Trigger warning: this post contains mentions of rape. Trigger warning on comments in the link at Buzzfeed.
It all started with a post called “So a Girl Walks into a Comedy Club….” shared on Tumblr July 10th. A person who normally uses her tumblr to share baking recipes instead decided to use that platform as a way to call attention to a more serious issue. An unnamed friend of hers was at a comedy club, and wrote her account of events. Read the entire post for yourself, but this is the key part of what she described happening:
Tosh then starts making some very generalizing, declarative statements about rape jokes always being funny, how can a rape joke not be funny, rape is hilarious, etc. I don’t know why he was so repetitive about it but I felt provoked because I, for one, DON’T find them funny and never have. So I didnt appreciate Daniel Tosh (or anyone!) telling me I should find them funny. So I yelled out, “Actually, rape jokes are never funny!”
After I called out to him, Tosh paused for a moment. Then, he says, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…” and I, completely stunned and finding it hard to process what was happening but knowing i needed to get out of there, immediately nudged my friend, who was also completely stunned, and we high-tailed it out of there. It was humiliating, of course, especially as the audience guffawed in response to Tosh, their eyes following us as we made our way out of there. I didn’t hear the rest of what he said about me.
She then asked to speak to a manager and asked for her money back, which she did not receive. Her main point, though, was not about getting one person punished for one statement. Her point seemed to be the desire to get the message across that joking about rape to a room full of strangers can often mean reminding people of their own past violent experiences, and remind all people that we live in a world that all too often allows jokes about sexual assault to go unchallenged. And that it is not only acceptable, but funny, to mock the people who speak out.