Feminism Friday: Rape Jokes Aren’t Funny

Late, I know, and not much from me: I’m just pointing you at these three posts below from Melissa McEwan at Shakesville.

Trauma-Trigger Alert: Melissa describes her own rape in harrowing detail in order to point out how rape is not funny, and although the discussion threads start out thoughtful and interesting, they end up invaded by shockjock fans who troll the thread with graphic threats of rape directed against Melissa and other commenters.

Aren’t we feminists lucky, we get some cyberbullying to go with the defense of rape jokes as well!

Melissa has decided not to delete them in order to show just what sort of threats these jerks perceive as “jokes” that we “need to get a sense of humour” about.

Rape Is Hilarious
Rape Is Hilarious Part II
Rape Is Not Only Hilarious; It’s No Big Deal

Update 4th Feb 2008: Melissa has continued this series, here are the links to the collection thus far. The first post above is Part Five in the list below, the third post above is Part Six, and Liss didn’t include the the second post above in the list below, which I copied from Shakesville today.

[Rape is Hilarious: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen.]

Kate Harding has a great post in response to the cyberbullying. Let those folks read it who claim that men bloggers get flamed and threatened just as much and as creepily as women bloggers. Suuurrrre they do.

As usual for Feminism Friday, feel free to leave a link to recent Feminism Friday posts from other blogs in comments – your own or others.

About tigtog

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

17 comments on “Feminism Friday: Rape Jokes Aren’t Funny

  1. Here’s another great Feminism Friday post: Misogynists Don’t Have Daughters

    (via When Fangirls Attack:May 20 roundup)

  2. Seems like Melissa’s website is down.

    * Edited in October 2007 to add: the posts have been ported elsewhere – see comment below – tigtog

  3. It was having problems a few hours ago – she put up a post that got linked all over the place and the server’s having trouble coping. I’m sure it will be OK later today or by tomorrow.

  4. The first three links are still 404. =(

  5. Yes, the site’s been DOSsed to hell and back lately. They’re still blogging at the old digs – Shakespeare’s Sister – but I don’t think they’ve been able to port those posts over there.

  6. This comment edited October 2007 to reflect changes in the Shakesville situation noted in comments above. shakesville.com is still down, but the posts have been ported over to wordpress.com, and you can find them at http://shakesville.wordpress.com/.

    I’ve updated the post to reflect the new links, and I’ll include here links in full to the later posts in Melissa’s Rape is (Not) Hilarious series:

    Teen Rape: Hilarious!
    Rape is Hilarious: Put to Music Edition
    Rape is Hilarious: Jerry Seinfeld Edition

  7. […] of regrettable “bad sex”. Melissa McEwan at Shakesville has written quite a lot about how rape jokes bolster rape culture, and posted an excellent essay on the subject of rape jokes this week, and it highlighted a point I […]

  8. […] of regrettable “bad sex”. Melissa McEwan at Shakesville has written quite a lot about how rape jokes bolster rape culture, and posted an excellent essay on the subject of rape jokes this week, and it highlighted a point I […]

  9. […] a bit of regrettable “bad sex”. Melissa McEwan at Shakesville has written quite a lot about how rape jokes bolster rape culture, and posted an excellent essay on the subject of rape jokes this week, and it highlighted a point I […]

  10. I hear not only rape jokes, but incest and molestation jokes as well. I’m a survivor of 7 years of molestation, and I hear these on a daily basis from people. Not all of them know. But the big shocker: it’s GIRLS making the jokes. Even bigger shocker, one of them was almost raped, and goes around talking about what a feminist she is, and how much guys suck, as well as cracking “jokes” and laughing about the horrible crime.

  11. That’s some pretty disturbing stuff, but I’m not sure I understand the response to Senator Brownback’s statement.

    He is, presumably, arguing from a pro-life standpoint (that life begins at conception), so what he’s saying could be boiled down to “A man committing rape doesn’t justify killing his children.” If someone holding that starting belief supports allowing abortion in cases of rape, they’re violating their own principles.

    This is in fact part of why I’m not pro-life.

  12. […] need to take my word for it.  Just Google ‘why rape jokes aren’t funny‘.  You really don’t need to take my word for it, when so many other amazing, strong feminists have […]

  13. I keep on having to delete comments left by clods who want to defend rape jokes with the old “you can make a joke about anything” approach etc etc.

    So here’s the final answer to that line of argument.

    Is it technically possible to structure a few sentences about rape that meet the technical requirements of a “joke” (first story, second story, reveal, shatterpoint etc)? Of course it is.

    Is such a joke ever going to be “funny”? Only about as funny as your average joke about lynching niggers.

    Yes, I didn’t sugar-coat that for a reason.

    If you would never ever tell a joke about lynchings because you don’t want to make any of the African-descended people in the room who lost a relative to a lynching in the Jim Crow era feel upset, and hey maybe even if they didn’t have a lynched relative it could still make them feel really uncomfortable about the attitudes of any white people nearby who were laughing at such a joke (and imagining what those white people really felt about black people), and you can actually empathise with that? And oh no you’d never tell a lynching joke?

    Then take a step sideways and realise that this is what the reality of rape jokes are to any woman who has been raped or any woman who is knowledgeable about actual rape rather than those myths which make “respectable” women think that it can’t happen to them. The idea that men think jokes about this shit are “funny” makes sensible women fear for their safety around men who make such jokes and men who laugh at such jokes.

    Jokes about rape means that you think rape doesn’t really matter. No woman with any healthy regard for her own safety is ever going to not be “uptight” around men who think rape doesn’t matter enough to mean that they should just stop telling jokes about it.

    If making jokes is more important to you than having women like and trust you, then go right ahead. Just own your choice here, instead of demanding that women “have a sense of humour” about you displaying utter contempt for the idea that their emotions matter in any way to you.

    It’s a fairly simply concept: if you habitually display contempt for women, then don’t be surprised if they actively avoid you. This is a sane and sensible reaction, not a “crazy bitch” reaction at all. Own the consequences of your own choice to be a jackass about rape jokes and stop bitching about it.

  14. […] prison rape as if it is a deserved punishment for any crime instead of being a human rights abuse. Just like other rape jokes, prison rape jokes are not funny (and although most of the prison rape “jokes” are about men’s prisons, rape […]

  15. […] don’t need to take my word for it. Just Google ‘why rape jokes aren’t funny’. You really don’t need to take my word for it,when so many other amazing,strong feminists have written […]

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