Afternoon Inquisition

Afternoon Inquisition 4.20.09

The internet has been a buzz with talk about the date rape scene in Seth Rogen’s new movie Observe and Report.  Rogen defends the scene by saying they make it okay by having the victim character literally ask for it.

For those of you not familiar, Anna Farris’ character gets drunk, barfs, and passes out. While she’s unconscious, Rogen’s character starts “having sex” with her. He has a moment of clarity, realizes what he’s doing is wrong, and stops. Farris’ character then, without opening her eyes, says, “Did I tell you to stop, motherfucker?” Which is apparently the same as “giving consent” and is the pinnacle of hilarity.

I’ve noticed that roofie jokes are considered quite funny lately. 30 Rock recently did an entire episode revolving around roofies. And Family Guy also had a scene where Peter goes into Quagmire’s house, and while sitting on a couch, a mechanical arm comes out, gasses him, he passes out and then the couch reclines and stirrups pop out to spread his legs. The “joke” being that this is a set-up for ladies but Peter made the mistake of getting himself compromised by going into Quagmire’s house, who is known for being sexually adventurous and deviant.

Having sex with a passed out person is never portrayed as totally normal and okay. But it is portrayed as something that people do out of desperation… sad and sick, morally questionable, but not criminal. And it’s funny.

Having been the victim of exactly this kind of rape, I have a hard time finding the humor in this.

Could someone please explain this to me? What is so funny about this? How is rape something that becomes funny when it’s just something desperate people have to do?

Elyse

Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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198 Comments

  1. I’m sorry I cannot explain it either. I recall an absolutely hideous “comedy” called Sorority Boys (2002) that had jokes revolving around rape. I did not understand why they were supposed to be funny.

  2. I am Heidi, who is now to be known as Constantly Sexually Inappropriate Girl. Seriously, I can turn anything into a sexual joke, and expect to one day receive the Nobel Peace Prize for it.

    In my day job, I am the Development Coordinator for a domestic violence/rape crisis center in a small southern town. I have been in the field for 15 year. I have street cred in this field.

    I have been fighting on the JREF Board with other people who do not understand the concept of rape, particularly date rape. I have been told, BY OTHER SKEPTICS, that I am part of the problem in our society due to the fact that I am educating girls on RADICAL notions of sexual assault.

    What are my radical notions? Pretty simple. I have the right to get drunk and not wake up and expect something in my ass, just like men do. I have the right to wear whatever the fuck I want, to lapdance with you, blow you, and then decide I don’t want to fuck you. (In fact, part of good sexual health is the ability to look at penis before you commit to having it inside you)

    I will not lie and say that those of us who work in this field don’t “laugh” at rape. We do, we have gallows humor. However, all of our laughter is reserved for the asshats who commit the crime, not the victims it happens too.

    When I heard about the Anna Faris scene, all I could think of was, wow that would be just like a victim of a previous date rape to expect that she has no right to say no.

    People have accused me of being a humorless feminist, which I do not deserve. I am one of the most balls out, sexually open, uninhibited, freaky diki, mind-blowingly funny feminists you will meet. If you don’t believe me, go to http://www.fatoneinthemiddle.com.

    However, the notion that a woman’s body is up for grabs because she is “stupid” enough to get drunk boils my bunny.

    Rape is not the punishment for being stupid.

  3. @heidiho: Well I have every right to shave my head and walk through a black neighborhood wearing a swastika. But it really is a bad idea.

    “Rape is not the punishment for being stupid.”

    But being stupid might get you raped. We men have our own dangers we do well to avoid. But if we’re in the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong thing, we’re going to get hurt.

    As to the point of this post. No, rape isn’t funny at all! But neither are the vast majority of Hollywood “comedies”.

  4. @Briarking:

    Wearing a swastika and walking through a black neighborhood is something you do when you are literally looking to start some shit.

    Getting raped isn’t something that happens because you’re “looking to get raped”.

    It’s a huge difference.

  5. As a rule I stay far away from any movie that stars Anna Faris (and I don’t know who Seth Rogan is). But yeah, rape isn’t funny. I have a hard time even saying the word out loud, to be honest.

  6. @Elyse: Okay, maybe a little less extreme: I should have the right to just walk through my neighborhood at night without fear of attack.

    Of course I know nobody goes out looking to get raped, and I do think that rapists should get their full penalties no matter what “she” does. But women should not get too shit faced when out without protection. Some men will take advantage. Women never deserve to get raped, just like any other innocent victim of any other crime doesn’t deserve it. We still must ALL protect ourselves and avoid dangerous situations.

