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I’m pretty sure if I sat down with a woman who’s been [raped], and I said, "Can you describe what this was like, going through this?" she’s not gonna look at me and go, "Have you ever played Halo?"
See that? That's a funny joke about rape. Kate Harding collected 15 of them, in fact. That's right: 15 hilarious jokes about rape. Even Dane Cook, she points out, "can construct a funny rape joke. This means no one else, anywhere, ever, has an excuse to screw this up."

Now here's a joke about rape from so-called comedian Daniel Tosh (yeah, I'd never heard of him before this week either), that isn't funny:

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?
It's hard to imagine a universe in which a woman being gang-raped by five men passes for knee-slapping humor. So what was the set-up that provoked such a "joke"? While performing at a comedy club, Tosh had a riff about how hilarious jokes about rape are. After quite a while of this rape-is-funny rant, a woman in the audience yelled "Actually, rape jokes are never funny!" So Tosh showed her just how funny rape jokes could be by suggesting that five men raping her would be hysterical. Get it? Because gang-raping a woman for the crime of interrupting a comedian in a comedy club is a perfectly suitable—not to mention entertaining—consequence. Hahaha. Don't you get it?

Many have explained why actually, no, telling a woman she should be gang-raped isn't funny. Lindy West at Jezebel, for example, gives a very clear explanation:

The world is full of terrible things, including rape, and it is okay to joke about them. But the best comics use their art to call bullshit on those terrible parts of life and make them better, not worse. The key—unless you want to be called a garbage-flavored dick on the internet by me and other humans with souls and brains—is to be a responsible person when you construct your jokes.
Tosh's defenders are pulling out all the standard lines: It was just a joke. Can't you take a joke? Damn humorless feminists! That's what comedy's all about! It's edgy! You can't criticize a comedian because then you're just the thought police oppressing that comedian's First Amendment right to tell a woman she should be raped—but, you know, as a joke.

Ms. West, who should be given a Pulitzer just for the delightful phrase "garbage-flavored dick," has an answer to that one too.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

Male comics: this is not an issue of your oppression. You guys know that "thought police" isn't a real thing, right? (I mean, not anymore—it was the first thing to go in the recession.) At no point in time will some shimmery grandpa-of-the-future say, ‎"When I was your age, Timmy, we had these things called 'jokes.' But then they came for our rape humor and our racism, so comedy died and chuckles were abolished." I'm pretty sure there are a couple of jokes out there that don't involve a lady getting raped. Like 100 at least! Hooray, comedy is saved! Nobody is taking away your right to talk about rape, make jokes about rape, or use the word "rape." No cunty feminist killjoy is citizen's-arresting you and taking you to brain jail for your shitty rape joke.
The entire post is well worth the read (as if you couldn't already tell), and she also gives some examples of hilarious jokes about rape that aren't actually about, you know, how women deserve to be raped. Jokes that even a "cunty feminist killjoy" can enjoy.

Here's what cunty feminist killjoys tend not to enjoy: jokes that perpetuate our already extremely pervasive and destructive rape culture. You know what rape culture is, even if you think you don't.

It's that belief that rape victims are somehow asking for it. That "What was she wearing?" and "Why was she in that part of town at night?" and "How many sexual partners has she had?" and "Is she using birth control?" and "Did she really say no?" are all legitimate, relevant questions to ask when a woman has been raped. That's how you end up with articles in the New York Times about an 11-year-old girl in Texas who was gang-raped, and the article suggests that she may have provoked the attack because she "dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s." Because even when a child is viciously raped, our newspaper of record blames the victim, suggesting that she bears responsibility for her own attack (and, therefore, her rapists are at least partially absolved of responsibility) because she wore make-up—which is just like asking to be gang-raped.

Rape culture is the idea that rape just isn't that big a deal, that it isn't a traumatic and violent assault. In fact, goes another supposedly hilarious joke told by many, including a fundraiser for John McCain in 2008, "As long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it."

Rape culture is the idea that there is a continuum of rape, that some rape isn't really rape, that not all rape is bad, or at least not bad enough to merit treatment. That's how we end up with Republicans in Congress trying to redefine rape to eliminate the sort-of-but-not-really rape "loopholes" that rape victims exploit for all the fabulous gifts and prizes that apparently are doled out by the government to rape victims. That's rape culture.

Rape culture is when self-appointed guardians of "traditional values" like Rick Santorum tell rape victims that, yes, rape is horrible, but if your rapist impregnates you, it's "nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you." Aw, rape victims no doubt think to themselves, an unwanted pregnancy conceived in rape? For me? From God? Awesome! After all, despite the ugliness of rape, says Rick, "We have to make the best out of a bad situation." As even the most causal readers of this series know, according to Mr. High and Mighty, making the best out of bad situation means passing laws to force women who've been raped to carry their rape-babies to term. And a "Gee, thanks, God!" wouldn't hurt, you ungrateful, selfish bitches. Just because you've been raped is no excuse to be thinking about yourself. There are more important considerations than the trauma of your violent assault—like how male politicians feel about your violent assault and how they feel that you should feel about it. That's rape culture.

Rape culture is the idea that while men's bodies are sacred and should never be touched in any way that makes them uncomfortable, with women's bodies, it's sort of a gray area. Sometimes women can and should be touched against their will for some greater good because ultimately, women do not own their bodies and do not have full autonomy to make decisions about their bodies.

Example? Okay. Remember way back a whole week ago, when we discussed those oh-so-charming Republican fellas in the Texas legislature who are outraged and appalled that sometimes airport screenings by TSA agents involve said agents actually touching said Republican fellas? Such touching made them very uncomfortable—and yes, because we're talking about Texas Republicans, it also violates their freedom blah blah blah—so they want to pass a law that criminalizes TSA agents, who are trying to catch potential terrorists who want to blow up America and destroy our freedoms, touching the "anus, sexual organ, buttocks or breasts of the other person or touches the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person."

Meanwhile, these exact same Republican fellas support laws that force women to be touched and invaded against their will when seeking an abortion because their desire to mandate that she be thoroughly shamed and humiliated before having an abortion trumps any feelings about whether women want to be touched and invaded in such ways when it has no medical purpose. Touching a woman's "sexual organ," no matter how offensive it is to a reasonable person, is appropriate if men in power say it is. Sometimes women can or should be touched in ways that make them uncomfortable. Sometimes it's even okay to beat women if they are, say, lesbians. Or immigrants. Or Native Americans.

And sometimes, it's okay to tell a woman that she should be raped by five men just for opening her stupid lady-mouth and, um, saying something.

That is rape culture. And that is why it's actually not funny to tell women they deserve to be raped (or beaten or violated in any number of ways) "as a joke," because actually, women hear it all the damn time already. From people in positions of power who write and pass the laws that further perpetuate the message that sometimes, it is okay to do whatever you want to a woman's body because sometimes there's something more important than the woman not wanting to be touched or probed or groped or beaten or raped against her will.

So, as the very wise-and-yet-somehow-still-funny Lindy West advises:

So, comics. This doesn't mean that everyone is obligated to be the savior of mankind. You can be edgy and creepy and offensive and trivial and, yes, you can talk about rape. Doing comedy in front of a silent room is scary, and shocking people is a really easy way to get a reaction. But if you want people to not hate you (and wanting to not be hated is not the same thing as wanting to be liked), you should probably try and do it in a responsible, thoughtful way. Easy shortcut: DO NOT MAKE RAPE VICTIMS THE BUTT OF THE JOKE.
Comedians can make any jokes they want. But when their comedy relies on pushing that same message women already get enough of as it is—that their bodies are not their own, that sometimes they deserve to be invasively and even violently assaulted—but the message is for a laugh, so somehow it's different, they really shouldn't be surprised when women aren't laughing.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Sexism and Patriarchy.

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Comment Preferences

  •  seems to me that... (46+ / 0-)

    When Tosh's defenders say "can't you take a joke?", the answer is "why can't that fragile flower handle a heckler"?

    I mean, really--someone yells out "rape jokes aren't funny" and the reply is "it would be hilarious if five guys raped you"? That isn't funny, witty or clever--it's just evidence that Tosh is a butthurt little baby.


  •  Thanks very much for this story. (19+ / 0-)

    I've been keeping an eye on this story, and its reaction--which has been discouraging.

  •  Another in the series, "Guys just don't get it." (16+ / 0-)

    Yeah, they really don't get it.

    And "garbage-flavored dick" does leap out at one as a yucky
    metaphor, doesn't it?

    I was seeing what Adam had seen on the morning of his creation - the miracle, moment by moment, of naked existence. --The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley

    by Wildthumb on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:07:18 AM PDT

  •  Rape should be off limits for jokes much like (15+ / 0-)

    few people ever joke about some topics like child rape or child molestation..although sadly, I saw a few jokes going around the internet about Sandusky. I was livid and voiced that.

    Rape is never a laughing matter as it can affect the victims for the rest of their lives as well as impact their families, their marriages, and relationships in major ways decades after.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:08:08 AM PDT

    •  Disagree. Nothing should be off limits, ever. (19+ / 0-)

      Standup comedy is one of the few remaining places where people can say whatever they want to say.

      I heartily dispute that this leads to or helps rape culture, any more than Lenny Bruce's act helped racism. The skill of the comedian is immaterial - it is the freedom for all comedians, from hacks to geniuses, that enable the geniuses to appear and push us forward culturally with their art.

      I understand the article writer's position that this doesn't lead to the language police. But when it leads to boycotts and going after sponsors, which is the next possible step in this, we as progressives are putting pressure on people's livelihoods for them to sanitize their speech to our subjective standards.

      If comedians have a right to offend other people, they have a right to offend us. No matter how "right" we are.

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

      by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:17:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do not agree. (8+ / 0-)

        Although the 'free market forces' may eventually work. Just as Andrew Dice Clay had his moment in the sun before disappearing, Tosh may also.

        If the shtick isn't funny, and it doesn't sound like it was, he'll go down in flames, but not fast enough.

        This is, of course, the difference between republicans and human beings. - Captain Frogbert

        by glorificus on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:24:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Once upon a time, maybe, standup (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        awsdirector, One Opinion, wishingwell

        was a special place people could "say whatever they want"--but now, with the internet and social networks, everybody is a fucking "comedian." You don't have to take to the stage to make tasteless jokes and broadcast them far and wide.

        It's worth noting here that Tosh's main claim to fame is a show on Comedy Central composed of YouTube clips of people doing (for the most part) stupid things, often things which result in serious injury. Other people put that stuff out there...Tosh just puts in on TV embellished with wise-ass commentary.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:27:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I just don't see how that matters (4+ / 0-)

          I don't see how freedom of speech should only be respected for things that we like. That we define as tasteful.

          Our taste is not objectively right. There are many who find jokes in support of gay marriage or abortion rights to be horribly tasteless. Should those jokes be forbidden because they might be offended?

          If the answer is no, then why is our "right to not be offended" more valid than theirs?

          "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

          by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:43:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You don't quite get this "freedom of speech" thing (14+ / 0-)

            do you?

            Tosh has a right to say whatever he wants.

            I have an equal right to call him a sick cretin.

            Criticism is speech.

            Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

            by Sirenus on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:56:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, I get all that. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Americantrueandblue, Dbug, tommymet

              Consider my criticism of these criticisms of Tosh as free speech also.

              But within all this, what I think is being lost is also that this woman, no matter how right she thinks she is, or even objectively right she may be - is a heckler interrupting someone else's exercise of their free speech as a performer.

              So to me it breaks down like this:

              - Tosh has a right to say whatever he wants. But when Tosh is on the stage, in an audience of people who paid to see him, he is the performer.

              - Anyone else has a right to say whatever they want about that performance. But they don't have the ethical right to disrupt that performance.

              That is heckling. The people have paid to see him, not the heckler. The heckler has chosen to be a part of that audience, and is free to leave if they don't like it or don't approve.

              - Tosh, as the performer on the stage engaged in his art - and remember it doesn't have to be good art to still be art - has the right to say anything he wants in order to keep hecklers from hijacking his show and making it about them.

              So, yes, this is all free speech. And I am disagreeing with others statements about how a) it's good he was interrupted for saying something someone was offended by, and b) it's horrible that he said something else that this person found ever more offensive, during the exercise of his own free speech which she sought to interrupt because it wasn't to her standards.

              "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

              by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:34:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Right.... (4+ / 0-)

                ...and when the audience booed Michael Richards for his "nigger" bit, they were being disrespectful hecklers who failed to show the appropriate deference to the genius of a comedian who's performing his ART.  


                •  Audience =/= hecklers (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  The audience had the right to do that - that's not interrupting. That's their reaction - that's not trying to insert themselves into his act because they disagree.

                  Thanks for bringing this up tho. Because no one actually thought Richards was threatening those guys either.

                  Bad art is still art, and deserves all the same protection as good art. If this woman were to go on and do a performance, Tosh would be just as wrong to interrupt her.

                  You can see that, can't you?

                  "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

                  by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:44:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Art? (3+ / 0-)

                    I'm getting a bit tired of nastiness against others being justified under the label "art."

                    You talk about how funny it would be for a woman to be raped by five men and I think your right to express your art crashes right into my right to challenge the sickness of the idea that gang-rape is a big joke.

                    No one should stuff a sock in Tosh's mouth. No one should call for him to be jailed.  But if he's going to dish it, he'd better be ready for someone to cry "Foul!"

                    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

                    by Sirenus on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 04:39:19 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  And the woman at the Tosh show was... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...having an honest reaction to his art.  She blurted out "Rape jokes are never funny!"  She didn't engage in extended lecturing.  Why is it that when it's a woman involved, there's all kinds of contortions to explain how she's specially different, because we all know women are killjoys with no senses of humor.  

