The Witches Are Coming

- Lindy West



From the moment powerful men started falling to the #MeToo movement, the lamentations began: this is feminism gone too far, this is injustice, this is a witch hunt. In The Witches Are Coming, firebrand author of the New York Times bestselling memoir and now critically acclaimed Hulu TV series Shrill, Lindy West, turns that refrain on its head. You think this is a witch hunt? Fine. You’ve got one.

In a laugh-out-loud, incisive cultural critique, West extolls the world-changing magic of truth, urging readers to reckon with dark lies in the heart of the American mythos, and unpacking the complicated, and sometimes tragic, politics of not being a white man in the twenty-first century. She tracks the misogyny and propaganda hidden (or not so hidden) in the media she and her peers devoured growing up, a buffet of distortions, delusions, prejudice, and outright bullsh*t that has allowed white male mediocrity to maintain a death grip on American culture and politics-and that delivered us to this precarious, disorienting moment in history.

West writes, “We were just a hair’s breadth from electing America’s first female president to succeed America’s first black president. We weren’t done, but we were doing it. And then, true to form—like the Balrog’s whip catching Gandalf by his little gray bootie, like the husband in a Lifetime movie hissing, ‘If I can’t have you, no one can’—white American voters shoved an incompetent, racist con man into the White House.”

We cannot understand how we got here-how the land of the free became Trump’s America—without examining the chasm between who we are and who we think we are, without fact—checking the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and each other. The truth can transform us; there is witchcraft in it. Lindy West turns on the light.



Not long ago, my husband was at a bar in Chicago. A friend had told him to check out this particular bar because it’s a cool dive run by queer people of color, with dancing and cheap drinks and a good vibe.



Art didn’t invent oppressive gender roles, racial stereotyping, or rape culture, but it reflects, polishes, and sells them back to us every moment of our waking lives. We make art and it makes us, simultaneously. Shouldn’t it follow, then, that we can change ourselves by changing what we make?

I want to love this book. It’s funny and topical and interesting. But it mostly just makes me sad. Sad that the people who need to read it never will. Sad that everything written here is so obviously common sense, but apparently it isn’t because it’s a whole freaking book. And sad that the people who do read this book will likely find it silly and superficial.

Unfortunately, these essays straddle two worlds and therefore don’t fully meet the needs of the reader. The humour and conversational tone is refreshing, but anyone who reads this already knows everything written within these pages. There’s nothing new or exciting or more thought-provoking. And the people who could possibly read this and potentially question their convictions or reconsider their stance, never will.

women are conditioned from birth to downplay our intellectual abilities and professional accomplishments so as not to make men feel threatened or emasculated by us and detract from our true purpose, sex decoration

With essays titled Is Adam Sandler Funny? and Ted Bundy Was Not Charming – Are You High? and A Giant Douche Is a Good Thing if You’re a Giant, there are inescapably some good moments. Lindy West’s writing style is easy, refreshing, and totally millennial. I’d love an addendum to her Twitter essay addressing Trump’s recent ban as well. I guess I just wanted more. Or some evidence that the people who need to are actually accessing this material.


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