Comments are closed for this entry
View All
Recency  | 
Page:  « First  ‹ Previous  1 2 3 4  Next ›  Last »  (4 total)
Loving life, living joyously
01:31 PM on 07/18/2012
I wonder if all those people furiously defending Tosh's right to say whatever he wanted and that the woman who spoke up was wrong and out of line (and thereby deserved to be verbally assaulted) also feel it is absolutely wrong for an audience en masse to protest or boo a comedian who is bombing onstage? If the majority of the audience starts booing, what then?

Daniel Tosh and everybody else has the right to tell lame jokes. Jokes that fail because they are poorly constructed, delivered wrong, or just plain not funny. They don't have the "right" to be protected from fallout from bad material, whether that's one heckler, an entire audience booing, or a Twitter backlash.

At least theoretically, as a society we think jokes about "the little guy" getting one over on "the big guy" are funny; jokes about the people in power viciously screwing over the underdog, not so much. (Unless you're one of the people in power, of course, then they're knee-slappers.) That's why rape jokes aren't funny, unless they are VERY carefully constructed. Tosh's rejoinder to the woman would have worked, if he'd reversed it, "I think it would be hilarious if *I* was getting raped by like five guys, right now."
Soraya Chemaly
04:20 PM on 07/18/2012
I agree (guess that's obvious). But, really, it is interesting to me how this woman can be portrayed. I think it really is fair to think of what she did as a form of social protest - this is different from just heckling the guy for poor content or flat delivery.
Loving life, living joyously
05:59 PM on 07/18/2012
Yes, it did sound to me like social protest, not just heckling.

I think many women and minorities and others are getting very weary of being publicly ridiculed and then, when an objection is raised, "Whatssa matter, ain't you got a sense of humor?"
02:53 AM on 07/19/2012
YES ! YOU SAID IT ! thank you... so i suppose that a thinking (before you speak) type of person could ask themselves...

"is this Really a good time to Stand up to These liquored up Imbeciles ?, and simultaneously chastise the Comedian who has the foulest humor i have heard?.. AND perhaps Express My Feminine strength with a Message of "social protest" ? "

Soraya - i think Tosh could have showed some Restraint, But that is just my opinion, it was His Show, not mine. now let me ask you, if you still think Tosh was the ONLY ONE out of Line, that night... OR.. Do you think its Possible that the woman should have ask herself the very Questions i mentioned above.
its cool with me, if she DID ask herself those INCREDIBLY OBVIOUS questions, and Still Decided to Speak Her Mind, it would show Her Strength. But She would Have Still been the object of a snarky comeback from Tosh, But she would Not Have Been Able to play the Strong Feminist one minute (for the crowd), and then conveniently flip flop her character back to the Demure little lady in shock (for the Manager, to get a freebie, and start everyone talking about "that poor lil' Girl...) I Know That Game, and so do you.
the Woman and Tosh, are Both Adults, and they Both invited the Negativity, they ask for.
01:13 PM on 07/18/2012
I really hope that there's a growing underground organization of women that's been so effective at keeping its existence secret that no one outside the group even suspects its real. I have my doubts, though, when I see how even women journalists keep from reporting on the July meetings of a powerful cabal of men at the Bohemian Grove.
Soraya Chemaly
01:58 PM on 07/18/2012
Are you sure that they didn't report in secret?
02:19 PM on 07/22/2012
Wouldn't reporting in secret be, well, NOT reporting?
08:01 AM on 07/18/2012
I love your article for you are so right on too many levels. I have watched Tosh once and found him irritating and not funny. There are too many would-be comedians like Tosh out there on cable and MSM television--Richard Prior was outrageous; Tosh and all those cableshow clones, not so much. Most men for some reason don't see rape as a crime (See military stats to back this up AND it's the woman's fault--How perverse is that?) Any woman who finds Tosh funny needs medication. As for the men fans, well, what else can you expect? It's in their GD DNA: rape and pillage. Oh, and I am a 67 year old male who just doesn't get this mindset. Well written. Keep at it.
Jail the rich and take back your resources!
03:54 PM on 07/18/2012
Your judgement comes from just one viewing? Ask his contemporaries how good he is. He is a well respected comedian that said something controversial--what's new? If you don't understand this is what comedians do, you don't understand comedy.
07:18 PM on 07/18/2012
I didn't get that from his post. It's not that he doesn't understand comedy. He doesn't find Tosh funny. Big difference. Just because someone doesn't think Tosh is funny does NOT mean they don't understand comedy. They simply know what they find to be funny and what they don't.
03:15 AM on 07/19/2012
morgan - ? ? ? you said - ""Most men for some reason don't see rape as a crime""
HUH ? What Part of America Do you live in ?
Because i do not know ONE... not one single Male, who can imagine getting that phone call from the Hospital.. Saying Guess What? your Mom,or Daughter, or Sister, or Wife Has Been Raped...
and then they think to themselves "aw Heck Mom... it was just a Rape.. get over it, you gotta' get Dinner on the Table,.. and Besides Me and my Army Buddies Rape constantly.. its "The Thing To Do" i mean Heck, i don't want my army buddies to think i'm Gay !... (Not my Army Buddies).
SO, i'm just Wandering... is rape not seen as a Crime Where You Live ?
i can say that my Army Buddies Served With Honor... i guess there are Some who do Not...
Damn Shame. But Round Here, we dont cotton to that S***. thats why i was wandering where you live,.. i'll be sure to warn our women not to go there.
04:28 AM on 07/18/2012

