The default so often is to go head to head with our sisters. We either disqualify them for not being 'cisters'. Or fraternising with sexist media - I wonder what reaction Page 3 models would get requesting our support without first renouncing their nipple baring ways? If they are too pretty we don't like 'em. If they don't match up with society's current view on what's attractive we don't like 'em. Sometimes we just ignore them and the only reason, unpleasant as it is, that I can think of is because they are a minority.
I realise Jezebel can get things very wrong, judgement-wise, I am not writing about that, I am writing about one of their very funny writers Lindy West who recently said that rape jokes are a big part of "comedy not being a welcoming place for women"
Because I've written a number of times about the idea of rape ever being funny and the dangers of censorship in comedy I'll let West take over: "Let me be clear: I don't believe that previously non-raping audience members are going to take to the streets in a rape mob after hearing one rape joke. That's an absurd and insulting mischaracterization. But I do believe that comedy's current permissiveness around cavalier, cruel, victim-targeting rape jokes contributes to (that's contributes - not causes) a culture of young men who don't understand what it means to take this stuff seriously."
In that same post West read out the hate mail she had received following her TV appearance. Full of people reserving their right to take rape lightly, associate it with looks and, oddly, jealousy (the idea that Lindy wishes she could get raped... which rather misunderstands the definition of rape).
Should we blindly high five all women's endeavours because they identify as women?
Should we blindly high five all women's endeavours because they identify as women? No, of course not, or this would be the Nadine Dorries Admiration Society. However, when it comes to serious threats I think we all have to turn to Voltaire, or rather, look to how Evelyn Beatrice Hall summed him up in the oft misattributed quote: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
Both sides of this argument are calling for free speech. But it's time for misogynist comedy to go the way of the Mother in law jokes and racist quips. Change should not mean censorship, it should mean evolution.