Isn’t Rape Hysterical?

12 Jul

There’s been a story running around the internet about a gal going to a comedy club and being the butt of a rape joke by (mediocre at best) comedian Daniel Tosh.  It was reposted on Feministing and by a few of my friends via tumblr.

Honestly, just reading the first person description made my heart race.  I have (and I’m pretty sure every woman has) been in a situation at least once where they felt very afraid for their safety perhaps based on something that can’t quite be defined or defended.

In Yes Means Yes Melyssa Ford, a ‘Video Vixen’ who feels empowered by selling the image of her body as a product tells the following story from the set of a video.

The gal from the Tosh story had this to say

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

I did it because, even though being “disruptive” is against my nature, I felt that sitting there and saying nothing, or leaving quietly, would have been against my values as a person and as a woman. I don’t sit there while someone tells me how I should feel about something as profound and damaging as rape.

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…” [x]

One woman paid to put her body on display (to look at and not touch, mind you) and another paying for entertainment.  One woman in a short skirt and the other I’m imagining in a cardigan and a scrunchie, invisible to Tosh due to spotlight blindness.

And yet both women are subjected to the same taunting.  I think Tosh’s victim sums it up perfectly here:

I should probably add that having to basically flee while Tosh was enthusing about how hilarious it would be if I was gang-raped in that small, claustrophic room was pretty viscerally terrifying and threatening all the same, even if the actual scenario was unlikely to take place. The suggestion of it is violent enough and was meant to put me in my place. (emphasis mine) [x]

It was meant to put every woman, every feminist, and every not-rape-apologist in their place.

Rape isn’t because you’re showing too much skin, it isn’t because you ‘deserve it’.  It’s because we live in a rape culture where this is acceptable behavior.  I don’t want to live there.  I want to change it.

3 Responses to “Isn’t Rape Hysterical?”


  1. Man Is An Island? Really? « Female Gazing - July 30, 2012

    […] second comment refers to Daniel Tosh which I thought I made my thoughts clear about here and in a way that more specifically addresses MIAI’s concerns here.  I don’t think […]

  2. A Very Effective Religious Joke « Female Gazing - September 26, 2012

    […] always amuses me when people accuse me of being against jokes about rape or Muslims or other ‘controversial’ topics.  I love jokes about those […]

  3. Non-Offensive Sensitive-Subject Jokes! « Female Gazing - October 5, 2012

    […] continuation of the discussion about rape jokes (blonde jokes, fat jokes, race jokes etc) I bring you another wonderful […]

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