Being violated, embarrassed, hurt, controlled, abused and made to feel like you are nothing, less than nothing, not worth the merest notice let alone respect… that’s all funny right? Well I don’t get the joke. Many of us don’t, and its about time we stopped laughing, about time people stopped brushing rape culture under the rug with phrases like “lighten up” and “its just a joke” or insinuating that someone has something wrong with them because they don’t find rape funny.
Well its not. Imagine, for a second, being held down, against your will, drugged, stripped, beaten, violated and left for dead… Its doesn’t sound very funny to me. The fact is that rape happens in every country around the world, with estimates that approximately 75-95% of sexual crimes go unreported, and the majority of people still believe that women or men who dress provocatively and act flirtatiously ‘deserve it’ or are ‘asking for it.’ Rape jokes just help to perpetuate the rape culture in today’s society and it needs to stop.
Song like Blurred Lines are not okay, jokes are not okay. Rape culture is not okay.
Now I get it, a lot of people hear a joke, hear a song, giggle or sing along without thinking about it- but that’s the problem. We are not thinking about it. More and more we are flooded by negative ideas, images and propaganda through the media, this isn’t likely to stop, but our awareness of it can. The next time you hear a rape joke, or an inappropriate song, or advertisement, think about your daughter. Your niece, wife, sister, brother, husband, son, friend and how you would feel getting a phone call saying ‘help me, I’ve just been raped’ and then see if you’re still laughing.
We need to talk about this. Need to make a change in our thinking and then in our society, challenge someone who thinks its a joke. Women and men need to stand together and fight against sexual crimes instead of drawing lines in the sand and blaming the opposite gender, because we are both victims and both perpetrators.
Every single person has the change to make a change, whether it is something simple like sharing blogs like this one, or this one, or this one, or something with more impact like getting involved with your local sexual violence prevention organisations or just talking about it. Stopping sexual violence at a party if you see it happening, reporting a video on-line, explaining to someone why a video or joke isnt funny and why it perpetuates a bigger problem. Small steps can have big consequences, do something about it.
Rape isn’t funny and we need to stop laughing.