I saw Marc Maron several years ago at a free bar show. He was going on about why women suck, how they all deserved to get raped, and other things that as a woman who is not easily offended was mortified to hear someone saying. I looked around to see the only other 4 girls there also with the same look. The girls and I all strangers started to make our way to the back of the room. There we started a discussion about how sad he seemed and breaking down why it wasn’t funny to us. By the end of the set we had a real talk going of about 20 ppl including guys that had been guffawing at the jokes only minutes earlier. I agree in free speech. Mostly so I know who are the shitty ppl to avoid. Maybe we should of heckled and tried to start a discussion with him. I think we understood Maron’s intentions of shock, but was more bothered by the audience of indie 20/30 something white boys (our dates, potential mates, and so on…) and how enthusiastically they were laughing and hooting was much more upsetting. So I feel the discussion felt more of an accomplishment than a onstage fight with Maron. Though I wouldn’t of faulted any of us for trying to discuss it with him.
Also though comedians take on a task of venting their issues, insecurities, and fuck ups to a crowd on stage for money. So you are watching them work through this. Which I find interesting, but at the end of the day I don’t feel you have the right to personally verbally attack someone. Which is the case with Tosh over Maron and something I also witnessed Louis CK do on his show, Louie. I found it amazing I hadn’t heard of the personal rape attack before on the show. It seemed like such a big deal to show him personally verbally attacking a woman with different rape scenarios. Though like Maron to me came off as an injured ego kind of defense in the context of the show. Louie who addresses how he uses the term faggot and other “edgy” things. Never discussed how he might of been wrong in the episode, but why her heckling was wrong. I was a little disappointed in the missed chance for dialogue, but not surprised. For comedians though are we at a point if that is the show you are gonna give then honestly people should be warned or sign a waiver ahead of time. I guess the discussion now is are we signing up for any and all abuse if we walk into a comedy show. Is there a verbal agreement that if you as an audience member cross an undefined line you are setting yourself up for what you get?
I understand men like Tosh and Maron and CK don’t grasp how real an everyday threat rape is to a woman. They don’t have to worry about who is behind them at every moment on a empty block or when random men lean into close to you to say things that boyfriends would never say. I have never been physically raped. I do feel that I have been verbally raped by many and often. By moments like cat calling, verbal declarations of what men would do with me, and yes, even just looks. Rape is not mostly about sex as I’m sure we all know, but about power. I am a 31 year old woman that feels my sexuality and love of my tattoos has been taken away from me partially by things listed above that happen to me on a mostly daily basis. Words are real, they might not seem tangible, but they have power and do real damage. I consider myself smart, head strong, not easily manipulated, and powerful. It hurts me greatly every time someone says something to me that makes me question myself or intentions. The fact that a stranger can take away a piece of my security and strength in a matter of seconds kills me inside. I think a lot of people (men) can’t understand something like that. Especially men like Tosh, and thus the tongue lashing he felt that woman probably deserved for taking away his moment, his 10 minutes to shine and be the center of attention. Intention speaks a lot for a moment.
Maybe if I felt Tosh was actually trying to be funny I would support his right to say what he wants. I feel his actions were the act of trying to regain power and the upper hand in a situation he felt he was losing control of. It’s just 1 and my viewpoint that I kind of wanted to put out there. I will continue to read others and get as many sides as possible. I think it’s a good and important discussion that needs to be had in public.