Rape Jokes are Boorish and Triggering, But Here’s Why I Hate Them:

Rape is an expression of the status quo. It embodies the violent, dehumanizing rape culture that endangers everyone but acts, specifically, as a tool of oppression. And, circularly enough, rape culture supports rape.

This puts rape-as-a-prevalent-cultural-phenomenon in a pretty fucking precarious position. Because combating rape culture prevents rape, which thereby cuts back on the support for rape culture, in turn preventing more rapes–all due to the circular construction of oppression.

Meanwhile, a joke/funny anecdote/comedic sketch, for the most part, can be boiled down to a basic, unsubstantiated sentiment.

  • I hate a dead mathematician named Kurt Godel.
  • Tumblr makes you like people you don’t know; facebook makes you hate people you’ve already met.
  • Women belong in the kitchen.
  • Kristen Wiig is really excited about working at target (TELL ME YOU’VE SEEN THOSE SKETCHES).

The sentiment is either funny because it’s “ridiculous,” or funny because it’s “true.”

So it stands to reason that when you make a joke that isn’t just “about rape” in general, but is coming from your personal acceptance of rape culture, you are implying –assuring yourself, even–that the premise of rape culture is true. Which makes you a rape-apologist and total douchebag.

And, moreover, jokes like that aren’t just a strident expression of rape culture; their practical purpose is to relieve everyone present of the responsibility to challenge rape culture. People are raped. Every day. As a systematic expression of hatred.

It’s funny cuz it’s true.

1 Comment

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One response to “Rape Jokes are Boorish and Triggering, But Here’s Why I Hate Them:

  1. denelian

    here because someone linked this at the blog “Forever in Hell”, because i was talking with other commenters about *WHY* rape jokes aren’t funny.

    you said it better than i did, i fewer words, and i’m glad this was linked! thank you. if you don’t mind, i’m going to add this argument to my arsenal against rape jokes. [i made your point about it's funny because it's either ridiculous or it's true, but again, you used fewer words to form a better definition. specifically, we were talking about WHY jokes about other forms of violence - like murder or suicide - can be funny, but rape jokes never are. and it's because MOST jokes about other forms of violence focus on the absurd; they're funny because they're ridiculous. but rape jokes are *supposed* to be funny because they're true - but it's BECAUSE they're true that they're not funny.]

    thank you VERY much for writing this post!

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