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Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West
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Shrill Quotes Showing 1-30 of 238
“Women matter. Women are half of us. When you raise every woman to believe that we are insignificant, that we are broken, that we are sick, that the only cure is starvation and restraint and smallness; when you pit women against one another, keep us shackled by shame and hunger, obsessing over our flaws rather than our power and potential; when you leverage all of that to sap our money and our time—that moves the rudder of the world. It steers humanity toward conservatism and walls and the narrow interests of men, and it keeps us adrift in waters where women’s safety and humanity are secondary to men’s pleasure and convenience.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“Feminism is really just the long slow realization that the things you love hate you.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“I say no to people who prioritize being cool over being good. I say no to misogynists who want to weaponize my body against me. I say no to men who feel entitled to my attention and reverence, who treat everything the light touches as a resource for them to burn. I say no to religious zealots who insist that I am less important than an embryo. I say no to my own instinct to stay quiet. It's a way of kicking down the boundaries that society has set up for women - be compliant, be a caregiver, be quiet - and erecting my own. I will do this; I will not do that. You believe in my subjugation; I don't have to be nice to you. I am busy. My time is not a public commodity.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“This is the only advice I can offer. Each time something like this happens, take a breath and ask yourself, honestly: Am I dead? Did I die? Is the world different? Has my soul splintered into a thousand shards and scattered to the winds? I think you’ll find, in nearly every case, that you are fine. Life rolls on. No one cares. Very few things—apart from death and crime—have real, irreversible stakes, and when something with real stakes happens, humiliation is the least of your worries.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“I reject the notion that thinness is the goal, that thin = better—that I am an unfinished thing and that my life can really start when I lose weight. That then I will be a real person and have finally succeeded as a woman. I am not going to waste another second of my life thinking about this. I don’t want to have another fucking conversation with another fucking woman about what she’s eating or not eating or regrets eating or pretends to not regret eating to mask the regret. OOPS I JUST YAWNED TO DEATH.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“Denying people access to value is an incredibly insidious form of emotional violence, one that our culture wields aggressively and liberally to keep marginalized groups small and quiet.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“Loving yourself is not antithetical to health, it is intrinsic to health. You can't take good care of a thing you hate.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“I believe unconditionally in the right of people with uteruses to decide what grows inside of their body and feeds on their blood and endangers their life and reroutes their future. There are no ‘good’ abortions and ‘bad’ abortions, there are only pregnant people who want them and pregnant people who don’t, pregnant people who have access and support and pregnant people who face institutional roadblocks and lies.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“Please don’t forget: I am my body. When my body gets smaller, it is still me. When my body gets bigger, it is still me. There is not a thin woman inside me, awaiting excavation. I am one piece.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“Why, when men hate themselves, it’s women who take the beatings.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
tags: women
“Maybe you are thin. You hiked that trail and you are fit and beautiful and wanted and I am so proud of you, I am so in awe of your wiry brightness; and I'm miles behind you, my breathing ragged. But you didn't carry this up the mountain, You only carried yourself. How hard would you breathe if you had to carry me? You couldn't. But I can.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“We're all building our world, right now, in real time. Let's build it better.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“For me, the process of embodying confidence was less about convincing myself of my own worth and more about rejecting and unlearning what society had hammered into me.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“Privilege means that it’s easy for white women to do each other favours. Privilege means that those of us who need it the least often get the most help.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“There is nothing novel or comedic or righteous about men using the threat of sexual violence to control non-compliant women. This is how society has always functioned. Stay indoors, women. Stay safe. Stay quiet. Stay in the kitchen. Stay pregnant. Stay our of the world. IF you want to talk about silencing, censorship, placing limits and consequences on speech, this is what it looks like.