Bad Taste Rape Threats

I was just messing around, getting next week’s Welcome to Monday working for me when I came across this whole sorry business on Twitter.

Comedians come out on twitter to defend the right to make rape jokes… yes.

And here’s the story of what happened in the woman’s own words. TRIGGER WARNING this account of what happened made me cold and uncomfortable despite the fact that I was sitting at my office desk surrounded by friendly colleagues and have never experienced a violent sexual assault.

I’ve been watching a few conversations unfold on twitter about this event and I feel pretty uncomfortable about some Australian commedians responses as well. In the vein of; “I wasn’t there so I don’t know if her side of the story is true”… hmmm sounds very like the way that rape victims are treated when they disclose their assault, most are treated like liars until proven otherwise. Sick Sad World. Below is an example of twitter discussions.

Catching up on the Daniel Tosh thing, the initial blog post gives a horrifying insight into the offense-taking mindset http://breakfastcookie.tumblr.com/post/26879625651/so-a-girl-walks-into-a-comedy-club

@TomCBallard whoa what? that scenario is super fucked up and i think that lady was pretty justified in taking offense?

@maxlavergne Oh she’s welcome to take offense. But she heckled, her version of the gig is publicized…can we really judge?

@TomCBallard his supposed response to her heckle was so bizarrely inappropriate that

@maxlavergne …to because she didn’t personally identify with them.

@TomCBallard also, having watched a couple eps of his show i 100% believe the story. his whole thing is being unpleasant and mean-spirited

@maxlavergne Oh hey, I’m not a crazy Tosh fan. But we weren’t at the gig and I think it’s dangerous to take jokes out of context

With the full fear of exposing social media commentary on my website (last time I did this I got defriended on facebook) I’m gonna plough right in with my own personal opinion. The first and foremost of which is this:

The woman in this incident did not “take offense” she was deeply uncomfortable with something being said in a public forum and called the comedian on it. For which, she was rewarded with what I would happily describe as, a tirade of violent, misogynist and frightening threats. Threats so awful that she was made to feel deeply anxious and claustrophobic and was forced to leave the situation. She herself admits that logically she knew that the chance of the threatened gang rape was slim to none, however this didn’t change the fact that she felt threatened and even just reading the article made me feel sick to my stomach.

As a feminist writer on the interwebs, I have to put up with my fair share of misogynist violent trolling. Last year, British feminist writer Sady Doyle started the hashtag #mencallmethings on twitter to out all the horrid and violent threats she gets on a daily basis from aresehole trolls. It exploded in the way that things do on twitter and suddenly all the bloggers and journalists and other public women came out with all the threats that they got daily. And this is the thing, “men” still think that rape and sexual violence threats are ok, coz you know, there’s freedom of speech n shit.  So, now because I’m not the writer that I one day will be I’m going to explain exactly why rape jokes are different to other bad taste jokes by stealing the description from someone else.

Say you knew for a fact that in any given audience there was at least one person who had been mangled in an industrial threshing accident—JUST STICK WITH ME HERE—and that we lived in a culture where industrial threshing victims were routinely blamed/shamed for their own death and/or disfigurement because they wore the “wrong” overalls, and people were afraid to report threshing accidents because the police department just employs a bunch of threshing machines in badges and little hats anyway (and everyone knows threshing machines protect their own), and historically humans were sold into marriages with threshing machines where they could just be tossed in there and chopped up willy-nilly. Oh, and also 90% of the comics in the show (yourself included) are threshing machines too, but since you’re this young, liberal brand of threshing machine with newfangled safety guards and you fervently don’t believe in mangling humans, you think it’s fair game for you to make “jokes” about idiot humans getting their faces and limbs shredded by those more sinister other threshing machines. But do you really think that isn’t going to traumatize the fuck out of some humans? Even if you’re “joking”? If you care so much about humans not getting threshed to death, then wouldn’t you rather just stick with, I don’t know, your new material on barley chaff (hey, learn to drive, barley chaff!)?

Read the full article here.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by MsElouise. Bookmark the permalink.

About MsElouise

MsElouise is a community programs worker and feminist from Melbourne Australia. She likes to travel, write, rant and make people feel uncomfortable about their assumptions. She hopes to one day be remembered for changing the world just a little bit. Right now she does this by proving that teenage girls are a higher order of beings.

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