7.13.2012

Some Clarity And Updates To The Whole Tosh Thing


A few points of disambiguation from yesterday's post, Wouldn't It Be Funny If Daniel Tosh Got Raped By, Like, Five Guys Right Now?:


  • When I wrote about unfriending me and getting out of my life, I didn't mean "If you disagree with my opinion, unfriend me" -- that's unreasonable and frankly stupid. What I mean is "If you think it's okay that Tosh suggest a woman be gang raped for speaking during his performance, unfriend me." And I mean it. That shit is gross.
  • The woman was wrong to heckle. Heckling is impolite and stupid. No one paid to see the heckler, they paid to see the performer, and to heckle is to bring upon yourself the full attention of both the comedian and the audience. Hecklers deserve to be berated, made fun of, and put in their place. Saying that it would be funny to rape a woman who heckles? That's not putting anyone in their place. That's not showing them up. That's an incitement to a physical violation.
  • The heckler hasn't "won" because Tosh is being admonished. Tosh lost when he suggested she be gang-raped. It's a very important distinction. What she did was wrong. What Tosh did was worse, and he was the victim all the way up until he went too far. An allegory: In the very legendary Holyfield vs. Tyson fight, Holyfield was seen slipping headbutts to Tyson, which is cheating according to the rules. Tyson headbutted, elbowed and rabbit-punched his entire career. It's documented and much discussed. He found ways to slip blows in when he could. And that's actually common in every sport. So Holyfield was playing on the same playing field. When Tyson couldn't get the ref to stop Holyfield's headbutting, he bit the guy's ear off. If he'd returned a headbutt with a knockout, or some sly elbows and forearms to the face as was his manor in the day, that would have been "fair" -- but to bite the guy's ear off? That's extreme and wrong. Tyson was disqualified. Holyfield didn't win that fight, Tyson lost it.
  • I believe in "Total Warfare" -- if someone thinks they can take liberties with you, your loved ones, your possessions -- you leave them no doubt they cannot. You strike back in a severe, indisputable manner that will show not only them but anyone watching that they cannot get away with it. But even in that space, there's limits. If a person slaps you, you don't stab them in the temple with an icepick.
  • Sure, there are funny jokes by funny comedians involving the WORD "rape." The word itself being abstracted out or used in a funny manner? That's not the same thing as suggesting a woman be raped. The issue here isn't the word, it's the action. And suggesting a woman be raped is never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER funny. Ever.


Additionally, There are some updates to the situation as a whole:

Melissa McEwan posted the following on Shakesville, described as "A feminist blog and a feminist's blog".  I feel the research and information is valuable. I've left the reference links in tact:

Two things arrived in my inbox this morning giving yet more context to Daniel Tosh's fondness for rape humor:

1. Liberate Zealot forwarded this description of a video that aired in June of last year on Tosh.0,which depicted a penetrative rape. Please note the description describes the sexual assault. Liberate Zealot has a screen capture of the show on which it aired, showing Tosh grinning while watching the video of the assault, here.

2. Shaker QLH forwarded this piece of news about the pilot episode of Daniel Tosh's new animated series: 

RumorFix has learned exclusively that producers and editors are scrambling to take out any reference to rape in the pilot episode of Daniel Tosh's new animated series, Brickleberry.


Production sources tell RumorFix that Tosh has given them just over 24 hours to make the changes — because the series is scheduled to be shown at Comic-Con in San Diego Friday night.


"Everyone is freaking out, because most of the pilot is about rape," our source says.
Emphasis mine.

I will say again: Daniel Tosh is not merely a comic who asserts his right to tell rape jokes; he is an enforcer of the rape culture.

UPDATE: Rachel S tweeted me another segment that aired on Tosh.0 in which Daniel Tosh exhorted men to touch women without their consent. The video is here, which I have transcribed in its entirety:

Before we go, I'm excited to introduce to you a new segment called "Lightly Touching Women's Stomachs While They're Sitting Down." [laughter] Okay, it's not what you think—this is where you sneak up behind women who are sitting down and lightly put your hand on their stomach. [laughter] Make sure she's aware that you are in fact feeling a roll. [cut to video clip montage of Daniel Tosh sneaking up on three young, conventionally attractive women and feeling their stomachs before walking away, grinning; the first woman looks super uncomfortable; the second woman laughs uncomfortably; the third woman covers her belly and asks plaintively: "Why are you touching my tummy? Don't ever touch my tummy!"] Okay, guys—during our break, I need you to film yourself lighting touching women's stomachs while they're sitting down. But be careful! Because they like to pretend like they don't love it!
Rape culture is not just actual acts of sexual violence. It is a spectrum of hostility to consent, and it is a collection of narratives that normalize and encourage hostility to consent, like woman really mean yes even when they're saying no.