                •  Amen! n/t (0+ / 0-)

                  Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

                  by Sirenus on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 04:36:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, heckling has a looooong tradition... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Syd of the Funny Hat

                I mean, I'm no expert, but I'd bet it goes all the way back to cavemen sitting around the fire telling jokes about cavewomen getting dragged off by the hair.

                And if you're a standup, especially of the Tosh variety, you better be prepared. Maybe he was or maybe wasn't, but his "joke" evidently crossed the line between Funny and Fail. How do I know? Well the supposed nopoligy (I haven't seen or read it and I don't think there's video of the offending joke, and I'm not impressed with tosh in general and this incident in particular) is a tell.

                So the whole "she was rude" thing? meh.

                I really don't appreciate your incivility and rudeness. Armando 7/23/11

                by liberte on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 03:12:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  tosh asked the audience for suggestions (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                he invited the call and response, he broke the wall. but he threw a fit and threatened the audience member with gang rape when someone disagreed with him.

                heckling is disrupting, repeatedly, a performance out of context. when the comedian is interacting with the audience, and someone doesn't agree with the comedian during said interaction, it's not heckling. it's a michael richards thin skin meltdown using "humor" as a fig leaf for their fail.

          •  It's not about what's tasteful. (6+ / 0-)

            It's about what's damaging vs. what calls attention to a problem in a constructive way.

            If free speech excludes someone yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater, on the grounds that doing so may cause damage and/or injury to innocent bystanders, then why should it be okay to perpetuate a culture that makes a joke out of rape, which is incredibly damaging on both a personal and societal level?

            And his "I'm sorry if people were offended" not-pology is about as sincere as Limbaugh's was re: Ms. Fluke.  That makes him a hypocrite into the bargain.

            It seems to me that the point of kaili's post, and of the linked article by Lynda West, is that there are ways to tell jokes about rape that actually are (a) funny while (b) attempting to shed light rather than heat on the topic--and Tosh's way isn't one of them.

            •  The two are entirely different (2+ / 0-)

              "I do not respect women/black people/atheists/etc" is a completely constitutionally defensible position regardless of whether having that opinion has negative effects on these groups (and trust me, being an atheist I feel this pain on a regular basis).

              But I would never suggest that other people don't have a right to say it. Because they do.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:04:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There's still a difference (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                between saying, for example, "I don't respect your opinion that my rape joke (or comment) wasn't funny" and "I think it would be funny if you got gang-raped right now."

                Just as there's a difference between "I don't respect black people" and "I think it would be funny if that black person who was offended got lynched right now."

                In both examples, the first is an opinion; the second, even if the person making it "intended" it to be funny, can be interpreted as advocating violence because whatever group is on the receiving end isn't worth treating as well as the in-group is treated.  That's the part I have the problem with: even if Tosh in "real life" is completely against rape, would stop an attempted rape if he witnessed one, etc., saying on stage that so-and-so should be subjected to [act of violence] gives that act of violence at least a gloss of respectability.

                Plus, it just wasn't funny.

                •  Don't think it passes the First Amendment test (0+ / 0-)

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:22:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What are you talking about the First Amendment for (0+ / 0-)

                    ?  Nobody's talking about throwing people in jail for telling rape jokes or fining them or anything.  Obviously people have the right to say what they want.  But you don't have a god-given right to say things that hurt people in major live venues and international television.  That's what's being talked about here.  

            •  "damaging vs. constructive' = value judgement (3+ / 0-)

              That's a subjective judgement. It is not objective truth. NO ONE's value judgements are objective truth, ever.

              There was NO DANGER that this woman was going to be raped in that crowd. I mean, come on. Really. Any more than genocide became a danger any time Benny Hill made a Hitler joke.

              Maybe there are ways to tell rape jokes that Lynda West and others like. How does that become objective truth?

              And if Tosh didn't apologize, he would be hated also. There's no winning in this situation, so he apologized to move on. What else do you want? Do you want him to accept your subjective values as his own, even if he doesn't agree?

              If so, I find that pretty offensive. Why don't you change your subjective values to suit mine, because I declare myself the objective judge of what is and isn't funny?

              Do you see what I'm saying here?

              "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

              by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:41:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  women have been gang raped in crowded rooms (4+ / 0-)

                the threat was made because there is that lurking fear of it actually going down. that's why tosh made it, to bully the women into shutting her fucking piehole. it would make no sense if it was not a threat, or at least plausible enough to make the woman's blood run cold.

                saying "wouldn't it by funny if 5 guys raped this woman?" isn't a joke in any meaningful sense of the word. any more than "wouldn't it be funny if five white guys lynched this black guy?" is a joke, or "wouldn't it be funny if a bunch of us beat this gay guy to death?"

                it is exceptionally revealing to see people defend this as humor.

                •  Re (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  the threat was made because there is that lurking fear of it actually going down. that's why tosh made it, to bully the women into shutting her fucking piehole. it would make no sense if it was not a threat, or at least plausible enough to make the woman's blood run cold.
                  This is patently ridiculous. I can't believe that nominally intelligent people believe this tripe.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:32:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Which means your subjective values (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LSophia, Ahianne

                are no more valid than mine, so why don't you change yours to match mine?  I mean, it seems obvious that, in this particular instance at least, my subjective opinion (that making jokes about rape is at least potentially damaging) is less likely to inspire an overall negative atmosphere than your subjective opinion that anybody should be allowed to say any damn thing they want without regard to how anyone feels.

                After all, if one has been raped or otherwise sexually assaulted, such verbalizations of subjective opinion ("You/this other person should suffer what you've already experienced--wouldn't that be a hoot!") can easily trigger additional trauma...unless you don't think emotional trauma counts.  In which case, I probably don't want to ask your opinion on PTSD.

                In my highly subjective opinion, free speech requires responsibility (back to the crowded theater example).  Considering the rape stats in this country, I don't think Tosh was showing it.  His apology ("I'm sorry if people were offended" vs. "I'm sorry I said something stupid") bears rather a lot of resemblance to victim-blaming--he's not taking responsibility for what he said.

                •  Why change our subjective values at all? (0+ / 0-)

                  It's not like one person's set of values has to 'win' over the other. That's the whole point of a free society.

                  That's why neither of us get to impose our subjective values on the other - and that's why no one should impose their subjective values on Tosh OR Louis CK or Jon Stewart or anyone else.

                  The 'crowded theatre' example is for physical danger. Not people being offended.

                  Tosh may not apologize to your standards - and you don't have to apologize to Rick Santorum's standards. That's how it works.

                  "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

                  by jbeach on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:18:36 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Who is talking about censoring Tosh? (3+ / 0-)

            Not a single poster here has suggested that the government censor him for his words. Even if we wanted to, the First Amendment wouldn't all for it. Repeat with me: freedom of speech does not equal freedom from criticism.

            •  Exactly. I won't silence AHs but I won't be forced (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              to listen to them. Geesh, sounds like freedom of religion issue meaning to some that you have to listen to them spread thier gospel even if it nauseates you and makes you want to add them to a list of never deal with the jerk ever again.

              How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

              by boophus on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:39:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I'm talking about respect for freedom of speech (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              No Exit, Americantrueandblue

              You'll note that I didn't say "censoring" either.

              Basically, we on the Left look like hypocrites every time we get all loaded up and righteous when someone says something that offends us - while we laugh and celebrate every time someone says something that offends the Right that we agree with.

              I'm arguing for having a respect for a culture where people can say what they want and be disagreed with - not shut down when they're saying something we don't like.

              This was Tosh's performance on stage. This woman didn't like what he said, and tried to interrupt him and shut him down. So he shut her down.

              If it was wrong for Tosh to shut her down, then it was wrong for this woman to interrupt Tosh in the first place. She could and did comment afterwards. She can and maybe should take to the stage herself - and if Tosh interrupted her during her performance, then he would be in the wrong and she would be justified in saying anything she wanted to shut him down.

              Do you see the situation that I'm talking about?

              I wish everyone would look past the content and just see the mechanics of this situation. I know content is inflammatory and emotional. But just as the ACLU defends the rights of Nazis to march because it's right in the larger sense, so we should respect the rights of performers to say things that offend us and not be interrupted while in the exercise of their free speech.

              "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

              by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:47:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We are criticizing Tosh.... (4+ / 0-)

                ....for essentially threatening a woman with gang rape or at the very least, finding it hysterically funny. I don't give a shit if she was a heckler. What he did was, morally, NOT OKAY. He should be criticized, period, end of story.

                •  OK, we disagree. (5+ / 0-)

                  I think a performer on a stage has a right to say anything they want. And I think they have the further right to say anything they want to someone who is interrupting that performance - whatever their reason is.

                  Since your name is "metal prophet", I'm going to make the leap that you like metal bands. I do too. So, let's say Black Sabbath is performing somewhere. Does some Christian fundie who is offended by their lyrics, have the moral right to go to the show and jam the speakers so no one else can hear it? I'd say no.

                  Does this rule now change if the band sucks? I still say no.

                  Does the band now have the right to play a song the Christian fundie finds even more offensive, if that's what it takes to drive him out and regain control of the show? I say yes.

                  Now that same Christian fundie has the right to hate on Black Sabbath or any other band, for any reason or no reason, forever. That criticism is different than interrupting the performance.

                  Do you see the analogy?

                  "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

                  by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:24:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  But... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LSophia, Ahianne

                If Tosh asked for ideas from the audience re: the subject(s) he should now be funny on (so to speak), and one audience member called out "rape!" while another (who happened to be female) called out "rape isn't funny!", why are we even calling the second person a heckler?

                Second Person was simply registering an opinion (protected by the First Amendment, by your own argument) on First Person's suggestion, and Tosh's response was to "shut down a heckler"--who was responding to another audience member, not to Tosh's routine--by suggesting the audience member, a woman, be gang-raped.

                Do you REALLY think if it had been a man who shouted that rape jokes aren't funny, that Tosh would have shouted back that the male "heckler" ought to be gang-raped?  Really and truly?

                Because if you don't--if you think for even a fraction of a second that Tosh would NOT suggest that a male "heckler" objecting to rape jokes should himself be raped--then you're exhibiting the very double standard presently at issue: that it's okay to make jokes at the expense of minorities because their position as minorities interferes with their ability to fight back and be taken seriously.

                If we're talking about humor, it wasn't funny.  If we're talking about the displayed attitudes of the society, it really isn't funny.

            •  Actually, it's insinuated above by (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              "Syd of the Funny Hat," who likens jokes about rape to the yelling "fire" in a crowded theater analogy.

      •  Audiences have a right to shop where they please (16+ / 0-)

        This isn't "censorship." It's called the free market. This douche can say whatever he wants, and the audience has the right to respond however it wants.

        And Jezebel did a brilliant job of explaining why no topic is off-limits, but some angles of delivery really are.

        If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

        by rhetoricus on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:31:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Shopping where please =/= planned boycotts (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Of course it's people's right to do whatever they want their money, just as it's other people's right to say whatever they want.

          But to specifically organize and go after Tosh's sponsors because we don't like what he said is another animal entirely. That may not be where we are right now, but that's the next logical step in this. It's completely legal, sure. It also paints us on the left as hypocrites, for trying to actively shut down someone who offends us rather than simply take our business elsewhere.

          "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

          by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:35:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is the answer. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The problem with stand up seems to be that a lot of people don't research who they're about to see when they go to a show - it's "hey, let's hit the comedy club tonight". No one says "hey, let's go to a movie", picks one at random, and gets mad when it turns out to be a Saw movie or something disgusting.

          This may sound like blaming the victim, but had the original blogger taken a moment to google a video of Tosh's stand up, she probably would have said, "this isn't for me". (For good reason, he's awful.) This can't be the first time he's done a rape joke, and probably not even the first time he's done that rape joke.

          So, I agree, people should shop where they please, but there's some amount of personal responsibility when it comes to knowing what the shop is like before they walk in. (I suppose this whole backlash helps people know about Daniel Tosh, though.)

      •  putting pressure on people's livelihoods (6+ / 0-)

        people (especially so-called creative types) do have a broader expanse of choices in what they do to make a living and how they do it, so putting pressure on those people's livelihoods in ways that are intended to give them pause and perhaps self-reflect exactly about those things is in no way a negative thing (and is precisely what that so-ridiculously titled "marketplace of ideas" metaphor is exactly about.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:31:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, it is a negative thing. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, tommymet

          And if we don't like it when it's done to people we like, such as Bill Maher, then we shouldn't do it to other people even if we don't like them or what they said.

          Please note the distinction between taking our business where we want to, and organizing to destroy someone else's livelihood so that even those who want to listen to them can't.

          This last part is the part of the Left that makes us look like hypocrites. This is the strain of thinking that led to the PMRC.

          "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

          by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:37:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree 100% (9+ / 0-)

            In fact, I thin it is as good thing when that pressure is put on people whose work and ideas I agree with, because hearing what people object to and WHY they object to it is precisely what the First Amendment was intended to provoke.  Having these people say out loud that they think people being brutalized can be funny is sunlight.

            The problem is when the discussion stops at "First Amendment says I can (nanny nanny boo boo)" rather than using the first amendment in the way it was intended for further open discussion about all aspects and interests that even remotely touch on the issue.

            I also think it's vital to distinguish between the varying groups, interests and hidden agendas that give rise to various types of pressure that we put on livelihoods and explain exactly WHY it is being done and what ends it serves.

            Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

            by a gilas girl on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:55:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK, so we disagree. That's fine. (0+ / 0-)

              I think it is overall destructive to our culture to actively seek to prevent others from being able to listen to things we disagree with. I don't think anyone's subjective opinion should be treated as objective truth to that degree - no matter if I agree with the opinion or not.

              I think any attempt to distinguish between groups and interests, and select which ones "should" be free to say what they want while others "should" be actively pressured into saying what we like, is actually pretty disgusting to the concept of freedom of speech. And not at all in agreement with the desires of the founders of this country.

              But, even though I disagree with what you say, I think you have the right to say it and should not be actively pressured in terms of your livelihood to change your mind.

              Even though you would apparently find no problem in pressuring me via my livelihood to do the same.

              That appears to be the encapsulated difference between our positions.

              "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

              by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:53:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I don't see any organizing (14+ / 0-)

            to destroy someone's livelihood here. I don't see any calls for a boycott of his sponsors. What I am seeing is people expressing their reaction to something they found offensive. Tosh and others like him have every right to get in front of an audience and say what they like, even if it includes a remark about gang raping someone who finds what they have said deeply offensive. I see no hypocrisy in discussing why Tosh received the negative attention for his outlandish comment. I also don't see this as a left v right issue either. I'm sure there are plenty of conservative women and even conservative men who would find the suggestion of gang raping a critic to be offensive.

            •  Discussing that in the hypothetical. (0+ / 0-)

              You're right, no one appears to be discussing that yet.

              I'm not thinking of this as a left vs. right issue. I'm thinking of this as a subjective value judgement that's being treated as an objective fact - and I'm mentioning Left vs. Right to show that, just as we wouldn't like the Right's subjective opinions used to actively pressure people's free speech performances, we shouldn't pursue the same.

              "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

              by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:55:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  this wasn't a joke (25+ / 0-)

        It was a STFU moment. To shut this woman down, he suggested how funny it would be if she were gang raped.

        Please point out to me where the joke in that is? It was a silencing a bitch moment, one appealing to the men in the room. I've read a whole lot of responses to this story, and it's almost always men who are defending Tosh.

        Rape is part of the package of male privilege. Most men are blind to male privilege, and being called out on it really pisses them off, as exemplified by the alleged comedian, who chose to silence a woman by enlisting the aid of the dudebros in the room to laugh at how funny gang rape is.

        Consider this: women don't gang rape. Women ARE gang raped. So, I ask again, please explain the joke to me. As far as hurting his livelihood goes - would you be making the same argument about Rush Limbaugh? An asshole is an asshole, and I'm perfectly fine with both of these assholes being unemployed.

        "Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day." ~ Harry Truman

        by susanthe on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:35:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It WAS a joke. (4+ / 0-)

          The joke is in that Tosh was trying to make people laugh. That's the definition of a joke: something said that was intended for laughter.

          A bad joke is still a joke. An offensive joke is still a joke. A horribly bad, failed, offensive, juvenile cold-hearted and cruel joke that is hard to understand is still a joke.

          You will not stop rape by stopping bad jokes. You will not decrease rape by stopping bad jokes.

          Most importantly, speech on-stage should not be forbidden because it offends you, me, Christian fundamentalists, Muslims, Jews, Atheists, or anyone.

          Defense of free speech should not be automatically dismissed no matter who's defending it, even if it's "just men". If it's sexist and wrong to dismiss women's opinions as a class, then it's sexist and wrong to dismiss men's opinions in the same way.

          "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

          by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:49:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you aren't winning me over (11+ / 0-)

            by finger wagging how his right to free speech is important, while dismissing and ignoring most of what I wrote. Instead, you're trying to spin it as a gender v. gender matter.

            You will not stop rape by stopping bad jokes. You will not decrease rape by stopping bad jokes.
            Could you point out where it was that I suggested I would or could do either of those things?

            Thank you for at least clearing up one thing. Your definition of a joke is clearly different from mine. To you, a joke is apparently anything said in an attempt to make people laugh. When Rush Limbaugh said that Romney's speech at the NAACP failed it was "over these people's heads," it was said to make people laugh, and therefore it was, by your definition: FUNNY!

            Tosh was making an appeal to men in the audience, to help him shut down that woman by getting them to laugh about the threat of gang rape. That's not funny. Not now. Not ever. It was an appeal to the lowest common denominator in his crowd - just as Rush's "joke" about the NAACP was.

            "Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day." ~ Harry Truman

            by susanthe on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:19:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  or Limbaugh's "joke" about wanting to see (4+ / 0-)

              videos of Sandra Fluke having sex.

              We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

              by Tamar on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:50:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Jokes (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jbeach, Americantrueandblue, Sparhawk
              To you, a joke is apparently anything said in an attempt to make people laugh. When Rush Limbaugh said that Romney's speech at the NAACP failed it was "over these people's heads," it was said to make people laugh, and therefore it was, by your definition: FUNNY!
              A joke is anything said to make people laugh. Not everyone finds the same jokes funny. Here's a whole series of jokes from Katt Williams: Katt v Mexico

              They're about Mexicans, and were apparently made in response to a heckler who had a problem with Katt's Mexican jokes. I find the video hilarious.

              Now, here's another video of Micheal Richards making jokes to toward black people: You're a N***!

              I don't find the video hilarious, particularly because I'm black. But I do have to admit, alot of the people were kind of laughing before he went on the N word tirade.

              I find the Katt Williams jokes hilarious because I'm not Mexican. They're not offensive, personally, to me. So they are funny to me. Should they not be? I don't really find Micheal's jokes funny, because I'm black and I have a personal experience with that history. But they were funny to the people in the room (until he said the N word).

              What happened at the Tosh show is similar to these situations. When you interrupt a comedian. 9 times out of 10, you're going to be shut down. Period. Did the woman in question expect Tosh to stop. Apologize and continue with the show after that? What show? Things would have ceased being funny for everyone else at exactly that moment.

              As a final example, I present Don Imus: Nappy Headed Hoes

              Like Micheal, Don Imus made the mistake of joking on the hair trigger "black outrage machine", on national television. I used to watch Don Imus, and I found his jokes hilarious. Including that one. Sure it was sort of offensive, I can see that. The problem was that it was on national television. I can see how, especially at that level, that would be hurtful to a person. So I do sympathize at some level.

              But my point in bringing up Don Imus is that his show insulted everyone. Equally. Unlike Rush, who just insults the poor and minorities. Imus (used to) and Katt and Tosh do insult everyone pretty much equally. Everyone's going to get hurt a little be, but everyone's going to laugh alot. Such is the nature of modern comedy.

              The situation is very much like rap in the late 90's and 2000's. All of the black prudes said "but they're calling our women hoes and inciting violence!" Well that was (and is) true. But it was entertaining, to me. Should I force myself not to like it?

              I guess my overall point is, in response to all this outrage is this question:

              Do you all mean to say that just because something offends someone, it should offend all of us? Sorry, I'm not a follower.

            •  Why not? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Americantrueandblue, Sparhawk

              First, yes I do make the same argument as far as Rush Limbaugh is concerned. I did at the time, also. If we want Bill Maher to be able to say things that offend the Right, we must accept that Rush should be able to say things that offend the Left.

              Second, I'm not "trying to spin it as a gender v. gender matter". I'm responding to this statement of yours,

              I've read a whole lot of responses to this story, and it's almost always men who are defending Tosh.

              Rape is part of the package of male privilege. Most men are blind to male privilege, and being called out on it really pisses them off...

              ...which seems to me to clearly be dismissing the responses of men defending Tosh's right to offensive things, as being due to maleness and not to the merits of their arguments.

              Which is a sexist argument, which I therefore disagree with.

              Third, yes that is my definition of a joke. What is yours? How is a joke that you agree with that Christian fundamentalists find offensive, such as the many jokes about Sarah Palin, different in structure as opposed to in substance?

              Because if it's different in substance alone, that means you're applying a subjective value judgement to speech. Which means you're elevating speech about what matters to you above what matters to others.

              No one's subjective opinion of what is funny is objectively wrong or right.

              "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

              by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:24:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not dismissing (6+ / 0-)

                the male POV, I'm pointing out that it is men who defend, perpetuate, and benefit from rape culture. It's part of the package of male privilege. And one of the saddest aspects of my political life (and I'm 55) that liberal men are just as guilty as conservatives of blind male privilege and sexism.

                There are men posting on this thread who are making the same arguments I am.

                If that's a sexist argument - well, then call me a female chauvinist pig, just like my late father was fond of doing.

                It's impossible to talk about male privilege and rape culture without pointing out where this originates and who it's defenders are.

                Tosh wasn't making a joke. Tosh was making a woman STFU with a thinly veiled threat of violence.  No one is asking for censorship, no matter how many times you try to spin it that way. The market will decide about Tosh, and I suspect the market will throw him back into the Sea of Bad Comics.

                "Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day." ~ Harry Truman

                by susanthe on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:00:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't see how you can think that was not a joke. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I don't see how that absurd comment can be construed as a veiled threat in any way, shape or form. I don't see how this woman was actually afraid of being raped because of what Tosh said.

                  I mean, I don't see how that comes out of this statement made in a public place at all.

                  But that is of course your right to have that opinion. And if you were performing on a stage where people paid to see you express that opinion, and I disagreed, I would simply leave. But if I did not leave, and instead interrupted your act, you would have the right to say anything you wanted to regain control of your act - and make it once again about your expression, and not about mine.

                  Do you see what I'm saying?

                  "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

                  by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:15:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  ? How is that not dismissive? (0+ / 0-)
                  [I'm not dismissing] the male POV, I'm pointing out that it is men who defend, perpetuate, and benefit from rape culture.
                  So, how is that not dismissing what you see as the male POV?

                  It seems to me you're very clearly implying that males defending Tosh's right to say stupid offensive things is because they approve of or beneft from "rape culture".

                  If that isn't what you're implying, then why bring it up? How is that relevant to this discussion?

                  "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

                  by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:31:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  that you ask that question (4+ / 0-)

                    speaks volumes.

                    How is male privilege and rape culture NOT relevant to this discussion?

                    "Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day." ~ Harry Truman

                    by susanthe on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 03:48:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I ask again: How is your use not dismissive? (0+ / 0-)

                      You said:

                      [I'm not dismissing] the male POV, I'm pointing out that it is men who defend, perpetuate, and benefit from rape culture.
                      What's the point of saying that, if you're not intending to dismiss the opinions of men who disagree with your opinion?

                      Please educate me.

                      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

                      by jbeach on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:06:20 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Why (0+ / 0-)

                        You aren't listening. You aren't reading what I'm writing. You aren't interested in being educated, or even attempting to hear my point of view.

                        You're far too interested in expressing your overwhelming rightness, and trying to make me look like I'm picking on the poor mens, because it's impossible to talk about male privilege/rape culture without talking about men.

                        You're more than a little defensive.

                        "Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day." ~ Harry Truman

                        by susanthe on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 06:34:38 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  For the last fucking time.... (7+ / 0-)

            ....we're not talking about censorship here. Tosh was perpetuating the rape culture by trying to tell a stupid joke about how freakin' hilarious it'd be if an audience member got gang raped for heckling him. He can say even offensive speech as much as he'd like. But that is not what's at issue here. What's at issue is a) how much of an asshole that makes him (very much of one) and b) why humor like this is PART OF THE PROBLEM. You'll notice that neither me nor any other critics here are suggesting a legislative solution to this problem. But we are pointing out that he's contributing to the rape culture. That's not censorship. That's cultural criticism.

            •  For the last fucking time, (4+ / 0-)

              I'm talking about respect for culture here. I haven't mentioned censorship once.

              Please consider my statements to be criticism of your cultural criticism - and why I think this cultural criticism is wrongheaded and destructive to our society because it undermines cultural respect for free speech.

              And for fuck's fucking sake, Tosh was not "perpetuating the rape culture". Jesus Christ! Any more than Monty Python was "perpetuating crucifixion of martyrs" when they made "Life of Brian".

              Bad art is still art.

              "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

              by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:03:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  but you should add "and men are gang-raped (3+ / 0-)

          also. Mainly by men."
          (although there certainly are some instances of female rapists/sex abusers, it's not all that common).
          In any case, calling on people to gang-rape someone, whether the proposed victim is male or female, is wrong.

          We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

          by Tamar on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:49:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Explaining the joke (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, jbeach, Tickticker

          Humor relies on contradiction, especially upon the contradiction of finding pleasure in pain.

          Daniel Tosh or the audience presumably don't actually want to see the female heckler be gang-raped.  That's an important distinction to make.  It is something that can be laughed at because it is seen as an absurd, unlikely possibility.  This joke is going to be seen as unfunny by someone who thinks we live in a culture of rape where women should be looking over their shoulder every second because they live in daily imminent danger of being raped.

          The intended humor in the joke works by suggesting that the woman is a laughable figure by saying something clearly ridiculous that contradicts what she has just said.  If she comes across as an unsympathetic figure, then affirming the opposite of her point can draw laughter even if her point is 100% valid.

      •  While nothing should be off limits.... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LSophia, One Opinion, wishingwell

        ....there are some subjects that can only be joked about if you're a really skilled comedian. Like, George Carlin had a bit about rape that was both very funny and turned it all against rapists. But, most comedians, particularly male ones, shouldn't even try to pull off a rape joke. I mean, you can say whatever you want, this is America. But, if you are going to tell jokes at the expense of a minority group that you're not a member of, you can expect to take a lot of criticism and rightly so.

