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Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student

Remembering Joan

I think it’s time to talk about Joan Rivers.

The 81-year-old comedian and television host died Thursday after complications during a surgical procedure on her throat.

When a celebrity dies, everyone likes to put in their two cents.

We all can’t wait to tell the world how much we’ll miss this person we probably never met.

We tweet our favorite quotes from them. We make Facebook posts about the effect this person had on our lives.

We share links of their movies and songs, pepper the Internet with their faces.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen some pretty horrible things on the Internet about Joan ?Rivers’ death.

I’ve seen people discouraging others from mourning her, saying it’s a blessing that she’s gone. People have called her a bitch, racist and misogynist.

Rivers wasn’t always the nicest or most sensitive person, but she doesn’t deserve that kind of ?disrespect.

People judge Rivers based off what they know about her now. They look at her job with “Fashion Police” and label her a superficial misogynist for her cracks at fashion choices and body shapes.

A primary example would be in 2013 when Rivers made some comments about Adele’s weight, which many didn’t take easily.

Adele demanded an apology, but Rivers stuck to her guns.

What people don’t understand is that Rivers paved the way for today’s female comedians. She was a leader on the road to ?feminism.

But to know that, you would have to look at her old work.

Rivers started out performing standup around New York City. A booking on the “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” was her big break.

She became his permanent guest host in 1983. In 1986 she became the host of “The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers,” making her the first woman to be host of her own late night talk show.

These were all huge steps for women.

Much of Rivers’ material was about the absurd differences between men and women. She remarked on the hypocritical views of single men versus single women, such as the stress put on women to get ?married.

And, of course, she poked fun at celebrities, which has built her a sturdy reputation.

No one was safe from Rivers’ scrutiny, including herself. Self-deprecation was a key component of her comedy.

She made fun of her love life, her age and her extensive plastic surgery.

Rivers didn’t always stay on the straight and narrow path of harmless comedy. She hit hard.

Sometimes she just went for the kill. She hurt feelings. She offended people.

She infuriated many, and she was completely unapologetic about it.

Some might find that a fault, but I respected her greatly for it.

Rivers never let anyone else’s criticisms get to her even as she made a profit criticizing others.

She was a perfect example of being yourself, sticking to your beliefs and not giving a damn about what anyone else had to say.

She worked hard to build her career in times when women had to fight for every little inch.

In that light, I believe she was a great role model, and I am not ashamed to say I will miss her.

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