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Somebody is going to have to explain comedy to me

I know it’s often offensive; it’s supposed to be offensive, especially if it’s targeting people in power. When Michael Richards had his temper tantrum, calling black members of the audience racist slurs, he crossed a line by targeting a more vulnerable group, and echoing a sentiment that was the product of centuries of oppression. It’s not surprising that the audience walked out on him and that his career took a crippling hit.

But something very similar just happened. Another comedian, Daniel Tosh, uses the stage to tell rape jokes, and when a woman in the audience calls out that rape jokes are never funny, he has a totally inappropriate response.

After I called out to him, Tosh paused for a moment. Then, he says, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…” and I, completely stunned and finding it hard to process what was happening but knowing i needed to get out of there, immediately nudged my friend, who was also completely stunned, and we high-tailed it out of there. It was humiliating, of course, especially as the audience guffawed in response to Tosh, their eyes following us as we made our way out of there. I didn’t hear the rest of what he said about me.

And there’s what I don’t get. The audience laughed and stayed for that? Talking about raping a heckler is now a laugh line?

I don’t know, has his career taken a hit? It might be hard to tell — hosting a youtube clips show on basic cable isn’t exactly the pinnacle of comedy.

It’s just odd that people can have a sense of shame about racism, but it’s still considered hilarious to laugh at the idea of women being gang-raped (or, since I know it’s coming, that joking about prison rape is good for a laugh. Please don’t try to turn the joke around and make it about Tosh getting raped, because that isn’t funny, either.)

Comments

  1. 'Tis Himself says

    Jokes are supposed to be funny. Threatening someone with rape is not funny.

  2. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    No, society is fine as it is. No need to fight against misogyny, ’cause it isn’t a problem. Nothing to see here…

  3. busterggi says

    I watched his show a couple of times but as a comedian he makes a good coffee pot.

  4. says

    If people in general actually took these things seriously, most of that crowd should have left too. The fact that it doesn’t seem that anyone but her friend followed her out proves there is still much work to be done enlightening these numbskulls.

  5. says

    That is horrifying. I think it tells me pretty much everything I ever needed to know about him and his target audience, though.

    And to think someone had been trying to convince me just the other day that the misogyny and homophobia from him were just satire

  6. says

    You do realize just because you make a joke about something doesn’t mean the person making the joke actually wants or believes it will happen right? It’s just shock humor. Another example is Cartman’s blatant anti-semitism on South Park. Just because the writers at South Park make a joke about exterminating jewish people does not mean they think someone should actually do it.

  7. Amphigorey says

    The thing about jokes, codylawson, is that they should be funny. Saying “Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if this woman was gang-raped right now?” is not funny. There’s no joke there; Tosh was just being an asshole.

  8. says

    Rape culture at work. When you see more people defending Tosh because the woman heckled him than because he said it’d be funny if she got gang-raped, we have a serious malfunction in our society. It is never, ever okay to joke about rape. And to stand up for Tosh by saying that heckling is bad is an absolute abomination.

    Like @WillHam27 who says: “You don’t have to like the show, but you also shouldn’t be a jerk and ruin it for everyone else. Just leave if it bothers you.”

    https://twitter.com/WillHam27/status/222842511146762242

  9. virtualsatyr says

    Not going to try to explain why something is funny, that is up to the individual. If comedy has one rule, it is this: nothing is sacred. So rape is just as good to joke about as anything else. Also, comedians hate getting heckled. Once a heckler speaks up, the comedian will do whatever they can to embarrass that person.

  10. jeffra says

    Don’t try to analyse humour – or comedy – or jokes.

    You will ruin the experience for yourself.

    Just understand that most humour – by far the majority – relies upon the shock value of something thoroughly unpleasant or repulsive. Schadenfreude takes a big part in this, too.

    Every sitcom joke, for example, depends upon the humiliation of somebody or other – the stupid father; the arrogant wife; the petulant child.

    Would you have us restrict ourselves to (only) jokes which rely on the nature of the English language?

    They’re not very punny after a wile.

  11. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    virtualsatyr wrote:

    Once a heckler speaks up, the comedian will do whatever they can to embarrass that person.

    Exactly! So when a guy who you think has a big nose heckles you, it’s totes okay to tell him to sit his motherfucking kike ass down or you’ll exterminate him like the Germans did his grandparents, amirite?

  12. says

    This kind of “comedy” (excuse me while I puke) is just plain ol’ bullying, all dressed up in fancy costume for commercial exploitation. It’s made by bullies, for a public that consist in a few bullies themselves, their fan-clubs and acolytes, plus a mass of hypnotized onlookers who laugh all the louder to avoid paying attention to their own fear.

  13. says

    comedy is not what tosh does.

    tosh is that guy in the office who watched all the funny TV shows last night and repeats the best lines ad nauseum in an effort to get a rise out of his coworkers, persistently oblivious to the fact that nobody finds his parroting of other people’s jokes funny, and people are not amused by references to things they’ve already seen.

    the only difference is the guy at your work who does that is in accounting, and daniel tosh’s job is actually to be that dude.

    his audience consists mostly of that dude.

  14. loreo says

    Okay, comics can joke about anything. But if both the setup and punchline of your joke is “People get raped sometimes!” then you’re a shitty comic.

  15. Brownian says

    10 July 2012 at 8:22 pm
    Don’t try to analyse humour – or comedy – or jokes.

    You will ruin the experience for yourself.

    That’s bullshit. There’s an art to comedy, and like any other art, understanding it only enhances the experience.

  16. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    jeffra wrote:

    Every sitcom joke, for example, depends upon the humiliation of somebody or other – the stupid father; the arrogant wife; the petulant child.

    You don’t see any difference between those three types of people you listed? None at all?

  17. arydant says

    Well, I tried to write a comedy skit for the Freethought Follies a few years ago that dealt with priests raping nuns – which is a big problem that the Church hasn’t quite gotten sued up the ass for yet. My thinking at the time was that as “Free thinking” as the “Freethought Follies” was, I could get some constructive feedback about the material and adapt the draft material into something that could be substantive in performance. After all, comedy is about the only way we as a society can break through our fears and prejudices, right? Instead, I was lambasted by some of the committee members and I ended up leaving the group never to return. If so called “freethinking” people can’t wrap their heads around the issue of rape, then who can? We as a society are not ready to face the issue.

  18. says

    Tosh tweeted: ”The point I was making before I was heckled is there are awful things in the world but you can still make jokes about them,”

    Actually I agree with this…but that was not remotely the point he was making. If he thinks that was the point he was making, he’s too stupid to be a comic.

    I was going to say that this is Tosh’s normal shtick, so going to see a guy known for doing things like making rape jokes and then being bothered by rape jokes is like going to a Klan rally and being offended by all the racism. But the person in question says she had no idea who he was or that he was going to be performing at the time, so I can’t blame her at all for being royally pissed. I’d say I wouldn’t blame her if she’d decided instead to burn the theater to the ground, but there were probably at least a few people present who likewise had no intention to see Daniel Tosh attempt to be funny.

  19. mythbri says

    I had a friend who told me that Tosh is actually mocking the views that he “jokingly espouses”.

    Well, Tosh, if your comedy persona is completely indistinguishable from the people that you mock, ur doin’ it rong. The wrong people are laughing, for the wrong reasons. This looks as though it’s shaping up to be a repeat of the conversation that was had after GAC, when the vile comedy of what’s-his-name was discussed at length at other FTBlogs.

    To those of you who might be saying that “nothing is sacred”. That’s not the issue. The issue is the people that are affected by those kinds of jokes. The issue is the potential for making someone re-live the worst experience of their life in the middle of what is supposed to be a good time. It’s not “bold” or “edgy” to joke about rape. It’s not funny because it “shocks the prudes”. It hurts real people.

    You don’t need to care about that. But I’m free to judge you if you prioritize your “right” to joke about rape over people who have actually been raped.

  20. John Morales says

    [meta]

    I don’t know, has his career taken a hit? It might be hard to tell — hosting a youtube clips show on basic cable isn’t exactly the pinnacle of comedy.

    Segue to snideness works for me.

  21. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    Why is it that so many people seem to struggle with what is (to me) the very simple concept of can ≠ should?

  22. Brownian says

    After all, comedy is about the only way we as a society can break through our fears and prejudices, right?

    Who is saying this? Who are you expecting to agree with you?

    Fuck people, ‘comedy’ and ‘freethought’ are not magic words you can invoke to magically make you not sound stupid.

  23. says

    Thank you Virtualsatyr.

    @Ms. Daisy Cutter – Did I say that they could never be questioned? I was purely using it as an example of a cruel topic made humorous.

    Just in general…
    Obviously rape is a bad thing. I am not arguing for rape being amazing. But telling jokes about it is completely different. I would guarantee 99.99999% people in an audience are going to be able to distinguish between a comedian making light of a horrific issue instead of advocating its use.

    Or how about using these atrocities to shed light on new issues? A wonderful example is Jim Jefferies on peoples’ biased views on atheists.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3X5f3gY4iw&feature=related

    You really should watch the whole standup to get all of the references but this 7 minutes will give u the jist. Starts around 6:30ish.

  24. joed says

    who are these commenters here that think rape is funny, that think rape is a joke. Obviously these folks don’t know many women. and don’t tell me men are raped too as though I don’t know that.
    bullying, intimidation, assault, attempt to rape, these are all hateful and hurtful and wrong. Making a joke about this is disgusting. who are these people that enjoy rape jokes or think it is humor.

  25. says

    @codylawson

    Making rape jokes is one thing, they aren’t funny at all, but that’s another topic.

    The point here is how he responded to her. What if she, or someone close to her, was a rape victim? Maybe killed by a rapist? It is surely common enough.

    As someone else pointed out, if a person was clearly a Jew (somehow), would you make fun of his or her grandparents being murdered? Just to silence them when heckling? Would that be OK?

  26. DrVanNostrand says

    @codylawson #6

    Cartman is quite a different case. He’s clearly depicted as a sociopath, and so the blatant racism, misogyny, etc… is actually ridiculed by the fact that it is coming out of his mouth.

  27. says

    Don’t try to analyse humour – or comedy – or jokes.
    You will ruin the experience for yourself.

    The experience? Ah, yes, the shared joy of sitting in a crowd of people, guffawing over the discomfort of a woman at being collectively pictured as the victim of a gang rape. Wow, I’d feel deprived if I missed out on that.

    Every sitcom joke, for example, depends upon the humiliation of somebody or other – the stupid father; the arrogant wife; the petulant child.

    And that’s why sitcoms suck.
    This wasn’t some archetype being poked at on TV–it was an actual living, breathing human being sitting in the audience.

    Would you have us restrict ourselves to (only) jokes which rely on the nature of the English language?

    Eliminating rape jokes leaves only puns? I think that’s a shortfall in your creative abilities.

  28. Brownian says

    Or how about using these atrocities to shed light on new issues?

    That’s actually the key. Just because some skilled comics can use black comedy to skillfully critique society doesn’t mean that every hack rape joke is ground breaking.

    In fact, jokes relying on stereotypes are particularly problematic in this regard because by definition they’re treading old, well-worn ground.

  29. Gregory Greenwood says

    This just goes to show how very pervasive rape culture is – the fact that the audience just laughed along when this repugnant misogynist actually suggested that gang rape should be viewed as funny is damning indeed.

    codylawson @ 6

    You do realize just because you make a joke about something doesn’t mean the person making the joke actually wants or believes it will happen right? It’s just shock humor.

    So, saying that;

    “Wouldn’t it be funny if that black guy got lynched by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just lynched him…”

    Would simply be humour, and totally OK because the idiot saying it doesn’t really intend for there to be a lynching, it was just done for laughs? Because apparently violent bigotry is hilarious all of a sudden?

    If that wouldn’t be OK with you, then why is rape different? It wouldn’t be because society is still mired in such a pervasive rape culture that people see the sexual objectification and rape of women as something that is an acceptable source of comedy, would it…?

    —————————————————————-

    virtualsatyr @ 10;

    Not going to try to explain why something is funny, that is up to the individual.

    Anyone who finds rape, or the prospect thereof, funny should seek professional help immediately. This is not something anyone should ever joke about.

    If comedy has one rule, it is this: nothing is sacred.

    I care nothing for the notional ‘rules’ of comedy – bigotry is bigotry, and saying it is being done in some supposedly humourous fashion is no excuse.

    So rape is just as good to joke about as anything else.

    Not to anyone with an ounce of empathy.

    Also, comedians hate getting heckled. Once a heckler speaks up, the comedian will do whatever they can to embarrass that person.

    Ah, I see – so it was a case of those oh-so important delicate man fee-fees getting bruised again? I fail to see how that is any kind of excuse. This cretin makes his living mocking others, afterall; if he can’t take a little criticism without spewing hateful bigotry, maybe he should consider a change of career.

  30. marilove says

    He is not all that funny and eventually his star power will fade. I mean, look at Dane Cook. They are really the same comedian, aren’t they?

    He’s just a mediocre comedian, really, and the fact that he was opening up for Dane Cook is a pretty good indication of where his career is going.

    What do y’all think of Louis CK? He has done a few rape jokes. I find them funny, although I understand why some might. But he is one of the few people who can do “offensive” and it actually MEANS something, rather than just being shocking and offensive for the sake of it.

    Tracy Morgan had that problem, I think: He was shocking just to be shocking. (I actually think Tracy Morgan’s apology was fantastic and his actions after were also very telling. I have forgiven him totally. Something tells me we won’t get the same from Tosh. :/)

  31. tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach says

    If only there were some sort of near-magical way people could gain some sort of sympathy for other people that have been subjected to horrors like rape, violent attacks, torture – or even relatively less unpleasantness like being bullied or oh no! being told you’re a privileged git. Some sort of way of seeing the other persons view. We could give it a nice snappy name; maybe something like ‘empathy’.
    If only….

  32. says

    Obviously rape is a bad thing. I am not arguing for rape being amazing. But telling jokes about it is completely different.

    Perhaps, but Tosh wasn’t trying to shed light on rape and how horrible it is. He was saying rape is funny all the time and he wanted his heckler to get gang-raped.

    Not funny.

  33. simonsays says

    fwiw, Tosh’s humor on his show Tosh.0 often also seems racist to me.

    It’s just odd that people can have a sense of shame about racism

    As for this, I’m not sure I agree. Yes, it’s no longer acceptable for white people to use the ‘n’ word or call black people ‘boy’ etc. and surely we can call that progress. However let’s not kid ourselves that many of the same attitudes don’t still re-surface via code words, dog whistles, and double standards.

    There are people who argue that it’s arguably harder to advocate against these more subtle racist signals and gestures since the racism is no longer out in the open.

  34. marilove says

    and the fact that he was opening up for

    ~~ Scratch that. It was the other way around. Dane cook was the first act. Which is still really telling. Dane Cook is a shitty comedian.

  35. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    And every rapist in that audience laughed, and felt good that being a rapist was okay! Look at all the support for rape! Rape IS hilarious, isn’t it, and they’re not monsters for doing it! And this is why they feel okay raping, and why they’ll go on to rape again without feeling bad at all!

    Note that while it is hypothetically possible for that particular audience to be devoid of anyone who has ever raped, self-reporting statistics on rape when not *using* the word rape mean that the probability is quite high that someone in the audience WAS a rapist. A rapist who felt encouraged and welcomed by how funny rape was!

    If you don’t want to be on Team Rape-is-Awesome, not trivializing rape goes a long way. It’s called rape culture, you either help perpetuate it or you help dismantle it. It would have been awesome if someone in the audience had jumped up and said “Yeah! [graphic description of rape including blood, bodily trauma, sobbing, crying, violence, PSTD] is totally hilarious!” You know, just to be clear exactly what we’re talking about when we say gang rape.

    Fucking despicable.

  36. nonny says

    I’ve never heard of Daniel Tosh before today. Sounds like that was a good thing. I looked him up on youtube and he makes a joke about the hurricane hitting New Orleans being a good thing because people in New Orleans ‘need a bath’. He’s an asshole.

    Cody- Within the context of the show Cartman is shown time and again to be an amoral psycopath. We’re not meant to agree with him. He’s supposed to be seen as a monster.

    I think there should be some limits to what it’s okay to joke about. Rape would be one of those limits, so would murder and tragedies like the holocaust.

  37. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    Actually, there’s been a few mentions on Twitter that Tosh has apologised – which I suspect is true – but I haven’t yet seen a link to his exact words. I’d like to think this can be turned into a teaching moment if nothing else.

  38. A Hermit says

    There was a time when live cat burning was considered good family entertainment…we need to work toward the day when acts like Tosh’s will be viewed in the same way that cat burning is today…

    And much as I love George Carlin, I never liked that “rape can be funny” bit…too much of that “let’s be outrageous just for the sake of being outrageous” thing going on there and no real humour.

  39. virtualsatyr says

    I do know a woman who was raped. She was raped when she was 18 years old, so bad in fact, she could no longer have children. That woman and the man she would eventually marry went on to adopt a 3 month child. That child was me.

    Also, I think rape jokes can be funny in the right context. For example, an episode of “Family Guy” featured Aquaman attempting to rescue a woman that was about to be raped. He couldn’t rescue her because she was on the beach and he was stuck in the ocean, where is powers are most relevant. I had a good laugh out of this.

    Then again, I do have a sick sense of humor. This does not mean that If I saw an actual rape in progress, I would just stand back and laugh. I would probably give some pointers.

    See, that was a joke. In reality, I would do whatever I could to stop the rape and make sure the rapist did not get away.

  40. pipenta says

    *sigh*

    You know one thing an abuser in a relationship likes to do?

    He/she likes to tease his/her partner in a way that actually hurts them. But when asked to cease, he/she will not. Sez “It’s only a joke.” Sez “It’s really just funny.” Sez “U R 2 SENSITIVE!” Sez “You have to get a sense of humor!” Har, har, har.

    Um, sound familiar?

    codylawson, you blend cluelessness with smugness in a special way. Are you Bill O’Reilly in disguise?

  41. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    virtualsatyr, you’re really not going to enjoy what happens now.

  42. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Go take a nap in an incinerator virtualsatyr. You repugnant fuck. You don’t deserve your mother.

  43. says

    Leaving aside the question about whether a rape joke can be funny in the abstract, there’s a difference between telling a joke about rape and pointing to a specific person in the room and saying something about that specific person being raped. To all the idiots defending Tosh, I have to ask: do you understand the difference between a joke about cancer, and someone pointing at you and saying “wouldn’t it be funny if your mom died of cancer right now!”?

  44. hieropants says

    Just understand that most humour – by far the majority – relies upon the shock value of something thoroughly unpleasant or repulsive. Schadenfreude takes a big part in this, too.

    “Shock value” isn’t enough – in order for comedy to be funny, it has to also be unexpected or surprising in some way. Men threatening women with rape for saying something they don’t like isn’t unexpected, it’s just depressingly common. There’s no punchline here, he’s just reinforcing the status quo.

  45. virtualsatyr says

    wowbagger, that sounds like an actual threat. But if you’re joking, I’ll accept that for what it is.

  46. marilove says

    “All the out of context misquotes aside, I’d like to sincerely apologize”

    “the point i was making before i was heckled is there are awful things in the world but you can still make jokes about them. ‪#deadbabies‬”

    Well, maybe he said “I’d like to sincerely apologize” but somehow, I question that sincerity.

  47. says

    @virtualsatyr

    You should have stopped with that first paragraph …

    Also, Family Guy is full of sick jokes that aren’t funny and sometimes very offensive and insensitive. Sometimes they target my group, sometimes others. It is also full of other things that I think is very funny. I am very torn between loving and hating Seth MacFarlane’s work.

  48. Gregory Greenwood says

    Somonsays @ 45;

    I had a look Tosh tweets, and I am seeing something that looks an awful lot like a casual not-pology to me;

    all the out of context misquotes aside, i’d like to sincerely apologize

    Essentially; “I am really sorry that people didn’t understand me/ wilfully misquoted what I was saying to make me look bad”.

    This is not exactly a good start.

    the point i was making before i was heckled is there are awful things in the world but you can still make jokes about them. ‪

    How, exactly, does this gel with;

    “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…”

    That sounds to me like he was saying that rape in and of itself was funny in his eyes (which makes him utterly repellant to me). It certainly did not come across as him trying to raise raise awareness of the terrible things that happen in the world through humour (however ill advised).

    Some things go beyond the scope of humour. There are things that are so traumatic, so terrible that no one should ever joke about them. Functional, ethical people realise that rape is one of those things. It seems like Tosh still has a way to go.

    I am not seeing anything approaching a sincere apology here – I see a cynical not-pology issued only because the risible little git is beginning to fear for his career, and so is engaging in attempted damage limitation.

  49. 'Tis Himself says

    virtualsatyr

    This is not a joke. I am not joking. Fuck yourself with a decaying porcupine up your rosy red rectum.

    Did I mention that I wasn’t joking? If you felt like laughing, then you don’t understand what I was saying about not joking.

  50. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    virtualsatyr wrote:

    wowbagger, that sounds like an actual threat. But if you’re joking, I’ll accept that for what it is.

    False dichotomy. It was neither a threat nor a joke; it was a prediction. The regulars do not find rape ‘jokes’ of the kind you allude to even vaguely amusing, and will treat those who do with unkindness – an unkindness of words, I mean, just in case you were still unclear.

    Just so you know, actual threates of violence are as unwelcome here as rape/rape culture apologists.

  51. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    Goodness, I’ve gone all olde worlde in my spelling.

  52. says

    Eh, looks like the thread tripled in size while I was thinking about this, but I’ll post on regardless:

    I don’t know this Tosh, and it sounds like I doubt I’ll want to. It looks to me as if, at the very least, the comedian needs to apologise properly (and not in 114 characters), not to mention the audience. And if I had been there, I can’t say I wouldn’t need to apologise as well.

    One of the more common mistakes that everybody makes and have to make amends for is laughing at inappropriate jokes. We’ve all done it. If you’re at the guy’s show, you’re already laughing, have been for the length of a show (or half or whatever), the comedian gets heckled in a not-funny way, and he comes back quickly with an inappropriate and paradoxical image, chances are you’re going to laugh before properly processing the moral rights and wrongs of the situation.

    The question, Is this funny? can often only be answered by, It’s complicated.

    Tosh sounds like a toss-pot, but I’ll note that he’s a professional comedian and by heckling him you’re playing on his home ground. Don’t do it unless you’re well prepared. Say something funny first, or as funny as he is — I suggest future heckles should take the form of “Wouldn’t it be funny if you [Tosh] were raped right now?” — or do a proper protest, with banners and friends and disruptive songs about what a twat nekulturny he is.

  53. virtualsatyr says

    Again, jokes are subjective. What’s funny to you may or may not be funny to someone else. The reason why I posted the joke I did show a point, people were going to be offended by it.

    Now, was anyone actually hurt? Did anyone truly get emotionally damaged over it? No, it was a joke. A bad one? Sure. Offensive? Yes.

    Now, I understand a rape victim would be very upset at the joke. However, it must be stated that the joke was not personal in anyway. Just because you identify yourself in a group, it doesn’t mean any jokes dealing with said group is a direct attack at you in anyway.

    Let’s say we outright ban rape jokes. It offends people and upsets anyone that was raped. Next up, people that have lost a child want to ban dead baby jokes. After that, people religious people want all religious jokes banned. Blondes want blonde jokes banned. Fat people want fat jokes banned. ETC ETC

  54. mythbri says

    @Wowbagger

    It If A Commente of No Commone Parlance. Verily, Threates of A Violente Nature has A Ringe To It.

  55. virtualsatyr says

    Thank you wowbagger, I just wanted to makes sure I was clear with your intentions.

  56. says

    I think there are topics who’s reality genuinely escape most people. I confess that until I volunteered at a crisis intervention center and encountered battery and rape in vivo, my mind just wasn’t fully wrapped around the actual horror of the experience. Prior to this, in my mind, of course knew these things were bad, but when I first helped a victim it became obvious that that abstract understanding didn’t cut very much ice. These things belong to a class that just isn’t properly understood in the abstract.

    I think the best thing we can say about Tosh and his audience is that that abstract level was the only one they had at hand, and they behaved accordingly.

    Of course the other thing I learned meeting women who’d been raped or abused is that the attacks were not wholly independent from the genuinely cavalier attitudes about violence and rape in general circulation. So Tosh and/or his peeps probably weren’t just stupid about the reality sexual violence. Not completely.

    So no PZ. To hell with them.
    The problem is not your failure to understand comedy. That’s not producing the disconnect here. Its their failure to understand rape.

  57. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Stupid fuck goes right to “ban.” You lot are all of a type, aren’t you? Never wanna fill out forms in triplicate.

  58. mythbri says

    @virtualsatyr

    No one is talking about banning anything. This isn’t a free speech issue. The issue is this:

    A. Making rape jokes is asshole-ish.
    B. Tosh made a rape joke, and doubled-down when called on it.
    C. In this way, at least, Tosh is an asshole.

    Again, this isn’t about banning. This is about criticizing something as unacceptable in decent comedy, and conversation.

    Also, I’m sorry to hear that about your mom. Do you ever wonder what she thinks when she hears jokes like this?

  59. carlie says

    I do know a woman who was raped. She was raped when she was 18 years old, so bad in fact, she could no longer have children. That woman and the man she would eventually marry went on to adopt a 3 month child. That child was me.

    Guess what? That doesn’t give you a get out of jail free card. Just because your mom was raped doesn’t mean you get to make rape jokes.

    Also, I think rape jokes can be funny in the right context. For example, an episode of “Family Guy” featured Aquaman attempting to rescue a woman that was about to be raped. He couldn’t rescue her because she was on the beach and he was stuck in the ocean, where is powers are most relevant. I had a good laugh out of this.

    Sure. Family Guy. Great example you have there. Wow, it’s so funny that Aquaman didn’t have any powers so the woman got raped anyway. There’s no way they could have made that kind of joke without rape being the thing that happened on the beach. Just good, clean fun. It’s funny when women get raped! Ha ha!

    Fucker.

  60. Gregory Greenwood says

    @ virtualsatyr;

    There is a three post rule here. You have had your three posts, and have used then to attempt to excuse rape jokes, and specifically to defend Tosh’s wilfull use of rape ‘humour’ to shame a woman who pointed out how offensive his act was. You have burned through all your good will here, and the Horde is about to open up on you. That is what Wowbagger was referring to.

    And before you ask, ‘Tis Himself’s post @ 56 was not a threat either – that was an invitation to carnal relations with a decaying porcupine, an ongoing meme on pharyngula where we suggest that people who do things like excuse rape humour should find inventive uses for sadly deceased porcupines in an advanced state of decompostion. No one is going to make you do anything involving unpleasant spine-related intimate chafing, or will suggest that you should be made to do so, or that it would be funny if you were made to do so. It is merely a colourful expression of our disdain for your position.

  61. says

    @Wowbagger – and physioproffe rejoices.

    @virtualsatyr – who the fuck is talking about banning?
    And

    Now, was anyone actually hurt? Did anyone truly get emotionally damaged over it? No, it was a joke

    Seriously? Are you somehow not aware that people do, in fact, get “emotionally damaged” by rape jokes?

  62. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    virtualsatyr wrote:

    Again, jokes are subjective. What’s funny to you may or may not be funny to someone else.

    Yes, and to racist bigots, jokes about lynching niggers and herding Jews into gas chambers would be a real laff riot. Yet not many comedians do that – why do you think that is?

    And why would you think we would care if people who are fucking assholes are denied the opporunity to laugh at stuff that is truly fucking reprehensible?

    Claiming something is protected because someone thinks it’s funny is not a free pass to not being called out for being a fucking asshole.

  63. says

    Arydant:

    After all, comedy is about the only way we as a society can break through our fears and prejudices, right?

    Who’s “our” here? Because rape victims have very different fears than I suspect you do. And you don’t have a right to tell them how they “should” process them.

    Mythbri:

    I had a friend who told me that Tosh is actually mocking the views that he “jokingly espouses”.

    Hipster misogyny.

    Codylawson:

    I would guarantee 99.99999% people in an audience are going to be able to distinguish between a comedian making light of a horrific issue instead of advocating its use.

    In a society where rape victims are still routinely blamed and their actions questioned, while every excuse is made for rapists? Don’t bet on it.

    Feralboy12:

    And that’s why sitcoms suck.

    Precisely. Very, very few of them have ever been genuinely funny.

    Simonsays:

    However let’s not kid ourselves that many of the same attitudes don’t still re-surface via code words, dog whistles, and double standards.

    Very, very true.

    A Hermit, I agree with you about George Carlin. Very funny and astute man, but not infallible.

    Virtualsatyr:

    However, it must be stated that the joke was not personal in anyway.

    Naw, nothing personal about telling someone that she ought to be gang-raped, right? I mean, it’s not something that’s likely to happen to a real person (i.e., a man), so it’s all a bunch of haw-haw-haw, amirite?

    Blondes want blonde jokes banned. Fat people want fat jokes banned.

    Yeah, I can’t imagine why people might get upset at jokes based in misogyny, and/or jokes based on mocking a physical trait not entirely under one’s control and associated strongly with being female, poor, or of color….

    Did anyone truly get emotionally damaged over it?

    Fucking ignoramus.

  64. chiptuneist says

    virtualsatyr

    Then again, I do have a sick sense of humor. This does not mean that If I saw an actual rape in progress, I would just stand back and laugh. I would probably give some pointers.

