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Rape: Not particularly hilarious

Things that aren't funny: 1) This guy 2) Rape

Rape jokes, not made of comedy gold. The San Diego Reader – attempting, rather ineptly, to channel The Onion – recently ran a bit of “almost factual news” about the recent Slutwalks. The title: “Slut Walk Devolves into Rape Run.” 

Here’s the lede (as they say in the biz):

It was supposed to be a triumph for women eager to reclaim their sexuality from the threat of sexual violence. But sadly, Slut Walk San Diego went horribly awry as some 50 men, many of whom claimed to be unable to control their animal urges when presented with such a plenitude of hot female flesh, plunged into the crowd of over 2000 sluts in a quest for sexual gratification, consensual or otherwise. Dozens of arrests have been made, and police say it may be weeks before all the snatched panties have been returned to their rightful owners.

See, it’s funny because they were being raped!

Amazingly, the one comment that this lovely article managed to inspire was even less hilarious than the article itself.  According to someone calling himself a86d:

Its bs like this that is further going drive culture to FURTHER feminize men and go back to that process of thinking that a man needs to be controlled because hes just a beast. BS we’re not animals, We’ve evolved and people need consequences….in this case …. BURN em. The Dilbert comic writer seems to think that all men need to be castrated because we can’t control our urges, because society forces us men to be a round peg in a square hole…..if you want to live a certain life style….you can find it. Own up, be mature, respectful and if you cross the line EXPECT TO BURN!

I’m not quite sure if all that BURNing is supposed to be directed at rapists or sluts. I’m guessing the latter, but in either case I don’t think I’ll be inviting a86d to my next barbecue.

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Bee
Bee
9 years ago

Magpie: Oh man. Now I have to go watch the Lillian Vernon Game Show. Excuse me!

Alex
9 years ago

Some rape jokes are very funny, but – to reiterate what others have said – only when it’s not at the expense of the victim. “Stop rape; say yes!” is not fucking funny. But there is a nun joke that I find hilarious. If you’ll allow me…*ahem*:

Two nuns are walking on a sidewalk, Sister Concern and Sister Logic, when they notice a man is following them. As he continues, it becomes obvious that he is stalking them and the sisters run. When the man runs after them, Sister Concern asks, “What do we do?” Sister Logic replies, “The only logical thing: we run in separate direction; he can’t chase both of us.”

So they run, and Sister Concern makes it back to the convent safely, but is worried about Sister Logic. At last, Sister Logic returns and Sister Concern asks what happened.

“Well, he chased me,” Sister Logic replies.

“What did you do?” Sister Concern asks.

“What was logical; I ran faster”

“And then?”

“He did what was logical: he ran faster.”

“What happened next???”

“I used logic; I stopped running.”

“And then?!?”

“He responded logically; he caught up to me.”

“What then?!?”

“Logic: I lifted my skirt.”

“And?!?”

“Logic, of course; he dropped his pants.”

Well, Sister Concern is now beside herself as she asks, “And then what happened?!?”

And Sister Logic replies, “The only logical thing: a nun runs faster with her skirts up than a man does with his pants down.”

It’s funny because it in no way suggests that the nuns had it coming, and the would-be rapist does not succeed, plus it turns the “You were assaulted because you dressed slutty” myth on its head in that Sister Logic evades her assailant by showing more skin, rather than less.

katz
9 years ago

On the subject of murder jokes:

A 911 operator gets a call from a frantic redneck.

“I was out hunting with my buddy when he suddenly collapsed and I think he’s dead! What should I do?”

The operator says, “Calm down. First, make sure he’s dead.”

*pause*

*BANG!*

“OK, now what?”

katz
9 years ago

FoSF: I love your pit puppy! Picking up the huge stick is so cute. Pits are underappreciated.

Here’s a pit puppy I met at the shelter.

Spearhafoc
9 years ago

A scene in Wedding Crashers comes to mind. Vince Vaughn’s character is raped by his girlfriend. It’s played as comedy, and they end up together at the end of the film.

Pecunium
9 years ago

Victoria von Syrus: was that in Palo Alto?

My attitudes toward violence are conflicted. My attitudes towards people attitudes about violence aren’t. I’ve see too much of it to think it’s funny, or that casual violence is a good plot device.

As to murder being not joked about much… ever heard lawyer jokes?

