Comedian Lizz Winstead on how a Tinder spoof can help women's rights
Co-creating The Daily Show gave comedian Lizz Winstead the perfect experience for what she's up to now: marrying politics and comedy to inform the public about what is happening when it comes to reproductive and LGBT rights.
Best known for co-creating The Daily Show as well as being its head writer, Winstead is still making waves for her comedy, activism and writing. Her current project is Lady Parts Justice, an organization she started in 2012 in response to the continual attacks on reproductive rights across the country. Using comedy and digital media, LPJ urges folks all over the U.S. to stand up and fight for their rights. LPJ just came out with a new Tinder parody app, Hinder, which allows users to scroll through the profiles of various politicians to see how they rate when it comes to LGBT and reproductive rights.
Hint: It's usually not very good, and users have the option to "swipe right or left" based on how offended they find themselves over certain politicians. It's a hilarious way to learn more about those being voted into office and charged with protecting — rather than violating — our rights.
In addition to Hinder, on Sept. 26, Winstead and LPJ will be launching their second V to Shining V, allowing people to attend any number of events across the country or to create one of their own. V to Shining V encourages people to host or attend parties where they can "plot, scheme and change" the laws that are threatening reproductive health access. SheKnows spoke to Winstead on Hinder, Trump and a whole lot more.
SheKnows: The Hinder app is hilarious and frightening all at once. What has been the response to it so far?
Lizz Winstead: We have not heard back from politicians yet, but users are loving it and are blown away by the number of powerful and influential people who have dedicated their lives to making life harder for women. Just having [the info] in the palm of your hand and scrolling, scrolling and scrolling is a wake-up call. Plus, presenting it in the form of an app that so many young people use to hook up with hammers home just how many people are shaming them and trying to stop them from getting the safe and healthy tools they need to continue to have the kind of sexual experiences they choose to have on their own terms.
The best response has been from iTunes, who rejected us because we don't fit the guidelines for an app because it is political and calls people names. But what makes the rejection so hilarious? They have an exemption for professional comedians and satirists. Dang! If only I had some experience in those areas... [Update: iTunes just accepted the app after much pushback from LPJ fans!]
SheKnows: What can those who want to support abortion access and LGBT rights but are not near a major city featuring a V to Shining V event do?
LW: They can throw a house party or just gather with friends on Sept. 26 and interact with our website to see what laws are on the books or being proposed. Take photos, and post them on social media using the hashtag #V2V15.
We're also asking people to commit to doing a few things:
1. Gather pals and, as a group, decide to adopt a local clinic. Reach out to them, schedule a meeting, and ask the ways you can provide assistance and support to them. Be a pack mule, be an advocate, be the people who buy 'em a drink!
2. Suggest a staff party so the workers themselves have people celebrating them.
3. Like churches do with prayer chains, create an email list of committed friends that will be at the ready to show up, if asked, to counter the horrible protesters when they show up.
4. Voter registration.
5. Plan a V to Shining V event next September in 2016 so you can continue the momentum of support to the polls.
Remember: The V's stand for Voting and Vaginas.
SK: What's next for LPJ?
LW: Creating more videos and ramping up our reproductive rights road show. Also, bringing comedy, help and some workshops around the country so we can support but also listen to how folks are working in communities and help them incorporate humor into their messaging.
SK: Finally, we have to know, what's your official stance on presidential nominee Donald Trump?
LW: Donald Trump has replaced bedbugs as America's No. 1 Pest.