    What the fuck is wrong with you? You think this is funny? You think it’s just oh so fucking hilarious to suggest that there’s something funny about the idea of someone witnessing a rape in progress and ENCOURAGING the assailant? Did it just not occur to you that there might be people in this very thread who have had to LIVE through such an experience? What the fuck do you think would go through the mind of that person when they read your sick little ‘joke’? Do you think they would be laughing?

    Now, I understand a rape victim would be very upset at the joke. However, it must be stated that the joke was not personal in anyway. Just because you identify yourself in a group, it doesn’t mean any jokes dealing with said group is a direct attack at you in anyway.

    Oh, so you DID consider that possibility, and made that ‘joke’ anyway. You find the worst sort of trauma hilarious? You find the intense, deeply personal suffering of others amusing? You are a despicable asshole, and you scare the fuck out of me. Go away.

  65. says

    Now, was anyone actually hurt? Did anyone truly get emotionally damaged over it? No,

    you have precisely no evidence for that being true. and since rape victims do frequent the comment section of this blog, it is in fact very likely that you’ve hurt at least one of them with your joke.

    but even in the unlikely event that this didn’t happen, your joke is one more bit of microaggression that props up the rape culture that results in people getting raped as often as they do. your apologism for rape jokes and your telling of rape jokes contributes to the climate that makes rape a common occurrence in the same way that your minor actions like driving, switching on lights, etc. surely and steadily contribute to to Climate Change.

    The difference of course being that you can stop supporting rape culture right fucking now by no longer supporting rape jokes, without any reduction in your quality of life.

  66. A Hermit says

    pipenta
    10 July 2012 at 8:48 pm

    You know one thing an abuser in a relationship likes to do?

    He/she likes to tease his/her partner in a way that actually hurts them. But when asked to cease, he/she will not. Sez “It’s only a joke.” Sez “It’s really just funny.” Sez “U R 2 SENSITIVE!”

    QFT

    The whole “it’s just a joke” bit is victim blaming 101…a way of avoiding taking responsibility for one’s own bad behaviour by shifting it onto the person who was attacked.

  67. says

    @virtualsatyr

    Now, I understand a rape victim would be very upset at the joke. However, it must be stated that the joke was not personal in anyway. Just because you identify yourself in a group, it doesn’t mean any jokes dealing with said group is a direct attack at you in anyway.

    Now you’re showing you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Does the word “triggering” mean anything top you? You seem to understand that if this woman happened to be a rape victim, this could – or most probably would – be horribly upsetting. Do you also understand if a person targeted of a joke belongs to a commonly harassed group that even if such a comment wasn’t “personal” it can trigger a lot of pain?

    You also use the words “identify yourself in” as if all groups people are assigned to are by choice. We’re not talking about Republican jokes here. We’re talking about things like racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexual abuse, a whole list of things that affect people through no fault of their own.

    Also, your mother is not a “get out of rape jokes free card”.

  68. Brad says

    Rape can be a component in humorous material
    To say rape jokes are never funny is literally false. They’re rarely actually funny, and Tosh’s certainly was not, but we can hold ourselves to a better standard on absolutist language. Rape culture is bad, and we are rightly attempting to ostracize those who make rape “jokes”, but I submit there’s a meaningful distinction to be made between “rape ‘jokes'” which are a sign of rape culture, and jokes about or including rape which are actually funny.

    .

    The penny-arcade guys responded poorly, but the initial “raped to sleep by dickwolves” comic was actually a good critique of how video games are weird sometimes about the hero not actually rescuing everyone from whatever, even though there’s nothing in-universe that would be stopping you. Also, the phrase used, and the concept of a dickwolf are ridiculous, and I can’t fault somebody for laughing at or being amused by ridiculous things. That in no way justifies or excuses the team rape shirts or other responses and escalation from the following comic, and their continued attitudes, but before all that happened, it was fine.

  69. says

    Let’s say we outright ban rape jokes. It offends people and upsets anyone that was raped.

    no you fucking idiot, it harms people and it contributes to the climate that results in rape being common. “offensive” is not the fucking point, and fuck you for minimizing rape victims pain and the triggering of PTSD by saying they merely get offended and upset.

  70. virtualsatyr says

    @’Tis Himself You’re upset, it’s unfortunate.

    @mythbri I never accused anyone of wanting to ban them. Merely providing a point.

    A: It might be, but there are people who find them funny. They maybe assholes themselves. I know I can be.
    B&C: Yes, he is. He has never shied away from it.

    You can criticize it. All you want. That doesn’t change the fact that what’s funny is in the eye of the beholder. So saying what Tosh did was unacceptable and unfunny is not a statement of fact, but opinion.

    When going to a comedy show, you should know what kind of comedy it’s going to be before you go in there, if you can. If it’s not something you find funny, leave.

    And thank you. I do not tell her rape jokes myself. I am not that insensitive. (in case anyone was wondering) For the most part, she steers clear of that kind of humor. So, I really can’t say how she reacts to rape jokes, cause I have yet seen her hear any.

  71. says

    You know, the last time we had rape as a subject of a thread, I did have to ban a few people. It seems to lure in the assholes for hammering.

    Just saying.

  72. nonny says

    mythbri- Thanks for the link, it was very enlightening even if it’s emotionally tough to read.

    virtualsatyr- how do you think your mother would have felt if she watched the aquaman scene? Personally it made me feel sick.

    There’s a difference between jokes about rape or babies dying and jokes about religion. The first two are making light of personal tragedies, the second is mocking a belief system. The amount of emotional distress caused to a man who had lost his infant son when hearing a ‘dead baby’ joke is not comparable to how a Christian would feel if someone makes a joke about Christianity.

  73. says

    And thank you. I do not tell her rape jokes myself. I am not that insensitive.

    But you’ll tell rape jokes around other survivors. Thanks. Thanks a fucking lot. You’re not insensitive *at all*.

  74. virtualsatyr says

    So, joking about rape leads to rape. This is a claim I would like to see examples of.

  75. says

    Merely providing a point.

    while red herrings and non sequiturs can, strictly speaking, be considered “points” of some sort, they’re not actually ever points relevant to the discussion in which they are brought up. just FYI.

    It might be, but there are people who find them funny.

    and some people find torturing animals funny. some people find torture and abuse of humans funny. not joking about them, but actually doing it. “some people find it funny” is a nonargument when discussing the ethics of something.

  76. dianne says

    I’ve never heard of this tosh before, but he sounds like the laziest and most incompetent sort of “comedian”. He’s obviously also a misogynist. There are misogynists who are good comedians. He’s not one of them. I think he’s earned the worst characterization that any “edgy” artist can earn: he’s trite.

    I suppose it’s theoretically possible that there might be some humor to be found in rape jokes, somewhere or another. But it could only be found by a sensitive, competent comedian who was informed about social context and understood the joke s/he was making. Tosh just doesn’t seem to have it in him.

  77. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    virtualsatyr wrote:

    So saying what Tosh did was unacceptable and unfunny is not a statement of fact, but opinion.

    Unacceptable and unfunny to people who aren’t fucking assholes. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather live in a world where people didn’t cater to the taste of fucking assholes, as well the fact that this sort of humour contributes to rape culture.

    Do you know what rape culture is, virtualsatyr?

  78. mythbri says

    @Brad

    I think that there can be a (tentative) distinction between “rape jokes” and the satire of rape culture. This has actually come up in conversation on FTBlogs before. For example, The Onion actually has some funny-because-they’re-really-true articles that deal with rape. See below:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/candidate-turns-to-focus-group-for-position-on-rap,3384/

    Absurd because everyone should know that rape is a bad thing, because politicians can’t/don’t/won’t hold their own opinions, etc.

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/nations-10yearold-boys-if-you-see-someone-raping-u,26724/

    Absurd because HELLO, WHY WOULDN’T YOU CALL THE POLICE IF YOU SAW A CHILD BEING RAPED?

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/raped-environment-led-polluters-on-defense-attorne,817/

    Painfully absurd because it repeats all of the victim-blaming tropes in the context of the environment.

    All funny in a dark comedic way. All satirizing rape culture and common perceptions/opinions during discussions of rape.

    But this is hard to do, and there are lots of times that it fails or backfires.

  79. carlie says

    And thank you. I do not tell her rape jokes myself. I am not that insensitive.

    Interesting. Why not? How is that any different than Tosh telling rape jokes in a room full of people he’s never met, which is statistically pretty much certain to have rape survivors in it? Why the hell don’t you tell her rape jokes, if you think they’re that funny? And if you somehow, deep down in your brain, realize that’s a fucking awful thing to do, why can’t you transfer that knowledge to situations involving other people?

  80. says

    for that matter, to stick to the Climate Change analogy, it’s well known that no single heatwave can be directly linked to any single instance of CO2 emission.

    and yet, CO2 emissions, in the aggregate, cause more frequent and more extreme heatwaves.

    rape culture works the same.

  81. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Oh, and slimepit? Your cloaking technology is a century out of date. Our sensors picked up your Douche class scoutship VS before it even entered the FtB system.

    Dumb fucks.

  82. virtualsatyr says

    Forgive me people, I forgot where I was. This is FreeThoughtBlog, where words are given the definition that best suits an argument. Where people are banned because they disagree with blog author.

    Instead of replying about how a joke about something is widely different than the act of doing it, I will take my leave before I get ganged up on.

    Have a nice day.

  83. joed says

    @46 virtualsatyr
    I bet your mom just loved that joke didn’t she.
    You sound like one sick fuckhead.
    I don’t believe a word you wrote at 46.

  84. says

    Instead of replying about how a joke about something is widely different than the act of doing it

    the fact that you think this would be a response or refutation to anything anyone said is evidence that you are illiterate and ignorant.

    I will take my leave before I get ganged up on.

    coward

  85. hieropants says

    You know, I understand the appeal of gallows humor, the use of comedy about terrible situations as a way to lessen its impact so you can process it better. The thing is, though, it lessens its impact – that’s not necessarily a good thing.

    For instance, when the place I worked at was suddenly closed down by corporate higher-ups and everyone who worked there was fired, we responded by going to a bar and making terrible jokes about ourselves at our own expense. This allowed us to work through the shock of sudden unemployment both by minimizing the damage done to us and strengthening the social bond between a group of people who suddenly all had the same problem.

    On the other hand, when the guy who was sent to shut us down broke the news to us with a “the good news is, the shipment came in! The bad news is, you’re all fired” joke, that made him a giant asshole. Because he was making that joke to make himself feel less uncomfortable about firing us – it was a joke at our expense, intended to reinforce the fact that our problems did not matter to him.

    You can’t just wave this kind of thing away by saying it’s black humor and therefore is supposed to be upsetting, because no – black humor is not supposed to be upsetting. You’re supposed to use it to deal with your own problems, not use it to dismiss other people’s. That reinforces the idea that other people’s tragedies are not really all that important, so you don’t have to care about them.

  86. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    the cowardly virtualsatyr wrote as he fled:

    Have a nice day.

    We’ll have a nicer one now that you’ve taken your remarkably clueless, intellectually dishonest scumbag self off our lawn.

  87. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Dear assholes in this thread still going on about the “nature of comedy,” here’s a hint. Shut the fuck up. That’s just the first step, though. Shut the fuck up, then go read this. It was already linked by mythbri at 35, but I’m pretty fucking sure that if you’re still babbling in this vein, you didn’t read it.
    Virtualsatyr in particular, you’re a fucking monster. Do you realize how many fucking rape survivors there are here? Do you really think that a fucking disgusting joke about giving pointers to a rapist is even slightly okay here?

  88. says

    You know, I understand the appeal of gallows humor, the use of comedy about terrible situations as a way to lessen its impact so you can process it better. The thing is, though, it lessens its impact – that’s not necessarily a good thing.

    Also, gallows humor is traditionally said by the people in the terrible situation to other people in that situation. Frequently as a way of commiserating, and as a way of laughing in the face of whatever terrible situation they are stuck in.

  89. carlie says

    hieropants, that is the best explanation of dark humor I’ve ever read. Thanks for that.

  90. dianne says

    Forgive me people, I forgot where I was. This is FreeThoughtBlog, where words are given the definition that best suits an argument. Where people are banned because they disagree with blog author.

    Oh, stop whining. You’re losing the argument because you took an untenable position and are arguing it poorly. You’re being obliquely threatened with banning because you’re being offensive and boring. It has nothing to do with your disagreement. People from random drive by commenters to the author’s daughter have expressed disagreement without the slightest risk of being banned. Try to be a bit less of a brainless jerk and your risk of being banned will drop drastically.

  91. klatu says

    “But but but… he makes racist/ableist/sexist/transphobic/rape jokes ironically!!1!”

    Funny how you get a pass on bigotry when you conceal it behind a veneer of smug superiority (“sexism is just so passé”). Except it’s still bigotry. It still perpetuates harmful stereotypes. And it almost always seems to come from people who are not in the marginalized demographic.

    Huh, I guess feminists really are humorless. Or maybe what non-feminists consider humor is really bigotry/bullying.

  92. carlie says

    If he was just using “shock humor”, then why did he get all defensive when someone got shocked by it?

  93. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    Forgive me people, I forgot where I was. This is FreeThoughtBlog, where words are given the definition that best suits an argument. Where people are banned because they disagree with blog author.

    There should be an entry requirement at login where this kind of statement is shown to the prospective commenter and they are asked if they believe this is an accurate description of Pharyngula; if they answer ‘yes’, then they are told to fuck off and collect their porcupine then and there, and can leave without wasting anyone’s time dealing with them – since they inevitably run screaming and crapping themselves after the pounding their stupidity inspires.

  94. says

    @virtualsatyr

    Forgive me people, I forgot where I was. This is FreeThoughtBlog, where words are given the definition that best suits an argument. Where people are banned because they disagree with blog author.

    Ah, the infamous “freethought defence”. I believe PZ just addressed that in relation to some thunder-something guy …

  95. says

    @Brad, @virtualsatyr:

    “You can never say X is never funny, yadda, yadda”…

    Please.

    It’s not only the subject matter, it’s with whom you’re laughing and in what context. If you’re laughing with the rapists or about the person raped, you’re doing it wrong, wrong, wrong.

    And if you not-subtly-at-all threaten with rape the person in front of you who says your rape jokes are not funny, it goes well beyond just “jokes”, it’s sexual harassment. Get it, now?

  96. dianne says

    Also, gallows humor is traditionally said by the people in the terrible situation to other people in that situation.

    Exactly. Gallows humor is a joke the condemned prisoner makes, not a joke the executioner makes.

  97. says

    @DrVanNostrand 31 & @nonny 42
    I completely agree with you on the Cartman issue but in that same context could not a comedian also take on that same persona? I joke about x and y because they are bad, you know you can laugh at these because my persona is bad, from this spawns debate and awareness that the average person would not normally be exposed to.

    Granted this assumption lies beyond many of the comedians that are just douchebags but it is still a possibility. Marilyn Manson, Howard Stern, even Louis C.K. in a much milder form all fall into this more intellectual idea of popularizing the taboo.

  98. Rawnaeris says

    Fuck off virtualsatyr. Go and read about PTSD. Attempt to understand how fucking debilitating panic attacks are. If you cannot reach this basic level of compassion, don’t bother to return to comment more.

  99. Gregory Greenwood says

    virtualsatyr @ 8;

    So, joking about rape leads to rape. This is a claim I would like to see examples of.

    The concept is called ‘rape culture’. You should look it up; it will help educate you on the issues, and you will see how horrifyingly toxic the concept is. Assuming that you are actually asking this question in good faith of course, which seems less and less likley to me with your every post.

    You should also read Alukonis, metal ninja’s post @ 41. It deals with the concept very well.

    The cliff notes version – rape jokes contribute to a social atmosphere that trvialises, minimises and even normalises rape as something that ‘isn’t so bad’. It provides comfort and succour to rapists by making them feel that society is on their side, while simultaneously creating an environment where women will justifiaby feel that insensitive, supercilious arseholes like your august self will not take their experience of rape seriously.

    And when insensitive, supercilious arseholes like you are to be found in great number among law enforcement officers and the judiciary, rape victims are reasonably concerned that, even if they should go through the trauma of reporting their rape, either nothing will be done, or a victim blaming mentality will result in them being put on trial more than their rapist will be, with every minor nuance of their dress and behaviour examined for any sign that they were ‘leading their attacker on’ or otherwise ‘asking for it’.

    The overall result of this is a legal system in the UK where only 6% of reported rapes result in convictions.

    6%.

    Lower than for any other crime of comparable seriousness. Is it any surprise that rapists are emboldened to rape, when the odds of them being brought to account for their crimes are so low, and ignorant morons like Tosh constantly reinforce their belief that rape is not a big deal, and that women are just being hysterical or, worse, ‘want it really’?

    Are you really incapable of seeing the connection, or have you graduated from acting as an apologist for Tosh to outright rape apologia?

  100. says

    @Wowbagger 48 but more so general audience
    It’s actually kind of sad how violent the regulars have gotten recently. (Not you specifically, just using you for your “your not going to enjoy what you started” comment to virtualsatyr).

    I’ve had pharyngula as my homepage for a few years now and there has been such a surge just in the past few months of commenter hate. Maybe I just stayed away from the comments enough not to notice the stuff but if you argue that rape jokes are bad only to follow with a comment like “Go take a nap in an incinerator virtualsatyr. You repugnant fuck. You don’t deserve your mother.” there seems to be a bit of hypocracy.” yea that’s just messed up.

    That’s why I was trying to argue that there is a difference when you can tell someone is actually joking and when someone could legitimately mean such things. Plus it doesn’t help being only text when sarcasm gets lost to the interwebz.

    Another example are two of my best friends and old roomates. One was Cherokee and the other was Jewish. For shits and giggles they used to always make racists jokes at each other in public just to make other people think “oh shit they are really pissed/awkward.” Was this PC, no. Was this offensive, maybe to some but not to them. Was it still funny, it was to us and people in on the joke. To snowball every single instance of an inapproiate joke as something evil and vitriolic is just as bad as saying every Cherokee indian is (insult slur of choice).

    How about everyone just calm down a little, enjoy the blogs, have some healthy debates, and maybe even laugh at some jokes.

  101. jehk says

    From what I understand its less about humor and more about how comedians handle hecklers. Their goal is to shut them down immediately. How some comedians do that can cross lines. Especially the ones who are bad at going off script like Tosh.

  102. nms says

    Josh @89

    Oh, and slimepit? Your cloaking technology is a century out of date. Our sensors picked up your Douche class scoutship VS before it even entered the FtB system.

    virtualsatyr @91

    Forgive me people, I forgot where I was. This is FreeThoughtBlog, where words are given the definition that best suits an argument. Where people are banned because they disagree with blog author.

    no… kidding…

  103. Brad says

    @86 exactly, and the nation’s ten year olds is the one I apparently failed at linking to.

    Tosh wasn’t funny, and is an asshole. The aquaman thing is somewhere in the middle (imho) because he’s impotent (har har) on land and its a sex crime (see what they did there?) but as previously mentioned, you can make almost the same joke with other crimes, so not as bad as Tosh, but not great either. And of course the onion ones are actually funny.

    I think it’s legitimate to place the line between family guy and Tosh in this instance, but I understand people reacting more strongly to the auquaman one than I do. I’m also coming at this thinking of the aquaman joke as a joke about aquaman that happens to include rape rather than as a joke about rape that happens to include aquaman. Anybody who is looking at it the second way, I think that’s the wrong way to frame it, but I understand seeing it that way makes it more offensive and “rape ‘joke’ rather than “rape included in humor”.

  104. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    codylawson—do you really, really, really, really want to draw a moral equivalent between defending rape jokes and then making one and my nasty insult back? Really? Really?

  105. says

    That’s why I was trying to argue that there is a difference when you can tell someone is actually joking and when someone could legitimately mean such things.

    most of the time, when the “joke” travels down a power gradient, no there isn’t a way to distinguish with any degree of certainty whether something is a harmless joke, a veiled threat, or a form of verbal abuse/manipulation.

  106. says

    Now, I understand a rape victim would be very upset at the joke. However, it must be stated that the joke was not personal in anyway. Just because you identify yourself in a group, it doesn’t mean any jokes dealing with said group is a direct attack at you in anyway.

    Yes it was personal.

  107. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says


    I’ve had pharyngula as my homepage for a few years now and there has been such a surge just in the past few months of commenter hate.

    Do you seriously not have any idea why we are angry that someone is arguing that rape jokes are awesome?
    Here’s a hint.
    In one thread recently, over twenty posters self-identified as survivors of rape. I know for a fact that that wasn’t all of the rape survivors who are around here. And many of those who haven’t survived it themselves are empathetic human beings who understand the kind of harm rape can cause.
    People here are directly fucking harmed by these jokes. People here have PTSD that can be triggered by them, people here have heard them made by men who went on to rape them, or excuse the person who did. Some of those people are the people you’re telling to calm down. Think your shit through before you fucking post it.

  108. says

    Was it still funny, it was to us and people in on the joke.

    Yes, and you know who are “in” on the rape jokes?* Rapists. Great little club there.

    (Also, just because your friends like to do a little IRL 4chan “post-racist” trolling doesn’t make it right.)

    How about everyone just calm down a little, enjoy the blogs, have some healthy debates, and maybe even laugh at some jokes.

    How about you quit tone-trolling and stop telling people how they ought to handle shit like this.

    *Not the only.

  109. says

    To snowball every single instance of an inapproiate joke as something evil and vitriolic is just as bad as saying every Cherokee indian is (insult slur of choice).

    yep. fighting systemic oppression by calling out the microaggressions that promote them is exactly like saying bigoted things.

    also “evil” and “vitriolic” are strawmen, since the actual claim was “assholish” and “harmful”

  110. carlie says

    I’ve had pharyngula as my homepage for a few years now and there has been such a surge just in the past few months of commenter hate.

    Then surely you’ve also noticed that it came right on the heels of and during the concomitant surge of sexist douchebags, no? Think about the possible causal connections there for a minute.

    Marilyn Manson, Howard Stern, even Louis C.K. in a much milder form all fall into this more intellectual idea of popularizing the taboo.

    Howard Stern is pretty much just a douchebag. Louis CK does adopt a noticeably different persona when acting in a sexist manner to distinguish it from himself, although he has a tendency to drift over the line badly from time to time as well (see the link above)

  111. Pteryxx says

    (Slight tangent)

    ..Jadzia626’s link above is actually really important.

    I found out about Title IX by chance, through a lawyer friend. She told me, “Title IX is not just about sports. It says your college can’t make you leave school because you were raped and feel unsafe. They’re supposed to make sure the campus is not a sexually hostile environment.”

    It seemed so sensible once she’d said it, but I’d never heard anything about my supposed right to a safe educational environment ever before.

    Turns out, Title IX grants survivors of sexual assault a number of rights, by requiring schools to:

    -Adopt known grievance procedures providing for prompt and equitable resolution of sexual violence complaints
    -Investigate complaints, regardless of whether or not law enforcement is involved
    -Provide alternate housing so that victims need not live in close proximity to their attackers
    -Provide counseling, medical, and academic support services to victims

    But too many colleges aren’t fulfilling their Title IX obligations. I have survivor friends who have been pressured into staying silent in all sorts of ways, from being gently dissuaded from going through a “really draining process” to being flat out told to shut up and go home.

    That link again:

    http://www.fem2pt0.com/2012/07/09/surviving-rape-what-i-want-other-college-students-to-know-about-title-ix/

  112. says

    The aquaman thing is somewhere in the middle (imho) because he’s impotent (har har) on land and its a sex crime (see what they did there?)

    It’s also not funny because Aquaman can go on land and does have enough power to be effective *missing the point

  113. nms says

    Was this PC, no. Was this offensive, maybe to some but not to them. Was it still funny, it was to us and people in on the joke.

    You heard it here first, rape is hilarious to people who are “in on the joke”.

  114. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    It’s a real shame they are taking away our rape jokes and women kitchen jokes. all I’ll have left are my nigger and retard jokes.

    And when they take those how will I ever laugh again?

  115. says

    @Jadehawk 118
    Thank you, I’m a huge Colbert fan and completely forgot about him. That was where I was trying to go with the idea.

  116. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’ve had pharyngula as my homepage for a few years now

    Lying slimepit trolling troll is obvious.

    Seriously guys–he’s just lying.

  117. carlie says

    I’m also coming at this thinking of the aquaman joke as a joke about aquaman that happens to include rape rather than as a joke about rape that happens to include aquaman. Anybody who is looking at it the second way, I think that’s the wrong way to frame it,

    “happens to include rape” is a really, really shitty frame no matter whether it’s the primary or secondary frame. Anyone who has been raped probably wouldn’t see it as a minor part of that joke, nor would anyone who has lived with the threat of rape. There is no “happens to include rape” when you honestly understand exactly how horrible rape is. Rape is not an afterthought.

  118. says

    @nms 129
    Whoa where did you get rape is funny if your in on the joke? I was talking about what my two friends were doing.

    which was either pointless off-topic rambling, or an argument that sometimes harmful humor can still be ok and funny, as long as you’re “in on the joke”.

    which is it?

  119. nms says

    codylawson @129

    Oh so you weren’t trying to draw some kind of parallel between different kinds of “non-PC” humour and instead were going off on an unrelated tangent that had no point. I guess you can just be ignored then.

  120. richvr says

    Tosh has never been funny. His schtick is to use videos that everyone has seen already. It’s not surprising to find out that he’s an idiot.

  121. says

    @Josh
    Really you are just going ot say I am lying?

    There was a post about the band The Ocean – Origin of Species back in the scienceblogs days that originally got me into the band. This was back when I was still at Cornell so it was at least 2 years ago.

  122. says

    I’m also coming at this thinking of the aquaman joke as a joke about aquaman that happens to include rape rather than as a joke about rape that happens to include aquaman. Anybody who is looking at it the second way, I think that’s the wrong way to frame it,

    The problem is that someone actually sat down and thought that up. They chose rape. Not mugging, not anything else. Rape.

    You know what? the Joke might have even worked BETTER if it was fucking littering!

  123. Jessa says

    mythbri @24:

    It’s not “bold” or “edgy” to joke about rape.

    QFT.

    Some advice: if this guy would laugh at your joke, you aren’t being “edgy”.

  124. mythbri says

    @Brad

    Well, I’m very uncomfortable in trying to establish “comedy rules” in which humor can contain rape and still be okay, and I think you should be, too. Something are absolutely unacceptable to joke about, but in everything else humor is subjective.

    For example, I didn’t really like the Penny Arcade example that you gave in your original comment, and I definitely didn’t like what followed and the creators’ responses. But I can laugh at The Onion articles that I linked to because they are unambiguous about the wrongness of rape, and mock the societal tropes and rationalizations that are associated with it.

    As someone else in the thread mentioned, good humor and good satire is the kind that punches UP the power dynamic, not down. And seriously – rape is the act of stealing power away from the victim. Nothing but harm can be gained from reminding them of it.

  125. A Hermit says

    I’m not for banning rape humour, by the way; for the same reason I’m not for banning Holocaust revisionism. It’s better to have the filth out in the sunlight where we can see it…and of course I reserve the right to respond to it with the contempt it deserves.

    If someone thinks it’s funny that’s their right, and it’s my right to tell them what a contemptible, vile, sick, evil minded idiot they are.

    Oh dear…I fear I’m becoming a bully…

  126. says

    Besides, even if we were to grant, for sake of argument, jokes about rape can be funny and ok.

    Jokes about raping SOMEONE are never fucking ok.

    To take a random example from no where in particular (honest)

    there’s a difference between doing a date rape skit with some coworkers and telling a coworker that you’d like to tie them up in the basement and rape them.

  127. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I’m not for banning rape humour, by the way; for the same reason I’m not for banning Holocaust revisionism. It’s better to have the filth out in the sunlight where we can see it…and of course I reserve the right to respond to it with the contempt it deserves.

    Yep. People should have the freedom to let us know what vile assholes they are.

  128. LDTR says

    Why do I get the feeling we’re going to run out of dead porcupines long before we run out of rape culture apologists?

    I hope virtualsatyr’s mother never sees his comments here.

  129. carlie says

    I hope virtualsatyr’s mother never sees his comments here.

    I’m sure that virtualsatyr would have no problem with that, since it’s just humor that doesn’t hurt anybody. Can’t his mom take a joke?

    If she did see them, hopefully she’d be able to stuff some sense into him.

  130. DrVanNostrand says

    @codylawson

    You’re right that people sometimes differ on when adopting a horrible persona to mock it is OK. A defense of Tosh that I’ve often heard is exactly that. He adopts a spoiled, white, frat boy persona to mock it. I’m not sure why I don’t find that a terribly compelling argument in his case. Maybe he’s a little to on-the-nose. Anyway, his comment to the heckler was out of line regardless of anything else about him as a comedian.

  131. says

    I am talking about non-pc humour in general. The in on it comment applied only to that situation. Implying that rape is funny because one is in on the joke is totally different than making racists comments about the other persons race (as I said originally one was Cherokee and the other Jewish, that was part of their joke).

    Here’s a positive spin for rape jokes,
    How about humour as a coping mechanism? Maybe the only way one person can open up about these things is through comedy. Abuse is another situation.

    I am not defending Tosh but non-pc humour in general. Once you start taking certain subjects off the fair game board I think it becomes a slippery slope to when nothing can be funny. As I said previosly you cannot simply snowball every single rape joke as being something bad.

  132. says

    I am not defending Tosh but non-pc humour in general. Once you start taking certain subjects off the fair game board I think it becomes a slippery slope to when nothing can be funny. As I said previosly you cannot simply snowball every single rape joke as being something bad.

    How about you lose the “PC” term from your lexicon, nit wit.

