Last week on ‘Totally Biased’, Lindy West spoke with comedian Jimmy Norton about misogyny in comedy, and how some times rape culture is trivialized in comedy clubs. Lindy West made a case for rape being used as a crutch for cheap comedy, while also being insensitive to members in the audience who had experienced it to re-live their trauma. Jim Norton made a case for how intelligent comedy is allowed to have no bars; if race, religion and HIV are not out of bounds then rape is also fair game. Watch the entire clip here.
I am also really sorry that this is happening to Lindy but I thank her for letting it happen, because these comments are so rich in intellect and full of social commentary.
Analyzing comments on the Lindy West-Jim Norton debate
Lindy-Does-Not-Deserve-Rape ers: Rape is only for non-ugly people. Clearly, the commenters believe that Lindy is ‘too ugly to be raped’. If you really think about it, all rape that happens in the world is beauty driven. Don’t you know Lindy, that all we ever wanted was for someone to want to rape us? Your needs will never be validated. No soup for you.
Voice of reason Guy: Humor is a great way to ‘calm yourself down’. By laughing at a rape victim/survivor, you’re ’embracing the idea of rape’. This is a smart thing to do, because the more you embrace how much an idea sickens you and laugh at it, the less you will tend to do it. In this case you’re laughing at the person you are causing harm to, but that is just a minor logistic issue.
‘LIGHTEN UP, LINDY. You’re just about as much fun as dry rape.‘ guy: Now this guy, he really brings it with his humor and wit. Attacking a blogger about her lack of humor while tying in what we’re talking about. This guy’s intelligence makes me hope they have comedy clubs in hell.
Stats Dude: Stats Dude skipped class on percentages day, but makes up for it with his keen acumen. As a man, if he knew 100 dudes, he’d know only one that would rape a woman in a park. Hence, 99.99% of the dudes he knows would not rape a woman in his park. I hope Stats Dude goes on to win the Fields Medal ASAP.
Confused Guy: Confused guy is very confused. He is not attracted to Lindy, because well it is not cool to be attracted to Lindy. But he wants to rape her nevertheless, out of anger. Also, with a traffic cone, because that is how less he is attracted to her. Confused Guy does not know if people rape people because they are SO ATTRACTED to them, or because they are just SO MAD at them. So he just tells us everything he is feeling.
These were just a few comments that caught my eye but there are tonnes on the site that are as enriching, if not more.
And Lindy, as I strive to make sense of this, I wish I could buy you doughnuts and coffee and wine. Maybe some day freedom of expression will work both ways, and people will be okay with being expressed to that they’re giant assholes. But until then (or when we meet at a coffee shop or a bar), please accept my virtual hugs.