I sometimes find that people have over-simplistic logic on topics like this mainly because they dont have access to enough education around the topic, and they tend to think in terms of "the individual" instead of using systems thinking or systems analysis. It is important to taking a step back and look at the larger systems at play, look at society as a whole, including widespread societal issues and what is causing and contributing to them.

Here are some links that provide insight.

AWESOME MOVIE: The Price of Pleasure (on Netflix and also:

AWESOME MOVIE: Miss Representation (

Soraya Chemaly
11:28 AM on 07/18/2012
Thank you for taking the time to do this!
Lovely life
12:48 PM on 07/18/2012
02:01 AM on 07/18/2012
I'm all for pointing out that Tosh's "joke" was entirely inappropriate and that the audience (and the public at large) told this stand-up "to sit-down." But I think this HP blogger's post is definitely a bit of a stretch... All sane people would surely agree that violence against women is; of course wrong and that everything possible should be done to alleviate it.

However, if you could actually manage forbid and/or take away all "stories about degradations and violations..." from stand-up comedy; this surely would put every comic and/or comedy-related show on the planet out of business. This is what comedians do - even if it offends some of the people, some of the time. It is also a 'slippery slope' to slide down, as well... No more Rodney "Take my wife, please?" jokes because it 'degrades and violates' the role of the housewives out there…

How about not allowing – or censoring – all political jokes from hosts or the stand-ups on nighttime talk shows (because it offends one party's supporters or anothers)? Or no more "All in the Family" reruns because someone might agree with Archie's warped views of the world? Do we stop Elise and Steven Keaton from 'degrading and violating' Nixon's presidency and legacy? Or disallow and censor "Hannibal Lector" characters in movies, because someone might see the trilogy and get a taste for flesh and blood? Where does it end?
firefly echo
sister outsider
02:23 PM on 07/18/2012
in regards to "all sane people would surely agree that violence against women is; of course wrong and that everything possible should be done to alleviate it."

People are very dismissive of actual rape. You only need ask a few survivors to find the way they're treated.
04:27 AM on 07/19/2012
firefly echo - you said ""People are very dismissive of actual rape""

well, in that i have to agree... But in some Cases.. it is warranted.
after 22 years of Hospice Nursing, i decided to go back to Collage,
and take some Human Services classes to switch careers to do
Drug and Alcohol counseling.
and i must admit i am sometimes dismissive of the unfiltered Proclamation,
of A Rape History... its not that it may not be true.. but true or not, there are
people who use it as a social tool..
something that is just blurted out, to Qualify, or Excuse a Certain Action or Behavior.
and in a group setting, you can see the same cycle of Emotional Manipulation being
played out,.. usually eliciting the Desired sympathetic response, from the "Rescuers"
in the group... its like clockwork. (counselors are not allowed to Roll their eyes at B.S.)
of course in some Cases... sometimes people are actually just so damaged,
that there is no Filtering of their thought, and seriously painful things will just
come out randomly. Very Sad that folks get Abused to that level.
but you really dont have to be "Board Certified" To pick out the Manipulators
from the Victims. I Seek to Help all of them... Nobody is a Throwaway..
not if i can help it.
03:11 PM on 07/18/2012
"Take my wife, please?" - How many women in the audience do you think were wives who had been "taken"?
"degrading and violating' Nixon's presidency and legacy" - How many people in that audience were direct victims of Nixon's presidency and legacy?
"Hannibal Lector" - How many people in the audience were victims of Hannibal Lectoresque crimes?
The point being made is that rape is in fact a pervasive form of suppression and victimization of women(and sometimes men.) You can bet that there were women (and perhaps men) in that audience who had experienced some form of sexual violence or threat in their lifetimes. And, the words that this guy used to respond to the woman - the words make my skin crawl. If they don't make you sick, it's because you are lucky and may never have been exposed to the very real threat of being sexually assaulted.