  133. Rey Fox says

    I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised by Tosh trying to take up the mantle of Defender of Comedy. Trouble is that he’s way way WAY too stupid for it. He’s no George Carlin, and even Carlin had blind spots.

    I can’t believe Louis CK has been taken in by him.

    That’s bullshit. There’s an art to comedy, and like any other art, understanding it only enhances the experience.

    This X 1000.

    That’s actually the key. Just because some skilled comics can use black comedy to skillfully critique society doesn’t mean that every hack rape joke is ground breaking.

    Every derpy idiot who thinks they’re a scholar of humor needs to listen to Brownian, who is a thousand times the comedian they will ever be.

    I will take my leave before I get ganged up on.

    Oh come on, don’t you know that shit is FUNNY? We’re just being edgy!

  134. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Cody. Go read the link that I provided at 98 and that mythbri provided at 35. You are making it pretty clear that you did not do that yet.

  135. adamgordon says

    How about humour as a coping mechanism? Maybe the only way one person can open up about these things is through comedy

    Hey, you know who would know about that? Rape victims! Wonder what they think?

    Idiot.

  136. says

    PC does not exist, do me a favor and rewrite our argument pretending that there’s no defining line between PC and NonPC

    Or better yet, define what makes something politically correct.

    Fucking brain dead faux-edgy sheep.

    Did any of you idiots ever notice how politically strategic it is to be politically incorrect?

  137. says

    Here’s a positive spin for rape jokes,
    How about humour as a coping mechanism? Maybe the only way one person can open up about these things is through comedy. Abuse is another situation.

    We’ve already brought this up several times in the comment thread. Try to keep up.

    I am not defending Tosh but non-pc humour in general.

    Now you’re just backpedaling. You were defending Tosh. If, in fact, you agree that Tosh’s “joke” was unfunny and assholish and you agree with everyone in this thread, why the fuck are you arguing?

  138. says

    He’s no George Carlin, and even Carlin had blind spots.

    Carlin’s rape joke was funny for one. You may also note that it mocked rapists and rape defender…also it was Porky Pig and Elmer Fudd

  139. carlie says

    He adopts a spoiled, white, frat boy persona to mock it.

    Yeah, there aren’t enough spoiled white frat boys in the world, we need to have other people act like them too.

    Here’s the thing: if you’re entirely indistinguishable from actual spoiled white frat boys, you aren’t actually mocking them. You’re just being one of them.

    How about humour as a coping mechanism? Maybe the only way one person can open up about these things is through comedy.

    Sure. A guy telling a woman that it would be funny if she got gang-raped right then is just using humor as a coping mechanism. Yeah.

  140. nms says

    I am talking about non-pc humour in general. The in on it comment applied only to that situation. Implying that rape is funny because one is in on the joke is totally different than making racists comments about the other persons race

    So you admit that your argument has failed.

  141. says

    I am talking about non-pc humour in general. The in on it comment applied only to that situation.

    so it was off-topic rambling, then?

    I am not defending Tosh but non-pc humour in general.

    there cannot be a defense of “non-pc” humor in general. not unless you’re prepared to refute the papers I linked to above, first. And any specific defense of it is very much predicated on how it manages to avoid the problems that harmful humor propagates/causes.

    BTW, do you understand the difference between “non-pc” jokes made by the members of the targeted group, vs. the same joke made by a member of the oppressor group?

  142. Hooloovoo says

    I would guarantee 99.99999% people in an audience are going to be able to distinguish between a comedian making light of a horrific issue instead of advocating its use.

    Really? So 99.99999% of the people that night stood up and left when that comedian moved beyond making light of a horrific issue? When he targeted a specific person in the audience, a person statistically very likely to be a victim of that horrific issue, and wondered aloud how funny it would be if she became a victim?

    99.99999% of that audience can distinguish between a “good rape joke” (one that is never “meant that way”: one whose purpose is not to advocate rape, but to denounce it or satirize it or whatever) and a “bad rape joke” (one that does advocate its use)? The comedian’s intent shines like the magic it isn’t in this case? Let’s say that’s true, but then how didn’t these people notice that this comedian was not using his joke for the Advancement of Comedy and the Sacred Memory of Carlin, but to silence a woman in the audience?

    This is actually a particularly good example of the way sexist jokes work. They allow one to a. keep all the tools of oppression firmly in hand and b. deny they’d ever use those tools (escape accountability). But the beauty of the system is that you don’t need to actively use these tools for them to perform their function. You just need to display them. Show the possibility of them being used. You don’t need rape when rape threats or, even better, rape jokes would do the job. To me that’s what Tosh revealed with unexpected clarity when he switched from mocking a larger category to targeting one woman who annoyed him.

    TL;DR: “ironical” sexism is still sexism. Using a rape joke to accomplish essentially the same thing as a rape threat still makes you a shitty human being.

  143. says

    As I said previosly you cannot simply snowball every single rape joke as being something bad.

    yes I can. because it is, even if in varying degrees. go fucking read the papers I linked to (if you can’t access them, e-mail someone who can. even me, if you must)

  144. says

    I am also going to say we are all argueing for 99% of the same thing. I just don’t like the fact when people argue “IT IS ALL EVIL!” There can be instances where a rape joke (or insert what ever horrible atrocity you deem fit) can be funny and/or be benefitial. I am not saying the act the joke is refering to can be benefitial but the fact one is at least talking about it amounts to something.

    I just don’t want this argument falling victem to semantics and people getting all worked up over nothing.

  145. carlie says

    I just don’t want this argument falling victem to semantics and people getting all worked up over nothing.

    You can fuck right off now. GO READ THE LINKS YOU WERE GIVEN. If you refuse to educate yourself on the supporting data that people are using to bolster their arguments, then you are not having a discussion in good faith, but rather simply wanking in public.

  146. says

    I just don’t want this argument falling victem to semantics and people getting all worked up over nothing.

    How condescending of you. Here’s a clue: maybe we’re not getting worked up over nothing.

    I just don’t like the fact when people argue “IT IS ALL EVIL!”

    Oh give me a break.

  147. says

    Once you start taking certain subjects off the fair game board I think it becomes a slippery slope to when nothing can be funny.

    boring bullshit. even if we actually banned all humor that punches down (it should be noted no one suggested this. it’s a boring-ass strawman), that would still leave punching up, and that’s a ginormous playing field for comedians. Banning harmful humor would not at all cause some sort of dramatic shortage of material to joke about.

  148. mythbri says

    @codylawson

    As far as humor as a coping mechanism goes, I understand that. So do many people in this thread. I belong to a group of friends that includes several men who were molested as kids. They use humor as a means to cope with the trauma they went through. But not while they’re with the entire group. You know why? Because there are other people in the group who were raped and/or also molested as kids. And they don’t find that humor funny at all.

    So my male friends, not being assholes, do not joke about their molestation, or molestation in general, in public. They do it in private, where they are absolutely sure that everyone in hearing knows what they’re joking about and why, and is okay with it.

    They don’t turn it into a stand-up act and then wish molestation on someone when they object.

    Because they are not assholes.

  149. Brad says

    @109
    Oh, definitely, I never defended Tosh. He was way out of line. I’m just very pedantic. ‘Technically’ is among my favourite words, and I get off a bit on being right.

    I’m relatively new to feminism on anything more than a superficial level and still working on understating all the jargon, but I’ve gained more understanding of the rape culture concept from #95 and #113, so thanks hieropants and Mr. Greenwood.

    @135
    I’ll cede most of that, including my own ignorance, but anything can be an afterthought, regardless of how serious an issue. I agree that it should not be the vast majority of the time, however.

    @144
    I really can’t get behind topics being completely off limits.
    I don’t like what followed the dickwolves thing, or their responses either, and I lost a lot of respect for them (well, mostly gabe) when I found out how they handled it. I don’t know to what extent the ridiculous idea of dickwolves falls afoul of Ing’s #142 sat down and thought of rape point, but I see a difference between the aquaman joke and the dickwolves mostly because the latter is so very, very ludicrous.

    @147 I completely agree.

    @154 Humor as a coping mechanism belongs to the people trying to cope with a thing, like mentioned in #95. The “co” in commiserating is very important.

  150. says

    Xeni Jardin ‏@xeni

    Fuck Daniel Tosh and fuck every single guy online defending his loathesome misogynist schtick (which has been lame forever.) My final word.
    Retweeted by Wil Wheaton

    Weasly says you’re wrong and if Trek taught is everything it’s that Weasly is always right.

  151. nms says

    Ing

    there’s a difference between doing a date rape skit with some coworkers and telling a coworker that you’d like to tie them up in the basement and rape them.

    Ing, how do you come up with these wacky, outlandish scenarios?

    codylawson

    I am also going to say we are all argueing for 99% of the same thing

    These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

  152. says

    Whoa guys calm down, I’ll read the articles just haven’t clicked on them yet. There are about 5 of you asking different things at once and I am only one person who has been casually commenting. Let me get to each of you lol.

  153. nonny says

    Cody- I don’t think Cartman’s remarks about jews are funny, I think they are there to make him more hateable so that when bad stuff happens to him, that’s funny. I spend most of the episodes waiting for him to get what he deserves.

    But I know not everyone sees him like that and that is actually worrying. Some people see him as a role model:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sbGU4Bmbnc

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-5799944-504083.html

    so no, I don’t think it would be a good idea for a comedian to put on a rapist persona and make rape jokes because some people wouldn’t realise it was the rapist they were supposed to be laughing at.

    Also one of the creators of South Park is a jew, so he is, in a sense, ‘in’ on the joke. I doubt any of the comedians making rape jokes have themselves been raped.

  154. says

    I am also going to say we are all argueing for 99% of the same thing.

    assertion of facts not in evidence

    I just don’t like the fact when people argue “IT IS ALL EVIL!”

    your feelings about the evidence that bigoted humor is harmful are irrelevant.

    There can be instances where a rape joke (or insert what ever horrible atrocity you deem fit) can be funny and/or be benefitial.

    extremely rare and circumstantial exceptions to a well-supported pattern of harm do not disprove the existence and importance of a pattern.

    I just don’t want this argument falling victem to semantics and people getting all worked up over nothing.

    do you know what “semantics” are, btw.? “semantics” are the study of meaning. arguing the meaning of something is rather essential, I find.

    but if you don’t want to “argue semantics”, how about argue the science, instead?

  155. says

    Ing, how do you come up with these wacky, outlandish scenarios?

    It most certainly wasn’t anything related to a nerd comedy site! Why would you suggest such a thing!?

  156. says

    I don’t think Cartman’s remarks about jews are funny, I think they are there to make him more hateable so that when bad stuff happens to him, that’s funny. I spend most of the episodes waiting for him to get what he deserves.

    Yeah that’s sort of the point, even if one of the jokes is phrased humorously the joke is supposed to be that Cartman is an idiot.

  157. says

    Oh, definitely, I never defended Tosh. He was way out of line. I’m just very pedantic. ‘Technically’ is among my favourite words, and I get off a bit on being right.

    I’m relatively new to feminism on anything more than a superficial level

    (a) that’s good you weren’t defending him (I must have misread your comment, myself), and I’m glad you’ve learned some stuff from the comments

    (b) since you’re new to feminism, I’d like to point out that pedantry and devil’s advocating is often a tactic used by, for example, rape apologists, and Internet Feminists ™ may not have much patience for that.

  158. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    codylawson wrote:

    I just don’t want this argument falling victem to semantics and people getting all worked up over nothing.

    Just because you are privileged enough that it is to you an abstract concept, and therefore ‘nothing to get worked up over’, doesn’t mean it’s unreasonable for other people to get emotional.

    Fucking empathy; how does it work?

  159. says

    ‘Technically’ is among my favourite words, and I get off a bit on being right.

    No one gets off on being right because becoming right is often a humbling experience. You get off on FEELING right.

  160. LDTR says

    Carlie @152: point taken.

    I *really* hate the term PC. Its main use is to shut down any objection to hurtful speech by heaping scorn on decency and empathy toward less-powerful fellow humans.

    Over the years it has acquired an extra connotation of “bland, safe, boring, catering to overly-sensitive minorities, etc.” Which of course gives assholes extra incentive to brag about their assholiness (cloaked as “hip, bold, I’m-too-cool-to-give-a-shit edginess”.

  161. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Whoa guys calm down, I’ll read the articles just haven’t clicked on them yet.

    Then stop fucking asking questions that have already been answered by the links. Why do you think it’s a good idea to do that? THINK YOUR SHIT THROUGH BEFORE YOU POST IT.

  162. says

    Whoa guys calm down, I’ll read the articles just haven’t clicked on them yet. There are about 5 of you asking different things at once and I am only one person who has been casually commenting.

    Oh, you’re just *casually* commenting. That makes ignoring references and continuing to make false assertions totally fine!

  163. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Oh, you’re just *casually* commenting. That makes ignoring references and continuing to make false assertions totally fine!

    Nothing better than a dude coming in to “casually” dismiss the harm caused by rape jokes and “casually” JAQ off while blithely ignoring the answers and “casually” tell us all to calm down and call us hypocrites for being angry!
    Can Casual Guy™ be a new thing, like Chill Girl™? (Awesomely, there was actually a horrible troll that went by Casual Guy as a nym.)

  164. Hooloovoo says

    And one thing about heckling: I hope that if I ever find myself in that woman’s situation, I will have the guts to do what she did. I know that I’ve been in similar situations and haven’t. Because I was afraid, because I was socially conditioned not to cause a scene, because some of the people saying harmful shit were my friends and I didn’t want to lose them. I remember every each of those situations and wish I had spoken up. Next time I will try to remember this random act of feminism and do better.

  165. Millicent says

    Delurking to say that I am a rape survivor, and I found virtualsatyr’s “joke” triggering. Every time I come across a “joke” like that — the kind that comes out of nowhere — my heart and respiration rates speed up, and I have to run through a series of biofeedback exercises that help me to calm down. Because those sorts of “jokes” make me feel panicked and unsafe. They contribute to a general atmosphere that does not take rape seriously, that does not properly prosecute rapes, that belittles and silences victims. THEY ARE TOXIC.

    And I wouldn’t have delurked if not for all the other brave commenters who have done it before. You gave me courage. Thank you.

  166. adamgordon says

    The saddest part of this whole thing is that a lot more people will probably watch his stupid show tonight because of all the media attention.

  167. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Every time I come across a “joke” like that — the kind that comes out of nowhere — my heart and respiration rates speed up, and I have to run through a series of biofeedback exercises that help me to calm down. Because those sorts of “jokes” make me feel panicked and unsafe.

    QFT. This.
    Thanks for delurking, Millicent.

  168. mythbri says

    @Ing

    Politically Correct is when you make the people in power feel bad for being clueless assholes. And that is bad BECAUSE OF ALL THE FEELS!

  169. says

    Tosh-pot isn’t a comedian. He’s an idiot who confuses being an arsehole with edgy humour. The point of the “nothing should be off limits in comedy” idea is that comedy can provide a forum for speaking out about things that are wrong, or a way of processing horrible events; it’s not so that people like Tosh can hide behind a defence of “hey, it’s just a joke”.

    This is not about “taking certain subjects off the fair game board”, it’s about refusing to condone disgusting behaviour by writing it off as “humour”.

  170. Millicent says

    Aw, shucks. Thanks, y’all. I have been inspired to be more vocal by the people who have done it here. Every time someone spoke out about their experiences, it helped me to feel less alone. You helped this lurker, by creating a space where misogyny isn’t tolerated. Thank you.

    Now I’m just waiting for codylawson to say that my experiences are sad and everything, but… There’s always a “but” with these fucking guys.

  171. jonathanray says

    I think there should be some limits to what it’s okay to joke about. Rape would be one of those limits, so would murder and tragedies like the holocaust.

    Did you hate Dr. Strangelove because it joked about nuclear annihilation?

  172. says

    Sorry a bit of a slow writer and got distracted with my dogs.

    @nms and jadehawk (early 160’s)
    If by my argument failing by the “in on it” portion then yes but I am purely generalizing here. I should have been more vocal about my generalization and not defending Tosh specifically.

    @to a few different people
    The original point of my comment all the way back at 6 was not to get worked up over something like this. For me when watching a comedian I like the escapsist mentality it imposes. You can cast aside taboos and other prejudices because you are simply along for the ride. There is no difference between the person next to you or anyone else in the audience. The fact that anything can be said imparts a greater sense of equality (in my view) because it shows there is no difference between person x and y, we are simply all human. To say something cannot be joked about only segregates that person further from being “normal.”

    I for one grew up in a poor family with a father who went through numerous drug rehabs. Having heard someone joke about it gives me a sense that I was not alone in this. Granted their can be tasteful and non-tasteful jokes but they were still just jokes. You take it in stride as it goes along.

    Reading the Fugitivus article I completely agree that most of what is done out there is abhorrent. I still believe though that an equal society takes equal jabs at all people. I don’t mean making fun of someone or bullying, especially in the manner that Tosh did it, but in a sense that everything is fairgame. The plurality of topics and eventual trivialism allows the escapism to take place. Or said another way, what makes us different really isn’t that much of a difference because we are all different (if that makes sense).

    I could be completely off base because I have never experienced rape, but in my other experiences humour has helped me. So please voice your opinion if I am completely dilusional but that was the place I was coming from. I didn’t plan on this indepth of an analysis so if every post is not exactly to this, well hell I am just commenting on a blog haha.

    Also I recognize my viewpoint is a bit naive and most comedic situations do not fall into this scenario. It is more of an ideal I imagine comedy to be. So if you want to argue specific cases against it (like Tosh), then yes I agree with you. But I think this ideal still holds some merits that should not be out right classified as evil.

    Back to Tosh specifically, it was just a joke, albeit bad, but still a joke. I sincerely think there are worse things to get worked up over, i.e. actual rapists, than someone just being an idiot and causing more of an uproar than he intended.

  173. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    The original point of my comment all the way back at 6 was not to get worked up over something like this. For me when watching a comedian I like the escapsist mentality it imposes. You can cast aside taboos and other prejudices because you are simply along for the ride.

    Christ.
    Privilege reeks.

  174. jeebus says

    I was under the impression that jokes were supposed to be funny in some way. Tosh’s wasn’t; it was a threat that showed him to be a jerkwad misogynist. That’s the point. You can’t say “it’s just a joke” as if that will magically make what he said OK.

    And if you grant that your viewpoint is naive, why are you commenting at all?

  175. fallingwhale says

    The reason Michael Richards got in so much trouble and Tosh didn’t is simple. Richards broke form and let loose genuine hate and intent. Tosh works under persona which lets him off for most things. Tosh also doesn’t women getting raped at his shows while Richards wants blacks strung up.

    Also, saying anything is never funny to a comedian is a formal challenge to them whether it is a good idea to respond or not. The results are almost always meh as in this case but if the comic responds without missing a beat the crowd will laugh.

    I’m confused why she took ‘rape is always funny’ at face value though.

  176. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    codylawson wrote:

    You can cast aside taboos and other prejudices because you are simply along for the ride.

    Damn. I honestly cannot believe that you actually wrote that. That’s one thick bubble you’re living in.

  177. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    meh as in this case

    “Meh”?
    Saying it would be funny if a woman – a real, identified, present woman – were gang-raped… meh?
    You’re a douche.

  178. says

    @ing
    Sorry on the PC definition. When I use PC I typically think of an older population that is offended somewhat easier than the normal populace. Usually topics of shock value (sex, foul language, religion, etc) typically fill this chasm. Things one doesn’t readily bring up in conversation at work out of fear of “going against the grain” or offending.

    The word really encompasses a rather large gamut and within that are varying degrees offense, taboo etc. It is simply an easy word to use to loosely define a topic or even as a warning of veering into the land of unpolitical correctness.

    I’m also a Bill Maher fan so the word always reminds me of his old show.

  179. Rey Fox says

    The original point of my comment all the way back at 6 was not to get worked up over something like this

    Is it at all possible for you to learn not to tell people what to and what not to get worked up about? I mean really, this is basic empathy and respect for fellow human beings.

  180. echidna says

    Did you hate Dr. Strangelove because it joked about nuclear annihilation?

    As I see it, Britain had a lot of dark, anti-war humour in the 60’s, as it was processing the aftermath of the second world war. Dr. Strangelove would be an example of dark humour, such as explained eloquently by hieropants @95 above. If you listen to the Goons, or watch Monty Python with an eye for this, you will see/hear war jokes in plenty. War jokes were important for many people as a coping mechanism, although I am aware some people found them triggering.

    But gallows humour is not funny when it’s the executioner telling the joke – then it’s just sheer cruelty.

    Do you see yet why rape jokes out of the mouths of men don’t come off so well? People like Tosh aren’t using humour to cope with their own experiences or to help anybody else do so; they are just causing pain for the sake of it, because they can. It’s cruel. Unless, of course, he is helping rapists cope with guilt.

  181. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says


    Not prejudices that I have personally but what others in the crowd could have.

    I’m sad that you think that’s a useful response to what Wowbagger said.

  182. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    I wasn’t going for a dictionary response but what I think it to be and the context I use it in.

    You didn’t succeed at defining it, which is what you supposedly set out to do. Try again.

  183. Rey Fox says

    Tosh works under persona which lets him off for most things.

    Could somebody please provide some evidence that this is a “persona”? Because as far as I can tell, he really is a fratboy douchebag. And even if he wasn’t, there is no signal in his act that there is any artifice to it, and I highly doubt his audience takes it as such. They think he’s just one of the guys, and he says what we’re all thinking. Just refer to all the threats that this blogger is now getting for having the temerity to disagree with his joke.

    I’m confused why she took ‘rape is always funny’ at face value though.

    Oh gee, maybe because she belongs to a class of people for whom rape is a clear and present danger, and thus might not necessarily always have the wherewithal to discern the five layers of irony that Mr. Tosh the Kauffmanesque wunderkind apparently operates under.

    Christ, you people are assholes.

  184. echidna says

    When I use PC I typically think of an older population that is offended somewhat easier than the normal populace.

    Older generation easily offended? What? Not where I’m from.

  185. says

    As I said previosly you cannot simply snowball every single rape joke as being something bad.

    Oh yes I can. I was raped. Brutally beaten, raped, strangled, beaten, raped again, beaten some more, strangled some more, raped again.

    Rape is not funny. Ever. Defending a loathsome, humorless piece of shit for targeting a woman and saying “hey, wouldn’t it be funny if she was raped by like 5 guys right now…” is itself a loathsome act.

    One more time: rape is not funny. Ever.

    On coping mechanisms: You might want to attempt to educate that pea brain of yours a bit. Listening to a loathsome, humorless piece of shit saying “hey, wouldn’t it be hilarious if you were gang raped right now, yada, yada, yada” isn’t humour and it sure as hell would not, in any way, shape or form, help someone to cope. What it would do is terrify, by adding open, loud support of rape culture. What it would do is to reinforce to women that they are not safe, anywhere. What it would do is trigger a certain amount of people*, reactions running the gamut of PTSD.

    *The triggering will ripple out, too, as many people will be triggered simply by reading about the incident, or seeing a clip on the ‘net and so on.

    You are yet another asshole who cannot be bothered to educate themselves about the reality of rape. If you were educated on it, you might not be so willing to blithely defend those who uphold and encourage rape culture.

    Thanks ever so much for making sure I know I will never be safe, because in life, unfortunately, I’m surrounded by assholes like yourself.

  186. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says


    Then how should I define it?

    Hell if I know! I think it’s a meaningless buzzword, to such an extent that your using it unironically is a sign of your ignorance and thoughtlessness. But I do know that vague pointing and grunting, which is in effect what you did, isn’t a definition.

  187. microraptor says

    Well, I’d say this incident confirms my previous impression that Tosh was just an asshole who actually believed most of the crap he was spewing but got away with it because he’s a “comedian” instead of just some random guy.

  188. echidna says

    Back to Tosh specifically, it was just a joke, albeit bad, but still a joke. I sincerely think there are worse things to get worked up over, i.e. actual rapists, than someone just being an idiot and causing more of an uproar than he intended.

    I’ve seen a situation where men made jokes around the lone woman (in an industrial workplace), with the jokes steadily getting worse and worse, until all of a sudden someone decided that since there hadn’t been any protest from a particular woman, that she must be ok with the jokes, and thus ok with being raped. This scenario did not end well.

    I had been the lone woman on a previous rotation, and had earned a reputation for not having a sense of humour because I didn’t put up with the jokes. This next woman heard about my reputation, and decided to be more accommodating, because she wanted to avoid being tarred as humourless. A mistake.

    Don’t tell me something is “just a joke” when it enables cruelty of any form.

  189. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Is it not wrong to assume that out of a large sample population like an audience that some would have prejudices?

    I’m just going to laugh, at this point.

  190. Rey Fox says

    The word really encompasses a rather large gamut and within that are varying degrees offense, taboo etc. It is simply an easy word to use to loosely define a topic or even as a warning of veering into the land of unpolitical correctness.

    So you really have no idea what it means then, and you’re happy to define it circularly.

    I have to go to bed, y’all others can chew on this one for a while.

  191. Millicent says

    Caine@229: so much fucking truth.

    @codylawson: do you see how in this thread, two survivors of rape have told you how these “jokes” and your defense of them contribute to an environment where we can never feel safe? Do you understand what you are defending, here?

  192. says

    If by my argument failing by the “in on it” portion then yes but I am purely generalizing here. I should have been more vocal about my generalization and not defending Tosh specifically.

    this is wordsalad. please rephrase.

    The original point of my comment all the way back at 6 was not to get worked up over something like this.

    “something like this” being a dude who makes rape jokes and verbally attacks a woman by laughing about the idea of her being gang raped.

    sorry, but being a decent human being who cares about people’s wellbeing, and being a social justice activist who cares about dismantling toxic cultures, I am obliged to care, since Tosh’s actions are actively harmful.

    For me when watching a comedian I like the escapsist mentality it imposes.

    being reminded of rape culture is not “escapism”. it’s the opposite of that.

    You can cast aside taboos and other prejudices because you are simply along for the ride.

    or you can do as Tosh did, and promote prejudice and harm instead.

    There is no difference between the person next to you or anyone else in the audience.

    *rolleyes*
    obviously there was a difference between the woman who bravely stood up to the promotion of rape culture, and those others who cheered its further propagation.

    The fact that anything can be said imparts a greater sense of equality (in my view) because it shows there is no difference between person x and y, we are simply all human.

    privilege-blind bullshit. promoting the status quo by definition cannot make things more equal, and punching down the powergradient does the exact opposite of that.

    To say something cannot be joked about only segregates that person further from being “normal.”

    this of course is also bullshit. the person is already segregated out by the culture that harms them. segregating them out some more by promoting that culture is what causes harm, not criticizing the promotion of the oppressive culture.

    I for one grew up in a poor family with a father who went through numerous drug rehabs. Having heard someone joke about it gives me a sense that I was not alone in this.

    that’s nice but irrelevant to whether or not bigoted humor promotes bigotry and harm.

    I still believe though that an equal society takes equal jabs at all people.

    but we don’t live in an equal society, and pretending that we do merely promotes the status quo.

    The plurality of topics and eventual trivialism allows the escapism to take place.

    rape is not trivial. other forms of discrimination and oppression are not trivial. being reminded of how others think their pain, oppression, and harm is seen as funny and trivial to others is not escapism, it’s the dreary reality of a lot of people.

    Or said another way, what makes us different really isn’t that much of a difference because we are all different (if that makes sense).

    more inequality-denying bullshit.

    I didn’t plan on this indepth of an analysis so if every post is not exactly to this, well hell I am just commenting on a blog haha.

    well, I’m glad you find such entertainment in discussing whether it’s ok to promote harm to oppressed people by sexist humor. nice privilege it must be, to treat these discussions so lightly. O.o

    Back to Tosh specifically, it was just a joke, albeit bad, but still a joke.

    you didn’t read any of the papers I linked to, or you wouldn’t be saying this. Because it’s factually wrong. Bigoted jokes do harm. Measurable, observable harm.

    I sincerely think there are worse things to get worked up over,

    “Dear Muslima…”

    Things one doesn’t readily bring up in conversation at work out of fear of “going against the grain” or offending.

    jokes that punch down the power gradient are not “going against the grain”. quite the opposite.

    I’m also a Bill Maher fan

    not surprising.

  193. Rey Fox says

    Well, I’d say this incident confirms my previous impression that Tosh was just an asshole who actually believed most of the crap he was spewing but got away with it because he’s a “comedian” instead of just some random guy.

    Oh no no, it’s just a persona he adopts. He’s actually an adjunct professor of sociology from the University of Chicago who volunteers at battered women shelters.

  194. says

    Is it not wrong to assume that out of a large sample population like an audience that some would have prejudices?

    they all will. which is why humor that punches down the power gradient is still so goddamn popular: it confirms their prejudices and allows for attacks against those who try to fight those prejudices as “humorless”

  195. says

    Wow. I never liked Daniel Tosh. I always thought he was a smarmy, mugging asshole.

    And whaddayaknow, turns out I was right on the money. God, this Tosh guy is a piece of shit.

  196. mythbri says

    @codylawson

    Rape is plenty trivialized already. The last thing that society needs is to take it less seriously than it does now.

    Do you know six women? At least one of them has been raped. Know twelve? At least two of them have been raped.

    Do you know what the men who raped those women you know think when they hear rape jokes like this? That there was very little, if anything, wrong with what they did.

  197. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Oh no no, it’s just a persona he adopts. He’s actually an adjunct professor of sociology from the University of Chicago who volunteers at battered women shelters.

    BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!

    Seriously-white str8 (but not always DJ Fuckin’ Grothe) doods can’t process that their cohort actually has lots of bad people in it because they don’t recognize that the way they act is, by definition, bad. The things they think are harmless are actual aggressions.