        •  That's all fine, agreed. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I just disagree with the notion that people having some sort of ethical right to jump up and disrupt someone's performance because they're offended. And I further disagree that the performer doesn't then have a right to say something even more offensive to regain control of the show.

          We don't have some sort of moral right to not be offended. And being offended doesn't give us some sort of veto right to interrupt other people in the performance of their art. Even if it's awful bad art that I don't like, and even if it offends me personally. In fact, especially if it offends me personally.

          "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

          by jbeach on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:06:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's stand-up comedy (0+ / 0-)

            I think there is an unwritten understanding that the audience can react negatively to bad jokes.  Heckling is part of the culture and is to be expected.

            If there was a mistake made, one may have been that the heckler was a wet blanket trying to make a serious statement instead of saying something funny with Tosh as the butt of the joke, showing by comparison how unfunny he is.  If she wanted to make a serious statement, she should have gotten on stage, kneed him in the crotch, and asked him how feels about being assaulted in the genital region.  Of course, there's a good chance the crowd would have laughed.

      •  If I could agree any more (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tommymet, jbeach

        it would be painful.

        First, show me the audience member who remembers word for word a stand up comedian tells. Doesn't happen.  I'm betting she remembered it wrong.

        Second, she didn't leave. She stayed for the rest of the show. Offended? Leave.  She didn't.

        Third, what jbeach said over and over. Someone can get offended at most jokes. You might be a redneck if... you are offended at redneck jokes. Jokes about kids aren't causing parents around the country to stop going to comedy shows or watching comedy on tv. So how about all jokes need to be about cottonballs or inanimate objects? That way no ones gets hurt, there's no more war on anyone in the world of stand up comedy.

        Fourth, my wife is a huge fan of Tosh as am I, and she's laughing more at the indignant reaction than the (admittedly probably in bad taste) joke on a HECKLER!!!

        Fifth, if you heckle, be prepared to be insulted. Hardcore. As my buddy put it, a common line at hecklers is "Hey!! Don't come here and mess with my job and I won't go to your job and knock the d**k out of your mouth."  Hecklers deserve what they get.

        Sixth, if I came to your job and started yelling at you and interrupted you so you couldn't do your job, I'm sure you would just quietly continue and not yell at me and call me names since i'm such a delicate flower. /sarcasm

      •  This is not about "offense" (0+ / 0-)

        No one is questioning the right of comedians to be offensive.  The people defending the comedians are questioning our right to stand up against abuse.

    •  I disagree. (29+ / 0-)

      And I think that the video at the top (as well as Kate Harding's whole post, which you should really read) proves that. Sometimes these jokes are funny. When they put rapists on the spot, and rape apologists on the spot, and our sick rape culture on the spot. When they target victims? That's what isn't funny.

    •  I believe that is the part that a lot of people (11+ / 0-)

      don't get:

      it can affect the victims for the rest of their lives as well as impact their families, their marriages, and relationships in major ways decades after.
      In the privacy of my own hell, when I am naval gazing about the things I have lived through, I can practice some seriously dark and twisted gallows humor.

      It's not for the stage.

      And unless the person I am talking to were someone very close, I doubt I would find such humor even remotely humorous coming from someone else.

      In fact, if most of the people here were to experience that first hand from me, I know for a fact they would cringe. There would be no laughter. There would only be disturbance and sadness.

      Tosh makes some sick jokes, I get that. But telling a woman she should be gang raped?

      You first Tosh.

      You first.

    •  Go back up (0+ / 0-)

      and hit the linky for the jokes about rape that ARE funny, and (for the most part) they are. But it's a very fine line to walk, and a comedian must be very sure of their step!

      "On a normal dog day, I can sit still for hours on end with no effort." enzo, The Art of Racing in the Rain

      by rebereads on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:10:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rape must be an acquired taste for Tosh listeners (13+ / 0-)

    Somehow I never acquired it.  Now where's my sense of humor?

  •  To coin a phrase----------"it was a joke" (23+ / 0-)

    is the last refuge of an A##H*l$

    Not blaming Bush for the mess we're in, is like not blaming a train engineer for a fatal train wreck because he's no longer driving the train.

    by JML9999 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:10:37 AM PDT

    •  Yea, I remember that fucked up line from a (6+ / 0-)

      stalker decades ago.

      Yea, it was so goddamn funny I forgot to laugh.

    •  He's a comedian (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mismolly, Americantrueandblue

      Isn't that what he does? Jokes? He's not up there explaining policy or teaching us linear algebra. I fail to see how this is a last refuge.

      You can say that it wasn't funny, and you can say that it was offensive, but to discount the "it was a joke" when it comes from a comedian is off the mark. Jon Stewart defends his less-than-honest journalism with "I am a comedian, not a journalist. I tell jokes." Is that the last refuge also?

    •  It's a way of marginalizing. It tells the offendee (4+ / 0-)

      that thier feelings about the widespread abuse of thier group are unimportant and that they are powerless in the face of the mob who favor doing exactly what the "joker" suggested.

      I don't want to silence him but I will never sit still and listen..If I was that woman in the audience I would have got up and walked out. In fact, if I ever met him I would turn and walk away.

      Unlike the commercially supported AHs like Limbaugh or the freaky nutjob Beck, he didn't go on and on for days attacking one woman falsely  with full intent to try to destroy her and make her the target of the loonatic fringe. We have a right to boycott anyone who allows another to deliberately use our buying thier products to finance hit men. People who are using thier advertizer supported soapbox to not just speak whatever they want but to advocate and/or arouse behaviors  amongst thier loony fringe. Stalking, spreading rumors, posting filthy suggestions for anyone who could find her just what to do to her....These are the behaviors Limbaugh encouraged and it was not just free speech... It was incitement. Notice no one suggested shutting him up by passing a law but a group under attack has a right to not support that kind of abuse of free speech  by boycotting.

      No he is not funny... I never liked Don Rickles for the same reason... I loved Carlin.

      How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

      by boophus on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:59:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  racist sexist bigot comeback par excellence (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LSophia, means are the ends

      for decades now.

  •  the phrase (24+ / 0-)

    "garbage-flavored dick" is far more hilarious than any phrase Tosh ever uttered...

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:12:18 AM PDT

  •  ah, popular culture (6+ / 0-)

    This is depressing, and the "jokes" are wrong/inappropriate/tasteless on every possible level. Unfortunately, what they demonstrate is how difficult it has become to be transgressive any more.  Cole Porter nailed this in the 1930s

    In olden days a glimpse of stocking
    Was looked on as something shocking,
    But now, God knows,
    Anything Goes.

    Good authors too who once knew better words,
    Now only use four letter words
    Writing prose, Anything Goes.

    and it's exponentially worse (short skirts and publishing a book that has the word "fuck"in it -- where's the transgression today?) now.

    I'm sure someone will refer to the First Amendment in the comments.  No, this isn't a First Amendment issue either. "Jokes" about violence are tasteless and offensive.  Period.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:14:26 AM PDT

    •  I don't have a problem with the word Fuck (5+ / 0-)

      or any of the usual expletives. I find them completely appropriate for certain kinds of story telling, or as descriptive phrases.

      However,  I do not appreciate the rapid fire use of expletives in a willy-nilly fashion. People who cannot artfully cuss should save their curse words for stumped toes and broken glass.

      Leave the fun stuff to the artistes!

    •  It is about the First Amendment being (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      metal prophet, boophus

      interpreted so expansively that porn=freedom and corporations are people, too. I think there is, in fact, a connection between those things and that this is an issue where the cultural left (going back to the 60s and 70s) bears some responsibility for how utterly screwed up things have become. For a long time we pushed the idea of absolute freedom, granting heroic status to those who chiseled away a societal notions of good taste and decency--making a hero of Larry Flynt being one example along the way--there was never a clear boundary beyond which we could not go. Then the right wing discovered this form of "freedom" and in the name of being "politicly incorrect" began to make racist and sexist jokes under the rubric of "freedom of speech," and the left had no good answer because we had already thrown idea of standards and decency away as "old fashioned" and outmoded decades before.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:41:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Porn does equal freedom (0+ / 0-)

        Don't like it? Don't use it.

        Your standards of societal decay don't and shouldn't constrain the rest of us.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:41:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This isn't transgressive. (6+ / 0-)

      This is dirt-common; men have been suggesting that women who challenge their pride should go get themselves raped since forever.  Shit like this doesn't transgress anything.  It's playing into what the majority culture already believes on some level.

      You want to be transgressive, make your audience squirm?  Go after the foundations of capitalism, for just one suggestion.  Praise communism.  Mainstream audiences haven't been confronted with that in 60 years. You know?  That sort of thing.

  •  She was heckling him and got shot down. (11+ / 0-)

    Well, while I don't think rape jokes on their own are particularly funny, there are a few things people are intentionally leaving out to push an agenda:

    1.  That "quote" from Tosh up there isn't actually a quote.  It's what the woman is claiming he said to her.  Other people have different quotes, including Tosh and the owner of the club, as well as other witnesses.  Unfortunately, there was no recording so we don't know exactly what was said.

    2.  The woman was heckling him repeatedly and whatever he said was a response to said heckling.

    She did not walk out, remained sitting and from witnesses enjoyed the show (laughing et all) until afterwards, when she then decided to raise a stink, or rather others decided to raise a stink for her.

    The apparent bit he was doing when she heckled and interrupted him was that Comedians have the ability to take tragic, dark things and make them funny, "Dead Baby Comedy" as it were.  She interrupted him and he tried to include her in that bit, perhaps going too far.

    And ya know what?  I bet at the time it was hilarious.  Woman or Man, if an audience member doesn't want to get smacked down in the most harsh way possible, perhaps they shouldn't heckle, eh?

    •  The "heckler" said, after Tosh's "jokes" about (6+ / 0-)

      rape, that 'RAPE JOKES ARE NEVER FUNNY."  Because, you know.  They aren't.  

      That's when Tosh said it "wouldn't it be funny if she was raped by, like 5 guys, right now!"--which, you know, is hilarious.

      And this would be why I said upthread that the reax were really discouraging.

      •  I would have laughed. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If I were there, I probably would have laughed.  Loudly.

        She heckled a comedian and was pointed and laughed at.  Maybe this is a learning moment for her -- but perhaps not.  Anyone clueless, rude and self centered enough to heckle and interrupt a comedian is probably beyond learning moments, though.

          •  Absolutely. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tlo, DavidHW, Sparhawk, tommymet

            Absolutely serious, although I made no claim that this would not be a learning moment for Tosh as well.

            She heckled a comedian and was shouted down in the most hurtful, abrupt way he could do so at the time.  This is hardly a unique scenario in stand up comedy -- there are entire Youtube channels devoted to seeing hecklers get smacked down, and they're almost universally hilarious.

            THAT is what I was speaking about, and only that.  She heckled, and was smacked down.  Her gender and the content of the act are irrelevant, although there are certainly a few people here who wish to make it the only thing that matters.

            If she was upset by the content of the act, the proper course of action would have been to walk out, or complain to the management after the fact, or even complain to Tosh himself directly, opening a line of discourse with another human being.

            She did not.  By all witness accounts, after the heckle and the retort, she stayed and enjoyed the rest of the show.

            She took it upon herself to try to interrupt a show that many people had paid good money to see because she was offended.

            That is offensive to me as a fan of comedy and one who has had several evenings ruined by idiots screaming at the movie screen, talking back to the comedian, or generally being a jackass in public.

        •  "I would have laughed". (6+ / 0-)

          You would?

          "Wouldn't it be funny if, like, 5 guys, raped her, right NOW!"

          You think this is a teaching moment for her?

          I think there's something wrong with you.

          •  Well (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Well, considering it was obviously intended as a "shut up" style retort, and he wasn't actually insinuating that anyone should assault her in any way, yes, I probably would have chuckled a bit.  Maybe even "hooted."

            If that makes me a horrible person, so be it.  For the record, I would have also laughed at a simple "Oh, shut up" from him, so...  Perhaps my threshold for comedy is a bit lower than yours?

            Although all things considered, I think it'd probably be best if going forward Tosh just leaves the bit about comedians being able to make jokes about horrible things such as rape on the cutting room floor.

            The irony of that isn't lost on me, and I certainly hope it isn't on you.

            However, I would suggest that Tosh's handling of two drunken frat boys was funnier:

            •  A "shut up" style retort (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LSophia, historys mysteries

              As in "shut up or you'll get gang raped, you'll deserve it, and we'll all watch and laugh at you, because you brought it on yourself."

            •  That's just crazy-talk (4+ / 0-)

              You didn't think that Tosh actually was inciting people to rape her right then? You don't think you felt threatened? You don't think that if he instead had said "yo mama is so fat that she needs her own zip code", that he actually would've tried to get the USPS to instate such a zip code?

              Honestly, if this is even worth bringing up as "war on women", then it was a pretty damn good week for women.

              I have two daughters, and one on the way. I am appalled at the war on women, anti-abortion legislation, anti birth control rhetoric, and I think it's a disgrace that we live in a society where women make less money than men, doing the same job. Rape, obviously, is a horrible crime and a systemic problem in society that needs to be addressed.

              That being said, I think Tosh is one of the funniest comedians around, and this is just one way of dealing with an obnoxious heckler whom I would compare to someone answering their cell phone in a movie theater. I don't think that it was the funniest come-back possible at the time; he missed the mark a bit. However, making this a gender issue (I can almost guarantee he would've said the same thing to a man), or suggesting that this makes him pro rape is absolute lunacy.

            •  There were better ways to handle it (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              historys mysteries, LSophia, Larin

              that to suggest gang rape.

