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As much as I appreciate the attempt to see “both sides” of the issue, it’s sort of missing the point. No one is claiming that you have to find funny, or listen, to comedy that you find “offensive.” Offense is, by it’s nature, subjective.

However, the issue, becomes when you don’t allow, or punish, people, for doing things for smaller and smaller offenses. In this case — do I agree with the comedian on stage about feminists going into gender studies? No. Do I think it was a funny joke? No, it was lazy, uninformed bitching. But, do I think getting on stage and yelling at him is an appropriate response? No. Do I think disinviting anyone who don’t conform to a certain ideology is appropriate? No.

Either way, perhaps more important, is the sense of entitlement and lack of humility of the people who are doing this. Is the lack of women in math and science due to “fucked up male mentorships?” It’s hardly proven. I happen to know many women in very high level math and science fields who have excellent mentors. I’m sure there are also plenty of women who are more interested in gender studies than math or science.

Even if there weren’t, there are certainly other factors. To be so certain of this fact that you would get on stage and scream at a performer to “sit the fuck down,” is bizarrely inappropriate behavior, in my opinion. I don’t think it would be appropriate at a lecture, where the person is expected to be conveying an objective opinion, let alone a comedy show where that expectation isn’t nearly as certain.

To give an analogy, it’s appropriate for me to comment on this article in the comments. It might even be appropriate for me to write an email to the Editor, or say something on your Twitter feed. It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to come into your office and tell you to “shut your fucking laptop,” or try to keep The Ringer from publishing.

I also do some local standup myself. A woman was on stage the other day, and said some pretty derogatory things about men that I didn’t personally appreciate. However, they were funny, and they spoke to her experience and a lot of other people, so I consider them to be “comedic fair game.” Many comics, male and female, seem to have worldviews that I don’t agree with, and it comes out in their comedy. Sometimes it affects whether or not I enjoy it, and whether I choose to watch/listen. That’s fine. There’s always been a line that comedians try to walk. The problem seems to be simply that, right now, that line is far too thin, and the reaction to crossing it far too strong.

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