Lindy West

“Stigma works like this: Comic makes people with herpes the butt of his joke. Audience laughs. People with herpes see their worst fears affirmed - they are disgusting, broken, unlovable. People without herpes see their worst instincts validated - they are clean, virtuous, better. Everyone agrees that no one wants to fuck someone with herpes. If people with herpes want to object, they have to 1) publicize the fact that they have herpes, and 2) be accused of oversensitivity, of ruining the fun. Instead, they stay quiet and laugh along. The joke does well. So well that maybe the comedian writes another one.”

Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
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Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West
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