Monday, April 13, 2009

Rape isn't funny

You'd think at some level that would go without saying. However there is a lot of outrage over the new movie "Observe and Report" and it's date rape scene. Feministing has addressed it twice now, the first time regarding the scene itself and the second time regarding the backlash.
Of course there are a few things wrong with this. Part of it is the idea of a date rape scene in a comedy, and part of it is the fact that a lot of the backlash is centering on insulting the women mad at it.
It's the typical response to something like this, that women who are mad about this kind of thing are ugly bitches, angry man hating feminists, or so ugly that being raped would be a compliment (my personal fav, usually delivered by a 250 lb man who lives with his mommy).
What really worries me is that most of the people making the comments above don't understand the argument at all. They are yelling about how feminists don't have a sense of humor, instead of realizing that maybe, just maybe, the fact that a date rape scene is being played as funny is wrong.
Rape is already viewed as almost a joke in the US, a "she deserved it" kind of thing that places little responsibility on the man who does the assault (one of the arguments for why the scene was funny is because the female character deserved to be raped because she passed out in the presense of this man. That is an argument tailored to piss off most women). The idea that a rape is being shown in a comedic light is pretty awful, because it re-enforces what these men already think, rape is funny.
Women are threatened with rape, women are raped, and it happens all the time. These men can laugh it off, but for women it's real. It's a problem that people don't address people the woman raped deserved it and the man just couldn't control it. And as long as that goes on, date rape in comedies isn't funny. No matter how dark the comedy, it shouldn't be handled as funny.


  1. Actual conversation between me and Teh Hubby:

    hubby: you don't think you might be overreacting to this. it's supposed to be a joke.

    me: you're defending rape.

    hubby: >_< I am, aren't I? damn.

  2. You know, I think that conversation was had all over the place, with perfectly nice men. It's so ingrained with men that they can act that way that perfectly nice normal men will see it as a joke instead of rape.
    Which says a lot about the US.

  3. I won all arguments for a 48 hour period off that one. and he's certainly not a rapist, nor does he find rape acceptable or funny, he's just displaying societal norms, really.


All comments are now not moderated. Have at it folks! Don't make me regret it.