I read the response by Curtis Luciani and I wondered how many men have actually feared having their sex organs being cut off or experienced that threat. Having never had those thoughts myself and being a woman, I thought that the situation created was actually funny. It made me realize that people who have never experienced any form of sexual assault or threat perhaps don't get "it" for the same reason. It's seem like something that happens in a parallel universe and hence is actually funny.
representing Planet 10
01:07 AM on 07/18/2012
Soraya, you are clearly a very intelligent and thoughtful person....and have made your arguments here in a measured and reasoned manner. You have perhaps even won me over.....but make no mistake,
you are preaching to the choir. This is the Huffington Post and most of us are liberal and progressive.
Even still there is resistance to the "there is nothing funny about......." arguments.
I think the discussion of violence against women, or else anyone for that matter is and should be
ongoing and loud. Thank you for you contribution.
I like to say that really intelligent women are the new trophy wives. I have one, or she has me.
Soraya Chemaly
11:35 AM on 07/18/2012
Don't I know it (re the niching of the media)! I appreciate your comments very much and your willingness to engage in debate. Sometimes I hold my breath before pushing send on a post like this (not joking when I say that rape threats abound for writers like me even in the absence of rape as a topic as in this case). And, really, I understand the resistance to "nothing is funny about" but am ever hopeful that if more people even contemplate the ever present threat to women and the real incidence of the crime then we can change the culture to make it a non-issue in terms of comedy. In the end, the truth is, I just watched too much Star Trek as a child :)!
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
09:49 PM on 07/17/2012
Really, after reading all the comments defending Tosh, I'm a bit disturbed. It is scary to think that in the end, women's rights have not really come that far.
04:20 PM on 07/17/2012
Rape jokes encourage rape in the same way genocide jokes encourage genocide: they don't. Get off your high horse, humorless lady looking for an axe to grind. It's a lame joke in a comedy club. About as culturally significant as yet another joke about airline food.
Soraya Chemaly
08:27 PM on 07/17/2012
Do you understand how pandemic violence against women actually is? We're talking about half of the human species. I am not a humourless lady with an axe to grind. I'm an angry human making a point about we should consider the role that humour plays in widespread social injustice. Not exactly airline food material. We do agree however that it was a lame joke in a comedy club.
10:04 PM on 07/17/2012
Oh, I understand how pandemic violence against women actually is.  I used to be a prosecutor in a big city, and the problem is so bad, even when there's an arrest in a domestic violence case, which is already rare, the vast majority of cases end in acquittal because the wife refuses to testify.  I have friends who are rape survivors, and friends who dedicate their entire careers to helping victims of human trafficking.  I think the issue of women's rights is one of paramount importance, and consider myself a feminist.  
That being said, jokes are jokes.  I do not believe in the power of rape jokes to trivialize rape or incite rape, and poor executed rape jokes are not an attempt to oppress women, they're just lame jokes.  Seriously, you're giving Tosh a little too much credit here for deep thought.  It's juvenile, and it's stupid, but his humor was never sophisticated to begin with.  
There are much more realistic and productive ways to address rape in our society.  Like how the first instinct of defense attorneys is to attack the victim, or how the media has no problems equating promiscuity with consent.  By making a big deal out of a stupid, juvenile joke, you're trivializing the problem and making feminists concerned with real issues look ridiculous by association.  
This is a world where rape is actually used as a quasi-judicial punishment in Afghanistan...and we're debating whether a rape joke in a comedy club encourages real
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
03:28 PM on 07/18/2012
I think the question here is about how influential media really is. If it influences a person...perhaps it is more of a "contributor" (meaning used as an excuse) than a cause. Media influence depends drastically on the susceptibility of the individual. And if they are influenced by media, there is something wrong - searching for ANY trigger - anyways. Best not to mess with 1st amendment on that assumption:
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin
02:03 PM on 07/18/2012
Way to invalidate a woman's viewpoint - AGAIN.
12:57 AM on 07/19/2012
Just because you have a viewpoint and two X chromosomes doesn't entitle you to some sort of extra credibility.  I'll still call you out for saying something ridiculous.
The world is run by cats; we just feed them.
04:16 PM on 07/17/2012
Who is Daniel Tosh? Should I have heard of him?
Huffington Post Blogger, Author, Father's Touch
12:42 PM on 07/17/2012
Ricky Gervais ‏tweeted, "If you think something is funny, you're right. If you think something is not funny, you're right too. Just don't expect everyone to agree." Tosh is an acquired taste. Luckily I'm on a diet.
11:36 AM on 07/17/2012
But she wasn't threatened with Rape. At all. She was never in any danger of being raped at Tosh's comedy show. That's just silly.
No use for leaders, I don't need to be led
06:59 AM on 07/17/2012
Of course his tone and intent were meant to demean her. Kinda the point really, to inspire the heckler to shut it. But let's throw in the male misogony tags and excuse the lady's behaviour instead. Can't have accountability for your own actions when there is a victims complex to exploit instead, that's what sells to the unaccountable yet I'm equal, but I'm a victim demographic. Remember, she started the incident, don't go crying victim, when somebody responds to your stupidity with even more over the top stupidity. She wasn't nice to him, why would he be nice back to her? Maybe she has alcohol issues if she's getting bent over a stand up comics source material, rather juvenile conduct both ways is all it is. Save your stats and pamphlet slogans please, this incident has nothing to do with that scenario at all.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
10:11 AM on 07/17/2012
How is saying "rape is never funny" a mean thing to say? I REALLY want to hear your "intelligent" argument on this one. Better yet, I REALLY want to hear how threaten rape is an appropriate response to someone when they don't "treat you nice." Really, I want to know how you gotten through life believing in this kind of stuff.
04:20 PM on 07/17/2012
First of all, there was no threatened rape. There was a zero percent chance that 5 guys in the audience would actually rape the heckler. Second, and more to the point, heckling a live performer is never a nice thing to do. Whether you agree with a performer is irrelevant. You keep your mouth shut at a live performance. Do you think people ought to shout out "Blackbird's a lame song!" if they don't like a Beatles performance? Really, I want to know how YOU've gotten through life believing it's okay to do that kind of stuff at a live show.
ab absurdo
My micro-bio is no longer empty
05:18 AM on 07/17/2012
Instead of cultivating a society that will forge change, we live in one that shames people into political correctness. Society ends up with a faux-change that will eventually lead to a backlash.

