Some Further Observations

[Content Note: Rape culture.]

So, last night, I was basically a Twitter monster all evening, writing about rape culture and various narratives that were being invoked in association with the Daniel Tosh stuff and rape jokes generally. I've had a couple of requests now to synthesize my tweets into a single post, so here they are, as posted (aside from fixed typos). I've not included my direct responses to rape apologists or those wishing I would get raped.

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Personally, I'm no longer triggered by rape jokes. And I'm not "offended" by them; I'm contemptuous of them. B/c they are fucking gross.

And by fucking gross, I mean they diminish and normalize rape, uphold the rape culture, and empower rapists.

Rape apologists deliberately misconstrue "empower rapists" as "cause ppl to rape." But rape culture is a continuum of hostility to consent.

A rape joke isn't released into a void. It's released into a culture in which 1 in 6 women and 1 in 10 men are raped.

One can't argue "MY rape jokes don't facilitates rape" any more than a single raindrop in an ocean could claim never to have drowned anyone.

Each one contributes to a culture of hostility to consent that tacitly condones rape and silences its survivors.

Congratulations, people who defend rape jokes and argue they're "harmless." You are the climate change deniers of social justice.

Be prepared for contempt if you ask me to play abstract thought experiments about rape. I am a survivor. That shit ain't abstract to me.

If rape jokes are so insignificant, then why are so many people so intent on defending them? ‪#thatsrhetorical‬

"Safe space" & "space w/o rape incitement" aren't the same thing. Latter is a reasonable expectation of any space.

Re: the argument ppl shouldn't react to rape jokes @ comedy clubs: Lots of survivors have PTSD. *Whether* to react is not always an option.

That was not the case re: Tosh, but the argument that people should choose not to react to triggering material misunderstands triggers.

Being triggered isn't getting your fee-fees hurt. It is a physical reaction that is outwith one's control.

An argument that no one, ever, should react out loud to unexpected rape content elides that many survivors react in ways they can't control.

And if comics are unhappy that someone might get triggered by a rape set, they can take that up with rapists, not survivors.

No, I am not advocating censorship. I'm advocating people giving the bare minimum fuck about other human beings. Christ.

I mean, if telling rape jokes is more important to you than not triggering survivors of rape, you're really just kind of a dirtbag. Shrug.

Free speech. Censorship. Art. Whatever. It's bullshit. Telling rape jokes is a choice that deprioritizes survivors & their safety.

If you don't care about survivors, fine. But be honest about it. Don't make bullshit arguments about artistic freedom.

I write tens of thousands of words every week, and I'm not compromising anything by not making rape jokes. It's a choice.

[Rape jokes] physically hurt people, and they communicate tacit approval to rapists. They are not neutral humor.

If you don't care about survivors, fine. But be honest about it. Don't make bullshit arguments about artistic freedom.

If you argue not telling rape jokes compromises your artistic integrity, I have news for you: You don't have any integrity. Artistic or otherwise.

Exhibit A of Rape Culture: Female critics of Tosh are getting "hope you get raped" responses. Male critics, not so much.

And guess what, knuckleheads? I've already been raped. AND I'M STILL FUCKING HERE. So your rape wishes are as pointless as they are cruel.

[Not all rape jokes are equal.] I love Wanda Sykes' "Detachable Vagina" and Tig Notaro's "No Moleste."

Also: Dave Chapelle's bit about how Pepe LePew is a rapist. I find that brilliant.

I think of aforementioned Sykes, Notaro, & Chappelle jokes as rape culture jokes, rather than rape jokes.

Rape jokes uphold rape culture, while rape culture jokes seek to examine, challenge, dismantle it.

And even still, I understand and respect that some survivors do not and cannot find any rape-related humor funny.

I don't think that makes them "oversensitive." I think that means they've got a different sensitivity than I do.

You know, not for nothing, but I didn't think rape jokes were particularly funny before I was raped, either.

I have been the Most Humorless Feminist in all of Nofunnington for fully 200 years.


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