              I used to go to comedy clubs quite a bit; we've got a good one in town plus we're not that far from the San Francisco comedy scene. One of my favorites is political comic Will Durst. Sometimes though even he has a joke that falls flat, and will get some boos from the audience. Does he recommend that his audience gets gang-raped or other violent act? No; he looks out at the audience and says sarcastically, "Oh, you cut me to the quick with your heartless boos."

              What Tosh did in this incident is to tell that woman, and by conjecture all women, to STFU. The same thing that society way too many times tells women who have been raped or assaulted.

              "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

              by Cali Scribe on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:39:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why "by conjecture all women"? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Why not all people? Or all mammals? Or all hecklers? Or all people who rudely interrupt a show, who deserve to be told to STFU? If she didn't find the show funny, she was welcome to leave. She was inconsiderate to people who did find it funny.

        •  Wow (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LSophia, historys mysteries

          You would have laughed at the idea that a man should be able to point at a woman and say, "Gang rape her," and if it happened it would be hilarious.

          I am glad to know how you feel on this issue.

          •  Is that in any way what he said? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Americantrueandblue, tommymet

            Did he say that it would have been funny if she were actually raped? Did you think that there was any chance of that happening right there? Any at all? Any more than Tosh being gang-raped? No, that's right. Nor did the heckler, by her own account, feel threatened.

        •  I'm so glad to know.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ....that you find gang rape hilarious. You must be a wonderful progressive.

          •  Please make a list of acceptable topics for comedy (4+ / 0-)

            Personally, I am offended by death, accidents, all crimes (including --but not limited to -- rape), starvation, poverty, racism, sexism, politics, bad people, good people doing bad things. I am also reserving the right to add to this list. If a comedian insults me by bringing up any of these topuics, I reserve the right to ruin the show for people who are not insulted.

            And then I expect the progressive community to rally behind me, or I will call them bad progressives.

      •  that's the heckler's account (6+ / 0-)

        I'm not a tosh fan, and if the incident went down like the diary recounted, then it's terrible.  But KiTA is correct;  there are multiple versions of what was actually said and what actually happened.

        truthfully, even if the Tosh and management versions are right, it was probably over the line, but their versions are actually vastly different than the heckler's version.

        So all I'm saying is it's probably a good idea to scale back on the outrage on this one and not get too far out in front of the actual knowledge we have about what happened.

        As the recent meta shows, it's very easy to get outraged and rush to support victims, and shout down doubters, but the truth is we don't always know what happened.

        I wouldn't say rape jokes are never funny.  I think that Dane Cook bit was funny, which is odd, since Dane Cook is rarely funny about anything.

        I would say rape jokes that make light of the crime, desensitize people to it, make fun of the victim, or trivialize their suffering are never funny.

        •  This isn't about "outrage" because of Tosh. (10+ / 0-)

          As I mentioned, I had no idea who the hell he was before this week. He's not even the point. The point is to use this example to discuss what rape culture is and how it is perpetuated and re-enforced through the kinds of "jokes" (and totally straight faced commentary and proposed laws, etc.) that I've mentioned here.

          We could have this discussion without talking about Tosh at all, frankly. Tosh is not the point.

          •  whether your diary is about tosh or not (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            there is a big outrage wave about this incident, it's all over facebook, and it is about Tosh, and it is about people reacting without full knowledge about what happened.

            I wasn't commenting on your diary specifically, I was responding directly to a kossack who, after being advised that the events may not have happened as related, just re-iterated the disputed claim as if it were fact.

            I think it's not wise at this point to speak with authority about what happened.

            Your diary speaks about the bigger picture, and the general topic, which is fine and appropriate, although I think you also speak with a certain authority about what happened without making clear that we don't actually know what happened.

          •  It seems whenever anything.... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LSophia, AussieforObama2ndterm

            ....remotely feminist is discussed, immediately, men come rushing in to defend their precious pornography and rape jokes. My view is that if you're not a supporter of feminism, than you're not really progressive.

            •  And that is exactly that. Your view. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Clearly, many disagree.

            •  There are many people (0+ / 0-)

              who could argue that if you DO support feminism, then your not really a progressive. As the other replier stated clearly many people disagree, but that is their view.

            •  wait, are you talking to me? (0+ / 0-)

              Where did I defend rape jokes?  I said explicitly many times in this thread that the 'jokes' reportedly made by tosh were terribly offensive.  The only ones I said were funny were the ones that Kali herself said were funny.  Is Kali defending rape jokes or precious pornography?

              I used to read Bitch magazine quite a lot, and one of the things  I appreciated about it, and feminism in general, if that magazine can represent it as such, was that their was always a great spirit of dialogue and respect in it about differing views of feminism and it's role in society.  I found that really fascinating and it made for good reading.  Unfortunately I don't see that spirit so much in this discussion.

              •  No, I don't think your.... (0+ / 0-)

                ....comments were really what I had in mind. It was more of a general observation. And, to be clear, I'm NOT talking about censorship or government regulation here; I don't support that, I doubt most feminists do. I am just talking about cultural criticism. Like, I think pornographers have a right to make porn, but at the same time, I think they're very sexist and should be criticized as such. Rush Limbaugh has the right to say he thinks Donovan McNabb started for the Eagles only because he's black and I have the right to say he's a racist asshole for saying so. I also have the right to ask ESPN to not continue to employ Rush Limbaugh because of those comments. Reason being, "jokes" like Limbaugh's shouldn't be considered okay. Same with rape jokes. Again, acceptable as free speech, but not immune from criticism.

            •  Since when... (0+ / 0-)

              ...are 'supporters' of porn not feminists?

              Guess what, freedom means people doing things you don't like. People who don't want to be involved in porn, either on the producing or consuming side, don't have to be in any way. We already have enough asshole fascists on the right, don't need them on the left too.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:46:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Since when... (0+ / 0-)
                Since when... ...are 'supporters' of porn not feminists?
                It comes down to the "Rape culture" nonsense that people are spouting off.

                You can see a rather inclusive list of things that make you a "rape supporter" here if you'd like.  I haven't met a single man (nor woman) who passes this particular test.

                As far as I can tell, the argument is that having sexual thoughts about anonymous women (i.e., pornography) means you don't consider any women to be human beings equal to yourself in your own mind.  I personally find the argument ignorant, but that's just me.

                And as pointed out in this discussion, some appear to feel that Tosh even mentioning rape is near equivalent to the physical act of sexual assault.

                •  I'm for human dignity (0+ / 0-)

                  I think it's part of being a progressive. Someone else put it very well: they said that conservatives want women to be private property, liberals want feminists to be public property, and feminists want women to be free human beings. Considering 1 in 4 women have been subject to rape or attempted rape, joking about it seems to me to be the height of irresponsibilty and insensitivity. But that's just me.

              •  Are we talking about free speech... (0+ / 0-)

                ....or are we talking about cultural criticism? Yes, porn has 1st Amendment rights, no one argues about that and even if it didn't, it's so widespread that banning it would be impossible, so that's a moot point. But yeah, porn is, for the most part, sexist, often produced under conditions of questionable consent (that's where the law should get involved), and I think it's part of the war against women, despite the fact that many liberal men consume porn. Again, no one is taking away your precious porn and, hell, Voltaire-style, I'd fight for your right to use it. But that doesn't mean I can't think it's sexist or that it shouldn't face criticism for being so. I'll leave the argument of just why it's sexist to feminists who have done so extensively (Dworkin, Steinem, etc) and eloquently.

            •  Yay! (0+ / 0-)

              Yay, the "if you don't support my exact beliefs you're not really liberal" card.  I'm shocked it took this long to appear.

        •  Hmmmm..."we don't always know what happened" (8+ / 0-)

          seems to be the default reaction to a man hearing allegations of rape against another man.  I'm just sayin'.

          •  out of bounds (0+ / 0-)

            just sayin'

            yeah, i'm just like defending rapists.

          •  and for the record (3+ / 0-)

            my 'default reaction' to the story, when I heard it a few days ago, was 'holy shit tosh is an asshole.  He is always edgy, but that is way, way over the line'

            now my reaction, after hearing from tosh, management, and a few other audience members' differing accounts of what happened is ''huh, still offensive, but is there a way to find out what was actually said, because none of these accounts agree with each other"

            But thanks for proving my point, that even the slightest attempt to ask people to verify before getting outraged is immediately criticized for insensitivity.

            So I say, 'Yes, I agree generally, but that may not have actually been what was said', and you say 'you are like defending a rapist'

            holy hell.

            •  The typically male (though I've heard it from (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              colleen, LSophia, historys mysteries

              women too) reaction seems to be an either spoken or unspoken 'not so fast...we don't really know what happened here', as if rape were a crime of perspective.  This attitude becomes defense when it is maintained in the face of overwhelming evidence.  I'm talking about crime here and not 'entertainment'.  

              •  yes (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk, Boris Godunov, tommymet

                I agree that treating rape as a matter of perspective is tragic.

                Rape is typically a crime between 2 people, a perpetrator and a victim.

                Because rape is a traumatic event that has an intense amount of shame for the victim, we treat (or should treat) accusations of it differently than other types of assault.  

                If a man accuses another man of stealing his wallet among no other witnesses, we do typically say, 'not so fast...' and investigate.  It's not a matter of perspective, it's a matter of not knowing the truth.

                But I understand and agree that we don't generally want to hold the same approach about rape allegations, due to the circumstances and the historical imbalance of power between sexes and a whole host of other mitigating concerns.

                So instead of one person's account vs another's, it is reasonable, I feel, to give deference to the victim's account in the case of rape allegations, and it can be considered insensitive to doubt the victim's story.

                But all of that is beside the point really, because, a key in this event is that
                1) unlike rape, making a bad joke is not a crime
                2) no one was actually raped
                3) it was in a crowded room and there were many witnesses

                Just considering (3) would leave me to believe that there is not, in this case, as opposed to an actual rape, any reason to be unreasonably deferential to the "victim's" (if you can even call her that) account.  

                We can just, you know, ask the other audience members what happened and then act accordingly.

                And, as you say, you are now talking about crime, and not entertainment.  I was clearly talking about entertainment, or Tosh's excuse for entertainment.

                Except you were the one that explicitly made the analogy to actual rape, and implied my comments about entertainment were similar to comments about actual rape.

                Which frankly is pretty offensive.  I mean, did I deserve that?

                •  I want to point something out to you: (10+ / 0-)
                  Rape is typically a crime between 2 people, a perpetrator and a victim.
                  This is not normally the level of nitpickiness that I go to, except that this conversation is about the language we use and the damage one can do, even unwittingly, by not being careful about such language.

                  So. I'll preface this by saying I'm not attacking you, but I'm using your example to make a larger point.

                  Rape is not a crime between two people. It's not a shared moment. It's not about two people having an experience together. It's about someone being forced to experience something horrible by another person. It's a crime by someone (or some people, in the cases of gang rape) against someone else.

                  This might sound like mere semantics, and I give you the benefit of the doubt that you simply didn't think about that.

                  BUT ... This so perfectly illustrates the point. How we talk about rape, the language we use, the way we see it, the way we perceive a victim's responsibility and involvement in the experience—all of it contributes to and perpetuates a rape culture in which we can't really fix the problem unless we can be honest and knowledgable about it.

                  •  I don't mind nitpickiness (0+ / 0-)

                    or I guess, sometimes I do.

                    I do have a rule though that I try to follow, when discussing basically any topic with anyone, that I consider just a matter of politeness and charity.

                    If I do descend to arguing semantics or being nitpicky myself, I do try to at least be polite and address in some way the actual point being made in addition to picking nits.

                    •  Maybe you are being touchy... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      LSophia, means are the ends

                      I don't see any impoliteness in Kali's comment.

                      And I also think your point is being addressed, I think it's a brilliant rebuttal of your entire argument.

                      •  I think 'impoliteness' was directed at me. nt (0+ / 0-)
                      •  the impoliteness (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        is in only nitpicking. It's ok, it's just my standard of politeness, you don't have to agree.  I'm just saying that when I nitpick, i also like to address the main point.

                        Kali didn't address my argument at all.  She made a side point about the powerfulness of language.  I never argued the joke was in good tast.  I even said the even the Management  version, while less bad was also in bad taste. Kali  admitted she was making a side point.  One she things is central, but nothing to do with me.

                        My point was, and still is, perhaps we can find out what happened first.  You don't think that is reasonable?  I already said that I'd agree with you if there was any actual assault here, but no, I won't suspend a rational response in a case where someone may or may not have said a mean thing, or at worst may or may not have said something that was hurtful and threatening.

                        Overall, I'm pretty disappointed in the level of discourse here.  This whole thread started because I brought into the conversation the notion that there are conflicting reports, something anyone might want to know, and then I get accused of being a rapist sympathizer.  For people who are so concerned about how hurtful words can be, they are conspicuously unable to to hear directly from me how I found the insinuations about me sympathizing with rapists to be pretty offensive.

                        I guess, after I went through a long explanation about how rape is terrible, how we should allow deference to the victim's accusations, how it's a tragic phenomenon with long roots in inequality, etc, etc, I just found it unfortunate to take that and reduce it to my use of the word 'between'.  Especially since the sentence is entirely clear because I say explicitly next 'a perpetrator and a victim'.  That seems pretty clear to me.  One person pepetrates a crime, the other person is the victim of the crime.  Their is no wishy-washiness there.  It's an explicit directional crime.

                        Even if you need to point out that 'between' sounds bad, I just find it polite to address the main point.  Something like 'well, , but to your main point

                        I just think that's how dialogue is built, that's all.


