This morning, “The View’s” Joy Behar repeated a joke performed by Sarah Silverstein: “I was raped by a doctor – which is bittersweet for a Jewish girl”. It got a mild laugh from Behar’s audience.
My take is the people who laughed were responding to the alleged predilection of Jewish women for physician spouses. Thus the “sweet”.
The rest of the audience, the non-laughers, responded to the bitter. The rape itself.
Why did Behar read this particular joke? Because of the recent flurry of condemnation over Daniel Tosh’s remarks to a member of his own stand-up audience at the Laugh Factory.
Tosh had remarked that everything, even rape, could be the subject of humor. A woman in the audience objected, saying rape could never be humorous. From the stage, Tosh then reeled off this:
“Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by, like, five guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her . . ..”
Thank goodness a friend of the woman wrote about the exchange, which she had witnessed, on her Tumblr page.
What Tosh said and suggested (even tried to incite) was not a “joke”. It was an invitation to criminal assault. Invitations to criminal assault are not funny. They’re cruel and unjust.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that Tosh has not experienced rape. If he had, he would likely never, never, joke about it.
Those courageous men who testified against Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky (link to today’s damning Freeh Report here – note the phrase “total disregard for victims”) were, as boys, raped. Think they tell jokes about it?
The girls and women around the world who are trafficked and sold to pimps, forced to accept the erect penises of up to thirty men a day (which is not consensual intercourse – because they’re threatened with harm by the pimps – and thus is rape each and every time) . . . think they joke about rape?
If Tosh knew there was a contract out on him, a contract not for murder but for rape, he wouldn’t “joke” about it. If he knew that sometime, someday soon, five guys were going to corner him, jump him, hold him down . . . he wouldn’t “joke”. If he feared that this bunch of guys wouldn’t beat him, but would instead force him sexually, one after another? He would not “joke”.
Message to Daniel Tosh: there are some things only torturers “joke” about.
One of them is a bunch of five guys . . . you get the picture, Danny-boy.