If people are outraged by jokes like this then it should lead to an intelligent discussion. The energy shouldn't be spent condemning those who we don't agree with. Alienating people will never cause the problem to go away.
Soraya Chemaly
09:18 AM on 07/17/2012
The point of my writing this was exactly that the joke was not the outrageous aspect of the evening. It was uninteresting at best. The point was pretty much yours: the only way to change the situation is to bypass the red herrings of outrage or free speech or political correctness and consider the pervasive use of violence and its threat as the foundation of a)the request for rape jokes b) the jokes themselves and c)the shaming of the objector.
03:45 PM on 07/17/2012
Making a more-than-imaginary connection between rape and a joke about rape is silly. The Honeymooners is one of my favorite shows of all time--it in no way indicates that I am a fan of spousal abuse. Laughing at a rape joke has nothing to do with actual rape.
04:24 PM on 07/17/2012
1) A request for rape jokes is only a sign of someone with a black sense of humor. I've got Jewish friends who loves Holocaust jokes, female friends who love rape jokes, lawyer friends who love lawyer jokes, etc., it doesn't mean they're self hating.

2) Whether you find a type of joke funny is rather irrelevant. Humor's a personal choice.

3) Shaming the objector was due to her being a heckler. Interrupting a live show to tell the comedian how his jokes aren't funny is just plain heckling. Shaming a heckler is the time honored way of dealing with that.
09:29 PM on 07/18/2012
aww, you've been "shamed" into political correctness? maybe we should shame you into being silent about being brutally raped and then call you a bitch for being upset. would that be better?
ab absurdo
My micro-bio is no longer empty
05:19 AM on 08/05/2012
lessthanorly, your comment is a logical fallacy. Thus, it's not even worth the small but meaningless response I'm giving you.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
01:36 AM on 07/17/2012
Finally, someone that is sane. While I do support the First Amendment, I really kind of hate it. Instead of protecting free speech, it is use as an excuse for people to be stupid.
06:18 PM on 07/17/2012
BCorn24 - (hi there !)

""While I do support the First Amendment, I really kind of hate it. Instead of protecting free speech, it is use as an excuse for people to be stupid.""

(Really ? and according to you, i " have issues"... lol. Hmm, Call it "A Hunch", but after reading various comments from you, i'm not quite sure that you are actually qualified to make that call, at least on anyone that you don't know personally. but i can only suspect that being qualified, is not really something you probably worry much about. lest, it get in the way of assuming folks are stupid...
You are The Best !)
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
09:54 PM on 07/17/2012
Sorry, but the fact that I'm angry because so many people here on this forum has a problem with a woman being outrage because she was threaten with a violent act is not an issue. But I would like to say I'm sorry. I should not make fun of people with mental problems.
Lovely life
01:24 AM on 07/17/2012
Thank you for your insight, your perseverance, and for speaking for so many of us.
06:22 PM on 07/17/2012
lol ! .... yeah, BCorn24 is the best ever... ooh.. um, hey i think there is is something on your nose.. just wipe a little... there, you got it.. much better.
Lovely life
09:58 PM on 07/17/2012