Lindy West is a female comedian who wrote an Open letter to white male comedians that is posted on Jezebel.com back in 5/10/2013 and 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. Women are 50% of the world population but are treated as a niche group.
She criticizes how shes is being criticized for implying take people should treat rape victims as seriously as shootings. Pointing to Oswalt’s message about Aurora theater shooting. Where the point was made about not joking about the shooting and its victims to respect the people who lost their lives and deny they killer publicity. The absurdity of not treating rape victims with the same respect as victims of gun violence is madness.If someone is hurt physically and dies, and someone is hurt mentally and dies from suicide.Who’s more dead?
Comedy has a social responsibility.It 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.Humans have different experiences and ways of handling physical and mental pain.If you punch the oceans it won’t do much,but if you punch a baby duck you’ll kill it.Making jokes at the expense of victims is not justified because it hurts people who are the most vulnerable.
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,but don’t expect that you wont get paddled by critics.Every joke you tell effects someone’s life, so are you going to tell jokes that improve life or are you going to go for easy targets.My recommendation, Think, then speak.