Daniel Tosh, his grinning face and dead pan delivery are part of what I see and hear if I want to speak to my children in the middle of the week, when the days are shorter and school has sprung. He pretty much narrates our evenings in the fall and winter. I’m not proud of this. I wasn’t proud of this filthy secret before he told an audience member that it would be funny if she were to be hilariously gang raped.
Oh Daniel. You sooooo crossed the line. The problem with Daniel has never been what he says, though I don’t think he’s funny, I don’t give a shit what he blathers on about because I like to be allowed to blather on about whatever I want to blather on about. I enjoy my constitutional rights.
My kids told me Tosh is really making fun of people who think rape and racism are okay. But let’s be frank, that’s just so they can justify watching his brand of shit in a house where the word douchebag had to be discussed and the sexist implications within explored.
Yeah, didn’t have the same acceptability.
We’ve written about rape culture here and I didn’t really understand the range and breadth of the problem. It’s inherent acceptance of brutality against women and girls because they have vaginas. During the ferocious Tweeting wars that followed Tosh’s comment, one tweeter wrote to a woman taking issue with Tosh’s comment, that she wouldn’t be such a “cunt if she’d go get raped.” The message was tweeted by one of our neighbors, or the guy we bought gas from, or the banker we got a loan from. Who the hell knows who wrote such a hateful thing. What’s more, they were resoundingly supported by other tweeters! Other men livin- free in rape rape culture. In a rape culture paradigm, men think women are objects to obtain and debase.
To be clear: I don’t think all men, or most men, are on the rape and debase side of things. I think I’ve only knows a few of them…But as long as any of them are, women live inside a dangerous world where some men believe they are sub-human.
How do men and women navigate relationships with each other when acceptance of such disrespect exists at all? I decided I needed to find out what a young man thinks about this world we’re living in:
(I texted Gabe my seventeen year old son), Me: “Do you know any young men who think rape is no big deal or any young women who are ‘asking’ to be raped?”
Gabe: “No. The general consensus is that it’s fcked up and terrible. Also Tosh is a comedian and he said something fcked up but I don’t think it wasa big deal.”
Ha! Kid knows me well, figured out I was asking about Tosh even though I didn’t ask about Tosh! Love that he used consensus, love that he made the distinction between comedian and every day schmoe, but no big deal? That’s where he lost me. I’ve been complacent. I allowed myself to be lulled into thinking Tosh is preaching to smarter people than he is ( including my cherubs) and I’ve falsely believed that my kids understood that we live in a world with a messed up version of male/female roles, where some hating is going down. Alas, kids don’t want to look at that and who blames them? Their lives are complex enough without deconstructing comedic riffs. They watch comedians to laugh, not cry — it’s easy to ignore macro realities inside micro guffaws. I get that. I do.
Soooooooooooo, in a too-little-too-late swat at parental control, I’m planning a hostile takeover of the T.V. room: Tosh is going down, as in off.