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“Feminists don’t single out rape jokes because rape is “worse” than other crimes—we single them out because we live in a culture that actively strives to shrink the definition of sexual assault; that casts stalking behaviors as romance; blames victims for wearing the wrong clothes, walking through the wrong neighborhood, or flirting with the wrong person; bends over backwards to excuse boys-will-be-boys misogyny; makes the emotional and social costs of reporting a rape prohibitively high; pretends that false accusations are a more dire problem than actual assaults; elects officials who tell rape victims that their sexual violation was “god’s plan”; and convicts in less than 5 percent of rape cases that go to trial.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“Every human being is a wet, gassy katamari of triumphs, traumas, scars, coping mechanisms, parental baggage, weird stuff you saw on the Internet too young, pressure from your grandma to take over the bodega when what you really want to do is dance, and all the other fertilizer that makes a smear of DNA grow into a fully formed toxic avenger.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“The “perfect body” is a lie. I believed in it for a long time, and I let it shape my life, and shrink it—my real life, populated by my real body. Don’t let fiction tell you what to do.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“The real scam is that being bones isn’t enough either. The game is rigged. There is no perfection.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“The idea that we can somehow escape affecting each other is deeply conservative. Barbarous, even.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“As a woman, my body is scrutinized, policed, and treated as a public commodity. As a fat woman, my body is also lampooned, openly reviled, and associated with moral and intellectual failure. My body limits my job prospects, access to medical care and fair trials, and – the one thing Hollywood movies and Internet trolls most agree on – my ability to be loved. So the subtext, when a thin person asks a fat person, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ is, ‘You must be some sort of alien because if I looked like you, I would definitely throw myself into the sea.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“Fat people already are ashamed. It's taken care of. No further manpower needed on the shame front, thx. I am not concerned with whether or not fat people can change their bodies through self-discipline and "choices." Pretty much all of them have tried already. A couple of them have succeeded. Whatever. My question is, what if they try and try and try and still fail? What if they are still fat? What if they are fat forever? What do you do with them then? Do you really want millions of teenage girls to feel like they're trapped in unsightly lard prisons that are ruining their lives, and on top of that it's because of their own moral failure, and on top of that they are ruining America with the terribly expensive diabetes that they don't even have yet? You know what's shameful? A complete lack of empathy.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“Sincerity is an easy target, but I don’t want to excise sincerity from my life – that’s a lonely way to live.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“I felt something start to unclench deep inside me. What if my body didn't have to be a secret? What if I was wrong all along - what if this was all a magic trick, and I could just decide I was valuable and it would be true? Why, instead had I left that decision in the hands of strangers who hated me? Denying people access to value is an incredibly insidious form of emotional violence, one that our culture wields aggressively and liberally to keep marginalized groups small and quiet.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“In the omnidirectional orgy gardens of Vlaxnoid 7, no one cares about your arm flab.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“Mike made me feel lonely, and being alone with another person is much worse than being alone all by yourself.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“Real change is slow, hard, and imperceptible.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“I sometimes think of people’s personalities as the negative space around their insecurities. Afraid of intimacy? Cultivate aloofness. Feel invisible? Laugh loud and often. Drink too much? Play the gregarious basket case. Hate your body? Slash and burn others so you can climb up the pile. We construct elaborate palaces to hide our vulnerabilities, often growing into caricatures of what we fear. The goal is to move through the world without anyone knowing quite where to dig a thumb. It’s a survival instinct. When people know how to hurt you, they know how to control you. But”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“I am profoundly grateful to say that I have never felt inherently worthless. Any self-esteem issues I’ve had were externally applied – people told me I was ugly, revolting, shameful, unacceptably large. The world around me simply insisted on it, no matter what my gut said. I used to describe it as ‘reverse body dysmorphia’: When I looked in the mirror, I could never understand what was supposedly so disgusting. I knew I was smart, funny, talented, social, kind – why wasn’t that enough? By all the metrics I cared about, I was a home run.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
“And being an "equal opportunity offender"—as in, "It's okay, because Daniel Tosh makes fun of ALL people: women, men, AIDS victims, dead babies, gay guys, blah blah blah"—falls apart when you remember (as so many of us are forced to all the time) that all people are not in equal positions of power. "Oh, don't worry—I punch everyone in the face! People, baby ducks, a lion, this Easter Island statue, the ocean…" Okay, well that baby duck is dead now.”
Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman

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