  198. Rey Fox says

    I for one grew up in a poor family with a father who went through numerous drug rehabs. Having heard someone joke about it gives me a sense that I was not alone in this.

    Well then, consider this. Would you feel differently about 1) A comedian from a similar background making jokes about his deprived childhood, and 2) A comedian from a more upper-class background joking about how disgusting all those trashy people living out by the train tracks are, and how horrible it is to have to run into them now and then, and oh yes, wouldn’t it be great if they all starved?

    Okay, bedflounce for real now.

  199. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    While I’m mostly just seconding other people here, I feel like I do need to write a more serious response to codylawson’s post, which is dripping toxic shit all over the place:
    Being reminded that a large section of the population thinks it would be funny if you were raped does not make you more “equal.” It is not “escapism.” It is a reminder of the fact that there is no fucking escape for you. That you will never be able to leave it behind. That when you go to a comedy show, when you are out with your friends, when you are taking a walk, for the rest of your life, you will be surrounded by people who will never begin to understand what you have suffered, and who won’t care to try. That some of the people around you are willing to rape, and others are willing to tell those people who did perpetrate it that it’s okay, by telling them it’s funny. And you know what? Being a person who knows rape is bad and doesn’t want it to happen doesn’t prevent you from hurting or frightening the people around you with that kind of “humor.” Hell, it doesn’t even necessarily prevent you from raping. I know this – many people here know this – by experience.

  200. imnotandrei says

    I think the key element here, as has been pointed out, is the matter of power.

    Rape jokes have a lot of power to them — they make some people upset, some terrified, some uncomfortable, some more comfortable with things they shouldn’t be comfortable with at all.

    Telling a rape joke is playing with fire; unless you are *extremely* careful, and *very* good, someone is going to end up burned. And the big problem with any of those very powerful jokes is that usually the person who ends up burned is the one who’s crispy already from all the previous times they’ve been anywhere near that particular fire.

    I’ve used humor about rape in my spoken-word art. Of course, the pieces I do that in were specifically about the time *I* was sexually assaulted — and part of the purpose of using them is to jar people into thinking about what happened in a different light than just “Oh, you poor victim”. But I am also aware that I am playing with fire, and prepared to apologize to people I upset beyond the bounds of what I’m trying to accomplish. (I will not provide a sample, but (a bound to be unfunny, due to overexplaining) summary: One of the reasons I did not report my assault to the police (as opposed to the organizers of the event I was attending) was that my resistance made far more visible damage to my assailants than it did to me — and I was acutely aware of how much that made it unlikely that I would get anywhere at all with an official report. So, even though I was shaking and having trouble keeping my voice in check, “Yeah, but you should see the other guy”, while the classic thing to say after a fight, really wouldn’t have helped my case.”

    Delivered right, with the right timing, “Yeah, but you should see the other guy” can be a laugh-line. But it’s not a funny performance piece, and it’s not meant to be a comfortable laugh.

    Any time you’re fucking around with powerful things, it’s worth noting who’s in the blast radius, and whether you’re walking around with armor and no one else is. If you are, don’t tell the fucking joke.

  201. Eric R says

    Ive seen this show. The only way to harm his “career” is to make him continue that pitiful excuse of a show. Ive had more amusing bowel movements.

  202. says

    So to recap you can’t define it?

    Because the definition you gave included just saying words like fuck. So the definition is so vague as to be useless. Please provide a sound definition.

    See if I was going to take a stab at a definition it would be something that once expressed would hurt you politically. But by my definition just about everything labeled politically incorrect would not be politically incorrect because it’s populous bullshit.

    Politically incorrect is the label unoriginal dolts give to rebrand parroting back tired old tropes as edgy.

  203. says

    The reason Michael Richards got in so much trouble and Tosh didn’t is simple. Richards broke form and let loose genuine hate and intent. Tosh works under persona which lets him off for most things. Tosh also doesn’t women getting raped at his shows while Richards wants blacks strung up.

    I don’t believe for a second that Richards actually wanted to promote murder. I think he wanted to hurt someone and make sure they knew their place.

    What Tosh did is exactly the same thing. EXACTLY.

  204. ericpaulsen says

    While I have gotten a few laughs from watching his show he has made me sorry for it by being such a hateful dick. Tosh pretends that he is acting as if he was a racist misogynistic douche nugget but the truth is that he actually isn’t pretending, and realizing that, I stop finding him funny. Humor distilled from pure hate is about as good for you as wood alcohol.

  205. says

    @Caine & Millicent (sorry to combine)
    I whole heartidly sympathize with both of you and am not trying to defend Tosh’s actions. I said they were wrong and against the “ideal” of what I was arguing comedy should be.

    I will also say that my “ideal” is wrong having never experienced what either of you had been through. My reasoning for the jokes (and again not the bullying type jokes) was not under the premise of the powerful oppressing the weak, but rather a celebration of differences. I actually didn’t have a hierarchy in mind when making the description. Everyone was simply human with different qualities and experiences.

    Something I do think that got overlooked in all of this was the link I posted about Jim Jefferies (#28) that at least shows there is some positivity that comes out of generalized shock type humour. I really think you could replace the first two bits (lesbians and helicopter murder) with just about any other abhorrent idea. Even further you could replace the atheism part with rape or any other point you were trying to make.

    So my apologies if I have offended anyone, that was not my intention. I just think some good can come from horrible jokes if managed correctly and you don’t have some ignorant racist, sexist, insert -ist of your choice, douche saying them purely for the shock value or because they are dicks.

  206. Words with Fiends says

    For a balanced and nuanced discussion of controversial topic X, we go now to a comedian and his forum of boozed up 20-somethings. Well done, gang. *Slow Clap*

  207. says

    I’m almost reluctant to ask a question without being called a “repugnant fuck” or told to go fuck myself with a porcupine. But I honestly am missing the distinction between rape jokes and other offensive jokes and hope someone can kindly explain it to me so here goes:

    What is the line that makes a rape joke over the line but any number of offensive jokes not? Is it the high likely hood of there being a victim in earshot who will be affected? Is it the horrific nature of the act? I am failing to see why the arguments against rape jokes aren’t an argument against any joke that has the potential to offend someone who is or knows a victim of something horrible that is part of that joke. Some examples were mentioned before but never addressed. I am thinking examples like dead baby jokes, cancer jokes, murder jokes, mugging jokes, war jokes. Should those all be over the line as well?

  208. deoridhegrimsdottir says

    I’ve been vaguely aware of FTB since Elevatorgate, and reading much more regularly in the last few weeks, and I finally logged in to delurk and say…

    I love you guys.

    You give me hope.

    This is an entire commentariate of people who want justice and equality, and don’t mince words about it. I’m not an atheist, and I doubt I ever will be, but man do I love all of the regulars arguing against racism, sexism, and all the other icky isms that harsh the squee.

    Reading major bloggers with large readerships who actually support the right of women to speak in public without abuse, and a commentariate that it not only stalwartly in agreement but also that is open to discussion and debate of other aspects of equality and rights make me squee, and make me smile even on some pretty dark days. So thank you. This lurker supports you in email.

  209. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    My reasoning for the jokes (and again not the bullying type jokes) was not under the premise of the powerful oppressing the weak, but rather a celebration of differences. I actually didn’t have a hierarchy in mind when making the description. Everyone was simply human with different qualities and experiences.

    The fact that you’re dripping with privilege-blindness was actually pretty apparent to everybody already. You didn’t need to spell out that fact for us.

  210. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    Actually watching the entire video I linked might cause brain damage. My… “favorite” bit comes around 4:13

    If there was a madman here right now every girl in the audience would cower behind her boyfriend. Even if it was a guy who for five years had been trying to get into her pants and she’d been saying to him “I just like you as a friend” suddenly he’d be the man.

  211. ixchel, the jaguar goddess of midwifery and war ॐ says

    Forrest: we don’t live in a society where everyone is taught mixed messages that cancer is good, murder is good, having a truck full of dead babies is good, mugging is good.

    We do live in a society where rape is basically accepted and most rapists will get away with it and be congratulated for it if they brag.

    In such a society, rape jokes do function as another message encouraging more rape.

    (As for war, maybe we also shouldn’t do pro-war jokes, since we do have a very pro-war society.)

  212. says

    Caine #229

    Thanks ever so much for making sure I know I will never be safe, because in life, unfortunately, I’m surrounded by assholes like yourself.

    What really gets to me is that the audience laughed. “Guffawed.” Watched the women leaving, and laughed.

    Each one of these rape apologists that shows up here makes me mistrust the people around me more. I’ve begun to worry about being alone in the house, even with everything locked up. Now I’ll be wondering, about the people I work with, live near, do business with; “Would he laugh, too?”

    I can expect more nightmares again tonight.

  213. Jeebus says

    So my apologies if I have offended anyone, that was not my intention. I just think some good can come from horrible jokes if managed correctly and you don’t have some ignorant racist, sexist, insert -ist of your choice, douche saying them purely for the shock value or because they are dicks.

    Ooh, classic not-pology.

    Seriously, Tosh’s “joke” wasn’t just against an ideal of what comedy should be, it was a fucking disgrace. How the hell is threatening to rape someone even close to remotely being acceptable? I don’t think you get how big a fucking deal rape is; it’s just about the most psychologically damaging thing that can happen to someome. Alas, it seems that getting anything through to you is like pushing a square peg into a pentagram-shaped hole.

    It would be best if you shut the fuck up until someone knocks you off your pedestal of privilege and you realize what it’s like to be raped.

  214. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    What is the line that makes a rape joke over the line but any number of offensive jokes not? Is it the high likely hood of there being a victim in earshot who will be affected? Is it the horrific nature of the act?

    All of the above, plus the fact that we currently live in a society that habitually disbelieves rape victims, bends over backward to make excuses for rapists, and downplays the widespread nature of rape in favor of a Heinous Crime Committed Forcibly Upon Young White Virgins By A Dark Evil Stranger In A Bush narrative that makes invisible a number of rapes and prevents them from being considered rape by many people – as well as, often, piling victim-blaming on those victims who have suffered rape under the circumstances conventionally recognized as rape. If someone murdered me? I’d think in general he’d be aware that he’d committed a crime by doing that, and most people would acknowledge that. My first rapist? Looked at me all puzzled, after I let him in on the fact that fucking his sobbing girlfriend who had already said no was rape, and said “That was rape?”

  215. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    Forrest wrote:

    I’m almost reluctant to ask a question without being called a “repugnant fuck” or told to go fuck myself with a porcupine.

    The commenters here are pretty good at telling the difference between someone asking questions and someone JAQing off, though asking questions which’ve already been answered upthread (which isn’t the case here) tends to be poorly received.

  216. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says


    Can you define privilege-blindess?

    In general, it’s not being able to see certain things because of some privilege bestowed on you by society, and tied in with this is the difficulty in recognizing that privilege itself. Contextually, it refers to the fact that you naturally think about things as though oppression doesn’t exist, because you have been socialized to believe that the benefits that accrue to you naturally because of your maleness are benefits that everyone has equal access to.

  217. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    The comment I just made had two fails in it. One was the fact that I switched from a general statement to a specific reference to this case – to correct,

    it refers to the fact that you naturally thought about this situation as though gendered oppression did not exist

    The other is that I think my brain got stuck on the word “naturally” a little bit and I stuck it where it didn’t belong.

    benefits that accrue to you naturally because of your maleness.

  218. Jeebus says

    Can you define privilege-blindess?”

    In general, it’s not being able to see certain things because of some privilege bestowed on you by society, and tied in with this is the difficulty in recognizing that privilege itself. Contextually, it refers to the fact that you naturally think about things as though oppression doesn’t exist, because you have been socialized to believe that the benefits that accrue to you naturally because of your maleness are benefits that everyone has equal access to.

    In sociology, it’s called the just world hypothesis.

  219. says

    @Cipher
    Ok, so when does privilege-blindness turn from a bad thing to equality? If 85% of the population were privilege-blind to subject x would this be a success or still a problem? I can only imagine that 100% privilege-blindness nulls itself out as the problem no longer exists.

    I will admit to privilege-blindess to a degree but have also actively chosen this route. I assume the other person to be equal first. The oppisite (assuming a problem or inequality first) I think creates a form of racism/sexism.

    On the otherhand income disparity was a big shocker to me. It just seems like something in modern day society wouldn’t exist. But with the equality first assumption I was completely oblivious to this fact.

    Does that make sense? The lateness is catching up to me.

  220. =8)-DX says

    told to go fuck myself with a porcupine

    I guess anal porcupine injuries are not a problem for society, unlike rape.

  221. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    *sigh*
    Miss the point much? Someone else take a stab at this brick wall. I’m out.

  222. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    Ok, so when does privilege-blindness turn from a bad thing to equality?

    When there is no more privilege to be blind to you fucking nitwit.

    If 85% of the population were privilege-blind to subject x would this be a success or still a problem? I can only imagine that 100% privilege-blindness nulls itself out as the problem no longer exists.

    And I can only imagine that you are deliberately trolling at this point. No one fails at reading comprehension this hard with trying.

  223. chiptuneist says

    *facepalm*

    codylawson, no, that does not make sense. You have completely missed the point. Your assumption that everyone is equal is a problem because it isn’t TRUE. If you want everyone to be equal, which you should, then you have to first recognize that we haven’t reached that point yet. That’s why privilege blindness is a bad thing. What you’re describing as “100% privilege-blindness” wouldn’t mean the problem stops existing, it would mean nobody notices the problem. You might feel all nice pretending that everyone is equal in society, but for those who don’t benefit from the same level of privilege, it means you are ignoring problems that they have to deal with everyday and pretending they don’t exist. You’re basically saying that you actively choose not to see, for example, racism in society. That might work out just fine for you (assuming you’re white, which I obviously can’t know), but people of color don’t have that option. They have no choice but to deal with the existence of racism in society. Does that make sense?

  224. Muz says

    As some have more or less covered, the expression “Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit” is actually inaccurate. Shock is by far the lowest and most common lame-excuse-for wit. Every 14yr old can do it and does it regularly. Say stuff you’re not supposed to say, talk about gross things, ugly things, mean things and you will produce hooting guffaws from your little crowd every single time (cf. that lady on the bus a few weeks ago). This remains true for the rest of the average male life as well, so it seems. It’s the backbone of Lads magazines and much of what goes on on the internet as well. It’s stupid to call it ‘locker room’ humour. It’s by far the norm unless you work in some environment that deals with children or the general public (and sometimes even then). It’s super easy for some comic to tap into that playground ‘humour’. A lot of the guys probably think this comic is brilliantly sticking it to the man by saying this stuff on stage, so oppressed are they by the world stifling their need to say stupid shit to each other when they’re out with their girlfriends or whatever.

    Good shock comedy exists. Good asshole comedy personas exist. But it takes skill to bring the audience along. Fail that and you should be held to account.

  225. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    I assume the other person to be equal first. The oppisite[sic] (assuming a problem or inequality first) I think creates a form of racism/sexism.

    [emphasis added]

    Ah yes, “Reverse Racism”, coupled with “I don’t see race.” You know Stephen Colbert is doing satire right? You’re not supposed to agree with him.

  226. Emrysmyrddin says

    Being privilege-blind is not a good thing. It means that you sometimes cannot see problems that affect other people more than you because you yourself have not experienced those problems. Look up the definition of ‘kyriarchy’. Where do you fall on that scale?
    If you are white, you may not have noticed an undercurrent of racism in the TV show you just watched; if you’re aware of it, it might not bother you too much, because you’ve never experienced the fear of a minority being ganged up on by a majority. If you’re born into wealth, you might know abstractly that it’s a ‘bad thing’, but can never truly appreciate what it’s like to go to sleep starvingly hungry at the end of a school day.
    In this instance, most rape victims are female (although men get raped as well, and the problems with reportage on that front is likely because rape is seen at a societal level as a male-on-female crime); women are going to be a hell of a lot more likely to appreciate the horrific nature of that crime. 1 in 6 in the US at the moment.
    Your privilege-blindness allows you to treat this conversation ‘casually’. You may genuinely not understand why people are angry, or emotional, or condemning, because you think that your points are so reasonable – in fact, they’re indicative of a shallow understanding of your topic. A social-justice Dunning Krüger effect, if you will. Most people have some kind of unrecognised privilege, and the best way to ensure that you make as few hurtful blunders in life as possible is to recognise your section of privilege, release that it makes you ‘naturally uninformed’ on that topic, go do some research, listen to what people with actual horses in the race are telling you, and think. Not talk. Think. After you have thought – a lot – it might be time for questions; however if you still unintentionally put your foot in it, apologise unreservedly (no “sorry IF I offended” is usually a good start). Recognise that this is not your field of expertise and just listen.

  227. leighshryock says

    Going to a comedy club, offensive content is going to be on the menu.

    Bad jokes are bad, harassing a heckler who has already demonstrated that rape jokes make her uncomfortable by instilling the image of being gang-raped? That’s being a complete and utter asshole.

    There’s comedy, and then there’s taking a dump and calling it comedy, then there’s being a misogynistic asshole and hiding behind “it’s just comedy!!!1″.

    He managed to do the second two. I see no evidence of the first.

  228. says

    Since no one has mentioned these studies, I believe I’ll just go ahead and drop a little more research on this discussion.

    Here is a blog post breaking down four research studies on the way rape is viewed and how it stays ‘invisible.’

    Here’s a research study on the effect of discriminatory jokes on prejudices. To spoil it a bit for the clueless, turns out discriminatory jokes have the effect of reinforcing prejudice and tolerance for prejudice, in addition to encouraging further prejudicial actions.

    So, you know, rape jokes can actually function to encourage sexual harassment, the creation of a hostile working/living environment (as in the legal definition) and, for some in the audience (see the first link), encourage them to continue to rape. Well, as long as you don’t say the word ‘rape’ when you ask about their behavior.

  229. says

    Yeah, if it’s funny, it’s OK
    It’s like it was funny to hide the glasses of the pale, skinny, nerdy kid. You laughed at it.
    Like it was funny to call the pressumably gay kid a faggot, you laughed.
    Like it was funny to call the black kid a porch monkey, you laughed.
    You only never noticed that they were not laughing
    Wasn’t it sad that they commited suicide? Clearly, they couldn’t take a joke.

  230. athyco says

    Ok, so when does privilege-blindness turn from a bad thing to equality? If 85% of the population were privilege-blind to subject x would this be a success or still a problem? I can only imagine that 100% privilege-blindness nulls itself out as the problem no longer exists.

    Let us assume that you are an atheist. Are there theists in your life who, unaware of their privilege in being numerically superior and culturally accepted, want to posit that outspoken atheists should not communicate so harshly about Catholic priests who rape children, TV evangelists and faith healers who flimflam old folk and struggling people out of their money, politicians who vote for legislation to get between a woman and her doctor in reproductive care? Of course there are. Right there–in existence–is your 85% of the population privilege-blind to subject x. Don’t they tell you that the vast majority of the religious are not “like that” when you point out problems? You tell me if you think it is a success or still a problem.

    (From your first paragraph, by the way, I got the background impression that you were using the term “privilege-blind” the same way Colbert uses “color-blind.” He is not including it in his routine as something that is good and useful to combat something bad. Clearly, in his routines, to be color-blind is to have a facile way out of acknowledging an inconvenient [for him] inequality.)

    I will admit to privilege-blindess to a degree but have also actively chosen this route. I assume the other person to be equal first. The oppisite (assuming a problem or inequality first) I think creates a form of racism/sexism.

    I think it quite meritorious to be blind to the privilege of others in only one way…to judge them for a specific purpose based on the specific situation at hand. If you need to hire sales staff, open your eyes wide to their sales abilities. Ignore the privileges of relationship to you, their sex, gender identity, race, national origin, religion, age, height, weight, hair color…anything that does not pertain to their proven or potential sales ability. But if you, at the end of the day, realize that your new sales staff is made up of 100% white, young, cis-identified males, you must actively choose the route of examining yourself. If you don’t know about the serious studies made concerning unconscious bias, pardon me, but your ignorance is showing.

    On the otherhand income disparity was a big shocker to me. It just seems like something in modern day society wouldn’t exist. But with the equality first assumption I was completely oblivious to this fact.

    You were oblivious to the fact that current society would result in extreme income disparity, yet you came to accept it. Evidence, I presume, made you slow down and take a look. You were probably dismayed by the realization that you’d been ignorant of the problem, probably felt embarrassed that it had taken you so long to see what was obvious to others. Why won’t you slow down to take a look at the evidence about the lack of safety society provides to women when it comes to rape culture?

    Just asking the questions…is it because you didn’t feel overly implicated in creating the income disparity, but you might have to examine things that you have done in the past that made women around you feel this fear, limited their participation because they didn’t want to be seen as humorless or worry when the next joke would go too far? Are you fighting so hard because it hits too close to home? Are you beginning to question if the jokes you’d never say around mom may have been just as bad for someone whose story you never knew and will now never know because you a justifiably unknown quantity? Is it because in your status quo, you’re a great person, but if this rape culture exists, you won’t like yourself very much if you continue in your usual ways? Are you afraid to change?

    The women and men who tell their stories here are so brave. Once–in a comment thread long ago–I got the courage to tell my story, too. But they do it over and over, and that strength amazes and humbles me. Every time I see someone else who’d been lurking get the courage to thank them, I’m strengthened again. There’s another group, too, that makes me proud to read: the people who write painfully of their realization that some incident in their past, harmful to another, had come about because they were blind to their privilege, because they felt they had a right to push what they wanted, to brush off objections as misunderstandings of a joke, perhaps to change the topic to the correct appreciation of comedic stylings. They don’t want a cookie; they don’t want gushing thanks. They want to make things better for people who are hurt by privilege.

  231. jonathanray says

    To be fair we haven’t suffered nuclear annihilation yet unlike rape murder and the holocaust.

    What about The Producers musical, FPS Doug, and all those Hitler captions on youtube?

  232. pdrchuck says

    @46 — virtualsatyr

    Also, I think rape jokes can be funny in the right context. For example, an episode of “Family Guy” featured Aquaman attempting to rescue a woman that was about to be raped. He couldn’t rescue her because she was on the beach and he was stuck in the ocean, where is powers are most relevant. I had a good laugh out of this.

    Aquaman at the end of that clip says to her, “Well, maybe you shouldn’t have led him on.”

  233. Dick the Damned says

    On the face of it, it seems to me that any decent man would’ve walked out. Why didn’t they? And why didn’t more women walk out?

    I find this disturbing. I also think it’s an issue that the atheist community should engage with, as PZ has done.

  234. crocodoc says

    I looked up some of Daniel’s stuff only after reading this about him. And I have to admit I found him actually quite entertaining. He portraits an arrogant, white, wealthy, male character, a stuffed bag of clichés, and most of his jokes take a serious issue like homeless people, murder, torture, tornados, floods, genocide, racism, and, of course, rape and then he gives the usual “Why should I care” bullshit answer to it, in a most brutal way. Generally, bringing this widespread attitude to our attention using comedy and holding a mirror up to his audience rather than by constantly complaining about this terrible world, is just great. When I watch his shows, I can laugh about things that I should lead to despair when you just think about them.
    The gangrape incident was not funny, though, and it was a real mistake. And Daniel Tosh is aware of that. But, just my humble opinion, it must be possible to make jokes about each and everything, without any exceptions. Because if we start introducing taboos that may not be touched (remember the precious “religious feelings”?), that’s a powerful tool for censorship and women, gays, certain ethnic groups, the poor, handicapped people etc etc will be the last to benefit from it.

    Cheers, Joachim

  235. carlie says

    Thank you for that explanation, imnotandrei. That was really good.

    On the otherhand income disparity was a big shocker to me. It just seems like something in modern day society wouldn’t exist.

    Right, because you hadn’t experienced it. Now take that out a little further, and think about how that could have negative consequences to other people. Universal health care? No, of course we don’t need that, everyone already has good health care! So you vote against it, and so do other people like you, and then those poor people who you think don’t exist go bankrupt and die of lack of medical care. Ignoring that an inequality exists is a good way to ensure that the inequality stays that way.

    Or let’s take a different, smaller example, with something like racism. You have a friend who’s a black man, and you find him one day distraught because his wallet’s been stolen. Silly thing, you say, go straight to the police! He flinches at the suggestion and says no, it’s not worth it, and you don’t understand and think he’s crazy. Since your experience is that the police are always kind and helpful, you just don’t understand how anyone could think otherwise.
    What you don’t understand is that the cops in your town are pretty uniformly racist, and he knows from experience that they’ll grill him on his entire life history to that point, will generally treat him like shit, and won’t even try to go find the perp. That’s being privilege-blind.

  236. Koshka says

    Ixchel #258,

    Forrest: we don’t live in a society where everyone is taught mixed messages that cancer is good, murder is good, having a truck full of dead babies is good, mugging is good.

    We do live in a society where rape is basically accepted and most rapists will get away with it and be congratulated for it if they brag.

    In such a society, rape jokes do function as another message encouraging more rape.

    (As for war, maybe we also shouldn’t do pro-war jokes, since we do have a very pro-war society.)

    As someone who has a baby die, I can understand why people can find a dead baby joke funny (even though they will most likely now bring me to tears). I do not find them funny but generally don’t find them offensive.

    However I have never heard a rape joke that I consider inoffensive.

    Your take on what makes rape jokes different is spot on.

    And I would suggest Forrest should take his JAQing and fuck off.

  237. carlie says

    Aquaman at the end of that clip says to her, “Well, maybe you shouldn’t have led him on.”

    Fucking really? Yeah, that’s full of shit through and through. Not funny.

  238. DLC says

    in reverse order :
    Ask yourself if Tosh is actually playing a role, or if he’s playing himself. Or in other words, maybe he really is a jerk, and his comedy is his genuine self.

    When I was about to find out if I had cancer or not, I told jokes about it. When I was about to find out if I had cancer or not, it would not have been funny for someone else to tell jokes about me having cancer or not. That’s gallows humor. It seems to be part of the Irish culture to crack jokes when you’re about to face some horror. You would not make the same jokes outside of that situation.

    There’s a bunch of other things I was going to go on about, but I’m tired. Oh, for those who give a damn, no, I do not have cancer.
    Say goodnight, Gracie.

  239. Koshka says

    crocodoc,

    But, just my humble opinion, it must be possible to make jokes about each and everything, without any exceptions. Because if we start introducing taboos that may not be touched (remember the precious “religious feelings”?), that’s a powerful tool for censorship and women, gays, certain ethnic groups, the poor, handicapped people etc etc will be the last to benefit from it.

    I am not aware of anyone claiming that this asshole should not be able to act like an asshole.

    And it appears your point is that we should not stand up and point out that some straight white guy is acting like an asshole because this will affect the minorities.

    Is this what you are saying?

  240. LDTR says

    If someone (professional comic or not) tells a story or says a line that is in any way supportive of rape or dismissive of its victims, the fact that it was meant to be a “joke” does not somehow magically make it harmless.

    If you are unaware of how society favors you because of your sex, race, income, sexual preference, gender identity, and/or religion, then you are not likely to help fight against the inequality that gave you the privilege to be unaware.

    I don’t see how it’s possible to make it any simpler than that.

  241. Beatrice says

    crocodoc,

    I think you are full of shit.

    When I watch his shows, I can laugh about things that I should lead to despair when you just think about them.

    This is one of the many reasons why I think you are full of shit. Sitting in your comfortable chair, your heart aches about some flood in Indonesia. You are barely holding together, torn apart by despair and overwhelming sadness. You grab a Coke and sip it slowly, trying to forget the terrible images. Your life is never going to be the same again. But worry not! A joke will cure your broken heart. You will be able to enjoy your bacon and scrambled eggs again once you laugh heartily at a joke an Indonesian flood. And all shall be well again. Well, except for Indonesians. Too bad they couldn’t hear the jokes. But as long as jokes made you and your lot feel better about something I sincerely doubt you were despairing about all that much.

    And please don’t pull the censorship card. No one is asking to ban certain kinds of jokes, people are just asking for comedians not to use their position to be assholes.

  242. says

    @ Forrest,

    What is the line that makes a rape joke over the line but any number of offensive jokes not?

    Say, cupcake, when was the last time you had a cock shoved up your privates against your will ? One in four women has had this experience, and they do not appreciate privileged dimwitted assholes like Tosh making jokes about their experience. Is that really difficult to understand ? Or are you some kind of sociopath ?

  243. Beatrice says

    Maybe I’m just lacking a sense of humor, but what the hell makes jokes a sacred ground where everything is allowed expect the audience complaining?!
    No wonder so many comedians are assholes. They know they can get away with anything.

  244. says

    I actually didn’t have a hierarchy in mind when making the description. Everyone was simply human with different qualities and experiences.

    this is a utopia that doesn’t exist anywhere. As such, it is useless when trying to explain things that are really happening, in real reality.

    So my apologies if I have offended anyone, that was not my intention.

    the point is not about causing offense, the point is about causing harm.

    I just think some good can come from horrible jokes if managed correctly and you don’t have some ignorant racist, sexist, insert -ist of your choice, douche saying them purely for the shock value or because they are dicks.

    these things cause harm even when they’re said by perfectly nice, not-above-averagely bigoted people. it’s not about the speaker, it’s about the audience.

    Can you define privilege-blindess? I’d like to know since it’s what I apparently suffer from.

    in the most basic form, it’s the assumption that the way you experience a society is the way other people experience it too, even though in reality their experiences are completely different and much worse. a classical example is the “police, your friend and helper” thing. privileged people see police as mostly useful, helpful public servants. Many non-privileged people however are regularly abused and targeted by police, so they see them as an oppressive, antagonistic force better to be avoided at all cost, lest they make a bad situation worse.

