thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
posted by [personal profile] thefairymelusine at 01:47pm on 12/10/2009 under ,
I would like to point out that this post comes after conversations with men I like, respect, and care about. Whom I don't think are inherently sexist, or terrible people. But really, I am incredibly saddened by having to say this, which has been said better by many other people on the internet.

I'm not going to go into the individual ones have prompted this post

Rape jokes- they're just not okay. They not using humour as a defence, or acknowledging how terrible rape is in a productive way, or making people happier through use of humour. they are not engaging into a meaningful dialogue. Most frequently they are acknowledging rape as part of an accepted power dynamic, play into ideas of rape as somehow normal/ to be expected and women as vulnerable, treat rape as a compliment, buy into the idea of rape as punishment, or just treat rape as something that doesn't happen, or doesn't concern us.

It does concern us. And if you want to engage in a dialogue then there are other ways to do it, and if you want to make people happier through laughter, I'm fairly sure there are other ways to do that too. There is a whole world full of things about which you can joke, many of which are not buying into or supporting tools of oppression of anyone.

And yes, I'm saying this because I'm a woman, and because I've been made feel unsafe in my body for long enough, and the idea of people laughing at that hurts, and the idea of people laughing at the reality of rape hurts far far more. Because you don't know whether the people you're talking to have been raped. You don't know whether they have been relentlessly conditioned to fear doing the wrong thing and being raped, (though if they're women in our society, they probably have).

And I'm being a coward and posting this somewhere that I know the people who made the jokes won't read, because I don't want to be accused of being oversensitive, or offensive. But when I explain to people in detail my problem with rape jokes, and their response is "I won't make them in front of you then" followed by continuing to make Rohypnol jokes in front of me, or about the technical ease of raping a woman because of her physical vulnerability, I am filled with an impotent rage.

It's not risky humour, it's infantile, misogynist and wrong, and really really distressing.

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