Newsflash, comedians: No one is obligated to find you funny

12 Jul

Given the attempts by Congress and state governments to shit all over women’s reproductive health choices these days, I really shouldn’t be surprised that comedians are still using rape jokes for shock value. And I’m not, truly.

I am kind of surprised by the number of rape apologist comedians who have come to the defense of such a tired type of joke, though.

Daniel Tosh is offensive, let’s be honest. He’s like a shock jock. He’s offensive for the sake of being offensive because it’s so not Raven to use racist, sexist, homophobic jokes in this day and age, but he’s willing to do it in a sea of political correctness, and, damn it, fratty, entitled, white men need something to laugh about!

I find a lot of these kinds of jokes he does cringeworthy, but, I’m a woman, so what do I know about humor, right? (According to Adam Carolla, the arbiter of all things funny, very little.) Typically, rape jokes aren’t funny; to clarify–rape jokes at the expense of victims are not funny. Sorry if you’re relying on cliches and stereotypes to make a joke, but you’re tacky and I hate you. But, rape jokes making fun of rape culture and the rapists themselves can be funny. There’s a difference, and if you’re not witty enough to navigate that thin line, you’re probably not that good at comedy, sry2say.

Anyway, considering how professional these comedians think themselves to be, I’m pretty surprised so many of them fail to recognize this very important difference. When Daniel Tosh singles out a female audience member who dares to inform him that, hey, rape isn’t funny, with a musing about how “funny” it would be if she were to get raped by five men right that moment, I’m kind of stunned at how many fellow comedians are clamoring to defend this “joke,” which was a pretty heinous, veiled threat to put a woman in her place.

Patton OswaltSource: HuffingtonPost

Anthony JeselnikSource: HuffingtonPost

Rob HoffmanSource: HuffingtonPost

Oh, that’s right. I forget how outraged privileged men get when they think their freedom of speech is being infringed upon by someone daring to find what they have to say stupid and repulsive (because I guess those people don’t get the same freedom of speech to tell you you suck, somehow).

Hey, white male comedians: I’m so happy for you that the worst thing that could happen to you is that a woman doesn’t laugh at your stupid rape joke. Really, that’s great that this is your biggest problem apparently.

Meanwhile, you know, women actually have to figure out if you’re really joking or not about raping her. Because rape is actually one of the worst–if not the worst–thing that could, can and does happen to women.

But whatever. Us feminazis sure do get our panties in a twist about every little thing, don’t we? But what I find funny, ironic really, is these comedians say people get offended too easily and need to develop thicker skins so they won’t be so upset by jokes–and then in the same breath they cry about hecklers ruining their shows or audience members criticizing their work. You’re right, I’m sure being criticized for doing your job sucks. I can’t really think of any other instance where workers have to deal with customers complaining to their faces–OH WAIT, THAT’S EVERY JOB EVER IN THE WORLD.

Maybe try to learn to laugh it off like you expect the rest of us to do, since you’re so good at comedy and all. Nothing is off limits to a comedian, right? Except, you know, others criticizing you.

2 Responses to “Newsflash, comedians: No one is obligated to find you funny”

  1. James July 14, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    Did you get this crazy when Sarah Silverman made a rape joke? Tosh’s joke was humor of exaggeration. He exaggerated what the consequences should be for heckling. It’s not funny to you because you’re a woman just like black jokes aren’t funny to some black people and knock-knock jokes aren’t funny to homeless people.

    You don’t get to say that jokes about tragedy are okay as long as they don’t pertain to your specific demographic. Men in prison get raped more than women, but “drop the soap” jokes are still funny, and I don’t hear you in an uproar about them.

    The woman in the audience did more than just complain, she interrupted his performance. She could have walked away and/or spoke to him and/or blogged about it later. Comedy is how he makes money, and interrupting his routine is out of line. He has the right to tell jokes. She does NOT have the right to interrupt.

    • Amy July 14, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

      You presume to know my mind when you don’t. I don’t agree with Sarah Silverman’s joke about rape, but I didn’t have this blog when she made it either. I don’t agree with “drop the soap” jokes either, but thank you for assuming I find rape jokes about men funny. You’re wrong. I don’t agree with rape jokes when the victim is the brunt of the joke, whether the victim is a man or a woman. I find rape abhorrent in any circumstance. People might began to take rape concerning men more seriously, actually, if more people pushed back against these exact kinds of jokes about rape that you want to champion, but I guess you’re not concerned about that. Just as long as your favorite comedians get to say whatever they want, free of criticism. You do realize that, in this capitalistic society, consumers have the right to choose whether or not they want to consume a comedian’s work, right? Not watching their show, speaking up against their material, is how consumers show their disagreement with that product. This is what people, such as myself, are doing.

      And actually, I do get to say what kinds of jokes I do or don’t find funny. When an act of violence, such as rape, is systematically used as a method to silence and abuse women at a much higher rate than any other demographic, I do think it’s fine for me, as a member of that demographic, to say whether or not a joke (or in this case, a threat) about said act is appropriate or not. So, please, tuck your privilege back between your legs and go whine to some other men about women and minorities trying to take away your “right” to make fun of them.

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