May 23, 2019

The Shrillness of "Shrill"

“If you want to understand the new feminist show “Shrill,” based on the memoir of #ShoutYourAbortion co-founder Lindy West, don’t bother watching it. Just listen to the final scene.

(Of course, this is a spoiler, but let’s be real: It’s not as if you would expect the show to end differently.)

The protagonist, Annie, marches up to the home of a man who’s been trolling her online. She’s written a couple of feminist pieces for the alternative publication where she works, one called “Hello, I’m Fat,” and the troll has been making fun of her weight.

After tracking down his IP address, she confronts him at his doorstep. The well-coiffed white guy apologizes, and then he delivers a monologue like that bully in a high school movie who realizes it was really just his relationship with his dad that made him so mean all along.

When Annie asks what she ever did to him, the troll responds, “Pissed me off. The stuff that you write, the feminist shit, I don’t agree with a lot of it. So I thought I’d push you a little. Or, a lot. I was big when I was a kid. You’re … fat, but your writing is so confident. And I hate myself. You don’t. You’re out there yelling, ‘This is me …’ It made me mad. I’m sorry.”

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