Why Isn't Rape Ever Funny?

Because chances are, you're telling your hi-larious rape joke to somebody who has been raped. And that re-victimizes them. It actively causes harm. And that's not okay.

Also, when you joke about rape, you create a culture in which rapists - who live and walk among us - know that their actions most likely won't see any kind of consequence. They have their desires affirmed. They get to actually talk about what they do, so long as they put it as a joke. And then people laugh. And they feel safe. And then they go rape people. And that's not okay, either.

This is not about being Politically Correct. Triggering someone's traumatic response to what is generally agreed is the most traumatic experience you can have has nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do with being a decent person who doesn't want to hurt people.

So just don't. And don't laugh along when someone else does. It's like a tiny, tiny thing you can do to fight rape. So let's all do it.


Unknown said...

I agree that joking about rape in the presence of anybody who may be affected by it is a heartless thing to do. However, humour is how we deal with things too abhorrent to talk about normally - that's why there were Fritzl jokes as soon as the news broke - we just don't know how else to deal with something so atrocious.

I still don't know where I stand on this issue.

Unknown said...

I agree so, so much.

I read this post today, along the same lines. Fantastic.

Unknown said...

Anna - I think this might be one of those things where only people who have been raped are allowed to joke about it as a coping mechanism? Kind of how it's really only okay for black people to use the n word, and even that's sort of iffy.

Rape jokes are so prevalent, though, and usually in the same tone as dead baby jokes or racist jokes. "Oh! That's so bad it's funny! This is mostly about schadenfreude! Let's laugh at the pain of rape because it's a joke and we think it's not real and suffering is funny!" That's what I find thoroughly NOT OKAY. Especially in the context of 1 in 4.

On living, loving, learning, and fucking with the materials I've got at hand.

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