Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"like any other pollutant."

a highly recommended read from the WIMN's Voices blog, this offering from Guest Blogger Shakes details the disturbing and seemingly increasing trend of portraying rape as comedy.

shakes is, as usual, blistering and incisive, cataloging the recent prevalence of rape "comedy" floating about in the societal ether, and pointing out how this is a perfect example of something being more than the sum of its parts:

I refuse to let any of it slide, humorless hyper-reactionary though I may be seen to be, because the problem with all of it, each piece of it, is that there are plenty of people who will look at this one ad or video or “joke” and decide it’s defensible. Or that one ad. Or that other ad over there. Or this TV show. Or that movie. Or this radio program. Or that comedy bit. Or this rape joke. Or that rape joke. Or another rape joke over here. Or that guy saying he got “raped” by the IRS. Or that guy having sex with his date who drank too much and passed out. Or these guys who gang-raped an unconscious girl and blamed her for it. Or the local DA who didn’t think the gang rape of a 17-year-old — with witnesses — was not worth prosecuting.

The media-manufactured trail from “lighten up” to “she wasn’t raped even though she had some else’s vomit in her mouth and no memory of multiple men having sex with her” is all too clear. Each ad or video or “joke,” every news article that blames the victim for assaults against her, every radio owner that profits from shock jocks’ misogynistic pandering — each piece of it is part of a rape culture from which it cannot be extricated. All of it contributes, all of it desensitizes, all of it enables, all of it is garbage. Dangerous, toxic garbage. We breathe it in like any other pollutant. And the inevitable result of letting it accumulate is the same as with any other poison — eventually, someone gets hurt.

click over and read the whole thing.

1 comment:

susanne said...

I recently read a "graphic novel," by a dude who's been drawing indie comix for a while. In general, I was not particularly impressed with either the drawing (not such a big deal) or the storytelling (a big deal). In particular, however, I was highly disturbed by racist and misogynist (including a rape joke) elements in his work that I am absolutely certain he had no clue at all were that. After I finished the last page and sat with it a while, and got good and made, I did what anyone else would do, I hied myself unto Amazon and checked the reviews. Not a peep. At first I thought maybe I was overreacting, being the PC police, but on second thought, no. It was offensive, and it was offensive especially because he didn't even realize he was being a racist, misogynist ass.