If you know me in real life then you probably know that this week has been especially crazy for me and I’ve barely had time for any internetting at all.
In the last few weeks I’ve gotten the three comments below. I have a history of taking comments that I think are particularly noteworthy and turning them into posts of their own. So it shouldn’t be such a break with tradition that I present these responses to this post:
As a largely neutral (albeit male) bystander to all this – can I say while I do sympathise with some of the major points of modern feminism I can’t help but feel that the way a lot of advocates go about voicing their concerns (angry, overly aggressive) does little to help further the cause.
I’m going to say something that may be considered controversial here; while I agree that the act of rape is a terrible thing and we should do all that we can to prevent it – why though has there been a feminist backlash against Daniel Tosh who merely joked about it ? This just highlights in my opinion the over-reaction that does the cause little to no favours. Nothing should be off limits; not rape, not pictures of the prophet Mohammed, nothing. The idea of placing restrictions on what is merely articulated (despite offence by some) is deeply unsettling. Humour btw has always has a branch that draws from the morbid in order to get people to think – to sterilise it in order to cater to one group of society is plain wrong.
Heh, interesting how any reply that actually stimulates thought ‘awaits moderation’. But one word responses that just agree with you pass through the net. It’s sad that you can’t facilitate open and fair debate on here – with any criticism of feminism (of which there are some believe it or not) or a point that you personally made just ignored. But hey, your blog your rules I guess. Enjoy your bubble.
Now, it is true that I don’t approve all comments. I think I’ve trashed a total of 2 comments since I started writing. Both insinuated that I was just an ugly expletive in need of a good lay. As there is enough of that rubbish on the internet I think of deleting those comments as taking out the trash, sue me. Otherwise I approve comments or present them on their own.
When I got these I was overcome with such a heated anger that I knew there had to be a response of some kind but couldn’t think of exactly what to say, which is why I let them sink in my inbox for so long.
So, Man Is An Island, here are the responses you so desperately longed for.
First of all, the first thing I always say to people when they make a generalization about a group (advocates of feminism are angry and overly aggressive) is ‘Are you a part of that group?’ No? Well, then you have no right to claim that that group is any particular way because you clearly have no first hand knowledge. I am a member of that group and can tell you that (most of the time) I’m neither of those things. For example right now I’m in bed in my underwear quite peaceably eating yogurt covered pretzels. Yum.
I will continue to talk about eating pussy and the necessity of it as a political act. That’s a joke, sort of, but I really, really want to champion women with my comedy. Sexism and misogyny still run rampant in our world and in our culture and it will be the death of us if we don’t seek to counter it in our own lives. So I do focus on women a bit more in my comedy, because I think that destructive sexism is sort of the final frontier in prejudice. It would seem that racism and homophobia are closer to extinction than is sexism.
–Rob Delaney (via fleish)
Did that sound angry or overly aggressive?
My second issue with this comment is that it was in regards to a comic strip which showed someone who was trying to be calm and was pushed and pushed until ze got angry. In my personal opinion the only way to misread that is to do so intentionally. Everyone gets angry when pushed. Feminists get pushed until we get angry (probably the same way you would if I belittled a subject you were passionate about for a while) and then pointed to and and taunted “See! I knew it! You’re just one of those angry, overly aggressive feminists!” I won’t even touch on the implicit insinuation that angry women are unattractive, a thing no woman should ever be.
The 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 people shouldn’t talk about rape. And talking about a subject often leads to joking about it so I don’t think people shouldn’t make jokes that acknowledge rape as a part of our world. I just think that rape jokes shouldn’t encourage people (and I happen to know from having a little brother that a good portion of his fans are teenage boys who, to use a very overused word, are impressionable and may just be starting to experience women as lovers and partners.
Humor attracts ‘morbid’ people because people need to work through stuff. My uncle runs a funeral home and he often tells the story of a funeral where a beloved patriarch died and at the funeral the family sat around telling jokes and doing impressions instead of crying over the casket. Bad stuff happens and humor helps you through it. Fact.
However, it’s one thing to make a joke about rape that is really funny and could potentially help someone, and it’s something else entirely to see that someone is offended by your joke and respond by saying to a room full of men and women “Wouldn’t it be really funny if she got raped right now?” because it wouldn’t. It’s not even a joke really. And if it were a joke it certainly would not be a joke that contributes positively to the world.
So talk about rape. Make interesting observations about rape culture in our society and make them funny so people remember them and tell them to their friends and little brothers and encourage thought and consideration. Daniel Tosh didn’t do any of that so I think his set was in poor taste and he should be educated about what taste is. I find him to be boring as hell on TV so I don’t think he’s a good comic. Those are separate issues and neither means I think he should be censored or dragged kicking and screaming from the airwaves.
As for the final accusation. I’m facilitating open and fair debate right now. Lay some thoughts on me. Anyone but Man Is An Island, please.