I’ve done three jobs that led to a black sense of humor (security in ERs, journalism, and soldier). I can make some pretty fucking sick jokes When the blackwater guys were killed… we made jokes. When someone committed suicide, we made jokes. When a guys humvee got hit with an RPG, we made jokes… they were dark, and nasty, and vicious, and if someone who didn’t belong to the club tried to make them, we’d lose our shit, and heaven help them if they tried to get physical about it.

Because those jokes weren’t about being “funny” they were about whistling in the dark, because that shit could have happened to any of us. We were allowed to laugh about it because of that. If you weren’t in the group of people whom that could happen to… you couldn’t make those jokes; you hadn’t earned the right to be that goddamned heartless and soulless.

It has made me both compassionate, and cold-blooded (I forget whom it was who said someone was cold, and he recognised because he was cold-blooded too. I didn’t respond to the comment, I just laughed). Given the right stimulus, I’ll do terrible things. Absent that sort of stimulus I won’t sanction them, not in myself, not in anyone else.

Rape jokes… They’d better be making a trenchant social point, and if people who’v been raped don’t find it funny; apologise, and never make that joke again.

Pecunium
9 years ago

Victoria von Syrus: I see it wasn’t. I was just reminded of a case here, about a year ago, when a man strangled his girlfriend, and then burned the house.

Victoria von Syrus
Victoria von Syrus
9 years ago

Oh, god, that’s awful!

No, this was in the southern part of the state.

Magical Laura
9 years ago

(He’s sitting with all the stuff for our film set – he had a starring role of course!)

firebee
firebee
9 years ago

” “Stop rape; say yes!” is not fucking funny.”

I was just recently in a discussion which involved at least two people making that suggestion for serious. And there seems to be no alcohol in the house, too.

Alex
9 years ago

@firebee,

I believe it, I’m not surprised, and that’s still really terrifying.

firebee
firebee
9 years ago

The second of these was actually an interesting difference of opinion (I shall daintily pass over the first by simply saying: not an interesting idea). Mind, I was still kind of extremely much not impressed by the suggestion, but it was more in the vein of “Maybe sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do in order to get through the day.”

But, not to attempt to re-represent the entire conversation, the thing struck me as evocative of one of the major modes of failure I see commonly in anti-rape advice: “Let us assume that you are a woman. Let us also assume that you are ineffectual in emergencies, permanently unassertive, and have essentially zero potential for offering physical resistance. But I repeat myself.” And advice is given on this basis.

Which is not bad advice, I suppose — if one rules out physical resistance, verbal resistance, and for that matter even verbal refusal, then that essentially leaves you with things like vomiting on yourself and agreeing to have sex. But I have kind of an issue with what seems to me to be massively downplaying options that in certain cases have quite a lot going for them on the basis of “Come on, we’re talking about a woman here. It’s not like they’re ever going to be able to do that.”

Alex
9 years ago

@firebee,

When it comes to advice on avoiding sexual assault, I think one of the most frustrating is where people try to tell you what you should have done when you’ve already actually managed to avoid one. Seriously, whatever one does to successfully avoid sexual assault was exactly the thing they should have done for that time. I managed to escape someone once simply by ignoring him and speed-walking…People tried to tell me I should have carried a weapon. Best advice really is “trust your instincts” or my favourite “don’t be afraid to be a bitch”. It means every one is free to live their lives and attempt to avoid or survive sexual assault on their own terms, be that by physical resistance or simply not acknowledging a potential predator’s existence.

ithiliana
9 years ago

@ Alex: what bugs me (remembering I’m in my fifties) is how much advice aimed at women is…ridiculous.

When I was driving from Washington to Texas for a job, my grandmother just about fretted herself into a rash about how terribly unsafe it was (she’d never say “rape” but that’s what she meant), and how much better she’d feel if I had a man.

I said, look, I can change the tire on my car. I am an AAA member. (Didn’t have a cell phone back in the day, 1992, but had never had one). I carry food, water, maps, directions! I have a plan! (From AAA). And if I was attached by gang of violent thugs, what would a single man do (not to mention what would I do with him when I got to Texas–ship him back via parcel post, ahahahaha). But she just KNEW the magical male presence would keep me safe.

And when we moved out into the country, everybody here assumed we’d get a gun. For protection! To be safe! (Because clearly if one of us was a man, we’d already have a gun, plus magical male protection).

