Tosh Rape Jokes Controversy


Creepy predator.

I’m a woman with a sometimes raunchy and often wildly inappropriate sense of humor, and I stand firmly behind Freedom of Speech.

But that said, I’m not afraid to go on the record and say that jokes about raping women or children are NEVER funny.

There’s this comedian Daniel Tosh (who I also think is never funny) who is all over the media this week because he was doing a performance at the Hollywood Laugh Factory comedy club and was called out by a female audience member for making jokes about rape.

“Tosh (started) making some very generalizing, declarative statements about rape jokes always being funny, how can a rape joke not be funny, rape is hilarious,” the woman wrote on her friend’s Tumblr page.

She wrote that she felt provoked and then yelled out to Tosh “Actually, rape jokes are never funny!”

This woman has been attacked by a lot of Tosh jerky fans for being a heckler. I think she was and is brave and awesome. She did the right thing, when good people go silent evil can fester and thrive.

I assume Tosh has never been the victim of sexual violence. I’m so happy for his white virgin asshole. But one in three women have, and it’s likely that one of those women was in his audience that night.

“After I called out to him, Tosh paused for a moment,” she wrote, “Then, he says, “Wouldn’t it be funny if this girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys raped her…”

He actually threatened this woman publicly.

That’s not a joke. It’s misogynistic if not dangerous, he might have encouraged some audience members to attack her after the show.

Am I the only one who feels sick from reading that? Can you imagine the courage it took for this woman to stand up to him in front of a room full of his fans who were probably mostly buzzed or drunk and on his side?

I’ll tell you why this isn’t okay, in my opinion, even though I enjoy humor that pushes the line. It’s because joking about rape, making light of it, makes it more socially acceptable.

Especially to the young male fans who worship this Tosh moron who unfortunately hosts a very popular show called “Tosh.O” on Comedy Central, where he tells racist and sexist jokes all of the time. I’ve seen the show and it’s beyond stupid.

Point is though, I’ve spoken to young people age 12-16 who worship him. They think he’s hilarious. So, by making light of five guys raping a woman, I believe he makes it more acceptable for these boys to say, date rape a girl, or gang rape a passed out drunk girl at a party. “See, Tosh said it’s FUNNY!” Not f*cking evil, which in reality it is.

I don’t have to tell you that rape is used in war to break people’s human spirit. That’s what rape does, and of course courageous survivors of rape can heal and go on to lead amazing lives, yes, but it’s nothing to ever joke about, period. Children are raped every day in this world. I doubt it’s any man’s dream to be raped in prison, either. Let me be clear: it will never be funny.

Tosh weakly “apologized” via Twitter, writing, “…all of the context misquotes aside, i’d like to sincerely apologize. The point i was making before I was heckled is there are awful things in the world but you can still make jokes about them.” Then he added the hashtag #deadbabies (!)

Yeah, dead babies are hilarious, especially when they’re yours. I hope he never has to experience that kind of horrific loss.

Some things you can’t joke about, asshole. Not unless you want to lose your job. I hope she sues him for reckless endangerment.

– hf

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18 Responses to Tosh Rape Jokes Controversy

  1. G. F. Cook says:

    I don’t like jokes about sexual abuse or rape.

  2. Melanie says:

    I will defend his right to talk about things I hate, because if I don’t, I don’t believe in the first amendment. While I don’t agree with things like racism, sexism, sizeism, and most of the other ism’s, I would still take a bullet to defend everyone’s right to say things. My solution to the issue is this: why does he have so many fans? If no one paid to see him, he wouldn’t be all over the place and able to make jokes that all these people hear. Obviously there is an audience for this, and therein lies the problem.

    If you say Daniel Tosh can’t say these things, where do we draw the line at personal responsibility for NOT supporting people who say hateful and hurtful things? It’s a really slippery slope. And telling him what he can’t say in a comedy routine to me is just the beginning of something awfully scary. What’s next? Someone comes to my blog and tells me I can’t make fun of something? I remember not so long ago when Lenny Bruce was blacklisted for saying political things that no one liked. Much the same thing if you ask me.

