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Douchebag Decree: Daniel Tosh and the "Comedy" of Rape Culture

Douchebag Decree logo in red and blue letters it says Ye Olde Douchebag Decree. Bitch hereby declares the following person a total douchebag

Some weeks it's tough to choose who gets the Douchebag Decree. I'll admit that I've written posts that were a bit of a stretch in the past, or tried to cram two stories into one because I couldn't decide who was the bigger douche. This week, however, the guesswork's been done for me. You know him, you probably don't love him, you may be disgusted and/or threatened by his very presence: Ladies and Gents, it's Daniel Tosh!!! Daniel Tosh looking creepy holding a laptop computer Shhh... My rape jokes are sleeping. Trigger warning for discussion of rape and sexual assault. In case you haven't been following the rape comedy incident heard 'round the world, here's a quick summary: On Friday, a woman and her friend went to see Dane Cook and Daniel Tosh at the Laugh Factory in LA (I know, I know, but some people like Dane Cook). They'd never heard of Tosh. He came on stage, and this happened:

So Tosh then starts making some very generalizing, declarative statements about rape jokes always being funny, how can a rape joke not be funny, rape is hilarious, etc. I don't know why he was so repetitive about it but I felt provoked because I, for one, DON'T find them funny and never have. So I didn't appreciate Daniel Tosh (or anyone!) telling me I should find them funny. So I yelled out, "Actually, rape jokes are never funny!"

Tosh responded to the woman thusly:

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.

In sum: Tosh made some statements about finding rape funny, an audience member said rape jokes aren't funny, Tosh indirectly threatened her with gang rape, and she left because she understandably felt threatened. (The owner of the Laugh Factory has a slightly different account of what happened, but he also says he "really didn't hear [what happened] properly." His account also includes the gang rape comment.) Tosh "apologized" for what happened, then followed it up by defending his right to joke: Tweets from Daniel Tosh that read: all the out of context quotes aside I'd like to sincerely apologize and 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 This story broke on Tuesday afternoon, and in the two days since it's been unfortunately framed as a debate about what is and isn't funny when it comes to rape. (Um, rape isn't funny?) That's not the issue here, though for what it's worth, I agree with Margaret Lyons that most of the time rape jokes are a bad idea. Daniel Tosh can joke about whatever he wants, and he has. In fact, he has a history of rape joke-making, and anyone who's watched Tosh.0 is probably not at all surprised to learn that. Comics are allowed to make rape jokes, and audience members are allowed to say they don't like them. That's where things get extra douche-y here. Tosh's response to his audience member, threatening and silencing her, was not okay. And the comedians and members of the media who are defending him, saying that a comedy club is a sacred space where anything goes and no one is allowed to talk back? And if they do they deserve to be threatened and humiliated? Yeah, those people can fuck off. Let's break this mother down, because tons of stuff has been written about Tosh and lots of it is really good and totally worth your time. Okay? Here we go:

Rape "Jokes"

Look, I get that comedy is about pushing envelopes, but telling a rape joke—or rather, making a declarative statement about rape jokes, because as far as I can tell Tosh didn't tell an actual "joke" at any point—isn't pushing the envelope. As Jessica Valenti says at The Nation, "threatening women with rape, making light of rape, and suggesting that women who speak up be raped is not edgy or controversial. It's the norm. This is what women deal with every day. Maintaining the status quo around violence against women isn't exactly revolutionary." And as Roxane Gay put it, in response to people who find rape jokes "brave" or "edgy," "Sometimes, saying what others are afraid or unwilling to say is just being an asshole." They're both right; in my opinion, the only time a rape joke is truly successful is when rape culture is the butt of it—otherwise it implies that rape and rape culture are inherently funny (more on that idea here, where Lindy West breaks down how to make a rape joke; and here, where RMJ outlines the conditions for an anti-oppression joke). Douche that he be, Daniel Tosh seems to find rape genuinely funny. For an example of this, check out this other rape joke of his, where the punchline is that his sister was raped: LOL right? Um, no. I find Daniel tosh genuinely unfunny, but then again I don't think rape is funny either (also I am a woman and therefore have no sense of humor, so make of that what you will). Okay, on to the next one:

Tosh's Response

The "joke" is one thing, but Tosh's response to the woman who didn't like it is something else entirely. To quote Elissa Bassist, "Tosh was more than 'just kidding.' He was angry. His 'joke' was reactive to the so-called heckler who called him out in front of an audience. He used humor to cut her down, to remind her of own vulnerability, to emphasize who was in control." Sure, comedians often talk back to hecklers (to my mind, saying you don't like rape jokes isn't "heckling," but it's industry parlance for basically anyone who talks out of turn during a stand-up routine), but what's missing from much of this conversation is that we live in a rape culture, and threatening a woman with gang rape isn't the same as, say, making a "Yo Mama" joke. For all Tosh knows, the woman in question has been raped (fun math break: there were 280 people in the audience at Friday's show. If roughly half of them were women and roughly one in four women have been sexually assaulted, and one in 33 men have been, odds are there were about 39 sexual assault victims in the crowd. I bet they loved it!), and even if she hasn't, living in a rape culture means she lives in fear of being raped, because there is a very good chance she actually will be at some point. Not only that, but Tosh has mobilized his audience to harass women before and they've obliged. If he's calling for five of them to rape an audience member, was she so wrong to be worried? I know I sure as hell would have been.

The Response to Tosh's Response

One of the more disheartening aspects of this whole douchebacle is the circling of the wagons by a host of other comedians. It's as if, by questioning Tosh's actions, they feel comedy itself is threatened. It isn't, you guys! You can say you don't like the way he attacked an audience member and still do comedy! You can make jokes even if you allow for criticism of your colleagues and your industry! Some comedians (sadly some who I thought were more progressive-ish than this—lookin' at you, Nanjiani) didn't get that memo: tweet from Patton Oswalt about Daniel Tosh tweets from Kumail Nanjiani and Michael Ian Black about Daniel Tosh This isn't about an "idiot" blogger or Tosh being pro-rape, though he does indeed appear to be pro-rape culture (you don't make that pepper spray joke about your sister if you don't, on some level, find rape uproariously funny. Hell, he even *said* he thinks rape is funny!). This isn't about whether Tosh can make a joke about rape and still have a career—he clearly can, and does. His Comedy Central show is very highly rated and in no danger of going off the air ever—especially if frat guys continue to smoke weed and people continue to act like assholes on YouTube, which they undoubtedly will in both cases. This is about whether comedy, and the world at large really, will allow women to push back against rape culture. This woman felt uncomfortable with Tosh's rape comments because we live in a world where rape is expected, and she doesn't find that funny. Tosh's response, and the responses of his colleagues, aren't about defending rape jokes—we live in a society where, unfortunately, they don't need defending—they're about shutting this woman up. They're about maintaining the status quo—the one where men are allowed to rape women who talk back, who dress like sluts, who "ask for it"—at all costs, even if it means threatening someone with gang rape. If she tries to fight back then she just doesn't get it. And if others call out this behavior, then they don't get it either. It sounds depressing when you lay it out like that, but I'm actually encouraged by the response to the response to Tosh's response (oh, the Internet!). It shows me that more and more of us refuse to be silenced by douchebags like Tosh and his fellow status quo comedians. It has me hopeful that in the not-so-distant future they'll realize what we've known all along: They're the ones who don't get it. Previously: James Carnell and the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association's Racist, Sexist, Terrible Newsletter, Race, Bunheads, and Amy Sherman-Palladino

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Comments

181 comments have been made. Commenting is set to read-only for this post.

Totally agree with you

I don't believe I've ever seen Daniel Tosh, but now I will make a point of avoiding his comedy! Thank you for this article, I will be sharing. I actually can't believe that people think it's ok to make rape jokes. There are people I am very close to that have been sexually assaulted and rape is NOT, I repeat NOT funny, in the slightest. One assault that happened 4 years ago completely ruined one family, and almost completely ruined another. How is that funny? I don't get it. I would have walked out of Daniel Tosh's stand-up with that woman!

I am so glad that I do not

I am so glad that I do not have cable anymore. This would have infuriated me. Unfortunantly, many of my friends love Tosh and are defending the joke caling me too over sensitive.

rape jokes

I wonder if he (Tosh) believes Rape Jokes about men being raped is funny. Perhaps he should do a comedy routine in a prison to see how funny it is. Absolutely disgusting and beyond sad!

Of course he thinks jokes

Of course he thinks jokes about men being raped are funny. I guarantee he makes more jokes about that than any other form of rape. I'm also sure if he had the opportunity to do an hour long show about prison rape live in a male prison he would jump on it. Boy, you really don't know this guys humor do you?

Check your facts

Actually the number of men who have been sexually assaulted in 1 in 6, not 1 in 33. And even those numbers are considered low.

Wow, worse than I thought

The report I read said 1 in 33 (here it is: http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims), but I didn't do too much digging for current stats. Of COURSE it would be even worse than I originally thought. Thanks for the update, depressing as it is.

____________
Kelsey Wallace, contributor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

About the Estimate of Rape Victims in the Audience

I know that 1 in 4 women have been raped is the current study. You also have to take into account that many women don't come forward, a reported 84 percent of women don't report. There for there were probably even more members of the audience that have been raped. I don't see how rape is ever funny and telling someone that it would be funny if they were raped is never funny and is never okay.

Easy target

I am a woman. I enjoy Daniel tosh's comedy. I do not think rape is funny. Comedians often "cross the line". And learn from that by audience response. Some of the funniest comedians often use taboo subjects as a way to point out cultural norms and challenge society's complicity. While I do not disagree that his comments to the heckler were appropriate, nor do i disagree with the woman's response, i find the "feminist" response to the situation interesting. I would hope that feminists would allow everyone freedom of speech and be grown up enough to just walk away instead of reacting emotionally. In fact, by drawing attention to those we think are "douchebags" we validate their existance and end up empowering those that we chastise since we all know that ratings are king... Charlie sheen can certainly attest to that..

"Just walk away" from rape?

Anonymous,

Why should the woman in this situation have to "just walk away" when Daniel Tosh threatens her with gang rape? To me, this goes way beyond freedom of speech.

____________
Kelsey Wallace, contributor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

She could have not said

She could have not said anything in the first place, considering it's common knowledge that when you heckle a comedian at a club, you should expect to be heckled back, which is what I think the above poster meant to say, because she did walk out of the club after he made the "joke' towards her.

The "heckler" was taking a

The "heckler" was taking a stand against rape culture. That doesn't make her fair game for rape threats. Nothing does. There is no context where threats of sexual violence are excusable. He said "Wouldn't it be funny if that girl was raped right now, by like five guys?" which was unambiguously meant to make that woman shut up by making her feel threatened.

'He said "Wouldn't it be

'He said "Wouldn't it be funny if that girl was raped right now, by like five guys?" which was unambiguously meant to make that woman shut up by making her feel threatened.'

By all means, argue about what's funny and not, where the limit is, what's "okay" and not, but if you actually believe -- unambiguously! -- that the comment was intended as a threat, you are insane.

it's threatENING

the point is that it's a THREATENING comment intended only to make the woman feel powerless for daring to speak up against him thinking that rape is funny.

the point is that while living within a rape culture where rape is considered "funny" by the type of person that does the raping and that anyone that speaks up against that needs to shut up, there IS a constant threat of being raped.

"the point is that while

"the point is that while living within a rape culture where rape is considered "funny" by the type of person that does the raping"

So are you saying that Daniel Tosh is a rapist, or only men can be rapists?

no, obviously, but men do

no, obviously, but men do have power over women in rape culture.

i'm willing to bet you actually understand all of this already, but jumped on the "don't feel sorry for the heckler" bandwagon and are unwilling to jump off now. keep digging yourself deeper.

'i'm willing to bet you

'i'm willing to bet you actually understand all of this already, but jumped on the "don't feel sorry for the heckler" bandwagon and are unwilling to jump off now. keep digging yourself deeper.'

Don't make assumptions about him/her or me. It comes off as projection. Respecting the rules of comedy is not jumping on a bandwagon. I get why outsiders would find the comment threatening, I really do, but to say it was intended to make her "feel powerless for daring to speak up against him", is terrifying rhetoric. Let's say you were a spectator at a 100-meter dash, and decided, hell, I'm a better runner than any of these people, so you jump over the fence and into the track and start running like hell. Security would come at you instantly -- not because you dared believe you were a better runner, you may or may not be, but because it's not your goddamned business being there. I get why people don't find his jokes funny, because the current climate seems stacked against women in a million ways, but his intentions were comedic, not evil. And any female comedian would have shut that heckling idiot up the same way. Now, if you genuinely believe that shouting at a stand-up show is useful civil disobedience, then by all means ... but don't expect people to get the message. They will think you have completely lost perspective.

"I get why people don't find

"I get why people don't find his jokes funny, because the current climate seems stacked against women in a million ways, but his intentions were comedic, not evil."

yeah yeah, the way to hell is paved with good intentions. it's good if his intention was not to be an ass, but he made one out of himself nonetheless, and that's the point. and if a female comedic had done that than i'm sure that woman in the audience, and any person who doesn't think that comedy clubs are another universe where you can do whatever you want without consquences, had spoken up against the misogyny too. there will always be people who "don't get the message" but really, there probably will also be people, survivors, who will feel not so alone and humiliated cause they know, that not everyone agrees with that bullshit. and i really do care more for those than for the ignorants.

great derailing tactics

great derailing tactics miriam. you read derailing for dummies, huh?

It was an implied threat. Not

It was an implied threat. Not that Tosh was going to rape her, but to shut up before she got what was coming to her. And the threat of violence and especially rape is used way too often, more commonly online, but offline too. To try and silence women's opinions by silencing the woman.

I agree with the definition of heckler put forth in the article: this heckle's different, but she technically was heckling. So Tosh was putting down a heckler. He made a comment, not a joke, that was off the cuff and not thought out. Okay. Given his history and humor style I see it as an honest moment, the same as any Youtube commenter or tweet that says, "You should get raped." from a person who probably won't ever rape someone, but who does have a contempt for women. Him only apologizing by calling the victim's account into question (never seen that done before) and then saying sincerest apologies instead of giving an actual sincere apology was him doubling down, confirming that the idea of rape was the joke to him, and is humorous and able to be a joke all on its own is just further shit on the pile.

First of all, that's not a

First of all, that's not a threat. If it was, then she could have pressed charges against him, which she didn't (because it's not a threat). Second of all, a comedy club isn't a place to "take a stand against rape culture." The best thing to do in that situation is to simply get up and walk out, NOT sit there and try to start an argument.

