Are rape jokes funny?
"You know she's playing hard to get when you're chasing her down an alleyway."
Is that funny?
Not entirely sure.
It seems as though Facebook hosts a couple of pages devoted to rape jokes. Now before we go any further on this I must state for the record that if there is one particular human act that offends and disgusts me more than any other, it is rape. Kill, steal, cheat...okay, but rape? Unforgivable. Cut off his balls and feed them to him for dinner!
However, I am also a firm believer in freedom of speech – no matter how offensive.
So I suppose the question is: are rape jokes something that should be protected? Or, are they in fact the thin edge of the wedge in a culture that while ostensibly abhorring this most wretched of human acts still records something like a twenty percent sexual assault rate and conviction rates that are abysmal.
In her crusade against these pages, Jane Osmond acknowledges that freedom of speech is an important element in the debate, but insists that these jokes actually contribute to a culture of rape that pervades our society. ‘Rape jokes are hateful,’ she states, and they make light of or distort the reality faced by women every day. By not taking rape seriously, jokes such as these work to aid in the denial of the existence of wide-spread and prevalent sexual violence in our society.
I'm not so sure I disagree.
But can rape never be funny?
There is the famous George Carlin reply. “I can prove to you rape is funny. Picture Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd!” Now that's just a little humourous, no?
What do you think?