Kira Cochrane, who is the women's editor for the Guardian and an all-around righteous lady, has written a great piece on the proliferation of "rape talk."
An example of so-called rape talk? Coming out of an exercise class recently, a guy turned to one of my friends, sweating and breathless, and heaved a sigh of satisfied exhaustion. "Wow, that was just like being raped, wasn't it?" he said. My friend stood motionless, blinking back at him. Another? In the July issue of UK Elle, the Twilight star Kristen Stewart talked about being trailed by the paparazzi, saying that when she sees the resulting photographs: "I feel like I'm looking at someone being raped." (Stewart later apologised for the comparison).Read the whole thing here.
Online, there has been a lot of talk about "Facebook rape": a term used to describe a third party getting access to someone's Facebook account and changing their details. Almost 1.3 million people are fans of the Facebook page "Thanks wind, you have totally raped my hair", where photos of windswept women are posted.
And the rightwing US shock jocks, always ahead of the crowd with vile, vicious language, have been using rape talk for years. In separate discussions of healthcare reform last year, Rush Limbaugh warned his listeners, "get ready to get gang-raped again", while Glenn Beck compared himself and his viewers to "the young girl saying, 'No, no, help me,'" while "the government is Roman Polanski".
Another part of this phenomenon is the popularity of out-and-out rape jokes. I had an idea there was a taboo against these, but I realised how wrong I was last year when I attended an amateur comedy showcase that a friend was compering. There were about a dozen acts, and almost all included material making light of attacks on women. It's never a good sign when an evening ends with you and your friends bellowing, "No more rape jokes! No more rape jokes!" from the back of a bemused crowd.
After the performance, my friend said the comedians had been amazed anyone would object. Everyone else they had delivered the material to had apparently found it absolutely hilarious, she said, a ribald delight.
It's not the best thing you'll read all day because it's easy or pleasant to read; it's the best thing you'll read all day because it's spot-fucking-on.
[H/T to Shaker ClumsyKisses.]