BY ABBY MAC
Every person has either said or heard a joke around a touchy subject. A subject that most people wouldn’t dare venture into, let alone joke about. For a very long time, I thought one of those subjects were rape. Other people don’t seem to agree
I have noticed, been slammed in the face with an alarming trend joking about rape. Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. Teenagers and young adults, and I stress that I have only found it in us youths, are joking about rape. I am usually one to try and defend teens or help to understand us a tad easier, but here I am fleeing for the hills and leaving them all on their own. Actually, I’m more the person when has started the fight against them and making others flock elsewhere. The plain truth is, it’s not right and it needs to stop now. Right now.
These are the sorts of statements I hear on a daily basis.
“If you don’t give me a …….., I’m gonna rape you.”
“Oi! Come over here or I’ll rape you.”
“I love you so much I could rape you.”
“I would love to rape your mother.”
Yes. Re-read. And re-read again. I hear this every day. Girls say it to girls. Boys to boys. Boys to girls and vice versa. Sometimes it is said with insignificant intimidation but most of the time as a joke. In fact, just on the weekend I heard a girl mutter to another girl on the sideline of the hockey game, “If you don’t score a goal, I’m going to rape you.” Unfortunately, the girls talking were actually nice girls and it’s sad to admit that those who toy with rape aren’t just the typical people who always go over the top, but it’s being said by, to and about almost everyone.
So when almost everyone is joking and accepting jokes about rape, we create a rape culture. The most unfortunate part of it all is while we joke and see light in rape, a horrific and mortifying criminal offence, every 152 seconds in the U.S. someone is sexually assaulted, 1 in 6 American women have been the victim of attempted or completed rape. So, in context, there is a high chance and you will drop a joke about a person being raped and someone who has actually been raped or who has been affected by rape will be standing there. Maybe they might blow up and let you know that what you had just joked about wasn’t so funny and then maybe they won’t say a thing. And you will continue going on and making your unfunny rape jokes.
Only 20% of sexual assaults are reported to police when nearly 100% of motor vehicle thefts are reported to authorities, in Australia. 17,757 people were sexually assaulted in 2010, remembering only 20% are actually reported so really there are around 88,785 people who were sexually assaulted in 2010.
Now, this isn’t a story completely based on rape and hurling at you all the statistics but it is one to let you know and your friends that it isn’t okay. I am closely connected to a person who has been raped and it is not okay to joke about what they went through. And this goes for all the other words that you think are hilarious to use like;
“Come here whore!”
“You’re my bitch!”
“I just love you nigga.”
All of things insults demean, degrade, undermine and trivialise important events which have occurred in the world’s history like the fight for equal rights between black and white and then men and women.
Rape will never be and is not something to laugh at. It hurts the victim and family and friends. So stop think it’s funny and truly recognise what an idiot you are for thinking so.
Do you or have you heard someone joke about rape? Do you really think it’s funny? If you have been affected by sexual assault and someone does joke about it, how does it make you feel?
Sexual assault and abuse: actual or threatened, including sexual assault and the sexual abuse of children, that can be a single incident or a series of incidents that are located on a continuum of behaviours from sexual harassment to life-threatening rape;
- any form of pressured and unwanted sex or sexual degradation by an intimate partner or ex-partner, such as sexual activity without consent;
- non-consensual sexual acts;
- causing pain during sex;
- assaulting genitals;
- forcing or coercing a person to have sex without protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease;
- making the victim perform sexual acts unwillingly (including taking explicit photos);
- criticising, or using sexually degrading insults;
- forcing a person/child to take their clothes off or remain naked against their will;
- forcing a person to watch pornography or sexual activities;
- lewdness or stalking;
- indecent assault;
- date rape;
- drug-assisted sexual assault;
- child sexual abuse or incest;
- deliberate acts that groom children for sexual activity or exploitation ; and
- exposure of a person/child to pornography, use of a person/child in the creation of pornography