  7. @Briarking: Like Elyse said, doing something on purpose and having something done to you inadvertently are two different things. I could walk into a church screaming “There is no God!” but I would know full well that I would get kicked out and, depending on the type of church, have physical or legal repercussions.

    If I go out to a bar and am wearing a short skirt or a lowcut top, that’s not me going out and saying “Hey, I’m easy, slip something in my drink!” or “Just wait til I start puking and blacking out and I’m all yours!”

    @Imrryr: Seth Rogan is the guy from Knocked Up and 40 Year Old Virgin (curly blonde hair, stocky).

  8. @heidiho: As far as the sense of humor goes-there’s no accounting for taste. I completely disagree with the concept of finding ANYTHING funny about rape. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t, but I won’t be laughing at any of the jokes.

    Does anyone remember the Family Guy episode where Peter goes to the doctor and ends up getting a prostate exam? Then sues the Doctor for rape? Now, I’m sure a lot of Family Guy fans were rolling! I wasn’t.

    I’m a gay man, and I was nearly raped by another guy.

    I still remember the scene where Peter was rubbing lipstick all over his face, calling himself a dirty whare. After that, turned off Family Guy, and have never watched it again. Thats a line that once crossed, there is no going back.

    I’m sorry, I just can’t find any humor about rape.

  9. @Briarking:

    Certainly getting too shitfaced puts ANY person at greater risk for being the victim of ANY crime. The problem is, when you start pointing fingers and saying things like “women should never get too shitfaced” it implies that “getting shitfaced” makes a woman somehow responsible for her own attack.

    You wouldn’t say, “Hey, if you didn’t get too shitfaced you wouldn’t have gotten held up at the ATM.” or “Your house wouldn’t have been broken into.”

    The problem isn’t that “women get too shitfaced”. The problem is that some men somehow think it’s okay to have sex with women who get too shitfaced. And now it’s apparently just a huge joke.

  10. @Briarking:

    Women should not get shitfaced without protection? How about asshats should not go out into my world with their dicks loaded and ready to fire?

    Also, swastikas are purposefully offensive. My vagina is not a statement about you!!!! I don’t walk around with my twat just begging for it to be filled. If you find my bearded clam offensive, then don’t fuck it.

    Maybe Penn was right about one thing when he said that we should arm women with pink guns.

    My solution to rape and domestic violence,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwuGf7EGOxA

    By the way, I am usually a very peaceful person, but I have had one to many friend wake up with a dick in her without her permission. It makes this girl cranky!

  11. I won’t speak to Family Guy, since I have a hard time seeing how it’s ever funny, but I think I know where they were coming from with Observe and Report.

    Seth Rogen’s character is a mentally deranged sociopath. The fact that he’d rape an unconscious girl didn’t really come out of left field in the context of the movie. The rape itself isn’t supposed to be funny, nor is Seth Rogen’s character raping someone supposed to be funny.

    The comedy is in Anna Faris’ character’s reaction to the rape. She in an unabashedly disgusting and morally bankrupt character–to the point that she considers what any reasonable person would think of as date rape to be a pleasant sexual evening.

    It’s black humor, but it’s still humor. And while rape, the Holocaust, 9/11, and any number of horrible things aren’t funny in and of themselves, jokes involving all of those things can be funny by providing a different and surprising context.

    People I know and love were sexually molested as children, but that doesn’t mean that Michael Jackson’s airbrushed Peter Pan go-kart fleet is any less hilarious.

  12. @Briarking: I agree that we should always be aware of our surroundings when out in public. I don’t know of many girls who go get shitfaced in a bar by themselves though, so it’s not as if every woman who gets date raped is “unprotected.” I used to carry mace and a knife wherever I went, even though I was generally in groups.

    That being said, women shouldn’t have to avoid going out and having a good time at a bar if they so choose just because they “might” get date raped. Like heidiho said, a woman should be allowed to, if she’s digging a guy, hook up with him and change her mind at any point she wishes. It’s at that point that the man has a responsibility to oblige to her wishes, not take what he wants because “she was willing to do everything else.”

  13. First of all I haven’t seen the film, but the chances are good I wouldn’t find this scene funny. On the other hand I don’t believe that date rape is always easy to quantify. If you have two inebriated people sleeping together and sex happens (deliberate use of passive voice here), is it easy for me to believe that both participants can more or less be on autopilot. Consent wasn’t given nor was it refused nor was the person who initiated sex really thinking about consent.

    Five or six times in my life I have woken up having sex. Alcohol was involved, but not as much as you might think. A little wine, a little sleep, and a couple of hours later we are half awake and going at it without either one of us remembering how. Fortunately all these times it was with my wife and she liked it. I shudder to think what would have happened had this been a stranger who found me hideously unattractive in the morning (as if!). Thankfully my lifestyle is such that this is not likely to be a problem.

