Recently in PLOVE, we shared the feminist and musical message of Lynzy Lab, a dance teacher from Texas State University. The song called “A Scary Time” was a catchy counterargument to President Donald Trump’s infuriating claim that now is a “scary time” for men. Catchy and thought-provoking, her video went viral. So, to celebrate International Day of The Girl, Jimmy Kimmel Live! invited Lab on to perform and share her insight into rape culture with a national audience.
Lab gave a beautiful performance, made even more moving by the chorus of women and girls lending their voices and giving a fuller picture of womanhood in America. But let’s not forget it was just last week that Kimmel was suggesting it’s fine for comedy clubs to welcome back Louis C.K., a confessed sexual abuser who used his influence in the comedy community to prey on female colleagues and pressure them into silence. In an interview with THR, Kimmel excused the responsibility of the clubs, putting the onus for such comebacks on the audience. Which is a weird thing to do when you have a national TV show, and so should be aware of the power you give someone by giving them a platform.
To that end, it’s great that Kimmel gave a platform to Lab and her message. And in the lead-in to her performance, he says he had no idea “how threatened women feel,” and since Dr. Christine Blasey Ford went before the senate about her sexual assault at the hands of Brett Kavanaugh, he’s listening to their stories. Which. Good. But also, it’s been a year since the Weinstein story came out. For a year, the mainstream media has been covering stories of abuse against women and men in the industry Kimmel works, and it’s just now that he’s listening?
It’s vexing how much emotional labor women are being asked to put in to convince men like Kimmel to actually listen. And look, we’re grateful when they do. But it’s also pretty damn exasperating how much we’re required to do to get so little in return.
As to whether Kimmel’s views on C.K. and comedy clubs has evolved, I asked him on Twitter. We’ll update if he responds.
It's great you had her on and gave this issue a platform on your show. But what about your stance on letting abusers like Louis CK perform at you comedy club? https://t.co/CG8yCA1aLn— Kristy Puchko (@KristyPuchko) October 12, 2018
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