Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

29340182The penultimate paragraph of Shrill begins: “My little victories–trolls, rape jokes, fat people’s humanity–are world building. Fighting for diverse voices is world building.” and the last paragraph is “We’re all building our world, right now, in real time.  Let’s build it better.”  Lindy West has spent the last several years writing loudly, and shrilly towards that better world,and many people have had to stand up for their behaviour because of her work.  At the same time, and nothing she is asking for is more than common decency, she has been thoroughly vilified on social media and even in regular media.  It seems that all this has made her stronger and more determined, and this book is testament to her fortitude. She is has written for Jezebel , The Guardian and The Strangerthe alternative newspaper in Seattle.  And despite all this work, I hadn’t really noticed her until This American Life told the story of how she met with one of her trolls.  She has been trolled out of all decency, in ways that truly make you wonder about a whole section of what I struggle to call humanity with vile threats and insults.  It is impossible to write this without feeling that trolling has become central to our daily lives under this current regime–but that is another story–listen to the segment, and see if you don’t feel disgusted and realise that there can be humanity behind that anger and that somehow, the rest of us have to be as brave  as West is in speaking out minds, in speaking out when one human insults and dehumanizes another.  She has, understndably, left Twitter, and social media is the poorer for her absence, but if Twitter and the other companies don’t trolling and other similar abuses, we will all leave for something that allows us to build a better world.

Shrill-Title

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