And surely we’d want to shoot and kill coyotes, possums, racoons, snakes, etc.

We’ve lived here 16 years and never felt the need for a gun.

And the problem with this spectrum of advice is that it all assumes that there must be a ‘right’ way to deal with stuff-which is an incredibly limited way to approach life. And the “must have a man to protect you from men” falls apart pretty quickly when the man in one’s life is an abuser or rapist….

firebee
firebee
9 years ago

“I managed to escape someone once simply by ignoring him and speed-walking…People tried to tell me I should have carried a weapon.”

I’ve avoided one “something unpleasant” by staring at the people involved calmly and pointedly until they went away. People tried to tell me that I shouldn’t have been out after dark because I’m an attractive woman* — and this, mind, without actually knowing about that incident but just knowing that I sometimes went out to do my shopping after work.

To clarify, my problems with the genre are myriad and probably complex to explain, not just a matter of “People don’t give the advice to fight, and that is what they ought to do.” What I think is more that fighting can be something that is on the table for some people, and that people who are asking for advice should be told about this option and ways that it might be implemented. Although there are other things, such as your “bitch rule” which I quite like, that come first — but those things, trusting oneself, being willing to be rude, are also things that require challenging the social standard and expectations for women.

In a nutshell, what I would say that I see as problematic across the genre of anti-rape advice is “It seems to aim at limiting the world that women live in and provide handles for which to place blame on the victim (wear this, don’t wear that, don’t go here, make sure to have a guy around to supervise you, don’t go out after dark, etc.) while simultaneously reinforcing aspects of the ‘rape culture’ (make yourself unattractive because rape is about attraction, only offer token forms of resistance (here lumping in verbal and spatial maneuvers as well) because that is all that you are capable of) and ultimately not actually conveying useful information (the infamous overalls and ponytails spam).

Alex
9 years ago

@firebee and ithiliana,

I very much agree with both of you. I actually made a list, in an argument I was having elsewhere, of all the ridiculous tips that are given.

Don’t leave your drink unattended
Don’t accept a drink you didn’t watch be prepared
Cover your drink
Accept drinks from no one under no circumstances!
Don’t drink at all!
Don’t party at all!
Don’t use elevators
If on an elevator, get off when the creepy person gets on
Don’t use the stairs
Don’t sit in your car when you’re not driving
If you do, then at least move to the passenger seat
Check under your car
Don’t be sympathetic
If he’s in your car, crash your car!
If he’s driving your car, stick your fingers in his eyes!
If he has a gun, run anyway!
Always have a cellphone, even if you can’t actually afford it
Don’t wear overalls
Don’t wear jeans
Don’t wear short skirts
Don’t wear summer dresses
Don’t dress like a slut
Don’t wear any “easy access” clothes
Fight back
Don’t fight back
Just try to enjoy it
Fight back with all your might!
Shout fire!
Carry a whistle
Carry pepper spray
Carry an umbrella
Pretend to talk on your cellphone
Don’t talk on your cellphone
Don’t have earphones in both ears
Look confident
Don’t stand out
Never agree to some sexual activity (not even a kiss) with anyone (be that your significant other, a friend, someone you met just that night, etc.) if you aren’t prepared to go all the way
Don’t be beautiful
Don’t be fat/ugly and desperate
Don’t be out of shape
Take self-defense
Wear the anti-rape condom
Don’t drop the soap
Never let your car break down
Never get into a car with a stranger
Avoid public restrooms
Avoid grocery store parking lots
Avoid all parking lots
Never walk outside alone at night
Always lock your doors
Never enter an isolated area, like a bedroom, etc. with a man you don’t intend to have full sex with
Stay away from bad neighbourhoods
Never take the alley
Never go anywhere alone
If you must be outside at night, carry a flashlight
Carry a gun
Don’t have long hair
Cross the street
Jump out in front of a car
Take a man with you wherever you go
Don’t be alone with a man ever

MertvayaRuka
MertvayaRuka
9 years ago

Argh. Seriously, for anybody in that “you should just carry a gun” crowd, from someone who works with and owns firearms:

GUNS ARE NOT FUCKING MAGIC.