    I have to wonder why this woman protested, after she more than likely bought a ticket to see him. My answer would be stop buying tickets to go see him. If you buy a ticket, then tell him what he’s doing is wrong, that makes no sense. People need to vote with their dollars and their tv ratings. That’s the only real way to make a change. You can stand outside his shows with a picket sign or protest all you want. But until we change the attitudes that find this stuff amusing, our society will continue to decline even further than it already has.

    • Heidi Ferrer says:

      I love you, but I disagree. What he said to her about five guys raping her right now was not a joke, it could have incited violence. I feel he put her in danger. I think she should sue him. And no, she didn’t buy the ticket to see him, it was a full roster of comics that night, she had never heard of him.

      • Heidi Ferrer says:

        P.S. I think her coming forward and speaking up about it and other people re-blogging it is part of the solution to help change attitudes that it’s not ok.

        • Melanie says:

          I think she should be talking about it too. But I still think I wouldn’t make him change his act. I’d make society change how we’re raising people who think this is humorous. Then, he would have no act at all to perform. He’d have to do it at home to himself in the mirror. Then no one would be offended. I’m all for defending offensive things.

          I have been to many protests where we’ve incited violence. I just grew out of that kind of stuff. Should he have said she deserved to be raped? Hell no! And I’m glad people are finally calling him out. He’s unfunny and shouldn’t even have a career.

          On the ticket, one was still purchased by her friend and he still got money for it, plain and simple.

          But I adore you and respect you and can agree to disagree. I am a molestation and a rape survivor, and I would still defend anyone’s right to make a rape joke. Otherwise I can’t expect anyone to defend my right to say you don’t have to be skinny to be healthy. That’s an unpopular thing to say too.

    • DIS says:

      he has a right to say it, but everyone has a right to say how big fo a douche he is and try to tell him that such jokes just aren’t right.

  3. Candice G says:

    Not cool. I have never liked his show. (watched 10 minutes once. I didn’t get it)

    Good to know I’m not the only one who thinks he sucks big fat donkey dick!

  4. Gina says:

    He’s a douche. He has the right to make such jokes. I have the right to call him an a-hole. As you said, Heidi, I hope that he never has to experience sexual abuse… but as a white man, he probably never will. It’s easy to make jokes about things that you can’t relate to. Wait until he has a daughter. Then it will be a different story.

  5. Eri says:

    For one of my jobs I helped to organize a series of talks on sexual violence. One of the speakers had us do an exercise. “What does each gender have to do if they go out alone or to any event.” For every 1 thing the male gender had to do, the women had to do 10…and this is reinforced throughout society. The men in that audience after the exercise expressed amazement at the sheer amount of shit that women have to go through. We have to be careful about the way we dress, speak, act, etc. Men like Tosh are ignorant, and while I will defend his right to make poor jokes, I retain the right to educate others and to not listen to him.

    Maybe one day, the rest of our society will understand, but until then, every little bit of education counts, and who knows, maybe this incident will open people’s eyes.

    • Heidi Ferrer says:

      Exactly, it’s a good thing to air it out in the media in the big picture. Hopefully it will make other men- and comics- think about what women experience. I for one have always feared being raped and it’s a part of the fabric of my life, because the possibility is always out there.

  6. Beverly says:

    Really not okay at all, I only wish that the audience would have boo’ed him off the stage. Had I been there I definitely would have started it! Seems like given his attitude on the subject I would not be surprised in fact if he had taken liberties on his own dates that were not consenting. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing its just to sad that there are individuals who do not know by given such liberties we should also think before we open our mouths.

  7. Luna says:

    I don;t get this freedom of speech rubbish, (I am in Australia), yes people have the right to speak, but not if it is ignorant, incites violence, or is downright, wrong. That is not frredom of speech, that is abusing freedom of speech. Judging by the ” I will allow anyone the freedom of speech” undertones I get, in America it must be ok to say whatever, about who ever, no matter what the consequences are and thats ok. I shake my head at this thought process, freedom of speech does not mean, freedom to encourage violence, hate, abuse, through the spoken word………or does it?

    • Heidi Ferrer says:

      Unfortunately sometimes it does, the idea being that if we censor one thing, other unpopular sentiments might be censored that are pure of intention and outcome- like abolishing slavery, etc.

  8. I Love Feminists! says:

    I love everyone’s smart comments here and Heidi, your blog is the best ever! Go girl!

  9. Heidi Ferrer says:

    Wow, you are so sweet, thank you.

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