Daniel Tosh & Assholes Of The World, Rape Jokes Aren’t Funny
There are few things that bother me more than people who don’t take rape and sexual assault seriously. Whether they’re brushing it off with a “well you don’t know his side of the story,” blaming the incident on flirting and alcohol, or calling someone a liar (seriously?), it all raises my blood pressure a surprising amount. But rape jokes? Those really grind my gears.
I find that people who make rape jokes are often the same people who pride themselves on being “un-pc” and make it their duty to offend others. Take a look at Daniel Tosh, a popular comedian on Comedy Central, for instance. He loves to make offensive jokes. It’s his entire schtick. And when a person at a show of his took a stand during a skit specifically about rape jokes, he “joked” about how funny it would be if that person were to be raped:
After I called out to him, Tosh paused for a moment. Then, he says, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…” and I, completely stunned and finding it hard to process what was happening but knowing I needed to get out of there, immediately nudged my friend, who was also completely stunned, and we high-tailed it out of there. It was humiliating, of course, especially as the audience guffawed in response to Tosh, their eyes following us as we made our way out of there. I didn’t hear the rest of what he said about me.
Tell me, why is it actually socially acceptable to say things like that? Why on Earth do people find this funny? That’s not funny. That’s effing terrifying.
When someone makes a rape joke, all I hear is “I don’t care about you or anyone else who has ever been raped.” I don’t hear a punchline. I certainly don’t hear humor. What I hear is “rape is a joke.”
It’s not even that rape jokes make me angry. They make me scared. If a person has the ability to comfortably joke about rape, what’s stopping them from actually raping someone? In my eyes, I see nothing stopping them. It really, truly scares me.
What makes it even worse is that these jokesters always act like those of us who get offended are the ones in the wrong. I’m sorry, which one of us is making jokes about sexual violence? … Oh, right. I’m not uptight because I didn’t like your rape joke. Your rape joke wasn’t funny and it never will be, because rape is not funny.
All of this enables a culture that promotes violence against women, a culture in which women have to be afraid of every stranger that tells them they’re beautiful, and walk with keys between their fingers at night. It’s a culture that says “don’t get raped” instead of “don’t rape.” No one should have to be afraid to walk alone, wear a short skirt, or say no. And we especially should not have to be afraid to take a stand against rape jokes in a comedy club.
If you find rape jokes funny, you find rape funny. Honestly, there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If you feel that you take rape seriously, then you will stop making and laughing at rape jokes. You can’t have both. No devil’s advocate here. No “to be fair….” No. Just stop.
If you want to be like Daniel Tosh and make jokes about five guys raping one woman and have your entire comedic career be centered around offending people, then hey, do it. I can’t stop you. But don’t call those of us who get offended uptight and turn it around on us. Maybe it’s not that we’re taking it too seriously. Maybe it’s that you’re not taking it seriously enough.
If you agree with me, please sign my petition on Change.org to get Daniel Tosh taken off the air at Comedy Central.
What are your thoughts on this comedian’s idea of “humor”? Leave a comment and let us know.
Opinions stated in our editorials do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Feminspire and its staff as a whole, but instead reflect the opinions of the writer.
May 21, 2013
May 20, 2013
May 19, 2013