I feel like this shouldn’t need to be said.
I cant actually believe I’ve had this conversation slash debate more than once, or even twice but apparently it’s not a cut and dry argument. Apparently. So I’m going to be honest, probably more so on this topic than I ever have before because I’m pretty tired of this argument.
I tend to disagree that its a cut and dry debate, like completely. To me, every single person should understand this without the need for a women to explain it to them. it should be blatantly obvious, alas, it is not. I’m shaking my head in utter defeat because after this I’m done with trying to explain it.
I’ve left Facebook groups because of it. Seriously. That happened. It was supposed to be a fun group, a roasting one. You upload a picture of yourself and you are roasted by the community. It was actually fun and enjoyable. For a while. And then very suddenly it wasn’t.
But before I get into that let’s go over two of the most common arguments for (I can’t believe I’m even writing this) ‘why rape jokes are ok’:
Freedom of speech-
OK I can see how one would think freedom of speech is a good argument. Since every single person has the right to think and say what they want. It sounds simple enough. And it is.
Your right to free speech that you take full advantage of by making jokes about sexual assault directly impacts every single survivor of rape and assault by belittling and invalidating their experiences which were traumatic, nightmarish and horrifying. So while you have the right to say it, you shouldn’t want to. You shouldn’t need to. Comedy shouldn’t be that vile that it actually hurts people. But telling rape jokes: it guaranteed means that you are an asshole who thinks that your humour is more important than realizing you are forcing someone to relive actual terrifying life experiences while having them minimized by you.
Do you all know why censorship is an important issue? Because I too hate censorship, I want the man to be questioned. I want journalists to find the truth and not hide the real world. I want reality not alternative facts. Disliking censorship is wanting the government/society/church/president to be honest and not hide facts in order to control the masses and portray an illusion. Censorship is a tool for control.
But Censoring rape jokes though, that’s not controlling the masses, it’s protecting them. Truth is, within the masses are numerous people who have been assaulted, survived sexual abuse and are unnecessarily triggered by your need to spout rape jokes. We need to protect these people from this, and the censorship of rape and pedophilia jokes will do just that, while the telling of such is forcing them to relive it. But again, I totally understand that your need to tell that incredibly insensitive joke is more important than people being able to live their lives without being reminded of their trauma and the fact that essentially, you find it funny.
Wanting people to quit with rape jokes is not stepping on your freedom of speech, it’s not censorship. It’s fucking compassion. It’s an understanding of the pain these people suffered. Its solidarity against rape culture.
So back to the Facebook group.
There I was enjoying the funny roasts people were hurling at each other. It was witty, clever and pretty hilarious. I was laughing at the responses to my picture which were actually both horrifically mean and hilarious! If beige was a flavour I’d be it. Out of the ugly sisters I’d be the one never mentioned. I must be single, who would date that! Quite suddenly in chimed one complete fucktard who wrote ” not even a black man would rape that!”.
What the actual fuck?!
Are you kidding me?
Who in the world thought that was funny? Racism and sexism in one swoop. Total dick move. But worse was when I attempted naively to counter his malicious trolling words and question why he thought that was funny.
And so a debate about whether or not rape jokes are ok ensued. All I can say (because I’m exhausted at this point) is that I had to leave. Heres the thing:
This is not something that offended me. Contrary to this assholes opinion, I am not a simple snowflake who can’t take subjective comedy.
I wasn’t upset because I had heard something mean. I was on a page that’s entire purpose was to be as mean as possible.
What I was, however, was triggered.
I was triggered into remembering an incredibly life altering experience that affected me well until my teenage years (and to be honest even now).
I was triggered into feeling that vile, sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that reminded me that shit, yeah, that did happen. And I had gone a whole week with not thinking about it too much. But there it is again. Reminding me that I will never escape it.
I was triggered into reliving a continuous sexual assault that lasted years.
I was triggered into remembering that much of society minimizes the experience (by joking about it) that still haunts me.
I was triggered into reliving the experience, the terror, the constant fear, the pain and the confusion and the hurt.
I was triggered into feeling like I should be the one who should be ashamed.
I was triggered into feeling like a fucking wet blanket out to ruin everyone’s fun.
I was triggered into feeling like these people find it funny.
They find my childhood sexual abuse funny. They laugh about it. They joke about it. They call me snowflake when I ask them to not do that. They hit me with the usual ‘comedy is subjective/controversial/free speech’ arguments that are completely an utterly invalid and disrespectful.
So here’s a bit of advice for those of you who feel like maybe rape jokes are ok.
They are not.
Rape isn’t funny.
Assault isn’t funny.
Paedophilia isn’t funny.
Jokes about all of the above are not funny.
If you find yourself in a group where this kind of shit happens, and a women or multiple women ask you to stop, then fucking stop. Don’t argue your point. Don’t mansplain subjective comedy to her. Don’t mansplain censorship to her. The total irony of this cannot be lost on these people.
Most of rape/paedophilia jokes are told by men. Most assault is also perpetrated by men. Most people who have a problem with them are women. Most people who are raped and assaulted are women. So, surely the fact that these women are asking you to not tell that joke means that they are sick of being re-victimized, minimized, belittled by your unfunny, sick, rape jokes.
I certainly know I am.
I no longer give a single fuck about your lack of free speech.
I no longer care that you feel your entitlements are being stomped on.
I no longer give a crap about censoring your insanely unfunny comedy, because apparently none of you care about my rights.
My right not to be assaulted.
My right not to be victimized and then re-victimized by your comedy.
My right to live a single day or week without being reminded of the one experience that still fucking tortures me to the point of being physically sick.
My right to live without rape culture invading my space.
Your rape jokes aren’t funny to me.
They aren’t funny to many women or men who have been sexually assaulted.
So maybe, just maybe cop the fuck on. Grow a pair of compassion fruit and try to understand that your freedom of speech shouldn’t be emotionally damaging to people hurt enough already by our societies sudden need to fight for the freedom to tell a fucking rape joke.