    If two people have sex and neither one of them remembers how it started I don’t think either one should be allowed to call it rape. “I wouldn’t have consented had I been sober” is not a very satisfactory basis for an accusation or rape.

    This being said there are cases of date rape that involve malice if not forethought and these rapists should be strung up.

  14. @infinitemonkey:
    I understand that completely, and perhaps did not make clear that we are not laughing at victims, but the rapists.

    As in emergency rooms and police stations, people who work in trauma on a daily basis usually find humor to be stress relieving.

    I have cried after work upon losing cases where children were molested, and then had many a long, happy laugh imagining the asshole who did it squirming under my foot.

    Seriously, though, I recognize that 15 years on the front lines will fuck a bitch up. I am not denying that. However, it does not change my beliefs on what rape is and how it should be treated.

    I hope you received the help you needed and that you have been able to heal. Don’t let an evil prick mark you for life.

  15. But being stupid might get you raped.

    This is called blaming the victim.

    URG. I don’t even think that I can participate in this thread. Heidiho, now I think you know why I rarely visit JREF anymore :(

  16. @davew:

    “I wouldn’t have consented had I been sober” is not a very satisfactory basis for an accusation or rape.

    Actually, it is, both legally and ethically. Many times people get the other person drunk specifically to lower their ability to refuse consent. That is not only rape, it is completely premeditated.

    That shit is standard issue at colleges.

    I need to go home, as I am still at work. Surrounded by the most badass group of women trying to create a freer society for all women.

    I AM WOMAN HERE ME ROAR, AND I WILL KNOCK YOUR RAPIST ASS THROUGH THE MOTHERFUCKING DOOR

  17. Where was the filter here? I say, tweet, and write many inappropriate things- but tv, movie, animation have time to consider – and edit. I wish I had a second chance to not say some of the things I do, or not hit the send key.
    This is beyond bad taste- this was justification by a large group of individuals who thought something was funny. Me saying an inappropriate comment – one idiot not thinking- but this – -it represents a thought process that I cannot condone

  18. I caught an old episode of the BBC’s Top Gear the other day where host Jeremy Clarkson was describing the difference between two car models. He argued that the more recently released model was undoubtedly superior to the older model. In emphasizing his point, he quipped that anyone driving the older model would be so distraught at having seen the new model they’d have no choice but to kill themselves. This got a hearty chuckle from the Top Gear studio audience.

    As someone who’s had an intervention or two staged on their behalf over the concern of suicide, my immediate reaction was to be offended. How could Clarkson be so flippant about something that claims an untold number of lives and and that countless others struggle with? Some would point out that Clarkson’s schtick is being politically incorrect about everything, and as an equal opportunity offender you can’t take anything he says to heart.

    However, I’m guilty of making the occasional macabre crack at my expense (those who intervened usually don’t find it funny). Was my indignation at Clarkson’s remark hypocritical? Is my gallows humor an attempt to deal with the issue or an effort to diminish or outright ignore it?

    I guess this is my long-winded way of responding (by wondering aloud) to the Afternoon Inquisition. The date rape scene in Observe and Report is poorly handled and abhorrently insensitive. Even if the jokes are attempted with class and care in mind, is this society’s way of coping? Or is it our way of downplaying or ignoring the problem?

    And for those of us who do laugh, what are we party to?

    Because I don’t know.

  19. (Haven’t and wont see the movie)
    I have 25 years dealing with these types of issues so I’ll claim some street cred myself. I agree with Heidiho about the gallows humor but I’d think it was totally out of line if a programmer or engineer told me a joke about the issues I deal with. Other social workers after a long day, ya it can defiantly be funny and a way to cope. Nearly all of the detective’s I work with who investigate date rapes on a regular basis have told me that alcohol and drugs are almost always involved for both parties and often it’s hard to tell if anyone can accurately remember what happened, and due to the significant impairment of the parties charges can not be filed in many cases.

    I have a daughter who will be driving this summer and going out with her friends. She has been told on many occasions that being intoxicated can take away your ability to make choices about being safe and take away your ability to even know what is happening to your own body. I can say with complete confidence that if my daughter does not get drunk with her peers or in social situations she is significantly less likely to get raped. Also, if she does not speed when she drives she is much less likely to get a ticket or have an accident and if she brushes her teeth she is less likely to have cavities. Some things we can control and much of life is about determining the relative risks of our behavior. When you drink to much other people may make choices involving you when you have no control over what they do. This isn’t about excuses or blame, its about knowing what behaviors may place you at risk and being as responsible as you can. And I’ve told my 18 year old son to never have sex with someone who’s drunk regardles of consent, or if you’re drunk unless it’s in an established relationship. And even then consent should be clear because you never know how someone will perceive events when remembering back through the fog of alcohol or drugs.

