Thursday, November 29, 2012
Jen Kirkman's Twitter Strike
Every day, comedian Jen Kirkman is sent messages by angry people, not just men, about how she isn't funny and only pretty. It happens to every comedian who is female, as we all know. Sure you can ignore all the horrendous trolls on the internet, but you can stand up and say, "This is wrong! Someone else, say something too!" And so Jen Kirkman has declared a strike against twitter until men in comedy start supporting her and vowing that women can indeed be funny. And she's right: men in comedy often do not show support (or opposition) of social issues, like gay rights or racism.
It's a noble aspiration and a valid reason to stay away from twitter, even if it deprives those like me of funny tweets and wonderful articles from a feminist point of view. I think that's one problem with how people view comedians: they can't be serious because they're known for being funny. People cannot fathom that comedians are real people who believes in complex issues. Kirkman states in her tumblr: "I will come back to Twitter when I feel like I’m not the only voice constantly using her feed to interrupt her regularly scheduled funniness to try to teach young guys not to objectify women, tell them to shut up, correct their jokes, mansplain to them, etc."
In relation, comedian Jenny Johnson sticks up for women's rights and promotes the punishment (socially, legally, and musically) for his misogyny and domestic violence. She is now a target for Chris Brown fans everywhere, threatened with horrible deaths in disgusting details because of her continual outspoken tweets about him. After Daniel Tosh's rape joke fiasco, Martha Plimpton got death threats from Daniel Tosh's fans and commented on her looks more than her sense of humor (which she is). Promoting women's rights not only gets you near-physical fits of hatred, being gay does as well. Just ask Chely Wright, who is in constant judgment from people who used to be her fans and wish she'd only tweet about music, but rather she tweets about things she's interested in and fights for, not just gay rights, but politics, dogs, veterans, grammar, and so on. The vitriol that is spat at her about herself and her marriage being an abomination and disgusting is horrible.
The point is: Twitter is a breeding ground for misogyny, ignorance, and hatred. Even if you want to pithy and meaningful in so little words, it really is tough to explain a concept with ample reasoning. If you are on twitter, please do your best to support the female rights' cause, even if you're not a famous male comedian, and include links to informative and accurate articles. Until there are consequences for people harassing and threatening (there is written proof), we must be vigilant with our 140 characters.