Lindy West is a female comedian who wrote an Open letter to white male comedians that is posted on Jezebel.com confronts the negative feedback she received in her post How to make a rape joke. The Preamble of her letter talks about hostility toward women in the comedic sector. She talks about how women are often discriminated against when criticizing topics, even when those same women are more experienced then their critics. Later stating women are 50% of the world population but are treated as a niche group.
She points out how male comedians treat rape victims less seriously then shootings by talking about Oswalt’s message about Aurora theater. Where Oswalt made a point about not joking about the shooting and its victims. The absurdity of not treating rape victims with the same respect as victims of gun violence is madness that she skillfully highlights.
Later on it talks about the social responsibility of comedy. Comedy can be used to confront social issues people don’t otherwise like to talk about. It can bring change and shape a society. But there are two sides to every coin. Comedy can be used to perpetuate problems, hurt victims,and drive people apart. Every person on the other of the joke is still human. A bad joke is just as hurtful as if you said it to their face, whether you mean it or not. So when her critics say “its just a joke” no, no its not.
At the end of the day, she talks about how no one can stop you from being hurtful or making theses jokes that drive people apart. That is your choice. However, she has just as much right to criticize others just as much as they do her. Comedy doesn’t belong to any one person, it belongs to everyone,whether they use to for good or evil.