This is the last piece I will write on the whole Daniel Tosh thing I promise. Whenever a joke is told, someone gets offended. Just because I might perform comedy doesn’t mean I am not a human being. It doesn’t mean the second I step behind the mic I become a robot. Sometimes things cause me discomfort, get under my skin. Does that make me stupid and unworthy? No, it makes a living and breathing person.
I was nineteen when I started comedy in the city. The memories of the clubs I went to, being illegal in all of them to drink but swilled Jack anyway, race through my mind. In my memory, I still hear the voices of my male comrades cracking rape joke after rape joke, and then another one about pushing the woman down the stairs. Sometimes I laughed but I found them disgusting. These guys being guys frankly made me ill.
Veteran male comics, some with big TV credits and a huge underemployment problem, would attempt to make me another hole to stick it in by attempting to get me drunk. Sexual predators of the worst kind, they would lure me into dark corners assuming I was stupid because I was young and female. I screwed them all in the way they didn’t want, taking the liquor and not doing their pleasure. They would have paid me in slimy quarters anyway. Now they fade into obscurity and I am getting ready to release my first book.
I still smell their breath and hear their words, “I think you are brilliant.” They tell me this as I die the death of an experienced comedian onstage. I just want to hear something nice, even if it is a lie. But the great white and his cigarette, cheap beer breath has me in his clutches. I am the fish ready to meet her end as he takes me in his jaws. They didn’t write the part about the fish fighting back. I tell him to get fucked. My career means too much to be his ten cent fuck rag. His wife or girlfriend or stupid foolish woman on the mend can spread her legs and as she continues to stupidly pay his bills and sit dumbly at his shows pretending she doesn’t know he cats around.
Sure, my life is going well. I will probably be more successful than any one of those idiots. Do I want to spit everytime I see their pictures somewhere? Yes, I am human and I know in my heart who they are.
When I started doing standup, there were women who complained about the normalization of sexual violence in comedy on message boards. One woman comedian, more of a hippie eater granola type who did slam poetry sometimes, said, “Don’t tell them to stop. Think with your feet. When they perform go get a drink or take a long trip to the bathroom. Or better yet, if you smoke, do that. They will get the message when they see you leave. It speaks louder than words.”
Sometimes this woman did scare me. She was blunt. However, she got it. At the end of the day we have our triggers and we must protect ourselves. Not just as women but as people.
I write often about the abusive relationship I was in. This is because I want to educate people that relationship violence as well as sexual violence are never acceptable. I also want to tell young women they deserve better to be kicked, punched and belittled by some man who would never fight with another man because he would get his ass beat.
I did my routine about my ex. There were male bookers who told me flat out I was too bitter despite the fact it killed over and over again with audiences of both genders. Did I strike a nerve? Was I not a nice girl ready to be pushed in the dirt and bloodied by you? And now these same bookers say I violate Daniel Tosh’s freedom of speech by saying what he said was wrong. Yet they fell they can remark about me being too bitter and man hating. I accept the criticisms of these males. They are stupid and simple. I wrote a book and they can’t read. We are hardly on the same page.
Yet I struck a nerve with them. Why, because they too are human. They don’t shut on and off as much as they want to. No one does.
Many of the same people who stuck up for Tosh in my thread would yell and scream if someone spoke about race. Suddenly the issue of first amendment wouldn’t even matter ,especially if their race was in question. Why, because they are human. Undeniably, and when it hits close to home it hits close to home.
Joke isn’t funny anymore.
There are times when walking past a strip club makes me ill because my ex who used to hit me dated strippers en masse before we met. There are times when I hear certain rap songs where women are referred to as hos where I get so sick I just want to vomit or punch the man who produced it. Then I tell myself it’s not about me. I take a different route telling myself the women swinging from the pole, they dumped my ex and perhaps one day we could all exchange stories about how he rolled us for money. The rap songs, there is always another station. Plus I met Snoop Dogg and he was cool.
Since I was fourteen I have been preyed on by men old enough to be my father. Did I deserve their advances because I was vulnerable? According to Daniel Tosh I must have. It must have been what I was wearing. It must have been that I was walking the wrong way. He is just a man therefore he probably wasn’t culpable. Therefore, rape and sexual violence are a punchline. Tell those jokes, but don’t expect me to laugh or support you. They hit close to home. Perhaps Mr. Tosh should have been a defense lawyer. He could support sexual violence, humiliate women, and keep those like himself on the street.
He could fight for their rights. Some activists would argue these animals that victimize women because they aren’t physically as strong should be treated with decency. Ted Bundy was someone’s child. He was human too.
I am a person. That doesn’t go away no matter how much I want to put her in the drawer. I put May in the suitcase but she is a puppet. I can’t be silenced and housed in the same way when someone gets sick of hearing my feelings or I get sick of feeling. I also did my time in hell as a survivor of dating violence and stalking. I would be a fool to let Mr. Tosh upset me anymore.
I already wished testicular cancer on him. While it would kill him slowly, my grandfather also battled this and it is a sin to wish it on anyone.
Maybe I will pray Daniel Tosh has a daughter. It will be cruel, unusual, and he will pay for his views forever.
Or maybe he will turn into a decent human being who doesn’t advocate sexual violence.
After all, he is human.
He can be redeemed.
Or so I would like to hope.