Note: this blog is going to talk about a very sensitive topic of rape, and rape jokes. I recommend read it with an open mind. Failure to do that, and you’re only wasting your time, not mine.
Laci Green has said it. Men and women have said it. Talk shows and news reporters, people on Twitter and Facebook and Youtube, and just about every 3rd wave Feminist out there has said it:
“Rape is not funny!”
And this is true. Rape isn’t funny. Forcing a person into any kind of sex act isn’t funny, it’s a crime, and it should be reported ASAP. It’s not OK.
HOWEVER…JOKES about rape are perfectly fine. 100% OK. – For serious. I can feel it already:
- The sudden moment of surprise that I said that.
- An increase in blood pressure
- a strong urge to kick my ass
- an even stronger urge to blow up my twitter, and just let me have it.
If you are mad, and choose now to stop reading and act out, congrats on being closed-minded to the point you straight up REFUSE to accept or consider a different point of view. Well done.
If you are still reading this, thank you for keeping an open mind. If you make it to the very end, you’ll get a pretty funny reward. One thing that has always been true about comedy: You always take shots from people who just don’t get the joke. It’s what comes with being a comedian, or having a sense of humor. Now even though this subject can cover any kind of joke, I’m going to keep it to the rape jokes, because those seem to get the most funk nowadays.
Now if you are still reading this, you might be thinking that , in a sense that this blog is supporting this thing called “Rape Culture”. A few things that we need to get out of the way about rape jokes, and there alleged “supporting” of “Rape Culture”. Let’s clear the air on that notion:
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “RAPE CULTURE”. IT DOESN’T REALLY EXIST AT ALL. STOP PURPORTING THAT IT’S A REAL THING THAT IS GAINING GROUND.
If it’s one thing that can be said about rapists, they are opportunistic assholes. There is no single scientific theory that conclusively explains the motivation for rape; the motives of rapists can be multi-factorial and are subject to debate. One thing for sure, is that there isn’t a group of people out there, who get together and dream about raping women – that’s just crazy, and telling a joke about rape isn’t going to exacerbate the problem. People are not going to get raped because someone made fun of it in some way.
Like I said before, any topic and subject can be made into a joke. Sometimes you’ll laugh at a joke, and sometimes you won’t. It doesn’t mean that you should and must stand on a soapbox and protest your ass off, all the while doing nothing else.
A joke is a joke. Nothing more.
Another thing that we should get out of the way on rape jokes: laughing at one doesn’t make you a bad person. It means that you get the joke, you found it funny, and it tickled your funny bone. That’s was a joke is. That’s the main purpose of a joke, the ultimate goal in its existence – to make you laugh. A joke is going to have shock value in it sometimes, it’s going to make you say “you did not just say that” as you are trying not to choke on the drink you were in the middle of enjoying as you got the punchline.
In addition, we laugh at these kind of jokes all the time, mainly because they are told well. Don’t believe me? I can prove it: Below is a clip from an episode of “Family Guy”, in which Peter gets raped…by a bug.
See? I’m pretty sure that you laughed your ass off, or maybe got a chuckle. It’s ok if you did. It’s funny (to me at least), and if you find it funny too, that’s ok. The joke did what it was intended to do. Mission accomplished.
What’s That? You are still not convinced? OK. Let me point out another thing about Rape jokes – the reason some people laugh and some don’t, is based solely on the the eye of the beholder. Something being funny, or scary, or gross, sexy, evil, good, awesome, the list goes on…its based on one’s perception of what is and isn’t appealing. It’s the reason people are and aren’t ok with these jokes, and believe it or not, its not the main problem with rape jokes. Not by a longshot. I’ll explain what the actual problem is at the end of the blog…and yes, there is more to talk about.
The main issue people have against these kind of jokes, is that they are offending the very people they have actually been raped. I can tell you right now that yes, that IS an honest, highly valid and fair reason to not like these jokes. But, that is also the reason it’s unfair to disapprove these jokes right off.
While it is true that there are people who have been raped, and are trying hard to live with that fact (and I do feel for you ), it’s not the fault or responsibility of the person telling the joke. No one in the world is psychic – a comedian can’t read your mind anymore than I can about what others have dealt with, and what they are going through. That is not the point of telling a joke – it’s not about sparing anyone’s feelings or being sensitive to them. The goal of any joke is to make you LAUGH, and this is achieved by making fun of something. And you can find humor in anything. Just don’t have a shitty delivery.
Comedians get a ton of flack for the jokes they tell nowadays. Yes, sometimes they’ll miss the mark, but not every joke they tell is bad. It’s all about the delivery. Poor delivery = poor joke. And if they tell a poor joke, THEN you have a reason to be upset, although not by much. Let’s prove it again with yet another rape joke, from “Family Guy”. Peter, yet again gets violated – but this time, by a bull – and by Meg with a loofah.
Now, there might be a possibility that somehow, someone may have been violated with a foreign object in the shower (Meg and the loofah), but here is the question: is it the responsibility of the creator of those jokes to take responsibility for not being sensitive to rape victims?
The answer is NO – it’s really not. We cannot blame entertainment for society Ills (That says ‘ILLS’, btw. It’s not a typo). As I have said before, its easy to blame a TV show, a movie, video game, or any form of entertainment for the reason things are so fucked up, but the truth is that we, the people of society, mess each other up.
Society is to blame for society’s problems, not our entertainment, and that includes Rape jokes. Telling/listening/laughing at a joke is not going to make anything worse or better. Like I said before – A joke is a joke.
This is something that I learned a long time ago, from someone who genuinely knew what the fuck he was talk about: The late comedian George Carlin. I managed to find the video clip of him talking about rape on YouTube. It’s down below, and I strongly encourage you to watch it from start to finish.
Now I might be a little off on the time, but I believe that this skit was done in the late 1980’s, early 1990’s. This skit is 9+ MINUTES long, and joking about rape. Did you hear anyone in the audience booing and fussing over what he said? Did you hear anyone say “That’s not funny”?
NO. It was a good series of jokes with perfect delivery. Time to ask yourself some questions:
- Did you get raped after hearing those jokes?
- Did it make you want to rape someone?
- Do you have a newfound desire to rape someone?
I won’t be surprised if the answers to all of those questions are a resounding “NO”. The only reason anyone should ever not like a joke, is if the delivery sucks. And yes, you and others like you are doing to not certain jokes, but its not your place or charge to tell people that it’s not ok to laugh at the joke. Humor is in the eye of the beholder, and every eye is different. If you don’t like a joke, that’s fine. If a joke offends you, just walk away and find something else.
It’s ok to laugh at a good rape joke. You are not hurting anyone, or making things in society worse in any way when you do.
To end this blog, I’ll go with this one last video that I‘ve always found funny as fuck. And yes, it’s from ‘Family Guy’. Feel free to take from it what you will. Thanks for reading.