Tuesday, March 22, 2011

rape jokes

So, a dude I know re-tweets a rape joke on twitter, and I call him out.

He responds with

"I'm sad the joke offended you. I also believe that my 30+ followers are smart enough to know I despise rape. I do have a dark humour though. It's why I like cyanide and happiness. I did read the blog post [you linked me to]. I've read similar articles in the past. I agree with them.",

then totally un-ironically links me to this video.

My response: "Who is hurt and erased by that joke? It's not rapists. Thanks for the backhand compliment on my intelligence, btw"

So. Dark humour. Dark humour differs from straight forward obscenity in that it is more subtle and does not necessarily have the intent of offending people. In obscene humour, much of the comedy is elicited through shock and revulsion, whereas dark humour often includes elements of irony, or even fatalism. Topics and events that are usually regarded as taboo, specifically those related to death, are treated in an unusually humorous or satirical manner while retaining their seriousness; the intent of black comedy, therefore, is often for the audience to experience both laughter and discomfort, sometimes simultaneously.

To talk further, one must know the original joke. TW for discussion of rape, obviously.

"I came, I saw, I conquered -Caesar. I saw, I conquered, I came -rapist"

... in an unusually satirical manner while retaining their seriousness. Nope. Not seeing much unusual about this. "I saw" - The magic power of "some people" to cause another to irresistibly do violence to them. Check. "I conquered" - People as obstacles to be overcome. Check. "I came" - Because rape is tooootally the same sort of thing a sex, where people orgasm and stuff, when it's really masturbating to someone else's pain. This joke is toooootally retaining the gravity of rape and how it is traumatising and painful and so fucking common and usually dismissed as being the victim's fault or something that "just happens" and is under reported and rarely convicted when it is reported.

Ironic? Not really. Some moving around of words. Yes. Fatalism? Perhaps, in a nasty kind of way where rape is inevitable and rapists unstoppable. Retaining seriousness? Not at all.

Sounds to me like you're using "dark humour" as an excuse to be an asshole. Well isn't that ironic.

So you despise rape? Show me. Show me by thinking about what you're about to retweet before clicking that button. Show me by not telling me that I am "oversensitive" if I am offended by something. Show me by apologising for offending me, without attaching a "but this is why you shouldn't be offended". Show me by telling people off for not being sensitive enough if they say something hurtful. Show me by calling out other men who make joke which hurt rape survivors when I'm not there. Show me that you can be trusted, because these jokes make me assume otherwise.

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