Though I do agree with this for the most part, I feel like
ugh I don’t even know how to word this
The holocaust was not a funny event. A lot of innocent people were brutally murdered, yet there are holocaust jokes and websites like hipster hitler and the like and you don’t really see people fussing over that… Though that event happened a long time ago and rape is still something that happens OFTEN in the world, still— it still parallels.
I already made a post about my thoughts on what Tosh did and on top of that joke being really unfunny as a joke by itself— unbiasedly speaking, it was lame (besides the whole rape thing, I mean. It just was a bland joke), it was in extreme bad taste and he did apologize.
I don’t usually say rape jokes and I don’t see or hear them often, but I mean I’ve dealt with abuse growing up. I’ve seen my mom attacked by my step dad but I can hear a joke about domestic violence and laugh it off because I survived, my mom survived and we over came the situation and grew from it.
harsh jokes will always be around. No one is going to change that for you. No one is going to look out for you when they want to make an audience laugh. Comedians like Tosh love to push boundaries and A LOT of comedians are like that. I know I’m probably going to get a lot of heat from this but if you don’t like how someone uses a WORD or all things, then you need to strengthen yourself and overcome it so that it LOSES IT’S CONTROL OVER YOU. Words have power when you GIVE them power. Brush it away, dismiss it, LAUGH at it and the power is gone. Laughter is a defense mechanism. It makes us feel better.
I’m not saying to laugh at every rape joke you hear, or at ANY rape joke you hear (I personally don’t find them that funny to begin with) but honestly, as someone who can laugh at a horrific event that’s happened in her own life, overcoming— controlling the situation— is so wonderful and empowering.
This isn’t a get-over-it statement, this is an own-it statement. This is a personal-growth statement. Because it is no fun being ruled over your own haunted past and once you can change how you view it, the closer you are to conquering it.
Okay, so, first and foremost: I am so sorry for the experience that you went through, and truly impressed by your strength. I’m going to go through this piece by piece and answer it as best I can, with the exception of the specific comments about Daniel Tosh. This is because I honestly don’t really give a fuck about Daniel Tosh—all of my fucks are being used up on caring about the overarching concepts and discussion the incident surrounding him has brought up.
So: let’s start with the Holocaust thing. I am, myself, a Jewish woman, and I’ve got a lot of feelings about the Holocaust in general, but they aren’t relevant to this discussion. They aren’t relevant to this discussion because this isn’t a discussion about the Holocaust or Holocaust jokes; it’s a discussion about rape and rape jokes. What you’re doing here is sometimes called “derailing,” but since right now there’s a lot of words being thrown around that I think can sometimes end up obscuring the discussion since people don’t always know what they mean, we don’t have to call it that. We do have to talk about why it’s frustrating, though, and here’s that reason: I want you to imagine that you and a friend are debating the merits of apples over oranges. “I think oranges are better,” you say, and your friend says, “Well, I think apples are better.” So you explain your reasoning for favoring oranges—interesting texture, citrusy flavor, easier to make into juice without a machine, etc etc—and your friend listens to you until you’re done. If your friend then responds with, “Well, most people like bananas better anyway, so it doesn’t matter,” that’s going to frustrate you, isn’t it? You were having a discussion about apples and oranges, a discussion you invested time and energy and thought it, and instead of receiving an opposing response that also involved the time, energy and thought of your friend, your friend cited the existence of an unrelated fruit and called it a day. In the case of this discussion that we are having now, the Holocaust is the bananas. There’s no question, at all, that the Holocaust was absolutely terrible. It’s also absolutely not what we’re talking about.
Moving on:I can’t speak for anyone else, of course, but personally? I do not need comedians to look out for me. I am not in any way, shape, or form saying that people shouldn’t tell rape jokes because I personally cannot hear a rape joke without falling to pieces. If I couldn’t hear a rape joke without falling to pieces, I would have real difficulty getting through my life, because people tell them. A lot. Also? I would never in a million years be making posts about my personal experiences with rape on my large-audience internet platform.
Now, I understand that you probably meant the generalized “you,” but even in the case of the generalized “you,” the point I’m making stands: that post wasn’t saying “People shouldn’t make rape jokes because survivors of rape can’t handle rape jokes.” I would never say that for a lot of reasons (one of them being that lots of survivors handle rape through rape jokes, and that shit is their call), but the biggest one is this: as a survivor? I would never underestimate my sisters/brothers/siblings that way. While, of course, there are many survivors (myself included) who can be triggered into unpleasant and painful flashbacks when dealing with this topic, rape survivors have survived being raped. We’re a pretty fucking hearty bunch, and the point of my post wasn’t to suggest that rape jokes shouldn’t be told in deference to our delicate sensibilities. The post was meant to suggest that rape jokes, as a whole body of thought, are not funny because we’re not having the honest, open, and painful conversations we should be having about rape in deference to society’s delicate sensibilities. It was to suggest that rape jokes are not funny because the actual harsh thing to do with the topic of rape isn’t joking about it: it’s talking about it honestly, for the real and awful thing it is. I am all for harsh, man—I think we need a lot more harsh discussion of this topic, a lot more real discussion of this topic, if we want to get to a healthier place as a culture. But that’s something we’re not doing and not supposed to do, something we’re taught to avoid mentioning or obscure with jokes, because the truth of it makes people uncomfortable. Other people! Not survivors: other people. That’s a big difference, and a really important one.
Also, um, and please understand that I mean this last bit as respectfully as possible: it’s important to me be able to talk about this, and important to me to keep the tone as civil and accessible as I can, because I think it makes it easier for people to understand me and it really, really matters to me that they do. But I’ve gotta tell you, in the spirit of that aforementioned openness and honesty, that I’m biting down on a “fuck you” pretty hard here. I don’t think it would be helpful, and I don’t think it would further the discussion, and I don’t actually, personally, need to say it to be okay. But I do need you to know why I’m biting down on it, and that reason is that some of the stuff you’re saying is stuff I have heard before, and expect to hear again. As such, allow me to respond to it really, really clearly, with the understanding that I am now the one making use of the generalized “you”:
I do not need you, or anyone, to lecture me on power and control: I have been raped! It’s one of the more intense educations in power and control you can get. I do not need you, or anyone, to instruct me on how to handle minimizing the emotional burden of my experience: I have been raped! If I had not learned to compartmentalize emotion in a way that worked for me, my fear alone would keep me from stepping outside every day. I do not need you, or anyone, to tell me to own my experience: I have been raped! As I cannot be unraped, owning my experience is not a choice; it’s mine, and it’s always going to be mine, and I own the shit out of it because it is the only option available. I do not need you, or anyone, to tell me to conquer my past/stop being haunted: I have been raped! I have been learning to do that since the day it happened, and anyway wanting to talk about rape honestly isn’t being haunted by my past; it’s wanting to talk about rape honestly because I know from experience that rape needs get talked about honestly. And I definitely, definitely, definitely don’t need you, or anyone, to tell me to strengthen myself: I have been raped, and I am still functioning and living my life and learning more every day, am still doing what I can to reach out to people around me, am still getting up in the morning. I am a survivor! And we are strong as fuck.