Louis CK Appreciation Day

I really like Louis CK. He’s a comedian, and he’s mostly not made of complete fuckery! He has, of course, done fucked things, but far less so than most comedians. (And it turns out that his Tweet in praise of Daniel Tosh was not about Tosh’s rape ‘joke’*, but about how much he had laughed at Tosh.0. I am still skeptical of someone who finds Tosh.0 funny! But such is life.)

Anyway! Today I am appreciating two things about Louis CK. First, this hilarious Tonight Show interview:

[Transcript: "Well, it's a lot of pressure. We put it on ourselves. Heterosexual men worry that we'll be misidentified as gay. Like, we're the only group that cares that you know what we are. Like, there's no women that are scared someone will think they're a lesbian, I never heard that. And there's no gay guys that are like 'oooh, they'll think I'm straight'-- you never hear that. But we worry about it, and so it's limiting. It's like, there's things we can't do that might be nice, because we worried folks might think-- like, I can't throw the word 'wonderful' around. There's not really an effective heterosexual version of 'oh, man, that's wonderful, oh, dude, that's wonderful, that strip club was wonderful.' I can't tell my straight friend, I can't say to him 'I miss youuuuuuuu,' and you know if you miss someone that's how you say it, 'I miss youuuuuuu,' like sloping down. I gotta say, yeah, man, I miss you, man, derr, males.'" Jay Leno interjects: "And you have to stick to primary colors like green and blue. You can't go taupe." Louis: "Right. You can't do this [jazzhands]. And if I go see my friend, and he’s a big guy, on the couch, like this [Louis imitates guy stretched out on couch] I can’t snuggle in here.” I’m just saying, that might be nice.” And then they talk about outfits and shit. That bit’s boring.]

So yeah! A hilarious deconstruction of the way homophobia is used to gender-police straight men.

TW for rape here on out.

The second thing Louis CK has done recently that I thought was awesome was including a female-on-male rape scene in Louie, his TV show. One character, Laurie, attempts to shame Louie into having sex with her and then, when he continues to refuse, physically assaults him to get him to comply. Admittedly, having a female-on-male rape scene in a sitcom is pretty nasty, and there are a lot of people laughing at it because ahahahahahahaha it’s so absurd that a woman would rape a man. But on the other hand he managed to get a lot of people talking about the reality of male rape survivors and female rapists, which is something I think we could use a lot more of. If it raises awareness for only one person, it’s a good thing.

And, of course, it lets us see who the assholes are. Hint: if your reaction to a character being date-raped on TV is “I hope the rapist character gets her own sitcom, or at least a romantic arc!” you have failed at decent human.

  If Laurie were a man, and Louie were a woman, this would be understood as rape.

Yes. That means it’s rape. If someone is having sex they didn’t consent to, it’s rape. Men do not magically consent to sex that they have been literally physically threatened to have on account of manbrainz. They are not in a default state of consent to sex. Fuck off.

*New rule: to qualify as a rape joke it must be remotely funny.

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Comments

  1. If anyone thinks that this only happens in fiction and comedy show they can read this harrowing and explicit account of a female on male rape attempt which I found linked on Danny’s blog*: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/no-means-no-no-matter-who-says-it/

    There were a lot of comments, many of them relating similar incidents, but the comments have been purged/deleted. One of the comments said “The sad part is, no one will ever ask you what you were wearing and how much you had to drink.”
    Contemplate the amount of empathy-fail behind such a statement. It is kind of staggering that someone would think that the sad part of a rape is not that he was raped, but that he doesn’t get victim-blamed some more!

    * http://dannyscorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.no/2012/08/being-man-doesnt-mean-his-no-doesnt.html

  2. “To qualify as a rape joke it must be remotely funny.”

    This a new rule now? Really, it should have always been that way. After the Tosh controversy, I remember reading a lot of feminist blog post about how rape jokes are never funny and I understood where they were coming, but I didn’t stop laughing at rape jokes I thought were actually funny. I still laughed at Louis’ and Sarah Silverman’s and Dave Chappelle’s rape jokes. Usually because, I think, their jokes (and others who know how to navigate such a topic) are less “HAHA RAPE” and more “HAHA The absurdity of RAPE CULTURE”. Is that weird? Can I call my Pro-feminism if I laugh at rape jokes?

  3. A lot of Louis’ stuff has bought into the “men are never hot” stuff, sadly.

    • Sarah Dalton says:

      Does it? It’s been a while seen I’ve seen his stuff, but the bits had had seen had mostly bought into a “Louis is never hot” kind of thing. That’s unfortunate, thanks for pointing it out.

      • ““You know what’s really sad about men? That we can’t have a beautiful thought about a woman that isn’t followed by a disgusting thought about that same woman. We’re not capable of it. We can’t do one without the other. If you’re a woman and a guy’s ever said anything romantic to you, he just left off the second part that would have made you sick if you could’ve heard it. That’s how our brains work. ‘She’s an angel…and I want her to drown in my cum.’ That’s the closest we can get to a poetry in our hearts. We love you. We really do. We think you’re angels….and we want you to drown in our cum. We want to drench your angel wings that take you to heaven in our sticky, gooey, disgusting jism. That’s what we want. I’m sorry, that’s just the way we are.””

  4. Wait, so the bar for comedians is set so freakishly low that so long as they’re only kinda sorta awful, then that means they get gold social justice stars?

    I mean, yeah, that little Jay Leno bit is good, and some of the stuff he does in his show is “omg sooo truuue lololol” but saying he’s a paragon of anti-sexism in the world of comedy for only doing a COUPLE of shitty things but also saying a few things that hit the nail on the head is… ridiculous to me. And also kind of apologism. If you’re going to be praising the guy for a couple things that he did, then you also need to critique the crappy stuff too.

    • Yeah, there are actually comedians who knock this stuff out of the park. Admittedly, most of them are women, like Josie Long or Tina Fey.

      But the greatest comic I’ve seen is now Andrew O’Neill. Firstly, massive points for being out as a hetero transvestite. Secondly (and sadly none of his great skits are online) he can do a SEARING deadpan critique of kyriarchy at will, worked into a largely apolitical, pythonesque routine without seeming preachy. Calling out bullshit actually makes great obvservational comedy. Oh, and he has a sense of the subtly surreal that you NEVER see coming.

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