Thursday, July 12, 2012

Borderline Incitement?

So the hubby really, really, really likes watching Tosh.0. It's mainly about the thoughts and comments on videos that Daniel Tosh has. The hubby records his shows on the DVR and begs me to watch them with him.  He also does stand up. I personally can't stand the guy.  Oh sure, sometimes one or two things he says are mildly amusing, but for the most part I think he is an asshole.  Anybody that makes jokes about raping people is more than an asshole.  It's like making jokes about the Holocaust or some other tragedy that has absolutely no room for humor.

In case you hadn't heard "the story", here it is from one of the sources.  Daniel Tosh Suggests Gang Raping a Girl Would Be Funny

So, after reading this what do you think?  

I've been combing the 'net trying to find a suitable link to show his side.  Just to be fair.  But, frankly I can't get myself to re-post what I'm finding.  I will let you appease your own curiosity about it if you feel the need to Google it.  But I will say he did apologize in a back handed kinda way.  Via Twitter.  So sincere. I will share this though:
Katherine Hull, a spokesperson for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) was not amused.
“When will this 'funny man' realize that rape jokes aren’t funny? By suggesting that an audience member deserved to be gang raped, Tosh took his shtick to a new low. Applause is due to the woman who had the guts to vocalize what many in room were thinking,”
I think that some might need to stop and think about the fact that Daniel Tosh was responding to the woman (or heckler as he labeled her) in a very personal way.  It was not a "comment" or a general response, it was a personal, verbal attack in response to what he interpreted as "heckling".  According to the woman's account of the incident he made statements that could be described as threatening.  Or as I see it, enticing a "bunch of guys [to] just rape[d] her".  I wonder what his "tweet" would say if "like five guys" had left that show and raped someone.  You know?  Just to see if it is funny, like Daniel tosh suggested it would be.

It's sad that if he would have made a joke about molesting or raping kids, I think that the uproar would have been more than just this woman and her friend walking out of the show and then having her friend blog about it.* Gasp! I guess even he has a limit? Tosh made this comment via his twitter feed, "The point I was making before I was heckled is there are awful things in the world but you can still make jokes about them."  Really Mr. Tosh?  I am not the most politically correct, or whatever the hell you want to call it, person in the world, far from it; I piss people off all the time when I open my mouth. In fact, I've tried the comedy thing myself once or twice.  However, when it comes to making people laugh, I don't think most comedians would jump in and start yapping about how funny it would be to rape, murder, molest, or whatever someone.  Just my opinion.

Katherine Hull, a spokesperson for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) was not amused either:  "When will this 'funny man' realize that rape jokes aren’t funny? By suggesting that an audience member deserved to be gang raped, Tosh took his shtick to a new low. Applause is due to the woman who had the guts to vocalize what many in room were thinking."

I agree with Ms. Hull. Words have power.  If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't have kept this blog up for so many years.   The words of Tosh had the power to scare this woman.  They had the power to entice her to stand up for what is right.  Her words had the power to make it known that she thinks that this was not right.

I wonder if Daniel Tosh jokes about anything that he might of experienced personally.  I'm pretty sure even he would have a hard time finding anything funny about being gang raped if he had ever experienced even a moment of the terror and lifelong suffering that comes along with it after being raped.  All I've ever heard out of his mouth are "jokes" making fun of people hurting themselves, hurting others, rape, racist jokes, jokes about other people's weight, height, looks, speech patterns, etc.  Frankly, I don't think making fun at others' expense is funny at all.

A statement made by Ashley-Michelle Arnold, a site administrator of the non-profit message board After Silence, a collective chat space for rape and abuse survivors sums it up for me:
When your punch line comes from a horrific experience, there's nothing funny about it. Right now, defenders are spinning it that the woman wasn't really offended, as if that somehow makes it OK because she was the subject, after all. However, it doesn't work like that; humor that trivializes what is one of the most horrific experiences a human being can inflict [upon] another doesn't get a green pass simply because the intended target didn't gratify Tosh's disgusting punch line. Comedy should be used to entertain people, and to educate them. Jokes that turn violence into a caricature do neither and, in fact, contribute to the stigma which blame survivors for being victimized and downplay how severely it can impact a life.
 And lastly, something else I wanted to share:
 Those supporting Tosh are outraged that anyone would dare tell a comedian how to be funny. (There’s also been a lot of “if you can’t take the heat” sentiment aimed at this woman, given that she heckled Tosh.) Many of his defenders insist that his joke—and other jokes about rape—are simply edgy and controversial, which is what a comedian is supposed to be. But here’s the thing: threatening women with rape, making light of rape, and suggesting that women who speak up be raped is not edgy or controversial. It’s the norm. This is what women deal with every day. Maintaining the status quo around violence against women isn’t exactly revolutionary.
It’s also telling that the vast majority of people defending Tosh’s comments are men. (And that they’re being incredibly sexist in their responses to boot.) I’d ask these guys why it is they’re so virulently fighting for the right to tell rape jokes. Why is it so important to them that Tosh be able to “joke” about a woman, who loudly criticized him, being gang raped? If you are this attached to jokes about raping women—if they mean this much to you—it’s time to look inward and think about why that is.

*oops ,I  found this quote from  2005 True Stories I Made Up:  "Anal sex is a lot like spinach: if you're forced to have it as a child, you won't enjoy it as an adult."  I guess he did feel comfortable to joke about child molesting.

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