The fact that she didn't

The fact that she didn't press charges (assuming she didn't) doesn't prove it wasn't a threat. She could have pressed charges, and she also could have chosen *not* to, which seems to be the case. For example, many women refuse to press charges when their boyfriends or husbands domestically abuse them, even when the police are called to their homes and ask them if they want to.

Consider that she simply spoke out, and then left after (understandably) being frightened by a hostile comment, met with laughter, in a room that seemed to side with a man who thinks rape is funny. Why wouldn't she feel afraid for her safety? Obviously he wasn't about to jump off stage and rape her right there in the crowd, nor was any male going to do that right there in the room.

But we also really don't know about all the men in there (statistically, not only are many more women, and even men, rape victims than the law accounts for due to victims not coming forward, but line with this many men have raped and have never been investigated or charged). How do we know what a group of men there who liked that joke would do if, say, they saw her after the show, cornered her in a place where she couldn't escape, and confronted her?

Sure, we expect that rules of political correctness be relaxed in a comedy club environment, but not to the point where an audience member feels not only mocked, but threatened by people who find the prospect of her being brutally assaulted funny because she spoke out. At comedy clubs, when heckling gets out of hand, and comedians really can't continue with their show because of it, instead of an audience member merely answering a question (rhetorical or not) out loud, they can get bounced out. I've seen it first hand.

Lastly, compare this to the Michael Richards incident. Here, he was dealing with people who really were interrupting his performance, in addition to heckling, and he chose to be deliberately offensive too. I wouldn't blame black people for feeling attacked when he said that if they spoke to a white man like that 100 years, they'd get a "pitch fork up their ass." Because such outright racism is much less cultural acceptable in today's mainstream America it pretty much ruined Richard's stand up career. He not only was expected to make a national apology on TV, but those patrons actually sued the club (which I think was going too far).

Did these women do anything of the sort? No, a female makes one comment, Tosh retaliates with an aggressive remark, and they leave. That's it. But *could* they have pressed charges? I'm sure. What it have gotten any where? Maybe, maybe not.

I don't think Tosh should be sued, nor legally censored, which I'm against on principle. But in the court of public opinion, the verdict that Tosh's a douchy person should be upheld.

By that logic, I shouldn't

By that logic, I shouldn't wear short skirts, since it's common knowledge that women who wear short skirts should expect to be raped.

being defensive is not condoning

There is a difference between condoning, or in your example, expecting rape, and applying common sense.

I abhore rape. I correct people who use the term in the gaming culture. I don't find the jokes funny. And I want my wife and female friends and family members to feel safe when they are out and about.

That said, being defensive is not condoning. Driving defensively isn't condoning other peoples' bad driving habbits. Wearing body armor in a war-zone isn't condoning people to shoot at you. Keeping an hand on your drink in a bar isn't condoning roofies. And while I absolutely would defend any woman's (or man's for that matter) right to wear a mini-skirt, and teach my son to be respectful of women, regardless of how they are dressed, I hope that any woman (or man) doing so is keeping in mind their own security.

I will do what I can to stand against the culture of rape, but that's not a battle that will be won over night. So in the mean time, when you go out, please, do so safely. Keep an eye on your drink, stay with friends, know your limits, have a DD, etc... And lets all work for turning this world into a place where women do not feel so threatened.

Except it's not the same

Except it's not the same logic. Wearing a short skirt is not an invitation to get raped (although to some it's a wrong justification), but heckling a comedian *is* an invitation to get heckled back. It's like playing with fire..... if you play with fire, expect to get burned. Or if you answer your phone in class, expect it to get taken away or asked to leave. There's a certain amount of personal responsibility involved with our actions, and wearing a short skirt isn't under that same umbrella of personal responsibility and actions. It's like if you're walking alone at night in a dangerous neighborhood, don't be surprised if you get jumped (no matter what your gender), so the moral of the story? Don't walk alone in a dangerous neighborhood. Is the victim still a victim and are they not at fault? Yes, they're a victim, and no, they're not at fault, but it could have been avoided. This whole thing could have been avoided had she not said anything and left instead, and she wouldn't have been as upset as she is, and he wouldn't have said what he said.

"Yes, they're a victim, and

"Yes, they're a victim, and no, they're not at fault, but it could have been avoided."

could have been avoided? oh dear, please stop the victim blaming, will you? 'oh yes, they are victims but a little bit too blame nonetheless...'

You took my quote out of

You took my quote out of context. I'm not talking about rape. I didn't use that as an example. I used walking alone at night in a dangerous area as an example. Sure, you could get mugged in broad daylight in a nice area, but your chances of being assaulted while walking alone, regardless of gender, at night, in a bad area, increase dramatically. My point is that you can avoid being assaulted at night in a bad area if you don't walk alone at night in a bad area. It's a matter of not being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it's about being smart about your actions.

your explanation doesn't

your explanation doesn't change the fact that you are blaming people for not "being smart" enough to avoid being attacked or raped. the thing is, the first thing a victim is asked is "why did you do xyz in the first place?" and that shouldn't be the question.

"your explanation doesn't

"your explanation doesn't change the fact that you are blaming people for not "being smart" enough to avoid being attacked or raped"

Once again, and I don't know how many times I have to explain this, I am NOT talking about rape. And yes, it is an incredibly stupid decision to walk alone at night in a bad area. They're still a victim, but my point is that it can be avoided.

I remember one time in college, I was at a bar, and I spoke out against a guy that was about twice my size. You know what happened? He almost assaulted me and tried to start a fight with me. What was the lesson? DON'T SPEAK OUT AGAINST GUYS TWICE YOUR SIZE. It was a very stupid decision I made and I learned my lesson. You don't know how people surrounding you are going to behave, so why risk it?

this is nothing new mariam. i

this is nothing new mariam. i guess we all were told how to behave to avoid getting assaulted and/or worse at some point. the thing is though, that i and lot of others are tired of hearing what we should do - we do it already anyway - and that its our fault no matter what we actually did. you are still blaming the victim. you should start talking about what people can do to avoid being an ass or worse to others. but obviously you rather defend the right to be an asshole.

"i guess we all were told how

"i guess we all were told how to behave to avoid getting assaulted and/or worse at some point."

We're told how to be cautious and be aware of our surroundings. Is it so wrong to tell people that they made a stupid decision when not being cautious? You're not calling them stupid, you're calling the decision stupid. Like drinking so much alcohol that you walk home alone in a bad neighborhood and get jumped. Was it a stupid decision to get that drunk? Absolutely. Are you still a victim of assault? Absolutely. Is the person who assaulted you to blame? Absolutely. Could it have been avoided? I would say yes, more often than not.

My point is, we can't expect others to act in accordance with morality. We can only control our own actions and hope that nothing bad happens to us while making the right decision, and try to avoid certain situations and places where we're at our most vulnerable.

I've been in that situation before, and I partly blamed myself for allowing myself to get that drunk. We can't completely trust others, friends or strangers, to do the right thing. We can only depend on ourselves. That's my point about not putting yourself in a vulnerable situation.

has it occurred to you that perhaps she wanted a confrontation?

i don't understand why anyone seems to think that this woman wasn't expecting to be heckled back...in fact, she probably DID expect tosh to say something back, but figured it would be a slew of bad jokes (possibly even OTHER offensive ones) and not a "hey lady go get raped!" comment. your comment smacks of victim-blaming, and for that i find you barely worth responding to. but i feel that it should be pointed out that YES, she was correct in saying something, and tosh could have chosen another shock-worthy heckle-joke to throw at her in response, but he did not. what was he trying to achieve with his comment other than making her feel powerless? his job is to make people laugh, not be a total fuckass.

If she wanted a

If she wanted a confrontation, then she got one. I suppose that people think she wasn't expecting to be heckled back because of her reaction.

"not a "hey lady go get raped!" comment."

Except that's not what he said.

"tosh could have chosen another shock-worthy heckle-joke to throw at her in response"

And according to him, this was. She just didn't like it.

I don't feel sorry for her in the least bit. And she's also not a victim. We need to stop throwing that word around so flippantly. That doesn't mean what he said was out of line, either. And I don't know if you've been to a comedy club before, but when someone heckles a comedian, they say really effing mean stuff to the heckler specifically to get them embarrassed so they'll shut up, especially if it's criticizing their material.

"And according to him, this

"And according to him, this was."

yeah, and there he was wrong.

"they say really effing mean"

misogynist, sexist or racist speech is not "effing mean". it's misogynist, sexist or racist. if you don't see the difference or think that is ok then discussing with you is pointless.

I never said he was right in

I never said he was right in saying it.

"misogynist, sexist or racist speech is not "effing mean". it's misogynist, sexist or racist. if you don't see the difference or think that is ok then discussing with you is pointless."

I never said it was OK. I said that it's expected.

and why is it important if it

and why is it important if it is to be expected or not? that doesn't make it better, actually even worse cause obviously it is so common that people like you don't even give a damn about it anymore and try to shrug it off. you should just leave this discussion to people who care about a change and spare us your words.

No no no no no no no no no

No no no no no no no no no no. Mariam is speaking very truthfully to you and explaining herself very clearly but you are to blinded by your own thoughts and the need to put those thoughts upon other people that you aren't seeing clearly. She is in fact very important to this part of the discussion hopefully for your future betterment.

of course you wold say that

of course you wold say that chill phill

As an outsider who is now

As an outsider who is now reading through the comments. i'd say chillpill would say that as that is in fact correct.

i obviously meant a comment

i obviously meant a comment of the "hey lady go get raped" sort, not those exact words. don't be obtuse.

and, for about the zillionth time, the point is that this is UNACCEPTABLE MATERIAL for comedy - standing up for that and pointing that out is essential, no matter the time and place, in order to fight that part of rape culture. it's not even heckling really, and shouldn't be considered as such anymore. it's feedback. it's protesting. and shutting someone up for that can only mean that you are afraid of what they have to say because it points out how wrong you are.

Once again, I never said it

Once again, I never said it was OK or acceptable for him to say that.

"it's not even heckling really, and shouldn't be considered as such anymore. it's feedback. it's protesting. and shutting someone up for that can only mean that you are afraid of what they have to say because it points out how wrong you are."

Yes, it is heckling if you speak when not spoken to at a comic at a comedy club. A comedy club is not the right time nor place for feedback or protest. And if she was giving feedback or protesting, then she needs to be prepared for whatever is going to be said in return. Especially at a comedy club.

For any readers it should be

For any readers it should be important to point out that that last part is in no way true. If it was really just 'feedback' or anything like you claim and not shameless heckling then she could have done it after the show. She had no place to speak up right there. The other patrons didn't pay money to go see her spout her point of view. Her job is to go watch the show and stay quiet. What she did was heckle and she deserved to be talked back to. Their are more appropriate mediums for 'feedback.'

Wouldn't it be hilarious if

Wouldn't it be hilarious if you were to be violently raped by, like, 5 guys right now?

That's the point, though.

But you see, that was Tosh's point, that rape jokes aren't funny (to the person who yelled out rape! when asked what to talk about), and that no, it wouldn't be funny. He was trying to point out that fact, and things just got out of hand and misunderstood. He ought to have replied in a better way but was put on the spot by two people, not just one (the person who yelled out rape to begin with, and the woman who missed his sarcasm when he said "rape is always funny!"). Doesn't excuse it, doesn't make it acceptable. Does that make sense?

Wow

There is no "beyond" free speech period, I agree he was a douche, but you do not make decisions that define a constitutional right, it DOES NOT matter what he said.

15

Maybe I had it all wrong. Maybe I should have been laughing while I was raped. Perhaps that would have made the situation better. I'm sure my cousin was laughing hysterically while she was being raped and beaten unconscious. It had to of been amusing to wake up in a pool of her own blood with her front teeth knocked out. Just like I'm sure everyone was laughing at the ER when they had to do a rape kit. Or when the police caught her rapist in the act of raping yet another woman. I'm sure they had a good laugh over that one... as I'm sure the woman being raped did too. The only people who can joke or make fun of rape are the ones who have never known anyone raped or been personally assaulted. This society is backwards when we reward inappropriate behavior with attention. Now this idiot has been catapulted into his 15 minutes.

Amen! If this jerk had been

Amen! If this jerk had been through what we've been through there is no way in hell he'd EVER make a joke about it.

So true!

This is an excellent commentary, Kelsey.

This is an excellent commentary, Kelsey. The rallying behind Tosh really highlights the institutionalized misogyny among comics. Louis C.K., who also defended Tracy Morgan’s homophobic rant by blaming the gay community for a “wasted opportunity”, to me proves that he isn’t quite deserving of the “complex satirical wit” designation that has been so often associated with him.

Even the sainted George Carlin used to say that feminists want to “control language.” I know we’re not allowed to ever say anything negative about Carlin, but seriously? Is that really what feminism is about? Are feminists really the problem? What is subversive about labeling feminists “cumcatchers”? Isn’t this just standard Limbaugh/Fratboy/dumbass/Tucker Max rhetoric?

And this speak to my main point: Subversion. The best comics create an effective argument to subvert the mainstream status quo held belief. The mainstream beliefs of an audience! However, sexism and homophobia are the status quo. What is Tosh subverting by telling someone to get raped? Or Louis C.K. by saying “faggot” and telling hecklers to get AIDS? If everything offensive is supposed to be funny then why isn’t the band ANAL CUNT more well respected? Shouldn’t the song “I sent Concentration Camp footage to America’s Funniest Home Videos” be considered comedy gold by now? Anyone can be offensive, it’s easy. The harder task would be to get people to see their own subconscious prejudices (we all have them).

For the record, I agree that it is possible to joke about anything. You just have to be smart enough to do it. Comedy is an art, and Tosh just kind of sucks at it.

Links:
Carlin on Feminists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3gMELlrO3E\
Anal Cunt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFD0PJt7Pzs
Louis C.K. defends Tracy Morgan: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/13/louis-ck-defends-tracy-morgan_n...
Louis C.K. on faggot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fcja4WFFzDw

Addendum

This is a pattern of behavior with Tosh: http://jezebel.com/5901365/comedy-central-encourages-you-to-sneak-up-on-...

Apparently, Tosh encouraged his viewers to sneak up on women and touch their belly fat. It, of course, didn't take long for quite a few videos of people doing this to pop up.

I'm sorry, but I didn't even

I'm sorry, but I didn't even see the belly fat videos or show, but just reading your comment about it made me crack up. That's pretty funny. And I don't think it's sexist. I think it'd be funny if women did it to men, too. hehe, That shit would be hilarious.

touching people without their

touching people without their consent is not ok and should not be funny to you.

