Daniel Tosh is a pretty famous comedian. He’s not famous for being a comedian, however, he’s famous because he hosts a satire show on E!. Recently he was at a comedy club working out some material when he decided to do a rape joke. A woman in the audience spoke up and said something to the effect of “rape is never funny” and Tosh began to joke about this heckler getting raped.
The heckler took to her blog and said she feared for her safety and bunch of nonsense. Yes, I said nonsense. Look, Daniel Tosh is not a particularly funny comedian, but he has found a niche in the hipster comedy scene and he makes it work for himself. I can’t imagine that this woman wandered into this club and didn’t know he would be there so she should know the kind of humor she was in for. But let’s say she did, let’s say she went out for a drink at a comedy club and got offended … my advice to her would be—don’t go to a comedy club if you’re worried about being offended.
Comedy clubs are awful experiences for the most part. At a comedy club you see horrible comedians and good comedians working out new material. When you go to a comedy club you have a job: your job is to be in the audience and laugh. Or don’t laugh. Whatever. Never is it an audience member’s job to talk to the comedian. You’re not there to critique his or her performance, and it’s because no one cares about …
… your opinion on things.
The fact that this woman was offended by a rape joke tells me she’s not suited to be in a comedy club. If you have a delicate sensibility, stay at home and watch Lifetime. Comedy is raunchy and racy; it pushes boundaries and sometimes makes people uncomfortable. That’s what comedy does—it also makes you laugh at things, which is fundamentally important to good mental health.
My second issue with this woman was the fact that she said she “feared for her safety.” At some point Tosh said something like, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that woman got raped by like five guys tonight?” Yes, that joke is tasteless and I wouldn’t even call it a joke. It’s just dumb. But give me a break, lady. Do you really think that because Daniel Tosh says something every guy in a public venue will do it? No one is going to gang rape you at a comedy club because Daniel freaking Tosh says they should. Or might.
I don’t know what happened to today’s society, but I personally think that we’re all far too sensitive. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be sensitive about rape, because of course you should, but when you go to see a comedy routine maybe you should park your sensitivity at the door or just stay home. This world does not revolve around you and your feelings. Rape is a horrible thing that we have to deal with. As a woman I have to be aware of how much I drink, where I leave my drink, what streets I take to get home, who I talk to, and how dark it is when I go to my car. I also have to worry about being judged if I report an attack and hearing people say it’s “my fault.” All of that is put on me, and though I did nothing to ask for such restrictions, this is the world I live in. I’m a girl—I’m a very small, petite girl, and I have been in dangerous situations. My sexual safety has been in jeopardy… and even after all of that I can still laugh at a rape joke. What this woman should’ve been upset over was the fact that she sat through fifteen minutes or more of bad hipster comedy.
So the bottom line is, America…toughen up.