If today’s news has taught me anything, it’s that an old white woman can be as racist, transphobic, fatphobic, female-degrading, and offensive as possible….because she will still be remembered as “a good person” and “an icon for all woman” once she’s dead.
(Yes, I’m referring to Joan Rivers)
without Joan Rivers, many women wouldn’t even have the chances they had in comedy. Roseanne Barr, Rosie O’Donnell, and Ellen Degenerous have all cited her as direct influences. she was a pioneer for women in the late night circuit, paving the way for female comedians in the 70’s, an era of show business that hated and despised women, and also the first woman to have her own talk show on a major network in the 80’s. So yeah, she IS an icon for all women.
I honestly do think it’s hilarious that anyone would call her a good person, because that was entirely contradictory of her nature. She was an offensive comedian, her whole act was meant to offend, and she did it with pride and bravado. so when I see posts like this on Tumblr, all I hear is the liberal version of an angry Fox News commentator who missed the joke screaming about how we’re crying over the death of a morally corrupted individual and destroying modern society by holding her on a pedestal.
I didn’t even like her comedy that much, but I do still find it funny imagining her calling you all pussies. because she probably would.
Who missed the joke? You yourself said that the her jokes were meant to offend. We heard it, and realized that having fun at the expense of oppressed groups is a shitty thing to do.
Like, I’m sure calling Michelle Obama a [slur-for-tran*-individual] is extremely humorous in some circles, no one is denying that - but the “joke” is in poor taste. It reflects poorly on the comedian who made the joke, and those who laugh at it. It’s not clever humor, there’s no deeper layer to the joke - it’s only a joke in the basest sense that some people might laugh at it, but all it does is reinforce the idea that it’s okay to say things like this to tran* people - a group where 41% of individuals have attempted suicide, 35% of which experience physical assault at school, and who it is okay to fire for being trans* in 34 states.
Maybe you’re right, and we’re being as thin-skinned as a Fox News commentator. Maybe just using slurs for humor will make the world a better, safer place for people the slurs are about. Somehow, I doubt that.
That Joan Rivers was an influential trailblazer no one can deny, but that doesn’t mean that she should be an “icon.”