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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 10th June 2016 > SHRILLING ME SOFTLY


Lindy West’s new memoir Shrill may be about women, but it’ll make anyone laugh—and cringe


LINDY WEST isn’t going to whisper about size, periods or abortion. She’s not going to shut up about sexism, online harassment or why comedians should stop with the rape jokes either. She describes herself as “fat” and called her new memoir Shrill to point out the “really blatant and egregious double standard” of the gendered word—no one calls men “shrill”—and explain why that label is usually just an excuse to discredit women’s ideas. “Once I’ve pointed out the hypocrisy of the word shrill,” she tells Newsweek, “then if you use it, you’re being a dickhead.”

In print and in person, West is witty and relatable. The girl who wrote that she once peed her pants in grade school because she was too afraid to ask the teacher if she could go to the bathroom has become a self-professed loud woman who makes keen, vulgar and hilarious observations about society and her life. As I read the first chapters of Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman, I started keeping a mental list of all the offbeat terms she used for the female anatomy. There was “shame canyon,” “magic triangle” and “vagin-UUUUUUUGGGHHHHHHHH.”

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