Skip to main content

Let's take a chance and write about Lindy West

You know whose writing I love? Lindy West's. Like, to a degree where she'll write an article and I'll sit in despair in front of my computer because her writing is SO GOOD and SO HILARIOUS and I'm over here still being amused by repartee like "That's an ugly turtle." "YOU'RE an ugly turtle."

But more often lately, my friends have talked to me about how they don't like Lindy. Sometimes on a personal level, sometimes based on the articles she writes for Jezebel. And I get it. She is a terrifying individual. Hilarious, yes (HAVE YOU READ HER TITANIC REVIEW? I am going to have it framed someday). But still terrifying. Terrifying to the point that I'm scared she's going to find this post and somehow come after me, even though I love her with the kind of love those Siamese children have for the King in The King and I.


How I see Lindy West

But she does this thing. This thing where if her focus is on you and you're at all disagreeing with her, you feel that at any moment a mighty wrath is going to be unleashed and you will be left like the blasted and hollow exoskeleton of a crab on the beach. I tweeted at her once a few months back about how mayyybe her style of replying to people who disagreed with her could be viewed as bullying, and I seriously had MULTIPLE PEOPLE either PMing me on Twitter or gchatting me, all saying "OMG WHAT ARE YOU DOING I WILL MISS YOU WHEN YOU'RE GONE."

So there's that.

When I read this, my reaction was basically "Okay....so....I don't need to say anything. Because this is 100% not my business." But I feel like the few times it's been said, it's been JUMPED on in an extremely negative way, so maybe if it's put out there by someone who thinks the King of Siam is REALLY SWELL but maybe shouldn't beat that slave, it's worth saying again. 

Which is that: People who disagree with Lindy West do tend to get immediately shut down in a terrifying way that few are strong enough to withstand. People whose intentions I sometimes think she's really misunderstood get told they're idiots, and then her legion of sycophants goes after them, which is kind of like watching a pack of hyenas gnawing the carcass of something taken down by a hilarious but brutal lion. YES IT'S THAT UNPLEASANT TO SEE IN THE JEZEBEL COMMENTS SECTION OR ON TWITTER. If you .@ reply to someone you're arguing with on Twitter, you're essentially saying to all your followers "Hey, check out this asshole." And they will then attack en masse, because they want the lady they follow to favorite the thing they said. 

You can say "I'm not in charge of what people who follow me do," but I don't understand how you can NOT see that you're encouraging them to act that way and thereby silencing people who might disagree with you, but are afraid they'll be misconstrued and then mocked/told they're dumb/ganged up on. She has a lot of truly excellent things to say, but some of them get buried by a misreading of and unfortunate reaction to occasionally legitimate criticisms.

Now if you will please excuse me, I have to go cleverly hide myself somewhere.

There we go

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.


You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:


We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.


INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

Yes, Frances Willard was as gay as Oscar Wilde. But in a lady-way.

Yup. We're gonna do it. We're gonna talk about Frances Willard and gayness. Look, it's not a major part of her life, and it's definitely not the main thing she should be remembered for, but the fact that a line is being put out that she was totally straight is complete hogwash and it upsets me.




The thing is, I get when people say it's anachronistic to put the cultural concept of "gayness" onto a person from a century other than the 20th/21st. I get that. And usually agree with it. But Frances Willard is one of the gayest people in history. I have zero problem labeling her with that. The fact that she didn't have the language to describe what she was experiencing is upsetting, but she managed to have a seemingly full and satisfying life anyway, so I am happy for her.

And for people annoyed when gay people say that someone from the past was gay, here's the thing: When you're completely whitewashed from history, it is a matter of TOTAL DELIGHT wh…