Sexual Assault is Hilarious!

[Trigger warning.]

So, apparently there's a hee-larious picture making its way 'round the internetz, which is generally described as the "banana flasher." A friend of mine forwarded to me earlier today (not because he found it funny, but because he found it appalling, when someone who did think it was funny sent it to him), and it's just a perfect example of everything I talk about in the "Rape is Hilarious" and "Rape in Entertainment" series, with regard to comedy being used to normalize sexual assault.

And, because this is a cartoon, and the players not even human, anyone who objects is even more likely to be marginalized, silenced, and/or ridiculed with accusations of hypersensitivity, overreaction, and the ubiquitous "lack of humor," despite the fact that, as The Survivor Thread makes painfully evident, nonconsensual exposure to another person's genitals can be deeply traumatic; it is a criminal act for a reason.

The image, you'll note, doesn't even try to mask the fact that it's an upsetting event, as the two feminized fruits run away with looks of fear and horror from the masculinzed (and malevolent-looking) banana. And yet reacting to the image by correctly construing the flasher as dangerous and his victims as in danger, and suggesting that's not particularly funny, is somehow indicative of a hypersensitivity, rather than a failure to interpret the image as a captured moment of sexual threat indicative of a lack of sensitivity.

[Click to embiggen.]

I'd love to know the purpose of anthropomorphizing fruit to make a cartoon of a sexual assault in the first place. What—there's not enough porn on the internet? Not enough fucked-up rape jokes in the world already? We've got to make a big ha-ha-hilarious joke by sexualizing a freaking banana? Jesus.

Relatedly, check out this Korean advert/"gift fan" for Viagra, in which background bananas serve to reinforce the phallic messaging, in case it wasn't obvious:

[Click to embiggen.]

Seriously: Can I please just be allowed to eat a banana in peace without being obliged to think of it as a penis? Thanks.

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

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