Tuesday, July 10, 2012

So You Think Rape is FUNNY?!

So I happened to come across a blog written by a girl who went to a comedy club last night & had the misfortune of seeing Daniel Tosh, otherwise known as Tosh.0. I admittedly have never watched his show because - from what I hear from others - this man sounds like a moron. Turns out, he is. Here is a link to the blog I mentioned so you can read what happened for yourselves, but suffice it to say that he felt it was FUNNY to make jokes about rape, then when the woman spoke up & said it was not in fact funny - he turned it into a chance to ask the audience to agree that it would be funny if "5 guys raped her right now".
That this man thinks that it is in any way acceptable to joke about rape is indicative of the sickness of today's society. When did it become acceptable for someone to publicly announce that making a woman have sex by force is comical? When someone who is a public figure JOKES about rape, it reduces the violent, psychologically damaging, life altering experience that 1 in 4 of us have had to something for the world to laugh at. 

Let me tell you about rape. I won't bother telling you the searing pain that shoots through your body when a man enters you forcibly. I won't bother explaining to you what it feels like to have a hand gripped around your throat while a man whispers "yknow you like it" in your ear. I won't share with you what the sensation of having your head smashed into the side of a car is like. I won't tell you how long it takes for the bruises to heal or the bleeding to stop. I won't tell you how, no matter how hard you try, you cannot get the smell of him off your body. No, those are all physical things. Physical things heal. Scars fade. Marks disappear. What I will tell you is what happens to a woman after she is raped - the person, the woman, the individual, not the body. 

When you are raped, your entire world view changes. You no longer feel safe, you no longer trust anyone, you no longer like yourself. Cruelly, you're the one person you can't escape - & you're stuck with the memories that refuse to go away. Every relationship you have for the rest of your life is affected by this one moment. Every.single.one. You can't have sex with someone without something reminding you of this man - & the worst part is it sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Aside from the obvious unfairness to the victim, it's unfair to the men who unsuspectingly breathe in at the same tempo that he did that you suddenly panic. Not all men are bad. But once you've been raped, they all seem like they are. 

The non-sexual relationships? Yeah, those get affected too. You learn to use your sexuality to your advantage, to disconnect yourself from it & flash a little sexy coyness when you "need" to even though deep down you loathe yourself for it & you're repulsed by the ones who foolishly give in to you because you have nice breasts or a cuvaceous ass. You learned from one moment that all you're worth is your sex & no more. And when someone shows you genuine affection? You freeze up & go cold because, well, the thought of actual intimacy scares you. If someone who meant nothing could ruin your life, imagine what someone who does could do. 

When it happens when you're young, when you're barely starting to make sense of the world anyway, well then the psychological ramifications are worse. Not to mention, if it happens to you when you're an adolescent, you're more likely to be raped again &/or abused. I was 13 the first time a man forced himself inside me. Thirteen. I still don't talk about the specific repercussions of that, but suffice it to say that when you learn that sex is equated with fear, you lose your voice. And you get raped again. And you blame yourself.
And nearly two decades later, when you read about some asshole who thinks it's clever to try to get a room full of people to agree that a woman being raped is funny, you write about your horrified reaction but worry so much about what people will think of YOU even when you're writing anonymously that your hands shake. THAT is what rape does to you. It alters your life in a way that virtually no single other act can. And it's not funny.

Women already are shamed, objectified, over-sexualized, and belittled to the point that nearly 50% of rape victims never report it. Girls learn at such a young age that sexual objectification of women is normal. We don't speak up enough against it - & when someone is brave enough to, she has some jackass tell her in front of a room full of people that she deserves to be gang raped. Diminishing the severity of such traumatizing act to a skit or late night joke is INEXCUSABLE. And the people who *think* he's funny are passively condoning the notion that women ask or deserve to be raped.

I for one expect the world to be a safer place when my own daughter turns thirteen. Judging by the sad fact that the (only) two people who walked out of his act were mocked, her generation of girls will have more social & sexual victimization issues to face than mine did - which is scary.