Posts Written by

Daniel Tosh and Rape Culture

There has recently been a heated debate on the internet about Daniel Tosh’s comments at a comedy show the other night.  The most common account of the incident is that during a set Tosh began making comments about rape being “hilarious.”  A woman in the audience then shouted out that rape is not funny.  She claims that Tosh then asked the audience, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now?”  The woman then left the comedy club with her friend in response to the harassment.  Later, the event was blogged about; you can read the original blog post here.  There have been numerous responses to this.  At least one group has started a petition asking for Tosh’s show, “Tosh.0,” to be taken off the air.  However, in discussing this with others and on my personal Facebook page, I’ve also noticed that many people are defending Tosh.  Tosh, for his part, has sort of apologized.  Furthermore, the club owner claims that the incident is being cast differently than it actually happened.  But, ultimately, I don’t want this to be only about Tosh, or even whether or not this incident happened in exactly the way described.  Instead, I believe that the ways in which the defenses of Tosh have played out, as well as the very idea of rape as a “joke,” are a manifestation of rape culture, and I want to explain why.

So what happened? ...