Rape Jokes – The Question Answered

Except not. I’m gonna put a TRIGGER WARNING up here, because I’m gonna use the four letter R word – yes, we’re discussing rape – and because all the cool people use trigger warnings for that.

But really, all I’m going to do is link you to an article about rape jokes, and whether they can be funny. Yeah, those feminazis are annoyed about something again. As we all know, rape-survivors hate free speech.


My position when I started reading this article: “Yeah, rape jokes can be funny, but obviously only the funny ones. You need to be careful”how” you are funny when talking about that.”

My position after reading this article: “**scribbles in notebook** dot the I, carry the one… **folds it away** So that’s how I can make rape jokes. I’m glad someone told me. Also, I was right. I KNEW IT!”

As if you didn’t think I was going to side with the femistasi* on this. Of course jokes that just say “rape” and don’t give it any meaningful context won’t be funny. My favourite part of the article has to be this [brackets mine, FYI]:

“I actually agree with Daniel Tosh’s [the comedian who started this] sentiment in his shitty back-pedaling tweet (“The point I was making before I was heckled is there are awful things in the world but you can still make jokes about them #deadbabies”). The world is full of terrible things, including rape, and it is okay to joke about them. But the best comics use their art to call bullshit on those terrible parts of life and make them better, not worse.”

It isn’t a serious how-to guide, despite the name “How To Make A Rape Joke”, but it does cover the basics, mainly:

  1. Don’t blame the victim.
  2. Be funny.

In terms of the actual controversy about comedians being ground down by the high heeled jackboot of fascism… I’ve read the rape-joke-response he made to a female heckler: seriously, fuck that guy.

Hat tip to Greta. ALL HAIL GRETA!

* New words and everything: real original!


Posted on July 14, 2012, in Feminism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I think they can be funny, like anything can be funny, but the comedian has to come at them from the right perspective. If their *clear* message is “rape is awful, the lack of reporting of rape/the way people don’t take it seriously/the way people blame the victims is awful,” and they’re using humor and irony as a way to get that message across, then that’s a good thing. Sometimes humor says something in a clearer and more impactful way than serious discussions ever do — which is possibly why the most popular “news shows” for people our age in the US are technically comedy shows.

    But the vast majority of these jokes make fun of rape itself, or make fun of the victims, or generally make light of something that society already doesn’t take seriously. Giving this guy the benefit of the doubt (which I don’t want to give him, because seriously, fuck this guy, but trying to think of a potential other side here), he might have been satirizing the way other comedians, and people in general, talk about rape. But even then, he can’t do that, because it’s hard to think of something he could say that would be *more extreme* than what some comedians already say in earnest. His “jokes” on that night certainly didn’t cut it. But even thinking that way gives him too much credit… from other things I’ve read about him, he’s an entitled, misogynistic asshole, and it makes me really sad that he’s been given such a major platform for his career.

    Tbh, almost anything can be made into a joke if done in the right way, with the right sensitivity. But as humor is so subjective, and as this topic is so sensitive and emotionally effective for so many people, I think it’s incredibly arrogant and selfish for any comedian to go “yeah, it may hurt people’s feelings, but my FREE SPEECH is more important!” Unless you have a clear point to get across, better to just steer clear.

    • Indeed. That. Just that.

      I love the examples of “rape jokes done well” that Lindy West provided, and they all had the same basic premise – culture and/or entitlement need to be the butts, not the victims. If you’re gonna make these jokes, you should do it like that. And even a “victim-as-punchline” joke would’ve been funnier that the just plain and simple threat he made. The guy’s a tool.

      I agree about the platform he’s been given, but sometimes you’ve got to feed the trolls to call them out on their bullshit.

      Seriously, though; fuck that guy.

      Also; man, your comment is about as long as my article 🙂

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