                •  Really? (3+ / 0-)

                  Interesting how you failed to mentioned that, in this "crime between 2 people" (your words), the attacker is virtually always always always a male.  
                  But by all means talk about it abstractly and vaguely because that only serves to benefit a single gender which is no doubt your own.  Funny how I guessed that, huh?  

                  •  I'm not doing what you are accusing. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    How am I serving to benefit my gender?  I'm not defending any rapists, or anyone even accused of rape.  I thought I was pretty clear.  Rape is terrible, there is a victim and a perpetrator, it's a one way crime.  We should treat the victim's crime with deference and respect.

                    You just wanted me to make clear it's usually a man?  Ok, it's usually a man.  It's usually a man raping a woman.  What does that change, exactly?  My point was that there was no rape.  It was a terrible joke at 'best' and an insensitive, terrible threat at worst.

                    Either way, don't you think it would help to know what was said?  It might matter, don't you think?  The whole point of (at least the first part) of the diary was that there are apparently ways of talking about rape and some are even funny.  So it is possible.  Could it have been here?  I doubt it, but it may have been very different then actually reported.

                    That's just something I would like to know, maybe you know the truth already.

                    Not to mention, it is not very nice to call people rape apologists or insinuate such when they are just pointing out that there are conflicting reports.

          •  What's the alternative? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Just uncritically believe every rape allegation that is made?

            I think it is proper in all cases to reserve judgement until all the facts are in, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:16:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I take your point, but I don't like Dead Baby (4+ / 0-)

      or Dead Kennedy jokes either. While I don't hold everyone to my standards, rape is a crime. Dead baby jokes just tasteless, imo.

      Rape is a crime.

      This is, of course, the difference between republicans and human beings. - Captain Frogbert

      by glorificus on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:28:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "...perhaps going too far..." (26+ / 0-)


      What if Tosh had been talking about the comic possibilities of lynching and a black heckler had objected and the response to him was "Wouldn't it be funny if a bunch of you people in the audience dragged this guy out back, strung him up, cut his balls off and lit him on fire?"

      I know, I know, perhaps hecklers ought to be smacked down in the most harsh way if they dare to speak up.


      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:29:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  what is your source for this version (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of the events under discussion? Your account appears to be at odds with a number of others.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" Upton Sinclair

      by beverlywoods on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:31:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bullshit. (14+ / 0-)

      I'm sorry, suggesting that gang raping an audience member would be hilarious is not a clever way to deal with a heckler. It's a childish, bullying, pathetic way of dealing with a heckler. There are a million other ways he might have responded that could have rebuked AND been funny. And as Jezebel pointed out, there are plenty of "rape" jokes that are funny. The ones that aren't funny are the ones that make the victim the butt of the joke.

      If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

      by rhetoricus on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:34:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What you are doing (4+ / 0-)

      is taking the word of Tosh and the club owner as absolute truth, and discounting witnesses who agree with the woman's telling of the story. This is your choice to do so. But it doesn't make it any truer. The club owner has a vested interest in telling a very different story than she has told.

    •  hecklers deserve what they get (0+ / 0-)

      stand up comedy is an art form. people need to show respect.

      i personally don't find daniel tosh funny, but in a million years i would never call out during one of his performances if i were unlucky enough to find myself in the audience of one.

  •  He has a show on Comedy Central (11+ / 0-)

    right before TDS and I have had the misfortune to see a couple of minutes of the show.  It goes on mute now.  If he is an acquired taste, he is one I will never acquire that taste.  

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins

    by MufsMom on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:15:34 AM PDT

    •  Same here (5+ / 0-)

      But even putting it on mute doesn't help, because the visuals are often even more repellent than what he has to say, and ya have to either hear or see in order to get in at the beginning of the Daily Show. I'm tempted to just record TDS on the nights where Tosh is the lead-in, just to guarantee that I don't get any Tosh at all....

      If your internal map of reality doesn't match external conditions, bad things happen.--Cambias

      by pimutant on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:01:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Would that I had the agility of wit (12+ / 0-)

    to respond, "so, if somebody shoved a Louisville Slugger up YOUR ass, that would be hilarious?"

    Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

    by OrdinaryIowan on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:15:43 AM PDT

  •  So let me get this straight ... Telling rape jokes (10+ / 0-)

    about a serious crime is given equivalency by assholes telling the jokes being offended that the victims are offended. Perhaps some jokes about women forming gangs and defanging the rapists would be funny to them? Yes I can see every guy in the audience screaming with laughter about women castrating rapists. Edgy enough jerkos?

    Piss on them... I don't have to laugh at any jokes I don't find funny. If they need that kind of assurance from others besides males fantacizing about raping everything from babies to elderly women then they are pathetic pieces of crap and lousy comedians. It is either funny to your audience or it isn't.... You don't get to insist that it is edgy and funny. Especially if the majority of victims are females and children. Especially if they find those pathetic efforts to normalize your own tastes disgusting as you exposing your AH.

    How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:16:39 AM PDT

  •  "It was a joke" (19+ / 0-)

    "Just kidding"
    "Don't you have a sense of humor?"

    These phrases are used by cowards who don't have the spine to admit that they actually believe the shit coming out of their mouth. They are also used by children who think that once they utter one of the above phrases, they are now no longer responsible for anything they said prior to that phrase.

  •  Dane Cook is only funny (8+ / 0-)

    . . . to drunken drug addicted skinhead white guys. You know, the scum of the earth.

    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:20:20 AM PDT

  •  For his analogy to work, he'd have to use (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    undercovercalico, LSophia

    the word "woman" or some variant as a put down. By using "gay" to mean something you don't like, you're using a word that describes an entire group of people to denigrate something unrelated. I agree that using "rape" out of context is insensitive, but it's just not the same.

    What if someone were to say, "That's the most womanly thing I've ever seen" to describe something they don't like?

    And what's the deal with trying to say one is worse than the other? Aren't they all bad?

  •  Thank you (9+ / 0-)

    This is really very good. Thank you in particular for your explanation of what we mean by 'rape culture'.
    Another sure sign that one has run up against the rape culture brick wall in public discussions about rape is when some garbage flavored dick & self appointed 'expert' starts talking about the high prevalence of false rape accusations. I find these discussions are predictably bad when the rapist is a prominent sports figure or a member of the Clergy. Gang rapes when the victim is a child (as in the referenced case in TX) or someone who is developmentally disabled  also predictably attract floods of bullshit, justification and victim blaming.

  •  One of your best (8+ / 0-)

    pieces of writing and that is saying something.

    My husband watches that asshole Tosh from time to time for reason that escape me. I've always thought his schtick was grating and unfunny. I told him about this incident and that was enough for him. No more Tosh coming from our television and I'm all broken up about it.

  •  Tosh=Douche (5+ / 0-)

    On other sites his defenders have argued that he is actually trying to satire "bro" humor and that those who object to this joke and him in general just a) aren't clever enough to get satire b) have no sense of humor (come on girlz we all know you aren't funny like enough dudes have told you) and c) hate free speech.

    See in my silly world satire is actually witty/clever/sly and Tosh is none of these. I don't want to shut Tosh down for making a rape joke. The truth is his show and humor are very mainstream and mysoginistic/racist/gay baiting memes far from being frowned upon are very much a part of mainstream comic themes. They are mainstream memes I cannot stand and do not laugh at but I think I ma in the minority.

  •  Prbly the same guy on Comedy Channel (4+ / 0-)

    But aside from Stewart and Colbert, I don't find anything on that channel to actually be funny...

    "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

    by Hayate Yagami on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:36:16 AM PDT

  •  well, you know (5+ / 0-)
    Wouldn’t it be funny if, like, 5 guys committed felony assault on that woman right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys broke the law and forced sex on her?
    just doesn't have the same ring to it.

    Die with your boots on. If you're gonna try, well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

    by Cedwyn on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:36:47 AM PDT

  •  a "gift from god" . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries, boophus

    If rape-babies are a "gift from god" perhaps they should all be named "Jesus" ? ? ?  Maybe it explains Jesus ? ? ?  What say you, Mr. Santorum . . .

    But it's not just a "woman thing" . . . there's no shortage of "put him in with bubba" prison rape "jokes" . . . every bit as offensive IMO . . . (even when it's "an eye for an eye" about Sandusky).  And I've heard the "she was  asking for it . . . what was she doing in (name famous basketball player)'s  hotel room at 3AM anyway" from at least as many women as men.

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:38:09 AM PDT

  •  I don't get the "it was a joke" defense (7+ / 0-)

    where was the joke? Jokes point out absurdities, make plays on words, etc. What did he say that made this a "joke"? Because he said it would be funny? That doesn't make it a joke. Saying something is a joke doesn't make it a joke. He's a professional comedian... Which of the various joke forms did this fall under?

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:40:11 AM PDT

  •  It's Hard For Me To Comment (4+ / 0-)

    Since most of the stuff coming out of my mouth that I consider funny is so screwed up and beyond edgy that I get myself into trouble on occasion. However, I do pick and choose my moments. The fact that I don't do that sort of stuff here is because I have some control over myself and do know there's a difference between what people on DKos find funny and what someone I know in another place finds funny.

    I'm a believer that comedy with rules is not comedy, it's product. I also believe that comedy should be edgy and go so far beyond the edge that it either makes one laugh hysterically or recoil in abject horror. I also think comedy should be funny and Tosh is someone I just don't find funny -- sort of like Dane Cook. Louis CK is funny. Lewis Black is funny. Bill Maher is funny. George Carlin was funny even when doing jokes about anorexia. Andy Kaufman was funny. A lot of the standup comics that appeal to young people seem less funny than just plain mean.

    My one cent opinion.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:41:28 AM PDT

    •  I agree with much of what you said. I have a real (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Lone Apple

      dark humor that only someone who has been where I have been understands.

      Let me give you an example of something that makes em scream with laughter everytime I talk about it with my hubby. I cannot explain why it is funny.

      This is a true story. Down by the railroad tracks two people were sharing a bottle (well actually several bottles) They were so drunk that one of them sat down on the railroad tracks and the other wandered around kicking stones while they conversed. THen a train came and the other ran to call 911. The fire department arrived and  all the ff started looking for the woman who had sat on the tracks. They all went either up or down the tracks...

      One found her head while another found her body. The one who found her head said "I'll do compressions, you do ventilations" And I laugh until tears come to my eyes because it was not meant to minimalize the women but to highlight the tragedy of those who come upon such a scene and have to act as if the victim has a chance. The dead woman no longer cared but the Firefighters will never forget.

      My other is about the first autpsy I stood in on. THe woman who had died was laid out naked and looked very dead. The pathologist made the Y incision and when he passed between her breasts with the scapel the body ripped open and her two enormous breasts fell on opposite sides of the table. All of us in the room were appalled and then we screamed with laughter.  

      These are the source and essence of my dark humor. Events so shocking and disturbing that you either laugh or cry... That is what an acceptable rape joke is... A story so full of pathos and conflicting thoughts and feelings that it awakens awareness in you. If it is told just to be mean or treat one group to scorn just because they are the OTHER then I find nothing funny in them.

      How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

      by boophus on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:28:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The thing I've never understood (12+ / 0-)

    is why men don't seem to understand what they are saying about themselves and their fellow men with these attitudes. This is what I hear when they speak:

    We are animals with no self-control.

    We are controlled by our dicks and have evolved no capacity to override it.

    We are not civilized enough to be in mixed company.

    Women have to be subjugated in order to protect us from ourselves.

    Of course, I don't know any men who think like this. But I do shake my head in wonder that these misogynists regularly - and with complete oblivion - out themselves as savages who have never developed past the groin-fixation stage.

    Is this really what they want to say about themselves and their gender?

    When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. - Mark Twain

    by Late Again on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:45:34 AM PDT

  •  It isn't right or wrong, good or bad. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LSophia, boophus, means are the ends

    It just plain isn't funny.   He bombed because he bombed.

    "bin Laden's dead, and GM is alive" ~ Biden

    by dkmich on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:46:25 AM PDT

  •  Young Frankenstein (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    an otherwise hilarious movie, has a terrible women-will-enjoy-rape-if-the-dick-is-really, really-big scene in it.

    A classic comedy film horribly marred by that scene.

    A definition is the enclosing of a wilderness of ideas within a wall of words -- Samuel Butler

    by A Mad Mad World on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:47:22 AM PDT

  •  The club owner contradicts the woman's story (7+ / 0-)

    Here's the thing about this whole situation.

    The owner of the club where this happened was there and has a very different version of what Tosh actually said and what happened in the audience and what the woman involved said and did.

    I'm having a hard time taking it at face value now. Everyone jumped on the woman's version of events, which I can appreciate -- but like with anything else, it's not the ONLY side.

    If we have to admit that some comedian tells a "good" rape joke (whatever the hell that means), I find it hard to jump on Tosh here when it's not even clear if the woman complaining is giving the correct version of events.

    •  club details (4+ / 0-)

      The version I've been hearing was more like...

      Tosh asks "What should I talk about"

      Audience guy says "rape!"

      Woman involved says "rape jokes are never funny!"

      Tosh says "well, there'a woman that must have been raped by 5 guys"

      According to the owner of the club, that's all that happened there. He says she didn't storm out and that she was there for the remainder of the show and only complained afterward.

      That's notably different to me if we're going to give the caveat that "some" rape jokes are "acceptable" or "funny".

      That's nowhere near Tosh screaming out, "hey rape this girl guys HAHAHA"

      •  As I said above, Tosh is not the point. (11+ / 0-)

        The point is a larger discussion about rape culture, which we could have without discussing Tosh at all.

