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Sunday News Round-Up, a Tosh Entree with a Side of Miscellany

July 15, 2012
  • Geek Feminism has a nice round-up of interesting posts, especially on women in science and tech, and I appreciate being included in it. I also really appreciated being included in Shakesville’s Wednesday Blogaround.

  • [trigger warning henceforth, because all this here is Tosh/rape-related]
    There have been a ton of good comments and posts related to the Tosh rape “joke.” Here are a few I like:

  • Christy Cardinal writes about getting rape threats just for posting on the subject. I’m linking it to show, again, that this is widespread. I got them last time I posted on him.
  • This time, I got a comment that I’m “unrapeable in my hideousness” and how I probably “couldn’t find” 5 guys to rape me, much less one – I’d like to just point folks to this item at Shakesville, “Rape is not a Compliment.”
  • Melissa McEwan at Shakesville has several great posts.

    One: Daniel Tosh is a Rape Culture Enforcer

    Daniel Tosh’s defenders are not clueless and do not need me to educate them. I refuse to credit as ignorance what is an entrained, practiced, deliberate enforcement of the rape culture. If you incite rape, you are an enforcer of rape culture. If you argue that inciting rape is harmless, you are an enforcer of rape culture. I’m not going to pretend there’s any debate about that.

    Two: On “Getting Over It”

    Getting over it, in the way it is used by rape joke defenders, rape apologists, and silencing bullies of various stripes, is really an exhortation to pretend it never happened. To stop having and expressing feelings about rape. Which is about other people’s comfort, not about a survivor’s needs.

    Finally: Some Further Observations – pithy commentary in Tweet round-up form (omitting the wishes she’d be raped that Melissa also experienced)

    Congratulations, people who defend rape jokes and argue they’re “harmless.” You are the climate change deniers of social justice.

    An argument that no one, ever, should react out loud to unexpected rape content elides that many survivors react in ways they can’t control.

  • At CultureMap Austin: “Your job as a comedian is to take us through pain, transcend pain, transform pain. And if you don’t get that, you are a fucking bully, and I’ve got zero time for bullies.”
  • Lots of folks have been talking about how it *is* possible to craft a funny and appropriate rape joke. I can get behind this idea, that when your joke is able to comfort the afflicted, or skewers the ideas and perpetrators that foster rape culture *instead of rape victims,* it can be amusing and inoffensive. Kate Harding rounds up “15 Rape Jokes That Work,” and Lindy West at Jezebel writes on “How to Make a Rape Joke.” I could, however, also see how survivors of rape my still not appreciate even these sorts of jokes being sprung on them.
  • I also like this reminder in Lindy’s post: “If people don’t want to be offended, they shouldn’t go to comedy clubs? Maybe. But if you don’t want people to react to your jokes, you shouldn’t get on stage and tell your jokes to people.” Yup. I’ve seen/received many remarks this week along the lines of “you’re just keeping him on the air by drawing attention” and “going to see them wasn’t mandatory, so don’t complain.”

    The logical conclusions to this kind of thinking are that a) we should never ever complain about anything, because it will just encourage more of it (this is like anti-logic – is it Opposite Day?), b) it’s individuals reacting *against* things who keep them around, rather than whole cultures invested in supporting and applauding the things (double plus anti-logic), and c) we should never, ever complain about anything that was’t mandatory, because our having made a choice negates the usefulness or fairness of sharing bad outcomes. Yeah, tell that last one to restaurant reviewers. And art and music critics. And Yelp users and Amazon commenters and just bloggers who share their experiences, good and bad. Yeah, who are any of these people to share their legitimate responses? And people who write letters to their legislators about egregious proposals. Everybody, just stay quiet and passive, and the bad things will go away. Yeah, right. That is some invested-in-the-status-quo bullshit right there, my friends.

  • I also had someone ask in a Tweet if I would hate her if she made a ‘she was asking for it’ joke about her going to see Tosh and Dane Cook. And then there was some follow up about how that was not a “rape” joke, and people just didn’t get the “nuance” or “subtlety” or some shit. Nah. When you use a phrase commonly used against rape victims to deny them justice in the context of a conversation about a comic encouraging audience members to rape someone, blaming her for being there in the first place, we can all see what you did there. I didn’t want to call out the person, but just to say this is the kind of bullshit this conversation has stirred up, in addition to actual threats of harm, for many, many people who have been writing about it. Rape culture: it’s a continuum.
  • Meanwhile, Comedy Central ran a Tosh.0 marathon yesterday.
  • Unrelated but within the trigger warning: I accidentally saw the rape scene in the Sopranos this week as well. It is very explicit. If you’d like to avoid it yourself, it’s season 3, episode 4, “Employee of the Month.”
  • Other stuff:

  • If you’re in Atlanta and have the spare cash, there’s an event happening later this week, Breastfeeding Summit: Reclaiming an African American Tradition.
  • A Mississippi judge had continued to block implementation of a law that might close the state’s only abortion clinic. On Friday, the judge ruled that the law could take effect, but the clinic must be given more time to comply with the new (not-at-all-evidence-or-reality-based) restriction without penalty. I would personally love to see someone put in a public records request for any/all government communications between legislators sponsoring/actively supporting the bill and the folks at the hospitals who make the admitting privileges decisions; I would not be surprised if there’s at least one Rep or Senator in MS clueless and arrogant enough to put some collusion in an email.
  • At the Skeptical Teacher: Misogyny in the Skeptical Movement: “Don’t Feed the Trolls” Panel from SkepchickCon 2012
  • At AMA’s Virtual Mentor site, a post on informed consent and off-label uses of drugs. In other words, do you think you have a right to be told when your doctor is prescribing a medicine that has not been FDA-approved for the reason you’re getting it? Were you even aware that your doc may feel under no obligation to tell you that a drug you’re getting for one thing may have only been researched and approved for something else entirely?
  • Couple of new things at Our Bodies Our Blog: Guttmacher Releases New Report on 2012 State Abortion, Family Planning and Sex Ed Legislation, and Editorial on Race and Reproductive Health by Carole Joffe and Willie Parker. Also, don’t forget to participate in the Our Bodies, Our Votes campaign!

Random idea of the week: Our local bus system is holding public hearings about a proposed BRT line and other upcoming changes to services. The BRT hearings are scattered around the community on different days, so for some folks that would mean taking (and paying for) even more buses to get out there and back to attend. In my ideal world? Since most bus riders are forced through a downtown hub and all bus lines go there, all meetings on the system should take place at the hub – and there should be free rides to the hub all day long to encourage both participation and ridership.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2012 11:40 am

    I am so sorry for the comments you and the other eloquent ladies have had to put up with. :-(

    Also, AGH COMEDY CENTRAL!!! Way to react to actual anger and petitions against Tosh by running a marathon.

    This is why I hate tv.

  2. July 15, 2012 5:00 pm

    That was why I stopped allowing the Sopranos in my home.

    • July 16, 2012 8:29 am

      I had no idea that was coming – Joel was watching a few episodes on Netflix, and I had decided to go read in the recliner where he was. Surprise! Argh.

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