Been seeing a lot of this going around in light of recent events, so I thought I would address some of my views on this and some of the viewpoints I’ve been seeing.
Before I begin, let me preface this: Rape is a horrible thing. There is no other way to see it. This is in no way meant to make any former rape victims uncomfortable, and if this does I sincerely apologize. But I do think some of this needs to be addressed.
So a lot of drama recently has been centered around a “rape” joke, or at least one that can be construed as so, and even people who are defending the joke cannot deny that even if it was not intended that way, it most certainly can be interpreted as so. This may have been the catalyst for the things I said, but it is not the whole reason for the bigger drama or even all of why I got upset. But it is the big issue.
Let me talk about why it offended me, versus something like Spooning With Spoony. The joke was about a co-worker, with no other context, in front of her boyfriend, and with nothing to instigate it. It was not “in-character,” it was about someone he knew. Spooning With Spoony? Everyone is in on the joke. Is it dark? Yes. Offensive? Probably. But it is, very clearly, a sketch video involving friends. No one was involved with that that did not want to be, and Spoony was very clearly not making uncomfortable advances on anyone on set.
I’ve had to handle this subject quite a few times in reviews. There are a lot of movies I cover that have rape scenes, and some of them try to be humorous, and it’s a very tricky topic to talk about. Usually, the joke is about how poorly handled it is in the movie. Is rape funny? Absolutely not. Is the movie coupling it with inappropriate bikini pictures and trying to make it “edgy” funny? Maybe. I even had a joke in The Black Ninja parodying Pointless Padding Scene Time, changing it to Pointless Raping Scene Time. The scene in the movie was just added there for comic relief, with the assumption that because it involved two guys, it was funny.
So are rape jokes okay? Well let me try to put it into another context. Murder is a very real, very serious crime. Are jokes about murder funny? Well, sometimes. Does that mean if you tell someone you’re going to murder them it’s going to be funny? No, not really. I think what makes rape a more sensitive subject than that has to do with the fact that the victims are still around, it’s something very real and personal to them. But murder victims have family, they have friends. It’s not done because they’re gone. So does that mean those jokes aren’t okay?
Well, I have no definitive answer here. But context is ALWAYS the deciding factor. That’s the same with any joke.
Do I think Spooning with Spoony is funny? Sure I do. But do I think the joke on twitter was out of line? Absolutely. Anyone who is trying to defend the joke is missing the point. We aren’t being overly sensitive or PC, I just directed you to a review of mine that talked about rape. Nor should anyone have the excuse if they found out the person was offended after the fact.
I even saw someone say that women should expect these kinds of advances, and just say they aren’t okay with it and leave it at that. Well you know what? No. We shouldn’t have to “deal with it” because we’re women. I know I made a huge blog entry about this, but I think it bears repeating: I don’t want to be your girlfriend.
Do I care if someone makes some off-hand comment about how I look, or make some joke hitting on me? No. It’s obnoxious, but I’m on the internet. It happens to guys too. Do I care if that’s all people see in me? Yes. I don’t want to have sex with you, it’s not cute, and it’s not okay. And if it’s someone I know? Yes. It does matter.
So I’ll end it with this. Was I offended? Yes. Did I only say something a month later? Yes. And it doesn’t matter. That doesn’t change what it was, and I’m standing my ground on this. I was NOT too harsh to say something, and more people should speak up if they know something is wrong. It does not just involve the person the joke was about. I don’t care if the person who said it is popular, or more funny than I am. That doesn’t make it right. It was a co-worker, and a friend.
Was this the only thing that set me off? Absolutely not. Was this the reason for what eventually happened? No. But this is what my deal was, and why I said what I said.
Context matters. For everything. If you disagree about how I feel, that’s fine. If you think what happened to this individual was unfair, fine, but it was not because of one joke and it was not my punishment. And it’s something that individual has said he agrees with. Did he apologize to the person involved? Yes. So people, stop defending the joke. Do I still feel like he’s been a creeper? Yes.
That’s my piece. I’m not going to apologize for speaking out. Have I been wrong before? Most definitely, and in far worse situations. But I’m standing my ground here.
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