Monday, November 20, 2017

Listen, Louie

So the last blog post I did on Louis C.K back in August 2016, I used the image of him appearing as a guest on a chat show over the caption (of his making, not mine) 'Comedian/Masturbator'...

In the post I expressed some feminist objections to the content of his 2015 Netflix special (now pulled), including his elaborate mime of making a female rat orgasm that was little more than an extended mocking of the clitoris - I can (and do) do that for comic effect, but he, a man, cannot - as well as his expressed opinion in that special that racism is wrong but sexism isn't, it's just 'men and women giving each other a hard time'; hard indeed.

But about that caption I wrote:

"'Comedian/Masturbator' is funny, especially as 'masturbator' is not even a word, at least not according to my spellchecker. It should be. Next to it you could write: Louis (or Louie) C.K."

Alas, the last part of this comment has now been shown to be all too true; you could write Louis C.K. in the dictionary next to the word masturbator - if it were a word - only it wouldn't be funny.

When you force young women to watch you masturbate, as Louis has finally admitted doing on numerous occasions over a number of years, you go from being a slightly sad funnyman who, in his middle age, is still obsessed with his penis, to a sick unfunnyman who gets off making young women squirm in disgust, humiliation and intimidation being made to watch a man who has power over them jerk off. 

And so it seems I was right to call him out on reducing sexism to a fair fight and spat between men and women, and for making a joke of the female orgasm and clitoris, but wrong to think his sad obsession with his own penis was in any way funny. It is not.

Indeed, the two things are, as we now know, directly connected and part of his sexist dismissal and objectification of women as tools for men's pleasure and power.

So listen up Louis (Louie), having finally confessed to this sick obsession, so sick and offensive that some of the women involved left the comedy business as a result of your behaviour, you said: "I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen." 

Indeed you have spent a long time talking, saying AND DOING anything you want, Louis, and it is time you listened - TO WOMEN. Let's be clear about that. Men like you spend such a lot of time, on stage, in books, in the home, on the street and in the workplace, making fun of how hard women are to understand, often to the point of suggesting that there is something (almost everything) wrong with us, including that we don't have a sense of humour. But in fact the problem is with men not bothering, and not being made to bother, to listen to women and actually learn more than the basic outline of who we are, in our wide variety, so that you might figure out who we are and how to treat us like human beings.

Comedian Jen Kirkman, who is hilarious, and who has worked with Louis and be made to endure his sick obsession personally, knowing that if she resisted and spoke out about it her career would be over, wrote this on Twitter in response to CK's outing as a pervert by other women:

'When women speak, don't sensationalize it and make it about naming the man. Our stories run deeper. It's our culture that damns us if we do or don't or shames us if we have made peace. It's time to listen to how women want this to be talked about. The end.'
9:43 AM - Nov 10, 2017

What she said.

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