Successful use of a firearm for self-defense requires familiarity and training, both of which cost money and time. A person doesn’t suddenly become a crack shot just by purchasing a firearm. Even if they don’t shell out the money for a training program, they have to go to the range or at the very least they have to go out to the middle of nowhere and shoot. A lot. Ammunition is not cheap and you can’t really train to shoot for self-defense if you’re shooting cheap-ass WallyWorld bulk ammo and not ammo actually intended for self-defense. That shit is EXPENSIVE even if you do know where to hunt for discounts. So unless the person you’re talking to has at least enough income to spend on a firearm, ammunition and gas to get to and from a place to shoot, the time to spend on travel and shooting and the willingness and desire to use a firearm for self-defense, you might as well be suggesting they get a magical sword made out of star metal. So please think before you start suggesting action movie solutions to real world problems.

Nobby
9 years ago

@Alex actually, I’ve gotten these three before as a guy:

Don’t leave your drink unattended
Don’t accept a drink you didn’t watch be prepared
Cover your drink
Accept drinks from no one under no circumstances!

From my parents, so at least those are gender neutral sometimes? If that counts for anything? Still that list is ridiculous, though. And helpful for pointing out those all-too-common contradictions.

@MertvayaRuka “GUNS ARE NOT FUCKING MAGIC.” Oy, don’t I know it. As a blackbelt in TKD we actually trained against gun scenarios. Won’t work against someone who actually knows how to use a gun, but it’s all too easy to disarm someone who doesn’t :-/

MertvayaRuka
MertvayaRuka
9 years ago

@Nobby:

“Oy, don’t I know it. As a blackbelt in TKD we actually trained against gun scenarios. Won’t work against someone who actually knows how to use a gun, but it’s all too easy to disarm someone who doesn’t :-/”

Agreed. Only thing that makes my brain hurt worse is listening to wanna-be “operators” who spend thousands of dollars on gear and think that makes them a badass.

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

http://ami-rants.blogspot.com/2011/05/justice-avengers-of-cat-doom-ami-trish.html

me and my friends did a live chat/snarking of a rape prevention tip list recently, we’re not done, this was only part 1 xD

Pecunium
9 years ago

mertvaya ruka: You don’t want to know (you can probably imagine) the number of “guns will solve all problems” discussions I’ve been in. The simple mechanics of using one are nothing compared to the intellectual issues. Then come the tactical aspects (the last thing I want, if someone loses their shit and starts to shoot up a public place is five other guys deciding to throw down and take the shooter out…. then no knowing the other “good guys” are good guys).

Then come the problems of what is/isn’t legal lethal force.

Then come the emotional issues of being able to shoot someone.

Then the emotional issues of having shot someone.

I like guns. I use guns. I train people to use guns. I even own guns. As you say, they aren’t fucking magic.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

I always think of the Simpsons episode of when Homer got a gun and scared everyone in town at his completely irresponsible use of the gun.

Personally I would rather get a dog for protection then a gun-I am almost blind without my glasses and I cannot sleep with them on. Plus, I never heard of a gun that could wake a person up when someone breaks in.

Plymouth
Plymouth
9 years ago

I want a magical sword made out of star metal! Where can I get one?

Pecunium
9 years ago

Plymouth: I know some people who make knives from meteorites. I suppose one could get a sword.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

I just found out a state senator pointed a loaded gun at a reporter here in town…a loaded pink .380 Ruger with a laser sight.

MertvayaRuka
MertvayaRuka
9 years ago

@ Pecunium:

“You don’t want to know (you can probably imagine) the number of “guns will solve all problems” discussions I’ve been in.”

I’d say the number is probably way more than either one of us has wanted to be in. Sometimes American gun culture seems irredeemably fucked to me, with much of it devoted to promoting reckless attitudes and lazy thinking with a side order of bigotry. But I know that there are other people like me who believe in use of reasonable force for self-defense and who don’t feel too confident about relying entirely on the protection of a law enforcement community that, by and large, sees us as worthless freaks who are ruining their country.

@PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth:

“Personally I would rather get a dog for protection then a gun-I am almost blind without my glasses and I cannot sleep with them on. Plus, I never heard of a gun that could wake a person up when someone breaks in.”

