So, I haven’t said much on the whole Daniel Tosh rape-joke fiesta 2012 debacle, and that’s been for various reasons.
I have, however, read a lot of the articles that came out about it, both in defense and prosecution of the rape “joke” Tosh threw out that fateful Friday night. And to be completely honest, it has put me in the shittiest of moods for the last couple of days, because in this case, I think (mostly) EVERYONE is wrong.
I hate the rape culture as much as the next guy (/gal). I also hate how a comedian who is getting paid to tell jokes really couldn’t come back with a more clever retort to a heckler (I mean, really dude? That was the best you could come up with?)… It was meant to belittle her and put her in her place; Not just as a heckler, but as a woman - And that’s not what comics should be paid to do. That’s not what anyone should be doing.
That being said, I also hate how quick people are to give words more power than is necessary, hence making themselves a victim in the process. Likewise, I hate how quick people on the Internet (or anywhere, really) are to call people “rape apologists” and “victim blamers” when one tries to see both sides of a situation. Do you think you’re helping your cause by doing that? You’re making those words have less power when that’s your response to anyone with a dissenting opinion.
But I’m ranting. Like I said, I’ve been in a shitty mood about all of this for the last couple of days, and I kept having to step away from my computer because I came close to rage-quitting the Internet and tossing my machine out of a window several times.
Anyway, I think the article I’ve linked to here is pretty close to the way I’ve been feeling about the whole thing, and far more eloquently than my tired old brain cells could say it.
I don’t think there is anything you can’t joke about, but for fuck’s sake, do it so that it’s A) funny, and B) not alienating half of your audience. Oh, go ahead and make your audience feel uncomfortable and awkward - That’s definitely a valid necessity in the process of making comedy. But the moment you start making them feel belittled, threatened or bad about being the gender/race/sexual orientation they are… Well, that’s the moment you should probably stop and maybe do a rewrite of your material, jerk.
But, yeah. That’s all I’ll say about it. Read the article. It makes sense.
I’ve been trying to figure out my thoughts on this whole controversy as well, and this is pretty darn close.