5 thoughts on “Rape Jokes

  1. I love how the articles says “Well, rape jokes don’t seem to be a problem (never citing any criteria) and the comedians think they’re okay” and then never, you, know, bother to ask someone who’s been raped whether *they* think this is acceptable.


  2. (i) Should all these jokes be lumped into the same category? Milican’s role-playing skit is surely different to the guy whose punchline is ‘so I raped her’.

    (ii) Good old Jo Brand.

  3. Your distinction seems right, Monkey. Most of us (though not all) think rape role-play is different from rape. So surely a rape role-play joke is different from a rape joke.

  4. Also, to give it more context for people not au fait with current comics, Millican’s joke was likely to be a self-deprecating skit about funny things her and her partner have done, where she pokes gentle fun at herself. Which is very different from the hackneyed laddish ranting that seems to pass for attempts at humour from other comics. A rape joke in the latter context would be highly offensive, whilst I have no problems with Millican’s skit (or at least, her skit as I have imagined it based on her usual performances).

  5. In my feminist theory class last spring, a student mentioned that it was common (among her friends/peers) to use the word “rape” in all sorts of ways that had nothing to do with actual rape, such as “that history exam raped me.” I was shocked that the word would be thrown around so casually. I’ve always thought it odd to hear people (including feminists) talk about the “rape” of the land, but I’d never heard this other kind of casual usage. I asked my students, and they all agreed that this kind of usage was common (some agreed that it was problematic, but some clearly hadn’t thought much about it).

    I realize this is not quite the same as “rape jokes” (which are certainly worse!), but both practices suggest that people aren’t taking the harm of rape seriously.

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