Thumbs up!

Thumbs up!

Hypocrosy

Didn't basically the same thing happened to Michael Richards of Seinfeld fame, for using racial slurs when responding to a heckler at a comedy club? (In fact, when googling him, “Michael Richards racist” is the second suggestion.) Everyone was (understandably) outraged and he was publicly scorned. But somehow with Tosh, it's different, and people are defending him? I don’t get it.

It was because he basically

It was because he basically went on an angry rampage instead of making a joke back.

well, if "Wouldn’t it be

well, if

"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…”

is a joke then it is still a misogynist joke. the argument "it is a joke!' (more often you hear 'it is JUST a joke!') is as lazy as the 'it is art!'-argument. you can only laugh if you share the same misogynist mindset.

it is a known fact that women get silenced by using sexual violence against them. how can referring to that reality be considered as funny to people who think of rape survivors as human beings and not targets?

So basically what you are

So basically what you are saying is, "I don't find this funny so anyone who does is a misogynist and a bad person because you know, I have the right to declare that and stuff."

I know for most people I wouldn't have to point out how that is wrong (and for others its been pointed out multiple times in the comments section) so it is surprising that that argument is still coming up.

if 'this' is misogyny then,

if 'this' is misogyny then, yes, i don't find it funny and that the person who finds it funny has at least misogynist tendencies no matter if you or that person want it or not.

this has been pointed out multiple times as well...

I'm just going to say it and

I'm just going to say it and be done. If you find rape jokes to be funny, you are a misogynist. If you think it is funny to single a woman out and say "Wouldn't it be funny if 5 guys raped her?" - then, yes, there is something wrong with you. There's no getting around that. Own it.

It's like stealing a candy bar and then being surprised when someone calls you a thief.

Rape jokes are not very good

Rape jokes are not very good jokes but making a rape joke does not make you misogynist. You can not say that every rape joke is only about women, there's another side to sexism.

That's because there's video

That's because there's video of the Michael Richards incident, where he went on an angry tirade that was witnessed and recounted by a room full of horrified audience members, unlike this account from a cupcake blogger that has yet to be corroborated by everyone else in the room that appeared to find his set and response funny.

So... yeah. There's that.

Way to over react

This whole thing is a complete over reaction on the audience member and the people that are taking up her cause. The man is a comedian with a certain kind of comedy. It isn't his fault that a couple women who went to his show didn't know his kind of humor and then get upset by it. Even his reply was said in a sarcastic manner. It should be noted that the text it was given through obviously won't convey tone. The woman who spoke up was a heckler. If she didn't like the joke than she should have left the place quietly without making a scene. Why is she now getting a free pass for interrupting the act and ruining everyone else's enjoyment of the show? When a person goes to a movie if they don't personally enjoy the humor in a movie should they constantly speak up and say, "That's not funny," ruining others enjoyment of the movie?

Remember as you can see in his tweets, the original blogger has taken what he's said completely out of context and tried to start a controversy with it. Sadly this blogger even has said evidence posted that it was taken out of context and still tries to defame the man. It's an extremely low blow to do and decree for something that happened that you weren't around and that you have evidence that you don't fully understand the situation of. I'd suggest the blogger get a sense of humor and learn that context matters. Also we'd all be better off if the blogger can learn the stupidity that is generalizing people to the point where she is saying something as asinine as him making a joke will convince atleast five of those men to rape her right then and there. Personally after reading (and being disgusted by what I read, not at Daniel Tosh but at the writer of this article) I think we can also safely say that this weeks doucebag decree should go to this article's writer.

Standing Ovation!

Greetings, Chill Pill!

[TRIGGER WARNING - gotta put that in there cause feminists are just soo sensitive, wah wah wah]
Thank you so much for your fascinating commentary. It is truly insightful, and a perspective that many of us feminists (did you notice this is a feminist site? perhaps you assumed so after seeing the word Bitch and thinking to yourself 'huh. well, if this is a magazine where all the women [because bitch = woman, see] just bitch, at least I know what to expect!) have never for a moment thought to consider.
Now, as the insightful character that you clearly are, Chill Pill (I shall henceforth refer to you as CP), I am 99.47% positive you have been raped. With the high number of rapes - I believe, according to feminists, it is 9.6 out of 10 women? I don't know, feminists aren't very good with logic amirite - you yourself have actually been raped, or have at least interacted with someone who has been raped. Due to this unique experience, your remark is that much more enlightening. Perhaps your experience with rape was similar to my friends? She went into a room with a guy she was friends with - their group of friends was chatting in the living room - and was all "hey, yo, whassup bro?" and he was all "ya nodden much, just gonna take all your clothes off. no, no, don't struggle. shhh. let me just put my hand over your mouth. please, my girlfriend is going to be back from the store soon and she just won't understand. we have such chemistry, you know? I just can't resist, and I know you can't, either, so I'm just going to - oh! there it goes! my penis is in you" now, I admit, I was not there for the EXACT quotes that I gave previously, but I WAS witness to the rape kit and her testimony afterwards where she gave the most chilling quotes from him she remembered: "I'm gonna make you pregnant. I want you to have my babies." then he anally raped her - FUNNY! - and afterwards he was just so nice, like, just such a sweet guy because he said "thank you", and helped her collect her clothes! Was yours something like that? If so, I apologize, but you gotta admit... IT'S PRETTY FUNNY, RITE? I thought so, too!
Or perhaps - just maybe - you are an individual who has raped another. Though, maybe it didn't seem that way at the time because the victim (I mean, are they really a victim if they show they're legs though? Like, I thought we learned that equation in 2nd grade? GirlWearingShortSkirt = GirlWantsSex. Easy! Why don't people get it?) was basically consenting, because s/he didn't say no! Duuuuuuuh.
So seriously, CP, I genuinely appreciate your comment. It enlightens all feminists about this very obvious blind spot. To just.. 'chill out'. Yeah. Chill out and just take it, right? Thank you so so so so so much. Where would I be without you, CP? I love you.

(But on a serious note, after my friend told me about her rape [she had been sexually assaulted the previous year by a guy who raped a mutual friend of ours, and I have been sexually assaulted numerous times, 3 times by 2 intimate partners (do the math, it's pretty funny)], the moment was so tense that I - in my very classy make-jokes-when-things-suck way - said "well, I guess this would be a bad time to tell a rape joke, huh?" and we laughed so much through our tears. She said she never thought she'd laugh again. Now, I obviously never ACTUALLY tell rape jokes, which is why in that CONTEXT it actually was [darkly] humorous. And yes, all of the above not in this section is sarcasm. Sorry, CP. It's not me, it's you.)

So was the whole post there

So was the whole post there to say, "I am posting this non sequitor as I have no argument at all" or what? You basically just spouted a bunch of stuff without ever actually getting to the topic at hand. I'd like to respond to your points but there is just actually nothing I can respond to that had any value. I suggest instead of 'trying' to attack me with some very sad form of sarcasm you instead create an argument or something of value in the future.

well look at the next reply to your comment

...if you really need it spelled out for you why you are so wrong. i also urge you to look at one of my previous comments ^up there^ about how the woman possibly was expecting to be heckled back, just not with the "hey lady go get raped!" comment.

there are only certain accounts that what this blogger (who i think was the friend of the woman the comment was directed at) has exaggerated, misquoted, or taken things out of context, and tosh himself provided one of those accounts. why should we believe him? he's obviously delusional enough to think that misogynistic jokes are funny, and um, obviously is self-interested! the owner or whoever of the laugh factory tried to stand up for him (or something?) by saying he "couldn't really hear" everything that was said...oh....ok....thanks....big help? and, most importantly, if the words "Wouldn't it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now?" came out of his mouth, then gee golly, he wasn't misquoted or taken out of context at all, BECAUSE IT DOESN'T MATTER. saying those words is NOT OK. and this woman was absolutely correct in saying something. as i said before, his job is to make people laugh, not be a fuckass.

(and in case you're wondering - the difference between a live comedic show and a movie is that the creator of the "art" (ha) is right in front of you as you're watching it! and feedback (laughter/silence/heckling/throwing rotten tomatoes) is PART OF IT! amazing!)

After reading your previous

After reading your previous comments I'm not sure if you would be able to point out how I am wrong as you have yet to do that ever in this topic so far. But it will be interesting to see you try.

So Daniel Tosh is a bad person because he didn't read the heckler's mind on how she wanted to be responded to? If I go and ask my boss for a pay raise absolutely sure that he will say yes, and then he says no, is he all of a sudden a bad person?

I will never get this, "Why should we believe Daniel Tosh when we got this random women blogger" argument. It makes no sense when not only Daniel Tosh but others who were there have one side but instead we decide to agree with one random blogger. Is it because your views align with hers so she can never tell a lie? She can never exaggerate the truth? You keep backing her up when the fact is it is her word against multiple other peoples and to even further it her words is given after a game of telephone. You are taking the word of somebody WHO WASN'T EVEN THERE over the words of people who were.

"BECAUSE IT DOESN'T MATTER. saying those words is NOT OK. and this woman was absolutely correct in saying something. as i said before, his job is to make people laugh, not be a fuckass. "

For the last time hopefully. Please read this multiple times so all you people will finally understand as this is not complicated. This is elementary stuff that is just sad that you people don't get. So get comfortable, take a deep breath and read: IT WAS A JOKE. The thing that does not matter is whether you personally like the joke. The joke in fact did make others laugh at the club. It is Tosh's type of humor. It was a joke. It was meant as a joke and in fact it is okay. You do not have the right to decide what is and what is not okay for somebody to say. If you don't like what he says then you can leave. Don't pay him patronage. Don't google his name. Don't watch his show. That is your right. However he has every right to make to make a joke and whether you like it or not, IT WAS A JOKE. You can deny it all you want but I hope you realize that every time you deny that it was a joke you are basically saying, "I am an ignorant wrong person." It was meant as a joke, others in the club found it funny as a joke and therefore it was a joke. Through and through it is that simple. This is not rocket science. Hell it isn't even grade school science. This is super simple stuff that even the simplest of minded can understand . It was a joke. It may not be your humor but it was still a joke.

And no, the women is not absolutely correct in saying something. She was absolutely 100% in the wrong. She didn't go to an open forum, she didn't go to a classroom discussion about issues. She went to a comedy club where she along with all the other patrons are to be quiet and listen to the performer. I know, "YAY FEMINISM! WOMEN ALWAYS RIGHT! BAD BAD MEN" Is a big theme of this site but in the real world that isn't always the case. As someone who doesn't frequent this site much and just got linked this article from an outside source I am just given a correct and realistic viewpoint that isn't as narrow minded as this site would wish.

As for your last point. Heckling can be a part of the live show if you wish but by doing so you are basically saying, "Hey performer, try to tear me a new one." If you are going to heckle the performer and ruin all the other patron's time then you deserve and yes I mean deserve to be completely torn down. If she was truly so upset and not looking for attention then she should have left without saying anything. If she was looking for attention then she got what she deserved.

stop whining, keep chilling

stop whining, keep chilling and leave the bad bad feminist page and the menhaters...

see, at first i thought you

see, at first i thought you and the others here were worth having a debate with. is a comedy show an appropriate place to stand up to the kind of misogyny that needs to be erased from what people think is humorous? i thought this could be an intelligent conversation we could have.

now...i believe you aren't worth responding to anymore (and this will be my last comment here). you fall back on the "IT'S A JOKE" mentality that is precisely what most of us here have a problem with. i don't see how you don't see that. and, you talk about it in a condescending and infantilizing way that insists that we are all wrong, and too stupid to understand you (because you know, you are just so smart and we is all so dumb!). you insist over and over that you are "correct," which only marks you as stubborn and refusing to see other sides of the issue.

everything you have to say, especially in the above comment, has so much wrong with it that i can't even begin to tell you how fucked up it is. i'm surprised no one else on here has stepped in and ripped you a new one. maybe because they were observant enough to recognize you for the troll you are. maybe because they see you aren't worth it.

you are a condescending, arrogant, ignorant, stubborn asshole and you need to go away. fuck off.

Pot calling the kettle black

Pot calling the kettle black anyone?

And it is painfully obvious this, "Oh we just can't have a debate' thing is just, "Oh I don't have an actual counterpoint. Let me insult you instead!"

The fact that you have to resort to just plain insults is just sad. The whole, "There is so much wrong I can't even comment on it" is just false from the get go as since you took the time to comment anyways to insult me you could have easily just tried to tackle it. So please in the future if you want to debate then do so. If however you realize that you can't counter any points instead of insulting the person and making yourself look bad maybe just don't comment again in the first place. Nobody will judge you.

There's absolutely no joy in

There's absolutely no joy in your life, is there?

"The woman who spoke up was a

"The woman who spoke up was a heckler. If she didn't like the joke than she should have left the place quietly without making a scene. Why is she now getting a free pass for interrupting the act and ruining everyone else's enjoyment of the show? When a person goes to a movie if they don't personally enjoy the humor in a movie should they constantly speak up and say, "That's not funny," ruining others enjoyment of the movie?"

she didn't make a scene, she made a statement even if you don't get it. she didn't express her opinion because she didn't share the same humor - that is just part of it - but, and that is the point, because toshs humor (which is ignorant and/or misogynist) is part of a larger problem, namely rape culture, and as a decent person she stood up and spoke out against it.
of course as a privileged person you don't think that interrupting you is fair and everybody should just let you go on being sexist or racist while keeping their mouthes shut so you can enjoy yourself undisturbed, but, you know, i'm glad that there are people who "ruin" the "enjoyment" of people like tosh and you.

maybe you check out some feminism 101 so you are able to see the larger context. because yes, context matters, and you obviously didn't get the bigger picture that is larger than toshs show.

No, that statement made a

No, that statement made a scene whether you are willing to admit that or not. At some point you are just going to have to step back and go, "Okay, even though its a woman she may not have been in the right." She spoke up when she wasn't supposed to and as such made a scene. It truly is as simple as that. So simple a caveman could understand it.

And before I go on. I gotta admit. Your post was so off the mark and just so wrong that I actually had to take a laugh break. You try to paint me as this priviledged misogynist because I don't agree with you and you and all other women are just poor little victims because they share your view point. The fact of the matter is that if anyone needs to see a larger context it is you. I'm actually able to look at this from both view points and discern what happened. You are just looking at the view point of a friend who wasn't even there AND AS SUCH CAN'T EVEN GAUGE CONTEXT and saying, "Woman acting helpless. Yep, her view must be the complete truth and nothing could ever go against that."

