11 Comments

Feminists Have Free Speech Too: Action Alert I

I’ve labelled this post as (I) because my spidey-sense tells me that this will become a series.

Here you go: [link]. Tell this cartoonist what you think of jokes about his comic’s protagonist drooling about raping disabled homeless women because “it’s hard to keep your legs closed if you don’t have any”. Hey, having no doors to put locks on makes her an easy victim as well!

The cartoonist thinks sarcasm justifies all (edited to add – so complaining to the editor about approving the cartoon for publication is probably the most effective avenue).

H/T via email.

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About tigtog

writer, singer, webwrangler, blogger, comedy tragic | about.me/vivsmythe

11 comments on “Feminists Have Free Speech Too: Action Alert I

  1. It’s pretty disgusting but I don’t think the cartoon implies that he’s going to RAPE her, just that he figures she’s ‘easy’ and will have sex with him.

  2. I don’t know about this one. To me, it looks like she’s angry with him for judging the homeless woman. She’s standing up for the woman, and not letting her friend get away with sexism. The artist is using satire to show how much of an asshole some guys can be, and is not showing him as harmless.

  3. @ TheNerd – Nope. The woman’s dialogue that you refer to is the ‘joke”s primary punchline. Yes, she’s expressing anger at the man’s judgemental comment, but her angry line delivers the ‘clever’ part of the script – if the homeless woman has no legs, she can’t close them to resist rape (nor resist getting pregnant by rape, and so having eight children). The woman in the cartoon could challenge her friend’s sexism by saying “Don’t call women sluts. You don’t know jacks**t about how this homeless woman ended up in these circumstances. What about the man or men who fathered her children? Where are they?”

    But then that wouldn’t be “funny”.

    The double whammy is of course where the man in the cartoon suggests that he might take advantage of the fact that the homelessness woman can’t stop him raping her – “Where’s this office of yours again?”.

    This cartoon could be interpreted as a warning against this asshole man if the woman in the car came back with “I can’t believe you just said you would rape a disabled, homeless woman. You’re disgusting. Let me out here, I’ll walk home”.

    TheNerd, it’s simpler just to realise that the person who drew this cartoon thinks rape is funny. Ask yourself why you’re twisting yourself around to try and find a way of the cartoonist not being an asshole. You don’t need to defend him just because he’s a man and you’re a man (I’m guessing). He finds rape jokes funny, you don’t (I hope), so why identify with him? Why not speak up against making jokes about rape?

  4. I’m with tigtog and Maria S., here, TheNerd. If the comic was all about putting the asshole in his place, it would have ended with some sort of punchline that actually puts him in his place, rather than making his disgusting, ‘Where’s that office of yours” line the punchline.

    This is truly the lowest kind of humor.

  5. Have you linked this guy to the “Why rape jokes aren’t funny” post? Of course, it makes me pull my hair out that we have to explain to people why rape isn’t funny.

  6. @MH – Yes the cartoon does imply rape. He figures she’s “easy” to rape because she won’t be able to stop him from raping her, the dialogue implies that very clearly. ‘Course, he isn’t thinking he’s going to rape her, in his mind he thinks of it as going to have sex with her, regardless of whether she wants it or not. Lack of consent = rape.

    I think that a huge part of the trivialisation of rape and the acceptance of rape jokes is the thinking that confuses rape with sex. (Sex is a mutual act. Rape is forced sex – the coercion is not always violent, or indeed physical btw). MH, in this cartoon you see a guy thinking about having sex with a woman. I notice the circumstances that mean that the woman’s consent or lack of consent was irrelevant and that if he did it would be rape.

    It’s a very pervasive way of thinking. For example news reports often use words like “sex” and “relationship” to describe what is really rape, assault, or abuse. Melissa at Shakesville draws attention to this phenomonen a lot, here is an example about the reporting of the Fritzl abuse case , and here is a BBC report that unthinkingly describes a man as having “had sex” with a woman he thought was unconscious (he was on trial for her murder, and this was his explanation for why he was with her body). This is why I use the word rape a lot in my comment above; because it’s the accurate word to use.

  7. Here’s another good post: Cara at the Curvature – It’s Not Sex, It’s Rape.

  8. Pulling out this bit from Cara’s post because it applies so directly to the cartoon under discussion:

    “I’ve always felt like there was a bit of winking connotation to “take advantage” as well. There’s not only a subtle apology, there’s also a “we all might if in the same situation” aspect to it. After all, we all want to use situations in a way that will benefit us — and we’ve all had our cold and calculating moments.

    And I think this is the reason behind it — to portray this kind of rape, the kind that involves a victim who is particularly vulnerable emotionally, mentally, or physically as not really that bad. You know, it’s bad, but not that bad. Because she was there, after all.”

  9. I’m with the other commenters too, TheNerd.

    When the man calls the homeless woman a ‘dirty slut’, the woman is not honestly defending her – she’s basically saying that if the woman were not disabled, she could and *should* have ‘kept her legs closed’, thus agreeing with him that it is somehow despicable for a woman to have a sexually desire that can lead to so many kids.

    Also, with her answer, she keeps focus on the woman for guilt-blaming – what about this response: ‘you jerk, maybe the woman got all her kids with her husband who then ditched her when she had a accident and lost her legs!’ or better: ‘who are you to judge this woman, you don’t know anything about her! And what’s it to you how ‘slutty’ a woman is, anyway?’

  10. This cartoon offended me to such a level that I ended up writing a blog post on it. Yes there is clearly a rape threat there but there are also intersections with disability and class. The very first thing the woman speaker does is say that she hates the homeless. What kind of person hates the poor for being poor? There we simply too many things wrong with this cartoon to limit my response to a blog reaction.

  11. Seriously, has anyone looked at the rest of his comics? He sucks so hard he could pass a basketball through a hose, easy…

    Really, you’re wasting your time attacking this sh… Oh wait, this is the internet… never mind. ;-)

    “You can laugh at anything… but not with everyone.” – Pierre Desproges, french comedian

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