This was great — it’s angry and funny and an excellent follow up to Shrill. Also a reminder that I need to start watching the series based on Shrill!
“I think we can all agree that this fully checks out and that indeed it is men who are the true victims of witch hunts. Which they invented. To kill women.”
West launches right into the thick of things in her first essay — how the repercussions of the #MeToo movement have a lot of men worried that they “can’t do anything” without getting accused of assault anymore. They feel like they’re being hunted! In West’s words, “It seems that a lot of men are confusing being asked not to violate other people’s sexual boundaries with being forbidden to participate in basic human activities such as dancing, dating, chatting, walking around, going to work. and telling jokes.” (this book is amazingly quotable, by the way). This is clearly absurd — and West does not hold back in her critique. Coming right after reading two books about the Harvey Weinstein scandal, I found this essay to be really relevant.
The book deals with a lot of topics like this — sexism, racism, class disparity. There’s an entire chapter on South Park that I found really interesting. A lot of these focused on subjects that I’ve read a lot about, but that was a perspective I’d never heard before. And the Adam Sandler essay had me cracking up (Is Adam Sandler Funny? West watches a bunch of his movies and reports back). I also loved her chapter about her husband’s music — it connected to the other essays but also had a bit more personal information about West and her family that we don’t normally see.
One of the later chapters deals with the concept of likability — how Ted Bundy’s charisma continues to be mentioned when he’s discussed (West actually includes some of the judge’s remarks from the trial and wow it’ll make you want to rage) but women like Hillary Clinton are disparaged for trying to hard to be likable.