I truly encourage you and the other feminists here condeming TOSH when he really didn't do anything wrong to expand your viewpoints and realize that the world isn't centered around you. It'll take a lot of growing up but I'm sure you guys can do it.

oh my god, seriously, FUCK

oh my god, seriously, FUCK OFF

radical feminism

First of all, let me say that I like Daniel Tosh. Most of his web clips make me wince, but for the most part I enjoy his commentary and his stand up.

It is alright for people to criticize his jokes, though. Criticism will improve his material, just like in any art form or craft; critique is a tool for betterment. Everyone, all the time, everywhere, should try to be a better person. I would like to criticize your argument. Debate hones the mind.

Reading over your posts, I noticed that you spent an inordinate amount of time dissecting the audience member-- her heckling, her reaction to Tosh's reaction, her credibility. All this negativity is inflammatory. Why not defend Tosh's body of work by bringing up his strengths and positive qualities? Why does it all come down to the audience member and these Bitch commenters being wrong? You say that they over-analyze, but that sounds like intellectual laziness to me. Why don't you out-analyze the analyzers? For instance, I would point out that while Tosh's interactions with women are sub-par, he plays with male gender in a refreshingly cavalier way. His non-masculine persona expands the boundaries for what is acceptable from a heterosexual man. I have seen him allow another man to rub his naked body all over Tosh during a massage. Tosh played off the threat of homosexuality to make his audience members uncomfortable, sure, but overall he maintains an ambiguous air about his own sexuality. That's pretty cool, considering his sway with the college crowd. Humans are complex. I am still allowed to think some of his jokes aren't funny. If what people are saying about this incident is true, then this would be an example.

I should also mention: your ideas about feminism probably aren't the same as my ideas about feminism. I do not feel obligated to blame you because I have a vagina. My family was a matriarchy, where all the women were in control. The men cooked, cleaned, and raised children. I grew to realize that sexism is wrong because I was entitled. My male cousin was beaten for crying, and my aunts always gave me more attention. The roles they set in place for us were rigid and unfair. To me, feminism is all about breaking down those roles. Those of us who feel empowered should try to help others feel empowered, as well.

You said you agree with a lot of feminist ideas. You can argue with us here, on a feminist website, and still be one of us. We argue with each other all the time. You can like Daniel Tosh and be feminist-- just also be aware of the dialogue surrounding rape in our culture.

Mainly because obviously

Mainly because obviously almost all that stuff has nothing to do with the topic at hand. TOSH has always viewed and defended himself as an equal opportunity defender which in posts I have mentioned. In other posts I have mentioned how he will make fun of any situation. However, playing up his strengths does not shine the light where it needed to be shone. It needed to be shone on the fact that this woman's account was second hand account from a friend. She was not there. Nobody else's account agrees completely with hers and yet her word is the correct one? It makes no sense. That was the point to make with the woman's account.

So glad to read this article

So glad to read this article (though wish it didn't need to be written)! My girlfriends and I walked out of a comedy show in college after hearing a rape joke from a WOMAN comedian and were heckled by her and the audience for being overly sensitive and "prudes" as we walked out. Our women center's rape education director and I wrote a letter to the person in charge of lining up comedians for the college comedy shows, and he responded by saying he couldn't control what comedians say and that women should just stay home if they don't want to hear those jokes. Asshole. It's hard to walk out and deal with humiliation and ridicule, but better than sitting there and pretending it's okay!

Now let's make jokes about

Now let's make jokes about entire families being murdered, children starving in third world countries, genocide, and what ever other horrible thing that happends on a daily basis, because you know, that stuff is funny.

I don't think you understand

I don't think you understand the point of humor, most jokes have their roots in something awful or sad.

yeah, but they should be

yeah, but they should be there to help the survivors of trauma and not to tell them that their experience can't be that bad.

Let me get this straight,

Let me get this straight, you're saying that comedians should be there to help the survivors of trauma? Who do you think they are, therapists?

"Let me get this straight,

"Let me get this straight, you're saying that comedians should be there to help the survivors of trauma? Who do you think they are, therapists?"

no. you didn't get this straight. i'm saying that if you make jokes about traumatic events you should be not a douche that triggers survivors. you don't have to be a therapist to understand that. if you can't deal with these topics without hurting the wrong people, those who have already been hurt, then you shouldn't touch these topics until you are able to avoid hurting them.

That makes no sense

That makes no sense whatsoever.

"i'm saying that if you make jokes about traumatic events you should be not a douche that triggers survivors."

Except in your previous comment (assuming it's you), any joke about any traumatic event is a trigger and therefore every single topic that could possibly be traumatic is off-limits.

Why is it his responsibility to not "hurt" someone's feelings?

"Except in your previous

"Except in your previous comment (assuming it's you), any joke about any traumatic event is a trigger and therefore every single topic that could possibly be traumatic is off-limits."

no, not "any joke" dealing with those topics is triggering. that was already made clear in various posts here, so don't be ignorant.

"Why is it his responsibility to not "hurt" someone's feelings?"

if you don't think that people should treat others with respect then you are on the wrong page mariam, please leave this discussion.

Give me a joke that is for

Give me a joke that is for sure not going to be traumatic to anyone. In reality people are different enough that any joke could be traumatic.

Unless of course you want the comedian to get up there, do one tired knock knock joke and then get off the stage.

I bought a donut and they

I bought a donut and they gave me a receipt for the donut.

I'm gonna go home and file it

I'm gonna go home and file it under... D

"if you don't think that

"if you don't think that people should treat others with respect then you are on the wrong page mariam, please leave this discussion."

Of course I do, but a comedy club isn't a place where you show respect and ensure no one's feelings get hurt with your jokes.

Did you miss the fact that they were at a comedy club? I'm getting the impression you've never seen a comedian, or seen a comedic movie, or have ever heard an offensive joke before, and don't have a sense of humor at all.

Every comedy club I've been to, the comedian stands up there and makes their jokes. If it's an ethic or a race joke or a gender joke, the people the joke is targeted towards are usually laughing the loudest.

Yes Mariam, actually, humor

Yes Mariam, actually, humor can in fact be therapeutic (medical studies on laughing show this). Some comedians, culturally, play this sort of role - the inclusive ones who talk about things we all can relate to, and help us relieve our anxieties. Also, it can make us feel less abnormal and lonely by having someone speak to our concerns in a non-threatening context. That's why skilled comedians are popular.

Also, humor can be a weapon to ridicule those deemed weak and thus worthy of contempt. This is especially true when it's connected to ideology, and helps an ingroup bound by drawing a line between them and the outgroup (the target of ridicule). For the ingroup this can also feel therapeutic, perhaps, by giving them an identity, a sense of who they are not, for example a bunch of racists feeling superior about themselves after bonding through telling racist jokes.

At the very least, hateful humor can be a way of warding off the threats of the world by putting a wedge between the observer of a horrible situation and its victim - look at them, they suffer and I don't. It's a way to ward off feelings of vulnerability, but a very cheap one. The Germans call it "schadenfreude" and I'm not sure why any one would really want to defend this nasty trait in human nature.

I'm sorry but, you go to a

I'm sorry but, you go to a comedy club, and heckle a comedian, expect to be silenced by him/her. Zach Galifianakis is famous for that, he actually yells and screams at audience members who interrupt him. It happens at every comedy club. So don't make it out to be this huge deal that he heckled her back. However, does that make what he said OK? No, but just because he made that joke doesn't mean he *literally* thinks rape is funny. You can make a joke about something without thinking it's actually literally funny.

If they went there to see Dane Cook.... well, that guy is pretty filthy and offensive too. He once did a joke about having an "abortion day cake." So if they went there expecting to hear tame comedy, they went to the wrong place.

I've actually been to the Laugh Factory several times and I've seen Daniel Tosh there before he was famous and I've seen Dane Cook there a handful of times, and it's always raunchy, always in bad taste, and if you heckle, yes you will get heckled back, because, it's not your show and they're not there to argue with you.

"living in a rape culture means she lives in fear of being raped, because there is a very good chance she actually will be at some point"

I'm sorry but I don't "live in fear of being raped." I don't live my life in fear of anything. Thanks for suggesting how weak we all are and we're just cowering in the corner just waiting to be raped. And this is coming from someone who was sexually assaulted by two male friends.

"If he's calling for five of them to rape an audience member, was she so wrong to be worried? I know I sure as hell would have been."

Do you sincerely think that 4 or 5 audience members would have actually, literally raped her?

If she didn't like what he had to say in the first place, she should have left. No one was forcing her to stay.

So you're saying...she asked for it?

I find it interesting how the reactions to this story are like a microcosm of what happens, all too often, when women ARE raped. There's the instant inclination to assume she's lying (like our friend Chill Pill upthread, who disputes this woman's account because...because Tosh said it didn't happen like that! Well, then, case closed!) There are the cries of, "Well, what did she EXPECT, being in a comedy club where everyone knows there's a two rape-joke minimum?! And there are the invariable accusations that the person is just "trying to get attention" (or, as Patton Oswalt put it, being "self-aggrandizing.")

But, to your point—"just because he made that joke doesn't mean he *literally* thinks rape is funny"—well, as Kelsey points out above, Tosh is ON RECORD as thinking unwanted touching is funny. He encouraged dudes to sneak up on women, rub their bellies, and videotape it. It's not a huge theoretical leap to imagine that he thinks rape is no big deal, especially considering, oh, I don't know, that we live in a culture that constantly devalues, distrusts, and flat-out denies women's (and men's) experiences of rape.

And, finally: What Tosh made was not a rape joke. It was a rape threat. What so threatens you about the possibility that he be accountable for that? Comedy can survive without rape jokes, and it definitely has no place for rape threats.

____________
Andi Zeisler, cofounder and editorial/creative director

Comments Policy: Like to hear it? Here it go!

I'm saying she shouldn't have

I'm saying she shouldn't have said anything in the first place and left if she didn't like his material.

"Tosh is ON RECORD as thinking unwanted touching is funny."

And he's a comedian. What makes you think that he was being serious about it and still wasn't joking?

"He encouraged dudes to sneak up on women, rub their bellies, and videotape it"

He also encourages people to eat spoonfuls of cinnamon and videotape it. He was also full-body massaged in the nude by another nude man in his conference room in front of his staffers.

"It's not a huge theoretical leap to imagine that he thinks rape is no big deal"

Usually I would agree, but in this case, he's a comedian. Comedians tend to make jokes about serious issues, and that doesn't mean they don't think they're serious issues. For comedians it's an act. It would be akin to saying that because an actor played a racist in a movie, that they're OK with racism because the character thinks racism is OK. Daniel Tosh, as a comedian, is a character. What he says during standup isn't the Daniel Tosh his friends and family know.

"And, finally: What Tosh made was not a rape joke. It was a rape threat. What so threatens you about the possibility that he be accountable for that? Comedy can survive without rape jokes, and it definitely has no place for rape threats."

I don't think you read what I wrote correctly: I didn't defend what he said, nor did I say that it was a joke. It wasn't. I am, however, defending him solely as a comedian and that her reaction (heckling him) had consequences. She's not a victim here. Nothing except embarrassment happened to her. And I don't think she was threatened either, he didn't tell anyone to rape her, nor did he say he was going to. Yes, he made her uncomfortable and yes, what he said was uncalled for.

And everyone asks for it if they get embarrassed/heckled by a comedian that they heckle.

i think andi's comment is

i think andi's comment is spot on. and i don't see how you (and chill pill) still don't see how OBVIOUSLY EVERYONE KNOWS HOW COMEDY CLUBS WORK, and OBVIOUSLY HECKLING HAS CONSEQUENCES, and OBVIOUSLY THIS WOMAN HAD REASONS TO EXPECT THOSE CONSEQUENCES, but that consequence, in no shape or form, in any sane universe, should have been having someone tell her that it would be funny if 5 guys gang raped her.

yes, she and every woman/man that lives within rape culture and stands a chance at getting raped is the victim of shit like this. THAT IS WHY EVERYONE IS SO PISSED.

there is no way to argue that. you are saying the same things over and over and you are no longer making sense. you are becoming defensive and implicitly offensive (with your off-hand victim blaming mentality). so i suggest you and chill pill agree to disagree with the rest of us and go away.

It's simple that we don't get

It's simple that we don't get it as its infact you thats in the wrong. You have no right to dictate what's appropriate. The comment was meant as a joke and pointing out an irony. You may not find it funny but that shouldn't (and doesn't) matter to anyone but you.

Sorry honey but we are just trying to open your minds to the truth so you won't be so narrow. It is a hard task for us and you guys are becoming increasingly hostile to us but it is something we seem willing to try out.

And to show that hostility; note how we are trying to keep a discussion where in your last post you basically admitted to being so closed minded that you want the people that challenge your point of view to just go away.

oh goodness, you're right -

oh goodness, you're right - "chill pill" please enlighten us! we need you! us poor women folks is just gettin so heated up in our little heads that we can't see through our hysteria! we just need something to complain about!

yes WE are the ones that are narrow-minded. what a patronizing fuck.

rape "jokes"

if you took all the men and world and laid them end to end so they circled the globe...

it might be nice to just leave them that way.

I do hope to see one of your

I do hope to see one of your posts that can't be easily turned right around at you by how you are acting. You call me patronizing in the same post you patronize me. It is really humorous.

Well first off I find it very

Well first off I find it very rude though (from looking at this article and gauging the site based on it) not surprising that you would completely misrepresent what I said to make a point. First off I did not say that those woman was lying. I however did say that she took what was said out of context which if you explore into the matter; Daniel Tosh, other veterans of the establishment and the owner all agree on. However I do find it ironic that you criticize the 'instant inclination to assume she's lying" by assuming she must be completely telling the truth and the man in this case (Daniel Tosh) is lying. What is it not possible that his recount of the events are the truth. Especially as it is his stand up routine and he would know it better than a random passerby that didn't enjoy it? The bias coming from you is completely unbelievable. You paint this woman in such a stoic and heroic light and Daniel Tosh in a bad one just because, "Yay feminism!" You ignore the other accounts of the story, the fact that the woman did heckle Daniel by speaking up, the fact the heckler's always get that kind of treatment, and the fact that Daniel even apologized if some people didn't understand the joke. Hell even from his tweets that were posted it is abundantly clear that the woman just didn't understand as Daniel didn't joke that raping women is funny or something we should do. His bit is that you can make a joke out of anything.

The next two points you really just brought up but didn't say anything to actually combat them. I'm not sure if you secretly agree with them or what.

