Maisie Williams got some press at the beginning of the year for the following quote”I also feel like we should stop calling feminists ‘feminists’ and just start calling people who aren’t feminist ‘sexist’ — and then everyone else is just a human. You are either a normal person or a sexist. People get a label when they’re bad.”
I feel like I fall into Maisie’s definition of a feminist rather than Lindy West’s more outspoken advocating for the female cause. I didn’t know who West was prior to Shrill (although I do sometimes click through Facebook and land on an article posted on Jezebel) but her memoir popped up on my recommendations and I like funny women. She speaks candidly about her abortion, about her struggles to accept her body & the flack she receives on the internet now that she has and the discussion of rape culture in comedy that briefly launched her into the spotlight. There are a lot more “difficult subjects” than I tend to lean toward in my humorous women read their memoirs to me on my drive to work but it was still an interesting book.
“As a woman, my body is scrutinized, policed, and treated as a public commodity. As a fat woman, my body is also lampooned, openly reviled, and associated with moral and intellectual failure. My body limits my job prospects, access to medical care and fair trials, and – the one thing Hollywood movies and Internet trolls most agree on – my ability to be loved. So the subtext, when a thin person asks a fat person, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ is, ‘You must be some sort of alien because if I looked like you, I would definitely throw myself into the sea.”
West has a strong voice, but that is no surprise given her chosen career, and she makes strong arguments for the causes she believes in while sharing personal anecdotes about her life. The story about an internet troll that created a Twitter account for her recently deceased father was particularly heartbreaking. Her goal is to learn from her experiences and try to leave the world a better place. I wouldn’t say she is a necessarily “shrill” woman- more opinionated or assertive- but I can see why she’d choose a derogatory word commonly used for women and not men.
“We’re all building our world, right now, in real time. Let’s build it better.”