Friday, December 15, 2017

Meet A Woman With Cojones De Acero

Sarah Silverman delivered a powerful editorial about her friend, Louis C.K., and his fall from public esteem due to numerous accusations that his off-camera behavior was a form of sexual harassment. Silverman referred to C.K. as her friend, but she offered no defense of his behavior. And she did this on camera at the beginning of a recent episode of "I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman" on the Hulu streaming service. If this is a (fair & balanced) profile in courage, so be it.

[x New Yorker]
How Sarah Silverman Reckoned With Louis C.K. In The Year Of Sexual Harassment
By Ian Crouch

WordSift Cloud of the following piece of writing

On November 16th, the comedian Sarah Silverman began her Hulu show, “I Love You, America,” by doing what everyone had been asking her to do for the previous week: talking about the fact that her longtime friend Louis C.K. had been accused of, and later admitted to, masturbating in front of unwilling women. “I’m gonna address the elephant masturbating in the room,” she said. Silverman has told perhaps hundreds of jokes about jerking off, from the mundane and ridiculous to the moralistically sublime—but this one was delivered without joy, or even a trace of her famous smirk.

“I hope it’s OK if I am at once very angry for the women he wronged, and the culture that enabled it, and also sad, because he’s my friend,” she said. In this, she was speaking personally about a more general feeling, what she referred to when she said that “some of our heroes will be taken down, and we will discover bad things about people we like or, in some cases, people we love.” Calling out sexual misconduct was “like cutting out tumors,” she said; it was painful and complicated, but it was necessary and “vital that people are held accountable for their actions, no matter who they are.” And no matter where they are—Silverman made the point that assault and abuse were happening in all kinds of American workplaces.

Silverman spoke powerfully, but there was, behind her remarks, a flaring of irritation—at Louis C.K.; at the other men who had been outed as harassers or abusers, and all those who still hadn’t been; and at being called upon to somehow account for her friendship with C.K., at having to give this statement in the first place. So often in this reckoning, it has fallen to women to explain what bad men did and why they had to go away. There will, surely, be a time when people like Silverman, and so many others, will be free again to simply do their work—in their truest voices, on their own terms—and, through the full flourishing of their talents, prod and challenge and expose the ways we fail and hurt and misunderstand one another. “We need to be better,” she said. “We will be better. I can’t fucking wait to be better.” # # #

[Ian Crouch is a contributing writer and a Web producer at The New Yorker. He received a BA (English) from Duke University and an MA (journalism) from New York University.]

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