When debating rape jokes it can be very tempting to jump to the ultimatum: jokes about rape are NEVER funny. Period.
Jokes about rape are SOMETIMES funny. (I say this as a crisis counselor and a survivor of sexual assault.) What makes a joke about rape funny is the same thing that makes any sort of joke about a difficult topic funny: the direction of the joke. If the joke is making fun of rapists, or people who support rape culture it can be a sharp and powerful tool to fight rape while also making people laugh.
If the butt of the joke is the survivor of assault, on the other hand? Not funny. Not ever.
I don’t usually self-promote here, but in light of the recent Daniel Tosh rape joke bullshit a blog post I wrote awhile back seems VERY relevant once again:
Feel free to use the examples within to help strengthen your points if this story comes up in your life. I know I’ve had to use them several times already today *sigh*
It’s making me angry.
“Women feel like their feelings should be everyone’s feelings”
“Feminists can’t take a joke”
“I actually learned a lot from this incident. This one female blogger wrote about how women feel unsafe even going out by themselves at night because they’re afraid. I had never considered that before, and now I understand that and that’s a part of me. But I can still enjoy a good rape joke, so…”
Rape is a part of my life. It’s a part of a number of my friends’ lives. It’s a part of the lives of many people (men, women, and the like), whether they themselves have been sexually assaulted or someone they know has.
Hearing “comedians” make light of it is hurtful and triggering. I said in an earlier post that sometimes I have mini panic attacks. This is almost one of those times. I’m trying to keep myself calm so my family doesn’t notice. Okay?
(And what hurts even more is that my dad was laughing during this segment)
It’s not funny. It has never been funny. It will never be funny.
Thank you for putting words to my incoherent anger :-/ At least now I don’t have to feel conflicted about no longer liking Louis CK.