    Ok, so when does privilege-blindness turn from a bad thing to equality?

    huh?
    privilege-blindness cannot ever turn to “equality”. it can only become equality by no longer existing.

    If 85% of the population were privilege-blind to subject x would this be a success or still a problem?

    this is incoherent. the only way to parse this is to assume that these 85% are the privileged, and they’re all blind to it, while the remaining 15% are those who lack privilege, and are therefore not blind to it. parsed that way, it would of course NOT be a good thing (and in fact resembles the current status quo on a number of axes of oppression pretty closely)

    I can only imagine that 100% privilege-blindness nulls itself out as the problem no longer exists.

    100% privilege blindness can exist in an intersectional space in which all people have privilege on at least one axis of oppression and all people are blind to their privilege on at least one of the axes they’re privileged on. Again, this actually resembles the current status quo very closely. And, it should go without saying, that status quo is not a good thing.

    what you’d want is 0% privilege blindness, either because there’s no more privilege to be blind to, or because perspectives of minorities are universally taken seriously and everyone is aware of the privileges they possess

    I will admit to privilege-blindess to a degree but have also actively chosen this route.

    if I were to take your word at face-value, that would make you a ginormous narcissistic asshole. But it’s obvious that you don’t actually understand what privilege-blindness is.

    The oppisite (assuming a problem or inequality first) I think creates a form of racism/sexism.

    do you often have problems with object permanence?
    here’s a clue: making something visible doesn’t create it; it just makes it visible, so that it can be fought. covering your eyes doesn’t actually make objects stop existing, and blinding yourself to your privilege doesn’t make the privilege stop existing, either.

    – – – – – – –

    But I honestly am missing the distinction between rape jokes and other offensive jokes and hope someone can kindly explain it

    bigoted jokes cause harm. I’ve linked to four articles in research journals on this topic. there’s your answer.

    I am failing to see why the arguments against rape jokes aren’t an argument against any joke that has the potential to offend someone who is or knows a victim of something horrible that is part of that joke.

    not all “horrible” things that may happen to someone cause PTSD, and not all the horrible things that may happen to people are things that exist because of the kyriarchy. rape however is both.

    I am thinking examples like dead baby jokes, cancer jokes, murder jokes, mugging jokes, war jokes.

    there’s no culture of murdering babies to maintain a power hierarchy; there’s no culture of killing people with cancer to maintain a hierarchy; etc.; there is however a rape culture, and it exist as part of, and to maintain, patriarchy. and rape jokes are one way in which rape culture propagates and maintains itself.

    – – – – –

    I’ve been vaguely aware of FTB since Elevatorgate, and reading much more regularly in the last few weeks, and I finally logged in to delurk and say…

    I love you guys.

    You give me hope.

    This is an entire commentariate of people who want justice and equality, and don’t mince words about it. I’m not an atheist, and I doubt I ever will be, but man do I love all of the regulars arguing against racism, sexism, and all the other icky isms that harsh the squee.

    Reading major bloggers with large readerships who actually support the right of women to speak in public without abuse, and a commentariate that it not only stalwartly in agreement but also that is open to discussion and debate of other aspects of equality and rights make me squee, and make me smile even on some pretty dark days. So thank you. This lurker supports you in email.

    thanks, deoridhegrimsdottir
    – – – –

    Here’s a research study on the effect of discriminatory jokes on prejudices.

    stolen and added to my collection

  245. says

    If someone (professional comic or not) tells a story or says a line that is in any way supportive of rape or dismissive of its victims, the fact that it was meant to be a “joke” does not somehow magically make it harmless.

    actually, at least according to one of the studies, it seems to make it worse, in terms of effect:

    We hypothesized that there would be a significant negative relationship between hostile sexism and the amount of money participants would be willing to donate to the women’s organization after reading sexist jokes but not after reading sexist statements or neutral jokes.
    […]
    Supporting our hypothesis, simple slope analyses revealed a significant negative relationship between hostile sexism and amount of money participants were willing to donate to a women’s organization in the sexist joke condition (β=–.72, t=–4.98, p<.01) but not in the sexist statement condition (β=.23, t=1.06, p=.30) or in the neutral joke condition (β=–.01, t=–.07, ns).

  246. says

    @codylawson:

    The following helped me realize some of my privilege. Although I am a pansexual, a transgendered woman, and a American Indian – a person looking at me in a crowd see a white, straight, cisgendered man. I don’t have to worry about a lot of things in society, and I often don’t realize this walking down the street, or talking to people. I admit I have some ignorance to the level of my own privilege, but this is posted on the wall in my cubicle as a reminder of what it is I don’t have to worry about.

    This post will perhaps make you realize something too.

  247. Lyn M: type en colère en jupe caniché of death says

    My reasoning for the jokes (and again not the bullying type jokes) was not under the premise of the powerful oppressing the weak, but rather a celebration of differences. I actually didn’t have a hierarchy in mind when making the description. Everyone was simply human with different qualities and experiences.

    My yes! Let’s celebrate the differences among us. Why there are those of us who have never been assaulted nevermind raped, and those of us who have. Another difference? There are those of us who are powerful and privelidged and those of us who are not. Let’s all dance! Whee!

    /bitter sarcasm

  248. says

    @dysomniak

    I’m also a Bill Maher fan so the word always reminds me of his old show.

    Oh yes, and that show was such a bastion of progressive values. I’ve seen feminism get a better chance on fox news

    Thanks for that link. What an ass Maher is on that clip. The only sensible person there seemed to be Michael Moore. Even most of the women were morons.

    I do watch his current show because of the guests he invites and the topics they discuss, but he often pisses me off with some of the shit he says. Sometimes he makes good points and is funny, but overall, I don’t like him or trust him.

  249. says

    One in four women has had this experience

    for the record, the 1 in 4 is the reported number completed and attempted rapes among female college students. 1 in 6 women is the number for attempted or completed rapes over the course of a lifetime, IIRC.

  250. says

    @Jadehawk

    Yes, the college rape culture is especially bad. Indicated in both the links I posted before.

    I think this illustrates in a pretty horrible way why trivialising rape is a very very bad idea.

  251. Walton says

    This is awful. I don’t see how Tosh’s rant is supposed to be a “joke”, even superficially. It sounds to me like an explicit threat of violence. I’d have been scared if someone said something like that to me. And in context, being said in front of an audience, it was a deliberate effort to humiliate and frighten her for others’ amusement.

  252. says

    tigzy #304:

    This ‘stuff a porcupine up your ass’ thing – would any commentator who regularly uses this phrase feel comfortable about saying it someone they knew had been anally raped?

    Because telling someone to do something to themselves is totally like rape.

    FYI, no one’s keeping count of how many technicalities you got right. In fact, no one’s paying attention to these stupid technicalities at all. Stop trying to find something you can win and respond to what’s in front of you.

  253. Matt Penfold says

    This ‘stuff a porcupine up your ass’ thing – would any commentator who regularly uses this phrase feel comfortable about saying it someone they knew had been anally raped?

    Please explain your deliberate failure to comprehend.

  254. says

    @jadehawk

    stolen and added to my collection

    That collection is incredible, jadehawk. You mention on that post the thought of setting it up as some sort of indexed db or page or something: if you haven’t/aren’t doing that, would you mind if I did (full credit for the links you’ve got to you, obvs)?

  255. says

    @tigzy:

    I hate that phrase. I am a regular commenter and I seriously wish it had never expanded to a meme around here. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the stupid rationalization that people make, and I seriously think it’s one of the things we need to cease with immediately.

  256. says

    if you haven’t/aren’t doing that, would you mind if I did (full credit for the links you’ve got to you, obvs)?

    omfg, I’d love you forever if you did. I’m waaaay to lazy to actually make that happen

  257. dianne says

    When I use PC I typically think of an older population that is offended somewhat easier than the normal populace. Usually topics of shock value (sex, foul language, religion, etc) typically fill this chasm.

    That’s not just offensive, it’s incredibly lazy. Can’t think of a joke? Just add the word “fuck” to your sentence and suddenly you’ve said something “edgy” and anyone who doesn’t think it’s funny is just a prude. Yawn. Lenny Bruce did it MUCH better about 60 years ago. You’re not edgy, you’re prehistoric.

  258. dianne says

    Do you know six women? At least one of them has been raped. Know twelve? At least two of them have been raped.

    Know one woman? She’s almost certainly been sexually harassed, made to feel uncomfortable or unsafe in her home or work, been sexually assaulted in a “minor” way, and/or been pressured to have sex when she doesn’t want to. The one in 6 number is just reported rapes. It doesn’t include the women who don’t bother reporting men grabbing their breast or making remarks as they walk down the street or treating them as children because of their gender.

  259. crocodoc says

    @289 Koshka
    I agree with everyone around here who thinks that Daniel went way over the line. And yes, pointing that out is the right thing to do. I was just surprised by the sheer hate that I read here. I think PZ knew why he asked not to post rape-this-asshole-so-he-knows-what-it’s-like comments. And for the straight white asshole: Are you sure that exposing this kind of thinking will affect minorities in a bad way? It’s possible, but I doubt it. Personally, I laugh at this stuff because laughing frees you when you feel caught. I hope most people in his audience feel the same way.

    @291 Beatrice
    Actually, I really do watch terrible videos of executions, genital mutilations, exorcisms, castrations and so on. Why should I close my eyes before what’s happening in this world? If that makes you think I’m full of shit, I’m sorry. I do not contribute to such things. I don’t enjoy them but I have to admit I’m fascinated and stunned by what madness is going on. Your post sounds like you think I enjoy thinking of myself as an empathic guy for a few minutes who then turns away his face and is happy with his own, privileged life. You may be right, but why do you despise that so much? How would the Indonesians from your example benefit if I’d just hang around crying all day? Believe me, I do a lot to raise awareness of these atrocities among the people around me and I sometimes bother them so much they won’t listen anymore. Sarcasm is a great tool to get the message across, too, and it’s so much more effective and less boring that simple complaint.
    And the censorship card? As long as we have free speech, people will be offended by other people, in this case justified. I just wanted to make the point that offense can also be abused and the reason was that many posts here were, mildly said, purely emotional.

    Peace, Joachim

  260. douglashudson says

    It’s completely irrelevant whether rape jokes are funny or not. They clearly cause harm, by triggering survivors and by fostering an unsafe environment for women (and other vulnerable individuals.) One’s right to be amused is insignificant compared to other peoples’ right not to be harmed.

    I see things like this, and I despair for humanity. But then I read the comments here by people fighting the good fight against the patriarchy, against ignorance, and I take heart.

  261. Beatrice says

    Actually, I really do watch terrible videos of executions, genital mutilations, exorcisms, castrations and so on. Why should I close my eyes before what’s happening in this world?

    No, I don’t think you should close your eyes from the reality of suffering. In fact, some jokes can raise awareness of terrible things going on, but in a different way than those videos. Both can thrust the truth right in your face. But then there are those cheap jokes that simply mock the suffering, use it as a prop. Those I despise, and it struck me that it was those jokes you were referring to.

    How would the Indonesians from your example benefit if I’d just hang around crying all day?

    They wouldn’t. But if someone is using their trouble for a couple of laughs, I would find that despicable. So the point is in that line between satire/gallows humor/raising awareness through humor and cheap jokes.

    I just wanted to make the point that offense can also be abused and the reason was that many posts here were, mildly said, purely emotional.

    What is wrong with posters reacting emotionally? Offense can be abused, so can comedy (as is obvious from the topic of this whole conversation) and people have every right to react emotionally to someone using their tragedy for a joke. A bad joke. A joke which contributes to the culture where rape is often treated as a joke to the face of the victim, by the police, by the victim’s friends and especially the rapist himself.

  262. Koshka says

    crocodoc,

    Personally, I laugh at this stuff because laughing frees you when you feel caught. I hope most people in his audience feel the same way.

    It is lovely you can laugh yourself free.

    Read the posts above from women who have been raped. Are you telling them to laugh themselves free?

    Shove your hope. You may as well be telling people to pray to god to set themselves free.

  263. ryugagotoku says

    Alright, so a preface: rape isn’t funny and neither is Daniel Tosh.

    That being said: don’t talk during a comedy show. The author, the “friend” who experienced this should have known better. Comedians take it personally when you interrupt their bits, and if you’re interrupting something meant to be ironic (because you’re humorless and need to give vent to some sanctimony) – don’t do it. You can just leave without making yourself a target.

    I don’t know how it works at the Laugh Factory, but most comedy clubs make their money selling alcohol, not tickets. Frequently the club owner might insist on something like a two drink minimum. Having to deal with drunken, stupid jerks shouting at the stage is, unsurprisingly, a common occurrence. Most comedians pride themselves on their ability to keep a heckler in place. But here’s the thing about a heckler: it’s usually not just once. Usually they keep going, trying to derail a show. In other words, I doubt that this woman *only* interrupted to talk about rape. The fact that she seems to make it a point that she doesn’t know anything about comedy suggests to me she probably doesn’t know the etiquette either.

    She may genuinely believe that she heard rape jokes and was threatened with rape. At the same time, her perception may be soaked in alcohol and wounded ego.

    If you want to see a fantastic anatomy of a heckle and response, here’s a famous clip of Richard Herring doing it with a lot of class. Stick around to the end:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtjx-yplqTw

    Note in the clip: I’m sure Herring probably doesn’t feel like murder is funny either. But his heckler sure seems intent on taking it that way. Now imagine if the guy had access to a blog…

  264. says

    @ryugagotoku

    Wow, that was a lot of mansplaining …

    Most people here seem to be aware of how the whole heckling-thing works. The point is not that he tried to silence her (rightly or wrongly), but how he did it.

    Do try to follow the discussion.

  265. says

    But his heckler sure seems intent on taking it that way. Now imagine if the guy had access to a blog…

    The fact that Tosh publicly apologized would seem to refute your theory that it was merely a case of “her perception may be soaked in alcohol and wounded ego”.

    Asshole.

  266. says

    You know, its amazing how little anti-gay material exists in stand up now vs in the 80s, when everyone was doing it. If you watch shit from back then (like I have) its easy to say what is wrong with it, though people probably acted exactly the way they did towards Tosh if anyone had a problem. Things could change eventually, but right now- rape is a joke in the legal system. Comedians will quit when their audience realizes it isn’t funny.

  267. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Katherine Lorraine – 100 % co-signed. Although, I do think the explanation of the meme is valid, its too easy to use that against the Horde as evidence of what it isn’t. It’s the same reason I stopped used the Jump off a Bridge thing. I know what it means, but again, its too easily misinterpreted and therefore unsuccessful.

  268. Beatrice says

    ryugagotoku,

    Maybe someone should make “rapes jokes aren’t funny” part of the etiquette.

    I can’t decide if you are calling her a liar or so feeble minded she has no idea what she’s doing from one moment to the next.

  269. dianne says

    The author, the “friend” who experienced this should have known better. Comedians take it personally when you interrupt their bits, and if you’re interrupting something meant to be ironic (because you’re humorless and need to give vent to some sanctimony) – don’t do it.

    Because it’s so much better to sit quietly and not challenge jerks who make rape victims targets of jokes than to say something. I admit that the author should have known better than to expect something funny to be said at a Tosh show, but maybe she didn’t know who he was.

    A comedian who can’t handle a heckler without resorting to threats is incompetent. The comedian is supposed to be a professional at making people laugh, an artist who is in control on stage. The heckler is a random member of the public and maybe drunk. For Tosh to complain that he HAD to resort to threats is like a football player saying that he HAD to shoot a 90 year old because she was acting a bit aggressive and might get the better of him if it came to a fistfight. Or, at least, it should be like that. In Tosh’s case, maybe he really doesn’t have any comic ability to use to keep a heckler in line. In which case he should get off the stage and get a real job.

  270. Beatrice says

    I’ve looked up what “heckler” means, since this thread is the first time I have encountered the word.
    I got this:

    To try to embarrass and annoy (someone speaking or performing in public) by questions, gibes, or objections; badger.

    Basically, every single person in this thread who called this woman a heckler was wrong. Or calling her a liar. I mean, is it impossible that a listener is bothered by the comedian’s words and speaks up without being labeled a heckler?

  271. Koshka says

    Fucking outrageous.

    Talking about proper “etiquette” about the audience talking during a show versus talking about someone getting raped.

    What the fuck is wrong with people?

  272. says

    @Illuminata:

    Yea, that’s the other problem. Trolls wield it all too well against us, saying we’re just as bad, and while I can understand the difference, it’s very much a rationalization as to something we should just drop as a whole. I’d rather we lose a rather pointless meme than have people continue to have to back up what the difference between the language is. Your average troll is not going to care, and it hurts our image in the end.

    (plus the whole aspect of anal insertion makes me a bit uncomfortable… my previous ex-boyfriend wielded my discomfort I had one night against me…)

  273. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    That being said: don’t talk during a comedy show.

    Having done standup comedy, and attended many, many shows back in the 80s, what? Holy crap, if I were doing my routine and couldn’t get audience response, I would be lost. And heckling a poor comic, or an inappropriate comic, is normal.

    . . . and if you’re interrupting something meant to be ironic (because you’re humorless and need to give vent to some sanctimony)

    Sanctimony? Sanctimony?

    Definition of sanctimony: “Feigned piety or righteousness; hypocritical
    devoutness or high-mindedness.”

    So she was faking being offended and disturbed by a rape joke just to pretend to be pious? I do think you need to cite your evidence.

    You can just leave without making yourself a target.

    You do realize that to far to many men, all women are targets? No matter the environment? And making jokes about victimizing women makes rape more acceptable? Or are you totally clueless?

    In other words, I doubt that this woman *only* interrupted to talk about rape.

    Again, citation needed.

    She may genuinely believe that she heard rape jokes and was threatened with rape. At the same time, her perception may be soaked in alcohol and wounded ego.

    So now you have declared that she was deluded and heard something that didn’t happen. Please cite your source for that.

  274. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    *revvs up the Bigot-to-English Translator:

    Alright, so a preface: rape isn’t funny and neither is Daniel Tosh.

    Translation: I’m only saying this so that, after I puke out some shit ass bullshit, I can cry foul when you attack me for it. Dumb coozes!

    The author, the “friend” who experienced this should have known better. Comedians take it personally when you interrupt their bits, and if you’re interrupting something meant to be ironic (because you’re humorless and need to give vent to some sanctimony) – don’t do it. You can just leave without making yourself a target.

    See? In my very first paragraph I prove that I think women are dumb, humorless killjoys who should just shut up and stay home. How dare that dumb bitch think going to A COMEDY club meant hearing FUNNY stuff? And of course SHE shouldn’t have taken personally Tosh’s gangrape enthusiasm. Taking shit personally is for comics ONLY! Dumb cooz!

    In other words, I doubt that this woman *only* interrupted to talk about rape. The fact that she seems to make it a point that she doesn’t know anything about comedy suggests to me she probably doesn’t know the etiquette either.

    SHE is the REAL bad person here! I have no evidence of any of this shit, but it must be all her fault because she’s a bitch! Victims are the REAL CRIMINALS!!!!

    She may genuinely believe that she heard rape jokes and was threatened with rape. At the same time, her perception may be soaked in alcohol and wounded ego.

    Bitchez – so irrational, emotional, stupid, arrogant and unable to hold their liquor, amirite? Dumb cooz! She only “believes” she heard a rape joke, despite there actually being two, but shes’s a bitch so she’s lying, hysterical, humorless, etc.

    LOL dumbass bigot shitheads gonna be dumbass bigot shitheads.

  275. Beatrice says

    Koshka,

    remember, this thread is about the abuse poor comedians suffer from the rude public. We have to talk about important things, after all, not some oversensitive wimenz.
    /sarcasm

  276. says

    That being said: don’t talk during a comedy show. The author, the “friend” who experienced this should have known better. Comedians take it personally when you interrupt their bits, and if you’re interrupting something meant to be ironic (because you’re humorless and need to give vent to some sanctimony) – don’t do it. You can just leave without making yourself a target.

    You know who else takes it personally to be called out on their shit? The majority of people, especially bigoted assholes. This logic is an excuse to not say or do anything in the face of misogynistic rhetoric, when what society needs is people speaking up more. If tosh knew he could’t tell rape jokes without someone heckling him he would probably fucking stop doing it.

    You don’t seem to understand that there were rapists in that audience. statistically there had to be, and tosh was giving them, the real rapists, a high five with his joke. But don’t mind me, I just think thats a wee bit more important than tosh’s feelings.

  277. dianne says

    I mean, is it impossible that a listener is bothered by the comedian’s words and speaks up without being labeled a heckler?

    As far as I know, no it is not. I always thought that talking back during a live comedy routine was, by definition, heckling. OTOH, heckling is, at worst, an expected job hazard of being a stand up comic, at best, something you can work into your routine and improve it, and, at least, feedback. A comedian who can’t handle it should find another job.

  278. ryugagotoku says

    @Jadzia

    “Wow, that was a lot of mansplaining …”

    Wow, that’s a lot of dismissiveness. Also, how do you know my gender? Hello assumptions.

    “Most people here seem to be aware of how the whole heckling-thing works. The point is not that he tried to silence her (rightly or wrongly), but how he did it.

    Do try to follow the discussion.”

    No, that’s *your* point. My point is that this a completely unreliable narrator. Rape isn’t funny. Now prove to me that this third-hand account happened the way this “friend” said it happened.

    @ rorsach

    “The fact that Tosh publicly apologized would seem to refute your theory that it was merely a case of “her perception may be soaked in alcohol and wounded ego”.”

    No it doesn’t. It proves that Daniel Tosh is a whore who knows which side of the bread his Comedy Central butter is on. But what else is new?

    @beatrice

    Watch the video I posted. That’s what a heckle looks like. Replace the hilarious line “stabbing isn’t funny” with “rape isn’t funny” and I can’t help but feel the situation is identical.

    @Kathrine Lorraine

    “Victim-blaming.”

    Oh, fuck you. Now my comments have moral equivalency with rape? How about a little-less knee jerk here.

  279. Matt Penfold says

    That being said: don’t talk during a comedy show.

    You seem to be assuming that Tosh was performing comedy. I know that is what he was supposed to be doing, but it does not seem to be what he was actually doing.

    So why the false assumption ?

  280. Matt Penfold says

    No, that’s *your* point. My point is that this a completely unreliable narrator. Rape isn’t funny. Now prove to me that this third-hand account happened the way this “friend” said it happened.

    Ah, the bitch is lying gambit.

    You did not start the discussion here, so you do not get to decide what it is about. It seems you have a problem with your ego.

  281. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Wow, that’s a lot of dismissiveness. Also, how do you know my gender? Hello assumptions.

    LOLOLOLOL oh, cupcake. If you only had a clue.

    Now my comments have moral equivalency with rape? How about a little-less knee jerk here.

    Cupcake, don’t use words you don’t understand. Being called a victim-blamer, which you ARE in spades, doesn’t mean you are the moral equivalent of a rapist, it means you’re his biggest fan. Which, again, you’ve already proven to be true.

    So, how’s it feel being in the Rapist Booster Club?

  282. Matt Penfold says

    Oh, and if the account is fabricated, don’t you think Tosh would have argued that, rather than admit he went to far ?

    Even the person you are defending did not rely on the bitch is lying defence.

  283. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    Wow, that’s a lot of dismissiveness. Also, how do you know my gender? Hello assumptions.

    Mansplaining can be committed by any gender. Don’t believe me? Listen to an abused spouse some time.

    No, that’s *your* point. My point is that this a completely unreliable narrator. Rape isn’t funny. Now prove to me that this third-hand account happened the way this “friend” said it happened.

    I ran this through some translation software and it came out as: “I don’t like the implications of the account so the narrator must be lying.”

    It proves that Daniel Tosh is a whore

    This confuses me. Do you mean that anyone who does anything for pay is a prostitute (hell, I regularly talk to the public — am I a whore?)? Or does this mean that Tosh has the same social value that you assign to sex workers? Either way, huh?

  284. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    It proves that Daniel Tosh is a whore

    LOL, so are you now going to pretend you’re NOT a raging misogynist? Cuz, that ship has sailed, cupcake.

  285. says

    No it doesn’t. It proves that Daniel Tosh is a whore who knows which side of the bread his Comedy Central butter is on. But what else is new?

    Sorry mate, but no. Your quote @ 317 was this :

    She may genuinely believe that she heard rape jokes and was threatened with rape. At the same time, her perception may be soaked in alcohol and wounded ego.

    You tried to suggest that her perception of events may have been altered by taking drugs or being drunk. Which is fair enough and not by itself unreasonable, after all it’s possible, right, were it not for the fact that Tosh had gone to Twitter in the meantime to kind of apologize for his asshole comments. Which makes you an even bigger asshole, since even Tosh had the courage to admit that he was wrong (likely for purposes of publicity I assume, but nevertheless).

  286. carlie says

    Are you sure that exposing this kind of thinking will affect minorities in a bad way? It’s possible, but I doubt it. Personally, I laugh at this stuff because laughing frees you when you feel caught. I hope most people in his audience feel the same way.

    Oh my fucking god.

    Read what you just wrote: “Laughing frees you when you feel caught.” Caught at having the same thoughts that the speaker is espousing? You’re seriously saying that it’s good to laugh at rape jokes, because laughing frees you when you feel caught by having your “rape is funny ha ha” feelings put out there in public? Since you said he was doing it all ironically and stuff to mock the people who really think that?

    Either you are absolutely terrible at communicating, or you’re a total asshole.

  287. says

    @ryugagotoku

    Wow, that’s a lot of dismissiveness. Also, how do you know my gender? Hello assumptions.

    Well, you don’t *have* to be a man to mansplain, but, yeah, I think you are …

    No, that’s *your* point. My point is that this a completely unreliable narrator. Rape isn’t funny. Now prove to me that this third-hand account happened the way this “friend” said it happened.

    Uhm, by the fact that the comedian himself confirmed and provided a half-ass apology?

    Again: Do try to keep up.

  288. carlie says

    At the same time, her perception may be soaked in alcohol and wounded ego.

    Bitches ain’t shit.
    Also, they’re usually drunk bitches.

  289. crocodoc says

    @ 315 Beatrice
    I think we can agree on that, thanks for giving a serious answer.
    Why do I feel uncomfortable with emotional posts? Because emotion so often includes feelings of revenge or humiliating someone who has made a mistake. No doubt, Daniel Tosh did also humiliate rape victims. There’s no excuse for that but if his apologies are honest (do we know?) we should not be part of the eye-for-an-eye fraction. What’s better for the discussion about how we treat rapists and rape victims: Trying to get along with him while still pointing out that this went too far, or just calling him an asshole? What will lead more people to spend a few thoughts on our dark sides?

    @ 316 Koshka
    Understood. I’m neither laughing at rape victims nor recommending to “take it with a smile”, I’m laughing at how a large part of our society – admittedly sometimes including myself – deals with it. Because it is ridiculous. And I’m still not sure if Tosh is part of it or if he’s brilliantly exposing it.

  290. Matt Penfold says

    Carlie said:

    Either you are absolutely terrible at communicating, or you’re a total asshole.

    My money is on both, with the emphasis on the latter.

  291. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    What’s better for the discussion about how we treat rapists and rape victims: Trying to get along with him while still pointing out that this went too far, or just calling him an asshole? What will lead more people to spend a few thoughts on our dark sides?

    *facepalm* its like they don’t ever read this blog BEFORE dropping big steaming loads of crap on it.

  292. says

    @crocodoc

    Why do I feel uncomfortable with emotional posts? Because emotion so often includes feelings of revenge or humiliating someone who has made a mistake.

    Nice save.

    No, revenge is not the emotion commenters have been showing. Most people have a little wider range of emotions (and empathy for that matter) than “revenge”.

    Of course when an issue is triggering, the response will be emotional. What do you expect? And why do you dismiss this?

  293. Beatrice says

    crocodoc,

    When the post first went up, PZ nor the commenters knew about the apology. When someone linked to the apology… that didn’t make the situation much better because the apology was a pretty bad one. A nonpology more like it.

    “All the out of context misquotes aside, I’d like to sincerely apologize,”

    ”The point I was making before I was heckled is there are awful things in the world but you can still make jokes about them,”

  294. says

    That being said: don’t talk during a comedy show. The author, the “friend” who experienced this should have known better. Comedians take it personally when you interrupt their bits, and if you’re interrupting something meant to be ironic (because you’re humorless and need to give vent to some sanctimony) – don’t do it. You can just leave without making yourself a target.

    If she had just left silently, this discussion wouldn’t be happening and fewer people would be exposed to the “concept” of rape culture and the arguments against perpetuating it.

    I hope more people speak up if a comedian says sexist or other bigoted bullshit, fuck how the comedian feels about being heckled, couldn’t care less.

  295. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    What’s better for the discussion about how we treat rapists and rape victims: Trying to get along with him while still pointing out that this went too far, or just calling him an asshole? What will lead more people to spend a few thoughts on our dark sides?

    Right. Because those who have been victimized by rapists will certainly see you as an ally if you try to get along with those promoting the culture of rape acceptance.

    That was sarcasm, by the way.

  296. carlie says

    Why do I feel uncomfortable with emotional posts? Because emotion so often includes feelings of revenge or humiliating someone who has made a mistake.

    And a lot of people know how to be emotional without wishing physical harm on others. If you would spend any time around here, you’d know that the same people who are metaphorically ripping Tosh’s opinions to shreds are the ones who will do the same to anyone who says he ought to be raped etc.