Let's not be so daft to say that rape and 'unwanted touching of somebody's belly" are even close to the same thing. Hell they aren't even in the same ballpark. They aren't even on the same continent. Let's also not ignore the fact that you are taking one case of his humor and ignoring the others. He has also made jokes about boys punching other boys in the balls. It isn't like he has such a huge attack on women like you are trying to paint. Also to be fair despite what this site would like to tell you, a women making a rape accusation will hold much more value than the man saying it isn't true. Society actually takes it very seriously. Yes yes, I know the pro-feminism movement wouldn't like that kind of fact getting out there that women aren't being just casually tossed aside like this site likes to claim but its the truth.

"It's not a huge theoretical leap to imagine that he thinks rape is no big deal,[...]" I'm also assuming by this you mean that is is such a huge theoretical leap to assume that that you would never actually admit that you think that for fear of being laughed off the planet. He is a comedian. He makes jokes. That is his gig. Part of that is pushing envelopes. That doesn't all of a sudden mean he is pro-rape. It is just ridiculous that you would try to defame someone for something like that. It's actually downright disgusting that you would accuse somebody of being pro-rape for making a joke.

And yes, it was a joke and in no way shape or form a threat. He never said, "If you don't shut up I will have 5 of these guys rape you right now before I'll continue," or even, "How funny would it be if 5 of these guys raped her. That will happen if she doesn't shut up right now." He made a joke pointing out the irony of a situation while also talking back to the heckler. Sure the joke may not have been a type of humor that you enjoy but it was still a joke. You can close your eyes and plug your ears and shout, "RAPE THREAT" as much as you want but that doesn't mean its going to come true. However, I personally would suggest that you learn the difference between the two for the good of everyone.

Chill Pill, First of all, for

Chill Pill,

First of all, for what it's worth, Daniel Tosh did in fact say that he finds rape jokes funny, and the video I embedded above shows him making a joke where the rape of his own sister is the punchline so no, I don't think it's a stretch to say that he finds rape funny. Second, I do think his comments back to the woman in the audience (who, for what it's worth, claims she said "rape jokes are never funny" not "you're the worst" or whatever it is a "heckler" might yell) were meant as a threat. If it was a joke I sure as hell don't get it, and neither did the woman who was so upset she had to leave the club.

Also, in my experience, feminism has nothing to do with trashing men or making false rape accusations. The fact that you believe it does means we're probably going to have to agree to disagree.

____________
Kelsey Wallace, contributor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

No just no

"Daniel Tosh did in fact say that he finds rape jokes funny"[source?]

" I embedded above shows him making a joke where the rape of his own sister is the punchline so no, I don't think it's a stretch to say that he finds rape funny."

Did you completely just watch the video going in with the mindset of, "I'm going to use it to paint him in a bad light." The joke isn't about how funny it was that his sister got raped but making fun of how a small practical joke could lead to disatrous consequences. It isn't like the story in this joke is even in any way real. You have yet to actually come up with proof of him actually saying that he finds rape funny. Yeah he can make a joke out of it but that is miles away from finding rape funny. You really just don't have a case here as not only are you completely misconstruing what he is saying but you are doing it in such an obvious and incorrect manner that nobody is really even close to buying it. So go back through the stuff and actually look at the context, look at what is actually being said. Note the words that are being said but the meaning behind them, the joke. When a comedian makes jokes about the time in the past where his friend broke his arm does that comedian all of a sudden find it hilarious when people he loves break their arms and experience intense pain and trauma? No. He is just making a joke of a bad situation. You know his job.

And as far as not getting the joke. I'm sorry for you if you don't get the joke but that's just to bad. It is not Daniel Tosh or anyone else's problem that you didn't get a joke. When I watch a show on a tv and a joke flies over my head I don't get angry at the show because I didn't get the joke. And a heckler is somebody who talks back to the performer. She also did basically say that the current part of his routine was unfunny. If you heckle the performer you better expect some backlash. The people at the event didn't pay to come here you speak; the came for the performer. There is a reason only one person in the room has a microphone.

And as we can see in this blog, atleast part of feminism has to do with trashing men and making false rape (intent/threat) accusations as that is exactly what happened here; especially when none of the jokes that he's made towards innapropriateness to guys are even brought up by you all. It's fine that a feminist site would be all about ignoring the meat of a person and just focusing on the, "OMG HE MEAN TO WOMEN" part but you need to always remember that you are getting a very narrow view of the person that way also.

Like I said above, just

Like I said above, just because he *says* he thinks it's funny, doesn't mean he actually thinks that in real life. Daniel Tosh as a comedian is a character. Every comedian is the same, they're actors and their on-stage act is a part of their persona.

"Second, I do think his comments back to the woman in the audience were meant as a threat"

I have to ask, how was it a threat? You haven't said how. Just that you think that it is. Did he tell people to rape her? Did he say he was going to do it himself? And if it was a genuine threat, how come police weren't called and why didn't she press charges? That's usually what happens when people make threats. I don't think he intended to inflict any pain on her.

i've already addressed this.

i've already addressed this. maybe this specific person hasn't, but don't ignore the whole conversation.

Where did you address it with

Where did you address it with actual accuracy and not have it be debunked soon after?

Tosh threatened a woman by

Tosh threatened a woman by explicitly saying that it would be "funny" if she got gang-raped.

How can anyone earnestly defend him? By defending him or by saying that we shouldn't complain, you are directly saying that rape threats are okay and indirectly saying that rape itself is okay. 

There is absolutely zero excuse for anyone to threaten someone with rape, in any context. The fact that he is a "comedian" (he isn't and never was funny) does not make him immune to being held accountable for his words and actions.

For anyone who just absolutely needs their regular rape joke fix, because you think widespread sexual violence for which the victims are blamed and silenced is super hilarious, I recommend Lindy West's "How to Make a Rape Joke" over at Jezebel.

How is it a threat, though?

How is it a threat, though? As far as I know, a threat is an actual intention of physical harm. He had zero intention to actually physically harm her, nor did he encourage anyone else to actually physically harm her.

Exactly. In no way at all is

Exactly. In no way at all is it a threat.

Again the problem here is

Again the problem here is that he didn't threaten. He pointed out an irony as a joke. It may not be your type of humor but that's nobodies problem but your own. Many do find him funny and he has every right to be a comedian and make jokes. You don't find him funny then don't pay him any attention. However saying he threatened somebody with rape is just something that couldn't be further from the truth. I personally think you need to as my name says take a chill pill and not take life so seriously. You can get incensed by actual rape that happens, that's bad. But when somebody makes a joke (which in this case the report has taken it out of context) then that is not something to be upset about.

do you know what irony means?

what was ironic about what he said or what he was commenting on?

Women rudely interrupting a

Women rudely interrupting a show to speak her view points when nobody cares about them only to have them fly back in her fact. Admittedly not the best form of irony but it is easy to see his intent with it (not his actual intent, not the lies that you all like to make up and say he was intending)

That *might* have been an

That *might* have been an *attempt* at irony on Tosh's part, but that's not irony. Actual irony would be - people laughing at what he said to her when she said rape jokes are never funny.

His joke, as reported here, was merely his comedic way of expressing annoyance, even aggression, because he didn't like being answered back.

Well, here's what I think

Well, here's what I think happened. Someone yelled out "Rape!" when Tosh asked what to talk about and he sarcastically replied "Rape jokes are always funny!" and she missed the sarcasm. Then her reply, then his reply, which again was sarcasm and ironic because no, it wouldn't be funny at all if she were raped by like, five guys, because rape isn't funny.

so true..abortion is where the comedy is at..

Soo ... first..a comedy show is a show..not a conversation. When you went to see Cats..you didn't yell out your firm belief in the practice of spayng and neutering animals...or point out that cats cant actually sing and talk yeah? No one cares what you think...and at some point we all have to learn that.
second..if some skinny little Tv clip show hosts sarcastic remark shivers your timbers and you feel demoralized threatened and dehumanized..the problem is in your own sense of strength and self worth. Grow some flaps.
Thirdly..bad things statistically happen to a lot of good people. You cant live in fear of what might happen..why not find power in laughing in the face of the thing that hurt you. No one is laughing at your pain. Unless you just got kicked in the balls.
Finally..take some responsibility and do some research on what you are going to see. If you can blog then you should be able to google. If republican mocking drag queens offend you..then don't go see kinsey sicks. An educated decision can prevent indignant blogs later..also..try to keep in mind that the world does not have to suit your every thought and idea..and it wont. So..get used to it. I think a relationship between a teenager girl and a four hundred year old vampire is disturbing...but I am not going to call you a supporter of pedophilia when you go into the theatre to see twilight. You do you..I will be me..and that will be that.

No.

No, I'm sorry. You're wrong. Comedy isn't sacred. A comedian isn't exempt from being called out. Most people wouldn't do it out of courtesy, but there is a fair argument that Tosh was being heinously discourteous and dismissive about the rape victims in his audience and in the world, and so deserved it. "An educated decision can prevent indignant blogs later" sounds a lot like victim-blaming language; arguably, by turning them into the butt of a joke and humiliating them, Tosh victimized the sexual assault survivors in his audience.

I love your summary: "You do you...I will be me...and that will be that." As though you have the right to end this argument and silence the opposing view. Newsflash: me being me involves calling out people turning rape victims into jokes. I won't stop calling people out, as mad as it makes people like you. I hope this girl doesn't stop either.

No one has the right to tell a victim they should not feel demoralized, dehumanized, whatever. They feel it because they live in a culture that creates it. You can say whatever you want about demoralized victims lacking strength and self worth, but it means nothing. You don't get to use insults to silence anybody and hopefully you never will.

actually...

This isn't about comedy being "sacred " The point is that it is a SHOW. You watch it.
You can the appropriately voice your opinion in a review..to anyone that cares. also..wasn't her intention to use her words to silence him? She didn't agree /understand so she attempted to shame him with an obvious moral statement.
"I hate murder' "rape is wrong " "it isn't ok to bully others " these things are known..they are accepted and understood by productive members of society. The only reason to say them is to incite a guilt /shame reaction in someone that you don't feel is showing the proper reverence.

Also..a victim that makes choices that directly leads to consequences shares part of the blame. If I go into the woods wrapped in meat and attack a bear cub in front of its mother..my status as a victim of a bear mauling does not leave me blameless in this incident.

Also..it doesn't make me mad that you call someone out for what you feel is an egregious act. I present an alternative view to add dimension to the argument.
Anyone can feel how they want to about a situation..my perspective is that I choose not to allow myself to feel like a victim. Shit happens..and I define myself by taking power of that shit with laughter.

club owner's version of events is different

She didn't 'hightail it outta there' as he made remarks to her as she was leaving, she stayed for the entire set. I'm reserving judgment, but I think if a few more accounts come out we will find the original woman's story was exaggerated or contained lies. I have no opinion on Tosh, never seen his work, but if this woman is shown to be lying, well then what? Rape jokes will still be dodgy, but so is people crying 'rape-joke!' when it was more consensual than they first said...

A "consensual" rape joke?

For what it's worth, I did link to the club owner's account in my post, and he recalled the gang rape comment as well. Also, I'm not sure how a rape joke can be consensual, but to me the bigger issue here is how many people—Tosh included—are leaping to defend rape jokes. Like Jessica Valenti put it in her piece for The Nation (also linked to above), "If you are this attached to jokes about raping women—if they mean this much to you—it’s time to look inward and think about why that is."

____________
Kelsey Wallace, contributor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

To me this is hitting the

To me this is hitting the nail on the head. There are plenty of comedians that don't need to use demeaning material in their acts because they are actually creative and witty. I also agree with another quote above that Tosh was angry and the only response he could come up with in an instant was intimidation. He was defensive because somewhere he knows it's wrong, but clearly isn't creative enough to come up with something original and truly funny. What he said about the woman in the audience was completely threatening. There are enough sociopaths out there who would carry-out something like that. It's totally understandable that she left. My heart would have been racing if someone said that to me. An apology really isn't enough. He's an absolute douchebag! Great article.

No one has yet to explicitly

No one has yet to explicitly describe how it's a threat.

"There are enough sociopaths out there who would carry-out something like that."

So then Daniel Tosh is responsible for the actions of others? Everyone is responsible for their own actions, and if something did happen to her (which it didn't), Tosh would not be at fault, the person who assaulted her would have been at fault.

Sociopaths use any excuse to assault or hurt someone, but that doesn't mean whoever their justification is is held responsible for it.

"Everyone is responsible for

"Everyone is responsible for their own actions, and if something did happen to her (which it didn't), Tosh would not be at fault, the person who assaulted her would have been at fault."

everyone who makes rapists feel safe and comfortable with being a rapist is indirectly responsible for rape. and by making bad jokes about rape - and by bad i mean that kind of jokes that make fun of the survior and not about the people who still believe rape isn't a horrible crime - you create an environment in which rapists feel in the right and the survivors ashamed and humiliated.
it is not the survivors fault to feel bad about getting ridiculed and they don't have to shut up and endure it or walk away from it. if you don't understand that it is iimportant to create a safe environment for everyone - and not just for those who are privileged enough to not feel threatened and triggered - then i guess you are writing on the wrong page.

Except that's not what I said

Except that's not what I said AT ALL.

And this is coming from someone who has been sexually assaulted TWICE.

"if you don't understand that it is iimportant to create a safe environment for everyone"

So it's everyone's responsibility to walk on eggshells and never ever say anything that could possibly trigger someone ever about any subject? It's NOT Tosh's responsibility to "create a safe environment for everyone" because it's a fucking comedy club! Pretty much nothing is off-limits. It's like going to a singles bar and complaining that you get hit on. Or having hearing sensitivity and going to a rock concert, and complaining about the noise level. If you go to a comedy club, you're stupid for thinking that comedians (and she went to see Dane Cook, btw) are going to be tame and nice and never ever say anything negative about anyone ever and only make people feel good about themselves! This whole "We have to accommodate everyone!!!!" is stupid. If you don't want to get offended, *don't go to a comedy club*. I don't want to constantly get hit on by men, so I don't go to singles bars.

This is life, you're going to get offended by what other people say, you're going to get hurt, and you're going to sometimes feel bad. You can't expect everyone around you to constantly accommodate and cater to your feelings.

oh, ok, "this is life" so i

oh, ok, "this is life" so i just have to shut up and get used to it. every good change in the world was achieved by doing exactly this...

nuff said, nuff heard. by now i think you are just a troll and a waste of my time. have fun in your little privileged world.

And you continue to take what

And you continue to take what I say out of context.