That’s very practical thinking there. If you’re sleeping and an intruder manages to break in without making enough noise to wake you, you’re probably not going to have enough time to retrieve and ready a firearm. I have what is for me the best of both worlds: our dog is a terrier-mix whose bark is loud enough in this place to wake me right out of a dead sleep and she’ll bark if anyone gets within ten feet of the front door, even if she was also in a dead sleep to start with. At the very least, sufficient warning to wake me up and let me clear the cobwebs so I can figure out what’s going on.

MertvayaRuka
MertvayaRuka
9 years ago

@PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth:

“I just found out a state senator pointed a loaded gun at a reporter here in town…a loaded pink .380 Ruger with a laser sight.”

At this moment, I would like to reiterate my previous statement, “Sometimes American gun culture seems irredeemably fucked to me”.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

Yeah, not much of a fan of the gun culture. In fact it used to be that Americans were sensible about the gun thing and would do stuff like require a person to “check it at the sheriff’s office or the Grand Hotel” until you left town.

Of course now doing something like that causes the vapors. I need to get some more smelling salts.

firebee
firebee
9 years ago

Gosh, I like you people… <3

I, likewise, own guns but don't necessarily recommend their ownership. I am at times a target shooter and I've threatened vainly to get into action competitions — the fact that I like shooting and am somewhat good at it strikes me as an indication that me + a gun could be useful in certain circumstances. That isn't necessarily true for everyone, hence the cringe factor of the infamous "What gun do I get for my girlfriend who hates guns?" You have to take the matter on as a new hobby to become sufficiently proficient at it, and even at that I find the lifestyle changes involved in actually carrying to be prohibitive even as an intermittent hobbyist.

That said, at my concealed carry class I met a grandmother who did not go out to bars with friends or have a job that didn't allow guns on site but did go for walks with her grandbabies on the local river walk which was quite scenic but also isolated. She had some disconcerting experiences there (where it seemed like she was being measured for something), and given the balance of issues she decided that it was worth it to her to continue the river walks but also take up the aforementioned additional hobby that she might have something with which to definitively draw a line in the sand.

So I don't go in either for the "youz need prodection, get a gun" or the alternative "You can't really/it'll just be taken away and used against you" position. Regards that latter point, I have kind of a rule of comparing any prospective piece of advice against what is taught to people that we actually expect to survive dangerous situations. Not that your average civilian and non-peace-officer woman needs to be taught to raid houses, but it is instructive to note for instance that the army does not teach recruits to piss themselves and the police do not teach their trainees never to go out after dark.

Rather, I think it's better to say "here are the realities" — that yes, you can pull back the slide on a semi-auto and yes, many people before you have learned how to perform adequately to exceptionally in stressful situations, but also yes, you are going to have to find a place to put a chunk of metally thing that can never come out of your control and must be protected against loose objects yet also must be readily accessible and yes you'll have to not go on the bus or go to bars or go to many businesses including maybe the one you work at et cetera, and then point people in the direction of implementing whatever they might choose to do.

MertvayaRuka
MertvayaRuka
9 years ago

@firebee:

“So I don’t go in either for the “youz need prodection, get a gun” or the alternative “You can’t really/it’ll just be taken away and used against you” position.”

Same here. It’s an option, one of many, not the only one and not the best one for everybody and every situation.

Starting to wonder if maybe we need a firearm owner thread in the “Whatever” section of the board, seems to be more than a few of us here.

Kave
Kave
9 years ago

Being Canadian I don’t understand the gun culture at all, not sure of the stats behind a gun saving someone from a home invasion but I would think they would be slim unless you have your firearms cocked and ready at all times and don’t sleep.

Americans (the U.S type) I believe have no real idea of true threat. True threat? I have a very close friend who is the son of one of the wealthiest families in Trinidad (not always wealthy, in fact he grew up quite poor but his father built a construction business from the ground up).

They have been near victims of a few kidnapping attempts. My friend would love to move back but the threat to his children is too great.

His dad does not keep a shotgun under his bed. They do however have seven estate dogs, and employ around the clock security who are actually awake, armed, and at attention. Their reality is, is even though they create multitudes of jobs there is still dire poverty and those people can be desperate and do desperate things, not to mention organized crime.

We love Central America and vacation there often, for the same reasons even though we stay in modest housing armed guards come with the package. This is a reality that people who have not traveled to second and third world countries cannot grasp.

Magpie
Magpie
9 years ago

I was home invaded a couple of years ago. he had me pinned on the bed before i could get my arms out from under the doona.