    What will lead more people to spend a few thoughts on our dark sides?

    The one that says we do NOT PUT UP WITH THAT SHIT. Go look at any social change movement and see how many got very far being nice and accommodating.

  297. dianne says

    @Beatrice: Or I got it wrong. FWIW, I meant my last post as explaining where I was coming from not declaring my view The Truth. Sorry about being overly aggressive in my response.

  298. Koshka says

    crocodoc,

    Because emotion so often includes feelings of revenge or humiliating someone who has made a mistake.

    Remind me. Who is the victim again?

    Anyone would think you are this guy’s Agent you are so quick to defend.

  299. Beatrice says

    dianne,

    Sorry about being overly aggressive in my response.

    You weren’t.

    And it seems that everyone is operating with the same definition as you.

  300. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    The point I was making before I was heckled is there are awful things in the world that happen to OTHER people but you I can still make jokes about them other people suffering things I don’t”

    FTFY, Tosh, you fucking worthless piece of shit.

  301. ryugagotoku says

    @Katherine Lorraine

    “You basically said “she deserved what she got, she should know better.” That’s classic victim-blaming mentality.”

    Not appropriate. At all. If I say that someone who drunkenly shouts at a veteran road comic should not be surprised if they get a lot of well-honed abuse in response – that is not the same as saying that a woman deserved to be raped and you know it. You’re drawing a moral equivalency between my comments and rape. Totally inappropriate. Stop it.

    And no, she’s not a victim. Anyone who’s been in a comedy club knows this person’s type. They know the intellectual dishonesty, they know the self-absorption, they know exactly how this scenario played itself out. I don’t have sympathy with her because she took to the keyboard and wrote a blog vindicating herself on the basis of “I kind of vaguely remember something like this happening.”

    @Jadzia

    “half-ass apology”

    “Half-assed” – you mean like he might not have meant what he was saying? Like he knows his Comedy Central money is based on his capacity to keep out of controversy? Like he doesn’t really know what this situation is and he’s just covering his bases because that’s how he is.

    Again honey, do try to keep up.

    “Well, you don’t *have* to be a man to mansplain”

    “Mansplaining” is dismissively refusing to engage with someone’s argument because you’ve got some superior knowledge of the subject that comes from your gender, right? Sort of a patronizing refusal to seriously engage with the other person, assuming that because of their gender they couldn’t possibly know what they’re talking about. I agree, mansplaining can be done by anyone. Now quit mansplaining to me.

    @carlie

    “Bitches ain’t shit.
    Also, they’re usually drunk bitches.”

    As I said above: comedy clubs usually have a minimum of two drinks. It’s how they make their money. If someone is being obnoxious enough to draw attention to themselves, alcohol is likely involved. Gender is irrelevant. Stop putting words in my mouth guys.

  302. crocodoc says

    @ 343 carlie

    I guess I’ll go for the total asshole option, then. I don’t know how many people here were born as angels, free of sinister thoughts, primordial urges or the need to put themselves above others. I am not. I constantly struggle with that asshole within. And that requires that I think about ugly things and their consequences. Our natural way to deal with other peoples tragedies seems to be to ignore them, put them aside, forget them. I need sarcasm to be able to remind me of such things otherwise I’d drown in sorrow. If you don’t need this assholish approach, consider yourself lucky and a better person than me.

  303. carlie says

    If someone is being obnoxious enough to draw attention to themselves, alcohol is likely involved.

    Saying “rape jokes aren’t funny” isn’t someone trying to draw attention to themselves. It’s someone trying to speak out against something they perceive as an injustice. You really don’t see the difference between “rape jokes aren’t funny” and normal half-drunk heckling?

  304. Beatrice says

    on the basis of “I kind of vaguely remember something like this happening.”

    Oh and suddenly she was drunk off her arse and has no idea what actually happened. Nice.

  305. Beatrice says

    Our natural way to deal with other peoples tragedies seems to be to ignore them, put them aside, forget them.

    And there is nothing between ignoring other people’s tragedies and laughing at them?

  306. carlie says

    Our natural way to deal with other peoples tragedies seems to be to ignore them, put them aside, forget them. I need sarcasm to be able to remind me of such things otherwise I’d drown in sorrow.

    That makes no sense. How would you be drowning in sorrow, since you’ve just said that your natural way to deal with them is to ignore and forget them?

    And how is thinking about something and laughing about it better than thinking about it and being sad about it, other than that it makes you personally feel better? Because what feeling better about it also does is make it less likely for you to DO something about the problem that would actually help the people who are suffering from it, which is a net negative. To everybody but you and the lulz you got from it.

  307. Matt Penfold says

    If someone is being obnoxious enough to draw attention to themselves, alcohol is likely involved.

    So you think Tosh had been drinking ? Is that not unprofessional of him ?

    I assume you are talking about Tosh, since you mentioned obnoxious behaviour, and that would cover Tosh but not the two women.

  308. Koshka says

    So when are women allowed to legitimately complain about men suggesting they be raped? Is it before their second drink?
    And after this second drink do men lose all responsibility?

  309. says

    @ryu:

    Do you see what you’re saying?

    It doesn’t matter one iota if she was drunk or if she was sober. You’re blaming her for the abuse heaped upon her, period.

    It. Was. Not. Her. Fault.

    Tosh was an asshole, he advocated gang rape to shut her up. He not-pologized for his ill-suited remark. He is still an asshole.

  310. Pteryxx says

    You’re drawing a moral equivalency between my comments and rape. Totally inappropriate. Stop it.

    She’s not. Victim-blaming is its own phenomenon, and gets used in lots of privileged excuse-making: blaming the poor for being poor, minorities for deserving racist treatment, and so on. Rape apologia’s only one situation where victim-blaming is extremely prevalent, and nobody has compared you to a rapist.

  311. LDTR says

    crocodoc,

    I agree with everyone around here who thinks that Daniel went way over the line. And yes, pointing that out is the right thing to do. I was just surprised by the sheer hate that I read here.

    Why would you be surprised that people who are not privileged (or who care about those who are not privileged) hate being reminded over and over that the feelings of the “lesser” ones don’t matter?

    I’m pretty sure almost no one here hates Daniel Tosh as a person, or even the people who have defended his “humor”. They hate the harm that such words cause, and they are fighting it, by pointing it out and making it known that not everyone approves of it. That is a good thing.

    Personally, I laugh at this stuff because laughing frees you when you feel caught. I hope most people in his audience feel the same way.

    Laughing at “humor” like Tosh’s that is aimed at keeping the less-privileged “in their place” frees nobody. It reinforces the status quo by reassuring the privileged that *they* don’t need to change, it’s the complainers who need to “lighten up” and not be so “sensitive”.

    Actually, I really do watch terrible videos of executions, genital mutilations, exorcisms, castrations and so on. Why should I close my eyes before what’s happening in this world?

    How noble of you. Are you sure it’s not because you enjoy knowing that it’s not you suffering those things?

    Your post sounds like you think I enjoy thinking of myself as an empathic guy for a few minutes who then turns away his face and is happy with his own, privileged life. You may be right, but why do you despise that so much?

    Are you joking? Bloody hell.

    How would the Indonesians from your example benefit if I’d just hang around crying all day?

    No one has suggested doing that.

    And the censorship card? As long as we have free speech, people will be offended by other people, in this case justified. I just wanted to make the point that offense can also be abused

    The point isn’t that it (the so-called joke) was “offensive”, the point is that it was HARMFUL. That type of “humor” HARMS people.

    and the reason was that many posts here were, mildly said, purely emotional.

    So the wrongness in society should be pointed out only with total, Vulcan-like calm? That would be fine, if the people living on this planet were Vulcans. *Humans* respond to the emotion behind words as much as they do to the words themselves. Communicating your point with true, heartfelt passion conveys the message that *this stuff matters* to you, and is thus more likely to be remembered (even if the receiver doesn’t agree).

  312. Koshka says

    Our natural way to deal with other peoples tragedies seems to be to ignore them, put them aside, forget them. I need sarcasm to be able to remind me of such things otherwise I’d drown in sorrow. If you don’t need this assholish approach, consider yourself lucky and a better person than me.

    Having to deal with other people’s tradegies?

    Sorry I forgot it was all about you.

  313. Anri says

    First, let me just say:

    I hate that phrase. I am a regular commenter and I seriously wish it had never expanded to a meme around here. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the stupid rationalization that people make, and I seriously think it’s one of the things we need to cease with immediately.

    Yes, this.

    The huge difference between this meme and actual rape jokes is, of course, the reflection of reality – one happens, one doesn’t. But many of the defenses for this meme are very similar, if not identical to, the ones used by justifications of rape jokes, and I worry that might be significant.
    I dunno, might just be knee-jerking on my part.

    . . .

    Moving on to the actual issue:

    That being said: don’t talk during a comedy show. The author, the “friend” who experienced this should have known better. Comedians take it personally when you interrupt their bits, and if you’re interrupting something meant to be ironic (because you’re humorless and need to give vent to some sanctimony) – don’t do it. You can just leave without making yourself a target.

    Oddly enough, many women take it personally when they are threatened with gang rape. But, then, she had it coming, didn’t she? For being uppity. For daring to suggest that rape comedy might be a bad thing. As everyone knows, she should have just been a good girl and taken it, at very worst meekly crept out.

    Why do you think it’s no longer a good plan to try to make a living doing blackface or gay-bashing* material? It’s because even the audience members who found it funny were made so uncomfortable by the (accurate) outrage of those that found it offensive, they stopped paying to see it.
    This is a good thing.
    This is how change happens – someone finally stands up and says “I don’t care if you find that funny, you’re making a joke out of people being horribly abused, and that’s disgusting.”

    The instant Tosh stops using rape joke material, he’ll stop getting heckled for using rape joke material. Someone in that nightclub was asking for it – but it wasn’t anyone in the audience.

    Lastly:

    She may genuinely believe that she heard rape jokes and was threatened with rape. At the same time, her perception may be soaked in alcohol and wounded ego.

    Do I really need to point out the ‘false rape accusation’ parallel in this statement? ‘Cause it seems pretty obvious to me.

    – – –

    *Note: gay-bashing material is still generally accepted in one specific type of stand-up routine – the kind delivered from a pulpit.

  314. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Not appropriate. At all. If I say that someone who drunkenly shouts at a veteran road comic should not be surprised if they get a lot of well-honed abuse in response – that is not the same as saying that a woman deserved to be raped and you know it. You’re drawing a moral equivalency between my comments and rape. Totally inappropriate. Stop it.

    There is nothing finely honed about “It would be ironic if you were ganged raped by five guys.”!

    Also. enough about how wrong she was to heckle. Heckler are what all stand up comedians have to learn how to deal with.

    And one more thing, fuckface, how fucking disgusting it is that you are dismissing her concerns by waving it away as merely drunkenness and a hurt ego.

    Women, not only are they not funny, they do not understand comedy.

  315. ryugagotoku says

    @beatrice

    “Oh and suddenly she was drunk off her arse and has no idea what actually happened. Nice.”

    You read the blog post as well as I did. It was surprisingly skimpy on specific details. I think “I vaguely remember something like this happening” is a fairly good summary of how the author represented herself.

    @Matt

    “I assume you are talking about Tosh, since you mentioned obnoxious behaviour, and that would cover Tosh but not the two women.”

    I’m not defending Tosh. He’s an obnoxious ass. No question. You get no argument there out of me.

    @carlie

    “You really don’t see the difference between “rape jokes aren’t funny” and normal half-drunk heckling?”

    Do you not see the difference between a position you agree with and ex post facto vindication on a blog?

    There is a difference. You’re more likely to find the former on a blog, and the latter in a comedy club.

  316. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    You’re drawing a moral equivalency between my comments and rape. Totally inappropriate. Stop it.

    No, she isn’t, you lying sack of shit. You are blaming the woman for Tosh’s behavior. THAT IS VICTIM-BLAMING. Own it, or take you dishonest schtick back to the slimepit.

    I don’t have sympathy with her because she took to the keyboard and wrote a blog vindicating herself on the basis of “I kind of vaguely remember something like this happening.”

    LOL wow, you are a useless asswipe. She deserves no sympathy for writing about something that affected her. Because she was drinking at the time. She shouldn’t have been wearing that skirt either, huh.

    “Mansplaining” is dismissively refusing to engage with someone’s argument because you’ve got some superior knowledge of the subject that comes from your gender, right?

    No, cupcake, mansplaining is what happens when some ignorant useless asswipe talks down to others about shit he knows nothing about. Like you’re doing when you whine about words you clearly didn’t bother to google before deciding you knew what they meant. Funny failure on your part though. Thanks for the giggles.

    Gender is irrelevant. Stop putting words in my mouth guys.

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLO gender is irrevelant YOU GUYS. LOLOLOLOLOLOL Are you a Poe?

  317. Matt Penfold says

    I’m not defending Tosh. He’s an obnoxious ass. No question. You get no argument there out of me.

    Huh ? That is all you have been doing.

    Not only are you a sexist arsehole, you are a lying scumbag of a sexist arsehole.

  318. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    I constantly struggle with that asshole within.

    If you need humor that harms victims, and you are callous enough to sit around here and justify it to them and their allies, I’d submit that you’re fucking losing.

  319. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    So when are women allowed to legitimately complain about men suggesting they be raped? Is it before their second drink?

    Koshka, this answer is this; it is really not a big problem. And if the women and their male supporters would just shut up about it, everybody else will feel better and the problem will disappear, er, not be discussed.

  320. crocodoc says

    @ 366 carlie

    “That makes no sense. How would you be drowning in sorrow, since you’ve just said that your natural way to deal with them is to ignore and forget them?
    And how is thinking about something and laughing about it better than thinking about it and being sad about it, other than that it makes you personally feel better?”

    What I meant is: We have this innate mechanism to ignore suffering. It protects us from constant depression. If you want to change things for the better, you have to face them how they currently are. I can only speak for myself her but I found that sarcasm helps. And again, I’m not laughing at victims of sexual or any other violence. It’s the absurdity of justifying or defending theses crimes that I laugh at. If you say that this is just as sad as the actual crime, you may be right. But ridiculing idiots is an important part of fighting idiocy, and I’m still not convinced that Tosh did not do exactly that up to the point when he got confronted with an unexpected response from the audience and then said terribly stupid, inexcusable stuff.

    I have obviously given the impression that I want to defend him here. I don’t. I just try to understand him and found analogies in my own behavior.

  321. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I’m not defending Tosh. He’s an obnoxious ass. No question. You get no argument there out of me.

    Fuck you’re a shitty liar. Everyone can read what you wrote, cupcake.

    But, keep ignoring what you can’t refute. It’s Cute.

  322. mythbri says

    @ryugagotoku

    Since you’re doubting pretty much every element in this woman’s story, it shouldn’t surprise me that you also doubt her friend’s motivation for standing up and saying something.

    There are people in this very thread who have expressed similar opinions about these rape jokes. That this other woman felt the same way is not an extraordinary claim. People who heckle during comedy sets are typically trying to ruin the comedian’s flow and put them off their stride. I don’t think this is an accurate description of what this woman did.

    If I had been there to hear Tosh make those jokes, I would have walked out. I think this woman is braver than I would have been for actually saying something.

  323. says

    @ryugagotoku

    “Half-assed” – you mean like he might not have meant what he was saying? Like he knows his Comedy Central money is based on his capacity to keep out of controversy? Like he doesn’t really know what this situation is and he’s just covering his bases because that’s how he is.

    A coward? I suppose …

    “Mansplaining” is dismissively refusing to engage with someone’s argument because you’ve got some superior knowledge of the subject that comes from your gender, right? Sort of a patronizing refusal to seriously engage with the other person, assuming that because of their gender they couldn’t possibly know what they’re talking about. I agree, mansplaining can be done by anyone.

    Yes, like you dismissing this woman as more or less drunk and hysterical and lying. I think “mansplaining” is the right word for what you’re doing …

    Now quit mansplaining to me.

    Oh, a “NO U”, how clever …

  324. Koshka says

    crocodoc,

    If you say that this is just as sad as the actual crime, you may be right.

    This was not said. It is offensive for you to suggest it was.

    I just try to understand him and found analogies in my own behavior.

    This should be cause for concern.

  325. congaboy says

    A joke about awful things is funny when the joke uses irony to demonstrate just how horrible the awful thing is. It is not funny when the “joke” (absent irony) condones the awful thing. Thus, when Louis CK makes a video that claims that the Catholic religion was created solely to recruit young boys for priests to rape, it is funny, because he is attacking the institution and not supporting the raping of children. Tosh made a horrible response to a heckler that was not ironic, not well thought out, and not funny. It was an off-the-cuff, poorly crafted retort. Tosh tries to shock audiences with grotesque and offensive humor, but it is usually couched in irony; this was just a really crappy, nasty comment that just wasn’t funny—and even he realizes it. Sometimes comedians bomb, it’s part of the job. And Tosh certainly bombed that night. It is unfair to judge a person’s entire life and career on one poorly made thoughtless comment. Fortunately, no one in the audience was stupid or crazy enough to think Tosh was ordering him to rape that woman.

  326. says

    ixchel (#258) – Thank you. I didn’t realize we lived in a society where rape is basically accepted and not universally seen as the evil that it is. I’ve never heard the term “rape culture” before. That is a big difference between other horrors that we almost universally accept as such.

    Wowbagger (#263) – Unfortunatly commenters here aren’t good enough at seeing an honest question. See Koshka (#286) “And I would suggest Forrest should take his JAQing and fuck off.” and rorschach (#292) “Is that really difficult to understand? Or are you some kind of sociopath?”. That is why I mentioned my reluctance to jump into this conversation. We don’t all just “get it” because as I think most everyone on here is well aware, many of us are blinded by our privledge. It makes it difficult for me to understand if I don’t feel I can ask questions for fear of a slew of insults and sarcasm.

  327. says

    It’s the absurdity of justifying or defending theses crimes that I laugh at.

    Do you think that is what most people are laughing at? Because I can assure you it is not. Its the same way that conservatives laught at the colvert report or people get nostalgia from watching madmen- having some different way of enjoying it doesn’t detract from the social impact of glorifying inhuman behavior.

    Your whole view rests on a false ditchotomy anyway- there are as many reactions to suffering as there are people in the world, it isn’t a choice between being jovial or depressed.

  328. Koshka says

    congaboy,

    Personally I am tired of the catholic priest raping boy joke. It is overused and no longer funny. I don’t know who Louis CK is. Maybe he was the originator of this joke so I apologies if this was the case.

    I do agree that is unfair to judge a person on one comment. There does appear to be more than one comment however, including his notpology. I am sure he can also be funny but I now have no desire to find out.

  329. carlie says

    Here’s a very timely example of what “rape culture” means – Domino’s Pizza has an ad campaign going on right now called “No is the new yes.

    Seriously.
    For pizza.

  330. carlie says

    And if anyone wants to claim that they didn’t know the kind of “edgy” joke they were making there, note that on the right hand side, under the signature line, the ad says “Oh yes we did”. That isn’t a phrase that is ever used except to brashly declare that they knew exactly what kind of edgy thing they were doing.

  331. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    We don’t all just “get it” because as I think most everyone on here is well aware, many of us are blinded by our privledge. It makes it difficult for me to understand if I don’t feel I can ask questions for fear of a slew of insults and sarcasm.

    I am seriously trying to drum up some sympathy for the clueless who want to ask questions. I get that they might truly be clueless and looking for info. And of course it better to ask actual feminists these questions, as opposed to male supremacists or something. But, here’s the thing: We are inundated, constantly, by bigoted asswipes who aren’t genuinely looking for info. Our tolerance, patience, etc. is fucking gone for this bullshit. I want people to be informed, but I am goddamn sick of putting in the effort talking and explaining only to find out you’re talking to a bigot with a skull thicker than a bank vault wall.

    I wonder if PZ (or someone else with a blog) would be willing to make a post of handy go-to links that we can all just post a link to when someone claims to be genuinely asking questions. Assuming this hasn’t already been done, of course. Because, if they are genuine, they will go read. If they are not, it will be immediately easy to tell.

  332. LDTR says

    Has there been any indication yet that Tosh might face some professional consequences?

    I don’t dare to hope that he might lose his show, since it’s apparently one of the anchors of Comedy Central’s lineup, but at least some sponsors and gigs drying up? Anything?

    I’m dreaming, aren’t I?

  333. says

    388

    Personally I am tired of the catholic priest raping boy joke. It is overused and no longer funny. I don’t know who Louis CK is. Maybe he was the originator of this joke so I apologies if this was the case.

    The onion had a piece awhile back, “Everyone Outraged Catholic Priest Did That Thing Everyone Jokes About”. People don’t seem to take it as seriously when there are a million jokes about it. I can’t imagine what the victims must feel like, probably hearing jokes when they go out to eat or in waiting rooms for a drs visit (and so forth).

    Louis CK is a comic that uses some rape jokes (more often in his show than his stand up), generally aimed at the right place (away from victims). Most of his comedy focuses on self-depricaton and parenting though, so it would be easy to miss the rape jokes.

  334. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    The Dominos thing should surprise no one, as the owner is a Forced Birther and apparently “owns” a town in Florida (or proposed a town in Florida, I can’t remember which) that would be bound by Catholicism of the Mel Gibson variety. No porn, no abortion, no gays, no muslims. etc.

    That he thinks rape is hilarious is a given.

  335. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I’m dreaming, aren’t I?

    Comedy Central shows about a million commercials for Girls Gone Wild, which, as we all known, is owned by famous rapist Joe Francis.

    So, yes.

  336. says

    Has there been any indication yet that Tosh might face some professional consequences?

    I don’t dare to hope that he might lose his show, since it’s apparently one of the anchors of Comedy Central’s lineup, but at least some sponsors and gigs drying up? Anything?

    I’m dreaming, aren’t I?

    Well a boycott would need to be organized, but honestly I don’t think it would matter unless the target demographic took part (18-24 year old dudes), since they are his main audience. If comedy central was affected by this shit south park (among other things) would have gone off the air years ago.

  337. says

    Has there been any indication yet that Tosh might face some professional consequences?

    I don’t dare to hope that he might lose his show, since it’s apparently one of the anchors of Comedy Central’s lineup, but at least some sponsors and gigs drying up? Anything?

    I’m dreaming, aren’t I?

    Working on it.

  338. Koshka says

    Forrest,

    I didn’t realize we lived in a society where rape is basically accepted and not universally seen as the evil that it is

    This sounds suspiciously like sarcasm that you so fear.

    I’ve never heard the term “rape culture” before.

    It is difficult to join a discussion on a subject you know little about.

    It makes it difficult for me to understand if I don’t feel I can ask questions for fear of a slew of insults and sarcasm.

    You could always try listening to others first.

  339. mythbri says

    @Forrest

    The insidious thing about rape culture is this:

    If you were to start asking random people you encounter “Hey, do you think rape is a bad thing?” I think that most of them would look at you in a funny way and say something like “Um, yes. Duh.”

    On the surface, people will say this. They’ll even think it. But each of those people has a different idea of what rape really is, and if someone else’s experience doesn’t match up with that definition, then it wasn’t a “real” rape.

    In reality, and if you look at high-profile cases, you will see examples of this, almost nothing is a “real” rape. She was wearing revealing clothing. She was drinking. She wasn’t paying attention to her drink. She was using drugs. She was a sex worker. She was married to him. She was dating him. She let him into her house. She flirted with him. She kissed him. She’s lying. She wants attention. She slept with him and now regrets it. She wants to ruin his life. These are the things that are said in public. These are the things that law enforcement officials say. This is what the victim’s friends and family say. It is EVERYWHERE.

    All of these things are brought out as excuses for what happened, because it makes people feel better to believe that someone brought a horrible thing upon themselves, instead of someone they admire doing a horrible thing to someone else.

    The thing is this: the series of events that leads up to a successful date, a fun night with a friend, a day at work, a day at school, a marriage, a relationship, etc. These series of events are indistinguishable from the series of events that leads up to a rape. The only difference is the presence of a rapist.

  340. Gregory Greenwood says

    ryugagotoku @ 361;

    Not appropriate. At all. If I say that someone who drunkenly shouts at a veteran road comic should not be surprised if they get a lot of well-honed abuse in response

    There you go again – assuming that she was inebriated without any evidence. Why are you so invested in trying to place all the blame on her?

    Also, a ‘well-honed’ response? Tell me, what is ‘well honed’ about;

    “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…”

    Exactly? And before you claim Tosh never said that, even he has admitted it. What is so ‘well honed’ about pontificating about the gang rape of someone you are angry with? It seems like straightforward misogynist bigotry to me; Tosh was angry because she called him on his vile prejudice, so his go-to response was rape fantasising, because he is a hateful misogynist creep.

    that is not the same as saying that a woman deserved to be raped and you know it. You’re drawing a moral equivalency between my comments and rape. Totally inappropriate. Stop it.

    Where are you getting this from? No one is saying that your actions here are in any way equivalent to rape. You are being accused of victim blaming because you heared/read about this comedian making a joke about the gang rape of an audience member who is a woman – bearing in mind that 1 in 6 women experience rape over the course of their lifetimes – and then you turn around and esentially say that she was asking to be the recipient of such an offensively bigoted pseudo-humourous attack because she had the gall to call him for his bigotry. Even if she was drunk (and there is no reason to suppose that she was) using gang rape against her to shame her for speaking up would still be unnacceptable in a society as saturated in rape culture as our own.

    And no, she’s not a victim. Anyone who’s been in a comedy club knows this person’s type. They know the intellectual dishonesty, they know the self-absorption, they know exactly how this scenario played itself out. I don’t have sympathy with her because she took to the keyboard and wrote a blog vindicating herself on the basis of “I kind of vaguely remember something like this happening.”

    Tell me – how long have possessed these amazing psychic powers for? I mean, you act as if you know who this woman is and why she has written what she has written with such utter certainty. I assume that you have some reason for assuming bad faith and outright deception on her part, other than straightforward sexist prejudice, that is…?

    “Half-assed” – you mean like he might not have meant what he was saying? Like he knows his Comedy Central money is based on his capacity to keep out of controversy? Like he doesn’t really know what this situation is and he’s just covering his bases because that’s how he is.

    It was a classic not-pology. He is not acting as if he didn’t mean what he said – he is acting as if he believes that he didn’t really say anything wrong, and now he is trotting out an insincere faux-apology simply in order to cover himself and protect his career from the possible backlash against his offensive rape comments. A cynical, tactical maneuver to limit damage, and nothing more.

    Again honey, do try to keep up.

    Hey, cupcake – leave off that patronising ‘honey’ stuff, OK? It is not only condescending to women, but doubly ironic after your whining about the wholly justified use of the term ‘mansplaining’ upthread.

    “Mansplaining” is dismissively refusing to engage with someone’s argument because you’ve got some superior knowledge of the subject that comes from your gender, right? Sort of a patronizing refusal to seriously engage with the other person, assuming that because of their gender they couldn’t possibly know what they’re talking about. I agree, mansplaining can be done by anyone. Now quit mansplaining to me.

    You cleary have no clue what mansplaining actually means.

    If you are either using your socially mandated male privilege to explain something you don’t understand at all to women more informed than you, or if you are a woman who is trotting out patriarchy-compliant arguments and tropes to condescendingly ‘explain’ something you don’t understand to those more informed than you, then you are mansplaining. However, you are not being mansplained to if you are a privilege-blind ranter whose delicate feelings have been hurt by those oh-so uppity women pointing out that you have so little clue about what you are talking about, that your bowel movements probably make more sense on the topic than you do.

    As I said above: comedy clubs usually have a minimum of two drinks. It’s how they make their money. If someone is being obnoxious enough to draw attention to themselves, alcohol is likely involved. Gender is irrelevant. Stop putting words in my mouth guys.

    A two drink minimum automatically means she was drunk, and therefore somehow deserved some obnoxious, misogynist twit on stage publicly fantasising about her gang rape?

    Really?

    You know, we don’t need to put words in your mouth – you are doing a bang-up job of making a fool of yourself (and exposing your misogyny for all to see) all on your own…

  341. Amphiox says

    Forrest, if you had wanted to avoid vitriol for JAQing, all you had to do was read – there have been multiple threads, all very long, on this subject, in which your questions have been asked, over and over again, and answered, over and over again. Of course many of the replies are angry ones but the serious explanations are also all there, repeatedly.

    When we see someone asking questions of this sort at this juncture of the debate, when such questions have already been answered, as well as repeatedly asked in a clearly dishonest fashion by obvious misogynists, then it tells us that the questioner is either a similarly dishonest misogynist, or someone “honest” but too intellectually lazy to do the work of informing himself by reading the older posts, while simultaneously arrogant enough to think he is still qualified to comment.

    “JAQers” include both types, and both types will illicit the same kind of response.

    And if you are truly honest in your desire to be informed, then you should not be deterred by the possibility of an angry response. Accept the anger itself as an informative part of the response.

  342. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Illuminata, Tom Monaghan is the founder of Domino’s but he sold it in the late nineties.

    But he did found Ave Maria University and the town of Ave Maria, Florida.

    I doubt that he would find rape hilarious. It would fall under the category of porn.

  343. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    The Dominos thing should surprise no one, as the owner is a Forced Birther and apparently “owns” a town in Florida (or proposed a town in Florida, I can’t remember which) that would be bound by Catholicism of the Mel Gibson variety.

    …and has been open about his bigotry since the early 90s. I worked for Domino’s knowing this, and am still ashamed. I justified it to myself at the time by not working very hard. And by stealing lots of pizza.

