you want, but you're not helping the argument" but mostly he just sat around while the hosts of the show mindlessly trash-talked Lindy. Keep it classy, Jim! [Update: A way classier note from Jim was posted and can be found here.]

We love her work at Jezebel and look forward to all the awesome things she will no doubt do in the future.

Thanks, Lindy, for doing what you do.

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