Rape is never funny

logo rape: never funny

There’s a scene in “A Piece of Work,” a documentary about Joan Rivers, in which she makes a joke about Helen Keller.  She basically says that Keller was the ideal child because she couldn’t talk.  A man in the audience heckles Rivers.  He yells that if you have a deaf son, that joke isn’t very funny.  Rivers sends him a few screw-you variations from the stage and adds that her mother is deaf and she was married to a crippled man who committed suicide, but we have to learn to laugh about these things.


Rivers could have added, as some comedians would have, that you could beat Keller all day and never worry about her identifying you as the one who hit her, never hear her cry and never worry about knocking her any more senseless than she already was.  When violence is added to a joke about a mom who just wants some peace and quiet, it may still be a joke, and to some, it may still be funny, but is it acceptable?  And if it’s acceptable during a performance, is it okay in a venue whose policy is to ban “direct statements of hate against particular communities?”


That’s a debate swirling around as some Facebook patrons petition the social media giant to remove rape joke fan pages.  At the moment a screen shot taken in July was captured, 197,351 people liked the page, “You know she’s playing hard to get when you’re chasing her down an alleyway.”  Comments on the page include, “I rape a pregnant bitch and tell my friends I had a threesome,” “You know you’re are real stud when the girl you’re raping cums before you do [sic],” “It’s not rape if she screams, she musg be enjoying it ! [sic]” and “If there’s no broken glass it’s not a crime.  I like to think of it as stealing sex not rape.”  There’s also a link to the page, “The awkward moment when you realize there is no candy in the van, a page 1,434 people like.


I like none of it, and I think Facebook should remove the pages.


Sexual assault is a crime.  Its standard is the absence of consent, not the presence of broken glass, guns, knives, brute strength, alcohol or total strangers.  Furthermore, as anyone trained in sexual assault prevention or emergency response will tell you, sexual assault is not about sex.  It’s about power and aggression.  It’s a violent crime.


And given that this page perpetuates violence against a particular group (there are a few “jokes” about children and one about “surprise sex” in prison that is probably geared toward men), it violates Facebook’s policies and should be removed.


I understand the argument that removing these pages would put us on a slippery slope towards banning free speech.  If you can’t make jokes about rape or about women, you can’t make jokes about black people, white people, physically or intellectually disabled people, deaf people, obese people, skinny people, short people, tall people, foreign born people, elderly people, folks with big ears, country folks, people with southern accents, people from big cities … what next?


As with the Joan Rivers example, we have to learn the difference between jokes and the celebration and encouragement of hatred towards and violence against particular groups of people.  No one has commented or created the page, “Let’s all go out and rape some bitches tonight!” or “Rapists Seeking Victims.”  (At least, not to my knowledge.  I only have access to the screenshots on rapeneverfunny.wordpress.com because I won’t like the page to see the rest of the comments, so maybe someone has said this since the screenshots were taken.)  Those would be direct calls for violence, and I would hope they would be removed, much like groups and fan pages advocating the assassination of President Obama were/would be.


Picture the page, “That awkward moment when you realize the white sheet isn’t a ghost costume,” or “You know you’re surrounded by white supremacists when your nuts are gone and your flesh is burning.” It might have comments like, “Drag racing win = when the second nigger you dragged behind your pickup truck dies faster than the first one.”  Funny?


Rape isn’t either.  If you agree, let Facebook know.

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3 thoughts on “Rape is never funny

  1. After reading this article, I wanted to share this poem with you, that I wrote, after I was raped. I like reading that articles that you post ever so often in the Courier-Journal Readers Forum as well. Be Blessed.

    Shades drawn to provide coolness from the heat,
    A weird touch interupted me as I tired to sleep.
    Loud music playing, but death was coming.
    Or am I dreaming?

    Drunkened heaviness, hard heart pounding,
    Crushing, ripping, pushing, shoveling;
    Fighting, trying to stop this evilness, hips, legs,
    like being torn from the sockets.
    Or am I dreaming?

    The music,Not apprepo for this monment
    Entering, and tearing at my youth,
    breaking my senses..Instant womanhood!
    Or am I dreaming?

    I wake up.Or is this room heaven
    with open arms for protection.
    Or am I dreaming?

    Sore and in disbelief
    His looks confirm the threat of killing.
    This is surely death
    Or am I dreaming?

    Water running, warm currents
    eases my pain. As he washes,
    Kind, still face, but with no smiles.
    Or am I dreaming?

    Flinching, and fighting as he drys,
    my body with attention given a baby.
    Lifting to carry me, for I cannot walk
    Or am I dreaming?

    Freah,crisp, sweet smelling linens await.
    Covers me with softness,
    of Mother’s handmade quilts.
    The look of evil confirms the threat again.
    Or am I dreaming?

    I lay, aching, crying, praying, rocking,
    I wasn’t dreaming

    1. Trisha,

      I don’t know what to say other than, thank you so much for being transparent and for sharing your experience here. Rape is far more prevalent than most people realize, and I hope your willingness to share (here and perhaps in other settings) will help another survivor.

      Thanks for reading my occasional rants and thoughts.


  2. Rape is never funny. It seems in society today that we joke about things that we find difficult to deal with. While I’m all for using humor to soften the mood, there comes a point in time where we need to have the uncomfortable conversation. You should feel uncomfortable. You should feel awkward. That’s how you know you are still human.

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