    Also not surprised at all with this kind of behavior from Daniel Tosh. Whenever he speaks, it is evident that he is a shitstain.

    I wish him ill.

    ___________________________
    Re: Porcupine meme
    It wouldn’t kill me to abandon it.

  344. ryugagotoku says

    @pteryx

    “She’s not. Victim-blaming is its own phenomenon”

    No one pulls out “victim-blaming” unless they’re attempting to shame someone by drawing moral equivalency to rape. It’s a cheap, dishonest way of arguing. I made a *specific* claim about behavior that one finds in a *specific* setting. I did not justify rape and I’m genuinely outraged at the accusation.

    @matt

    “Huh ? That is all you have been doing.

    Not only are you a sexist arsehole, you are a lying scumbag of a sexist arsehole.”

    [citation needed]

    I began this misguided foray of mine by stating that I don’t find Tosh funny, and I’ve basically continued in this vein ever since. If you can find a kind word I’ve said about Tosh, point it out to me, please. If you think that my feelings on Daniel Tosh are relevant to the discussion (I don’t) then I can elaborate: I think he’s a grotesquely unfunny hack in the Carlos Mencia mold that Comedy Central can market to twelve year olds who want something safely “edgy” but who haven’t really developed a sense of humor yet. I think he’s a cancer on the craft, and if I saw a Dane Cook, Daniel Tosh double-billing I’d know for certain that that would be the *last* place on earth I would waste my money on.

    But that doesn’t necessarily vindicate the author of the blog, and anyone who’s spent any time in a comedy club knows exactly how this scenario played itself out. Poster above stated that she wasn’t even aware of the word “heckle” until this discussion. That’s the general vibe I’m getting from this thread right now.

    As for being a “sexist” – citation really fucking needed. I’m tired of you guys straw manning me into tropes you have easily on hand.

    @jadzia

    “Yes, like you dismissing this woman as more or less drunk and hysterical and lying. I think “mansplaining” is the right word for what you’re doing …”

    Note the word “hysterical.” Where the hell did I say that? Again, familiar trope you have near by and lay it on me because I’ve made a statement you don’t like. My specific claim is not “women are histerical” but “comedy clubs have a lot of drinking and a lot of audience douche-baggery and a third-hand account is not proof of anything other than that the author may well be an ass.”

    @illuminata

    “you lying sack of shit”

    “useless asswipe”

    “cupcake”

    Seriously?

    The last one particularly pisses me off. Can you imagine if I actually did come in to this thread saying “Looky here, honey, darlin’, baby doll, let this man tell you how it is.” I think you need to remove the post from your own eye before you go around criticizing me.

    @mythbri

    “shouldn’t surprise me that you also doubt her friend’s motivation for standing up and saying something.”

    I haven’t doubted the motivation of her “friend” for posting the blog. Nor have I doubted the sincerity of anyone on this blog. I just think it’s misplaced. Perhaps the argument is academic at this point, but I don’t find this story particularly credible (for reasons stated above) and I don’t think this particular story is deserving of cause-celebre status, and I further think that anyone with sufficient familiarity with the workings of a comedy club would likely agree with me.

    And that has nothing to do with the question of rape jokes.

  345. mythbri says

    Oh, and my two cents on the porcupine thing: not a big fan, and being more creatively insulting without involving penetration should be no problem at all for regular commentors – this is a smart group of people.

  346. congaboy says

    Koska @ 388

    First, thank you for the incredibly well crafted response. I agree with everything you said—you do not have to like Tosh’s humor. You are probably correct that this may not have been an isolated instance, I am just too lazy this morning to do any research and frankly, it isn’t necessary, because you are entitled to your opinion and I support you in your opinion. Tosh appears to be a comedian who uses raunchy jokes as a platform. His “apology” was as poorly crafted as his retort. Also, think about how much more free time you have, now that you have no desire to waste your time listening to him.

  347. mythbri says

    @ryugagotoku

    I think that you and I have different ideas about the motivation here. I think that she’s speaking out about a problem – using rape as a punchline harms people, whether it’s reminding a victim of their trauma or trivializing it to people who could do something to stop it.

    If you think that her motivation is something other than this, then we disagree.

  348. says

    What is the line that makes a rape joke over the line but any number of offensive jokes not? Is it the high likely hood of there being a victim in earshot who will be affected? Is it the horrific nature of the act?

    Comedy is an art not a science. Like all arts we can study theory and the scientific mechanisms behind it but in the end it is at this point non-reductionist. There’s general trends of what works and what doesn’t but in the end it’s only the final product that can be judged.

    Shock Comedy is the branch with the highest learning curve. You are either incredibly skilled and able to pull it off, or you’re an unoriginal lazy poser…there is no real in between.

    Tosh is the later.

  349. ltft says

    Patton Oswalt (I think) had a series of comments on issues like this. His take was along the lines of:

    -If you go to a comedy club you are implicitly giving your consent to have your world view challenged, to have sacred subjects attacked, and to be offended.

    -If the comedian is good the offense, however outrageous, will overlay an actual legitimate point the comedian wants to make. You may not agree with the point, you may still be offended, but the comedian will say something worth saying. It’s like (and I can’t remember if this was his actual example, though it was along these lines) watching Schindler’s list (Godwin alert!). Sure there are Nazi’s and horrible things happen and there’s lots of objectionable content, but it’s for a purpose; you can’t ban or massively boycott all movies with Nazi’s because then you’d lose things like Schindler’s List, as well.

    -If the comedian is not good you will end up with Michael Richards, Daniel Tosh, or something more along the lines of The Day the Clown Cried, all of which the world can probably due quite fine without.

    I don’t really agree with that take; by these sorts of standards ‘good’ comedians are few and far between and as ixchel@258 explained rape is different from almost any other offensive topic. However, Oswalt’s description was the best argument in favour of this sort of thing (though his comments came years ago and were not referencing this incident at all) that I’ve seen.

    @carlie 389: That’s unbelievable.

  350. says

    @ryugagotoku

    Note the word “hysterical.” Where the hell did I say that? Again, familiar trope you have near by and lay it on me because I’ve made a statement you don’t like. My specific claim is not “women are histerical” but “comedy clubs have a lot of drinking and a lot of audience douche-baggery and a third-hand account is not proof of anything other than that the author may well be an ass.”

    I never claimed you used the word “hysterical”, I am pointing out that your shitty reasoning is equivalent to it.

  351. says

    Oh, and my two cents on the porcupine thing: not a big fan, and being more creatively insulting without involving penetration should be no problem at all for regular commentors – this is a smart group of people.

    I think we can find many nonsexualized ones to work. For example for mystics we can invite them to spend an hour meditating in a tumble dryer.

  352. Pteryxx says

    No one pulls out “victim-blaming” unless they’re attempting to shame someone by drawing moral equivalency to rape. It’s a cheap, dishonest way of arguing.

    Projection from ignorance.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victim_blaming

    William Ryan coined the phrase “blaming the victim” in his 1971 book Blaming the Victim (ISBN 9780394417264).[5][6][7][8] In this book, Ryan describes victim blaming as an ideology used to justify racism and social injustice against black people in the United States.[7] Ryan wrote this book to refute Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 1965 work The Negro Family: The Case for National Action (usually simply referred to as the Moynihan Report).

    […]

    Ryan’s critique cast the Moynihan theories as attempts to divert responsibility for poverty from social structural factors to the behaviors and cultural patterns of the poor.[9][10]
    The book was described as “a devastating critique of the mindset that causes us to blame the poor for their poverty and the powerless for their powerlessness”.[11]

    The phrase “blaming the victim” was quickly adopted by advocates for crime victims, in particular rape victims accused of abetting their victimization (see Victimology), although this usage is conceptually distinct from the sociological critique developed by Ryan.

    Although Ryan popularized the phrase, the phenomenon of victim blaming is a well established in human psychology and history;[12] for instance there are plenty of examples in the Christian and Ebraic Old Testament, in which tragedies and catastrophes are justified and blamed on the victims for their faults as sinners.[12]

  353. says

    Also let;s not lose the fact taht Tosh wasn’t using rape to make a punchline or make a point (like Carlin did for example: his point was two fold, that when added with enough surrealism almost anything can be funny and to mock the excuses people give for rape), but to SILENCE someone.

    That’s not a joke, that’s bullying.

  354. StevoR says

    @ congaboy – 11th of July 2012 at 10:03 am

    Tosh made a horrible response to a heckler that was not ironic, not well thought out, and not funny. It was an off-the-cuff, poorly crafted retort. Tosh tries to shock audiences with grotesque and offensive humor, but it is usually couched in irony; this was just a really crappy, nasty comment that just wasn’t funny—and even he realizes it.

    A comment that lets not forget involved the “joking” threat of gang rape of one woman who dared challenge him by five male rapists – right away. Repeated. Rape as “humerous” punishment for speaking up against him, a bad comic bombing.

    I agree congaboy and I think you’re also understating it. Understating it by Astronomical Units if not light-years.

    Sometimes comedians bomb, it’s part of the job. And Tosh certainly bombed that night. It is unfair to judge a person’s entire life and career on one poorly made thoughtless comment.

    From reading this thread in its entireity I get the distinct impression that this isn’t just a one night bad show but something this comic – who I’ve not heard of before – does regularly and parts of his act are usually misogynist. A consistent pattern not a one-off bad night.

    Also I have my bad nights and my good nights and I’ll freely admit I’ve got carried away and said some stupid stuff in my life – incl. here on FTB blogs.

    But I can’t even imagine, even on my very worst nights thinking that threatening someone who disagrees and argues against me with pack rape is EVER justifiable or funny or anything other than utterly unacceptable. The notion that rape threats could be a snappy comeback in an argument has never entered my head and what does it say about somebody that it ever would?

    Fortunately, no one in the audience was stupid or crazy enough to think Tosh was ordering him to rape that woman.

    This time.

    I hate to imagine the hate mail and threats and general bullying the lady who heckled has likely already recieved and will continue to recieve even so.

  355. says

    Here’s a though experiment. imagine the furor that would have been caused if an Arab comedian while in the routine about the old country responded to a heckler by telling him that back in his country they execute people like him.

    Fox News would explode in right patriot outrage.

  356. ryugagotoku says

    @Gregory

    “Hey, cupcake – leave off that patronising ‘honey’ stuff, OK? It is not only condescending to women, but doubly ironic after your whining about the wholly justified use of the term ‘mansplaining’ upthread.”

    The irony was intentional. I was quoting nearly verbatum the person above who said roughly the same thing to me. So good of you to pick up on it. And I’m sorry, someone here needs to explain to me why “cupcake” isn’t dismissive and patronizing.

    “No one is saying that your actions here are in any way equivalent to rape. You are being accused of victim blaming”

    Oh, irony. People use the phrase “victim blaming” because of its association with discourse surrounding rape. At least dredge up enough intellectual honesty to see that this is the case. No one would bother making these comments if it wasn’t for the assumed moral authority that invoking “victim blaming” gives the speaker against the other person. We both know it.

    “Also, a ‘well-honed’ response? Tell me, what is ‘well honed’ about;”

    Well-honed abuse, I think you’ll find I said. You don’t survive as a road comic for long if you don’t have some ability to abuse your audience.

    “He is not acting as if he didn’t mean what he said – he is acting as if he believes that he didn’t really say anything wrong”

    That’s a factually incorrect statement. Tosh isn’t even really admitting that he said it. It’s part of his not-pology. He’s protecting his position at Comedy Central by apologizing while not engaging at all.

  357. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    -If you go to a comedy club you are implicitly giving your consent to have your world view challenged, to have sacred subjects attacked, and to be offended. debilitating flashbacks for the rest of the night.

  358. says

    Also I have my bad nights and my good nights and I’ll freely admit I’ve got carried away and said some stupid stuff in my life – incl. here on FTB blogs.

    But I can’t even imagine, even on my very worst nights thinking that threatening someone who disagrees and argues against me with pack rape is EVER justifiable or funny or anything other than utterly unacceptable.

    No of course not. Not rape, just murder. You’re not a barbarian after all. *spits*

  359. Matt Penfold says

    As for being a “sexist” – citation really fucking needed. I’m tired of you guys straw manning me into tropes you have easily on hand.

    You want a citation ? Read what you have said here.

    Did you really need me to tell you this ?

  360. says

    @ryugagotoku

    The irony was intentional. I was quoting nearly verbatum the person above who said roughly the same thing to me. So good of you to pick up on it.

    Actually, you were addressing me at that point, and you were quoting me exactly aside from adding “honey”. I never did any such thing.

    I said: “Again: Do try to keep up.”

    You’re full of shit.

  361. says

    Hey let’s hope Tosh now spends tantrums on twitter attacking people for not getting his joke and acting like a giant baby until his network gives up and fires him. But when was the last time THAT happened.

  362. carlie says

    but I don’t find this story particularly credible (for reasons stated above)

    He admitted to doing it and wrote an apology (bad as it was) about it. Denying evidence isn’t being a skeptic.

  363. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    The last one particularly pisses me off. Can you imagine if I actually did come in to this thread saying “Looky here, honey, darlin’, baby doll, let this man tell you how it is.” I think you need to remove the post from your own eye before you go around criticizing me.

    LOL wow. You DID do that, “HONEY”. Once again, “HONEY” – EVERYONE can scroll back up and read what you wrote, “HONEY. “ And, just so your entirely ignorant ass can get a little education from this thread: Cupcake is what we call obvious sexist trolls. Like you, victim-blaming cupcake.

    No one pulls out “victim-blaming” unless they’re attempting to shame someone by drawing moral equivalency to rape. It’s a cheap, dishonest way of arguing.

    Lying sack of shit. It’s been explained you several times now why you are wrong. Grow the fuck up, drop the obvious MRA talking points or go the fuck away. You’ve failed all over this thread.

    As for being a “sexist” – citation really fucking needed. I’m tired of you guys straw manning me into tropes you have easily on hand.

    LOL seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you? You’ve spent the ENTIRE thread blaming the woman for what happened, lying about her being too drunk to remember it properly, lying about her motivations, lying about YOUR motivations for defending Tosh. Since you’re clearly one of the more stupid trolls of late, let me remind you once again – EVERYONE CAN READ WHAT YOU WROTE.

    What the fuck is the point of lying about what you said, when we can all read it? And why the fuck do we always get these useless cupcake trolls that can’t type a single honest sentence? Is there a factory for them too somewhere?

  364. says

    As for being a “sexist” – citation really fucking needed. I’m tired of you guys straw manning me into tropes you have easily on hand.

    “I’ll be happy to stop correcting you as soon as you stop being wrong”~Ursa the Planeswalker

  365. nonny says

    jonathanray- I liked Dr. Strangelove. It’s a satire of cold war politics and the people being made fun of are the generals and politicians planning the nuclear attack, not the victims of it. It’s the difference in focus. We’re not laughing at people’s pain, but at the dangerous hubris and paranoia.

    If there was a film about the nazis which made them out to be buffoons, I’d probably find that funny, but jokes which are basically ‘ha ha some jews got killed’ are not acceptable to me.

  366. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    He admitted to doing it and wrote an apology (bad as it was) about it. Denying evidence isn’t being a skeptic.

    Of course it is! A WOMAN said something. So, it’s automatically a lie. She was drunk, she was sanctimonious, she was hyper-sentistive, she’s a liar, she was too stupid to know what happens to comedy clubs, mistakenly thinking it had something to do with, you know, COMEDY. As long as we totally ignore Tosh’s response, we can blame the bitch! See? This is Skepticish! Like Truthiness, just less honest!

    But he’s not a sexist, and you have NO PROOF OF IT! LOL

    dumbass trolls are dumb.

  367. Anri says

    Well-honed abuse, I think you’ll find I said. You don’t survive as a road comic for long if you don’t have some ability to abuse your audience.

    “Look, I’m not saying she deserved it, wearing a short skirt walking down a dark alley coming into a comedy club and all, but you lose all your street cred if you don’t threaten rape when you’re upset. That poor guy! He mighta, I dunno, felt bad or something. Fortunately, he had some woman to abuse to get his manliness back. Close call, that. Let’s stay focused on the real issue here, what the man felt.”

    Howabout an alternate: You don’t survive as a road comic for long if you threaten your audience members with rape. Nah, that’s just silly.

  368. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    -If you go to a comedy club you are implicitly giving your consent to have your world view challenged, to have sacred subjects attacked, and to be offended.spend hours that night lying awake because you’ve been triggered and alternately: wishing you were dead because if you have to risk running into this shit at your “fun night out” it can make you feel like there’s no way to get away from it other than dying; feeling worthless and broken because you can’t even go to a comedy club with your friends like “normal people” without suffering for it; and shaking with rage at the person who took your life away and at all the callous fucks who laughed at it.

  369. ryugagotoku says

    @Jadzia

    “I never claimed you used the word “hysterical”, I am pointing out that your shitty reasoning is equivalent to it.”

    And I’m pointing out that you’re ignoring the argument I’ve made in order to argue against an argument I haven’t made by constructing a bullshit equivalency. It’s the classic definition of a straw man argument.

    “Actually, you were addressing me at that point, and you were quoting me exactly aside from adding “honey”. I never did any such thing.

    I said: “Again: Do try to keep up.””

    I misremembered the quote. I apologize.

    @mythbri

    “I think that you and I have different ideas about the motivation here. I think that she’s speaking out about a problem – using rape as a punchline harms people, whether it’s reminding a victim of their trauma or trivializing it to people who could do something to stop it.

    If you think that her motivation is something other than this, then we disagree.”

    Yeah, that’s my basic read of the conversation we’ve been having. You guys are applauding what you regard as a principled stand, and I’m throwing cold water on it by suggesting that things usually don’t work out this way in comedy clubs, and that it’s actually quite common for an obnoxious person to have a bad time and then, in recounting the story frame it into some grand struggle involving all of mankind in which they themselves are the hero of the story. Personal experience makes me think the latter is the more likely scenario.

    @Illuminata

    “drop the obvious MRA talking points”

    Oh, fuck you. You don’t know me.

    @Matt

    “You want a citation ? Read what you have said here.

    Did you really need me to tell you this ?”

    Again, citation needed. I’ve said nothing sexist here. I said comedy clubs are full of obnoxious drunk people who get in fights with the guy on stage. I posted a link to a video where Richard Herring takes down a *man* heckler doing the same thing. The only sexism here is the sexism you guys have projected onto me by misrepresenting the things I say.

  370. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    As a completely sober teetotaler I would like to suggest to ryugagotoku that they spend a few hours thinking about why people on here interpret ryugagotoku’s implication that any woman at a comedy club who called out this type of ‘humour’ must have been drunk, rude and thus deserved to have someone imply that them being gangraped was funny. It is not funny. Nobody deserves that. You wouldn’t deserve it. Tosh wouldn’t deserve it. Nobody deserves that.

    Tosh was the one who chose to make that vile statement. She didn’t. She didn’t ‘make him’. She does not bear the blame. She did what a lot of us would like to be brave enough to do, which is to call out ‘jokes’ that punch down the gradient, at those who are already suffering.

    So go back, ryugagotoku, read carefully, and if you can, without letting your hurt feelings at being corrected getting in the way of your actual thought processes.

    (As a side note I seem to remember that a UK idiom referring to something as a load of tosh suggests it is something meritless)

  371. says

    I’m willing to cut a comedian a lot of slack; comedy’s subjective, etc., etc.. But this isn’t a matter of trying out an “edgy” joke and it bombing, this is a guy getting pissed and lashing out.

    Yes, Tosh, you can joke about terrible things. But the focus needs to be on something other than the victim’s pain and humiliation. You’re a bully and a hack, and I’m disgusted with the people who’ve been defending him.

    And holy shit, does *no one* know how to apologize anymore?

  372. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    but jokes which are basically ‘ha ha some jews got killed’ are not acceptable to me.

    This just jogged a memory, long forgottn. My abusive rapey ex always did the nazi salute as a “joke”. When called on it, he too didn’t understand why him – a christian of german ancestry – making that salute to mock the reactions of peple around him was so wrong.

    Its interesting how often multiple forms of bigotry exist in the same person. I wonder if they start out as multi-layered bigots, or if they grow into hating fucking everyone else on earth, like abusive rapey ex did, because he was such a victim! of the system!*

    * that system being the Workers Compensation board who didn’t feel his “back injury” qualified him for a big payout.

  373. says

    Oh, fuck you. You don’t know me.

    I beg to differ. Pattern emerge in human behavior. I may not know the person I saw driving a pick up with a Confederate flag being waved out of the passenger side window as large as the car, with confederate license plates instead of real ones, tinted windows (which are illegal in this state) and truck nuts, but I do know them.

  374. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Oh, fuck you. You don’t know me.

    I wouldn’t fuck you if you were the last worthless sexist bigot on the face of the earth.

    And, you’re right. I don’t know you. I only know what you’ve writen here – a big long victim-blaming sexist screed, mixed with whining and pouting about getting back what you give.

    Therfore, until you prove otherwise, you’re a cupcake, Cupcake.

  375. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    things usually don’t work out this way in comedy clubs

    Yeah – I imagine what usually happens is that the rape survivors in the audience sit there quietly being triggered and feeling set apart but trying their best not to be obtrusive, then go home and suffer for it.

  376. says

    Its interesting how often multiple forms of bigotry exist in the same person. I wonder if they start out as multi-layered bigots, or if they grow into hating fucking everyone else on earth, like abusive rapey ex did, because he was such a victim! of the system!*

    Certain patterns of thought reinforce themselves and spill over else where. It’s the explanation behind crank magnetism. Having to twist your mind into believing one stupid thing makes it easier to do so the next time. Likewise practicing acting like an asshole all the time will make you an asshole in real life*.

    *This is why I’m the sissy that plays good option characters in video games.

  377. Matt Penfold says

    Again, citation needed. I’ve said nothing sexist here. I said comedy clubs are full of obnoxious drunk people who get in fights with the guy on stage. I posted a link to a video where Richard Herring takes down a *man* heckler doing the same thing. The only sexism here is the sexism you guys have projected onto me by misrepresenting the things I say.

    I have already told you to look at what you have written here. Do not ask me to explain to you what you have written.

    Now stop being such a fucking idiot. You got caught. Grow up, and accept that and quit complaining. The more you lie about it, the worse you look.

  378. carlie says

    I posted a link to a video where Richard Herring takes down a *man* heckler doing the same thing.

    Can’t watch videos on this computer – does he tell the man that it would be funny if he were to be raped right there? And does the man have a history of being warned about rape his whole life, and told all the things he personally has to do in order to avoid being raped (including constant vigilance) and how easy it would be to be raped, and at the least have several close calls in his personal history where he honestly thought he was about to get raped, or maybe was raped, and probably then had at least a few people downplay that he’d been raped?

    Because otherwise it’s not a comparison between like things AT ALL.

  379. Matt Penfold says

    (As a side note I seem to remember that a UK idiom referring to something as a load of tosh suggests it is something meritless)

    Yeah. If someone is speaking tosh they are talking rubbish. I think we have an example of nominative determinism here.

  380. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    You know, everyone who’s ridden on a bus knows the obnoxious passengers, the ones who won’t give up their seats to more needy passengers, the ones who insist that they’ve paid for their seat and they’re damn well going to sit. And bus drivers pride themselves on handling unruly passengers, but sometimes they just have to escalate it and call in the police. And then of course the unruly passengers make a big stink out of it and act all like they’re the heroes of the story, when we all know they were just looking for trouble.

    What I’m saying here is, Rosa Parks totally had it coming. Besides which, she was probably drunk.

  381. says

    @ryugagotoku

    And I’m pointing out that you’re ignoring the argument I’ve made in order to argue against an argument I haven’t made by constructing a bullshit equivalency. It’s the classic definition of a straw man argument.

    I have not at all ignored your non-argument. I am saying that your attempt to discredit her is equivalent to the classical “hysterical” argument. There is numerous comments here addressing your victim-blaming strategy – in great detail.

    I don’t think you know what “strawman” means.

  382. mythbri says

    @ryugagotoku

    “Yeah, that’s my basic read of the conversation we’ve been having. You guys are applauding what you regard as a principled stand, and I’m throwing cold water on it by suggesting that things usually don’t work out this way in comedy clubs, and that it’s actually quite common for an obnoxious person to have a bad time and then, in recounting the story frame it into some grand struggle involving all of mankind in which they themselves are the hero of the story. Personal experience makes me think the latter is the more likely scenario.”

    Well, that’s certainly an uncharitable way to look at the issue, and this woman’s story, and her motivation for writing about it.

    Or, conversely, it could be something closer to this:

    This woman and her friend were enjoying an evening out, taking in some comedy. They’re laughing along with everyone else in the audience, until [RECORD SCRATCH] what was that he said about rape?

    So she says something. Maybe she has been raped. She probably at least knows someone who has. And joking about it brings the pain of that experience rushing back. The night is ruined – there’s no salvaging it for her. This isn’t an arbitrary objection, because she wants to ruin the night for everyone else. Judging by the reaction from the crowd after Tosh joked about her being gang-raped (laughter) she didn’t ruin the night for everyone else. But it’s possible (actually likely, if the attendance was roughly 50/50 male/female) that there were rape victims in that audience, and also rapists. Which of those groups got validation that night?

    Even if you believe that none of that is true, it has sparked a discussion. The discussion is worthwhile.

  383. ryugagotoku says

    @Ing

    “I beg to differ. Pattern emerge in human behavior. I may not know the person I saw driving a pick up with a Confederate flag being waved out of the passenger side window as large as the car, with confederate license plates instead of real ones, tinted windows (which are illegal in this state) and truck nuts, but I do know them.”

    I’m a gay guy who was raped as a child by an older man I trusted in my church. Most horrifying experience of my life. Again: you guys don’t fucking know me. Fuck off with your stereotypes and assumptions.

  384. tbtabby says

    I hate the trend comedy has taken in recent years, focusing more on all-out attempts to be offensive than actually being funny. Sure, just about anything has the potential to be funny, but pointing and laughing at it is not the same as developing a humorous viewpoint, but most of the “shocking” comedians choose the former over the latter, simply because it’s easier. The worst part about it is that these comedians are almost always deaf to any form of criticism. Anyone who points out how unfunny it is just gets branded as an uptight, pinch-mouthed, stodgy, ultra-conservative, ultra-liberal censor with no sense of humor.

  385. says

    I’m a gay guy who was raped as a child by an older man I trusted in my church. Most horrifying experience of my life. Again: you guys don’t fucking know me. Fuck off with your stereotypes and assumptions.

    Hold on…let me go back and check to see if you were the guy who was complaining about “victim blaming” being a way to shame people into silence.

    Oh, irony. People use the phrase “victim blaming” because of its association with discourse surrounding rape. At least dredge up enough intellectual honesty to see that this is the case. No one would bother making these comments if it wasn’t for the assumed moral authority that invoking “victim blaming” gives the speaker against the other person. We both know it.

    You are!

    Well congratulations on losing that argument, mate

  386. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    I’m a gay guy who was raped as a child by an older man I trusted in my church.

    I’m sorry to hear that happened to you. There are a lot of posters here who have had similar experiences, and if you need to talk about it, we’re here.
    That said, you’re still spouting victim-blaming rubbish.

  387. Matt Penfold says

    I’m a gay guy who was raped as a child by an older man I trusted in my church. Most horrifying experience of my life. Again: you guys don’t fucking know me. Fuck off with your stereotypes and assumptions.

    So that gives you the right to lie does it ?

    Why is it so hard for you to admit you have been a dishonest arsehole here ?

  388. says

    Personal experience makes me think the latter is the more likely scenario.”

    Oh well sorry you have PERSONAL experiences! That changes everything, hell bitch totally deserved it then!

  389. says

    @ryugagotoku

    Again: you guys don’t fucking know me. Fuck off with your stereotypes and assumptions.

    And you in turn fuck off with your victim-blaming? Deal?

  390. says

    I’m a gay guy who was raped as a child by an older man I trusted in my church. Most horrifying experience of my life. Again: you guys don’t fucking know me. Fuck off with your stereotypes and assumptions.

    You know my personal experience tells me that people are far more likely to lie about such experiences to get points in an argument than they are to be actually real, so I’m inclined to think you’re a liar.

    If you think what I just said was terrible and it makes me a horrible person, welcome to the point.

  391. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    It is incredibly, horribly hard to speak up to someone who is making a rape joke that is triggering to you. I did it once – to one of my “friends” – by telling him that I had been raped. It is not a mistake I will make again. (I began to shake immediately and went cold; his response was to crack another rape joke, this one aimed at me.)
    You know what? I don’t give two shits what this woman’s motivations were. If she was drunk and uninhibited. If she just wanted to piss off Tosh. Whatever. I think it’s a load of shit to assume the worst of her because she objected to a rape joke, but whatever. If she spoke up about it, even for shitty reasons, I fucking thank her for it. And you can shut the fuck up about how she therefore should have expected for Tosh to say it would be funny that she be gang-raped. Those survivors I mentioned in the audience? Do you think it matters to them if the woman who was just threatened with gang rape was obnoxious? It damn well wouldn’t have mattered to me. It still doesn’t.

  392. says

    I’m going to point out here that the events portrayed in the movie Accused were real. This was a case where a woman was raped by more than one person while a crowd chanted encouragement to the rapists, laughing and joking all the while.

    For those idiots who still aren’t getting it, threatening a woman with gang rape in a crowd, specifically a crowd of people who are laughing at the idea, is so fear-filled it defies expression.

    Many people will do something in the context of a mob or even a small group that they might not have the courage to do alone. They will also keep events like “hey, Tosh was “joking” about gang raping her and people were laughing…” in their head as validation and justification.

