I watched a video the other day of a debate between the comedian Jim Norton and the feminist Lindy West. Here is the video. This discussion between comedians and feminists regarding “rape culture” has been raging for the past year. Type “Daniel Tosh rape joke” into a search engine to learn the backstory. Much has been said on both sides, discussions about free speech, censorship, comedy-as-catharsis, the trivialization of suffering, and the contributions made by comics to rape culture and violence against women. Those are all perfectly fine discussions and I’m glad that our society is having this discourse about such things. One thing that is not being discussed in this realm of discourse is the economic concept of “consideration.”
We don’t have to be economists or legal analysts to understand this. It’s not some obscure jargon used only by economists and lawyers. It’s an old concept that has been around for centuries and most people understand it without even knowing that they understand it. Consideration is roughly the idea of fair trade. If I give you money, you give me an equivalent value of your services or products. It’s not complicated. Most people know when they have been ripped off. If somebody steals your car, they didn’t provide an equitable amount of consideration to you. Most people know this and generally expect to give and receive consideration for all sorts of things in their daily lives. Well, reasonable people have this expectation.
Enter Lindy West. If we view the discourse between a comedian and the audience as a sort of economic exchange of ideas, thoughts, and feelings, Lindy West is demanding that this discourse provide consideration to her without her providing an equitable amount of consideration in return. She is demanding that the discourse between a comedian and audience provide to her a consideration in the form of sensitivity to her (and others like her) regarding what she labels offensive to her delicate sensibilities. The only consideration she offers in return is the absence of her feeling offended. That is literally nothing–the absence of something. In economic terms, she is a thief and ripping us off. Most reasonable people know this, but feminists are not typically known for being reasonable. They sometimes argue that reason is a violent assertion of patriarchal oppression. In reality, feminists like Lindy West assert a gender supremacist ideology that does violence to our reasonable sensibilities.
One example of violence-doing to our reasonable sensibilities is hypocrisy. Most reasonable people understand hypocrisy. Perhaps Ms. West understands it, but simply feels some sort of divine feminist entitlement to being hypocritical. Notice at about the 5 minute mark in the aforementioned video that Ms. West actually performs a rape joke about audience members in the club rallying to rape a girl because they aren’t doing anything better and have the free time. The joke gets a laugh and Ms. West chuckles and smugly continues with her moral correction and shaming of comedians who make rape jokes.
Hypocrisy is offensive because it does violence to reason. Being morally excused from saying one thing and doing another is that which the divine Law-Giver does and this is what feminists like Lindy West often do. She is clearly an inconsiderate hypocrite. She does not give consideration in exchange for a comedian’s sensitivity. She does not practice what she preaches. She gives nothing in exchange for her demands. She simply asserts a sort of divine right to demand control of the narrative in exchange for literally nothing–the absence of something, her offence. Lindy West, you are a bigot, a hypocrite, a gender supremacist, and not much different than a racial supremacists. In the words of the great comedian, Bill Burr, “go fuck yourself.”