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.