I didn't say to shut up and get used to it. I said that sometimes people say hurtful things, sometimes people say rude things,, so yes, I think that there are bigger fish to fry. I've been through a lot of shit, I've been through having my husband be deployed in the Army for over a year, I've had cancer twice, I've also been sexually assaulted twice, and I suffer from depression, so I'm not going to sit there and look for things to be offended by. If something upsets me, I ignore it and walk away. It's not worth my time to be upset over something someone says that I'm never going to see again. If I always focused on what other people said or thought, I'd be even more miserable, but instead I try to look on the bright side of things and be grateful that my husband is home, I'm cancer-free, and my past assaults are behind me.

im sorry for what you had to

im sorry for what you had to go through but that doesn't give you the right to tell other people how they should handle their own trauma.
you obviously feel offended by this post that's why you are discussing here all day long. why not ignore this? why defending tosh and a world that is making fun of traumatic events in a way that hurt the wrong people? is this worth your time, yeah?
if something upsets you, it upsets you. you can try to ignore it afterwards, but it already crossed your mind in a negative way. if its the best for you to walk away from it and try to ignore it, fine. do that. but don't tell other people they should do the same.

And you don't have the right

And you don't have the right to be offended *for* other people, either. This whole "OMG he might offend someone!" is counter-productive.

And it's simple advice. Sure, you can choose to be upset and offended by every little thing, but I doubt you're going to be happy.

How can we make this clearer...

I find it tremendously difficult to believe that you don't see how his comment was threatening, but let me try to "explicitly describe" it for you.

If you were at a bar (a public place very similar to a comedy club) and a guy walked up to you and said, "Wouldn't it be funny if you got raped by like, five guys right now?" and the men surrounding you started laughing, wouldn't your heart immediately start racing in fear?

There is no way that Tosh's comment can be perceived as not threatening. I understand slamming hecklers is part of comedy culture, but there is a plethora of things that he could have said in response ("Look at Miss Feminist here getting on her high-horse" being one poor but still more acceptable example), but instead he deliberately choose to ask the audience to join him in laughing at the prospect of this girl getting gang-raped. Guess what? I'm not laughing.

But that's not the same

But that's not the same context or scenario. Tosh was on stage, she provoked him first, and tried to argue with him. And, she wasn't alone, she was with a friend, and people were seated and there were women around. And, how do you know people were laughing? he didn't approach her out of nowhere and say that to her.

i can understand where he was trying to go with his joke. At my work, our elevators are slow and often break down. A customer commented that she was claustrophobic and how awful it would be if one broke down. I thought to myself "Wouldn't it be funny if it actually DID break down with us trapped in it?" Because of the claustrophobia and all.

SO I guess my point is, it wasn't funny, it was out of line, but it wasn't a threat. A threat is explicitly intending harm on someone.

UM, REALLY?

Okay, so obviously Tosh wouldn't be held directly responsible for that if it ever happened, (which it probably would considering the numbers,) but he would be reponsible for perpetrating a mindset, a social acceptance of sexual violence against women. He is a public figure (for inexplicable reasons) and so he influences our cultures' viewpoints about the stuff he talks about. What I find most disturbing is that his main audience is young men, whose ideas of how they should treat women are partly molded by public figures like him.

When I told my 15 year old brother about this (he's a Tosh fan,) he laughed. I asked him if he would think it would be funny if I got raped or if our mom got raped, and he said, "Well obviously not, because you're my sister."

I think people like Daniel Tosh encourage people to take serious issues like rape all too lightly, which is ultimately disastrous for people who are victims of sexual violence.

Not the point of the joke

But you do understand that the joke was ironic specifically because it wouldn't be funny if she were raped? Everyone got the joke except for her. That's what irony is. It's saying when in a crowded elevator to someone who is claustrophobic, "Wouldn't it be funny if the elevator broke down and we were all stuck here?"

That was his point. He was mocking the person who said "Rape!" when asked what to talk about; he was being sarcastic when he said "Rape jokes are always funny!" and she didn't get the joke. Hence the irony in his response, that rape isn't funny at all.

Both sides misunderstand the other

Satire is only funny when the powerless makes fun of the powerful. When the powerful attacks the powerless, it's not funny—it's cruel. But both sides see this powerful/powerless dynamic very differently when it comes to rape jokes.

The person at the show who felt threatened and those supporting her see rape jokes as an attack by privileged-blinded men (powerful) on vulnerable women (powerless). Whereas, Daniel Tosh and the people supporting him see it as attack by humanity (powerless) on the very idea of rape (powerful). Both groups hate rape, but misunderstand how the other sees it.

The problem Tosh and others run into when doing these jokes, however, is when they discount the experiences of many women who have come too close to rape to find it funny, as Tosh made the mistake of doing here. It's not okay to say "I find this funny, and if you don't you can fuck off." When you make light of the very experiences of women instead of focusing on how terrible life can be for everyone (the shared humanity that underlies the best humor) your satirical rape joke becomes a cruel attack on women.

It's a fine line. And unfortunately it's a line that's very hard for Daniel Tosh and other men to see because of their position of privilege.

"Whereas, Daniel Tosh and the

"Whereas, Daniel Tosh and the people supporting him see it as attack by humanity (powerless) on the very idea of rape (powerful). Both groups hate rape, but misunderstand how the other sees it."

could you please explain that a bit further? i don't understand it at all.

besides, i don't get the sense at all that daniel tosh and his supporters "hate rape". how could anyone who really wants to change the status quo and who really thinks deeply about this topic of sexual violence react to a critique of somebody who is much more likely to be a victim of that violence - or even has been - in a way tosh did? i only see a privileged person making fun of marginalized persons and, if those dare to speak up, silencing them by showing them there place.
i don't think tosh 'misunderstands how the other sees it", and maybe i would give him even too much credit by saying that he is a lazy man with cheap jokes who just doesn't care about being a decent human being.

It should be noted that the

It should be noted that the only reason you don't get that sense is because you instead decide to be absolutely hateful towards that person for no reason and basically put words in their mouth.

no, his responses to the

no, his responses to the critique on twitter give me the sense that he is actually totally unaware what he has done and why it was not okay. and usually real allies listen to the people of the marginalized group and try to understand them, they do not get defensive and try to find an easy way out to make the same mistake again.
besides, i don't hate the person, i hate what he did and continues to do.

He apologized but mentioned

He apologized but mentioned that the woman's account was not entirely true which others have come forward and backed him up on. How can you criticize him for that. How dare he not go along with the woman's lies of exactly what happened?

The Onion puts it best...

http://www.theonion.com/articles/daniel-tosh-chuckles-through-own-violen...

I hope this certainly puts things in perspective for some of his defenders.

Douchebag Decree: Daniel Tosh and the "Comedy" of Rape Culture |

Admiring the dedication you put into your site and in
depth information you offer. It's great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same outdated rehashed information. Wonderful read! I've saved your site and I'm adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

I have read the blog posting

I have read the blog posting several times and the blogger never says they were there. The story was a second hand account. I feel like some one got offended, tried to clash with a professional agitator then took/or made an offhand comment personal in the heat of the moment then related it to another friend who thought it was right to hang out a onesided story in the public square that is the internet. I understand the anonimity taken but if she really did feel threatened she should have taken it to the police. Trying to use web vigilantism to get at some one is as wrong, not as wrong as a threat but it heads in that direction. This is a he said she said incident, and both parties are unreliable sources to make judgements beside the fact we know Tosh makes horrid comments.

He has made fun of an actual rape before

Daniel Tosh has shown a video of a sexual assault and rape on his show before, while making jokes about it of course.

Video here (trigger warning!):
http://tosh.comedycentral.com/video-clips/video-breakdown---dildo-fight

Text breakdown of the events, if you'd prefer not to see it:
http://feminist-armchair-regime.blogspot.fi/2012/07/shows-rape-of-teen-b...

How is that sexual assault

How is that sexual assault and rape exactly? There was no penetration, the writer of that website completely made that up, and if there was, what the hell makes you think that would be legal to show on TV?

Closing Ranks

http://www.hulu.com/watch/379797

So, comedians are really closing ranks on this. The link provided is the issue being discussed on The View. In the clip, the panelists basically lament how hard it is for comedians like Tosh and others like him nowadays because of the Internet. This is, of course, astonishingly ignorant when one considers the nature of Tosh's Comedy Central gig. The ladies are largely dismissive and unsympathetic to the blogger's story.

As a side note, one panelist manages to insult the gay community as well by implying that Tracy Morgan had no need to apologize for his various homophobic ranting.

Because they're right and it

Because they're right and it isn't a big deal. It is the typical feminists making a huge deal out of nothing while ignoring the facts and plain logic.

Personally I can identify with a lot of feminists movements and thoughts but then there's cases like this where they are just wrong.

If you don't understand why

If you don't understand why this is worth talking about, then you don't understand "feminists movements and thoughts" [sic].

Or maybe I'm just a little

Or maybe I'm just a little bit more open minded and accepting to other view points.

Rapes isn't funny but jokes are.

Get off your high horses. He made a joke. And seriously? 5guys would jump and rape that woman right there? Probably not gonna happen. Actually that would never happen. Continue to overreact

maybe you should check your

maybe you should check your own privilege. reading may help too since it's already standing right there why it is not a joke a decent person should make or laugh about.
it doesn't matter how plausible that scenario is for you, it can trigger extreme feelings and memories in survivors and that should never be taken lightly.
but probably you don't care about other peoples feelings as long as you have your fun, right? then please leave.

My fellow americans...

Daniel Tosh....did not....threaten...that woman.
--------------------------------------------------------------

"it doesn't matter how plausible that scenario is for you, it can trigger extreme feelings and memories in survivors and that should never be taken lightly."

That having been quoted, can you or someone else explain why Tosh's comment (which "[could] trigger extreme feelings and memories in survivors") is at all a threat? I do not believe that most of the people native to this website actually know what a threat is, so here is the definition.

THREAT: A statement of an intention to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action on someone in retribution for something done or not done. (Understood?)

He didn't suggest that he would physically assault or rape the woman he said "wouldn't it be funny if she was raped by five guys". Now as crude and non-funny as that would be to any of you (and even to me) he did NOT threaten her. Given that the definition for the word THREAT is provided here for all to see, any previous comments stating that Tosh's comment was a threat are pretty much null, and any comments in the foreseeable suggesting that Tosh's statement was a threat would pretty much fall under the category of intellectual dishonesty.

Comedians make jokes about

Comedians make jokes about lots of horrible things... But.

If one in four women, and one in six men, were murdered...

And only a small number were reported...

And only a small number of arrests were made...

And only a small number of convictions were obtained...

And only a small number of murderers serve jail time...

And most murderers walked around free, and the victims' families had to watch them living their lives while their loved ones were gone...

And there were so many victims that it becomes a certainty that a number of people in the audience will have lost someone to murder, with no hope of justice, no way to process the loss and move on, and no sympathy (rather outright hostility) from society at large...

Would comedians still be willing to make a joke about how the dead deserved to die? Would comedians still be willing to say that it would be funny if a bunch of murderers killed someone who heckled them?

Many comedians don't make jokes about 9/11, because it would be hurtful. They understand that some things are simply... too painful, and that making fun of it in a way that implies it should happen again is just further pain on top of pain, not catharsis. That some jokes are 'too soon'.

So the statistics are known. The reality of rape is known. The effects of rape are known. One in four women, one in six men; there can be no doubt that there were rape survivors in that audience, people for whom it will always be 'too soon', because we live in a world that denies them every chance to speak up or find justice. For them, the joke is pain on top of pain; another reminder that no one believes them, no one cares about them, and no one wants to hear the truth of their stories.

Comedians tell jokes about murder, but not to the families of murder victims. Non-American comedians don't make jokes about 9/11 to Americans - at least, not without asking to be lynched. On some level, we know that some things cross the line from black humor to mockery of deep, personal, visceral pain. We know there are some things that just can't be said, not unless it's coming from the ones who have suffered and who need a way to process that suffering. So comedians like Tosh will say that nothing is sacred, but they lie. There is always something. It's an excuse, a deflection.

It's an admission that they would rather play up the pain of an unknown number of people in their audience for the sake of a cheap laugh, than work on some other material. It betrays a frightening absence of imagination and empathy. It means they place a higher value on the joke, the laugh, than on the pain it causes. If their entire set consists of such, then they are no kind of comedian at all.

actually..

I have seen American comics make a 9/11 joke.

You really need to get out if

You really need to get out if you think that those things don't happen. Stop being so closed minded.

And also you say yourself that comedians tell jokes about murder. Something more tragic than rape. Daniel Tosh didn't go, "If anyone in this audience has been raped or sexually assaulted please come with me so I can personally tell this joke to you." It is the exact same thing in both cases. He has no idea about the lives of any of the people in the audience. Though he has every reason to suspect that they know his type of humor. Thus he makes jokes about anything.

Holy shit there are two

Holy shit there are two serious trolls on this comment thread!

I have to say that I of course can't stand Daniel Tosh or his ill, boring, cliche humor. He isn't doing anything new or exciting in the world of comedy-that's for sure. I am not a fan of dude-bro humor that capitalizes on the plight of the most marginalized groups of people in our society. This argument that he has a right to joke and a right to call the 'heckler' out is tired. We get that you think 'free speech' is the most important aspect of your 'rights' here as an American but in reality, who the fuck is Daniel Tosh's right to free speech actually protecting or benefiing? Not those who are actually subjected to unwanted behavior, remarks, scrutiny, or violence based on what body or social location they occupy. So as a self-identified woman I would of done more than just 'heckled' I probably would of started an all out brawl-which totally would of been worth the consequences. People like Tosh and his deffenders need to be stood up to and told to shut the fuck up whenever possible because MOST of society will not do this-as his comments and behavior are normal and representive of our society's collective behavior.

I think peoples hyper reactions on deffedning Tosh are absolutely expected as they can't stand to be told that what they find funny is fucked up (because what would it mean to actually question and dismantle a thought system that has been engrained in you since day one). We (the ones who have a problem with Tosh) are in the minority here. So why don't you go troll on some other fucking blog like Reddit.

*majorityAlso, for anyone

*majority

Also, for anyone who is genuinely invested in defending Tosh and isn't just doing it for the lulz to be had in causing rage among us man-jawed feminazis, here is some required reading. If you still refuse to believe that rape culture is a thing, think it's all just a figment of our womanly imaginations, and won't consider reading anything written by a self-identified feminist, just read this. (It's by a male who's also a comedian*, not a hysterical, biologically unfunny female!)

*Honestly, the most confusing thing about this debacle for me was the shocking and truly disturbing allegation that Daniel Tosh is a "comedian."  

You heard it here first

You heard it here first folks. If its on the internet then it must be true!