    As I pointed out in my post @229, most of us already know this world, especially one soaked in rape culture, isn’t a safe place for us. However, you defenders of rape culture are making it one hell of a lot worse. For all of the rest of us, those of us who know what’s wrong and are trying like hell to bring awareness to others, to turn things around and make rape culture unacceptable – on that front, you aren’t helping.

  393. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    If she spoke up about it, even for shitty reasons, I fucking thank her for it.

    Zactly.

    ryugagotoku, I am sorry that happened to you. Rape is never ever okay.

  394. Gregory Greenwood says

    ryugagotoku @ 416;

    The irony was intentional. I was quoting nearly verbatum the person above who said roughly the same thing to me.

    I don’t think so. Jadzia626 covers this point @ 420. She said;

    Again: Do try to keep up.

    You added the dismissive ‘honey’ all on your own. Still, since you have already acknowledged this in you post @ 430, I think we can leave it at that.

    I’m sorry, someone here needs to explain to me why “cupcake” isn’t dismissive and patronizing.

    ‘Cupcake’ was a phrase of derision invented right here on Pharyngula (by Caine, I believe) used to refer to people who are not arguing in good faith, are being wilfully offensive while ‘punching down’ a power gardient, or are generally clueless and unwilling to educate themselves on the issues. It does not have any history of being used as a gendered insult, still less as being used to dismiss someone’s contribution specifically because of their gender. Conversely, ‘honey’ is, in this type of context, clearly patronising, and furthermore is patronising in a specifically gendered fashion.

    Oh, irony. People use the phrase “victim blaming” because of its association with discourse surrounding rape. At least dredge up enough intellectual honesty to see that this is the case. No one would bother making these comments if it wasn’t for the assumed moral authority that invoking “victim blaming” gives the speaker against the other person. We both know it.

    Wrong. Read Pteryxx’s link @ 412. Maybe you should avoid holding forth with such certainty on the meaning and significance of a phrase until after you actually know what it means in furture, hmmm…?

    Well-honed abuse, I think you’ll find I said. You don’t survive as a road comic for long if you don’t have some ability to abuse your audience.

    That is not the entirety of what you wrote @ 361;

    Not appropriate. At all. If I say that someone who drunkenly shouts at a veteran road comic should not be surprised if they get a lot of well-honed abuse in response – that is not the same as saying that a woman deserved to be raped and you know it. You’re drawing a moral equivalency between my comments and rape. Totally inappropriate. Stop it.

    (emphasis added)

    My question stands – what is so ‘well honed’, as abuse made in response to her statement, about fantasisng about her gang rape? It does not function as any kind of rebuttal of her point, and even as a ‘put down’ it is neither well constructed nor witty. Using rape to attack a woman really is going after the lowest hanging fruit possible, while knowing full well the harm it can cause to rape survivors who hear you do it. As a professional comedian, even a minimal level of competency would have meant that Tosh would have been aware of this.

    That’s a factually incorrect statement. Tosh isn’t even really admitting that he said it. It’s part of his not-pology. He’s protecting his position at Comedy Central by apologizing while not engaging at all.

    If he didn’t make the offensive statement in question, why wouldn’t he say so? Why wouldn’t he make a public statement to defend his reputation? Are you seriously claiming that Comedy Central would censure him simply for trying to put the record straight?

    Your interpretation of events here really does stretch credibility. The more parsimonious scenario is that he is not denying it because he did say it, and he is worried that if he denies it, and the fact that he said it later comes out because, say, someone recorded the exchange on a smartphone, then he will be in a worse position than he is now.

  395. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    For those idiots who still aren’t getting it, threatening a woman with gang rape in a crowd, specifically a crowd of people who are laughing at the idea, is so fear-filled it defies expression.

    QFT.

  396. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    I’m a gay guy who was raped as a child by an older man I trusted in my church. Most horrifying experience of my life. Again: you guys don’t fucking know me. Fuck off with your stereotypes and assumptions.

    Try turning this around. You do not know the woman who spoke up to Daniel Tosh. Yet you are willing to say that she was drunk and had a wounded ego.

    What is your excuse?

  397. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Having to twist your mind into believing one stupid thing makes it easier to do so the next time.

    Now seems completely obvious, now that you’ve said it.

    I’m a gay guy who was raped as a child by an older man I trusted in my church. Most horrifying experience of my life.

    I am deeply and truly sorry if this actually did happen. You’ll forgive us doubting that its true, since you wasted all your potential good will on victim-blaming and sexism. Trolls in the past have manufactured past trauma to silence their critics, so divulging trauma after exposing your bigotry is going to make people doubt you.

    That said, even if this did happen, it in no way justifies or excuses your sexism and victim-blaming. You do not have a Get-Out-Of-Basic-Decency-Free card.

    And if this actually is true, I second what Cipher said. A lost of us have been through similiar traumas. Which is why we DON’T engage in victim-blaiming. Because we remember what its like to be blamed for our rapes.

  398. Rey Fox says

    I’m throwing cold water on it by suggesting that things usually don’t work out this way in comedy clubs, and that it’s actually quite common for an obnoxious person to have a bad time and then, in recounting the story frame it into some grand struggle involving all of mankind in which they themselves are the hero of the story

    I don’t care how many comedy clubs you’ve been to, you’re grasping at straws. Assuming that she’s lying, assuming that Tosh is apologizing for something that didn’t happen just to placate Comedy Central (whom we don’t even know has even looked at him sideways yet), assumptions on assumptions. You really don’t think that anyone has ever gotten offended enough at a comedian’s material to loudly object?

    For how little you supposedly like Tosh, you sure are bending over backwards to defend him.

    You’re drawing a moral equivalency between my comments and rape. Totally inappropriate. Stop it.

    Here’s another clue for you. Comedy clubs got nothing on this blog when it comes to making a rough and tumble atmosphere for idiots who speak up. However, you’re still welcome to take your boozed-up half-remembrances of what happened and make a blog post about it.

  399. says

    I’m a gay guy who was raped as a child by an older man I trusted in my church. Most horrifying experience of my life. Again: you guys don’t fucking know me. Fuck off with your stereotypes and assumptions.

    I’ve been raped too. I was also raped by a family member as a child, from ages 3 to 9. Been there, and yes, it’s horrifying and that’s saying the least.

    That said, you don’t get to use your experience to shore up rape culture, at least not here. You don’t get to use your experience to justify bitches ain’t shit. You don’t get to use “I’m gay!” as a “I can’t possibly be misogynistic!” card. You don’t get to use your experience as a magic privilege denier, either.

    If you’re going to persist, I have this nice crown of decayed porcupines for you. You can wear it as a sign of your terrible persecution as you trample out the vintage of the internet.

  400. Ogvorbis: Dogmaticus sycophantus says

    I’m a gay guy who was raped as a child by an older man I trusted in my church. Most horrifying experience of my life.

    Just curious. Did you report the rape? If not, were you afraid that either you would not be believed (which is what you have written about this woman’s comedy experience) or that you thought that what happened was your fault (which is why victim blaming (she had it coming) is so fucking insidious)?

    For me, I assumed it was my fault and that I would never be believed. After all, my scout leader was an upstanding member of the community, a family man, and a stake holder in good standing.

    This is what rape culture does. Joking about rape tells the victims (or future victims) that society unofficially condones what happens which makes rapes of children and adults far more likely.

    I am sorry you were raped. I really do understand some of the feelings you had at the time. That said, I think you are off base in your assessment of the woman’s reaction to the ‘comedy’ of Tosh.

  401. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    However, you’re still welcome to take your boozed-up half-remembrances of what happened and make a blog post about it.

    *kaBOOM*

    If our latest bigot troll hadn’t already lost the argument, he def lost it there.

  402. says

    For those idiots who still aren’t getting it, threatening a woman with gang rape in a crowd, specifically a crowd of people who are laughing at the idea, is so fear-filled it defies expression.

    that was my first thought. I guess it needs explaining to dudes (for the most part).

    I think most women have either experienced or witnessed a groping in a crowd before. I avoid crowds like the plague as a result.

  403. Rey Fox says

    I hate that phrase. I am a regular commenter and I seriously wish it had never expanded to a meme around here. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the stupid rationalization that people make, and I seriously think it’s one of the things we need to cease with immediately.

    THIS TIMES ELEVENTY THOUSAND. It was mildly shocking the first time, now it just doesn’t make a whole lot of physical sense. And as much as I hate the whole “groupthink” accusation, it’s exactly what comes to my mind when I see an entire blog commentariat flinging an identical violent kiss-off phrase to people. It’s very unsettling.

    For those idiots who still aren’t getting it, threatening a woman with gang rape in a crowd, specifically a crowd of people who are laughing at the idea, is so fear-filled it defies expression.

    But it’s okay to do it when someone breaks the Sacred Comedy Code of not speaking up during a comedy show. Then all bets are off, and no one will believe your account of what happened because…well, they just won’t. It’s a complete mystery of our culture.

  404. says

    Koshka (#398) – That was not intended to be sarcasm at all! I’m sorry it was read that way. I didn’t realize we live in a society that accepts rape. I sure as hell don’t. As long as I have known what rape was I have understood it to be a horrific act and I assumed everyone else realized the same. How could they not?

    I did listen first. I read every post to see if the questions I had were answered before asking them. They were not and that is why I asked. I don’t accept your assertion that because I don’t have the same knowledge and understanding as you about rape and how it is perceived by society that I am unable to join in this conversation.

    I get that you are likely frustrated with those who are not looking for answers like Illuminata (#391) but treating everyone who asks a question you find as stupid or obvious like they are that person only enourages those who want to understand to stay away.

    Amphiox (#401) – All I had to do was read? My questions were not answered in this thread. Even if there has been a discussion about rape jokes in the past, I was not part of it. We are having that discussion now, and again for many of you, but it is new to me. Why do you assume I or anyone has been part of this discussion from the beginging or that those who haven’t been should not be allowed to join the discussion late? I assume it is an ongoing discussion until there no longer is a rape culture. Did you read my original question? Where has that been answered in the past that I should have so obviously and easily seen, making my asking the question now deserving of insults?

    And I should not be detered by name calling and insults? There should not be insults! WTF? Why is that acceptable? I accept anger that accompanies information or is used to make a point but this anger was directed at me personally.

  405. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    You’ll forgive us doubting that its true, since you wasted all your potential good will on victim-blaming and sexism.

    I completely understand feeling this way, but please, please skip it. You probably get why I said that, but I’ll rehash for the lurkers: rape is very common, so it’s not actually so unlikely that any given person has been raped. Claiming your rape can be difficult and painful for a survivor, to such an extent that the harm done by encountering disbelief can be quite large. Disbelieving people who claim to have been raped is so completely endemic to rape culture that it’s hard to make such comments without reinforcing it. And even if this particular troll were lying, the last thing that we would want around here is for people to get the impression that if they have said shitty things, they can’t expect support as a survivor.
    (Something that has been noted by others: Some people definitely do react to surviving trauma in ways that are destructive and insensitive to other victims, sometimes as a coping mechanism; while the trauma doesn’t excuse it or anything, shitty victim-blaming behavior isn’t mutually exclusive with being a survivor.)

  406. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Here’s another clue for you. Comedy clubs got nothing on this blog when it comes to making a rough and tumble atmosphere for idiots who speak up.

    See, this shit is not okay. Yes, this is a rough and tumble blog. Rewd, crewd and lewd and that’s how we like it and comments can get pretty damn heated.

    That is in no way equivalent to being singled out for a gang-rape “joke” which is actually a threat (‘bitch, shut your fucking mouth or else’ being the very unsubtle subscript there).

    You are drawing a false equivalence. Stop it and argue honestly or step away from the keyboard.

    However, you’re still welcome to take your boozed-up half-remembrances of what happened and make a blog post about it.

    The hell does this even mean?

  407. anotheratheist says

    people you are such a bunch of hypocrites it is not even funny anymore. Sarah Silverman and other female comedians have been making rape jokes for years and nobody has been complaining about that. But suddenly now rape jokes are not permissible anymore. Go figure. And don’t give me that “but that’s not what the OP is about” bullshit. What I described is exactly the sentiment of 90 % of the commenters here express.

  408. mythbri says

    @Forrest

    I think that what Amphiox means is that being on the receiving end of insults and anger is not a good enough reason – in and of itself – to reject the arguments behind them. It’s understandable, sure, but it’s not necessarily rational.

    Commentors on this blog (and PZ Myers) insult creationists when they pop up here and try to convince everybody that the earth is 6,000 years young. If those creationists use the insults and anger as an excuse not to think about the arguments for evolution, then they are doing themselves no favors, and denying themselves insight and knowledge.

  409. mythbri says

    @anotheratheist

    I don’t like Sarah Silverman’s style, and I don’t like it when she jokes about rape. I like Wanda Sykes’ style, but I don’t like it when she jokes about rape.

    This isn’t “all of a sudden”.

  410. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Forrest @466, please reread mythbri’s excellent post at 399 and make sure it sinks in. First of all because it was excellent and everyone who is even slightly unclear on these issues should read it. Second, because

    As long as I have known what rape was I have understood it to be a horrific act and I assumed everyone else realized the same. How could they not?

    this sort of sounds like you still don’t quite get it about rape culture.

  411. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    The hell does this even mean?

    Bigot troll said what heppened didn’t happend buecause the bitch was boozed up and santicimonious and lying, so here he’s being hoisted on his own petard.

    ++

    Cipher – I hear you. I don’t completely agree*, but that irrelevant to what effect such statements as I made may have on other survivors, so consider it withdrawn.

    * That is, I agree with your reasons for saying “skip it”, I just don’t entirely agree such should apply to a victim-blaming sexist troll who tells such a story only after having his inane arguments defeated. As I said, trolls have done that before. However, screw all that, I still withdraw it because I don’t want any other survivors feeling like I’d call them liars. You are right that is the effect such a statement could have.

  412. says

    people you are such a bunch of hypocrites it is not even funny anymore. Sarah Silverman and other female comedians have been making rape jokes for years and nobody has been complaining about that. But suddenly now rape jokes are not permissible anymore. Go figure. And don’t give me that “but that’s not what the OP is about” bullshit. What I described is exactly the sentiment of 90 % of the commenters here express.

    You didn’t read me at all did you?

    Actually you didn’t read at all did you because you’re one of the slime piters doing their virtual tagging.

  413. says

    @anotheratheist

    people you are such a bunch of hypocrites it is not even funny anymore. Sarah Silverman and other female comedians have been making rape jokes for years and nobody has been complaining about that. But suddenly now rape jokes are not permissible anymore. Go figure. And don’t give me that “but that’s not what the OP is about” bullshit. What I described is exactly the sentiment of 90 % of the commenters here express.

    Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.

    1. People have stated countless times in these 470+ comments that “rape jokes aren’t funny, ever”.

    2. Aside from that, what people are mad about is that this “comedian” worded the personal attack of that woman the way he did. Whatever the story was up until that point, there is no justification for what he then chose to do. None.

  414. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    And don’t give me that “but that’s not what the OP is about” bullshit. What I described is exactly the sentiment of 90 % of the commenters here express.

    LOL. Goodness, the dipshits are out in force today.

    Translation: You weren’t talking about people that have nothing to do with the topic, so you’re HYPOCRITES!

    I don’t watch neither Silverman nor Sykes, so I had no idea they made rape jokes. That makes me a hypocrite in Dumbass Troll eyes because I didn’t say anything about them doing what I didn’t know they did.

    make perfect sense, if you’re a dumbass troll.

  415. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    anotherathiest – Give an example, any example, of a regular here condoning and approving of a rape joke making fun of the rape victim?

  416. tbtabby says

    My aforementioned annoyance with “offensive” “comedy” got me craving some jokes that are both clean and funny. I found a web site called cleanjoke.com that promised just that, and came across this one I particularly liked.

    A Minnesota couple decided to vacation to Florida during the winter. They planned to stay at the very same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier. Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So, the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday. His wife would fly down the following day.

    The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an e-mail to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her e-mail address, and without realizing his error, he sent the e-mail.

    Meanwhile…..somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband’s funeral. He was a minister of many years who was called home to glory following a sudden heart attack. The widow decided to check her e-mail, expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she fainted.

    The widow’s son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

    To: My Loving Wife
    Subject: I’ve Arrived
    Date: 16 May 2003
    I know you’re surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send e-mails to your loved ones. I’ve just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is not as uneventful as mine was.
    P.S. Sure is hot down here!

  417. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Forrest:

    I didn’t realize we live in a society that accepts rape.

    I realize that many people don’t see it, but once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Here you go:

    Rape culture is encouraging male sexual aggression. Rape culture is regarding violence as sexy and sexuality as violent. Rape culture is treating rape as a compliment, as the unbridled passion stirred in a healthy man by a beautiful woman, making irresistible the urge to rip open her bodice or slam her against a wall, or a wrought-iron fence, or a car hood, or pull her by her hair, or shove her onto a bed, or any one of a million other images of fight-fucking in movies and television shows and on the covers of romance novels that convey violent urges are inextricably linked with (straight) sexuality.

    Rape culture is treating straight sexuality as the norm. Rape culture is lumping queer sexuality into nonconsensual sexual practices like pedophilia and bestiality. Rape culture is privileging heterosexuality because ubiquitous imagery of two adults of the same-sex engaging in egalitarian partnerships without gender-based dominance and submission undermines (erroneous) biological rationales for the rape culture’s existence.

    Rape culture is rape being used as a weapon, a tool of war and genocide and oppression. Rape culture is rape being used as a corrective to “cure” queer women. Rape culture is a militarized culture and “the natural product of all wars, everywhere, at all times, in all forms.”

    Rape culture is 1 in 33 men being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. Rape culture is encouraging men to use the language of rape to establish dominance over one another (“I’ll make you my bitch”). Rape culture is making rape a ubiquitous part of male-exclusive bonding. Rape culture is ignoring the cavernous need for men’s prison reform in part because the threat of being raped in prison is considered an acceptable deterrent to committing crime, and the threat only works if actual men are actually being raped.

    Rape culture is 1 in 6 women being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. Rape culture is not even talking about the reality that many women are sexually assaulted multiple times in their lives. Rape culture is the way in which the constant threat of sexual assault affects women’s daily movements. Rape culture is telling girls and women to be careful about what you wear, how you wear it, how you carry yourself, where you walk, when you walk there, with whom you walk, whom you trust, what you do, where you do it, with whom you do it, what you drink, how much you drink, whether you make eye contact, if you’re alone, if you’re with a stranger, if you’re in a group, if you’re in a group of strangers, if it’s dark, if the area is unfamiliar, if you’re carrying something, how you carry it, what kind of shoes you’re wearing in case you have to run, what kind of purse you carry, what jewelry you wear, what time it is, what street it is, what environment it is, how many people you sleep with, what kind of people you sleep with, who your friends are, to whom you give your number, who’s around when the delivery guy comes, to get an apartment where you can see who’s at the door before they can see you, to check before you open the door to the delivery guy, to own a dog or a dog-sound-making machine, to get a roommate, to take self-defense, to always be alert always pay attention always watch your back always be aware of your surroundings and never let your guard down for a moment lest you be sexually assaulted and if you are and didn’t follow all the rules it’s your fault.

    Rape culture is victim-blaming. Rape culture is a judge blaming a child for her own rape. Rape culture is a minister blaming his child victims. Rape culture is accusing a child of enjoying being held hostage, raped, and tortured. Rape culture is spending enormous amounts of time finding any reason at all that a victim can be blamed for hir own rape.

    Rape culture is judges banning the use of the word rape in the courtroom. Rape culture is the media using euphemisms for sexual assault. Rape culture is stories about rape being featured in the Odd News.

    Rape culture is tasking victims with the burden of rape prevention. Rape culture is encouraging women to take self-defense as though that is the only solution required to preventing rape. Rape culture is admonishing women to “learn common sense” or “be more responsible” or “be aware of barroom risks” or “avoid these places” or “don’t dress this way,” and failing to admonish men to not rape.

    Rape culture is “nothing” being the most frequent answer to a question about what people have been formally taught about rape…

    And on and on, there are tons more in the post. Also in the post: the links to the cases she talks about in the quoted text. Yes, these “examples” come from actual news stories and world events.

    Your question has been answered by at least three people (including 258, 262mand 272 even though 272 wasn’t addressed to you specifically. Also, much of the thread is a discussion about exactly what you asked (why is rape jokes *especially* bad when stuff like dead baby and cancer jokes just isn’t?) so just because it wasn’t specifically addressed to you, Forrest, doesn’t mean that it didn’t (or shouldn’t have) answered your question.

  418. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    BTW, anotherathiest – YOU haven’t said anything about rape jokes on Family Guy, so you’re a HYPOCRITE!

    YOU also haven’t said ANYTHING about the cat in the cement video, so you’re a hypocrite who approves of animal torture!

    (this is fun!)

  419. StevoR says

    @389. carlie :

    Here’s a very timely example of what “rape culture” means – Domino’s Pizza has an ad campaign going on right now called “No is the new yes. Seriously. For pizza.

    This from the link provided there :

    I’m over rape culture, rape mentality, and rape jokes.

    I’m over people not understanding that rape is not a joke and I’m REALLY over being told I don’t have a sense of humor and women don’t have a sense of humor when most women I know (and I know a LOT of women) are really fucking funny.

    We just don’t think an uninvited penis up our anus or up our vagina is a laugh riot.

    I am over one in three women getting raped in the US military by their comrades.

    I am over women still being silent about rape because they’re made to believe it’s their fault and they did something to make it happen.

    I am over dudes voting against the Violence Against Women Act when one in every three women on this planet will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes.
    – an excerpt of the speech Eve Ensler gave following the reading of The Vagina Monologues on the steps of the Michigan Capitol building last month.

    Quoted for truth, seconded by me. Thanks for that carlie.

    +++++

    PS. Very incidentally indeed, meant to post this sooner here but got sidetracked by the news that a new 5th moon has just been discovered orbiting Pluto – which is still my fave planet. WooHoo!

  420. Rey Fox says

    Gen: Illuminata explained it at #473. I was giving Gen a little sauce for the gander. I do recognize, however, that unlike Tosh, we do not consider threats to be acceptable behavior for dealing with idiot commenters, so for that implication, I apologize.

  421. Gregory Greenwood says

    anotheratheist;

    people you are such a bunch of hypocrites it is not even funny anymore. Sarah Silverman and other female comedians have been making rape jokes for years and nobody has been complaining about that. But suddenly now rape jokes are not permissible anymore. Go figure.

    (Emphasis added)

    Read your own words gain. Has it occurred to you that maybe, just maybe, women making rape jokes, while undeniably still full of pitfalls, is not the same thing as a man making a rape joke, given the fact that 1 in 6 women will be raped over the course of their lives, and the prevelant rape culture in our society and its tendency to minimise rape and excuse rapists, usually by blaming women for somehow ‘asking for it’?

    Also, Sarah Silverman and other female comics certainly have made jokes about rape as a social phenomenon, but how many of those jokes lampooned the rape culture that excuses rape? How many sought to highlight society’s hypocrisy when it comes to victim blaming, and how many stated in as many words that it would be funny if a specific person was raped?

    Surely you can see the qualitative difference between a joke that mocks society’s acceptance of rape culture and something like;

    “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…”

    That clearly uses the prospect of gang rape to target and silence a woman, and makes the act of rape in and of itself the punchline?

  422. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    people you are such a bunch of hypocrites it is not even funny anymore.

    So suddenly being a hypocrite isn’t funny? It was ok to laugh about hypocrisy back in the days when TV evangelists were the only hypocrites around, but now that you perceive it happening here it’s no longer funny?

    Oh, the irony, it burns….

  423. says

    The idea of the “rape joke” is also itself vague. The question is, does it belittle rape or make fun of victims.

    For example I’m thinking of the Mitchell and Webb Snocker commentators where they did one skit of them talking about how one came out of the closet and how the other eventually came around to accepting his friend being gay. The joke there is how the one was afraid that his friend was going to rape him…which is funny both because it’s absurdity and because it’s mocking a real think people think.

  424. says

    Did I miss a Sykes routine or was her rape jokes actually jokes about how she wishes she didn’t have to worry about being raped? (Ie being able to leave your pussy at home bit)?

  425. says

    Don’t try to analyse humour – or comedy – or jokes.

    You will ruin the experience for yourself.

    Bullshit. Utter flaming horseshit. Analyzing humor is how you learn how to be funny.

  426. StevoR says

    @12. jpben :

    That joke wasn’t especially funny. But I disagree with the statement this woman made that rape jokes cannot be funny. I’d provide George Carlin as evidence. {link snipped -ed.]

    I watched that clip. All of it. I didn’t laugh and didn’t even smile once. I didn’t find it funny. For Whatever That’s Worth.

    I do have a sense of humour too – my fave comedy is Monty Python’s Life of Brian which has a great deal of excellent gallows crucification humour.

    I’ve also even enjoyed some of Carlin’s other clips. That one. Nup.

  427. ryugagotoku says

    I don’t particularly want to talk about my experience and I think it was a mistake for me to have mentioned it at all. And anyhow, I don’t want to derail the discussion any further with that bullshit.

    I don’t condone rape jokes, I don’t particularly like Daniel Tosh (at all), and my original disclaimer on both was entirely sincere, though it clearly wasn’t taken that way. I’m not even interested in making a weak First Amendment Argument, as certainly every individual has moral responsibilities attached to their speech that transcends their basic ability to say certain things. If Tosh made those statements as they were represented here, then he should lose his job, no question.

    My only real point is that anyone who’s been in a room with a heckler knows how these things go down – they understand the dynamics of booze and ego that drive these things, they understand the weak ex post facto justifications, etc. Perhaps it’s wrong for me to definitively state that this is the case here, but enough experience in these kinds of rooms sort of makes me think the possibility is high. Anyhow, that’s all I’ve got to say, and I’ll probably bow out of this discussion now.

  428. says

    My only real point is that anyone who’s been in a room with a heckler knows how these things go down – they understand the dynamics of booze and ego that drive these things, they understand the weak ex post facto justifications, etc. Perhaps it’s wrong for me to definitively state that this is the case here, but enough experience in these kinds of rooms sort of makes me think the possibility is high. Anyhow, that’s all I’ve got to say, and I’ll probably bow out of this discussion now.

    Horseshit

  429. says

    @Gregory

    Also, Sarah Silverman and other female comics certainly have made jokes about rape as a social phenomenon, but how many of those jokes lampooned the rape culture that excuses rape? How many sought to highlight society’s hypocrisy when it comes to victim blaming, and how many stated in as many words that it would be funny if a specific person was raped?

    There is definitely a difference between being the problem and addressing the problem. I know these comedians by name, but never seen any of their stuff.

  430. says

    imnotandrei @246,

    Really good comment. If you have any recordings of one of your spoken word performances to share, I’d be interested to hear/see it. I totally understand if you don’t want to post it publicly though.

  431. says

    Sarah Silverman and other female comedians have been making rape jokes for years and nobody has been complaining about that.

    First of all, I don’t condone rape jokes made by anyone. Rape is never funny. Second of all, I have never had one positive thing to say about Silverman. I haven’t watched, listened to or read her for years as I don’t care for her idea of humour.

    I was unaware that you have read every single fucking comment made on Pharyngula since 2004 and know for an absolute fact that not one single person has ever complained about female comedians making rape jokes. That’s quite a memory you have.

    By the way, as you exhibit a particular density of mind, here’s a little clue for you: If it had been a female comedian who did the same thing Tosh did, we’d still be saying the same things. You should take less pride in being a willful idiot and invest more time in educating your sorry ass.

  432. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    I don’t particularly want to talk about my experience and I think it was a mistake for me to have mentioned it at all.

    That’s okay too.

    Perhaps it’s wrong for me to definitively state that this is the case here

    It is, and it misses the point. Please, try to at least take away the understanding that: jokes about rape are both common and harmful, many women have been at the receiving end of them and have not been able to speak up but have wanted to, women are habitually shamed as “hysterical” or “crazy bitches” when they do speak up, and threatening women with rape is a very, very common silencing tactic that again, women here have been targeted with. In such a context, can you see why coming in and casting unsubstantiated aspersions on this woman’s “ego” comes off as a pretty shitty thing to do?

  433. ryugagotoku says

    @ing

    “Horseshit”

    Show me the video tape and I’ll concede the point. At this moment what we have are the vague recollections of an offended fan written well after the fact vs. a high-payed TV personality not-pologizing for a thing he says he didn’t actually do.

    And now I’m really gone.

  434. carlie says

    I have this nice crown of decayed porcupines for you. You can wear it as a sign of your terrible persecution as you trample out the vintage of the internet.

    Were I any good at it, I’d offer to do your taxes for the next five years in return for the fantastic turns of phrase in that porcupine adaptation. I haven’t engaged in the shoving a porcupine up the nether regions meme, but I think I shall adopt the crown of thorns porcupines one.

  435. StevoR says

    @418.Ing: Gerund of Death :

    “Also I have my bad nights and my good nights and I’ll freely admit I’ve got carried away and said some stupid stuff in my life – incl. here on FTB blogs.
    But I can’t even imagine, even on my very worst nights thinking that threatening someone who disagrees and argues against me with pack rape is EVER justifiable or funny or anything other than utterly unacceptable.” -StevoR – ed.
    No of course not. Not rape, just murder. You’re not a barbarian after all. *spits*

    I have never said that *murder* is acceptable or funny or advocated it either, Ing.

    Self-defence and national defensive military use of force when no better options are possible is a very different, separate thing. I think your reading comprehension of what I’ve actually said is flawed. All of which is very off-topic and not something I want to get into on this thread tonight.