Rape Jokes

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by the G-man, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. BDJ

    BDJ Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I agree that Lindy West really hit the bullseye with that article. You've got to know the difference between joking about the victim and the culture.
     
  2. Josan

    Josan Commodore Commodore

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    We've all heard a tonne of male prison rape jokes. I rarely see the humour in them. Over used.

    As for female rape jokes, the only one I can think of is Brian's mother in "The Life of Brian".

    EDIT: Almost forgot there was one in an early season of M*A*S*H that made me cringe.
     
  3. JiNX-01

    JiNX-01 Admiral Admiral

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    Well, this has served to comfirm my belief that Daniel Tosh is a waste of oxygen.
     
  4. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't mean to be vulgar, but at least half the women you have ever met have been raped to some degree and just don't mention it.
     
  5. ToddPence

    ToddPence Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Here's the comic strip Garry Trudeau tries to pretend never existed:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think that ancient Doonesbury strip fits the parameters in Lindy West's article about a rape joke that works -- because it's not endorsing Mike's attitude, it's making fun of it. He's bought into the fantasy of being an aggressive womanizer who takes what he wants, but in reality he has no chance of making it happen. It shows how men objectify women as a compensation for their own sense of inadequacy, and it shows how pathetic those men really are. Okay, it doesn't work very well as a joke, but it kinda works.

    True, the woman comes off just as negatively, if not more so. But comedy can be equally scornful of both participants in an interaction.

    I've never seen this Tosh person perform, but I agree with West's article: simply being offensive is not the same as being funny. People often laugh as a defense mechanism to defuse feelings of anxiety or discomfort, and too many comics use that as a lazy shortcut, evoking that kind of laughter when they don't have the ability to say anything genuinely funny. There can be value in giving offense when there's a reason for it, when it genuinely makes a point or forces people to think, but "because I don't have any better material" is not a good enough reason. And using rape humor to deliberately intimidate or silence women -- as, for instance, in this case -- is completely unacceptable, cowardly, and vile.
     
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    If a joke is funny, I'll laugh at it. Even if it is about something as horrible as rape or whatever. Humour can be found anywhere.

    Of course, sometimes it does take something horrible happening to someone you know to open your eyes to how horrible something is. I shamefully admit I used to make all kinds of jokes about domestic abuse, then someone I know ended up in an abusive relationship. It opened my eyes, that's for sure. While I would probably still laugh at a domestic abuse joke, provided it was funny, I've never been able to tell a joke about it since then.
     
  8. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Just saw the new Web therapy, which actually a couple years old, since whats now transmitted as an episode was first broadcast as many 3 - 5 minute skits on the internet because Lisa was bored and wanted TOTAL CONTROL...

    But Julia Louis Drefus was playing her sister, and during a therapy session last night who starts a rant about how she was the superior favourite and more beloved sibling becuase Unlce jerry raped her and didn't rape Lisa's character because she was unlikable and annoying.

    Web therapy is not scripted.

    It's all improv.
     
  9. Disruptor

    Disruptor Commodore

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    My advice to anyone offended by a rape joke is to just lie back and enjoy it.

    :evil:
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think partly it's about knowing your audience. There used to be a concept called "polite company" -- people would make different choices about what kind of topics they'd discuss or laugh about depending on what company they were with. For instance, men would tell dirty jokes when alone with other men but not when in the earshot of women or children, because that would just be rude. Maybe we need to remember the concept of politeness and discretion, and save certain topics of crude humor for use only among people we know wouldn't be offended by them. Or at the very least we should put content advisories on potentially offensive material so that people can choose whether or not to be exposed to it. It's when it's pushed on people whether they want it or not that it becomes obnoxious or invasive.
     
  11. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Doctors in particular are well-known for their morbid sense of humor.

    It's also about time and distance. For example, hardly anyone today would object to "hole in the head" jokes about John F. Kennedy -- and certainly not about Abraham Lincoln.

    OTOH, jokes about recent tragedies can be funny precisely because of the social taboo factor. I'm sure a lot of us remember the jokes about the Ethiopian famine, the space shuttle Challenger explosion, Princess Diana's death, etc.