It is ironic that we are the

It is ironic that we are the trolls because we are actually thinking in the situation and not jumping on the feminist bandwagon. Especially when most reports out of everyone is defending TOSH in this situation .Learn that you are in the minority overall and YOU are the trolls.

We are the ones speaking the truth.

I'm not a troll. I simply

I'm not a troll. I simply disagree on a couple of aspects, and agree on some (which go ignored, naturally). And i don't think that disagreeing with some of it and not agreeing 100% makes me a troll. Add to the fact that people keep taking my quotes out of context, which leads to more arguments and posts.... yeah, it gets frustrating. Like when I say to be cautious to try to ensure that nothing bad happens to you, that gets twisted into victim-blaming. And then me having to explain, for the 10th time, that no, I'm not victim-blaming when I say that people need to be smart about their decisions to avoid bad consequences.

I DO think that we don't know the full story (and I doubt we ever will), nor what his tone was originally (the "rape jokes are always funny!" line), to me it reads sarcasm and that the heckler missed it. Simply put, lost in translation. the post above seems to outline it in a way that it makes sense.

What I *am* saying is that his reply to her wasn't funny at all, was uncalled for, but it wasn't a threat. And what I'm also saying is that she shouldn't have said anything in the first place, and if she was really that offended, she should have left. Which she ended up doing. She was in a place she was uncomfortable, so she left. What has me puzzled is this call to make every space safe for everyone there. It's simply impossible, and it's also not that kind of place. A comedy club is pretty much no-holes-barred, nothing off the table, anything goes. Not this whole "it's his responsibility to make it a safe space!" crap. A comedy club isn't the place for a debate or argument. And yeah, comics will say things to get you to shut up because it's THEIR show, not yours. THEY'RE on state, you're not. They're getting paid to do this, you paid to see it. And no one in the audience wants to hear what you think. Sure, you can argue all you want, but don't get upset when they say something mean to you back. that was my point. And if you are in a place in which you're uncomfortable, you don't demand that people change the space to accommodate you; you leave. You don't sit there and demand that people change to make you feel more comfortable.

here's an example I think might make sense. When i was in college, I was sexually assaulted by a male friend who was a large fat man. And afterwards, when I saw men that resembled him or was in the same room as them, it would be triggering. Did I walk up to them and ask them to leave because they resembled the man who sexually assaulted me? No, I simply leave or try my best to ignore it. That's what I mean when I say that if you go to a comedy club, to expect that anything is fair game, that if you heckle you will get heckled back, and that yeah, they're going to say some pretty offensive things. If you don't like that environment, obviously a comedy club isn't for you. But don't go around demanding that it change to accommodate you.

What I don't like about this blog and this community is that if you disagree entirely, or even partially, you're labeled as a troll, and asked to STFU.

This comment I saw elsewhere

This comment I saw elsewhere makes a good point, as much as I hate to seem like I'm defending Tosh, who is a d-bag:
"The Tosh incident keeps being re-told out of context. He opened by asking the audience what he should talk about. One woman yelled out, "Rape!" To which Tosh responded archly (paraphrasing), "Rape jokes are always funny!" He was obviously mocking the request, and since sarcasm is a huge part of his act, this shouldn't have been so difficult to see. Then that other audience member, totally missing his point, yelled (paraphrasing), "Rape jokes are NEVER funny!" He responded by trying to extend his mocking reply to the first audience member, saying something like, "Wouldn't it be funny if like, 5 guys gang-raped this woman right now?" He wasn't suggesting that such a thing actually happen, in fact he was underlining his point that rape is NOT funny. Too bad that woman, and virtually everyone who's commented on the incident since, missed his point. Apparently there's no room for subtlety in comedy."

THANK YOU. Finally somebody

THANK YOU. Finally somebody posts what actually happened. I mean I know that this means that the woman was not in the right and that she just completely missed the point but at least the truth is out there. Plus this fits in with TOSH's type of humor so well.

I encourage the feminists here who jumped down TOSH's throat that in the future you should always actually check your facts first!

Note that this account seems to be the most purported view of what happened.

if that's true why didn't you

if that's true why didn't you say so a long time ago?

Thought it would be extremely

Thought it would be extremely obvious for anyone who has seen TOSH.0. Admittedly I did assume that people would do the research before bashing him and not just read an article and call it good.

The reason there's no room for subtlety in comedy...

... is because we've become a Nation of Idiots.

The SAT test scores peaked in 1972 and have been all downhill since. A large portion of high school grads can't find America on a map... of America! Academically, America has fallen to somewhere around 20th place among industrialized nations. And the capper is: Axiomatically, about half of all Americans are BELOW AVERAGE in intelligence.

Look at politics: McCain? Obama? Bush? Romney? Really? People aren't smart enough to vote for an honest politician with a 30-year record of absolute integrity and a stunning record of being right about future events? Half of you don't even know who I'm talking about - but you'll vote (mindlessly) for the "leader" of your "tribe" in November... and be surprised when things just keep getting worse.

Women especially are stupid when it comes to government and money. They favor all manner of social welfare programs, but don't have the intelligence to figure out that someone has to pay for it all. That $16 trillion debt didn't start piling up until women got the vote. The irony is, in their blind quest for security, women have pretty well ensured that the government will collapse, the dollar will become worthless and any concept they ever had of security will vanish. That's when rape jokes will become really funny. "Did you hear the one about the woman who voted to bankrupt her country? When she was raped, nobody did anything because she'd destroyed the police infrastructure!"

With so much stupidity in America, how could we fail to have women who go to comedy clubs then don't get it when a comic spears them for heckling?

I am a survivor of sexual

I am a survivor of sexual assault, and I begin this with that, because it's likely many of you will only read the first few lines, and it is always proactive to de-mystify it. It is OK to talk about rape! Actually, it's more than OK - it is incredibly important to talk about rape. Because it spreads awareness, and leads to more victims feeling empowered and therefore more likely to speak up.

I absolutely enjoy Daniel Tosh's comedy, and that statement is not retroactively false after hearing about his exchange at the Laugh Factory. Don't get me wrong, I was appalled when I first heard about it, but my opinion of him remains dependent on whether or not he tells rape jokes in the future. More often than not, this sort of behavior is not intended to hurt anyone (despite how cavalier it may seem), and can usually be changed with critical thinking. This can take time. I'll give him some.

It is important for everyone who is hyper-aware of rape culture to take a step to catch their breath on this one (I know it can be very hard…), and realize that not everyone is so aware, and actually, some people are completely unaware! I have had COUNTLESS conversations with people who did not understand how certain behaviors and attitudes perpetuate violence. Over the past few years, these concepts have become so simple in my mind, but I acknowledge that it is not like this for many people. A typical example is saying, "gay" when one means "stupid". I often talk with people about why this isn't okay, and guess what? Afterwards, they usually get it! They understand! Some people need a lot of time to thoughtfully un-learn misbehaviors that perpetuate violence, and some do not need much. I slipped up last week when I had lost something and I said to someone, "(blah blah) fuck, I'm retarded -" I noticed right away and checked myself. Like, what? Did I really just say that? I couldn't remember the last time I did, I feel like it must have been over a year ago.

My point is that people aren't perfect. It is foolish to expect them to be. And in many cases, it is even more foolish not to tell them when they are imperfect in a way that sincerely bothers you. So, while I have to pick my battles and avoid the bigots to stay sane, I talk about this stuff. I point out when things aren't right. I've been doing this for three years and I've only talked with 2 people about rape culture who afterwards were not changed for the better. (And actually, they could be by now - I never talked to either again). One was a stranger who was super drunk, and the other had a complex about always being right. They were presented with the facts and they stomped on them with a prerogative they clinged to from the beginning. So, I said fuck both of them. But I won't say fuck Daniel Tosh's comedy immediately, because just as any other person does, he deserves a chance to show that he cares about the well-being of others.

Anyways, I was inspired to comment at all after reading this, How to Make a Rape Joke: a Jezebel article with multiple perspectives, by Lindy West.

http://jezebel.com/5925186/how-to-make-a-rape-joke

Thank you.

Your comment pretty much covered how I feel. Joking about my experience with sexual abuse gives me a feeling of ownership and heightens my perspective. The Jezebel article about rape jokes is great. On behalf of the audience member, I am appalled. While I am disappointed in Tosh's reaction, I think this could be a learning opportunity for both him and his fanbase.

This post received a lot of comments! I'm so proud Bitch was able to host a debate people feel so passionately about!

Some problems with your treatment of this subject

A few things I'd like to say:

1) Your retelling of the incident is based solely on the blogger's post. There are already indications that what the blogger reported was not quite what happened. We need to hear both sides of the story before we start judging Tosh. After all, all that we know about this incident comes from the alleged victim, an understandably biased perspective.

2) If you go to a ballgame, sit in the bleachers, get hit by a fly-ball, and suffer irreversible brain damage, who can you sue for damages? No one. You have assumed the risk by going to the ballgame! When you go to a comedy club--or a movie theater, play, concert, speech--you likewise assume certain risks. So while an audience member has every right to speak her mind in the middle of the act and say "rape is never funny," then they must face the risks they assumed when they entered. And when you're in a comedy club and you interrupt--or heckle--the comedian, you will always get berated. The comedian will always try to offend you. Why? Because he wants you to leave. So yes, she "deserved it." And this isn't a matter of "Tosh threatened her with rape." He had every right to say what he said; it was Constitutionally protected speech. He neither had the intent to incite immediate harm to her, nor was there a likelihood that what he said would incite immediate harm. It's a comedian, in a comedy club, responding to a heckler. Context matters. Was what he said offensive? Yes! That was the point. So here, the blame falls squarely on the heckler.

3) People who find "rape jokes" funny do not necessarily support rape or rape-culture. I am Jewish, my family was wrecked by the Holocaust, and I have laughed at Holocaust jokes before. I was sexually assaulted as a child and I have laughed at rape and child rape jokes before. A close friend of my family died in 9/11 and, well, I've laughed at 9/11 jokes before. These jokes are "shocking" because the subject matter is vile, disgusting, and serious. So when someone makes light of it, it is understandably shocking! But this is what leads to laughter. I can't explain it, but we humans laugh at the bizarre, the absurd, the stupid, the shocking. The inappropriate. It's simply in our nature as weird, sophisticated animals. The fact that people are laughing at "rape jokes" illustrates that they are still shocked. They still find it to be vile and abhorrent. When people no longer laugh at these jokes, when they no longer find the subject matter funny, and when comedians stop telling them because nobody's laughing anymore... THAT is when we should be concerned.

"The fact that people are

"The fact that people are laughing at 'rape jokes' illustrates that they are still shocked. They still find it to be vile and abhorrent."

That's a false overgeneralization. Aggressive humor explicitly aimed at targets is often meant to express precisely what it seems to - contempt. Just because *your* reaction is based on being shocked, and is apparently a relief valve for anxiety, doesn't mean sadism doesn't exist in others, or that other laughing at it share your empathy.

"When people no longer laugh at these jokes, when they no longer find the subject matter funny, and when comedians stop telling them because nobody's laughing anymore... THAT is when we should be concerned."

A good cultural indicator is to look at who the target of humor is, and what the humor is meant to express. For example, if it's a way to deal with moral outrage, say, the shock of the horrors that occurred during the Holocaust, then Nazis or Hitler were, and are, appropriate targets. Nazis still figure into satire, more than half a decade after the conclusion of World War 2, not to mention the Godwin's Law internet phenomenon.

In Nazi Germany, as in other totalitarian societies that practice censorship, it was forbidden to mock the dictator. However, the Jews *were* mocked, precisely because it was culturally acceptable to hate them and take pleasure in their pain, powerlessness, and misfortune (to Nazis, they were getting what they deserved).

"We need to hear both sides

"We need to hear both sides of the story before we start judging Tosh. After all, all that we know about this incident comes from the alleged victim, an understandably biased perspective."

We already have heard both sides of the story. Tosh's recollection might be more or less accurate, but we can also take into account his general style, his material, etc. to form a reasonable opinion.

"If you go to a ballgame, sit in the bleachers, get hit by a fly-ball, and suffer irreversible brain damage, who can you sue for damages? No one. "

False. You can sue the ballpark, and it's been done before. Further, a fly-ball accidentally hitting a spectator is not the same as a person purposefully acting like a douche. The law in fact takes intention into account.

Should you be able to sue in such circumstances? That's a fair question. But this analogy doesn't make sense - the females who left the club didn't sue any one. They simply left. If they wanted, they could have reacted like the hecklers at the infamous Michael Richards show did (not that they should have).

"People who find 'rape jokes' funny do not necessarily support rape or rape-culture."

But some in fact do support it.

I believe it was in

I believe it was in Turnbull's Mountain People where the anthropologist describes the Ik tribe in Africa. He found, due to their dire circumstances, a society whose culture had pretty much collapsed and was reduced to cruelty and harsh competitiveness (this isn't about picking on Africans - he also describes another tribe in Africa he considered the most noble and altruistic he ever studied). Children were abandoned at young ages. Raiding, lying, and stealing (including stealing women, capturing them against their will) was the norm. It was everyone for themselves, with even adults competing with children for survival.

Elders would watch as a baby crawls towards a fire and then gets burned. If people fell into a ditch and broke their legs, instead of helping them out, others would stand around and laugh at them.

Does this sort of mockery sound like empathy to you Dan? Is this the type of culture you wish to defend, or would like to see America become? (Some might argue it's already here.)

Leave it to those militant

Leave it to those militant comedians to not understand the subtlety of a heckle joke. Heckle jokes are always funny.

History of hitting below the belt: mocking easy targets

I had only seen short bits of Tosh.0 before I encountered a clip where he made fun of a man with genu recurvatum who was trying to walk on a city sidewalk on all-fours. Persons with this physical disorder get enough alienating treatment. Disappointed that Comedy Central would air bully comedy that.

I'm not sure how a person disconnects enough emotionally to find that or this rape joke laugh-inducing. Perhaps this is a very sheltered man with a limited emotional range who has no sense of how it feels to be really threatened with sexual assault; perhaps rape is an alien and far off thing to him. Or perhaps he is as sick as his face value.

I saw that episode too, and

I saw that episode too, and after that, I stopped watching show. His humor is based on schadenfreude.

