Louis C.K. claims he was vacationing sans Internet when the story broke about Daniel Tosh’s rape “jokes.” Kind of a coincidence that he’d tweet at Tosh during the whole mess without realizing it, but hey, I’ve missed stuff like that while on vacay too. At any rate, he came on The Daily Show last night to talk about the whole Tosh douchebacle, and the interview is a mixed bag of insights and head/desk moments. Check it out:
Okay, so he kicks it off by saying that “stereotypically speaking, feminists can’t take a joke,” which, fine, “stereotypically speaking” might be true, but only because of tired jokes like that one! We can take a GOOD joke, I swear (I myself, a feminist blogger, LOLed at his comment that bloggers and comedians are both terrible). Since he himself is making a joke though, maybe he doesn’t really mean it? Oh, comedy. The more disturbing part of that sentence, to me, is that he considers Tosh’s club performance to be a joke in the first place. For the last time: Shouting that it’d be funny if someone was “raped by five guys” ISN’T EVEN A JOKE IT IS JUST AWFUL. Moving on.
The interview greatly improves when C.K. talks about rape culture, saying:
I’ve read some blogs during this whole thing that enlightened me about some things I didn’t know. This woman said how rape is something that polices women’s lives. They have a narrow corridor that they can’t go out late, they can’t go to certain neighborhoods, they can’t dress a certain way, cause they might get… so that’s now part of me now…
…but I can still enjoy a good rape joke.
Yes, he still turns it into a joke, but if we’ve learned anything from this Tosh conversation it’s that some rape jokes can be funny, they just aren’t always funny. That is the case with all potential jokes: Not always going to be funny!
I groaned a little at the end of this interview when C.K. brought it back around to the “gender mistake”:
The women are saying ‘here’s how I feel about this’ but they’re also saying ‘my feelings should be everyone’s primary concern.’ Now the men are making this mistake, they’re saying ‘your feelings don’t matter. Your feelings are wrong. Your feelings are stupid.’ If you’ve ever lived with a woman you can’t step in shit worse than that, then to tell a woman that her feelings don’t matter. To the men I say listen to what the women are saying about this. To the women I say now that we’ve heard you, you know, shut the fuck up for a minute. And let’s all get back together and, you know, kill the Jews.
Again, I know it’s a joke, but did it HAVE to be a “Men are from Mars Women Should Shut Up About Their Feelings” joke? I like Louis C.K. because (most of the time) he’s better than that.
On the one hand, we have yet another white male comedian making tired jokes about women and women’s issues. Snooze. On the other hand, we have an influential comedian discussing feminism and rape culture on a popular television show. Yay!
Do we treat this interview as a small feminist victory, or should we expect more? And can we ignore Louis C.K.’s use of the word “pussy” as an insult? Because that kinda undermines the whole “enlightenment” thing.