Comedian Jim Norton: I’m Disgusted By Suggestions Lindy West Should Be Raped

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  1. So much hate online and it’s sickening. Disagree with someone, call em an ass or whatever but don’t say you want violence against them.

  2. Mostly_123 says:

    Thank you Jim- You’re not the only one who is digested by the malice leveled at Lindy West. I just wanted to say I saw the discussion piece from ‘Totally Biased’ (YouTube) last week and I really enjoyed it: I thought you made a great case all the way through, and I’m glad you did. I agreed with your arguments very strongly, and I disagreed with Lindy’s arguments very strongly- and yeah, gender politics and ideological interpretations often engender strong feelings and passionate disagreements. Which makes it disappointing & disheartening to have it sullied by an aftermath of some people’s grotesque personal attacks in order to revolt and revile.   

    Those malicious posts against Lindy are all the more discouraging, not just because (to say the least) they’re cruel, crude, and willfully malicious; but also because they demean the whole process of discourse- Like you said, it’s not just being mean; it’s being lazy and resenting the person who took time & effort to articulate WHY they believe what they do- even if that ‘something’ is something another person totally disagrees with. The people who would hurl obscenities or wish violence upon another, rather than legitimately challenging a perspective (ESPECIALLY one that deserves to be legitimately challenged) can’t really demean Lindy (or, for that matter, you, me, or anyone else engaged in the discourse) with hateful epithets; though obviously not for lack of trying. But they do, in fact, demean themselves.

    It’s disrespectful to one’s self to be such a poor advocate for something they obviously feel so passionately about: If it’s important enough to enrage you to the point of taking the time to hurl obscenities at a stranger, shouldn’t it be at least important enough to make the case for WHY you should feel so enraged? Shouldn’t one at least try to justify and validate their own outrage by making their own case, and making it well? Seriously, it’s much easier to take a position that one feels passionate about, than it is on something where you’re ambivalent.   
    Malice & blind rage can feel good for a moment; but it’s also a blunt demonstration of one’s own impotence and powerlessness: Really- no one has ever responded to a comment like “Shut up, Fuck-face!” with (a sincere): “Ah, I see your point now. Thank-you for pointing out that significant flaw in my argument, and genuinely guiding me along the path of your logic.” In the end, “Fuck you!” just means “I won’t try to persuade you, but I can’t dismiss you either” – in a (key)stroke, creates one’s own adversary, and then it validates their argument to boot- a lose/lose proposition.

    People say things and hold ideological positions that make us mad (legitimately or illegitimately). But don’t just get mad, get introspective. And that’s not just an altruistic point of view either- Pragmatically; when  a person starts looking at WHY somebody else’s position is making them outraged, then they’re starting to take it apart. When a person does this, they have a better understanding of the mechanics of both the argument they disagree with, as well as their own logic, and how & why they oppose it. So, in the end they’re going to be better able to argue their own case that much more effectively, articulately & confidently (and really stick it to that jerk who has the ‘wrong’ opinion). Or you might discover a flaw in your own logic, or even some points of agreement with the position you’re arguing against: That’s knowledge, and knowledge is power- and who doesn’t want at least a little more of that? 

    I myself (obviously) have trouble articulating my positions in less that 140 characters, or 10 second sound-bites, so I don’t put a lot of stock into what’s said there- yes, there are tons of malice and hate out there beneath the blue sky, at least superficially. But breadth does not necessarily equal depth. I myself have little expectation that we, in a free society, can ever truly insulate ourselves from other people’s bigotry. This is because it takes so little effort to sling an epithet, and so the slingers look bigger and more numerous than they are. But in the end, those slingers are the most apathetic ones of all- and apathy never gets anything done.

    Sorry to ramble on. But thanks again Jim & Lindy for taking the time to make an articulate argument on a topic that you feel passionately about, (whether I agree or disagree with your position) and sticking by it with conviction (whether I think it’s a sound conviction or not).

  3. To suggest violence is wrong. It is better to refrain from such angry comments and to ignore such feminist writers if you disagree with them.

    It should be however noticed that men active for men’s rights are being the target of severe abusive comments coming from feminists all the time – and nobody says anything about it.

  4. But I am honestly requesting that people stop attacking her. It’s ugly and it’s unfair and does nothing to forward the point you think you’re trying to make.
    By Jim Norton

    You are right and I agree with you. However this is a magazine for men – not a feminist publication.
    What about hateful comments when writing anything about men’s rights. Maybe you should mention this too?

    • There’s a context here. The author had a dialogue with Lindy West, and afterwards she was attacked, so he has a personal stake in this.

      The comments made to her and about her are the height of Neamderthal reasoning. Well, maybe I should be kinder to Neanderrthals, since evidence seems to suggest that they were pretty much human by any reasonable measure.

      And Jim, are you a little uncomfortable with who some of your audience seems to be?

  5. Agree in full with your rambling comment Mostly_123

    I did watch the full unedited version of the program and putting the arguments aside, though I am squarely in the comedy needs to remain free-range camp, I could not help notice the disdain Lindy West portrayed when summing the position of her opponents – the lowering of her voice and speaking out of the side of her mouth – Neanderthal style – was, to say the least, less than one would expect from a good faith attempt at listening. This type of juvenile sarcasm seems par for the course.

    Jim – you are being far too generous with both her argument and how she expressed it to you. This deferment – treading lightly – should not go unnoticed. Not pointing fingers at you, but it does provide context of the state of affairs, no?

    • Mostly_123 says:

      Just wanted to add in passing-
      Because Jim’s article here was specifically about some people’s (negative & inappropriate) reactions to Lindy West’s argument, and not the discussion itself, I thought it best (and I guess Jim did too) not to go too much into specifics & rhetorical differences there. Like I said, I myself strongly disagreed with her argument, though I think she has the right to say it without being subjected to vile verbal attacks. That said, I did (and still do) think that people should evaluate and challenge her rhetorical argument itself; not attack her character, or advocate hate, malice or violence. Before this backlash against Lindy West began, I’d posted my analysis (which is critical of her position) on another blog. If you were interested, my comment (under ‘Most’) should be at this link:

  6. Lindy falls apart, completely, around the 11 minute mark.


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