Lindy West knew there was something not quite right about her relationship.
“We were together all the time and we went out all the time,” West told Mia Freedman on the most recent episode of No Filter.
“But it was like… he would just act very platonic with me in public.
“I dated him for two years, in secret basically.”
She decided to press him one day on his behaviour, and asked why after dating for so long, she had never met any of his friends.
Lindy West speaks to Mia Freedman about a toxic relationship on the most recent episode of No Filter.
“He said it was because he was embarrassed,” West recalled.
Freedman asked if this, at the very least, marked the end of their relationship. It didn’t.
“I was under the impression that this was the best I could do,” West said.
“That I wasn’t entitled to ask for anything or to demand basic respect and humanity.
“Well,” she thought. “My options are limited.”
West reasoned that it was okay – he wasn’t a “bad” guy. Most of the time, aside from that particular incident, he wasn’t mean to her.
In hindsight West says his behaviour was reflective of external pressures. “I understand that men grow up in this toxic system too, and women are treated as a status symbol for men to show off to other men.
“If you’re an insecure man that’s as difficult to buck off as our internalised insecurities and inferiority complex,” West said.
Author of Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, columnist, feminist and fat acceptance activist, West has written extensively about her experience as a “fat woman”. She wants us to reclaim the word fat, and use it as a description rather than a weapon – devoid of moral judgement and implicit loathing.