Dear Internets: How to make Rape Jokes that won’t make Women hate You

For all those who feel that criticism of rape jokes is horrible censorship of your subversive point of view: it’s a fairly simple test, you shouldn’t even need to write it down, just reflect for a moment.

Here it is: when it comes to the punchline, will the joke make rape survivors smile, or will it make rapists smile?

Guess which one most women*, not even humourless feminists, don’t tend to have a problem with. Like it’s so fucking difficult.

[Context :: Shakesville: Quote of the Day]

* File under D’oh: male victims of rape are also more likely to enjoy, or at least not be totally alienated by, a joke that mocks rapists rather than the raped. Seeing as how some of you “jokers” don’t appear to take women’s experiences seriously, perhaps you might take more account of men’s experiences?

Categories: ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, language, violence

Tags: , , ,

6 replies

  1. Butbutbut … doesn’t that mean empathizing with rape victims instead of getting one’s jollies by being shocking and edgy? That doesn’t sound cool. *headdesk*

  2. I once entered into an online discussion with an anti-feminist who reckoned that finding rape jokes hilarious was a political view, and that by asking people to avoid making rape jokes in my presence if possible* I was supressing their political views/expression.
    * Just me being a pain in the arse about my pesky personal comfort and feelings of safety and what not.

  3. It is a political view, Perla. It’s how half the population helps to maintain power over the personal movement and social functioning of the other. But you are under no obligation to let those views go unchecked, just as you’d be under no obligation not to slap down someone off on a neon*zi rant.

    • BTW, when I wrote this post I hadn’t yet caught up with the latest Penny Arcade shitstorm.
      I’m divided on the joke on the original strip – I don’t think it comes down on the side of rapists, and I get where it fits in the context of weird gaming scenarios that mean you have to leave slaves behind in the middle of a quest because other people need to be able to come and rescue slaves from that level as well – I can also see why some/many rape survivors would find it triggering.
      But Liss has it dead right when she lays out just how woefully bad their response to the original complaints was.

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