Lindy West: My Favorite Fat Lady Feminist Who Is Mean to Baby Men

Lindy West, Women's History Month
Lindy West has been responsible for my peeing myself on numerous occasions. I have suggested she put this in her bio, but she has yet to do so. When I think about women who inspire me -- and sure, there are numerous historical figures and Nobel Prize recipients -- but when I think about feminists who inspire me, when I think about activists who inspire me, I can't think of anyone to better celebrate during Women's History Month than Lindy West.

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Feminist, fat-acceptance activist, women's rights activist, pop culture commentator, and one of the funniest writers I have ever had the pleasure of reading, Lindy is so funny that I've made it a rule not consume any beverages when I am reading her work. She's currently a culture writer for GQ magazine and GQ.com and a weekly columnist at the Guardian

Who She Is 

Lindy West is a Seattle-based writer, editor, and performer whose work focuses on pop culture, social justice, humor, and body image. She is the founder and editor of I Believe You | It's Not Your Fault, an advice blog for teens for which I was lucky enough to write the first installment. She also co-created Shout Your Abortion with Amelia Bonow, a project that destigmatizes abortions by encouraging women to share stories online about having the procedure. She was previously a staff writer at Jezebel.com, and she has written for the Daily Telegraph, Slate, MSNBC, the New York Daily NewsCosmopolitan, Cracked, and Vulture. In 2013, Lindy won the Women's Media Center's Social Media Award, presented by Jane Fonda in New York City. Now she has a new book entitled Shrill that will be released on May 17. 


How She Is Shaping History 

By being unapologetically who she is and refusing to be silenced by trolls and haters, West is inspiring a whole generation of women to realize that their voices matter, that they are worthy, and that they can be part of the conversation, regardless of their size, age, sexual orientation, and race. 

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Her Words to Live By 

For Lindy, her words are who she is at the core:

I don't really know how to separate my work, my politics, and my self. Everything I write -- even goofy pop culture stuff -- is informed by who I am (fat, female, progressive, millennial, etc.), and once you start noticing how misogyny and racism and injustice are built into our culture, it feels like a cop-out not to call it out every time. When you find yourself with a large platform, as I have, that sense of obligation is even more powerful. I come from a relatively privileged background, and I remember how small the world felt when I was growing up, even for me: There were certain things that girls did and did not do, there was lip service paid to women's potential, but always with a notion that we shouldn't aim above our station. And that's only 30 years ago. Things are better today, thanks in large part to the internet, but it's a marginal difference. Maybe I'm turning into an old sap, but I cry when I see videos of girls being defiantly excellent at things -- math, science, singing, spelling, dancing, rapping -- especially black girls and trans girls and other groups I know aren't hearing nearly enough messages about their own worth from the mainstream. Fighting to correct those imbalances doesn't feel like a choice; it feels like a duty.

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Why She Inspires Me 

See above. Not only is Lindy one of the funniest writers I know, but she has also dedicated her voice to raising awareness about topics and issues that affect women, especially marginalized women. She does so with grace, humor, bravery, and the belief that keeping quiet is not an option for any woman. You can pre-order Shrill now


Image via D Dipasupil/Getty Images

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