        However ...

        The club owner has a clear interest in protecting his business—which, presumably, includes fending off a reputation for hosting comedians who attack audience members in such a disgusting manner.

        What, exactly, does the woman have to gain from this? What is her agenda?

        The irony here, the very sad irony, is that even in a discussion about rape culture, the victim is being questioned and denigrated and blamed for her own attack. Why didn't she go to the club management sooner? What was she doing there? Did she say no and stop in just the right way? And besides, she interrupted him, so she was asking for it.

        Yeah. Very ironic indeed.

        •  I don't get how any of it is acceptable then (0+ / 0-)

          I just don't understand a situation where we act concerned about rape being funny in ANY situation, and then turn around and say there's good ways to make rape jokes.

          If we're going to say in certain contexts the jokes about this are acceptable, then it seems to me that actually knowing the full context of this joke is actually important.

          I don't get how that can go two ways whatsoever.

          Perhaps in situations where the person being made fun of is the perpetrator and not the victim, but that's not true of all of the examples people are pulling up on sites right now about "OK" rape jokes.

          As for what her agenda might be, I have no idea. I'm no rape apologist. I'd never make a rape joke. I can't pretend to understand her angle on it and I'm not sure how anyone else can assume to either.

          •  I'll repeat: (7+ / 0-)
            But the best comics use their art to call bullshit on those terrible parts of life and make them better, not worse.
            If you're confused, I really do encourage you to check out Kate Harding's 15 examples. The distinction is making a joke about a difficult issue (rape, racism, the Holocaust, what have you) that puts the issue under the microscope and uses humor to illustrate what the problem really is, what it's about, how our society deals (or doesn't deal) with it, etc. Making a joke about the victim, making a joke that perpetuates rather than challenges the issue ... that is the distinction. Calling bullshit on something to make a truthful point can be productive and funny. Perpetuating the bullshit? Not so much.
        •  Ain't this the truth (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kinak, LSophia, historys mysteries
          The irony here, the very sad irony, is that even in a discussion about rape culture, the victim is being questioned and denigrated and blamed for her own attack. Why didn't she go to the club management sooner? What was she doing there? Did she say no and stop in just the right way? And besides, she interrupted him, so she was asking for it.
          Obviously she should have just laid back and enjoyed it
    •  No conflict of interest there, no sirree. (6+ / 0-)
      The club owner contradicts the woman's story
      It's predictable that in a rape prone culture a woman who objects publicly to really offensive rape jokes is going to have her veracity questioned. See how that works?
    •  Of course he does (0+ / 0-)

      his business is at stake- what woman would go into his business if she thought she was going to be subjected to a verbal assault.

  •  Dane Cook should be ignored (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boris Godunov, tommymet

    for any reason.

    not smart.  not funny.  not entertaining.

    steals jokes.

    "A recent study reveals Americans' heads are larger than they were 150 years ago but sadly there is no indication that the extra room is used for anything." - entlord

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:53:59 AM PDT

  •  It's a non-joke (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've noticed the trend lately. It's like, telling a joke that's purposely NOT a joke and the joke is that it's not funny.

    Now Tosh is an idiot and this joke was offensive, but this STRAIN of humor has a sort of absurdist anti-humor cyncism that sort of fits our time.

    E Pluribus Unum does NOT mean "every man for himself"

    by Daddy Love on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:56:00 AM PDT

  •  I have a joke for Tosh (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    there were these 5 women who held him down, taped his penis to his stomach and cut off his testicles, LOL.  Wonder if the guys will laugh at this?

  •  Don't like to be offended then don't watch (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Don't like to be offended then don't watch show? Tosh is like a shock jock trying to push the line as far as he can.

    I'm shocked that many of the jokes he tells on his show on Comedy Central actually make it past the network censors.

    They aren't profanity laced but can be very tasteless. More like jokes Junior High or Frat boys tell.

    No a rape joke directed at a heckler isn't appropriate just as President Lincoln jokes aren't appropriate any time.

    Tosh apologized so that satisfied me. He can't undo it so let's all move on.

  •  I've been following (5+ / 0-)

    this since I read about it two days ago, Kaili.  In some circles everything's funny . . . you know, right up until it strikes a nerve or hits home for those people personally.  I understand the comedians' POV and the audiences' as well.  Speaking solely for myself, the first amendment applies to all of us.  Everyone has the right to say whatever they want.  And everyone else has the right to express their opinion on it.

    This was actress Martha Plimpton's Twitter response when Tosh backpeddled about his 'joke' on Twitter:

    I can't wait to hear your "lynching is funny!" bit. Or would that be a little TOO dangerous?
    And comedian, Lizz Winstead, gave, IMO, an excellent interview with Alyssa Rosenberg of Think Progress, on 7/13/2012, "... on Hecklers, Edgy Material, and Her Memoir, ‘Lizz Free Or Die’"

    This part I found very pertinent and I doubt I could agree with her more:

    "It’s all very selective. If you’re going to be someone who is out there who is pushing the envelope, be fucking funny, and take the hits. It’s just like anything else, if we were talking about Piss Christ, or Robert Mapplethorpe, Giuliani banning scat on the Virgin Mary, Chocolate Jesus, a comic who says rape…The comic isn’t the only person who has rights in this situation. People get to react to it."
    IMO, if Tosh was trying to make the point that rape jokes are funny, then he should make that point clearly and reap the benefits and consequences of make that point.  And if he was trying to make the point that rape is funny, then he needs to reap the benefits and consequences of that as well.  As Lizz Winstead indicates, it's a fine line.  From all I've read since the incident happened, that line is not very clearly defined and is very subjective, at best.  

    If I pay to a see a comedian and I find the bit offensive, I don't feel I have the right to heckle them because they're just doing their job.  But I do have the right to walk out and also the right to state my opinion on their bit and what about their bit caused me to walk out.  

    Lizz Winstead was a guest on The Green Room with Paul Provenza and the group of comedians present had a discussion about the incident regarding the joke Tracy Morgan told and its aftermath.  (The appropriate part begins at 10:27.)   I agree, wholeheartedly with Lizz Winstead:

    Ancora Imparo. ("I am still learning.") - Michelangelo, Age 87

    by Dreaming of Better Days on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:09:12 AM PDT

  •  I've seen Tosh's show a couple times (0+ / 0-)

    And it was mostly funny internet humor.  I enjoyed it a little, but not enough to watch regularly.  

    It was years ago, but it's still hard to wrap my head around going from a show like that to joking about how hilarious it'd be if someone got gang-raped.

    I guess you never know who the real assholes are.

  •  FYI... (4+ / 0-)

    when you heckle a comic, especially someone like Tosh, or Louis CK, or Chris Rock, etc. don't expect to be showered in rainbows and unicorn dust.

    Here is how Louie handled a heckler in his show:

    •  Add Carlin and Bill Hicks to the list of comedians (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      spankus maximus

      that would be ran out of town, with this type of thinking.  

      Carlin said it best.   Politically correct speech is just a way to limit 1st amendment freedoms.  Period.  You don't just wander in to a comedy club and talk back to the person on the stage.   The show is not about you, so if you don't like it, just leave.  

      "That's fine if you don't get it, or you don't like it, but don't ruin it for everyone else that does."  --Bill Hicks, while dealing with a heckler.  

      The Patriot Act: IOKIYAD!

      by Beelzebud on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:14:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Carlin said (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Syd of the Funny Hat

        "It all depends on how you craft it." as to whether a joke is funny. He also handled hecklers brilliantly.

        However I don't recall him threatening individual audience members with bodily injury.

        And yes, I do think that "wouldn't it be funny if..." is a great way to say "I'd like to see this horrible thing happen to you." "I want you to think about what it would be like if this happened to you. Right here and right now. Visualize this happening to you and then come up with a snappy retort. You fucking Bitch!"

        That's what he was saying to her and by extension to every woman in the audience who might object to his defense of sick humor.

    •  Except she wasn't heckling him (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pandoras Box

      Tosh asked the audience for suggestions.  A guy yelled out "Rape!"

      That's when the woman said, "Rape jokes aren't funny!"

  •  My default stand up comedian (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Has always been and always will be George Carlin. He understood how to strike a perfect balance, and I think he did it with this subject too. However, as someone who cannot fathom the trauma of being raped, I may be mistaken.

    •  Carlin actually has a very.... (0+ / 0-)

      ....funny and thoughtful bit about rape, titled, oddly enough, "rape can be funny." But, the routine is mostly about how rape isn't funny.

    •  He did a great rape joke (0+ / 0-)

      But it was funny, and it was an example of how even the most extreme events can be looked at in a humorous way.

      I don't think he personally attacked anyone.

      As I said in another comment, a guy's neck sticking out of a tailpipe is funny. "I think it would be funny to see your neck sticking out of a tailpipe" isn't.

  •  WELL DONE! (0+ / 0-)


    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:19:02 AM PDT

  •  In 1985... (8+ / 0-)

    ... there was a Made-for-TV movie starring Richard Crenna called "The Rape of Richard Beck."  Crenna won an Emmy for the role as "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special."

    The Wiki synopsis says:

    Richard Beck (Richard Crenna) is a police detective who believed that rape victims are to blame for the crime. He is later raped by two of the suspects he had been chasing. Ultimately, he changes his beliefs about rape victims.

    This made for TV movie was groundbreaking in that it portrayed the rape of a man by two other men, and because of this it has become a cult classic.

    I don't know where/how it is a "cult classic" because I've seen it precisely once and that was the night it was on TV; it's never been repeated (or not gotten publicity if it was) and it's not on YouTube or Hulu (the two places I watch full-length movies).  However, I never forgot it.  Crenna deserved that Emmy because he accurately portrayed the part of a man who is an insensitive clod to women..., and who becomes redeemed and sensitized to rape jokes and the whole subject of rape itself after he is brutally raped by two men.  It was brilliant, and up until that point I didn't particularly like Crenna as an actor, but he pulled that role off very well.  I'd like to see it repeated on TV - (NOT remade by modern actors - which ruins a lot of storylines and old movies - but repeated as a TV movie).

    The movie is in/on the IMDb web site, but since I'm not a registered member I don't know if it's free to view or if one has to pay for it.

    For 1985... or now..., the movie was rather ground-breaking, but I always suspected it was never repeated ad nauseaum on TV because it depicted the rape of a man instead of a woman (and male moguls don't want to be reminded men can be raped - but with Sandusky's convictions and Paterno's cover-up, we know that male rape can happen, too).  What was the one where Jodie Foster was gang-raped in a bar on top of a pinball machine?  That's been on TV more times than I can count and the rape scene is shown from damn near every possible angle with loving care; I wonder if the director had a rape fetish?  So..., the message to the passive audience is: it's okay to show rape scenes about women over and over and over and over and over and over... (it desensitizes us to the topic so we ignore the actual event and how horrible rape is)..., but not repeat a rape scene where a man is raped because no one wants to acknowledge men can be just as brutal to their fellow men....

    The movie should be required viewing for all state and federal males in legislatures making laws about rape, abortion.  It might sensitize even one of those corporate congressional cretins that they're making laws about real women with real feelings, not an image on a movie or TV screen.  After all, just because that TV movie depicts male rape, it does not logically follow that all men should be raped so they know what women feel like after they're raped, even if men can't get pregnant so they don't have to deal with laws mandating invasive procedures against their will on their bodies.

    Then we'll see how funny the subject of rape is to "comics" like the fellow quoted whose name I won't repeat.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:22:54 AM PDT

  •  If this is the "Tosh" on the Comedy Channel I'm (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kinak, LSophia, One Opinion

    not surprised. He's generally an unfunny, vicious person. "Shock humor" seems a poor excuse for someone with a sick streak in him. Goes without saying I'll never watch any more of his "humor."

  •  Dane Cook can tell a joke? Who knew? n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:35:22 AM PDT

  •  actually, what dane cook said, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kinak, One Opinion

    and i'm not a fan one way or the other, was that it was a "horrific" thing and that he disliked the casual way some people have of comparing it to a jacked up car bill, or a video game. which i agree with. so i don't find that one to be offensive.
    tosh, on the other hand, i find quite unfunny across the board, i mean his tv show was basically "america's funniest home videos" crossed with "jackass", with "clever" (read "stupid") narration. he's going to have to deal with what he said, just like michael richards did. (where did he go, anyway?) oh, yeah. andrew dice clay. you get the idea. flash in the pan.

  •  Too many words on an unpleasant topic. (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry, but I couldn't read all of this.  It was too horrible to spend my valuable time looking for the message.  I'm also still waiting for the day when the United States is no longer the leader in crime.  I haven't checked lately, but the last time I did which was some time ago, the United States led the world in crime.  Let's please change this and enter the world of what should really be "civilization" in every way.  

     I guess human beings are dreaming when they call themselves "civilized."  I also guess that human beings are pretty much the same everywhere.  Thank God that there are some really good people out there,  That's what I like to think about.

  •  Well I'm a fan of Tosh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I am looking forward to his animated series this September.

    "When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained." - Mark Twain

    by Moon Mop on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:51:25 AM PDT

  •  Tosh's tush (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    Well, David, wouldn't it be funny, really funny, if 5 guys raped your ass right here and now?  Would you find that funny?

  •  Lindy West is a treasure (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LSophia, Kinak, One Opinion

    She will be sorely missed as a regular contributer to The Stranger ("Seattle's only newspaper") which was her gig prior to Jezebel. Her review of the grand opening of a local Hooters is a fine example of what makes her so awesome.

