THEN read my comments below.
The reading of these tweets is incredibly powerful and absolute proof of the ugliness of rape culture. This is how those in power maintain power -- through the casual intimidation that comes with off-handed dismissal of complaints against them. Lindy's simple, unaffected reading of the comments is, in itself, a powerful act of defiance. I am in awe of her and ashamed of a culture that has led so many to think their humorless, hate-filled comments are acceptable.
I am of the opinion that all topics should be fair game for comedy. I
also think that comedians have a responsibility to be cognizant of what
they SAY about those topics, because comedy is powerful and by its very
nature is a teaching tool. I heard Margaret Cho do a piece on rape that
was powerful and poignant and very, very funny. It did not support
rape or apologize for the rapist or blame the victim.
Many in our society are incapable of distinguishing between that which is racially charged and that which is racist, that which is gender-observational and that which is sexist. I used to do material about homophobia and people would come up to me, amused by my set, and say, "I got a fag joke you can use." Not everybody learns at the same rate. But everyone can eventually learn.
If more people are as courageous as Lindy West is, perhaps our culture can learn to be as intolerant of rape, as averse to sexism as we are, in general toward Naziism and racism and the other less prevalent, less culturally tolerated power-biases.
Bravo, Lindy. Thanks so much for your courage, your wit and your willingness to confront head on the ugliness of your detractors.