The point about not telling raping jokes because they enable and preserve rape culture is to never tell them at all, not counter rape jokes by telling more rape jokes. Why is this a difficult concept?
To be honest, I think it’s possible to tell a rape joke that is both insightful, thoughtful and tragic. Comedy and satire is not always about a guffaw and I do believe that one of it’s great advantages, is that it can get people to go to a very scary place with little resistance. To consider aspects of life they wouldn’t otherwise. Rape jokes can and often do veer into incredibly distasteful territory, but what I’m saying is: they don’t have to.
Which is not to say that I think anybody needs to tolerate a rape joke. But I think calling something wrong across the board 100% of the time, does a disservice to what satire/comedy can actually accomplish.
That article is actually really disturbing and terrifying and as such shows just how awful Daniel Tosh really is. How disgusting what he was advocating was. In this case, I honestly think this piece satire does not preserve rape culture, but actually is actively battling against it.
6% of college age men, slightly over 1 in 20, will admit to raping someone in anonymous surveys, as long as the word “rape” isn’t used in the description of the act.
6% of Penny Arcade’s target demographic will admit to actually being rapists when asked.
A lot of people accuse feminists of thinking that all men are rapists. That’s not true. But do you know who think all men are rapists?
They really do. In psychological study, the profiling, the studies, it comes out again and again.
Virtually all rapists genuinely believe that all men rape, and other men just keep it hushed up better. And more, these people who really are rapists are constantly reaffirmed in their belief about the rest of mankind being rapists like them by things like rape jokes, that dismiss and normalize the idea of rape.
If one in twenty guys is a real and true rapist, and you have any amount of social activity with other guys like yourself, really cool guy, then it is almost a statistical certainty that one time hanging out with friends and their friends, playing Halo with a bunch of guys online, in a WoW guild, or elsewhere, you were talking to a rapist. Not your fault. You can’t tell a rapist apart any better than anyone else can. It’s not like they announce themselves.
But, here’s the thing. It’s very likely that in some of these interactions with these guys, at some point or another someone told a rape joke. You, decent guy that you are, understood that they didn’t mean it, and it was just a joke. And so you laughed.
And, decent guy who would never condone rape, who would step in and stop rape if he saw it, who understands that rape is awful and wrong and bad, when you laughed?
That rapist who was in the group with you, that rapist thought that you were on his side. That rapist knew that you were a rapist like him. And he felt validated, and he felt he was among his comrades.
You. The rapist’s comrade.
And if that doesn’t make you feel sick to your stomach, if that doesn’t make you want to throw up, if that doesn’t disturb you or bother you or make you feel like maybe you should at least consider not participating in that kind of humor anymore…
Well, maybe you aren’t as opposed to rapists as you claim.
This is something that happened to a friend of mine in her own words.
“So, on Friday night my friend and I were at her house and wanted to get out and do something for the evening. We brainstormed ideas and she brought up the idea of seeing a show at the Laugh Factory. I’d…
I already had an incredibly strong dislike for Daniel Tosh, and now I will admit, I actually hate him. He is a despicable human being. And rape jokes are never, ever funny, in any fucking context, made by any individual. They just help reinforce and perpetuate a culture of sexual violence.
Movie Trailer of the Day: A female soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan currently is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. The number of assaults in the last decade is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands.
This epidemic of rape within the U.S. military is exposed in The Invisible War, an “incendiary” new investigative documentary from Academy Award-nominated director Kirby Dick.
While the poor conditions that prevail in U.S. prisons and jails undercut the promise of rehabilitation, the likelihood of rape makes a mockery of the idea. It is long past time for prisoners to be able to serve their time behind bars without fear of sexual abuse.
Gender Against Men exposes the hidden world of sexual and gender-based violence against men in the conflicts of the Great Lakes Region. The film demonstrates how male identities are under attack and how rape when used as a weapon of war affects husbands, fathers, brothers and the community.
Chances are, this morning, that you’ve seen the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control statistics on sexual violence and domestic violence. Most notably, you’ve probably seen the new statistic that almost 1 in 5 women have experienced rape in their lifetimes.
That’s a terrifying statistic, though not a surprising one to those of us who have been involved in sexual violence work for some time. In light of this undeniably already awful news, it may seem cruel to point out that the reality is even worse than it initially appears from this soundbite. But I also think it’s necessary.
Firstly, I think it’s imperative to note that these new statistics are inherently cissexist. Definitions in this report assume that women have vaginas and men have penises. There are no individuals who are neither men nor women. Whether any trans* folks were interviewed for this survey is unclear. They may have been disqualified from participation or had their experiences filed under the incorrect statistics. Trans* folks are mentioned exactly once in the full 124 page National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010 Summary Report (pdf); it is simply stated that services specifically for transgender people should be designed, with no accompanying information on their experiences or how they have or have not been included in this study. It is almost certain, in other words, that these statistics do not tell us anything about rates of violence against “women” and “men” but rather cis women and cis men.
Secondly, the definition of rape that is used in the NISVS is in one way unconventionally broad. In several other ways, the definition of rape being used is also woefully incomplete. The full sexual violence definitions used or this study appear below.
I amended the title up there because it was actually incorrect. One in 5 women in this study reported rape. A far greater number reported sexual assault that did not meet the study’s definition of rape. Actual report is here if anyone wants to check it out. It should also be noted this was a telephone survey that only included people 18 and older. Given the high number of victims who are under the age of 18, we can’t view these stats as exhaustive. But they’re important to note anyway.
The study defined rape as “any completed or attempted unwanted vaginal (for women), oral, or anal penetration through the use of physical force (such as being pinned or held down, or by the use of violence) or threats to physically harm and includes times when the victim was drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent.” The numbers for men were 1 in 71 reporting rape.
The study also captured:
Sexual coercion (defined as ‘unwanted sexual penetration that occurs after a person is pressured in a nonphysical way’);
Unwanted sexual contact (defined as unwanted sexual experiences involving touch but not sexual penetration, such as being kissed in a sexual way, or having sexual body parts fondled or grabbed); and
Non-contact (defined as unwanted experiences that do not involve any touching or penetration, including someone exposing their sexual body parts, flashing, or masturbating in front of the victim, someone making a victim show his or her body parts, someone making a victim look at or participate in sexual photos or movies, or someone harassing the victim in a public place in a way that made the victim feel unsafe).
Once you consider what fell outside of the study’s definition of rape, nearly half of the women surveyed (44.6%) and 1 in 5 men (22.2%) reported experiencing sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lives.
And who are the rapists?
More than half of female victims of rape (51.1%) reported that at least one perpetrator was a current or former intimate partner. Four out of 10 of female victims (40.8%) reported being raped by an acquaintance. Approximately 1 in 8 female victims (12.5%) reported being raped by a family member, and 2.5% by a person in a position of authority. About 1 in 7 female victims (13.8%) reported being raped by a stranger.
So, that’s less than 14% of rapes being committed by strangers. And we blame survivors for their rapes… why exactly?