    See, now I don't find that funny at all. Not because it's offensive, but because it's DUMB.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  12. zakkrusz

    zakkrusz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Nothing is ever off-limits in humor. Whether everyone thinks it's funny or not is another matter (and probably impossible, since everyone is different).
     
  13. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Everyone one is not different.

    There are probably only 10 sorts of sane people.

    15 at the most.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, that depends. Censorship is wrong, but self-discipline is an important part of creativity. Good comedy, like any good creativity, entails choosing the right thing to say, and knowing what not to say. Just saying anything and everything because you can is not being funny, it's just being indiscriminate and lazy. Offensive humor can have value, but only if it's judicious, if it's targeted and used when and where it serves a purpose.

    So while it's true that nothing should be absolutely forbidden, that does not mean that everything should be spewed out indiscriminately without any regard for its appropriateness or impact. Censorship is wrong because it restricts freedom of choice -- but part of having freedom of choice is actually making choices, exercising judgment and responsibility.
     
  15. Kestra

    Kestra Admiral Premium Member

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    That's in exceptionally bad taste, given that there are probably people reading this thread who feel very strongly about the subject and some who have experienced sexual assault. It's one thing to make a joke to a wide audience and happen to have someone whom the joke touches personally. It's another thing to come into a controversial situation and say something intentionally offensive.
     
  16. Winged Victory

    Winged Victory Captain Captain

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    :wtf: :wtf: Wow, what a remarkably vulgar statement...

    ETA:^Couldn't have said it better, Kestra.
     
  17. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Logically that's how you psychologically depower a rape act if you can't physically.

    If it's a question of power, control and domination, then the surest way to fight someone using that sort of moral compass, is to enjoy, or pretend to enjoy yourself which will extract the pleasure they are plaining to reap from the complete event.

    Then of course there are several different reasons for rape, so it's not like short of a blinding and castration that their is any one sure single blanket defense against every motive and agenda.

    If you really want to piss off a rapist, because I know it pisses me off during consensual sex, is to say these magic four words "Is it in yet?"
     
  18. Disruptor

    Disruptor Commodore

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    Exceptional? Really?

    Here I thought I was mocking the sick statement some people have made about actual rape, by applying it to rape jokes as well.

    I know from personal loss that suicide isn't funny, either. Would I still laugh at a suicide joke? Maybe. If someone wrote "Those who think suicide jokes aren't funny should kill themselves", I would not take them seriously.
     
  19. Rhaven

    Rhaven Captain Captain

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  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^The problem here, I think, is that Disruptor was going for irony or satire -- saying the opposite of what he really believes in order to expose and ridicule it -- but a number of his listeners took it as a genuine sentiment. This is a perennial problem faced by satirists of all stripes. Perhaps the problem is that the satirist believes the sentiment is so obviously absurd or self-contradictory that no one could be expected to take it as a serious belief, but that proves overoptimistic, because there are people in real life who actually do hold such views in earnest. So the satirists get mistaken for endorsers of the views they're ridiculing.

    (For instance, Macchiavelli was actually satirizing the amoral, manipulative practices that he's become a namesake for, Twain's anti-racist satire Huckleberry Finn has often been censored in the belief that it's racist, Stephen Colbert is often mistaken by conservatives for a sincere supporter when he's actually ridiculing the hell out of them, etc.)

    And I have to disagree with the attitude that genuinely painful and tragic things should never be joked about. Humor can be a valuable defense mechanism, a way of coping with genuine pain. True, it can also be used as an assault, a means of hurting or victimizing people, and that's wrong. But the blame lies with the way the tool is used, not with the tool itself, the same as if someone used a surgical scalpel as a weapon rather than a healing tool. People can use humor to cope with things that they themselves or people they care about have been hurt by, to give it less power over them by ridiculing it. This is why Mel Brooks, who of course is Jewish, has spent much of his career making fun of Adolf Hitler. There's nothing funny about the evils Hitler inflicted, but mocking Hitler takes away his power to frighten us, exposes his ideology as the pathetic load of nonsense it actually was.

    It's the same with other painful subjects. You see it after major tragedies like Princess Diana's death and the 9/11 attacks -- really tasteless jokes soon start to appear. In most cases it's not out of genuine cruelty, but as a coping mechanism, a way of taking something horrifying and painful and taking away its power over us.