All is fair in comedy

Either all is fair in comedy, or nothing is fair. For something as horrific as rape to seem funny to people, the joke must be well-crafted. When he tells the joke about his sister, what makes the joke actually funny is the fact that ...if you are in a family who plays practical jokes on each other, you might put saran wrap on the toilet or dye someones hair green with their shampoo, you are not gonna try to get your sister raped. its situational humor because he swapped the mace for silly string, which paints a funny picture when you think of someone being attacked and defending themselves with silly string. Her being raped was just being a shock comic(because no brother wants their sister to be raped, i mean cmon people) , because things that surprise us are funny. Of course a joke about rape may hit to close to home for some, and I truly sympathize, but everyone everywhere and everything is subject to joke. A fat person might not like fat jokes, an ugly person may be uncomfortable about ugly jokes. A smart blonde might get offended by a dumb blonde joke, but does that mean the jokes are any less funny to the people that arent offended. Religious jokes are funny if its not about your religion. The sad thing is that something as terrible as rape can be turned into a joke and at least bring some joy into the world, but certain people would block the power for good that rape has. Rape jokes can be funny. They are like every other joke. There is not a single joke on this planet that is funny to everyone. Depending on your view they are funny or not. Despite what you think, by doing jokes about rape, Tosh has actually helped society to have less rape because people are outraged and bringing a bunch of attention to the subject which will get activists involved who would otherwise not be. You sir, Mr. Author of this Farticle are the legitimate douchebag. you win douche of the year award on my blog. But you are such a douche, im not even gonna write an article about you because no one would read it. PS you suck.

What was that women doing at a Daniel Tosh show anyway?

That women had no business being at a Daniel Tosh show and should have left instead of interrupting his show. And you, Kelsey, should have no problem justifying my christian grandmother's distaste for death metal either. Maybe should could write another brilliant complaint on your awesome blog... That what sarcasm by the way, you clearly have a tough time picking up on it ha.
p.s. You are an idiot for putting your name on something so stupid!

The escalated quickly

First of all, if you are sensitive about things make sure you research comedians before you go to a show. That's not his fault. Secondly, he did not "threaten her with rape". You are a psycho to jump to that conclusion. He is a super funny comedian. If she had kept her mouth shut she would've heard the rest of the joke (normally done about AIDS) and would've realized the point (not rape). Yes, I am a woman.

I've always avoided

I've always avoided watching/hearing Daniel Tosh. He tries too hard. He's like that geeky little guy in your science class who isn't genuinely creative or funny but BOY can he repeat a meme like no one's business. Over. And over. And over. If he sees the cool kid make a joke about rape, then he's going to make them until you want to kick his braces off.

Point being, untalented dorks like this are better left ignored and lonely at the back table where they belong.

And, not that this needs to be said, but women - stop. watching. his. stupid. show. I don't care if your boyfriend is watching it. Turn it OFF. And explain to him why you are turning it off. This little dipshit needs to realize that insulting and mocking 50% of your audience is a bad business move. When there aren't any women tuning in to his show or paying to go see him in person, then he can joke about rape as much as he wants.

Under/over-reaction

I've been looking into this controversy for a long time to try to find the exact context of the night in question and of course that is not to be found. Anyways, despite this ignorant norm we all speak from I'd have to say from what I gathered that both sides are being completely moronic. Could it have been simple sarcasm that misfired with anger? Yes, we're human and have all said things and will say things that would have gotten us exiled out of society centuries ago. That really doesn't matter however, what matters is how people respond (since this controversy is apparently everyone's problem) to these types of controversies. What I mean is how people evaluate character of a person involved in such trouble and I'm not impressed in the slightest. First this site:Are you really stupid enough to suggest that what was "probably" said indicated an immediate call to arms to rape the woman right there during the show? Sounds like it or why else would you be intimidated by his response as a "Threat". A threat? Are you fucking stupid? For Tosh, it sounds like his smug smart-ass style has finally caught up to him. First of all he has said tons of controversial things before that never called for this shit which shows how idiotic the offensive trigger is for people but I digress. Last point address this site again, how stupid do you have to be to imply how a person feels based off of a joke they made involving their sister? Was his sister offended? Don't know? Then shut the hell up, that's a family issue if one at all. In conclusion I feel that Tosh is in his heart is a decent guy but in reality is way too smug and dare I say elitist to not come across as a privileged asshole which kills any aspirations to truly be a great comedian and should have at least been more clear in his defense (under-reaction), the guy makes millions he should be more prepared and of course as always the commonfolk have no sense to begin with before trying to what? Shame a comedian? What? What the hell, if you're so goddamed good at judgement calls then you would have nipped him in the bud before (prolly a big reason he felt he needed no defense) and make it an issue about comedic technique before he grew into the famous asshole he is today (you had at least 10 years as he was movin along the ladder on t.v.). So fuck you all, and quit whining.

i invite the author of this

i invite the author of this atricle to think about going on a stage with 280 people in front of you- (one of Americas's worst fears) and try to tell jokes. There WILL be someone there that doesnt like your act, be it too "family friendly", mundane, inane or whatever.) how would you handle it if while you were on stage, performing, someone actually YELLS at you from the crowd when you speak of your kids, and the dog, and your silly bitch of a husband that "your joke isnt funny"?

[let me be clear, 'rape' is not funny. rape is a horrible terrible thing. telling jokes about rape is not rape. it is not threatening rape, it is not insinuating in front of hundreds or thousands of people that someone, this girl, should be raped. it is making light of horrible things like rape, and bitches that cant keep their damn mouth shut during a show.]

How do you respond? With humor, and sarcasm if you have any idea what you are doing. NOT GANG RAPE THREATS. THERE WAS NO ACTUAL THREAT.

audience members are not just allowed to interrupt the show with their personal preferences, they are frowned upon for doing so by anyone trying to enjoy the show!

p.s.
bitch. bitch! what a word that carries such meaning...i would be more afraid of the word bitch being supported through an online magazine seemingly than a dude I could beat up as a 5'4" woman.

p.s.s. WHY DIDNT YOU JUST LEAVE THE SHOW, RANDOM GIRL? WHY FEEL THE NEED TO HECKLE SOMEONE? Or do you not understand heckling just as the author of this article likes to pretend she does not as well?
"To my mind, saying you dont like rape jokes isnt heckling"
saying anything AT ALL to the person performing is called HECKLING!!!

Is it because you oh so mistakingly thought he was calling five of his douche friends over to rape you, and you thought you should call instant public attention to yourself? Is that why you didnt just leave- no heckle?

he is making it easier for some of US that have gone through it.
maybe try therapy instead of lashing out at a comedian.

Im sorry but yr an idiot,

Im sorry but yr an idiot, just like everything else, if you don't like it dont watch. Like u yrself said comedy is often about pushing the line of decency, so should we not joke about gays, 9/11, racism, holocaust, disabilities, religion...I could go on and on. What is ok to joke about? Again the comedy may not be funny to you, and if I or a loved one have been affected by rape, I may not find it funny, but who would I be to stop someone else from laughing, yr an idiot Who thinks yr opinionyr opinion is the only one that matters

And ps Daniel tosh has

And ps Daniel tosh has admitted to being raPed by his best friends mother as a child

Who stopped any one from

Who stopped any one from laughing? So, in your view, it's wrong, or at least idiotic, to disagree over taste?

"What is ok to joke about?" Isn't the whole point of free speech the right of public, rather than, say, governments, to decide that question, and to decide for themselves, just as you advocate, what to watch or listen to, based on what they find acceptable?

A comedian doesn't fail at

A comedian doesn't fail at comedy when he can't make something horrific and appalling funny. A comedian fails when they insist on beating the dead horse by wringing out any kind of humor they can out of something where humor doesn't exist. Rape is never funny, will never be funny, and has never been funny. It's used as a weapon by so many for a reason. Too bad Mr. Tosh can't use all that money he has to buy himself a clue.

Comedy

I find Tosh' comedy gut wrenching, but that's not because of the subject matter as such, or maybe it is, or just the way he brings it, but that's not really the point here.
The only point here that you need to look at is if it's not just your personal feelings and level of tolerance or even taste, cause you cannot argue over tolerance and or taste cause that's a personal matter.
And to argue over that is bullcrap.
I like edgy comedy but sometimes I see stuff that I don't like so I have the possibility to not look at it, and that's all she wrote.
I for instance find the fact that Dane Cook actually makes money with this comedy much more insulting, that really gets to me, but that's also personal.
Next thing you know we question jokes about the holocaust, race, religion, women and so on and so forth.
And that just can't be, not ever.
What are the boundaries in comedy?
Well quite frankly there are none, freedom of speech is much more important and anything goes in my book, it has too.
In this case for starters I have no idea what the woman did at a Daniel Tosh show anyway, and for her to shout that is her right as well but then it is his right to answer it.
It comes across as someone pointing out to a expensive car in discust because he/she can't afford one, sorry for the bad analogy, but that's what it feels like to me, it's personal.
I'm just really interested in her personal story and if there's a reason for her to feel that way, cause if it's just moral her shouting just seems stupid.
Either way personal feelings have no right in a theater with someone on stage where you came to see him, not vice versa.
Do I like Tosh' joke or his response?
No, but I can see some of my other heroes like Richard Pryor or (an early) Eddie Murphy saying: "fuck you doin' here than bitch, leave" and yes that would be funny to me.
And to even start with women's statistics on rape or whatever is almost hilarious as well, almost, cause that's not the issue here.
You might not like these kind of jokes, and that's ok, but those are our differences, and the only thing you could hope for is that 95% of the people feel the same way about this joke as we did, nothing more you can do.
I'm quite sure Tosh doesn't want to see his sister raped, or anyone for that matter, he just sucks at comedy, ok, but that's another matter.
"You don't come to your friends house and start telling him what's what", period, it's his show, not yours.

Feminists throw around the

Feminists throw around the term ¨rape culture" all the time but I´ve never heard a actual definition or seen any credible evidence that such a thing even exists.. I think this is another feminist lie like the non existant gender wage gap which has even been debunked by womens advocacy groups as being a lie. Get with the times feminists, we live in the information age and your lies aren going to fly any further then the ones of the republican party. Too easy to check these days, better try a new tactic. Arm yourself and head to Egypt/Afganistan/Syria or tons or others spots in the 3rd world where the fight for womens rights is really needed, cause women have it pretty good here in the USA and in most 1st world countries.

This blog is outrageous. You

This blog is outrageous. You people are idiots. Tosh is probably one of the best comedians out there. Chances are if #1 You're still going out to see Dane Cook #2 You don't know who Daniel Tosh is,you should probably get out more and or put a bag over your face because you're probably a fug.

Seriously?

For one, the female was not threatened, by any means, with gang rape to be silent. She was not told that either she shut up or get raped. Tosh did not ask that five men get up and rape her. Does did not say that it should happen. Tosh is a controversial comedian, of this there is no doubt. He jokes about many things that people may not find funny, but that in hindsight, should learn to laugh about, because lets face it.. Its the way things are. Be crushed by the doom, gloom, and despair, or try to laugh when something bad happens so that it doesn't hurt as much. Now, being a stand up comedian isn't all that easy? Any drama nerds (I was one, kinda)? What happens when your on stage about to say your lines and you get distracted? Easy to forget a line and blow a whole performance. Flashing lights, loud noises while the comedian is speaking, and a great many other things can cause the comedian to lose concentration and forget a line, god forbid it be a punch line. The woman standing and yelling out to Tosh undoubtably got his attention, distracted, then caused his mind to blank for a moment. On this, the woman shouldn't have said a word. I understand her anger, as I myself am not a fan of rape jokes (just don't get the humor), but had I not liked it, I would have waited until he finished, or just left. If I go see a play and I think its the worst Ive ever seen, Im not going go stand and scream "this play sucks" to those on stage. I'll turn to my friend, tell them that, then walk out. Stating my own feelings in this way would inhibit the enjoyment of the production by all other patrons that night, and that wouldn't be fair to them, if they were indeed enjoying it. His comment to her after her outburst was not and is not something to be dwelled on. The man did not threaten her in the slightest. He merely, while confused and unable to think of what to do, used a common comedian trick in which you bring the heckler into the joke. He merely used her as an affirmation point to his past comment about rape being funny, which again, not everyone agrees with, but its his show. Your show is here on the internet, as is hers (apparently). When he said that, it was not out of hate, or spite, but merely trying not to be made a fool of when his entire comedy bit was ruined by one outburst. Instead, in his silence, he was granted a solution. Use her as a tablet to affirm his previous statements. No. Tosh would not find it funny if people were to rape her. He would be appalled and yell for security. It was merely the only way, in such a short span, to allow him to continue the show, since he cant very well call a time out and walk back stage to write new jokes. The comedian Jeff Ross, also known as the Roastmaster General, has built his comedic empire on telling offensive jokes. Offensive comedy is something that, yes, is offensive. But its not meant to hurt. Its for people who know how to take a joke. Tosh does the same thing but instead of targeting people, he targets subjects. Rape is real people. Cower and hide from fear or laugh at fear. Its ultimately your choice. Again, Im not saying I believe rape is funny, after all, it is opinionated. And to the person asking if he would think male on male rape would be funny, he does. He has made jokes about that. I actually do find those to be humorous from time to time. Tosh is painted here as a devil, when in actuality, he is a good guy (but ssshhh.. I don't think he wants people knowing that). Offensive comedy, be the subject its driven by a person or a practice (such as murder, rape, racism, etc), is meant as a teaching tool. 1. To make people realize that its ok, not do to these things, but to recognize them in life as parts of our existence. 2. To teach people to be happy even through the worst of times (not saying to be happy if your raped, but to note that it is real, it does happen, and being sad about it isn't going to stop it). 3. To show that we as people can take the worst that this world has to offer and make something productive from it. Rape isn't good at all, but if even one person laughs from that, then its not in vain. Laughter may not go rescue kittens from trees and catch bad guys and put out fires.. But laughter does bring us together as a whole, gives us a good feeling as an individual, and keeps us afloat in this sea of terrible atrocities that occur daily as a society. Tosh doesn't honestly believe that rape is funny. He believes that fictional scenarios constructed to be funny will be, whether they include rape or not. His comedy on the subject is meant to, yes, shock and offend, but teach thats its ok to talk about it. Its real. Its not going anywhere. And there is no point in letting the fear win. He chose to not be silent. He chose to speak on a subject that affects millions of people. Who knows? Maybe a rape victim saw him making jokes about it, felt a little less embarrassed to say it happened, a little less driven to silence, and chose to tell the police. Tosh takes the darkest of human activities and tries to find some light in them, and if unable, tries to make light in them to give this world a little more good to go with the inevitable bad.

Why are you americans always

Why are you americans always complaining about nothing ? If a woman doesn't like his jokes she is not forced to watch Tosh.0 . I am laughing about Tosh's jokes so I don't care if he talks about rape once or twice and in the audience there were a lot of women who were laughing when he made that joke too.

Douchebag Tosh needs to get a

Douchebag Tosh needs to get a clue.