A Treatise on Rape Jokes
You weren’t here for long; I guess my presence was a failure
The disparity was strong; between your heart and your behaviour
The quickest way to ruin a joke is to explain why it’s a joke. Considering the seriousness of what I’m writing about here, I figure I might as well start with a banal example:
This ‘joke’ had to be explained to me. Not because it was offensive… I don’t think. 🤔 It was because I simply couldn’t figure out the fucking joke to begin with.
Here’s the explanation:
Kittens are always welcome, even if they’re in a meme that I didn’t understand at the time.
There wasn’t ever a chance I was going to appreciate that joke. Maybe someone will. (Send me an e-mail if it did.)
What follows is a joke that I did understand, and would like to talk about:
That’s from this guardian.com article
This is a YouTube #short clip of the joke told by Sam Morril
I’m pretty sure I laughed when I read that joke as written out by Rebecca Solnit. I also don’t think it’s “punching down” toward rape victims, suggesting that sex with unconscious women is inherently sexual violence. Moreover, I’m gonna go ahead and ruin the joke all the same, by explaining the fuck out of it.
While it’s true one could assume that the Sam Morril joke is targeting sex with an unconscious woman as rape, that isn’t the only way to think about it. Although it’s perhaps an unusual fetish (…but I think all fetishes are by definition “unusual”), there is a kink involving sex with unconscious victims.
Why assume Morril must be talking about rape victims, and not consenting adults? I don’t think it’s necessary to interpret the joke that way. The argument for this being a joke about raping an unconscious victim is due to Ambien causing memory loss, (…to some people, not all people.) so she doesn’t remember consenting to sex in the first place. Either view seems valid enough to me, but I don’t see a good reason to interperet this in a “punching-down” way.
To explain why it’s funny, it’s once again subverting the audience’s expectations, the same way the ass-describing joke was funny, as explained by killsushi above, assuming that fucking meme can be understood (Zoomer humour is confusing as fuck sometimes). The audience expects that there isn’t any further information to be had; his ex-girlfriend was “…on the pill…” and that’s the end of the story. He then adds that the pill she was taking was Ambien™®, and now new information has been given! Whodathunkit?!
Comedy is a coping mechanism; a way to discuss things while adding a levity that wouldn’t be there otherwise. It gives humans a way to say the most vulgar things possible, and force the audience to deal with it. Comedy isn’t always pleasant.
I think this is going on too long, so I’m just gonna add one other thing and then wrap this the fuck up.
Here’s about 5 minutes of rape jokes by George Carlin.
The first half of the video is rape jokes, and the latter half is a monologue about censorship and feminism. Probably about as controversial a topic as any, and I think I agree with everything he says in that clip. It’s from his special Doin’ It Again.
I’d elaborate further, but I think he says everything else I’d like to say on the topic for me - probably doing a better job.
There’s a lot more to say, so I’ll add to this later. For now, this post has taken way more time than I wanted it to, and I’m running out of ideas.