    Oh yeah, and calling for someone to be raped (or beaten, or killed, or burned alive) is not funny. Because apparently there's some confusion on that point.

  •  I find Tosh hysterical (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DavidHW, AaronInSanDiego

    I've watched his show from the beginning, and would think he would be the biggest draw of the night at the comedy club.  So I find the assertion that 'I've never heard of him before this' a little sanctimonious.  Almost bordering on "I don't watch TV" though I recognize that even I might not be familiar with every show that's been renewed for a 5th season and over 100 episodes as well as getting a 2nd show on comedy central debuting this fall.  I don't even really like internet videos that much in general.  I watch the show entirely for Tosh.  

    His shtick isn't seeing how close he can come to the line of offensive/funny.  It's intentionally crossing the line into offensive, so it's hard to imagine an audience being surprised by this.  But he has such a disarming/non-threatening presentation that even when he misses with a joke I'm still not offended though I may cringe momentarily.  Part of his humour is also making himself the butts of jokes which gives him wider latitude. So when he seemingly cruel to his staff you find yourself laughing since he is on the receiving end frequently as well and isn't just a masochist.  The presentation and trust that he builds up with the audience is everything so it doesn't surprise me that people would find a joke of his written out very funny.

    I have to reserve judgement on the actual incident as there is seemingly no video, and differing reports.  Though I will say he isn't funny 100% of the time.  No one is, but he is funnier more often than most.  At least for me.  As for the reference to making a joke about lynching; my first reaction was that I was sure he had.  But since no one has posted a reference I may be mistaken.

    •  I would never have heard of him (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      One Opinion

      if his show didn't come on right after Colbert. I had no idea he was well-known, as his Comedy Central program is so lame as to make me wonder how he ever landed the spot. The only reason for that show's existence I've ever come up with is that ill-socialized 12-year-old boys watch television.

      "I've had all I can stands, and I can't stands no more." - Popeye the Sailor Man

      by congenitalefty on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:43:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "A little sanctimonious" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      So what you're saying is that those of us who are saying we don't watch television and never heard of him are lying?

      Help me with this.

      •  not lying (2+ / 0-)

        The implication seemed to be that because the diarist hadn't heard of him, he wasn't famous.  If someone doesn't watch television than there are a lot of famous people they haven't heard of.  That's on them for not watching television and doesn't mean the person isn't famous.   Seemingly bragging about not knowing about him makes it seem like you are bragging about not watching TV and that somehow makes you better than the less enlightened.  The fact that the show is named after him just raises the bar.  I might not expect someone who watches TV generally to know, for instance, who's on Sons of Anarchy.  But I'd expect them to have heard of the show "Sons of Anarchy".

  •  What Tosh did (8+ / 0-)

    was not a rape joke.  It was a rape THREAT.  And the excuses he tried in his nonpology, don't even get me started.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:07:55 AM PDT

  •  I don't like the image of women (2+ / 0-)

    as perpetual victims or bad jokes.  Actually, I don't like that image for anyone.

  •  The classic rape joke (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mismolly, tommymet

    If there can be such a thing, is probably Sarah Silverman's joke:

    I was raped by a doctor, which is so bittersweet for a Jewish girl.
  •  Richard Pryor never touched this. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LSophia, metal prophet, Kinak

    He called it "taking away someone's humanity" and he was totally serious.

    He just told the truth. Something more comedians should think about doing.

  •  Meh. Heckle a comedian, this is what you get. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mismolly, No Exit, tommymet

    You don't go to a comedy show to heckle a comedian, and then get outraged when they bite back.

    I refuse to get outraged about this.  If blue comedy offends you, don't go to shows from guys known for it.  

    The Patriot Act: IOKIYAD!

    by Beelzebud on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:50:35 AM PDT

  •  Comedian verbally abuses heckler, (6+ / 0-)

    people are shocked, demand, receive apology, still want head impaled on spike on the city wall.

    Of all the outrageous offensive things happening in the world, a heckler being offended by an admittedly depraved comment is not a priority, but I guess some think his rights end where someone else's feelings begin.

    "Hey Joe Walsh, when did you stop deadbeating your wife?"

    by wretchedhive on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:57:51 AM PDT

  •  Re (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    "Did she really say no?" are all legitimate, relevant questions to ask when a woman has been raped.
    Considering that the entire point of proving a rape case is proving this point, I would say that asking this question is not just relevant, it is absolutely necessary.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 11:59:49 AM PDT

    •  I perhaps should have better emphasized (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boophus, YucatanMan

      the "really" there. Because even when a woman tells her story, and insists that she did say no, there is often much examination of that "no." How did she say it? When did she say it? Did she say it in just the right way? Did she say it in a way that the rapist may have interpreted as not really a no?

      When a woman makes a claim of rape, she is automatically suspect. Automatically. The assumption is that she's lying and must prove that she isn't. That includes proving that she did her due diligence in trying to avoid being raped.

      •  It's a difficult question (0+ / 0-)

        Considering that the answers to these questions are going to make a man a social pariah and possibly have him sent to prison for a long time, I think it is very important that the answers to all the questions you raise be well understood.

        Unfortunately, false allegations do occur and they are extremely damaging to the accused.

        Reserving judgment until all the facts are in protects the accused (witness the Duke lacrosse case and think of what happens to men who do not have the resources these guys did to fight off the false allegations).

        By the nature of the crime, there will always be a tension between the rights of the victim and those of the accused, but we cannot simply believe all allegations of this type uncritically.

        And if a crime is proven, throw the book at them. I have no use for rapists either.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:27:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And if a crime is not "proven" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LSophia, boophus

          Sometimes it means something different, as the Freeh Report about the Penn State scandal shows. It wasn't just about whether the victim or the accused was telling the truth when questions first arose. Failing to take action (because it was more "humane" to the accused) meant many more victims.

          •  Penn State... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Americantrueandblue, tommymet

            ...had credible allegations of child abuse that they failed to take to law enforcement. They made a decision that they did not have the authority to make.

            That's completely different than putting someone on a real duly authorized trial and the evidence being found wanting.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:38:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  This is so clearly not worthy of the front page (4+ / 0-)

    I would go into detail about not being there and that there are at least 3 other versions from people who weren't there that say she completely fabricated the quote to play the victim, or the fact that jokes about all sorts of pain and suffering are made all the time (although I agree saying something about a future act to someone can be construed differently, I don't believe this persons version). I could even say the blatant sexism this artticle take because what kind of sexist makes rape a female issue, further alienating the thousands upon thousands of men who get raped yearly who have to consistently feel like less of men because the tact writers like this take that rape is a WOMENS issue...But all I'll leave it at is this is just wretched all the way around.

  •  "You just can't take a joke" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is the last redress to shut people up when they don't find something funny.

    Rape is never funny when it celebrates the rapist.  

    Ironically, Mike Kahlow had an excellent  diary about preventing male-on-female violence a few days ago and it received very few comments and recs.  

    Sadly, our culture really seems to glorify and celebrate violence - including rape.

  •  Daniel Tosh has a show called Tosh.0 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    which fits him perfectly since he is a complete ZERO.

    Then again, I have to remind myself that the programmers now are a bunch of white boy pischers with absolutely NO clue what good TV should, or could, be. They either have family/friends who got them the job, or an MBA (what a useless degree) and are climbing their way to the top, one body at a time. And they hail to the 18-34 white male demographic, which is what Tosh's "humor" is geared to.

    C'mon boys, you can do better than this.

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:31:02 PM PDT

  •  I can laugh at pretty much anything (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LSophia, TofG

    I've even laughed at this guy. He can be funny. Since he looks like a goofy choir boy he gets a lot of mileage out of being as raunchy as possible.

    But rape isn't funny. I mean, if there are instances where rape is funny, are there also instances where CHILD rape is funny? If not, why not? Is there some people (women over 16 or 18) that it's kinda "funny" to rape?

    Come on. Tosh's apologists are wrong. This was unfunny and borderline evil. Call it what it is. Don't look for excuses for it.

  •  I will likely get some hate for this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tlo, tommymet, Sparhawk

    But I am a woman and I find Tosh to be funny.  And I believe he was doing what some comedians do, which is joke about human tragedy.  And I think for the most part, Tosh does it well.  Babies with aids are not funny, molesting children is not funny, rape is not funny, but there are jokes about all of these that I have laughed at and will likely laugh at again.    

    We should not waste our energy being outraged about comedians joking; comedy making light of tragedy does not reduce the gravity of the tragedies themselves, anymore than Jon Stewart's faux news reduces the enormity of our current political situation.  These moments make us think about what is real and what isn't and I welcome the escape from the serious from time to time.

    Let's get outraged about the real war on women and not alienate a whole generation of people who find this sort of humor to be funny.  If our movement is going to waste its energy being an echo chamber of anger over events that have no real consequence we are not going to help the real cause.  I'd rather see posts about all of the anti-abortion legislation, military rape, poverty in women, wage discrepancy, etc.. etc..

    That being said, a lot of other mainstream and popular comedians have commented about the incident in support of Tosh.  And some of them were more directed and offensive than what Tosh had to say.

    Jim Norton via Twitter, "Some attention-seeking woman heckled a comedian, so if anything, she owes him an apology for being a rude brat."

    Dane Cook via Twitter, "If you journey through this life easily offended by other people's words I think it's best for everyone if you just kill yourself."

    Anthony Jeselnik via Twitter, "This Daniel Tosh rape joke controversy really has me second guessing some of my rapes."

    Patton Oswalt via Twitter: "Wow, Daniel Tosh had to apologize to a self-aggrandizing, idiotic blogger. Hope I never have to do that [again]."

    Flee fro the prees and dwelle in sothfastnesse.

    by mismolly on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:04:11 PM PDT

  •  Flame away (5+ / 0-)

    This is ridiculous.  It's a non-story, and the fact that you're equating it with the crusade against reproductive rights and comprehensive women's health care is a travesty.  This is EXACTLY what's wrong with feminism in particular, and various fronts of liberalism in general.  You take real grievances, stir up outrage, and then make a mockery of yourself by doing some stupid shit like pulling an off-color remark from a stand up comedy routine out of context and throwing it against the wall as the latest offense in the War on Women.

    Have you ever been to a comedy show where some jackass in the audience decided that THEY should be the real star - or, at least, the assistant star - and started shouting things out during the performance?  What if Tosh was doing a joke about terrorism, and some one who had been pulling that shit yells out "terrorism isn't funny", and Tosh said, "It would be funny if terrorists came in here and shot you right now."  Would you be on here posting about this week in the War on 9/11 Victims?

    You'll probably say that I'm just some asshole fratboy who throws the c-word around when women get uppity because deep down I hate my mother.  But I'm not.  And I'm not one of those people who confuses "free speech" with "you should be able to say whatever hateful shit your horrible mind can come up with in a public setting without experiencing any repercussions or public outrage."  I'm simply saying, this doesn't qualify.

    "Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand." - Mark Twain

    by GrimReefa on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:06:22 PM PDT

  •  Tosh is a characterture of a frat guy (0+ / 0-)

    That's his whole shtick- besides some homosexual undertones to some of his bits that seem to come just as natural to him.

    If he was funny, it might be satire.  But since he's not funny, it's like if Steven Colbert spent 10 minutes talking exactly like Bill O'Reilly word for word.

    The "Joke" is like a 6th grader saying, "Wouldn't it be funny if someone pooped on the the teacher?  Like 5 guys pooped on our teacher right now?  Right?" which is basically where his core audience's mentality resides- the 6th grade, but worse because that's not really ever possibly going to happen, and women do get raped.

    I honestly doubt if I heard Tosh's "joke" in 6th grade I would've found it funny.

    His show makes fun of youtube videos, and although occasionally is funny probably because of some talented staff writers, is most likely watched mainly by naughty 6th graders staying up past bedtime or frat guys that talk just like Tosh.


    But hey, you never heard of him before this week.  "Mission Accomplished" for Tosh.  "Shock" jokes are for publicity, so you've rewarded him.


    "Rape culture is the idea that while men's bodies are sacred and should never be touched in any way that makes them uncomfortable, with women's bodies, it's sort of a gray area. Sometimes women can and should be touched against their will for some greater good because ultimately, women do not own their bodies and do not have full autonomy to make decisions about their bodies."

    This is the interesting part of your article and maybe the reason you wrote it.  A couple questions arise- who would want to touch a guy anyway?  and It's generally traditional for the guy to make the "first move" in an actual romantic situation, so the concepts of what constitutes a "first move" and "romantic situation" are gray in themselves.  Obviously rape is black and white.  But the nebulous idea of the guy being the instigator or controller or a woman's body is probably where a lot of abortion legislation stems from, besides the conservative ideal that every life is sacred although they don't deserve healthcare if they get sick.

    Anyway, thanks for the read and I can't help but be reminded of this classic bit:

  •  two funny rape jokes: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    louis ck

    the man is a genius- that's why he can do it. t stand the show.

    my son likes tosh.0

    i can' t stand the show. i'd pay money to NOT have to watch the guy perform.

    i'm paraphrasing jim norton here, but stand up comedy is an art form- no topic should be off limits, but it is the only art form where people think they can demand some topics should be off limits.

  •  laughing at something that horrifies us (0+ / 0-)

    is an important stress release mechanism, but Tosh really missed the boat here.  

    On the other hand:

    Wouldn't it be hilarious if this woman pulled a gun and shot her five would be attachers in the groin?


    I didn't think it would be.

    As of right now, I loathe all anti-choice politicians with an intensity greater than the radiation output of a thousand suns. 3.13.12

    by GenuineRisk on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:15:48 PM PDT

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