So, theres a thing that happened recently. Famous and popular comedian Tosh (I’ll admit I never liked his comedy, but I’ve tried to remove that element from this post as much as I can) …Tosh was doing stand up in the Laugh Factory and said something to the effect of ‘man, rape is always hilarious’ (not a direct quote) … and a rape survivor took offense to that. She heckled him by shouting ‘Rape is never funny!’ Tosh responded by saying that ‘Wouldn’t it be hilarious if that girl was raped, by 5 dudes, like right now?” The heckler was shamed, horrified, and deeply upset and left immediately after (what I perceive as) the thinly veiled threat. Tosh sorta apologized after Tumblr/twitter blew up against/in support of him.
Note: I agree entirely with this article by Jennifer Pozner, which expresses the same opinion as I do below, only its more funny, better written, better supported and just generally awesome. You should probably go read it instead of my crappy hodge-podge tumblr post.
I’ve read several really well done articles about this and basically, I think Tosh is a walking sack of shit for responding like that. First: I agree that jokes and comedy can go anywhere - if you don’t like hearing victim-blaming racist jokes about stoner Nazis eating cancerous dead babies (or whatever) then don’t patronize that comedian. We all have choices. Further, heckling is a shitty thing to do. Instead, walk out and tell people why you did. That being said, and returning to the point, rape jokes can be made and can be really fucking funny - George Carlin did it right with his famous ‘Porky Pig raping Donald Duck’ bit. LOTS of people do it right - by not victim blaming, or tacitly agreeing that she had it coming, or in a dozen different ways. Basically, by not participating or re-enforcing rape culture. Carlin called out the stupidity of blaming the rape on the victims when he talked about raping an 81 year old woman cuz “she was asking for it… she was wearing a tight bath robe”.
I feel that Tosh clearly crossed a line with his response to the heckler. He was actively participating in rape culture by essentially threatening the woman with a gang rape. His comment was abusive and stupid and not fucking funny to me. Quoting Jennifer Ponzer’s article, linked above:
In Daniel Tosh’s world, rape is a shortcut to a punchline he’s too lazy to make. In the real world, rape is violent, it’s painful, and it’s among the worst physical and psychological attacks that anyone can endure, whether the perpetrator is one acquaintance or a group of soldiers sexually torturing women as a weapon of war. It happens every two minutes in America. It is, in its own way, a form of terrorism. Yet “for most male comics,” recovered-rape-joke-teller Johnny Marbles wrote, rape is “basically abstract, something that only happens in your darker police procedurals and never to real people… Never to people you know. Never to audience members, one in four of the women in the room, for whom the idea isn’t quite so absurd.
I wish I could say I would stop supporting Tosh over this, but I never listened to him anyway.
On RunKeeper, I achieved a goal I set on May 8th to run 30 miles before June 8th… I SUCCEEDED today. WHOOO!! When I set it, I felt that it was a high goal, but I did it with a week to spare. fuck yeah!! Next goal won’t be too much higher - maybe 40 in 30 days? hmmm