At the beginning of Natural Selection, Rife tells a story about being in a “ratchet” Baltimore restaurant with a friend and noticing their female server had a black eye. They wondered why she wasn’t being kept back in the kitchen so diners would not see her injury. And the punchline is literally that she wouldn’t have been punched in the face if she could cook.
The blatant misogyny is disturbing, but worst of all the joke was just stale. There was nothing clever or fresh about it, as we’ve heard iterations of it for decades.
But even worse than the utterly unsurprising fact that this dude used women being abused for a LOL, is the way he used it as bait.
In the special, he told the crowd it was him “just testing the waters, seeing if y’all are gonna be fun or not”.
“I figure if we start the show with domestic violence the rest of the show should be smooth sailing.”
Unsurprisingly, the joke was slammed. The anger came mostly from women, because they are the ones most impacted by the joke but also because they are the ones tuning in to watch Rife’s special in the first place. It seems like that fact makes him feel very inadequate.
Rife also knew the joke would get people mad, because that was the point. The outrage currently reported across news sites across the world was quite literally by design. As was, presumably, his equally unfunny doubling down, which further allowed him to descend into, for want of a less cringe term, ‘anti-wokeness’.