  20. @heidiho

    “What are my radical notions? Pretty simple. I have the right to get drunk and not wake up and expect something in my ass, just like men do. I have the right to wear whatever the fuck I want, to lapdance with you, blow you, and then decide I don’t want to fuck you. (In fact, part of good sexual health is the ability to look at penis before you commit to having it inside you)”

    And I should have the right to walk down any street in America with a suit made of 100 dollar bills and not expect to be robbed, even while sleeping in an alley. The fact is that even though 90% of humanity is pretty decent even when drunk, 10% aren’t and you OWE IT TO YOURSELF to protect your life, property and happiness. That is what I’ve taught my daughters.

  21. To Elyse’s question in the OP, rape is something that becomes funny when it’s just something desperate people have to do because it’s desperate people doing it.

    It’s a way for the ‘normal’ members of the audience to point and laugh and say “At least I’m not like that!” It’s a way of confirming that the socially awkward, the strange, the weird, really are different. Though such people are to be feared – they don’t conform to the standards of normal – the audience can feel safer by mocking and laughing at them; by putting the outcasts in their place.

    The rape is the means to this end. It is incidental. And it’s okay to laugh because it’s not really rape. Or she (or he) deserved it, anyway (drunk, slut, bitch, etc).

    Of course, it’s not funny. And is horribly misogynistic, heteronormative, and machismo.

    My answer is speculation, but that’s what came to mind when I read your question.

  22. A couple months back, there was a big to do about a video game in which the point was to rape people. I don’t remember which Skepchick posted about it on here, but she said something to the effect of, “Why is this such a big deal in the face of so many games that glorify violence? … I know I would personally rather somebody rape me than kill me.”

    With all the dark comedies that revolve around the cavalier and untimely death of random characters, is this really that much worse?

    Purely playing devil’s advocate here. Though I come from the school of George Carlin that says anything can be funny depending on how you construct the joke.

  23. @FFFearlesss:

    Teek, the author of that post has never been raped or (obviously) murdered.

    I think the issue in rape vs murder is the fact that society tends to blur the lines on when rape is and isn’t okay. There isn’t much victim blaming in murder. You don’t have police telling you things like “doesn’t look like murder to me. maybe you just changed your mind on wanting to live.”

    For a long time after being raped, if you asked me, I would have told you I’d have preferred murder.

  24. It’s obviously near impossible to define what IS and is NOT funny on a global perspective. Personally, I find George Carlin’s idea of “Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd” to be a funny damn image. The image of Seth Rogan and Anna Farris in this movie, at least what I’ve heard about it, probably wouldn’t make ME laugh.

    Then again, that’s really not what the film makers were going for anyway. Sure they were probably hoping to elicit a few chuckles, but what they were hoping for even more was for people to start talking about it, nay, condemning it. Because what better way to get more people saying, “NOW I need to see that,” then to have a bunch of pissed of people telling them it’s something that should never have been made.

  25. Many of my close friends and I have a perpetual email thread just to shoot the shit. Immediately after the tsunami struck in December of 2004, one friend emailed, “heard any good tsunami jokes?”

    Another relplied, “too tsun.”

    All jokes rely on the creation of some sort of tension. Even “why did the chicken cross the road? to get to the other side” plays on the audience’s expectation of an unlikely punchline to create the tension that makes the prosaic resolution funny (if it can be called funny, that is.)

    There are some events so horrific, it’s difficult to engage with them without falling into despair. Most of us are probably not emotionally equipped to be pediatric oncologists, for example.

    I will never defend rape jokes as tasteful, but I am not sure that they are any less acceptable than jokes about any off-color subject. The holocaust, AIDS, OJ Simpson’s murders, famine, poverty, and 9/11 are all phenomena that have provided fodder for dark humor.

    If a subject is particularly emotionally charged, the joke-teller has less work to do in order to create tension in the audience. Some people like that, others don’t.

    I am by no means saying that rape jokes are for everyone; they are certainly nothing I would expect to hear regularly; but I am not willing to go so far as to say they shouldn’t be told.

    One more thing: if you have watched Family Guy regularly, you know that much of its humor comes from off-color topics. I am pretty sure that every subject I listed above has shown up in that show more than once since it’s been on the air. It has also exploited paralysis, addiction, religion, abortion, cancer, slavery, prostitution and domestic violence.

    I don’t want to be a total jerk, but if you stuck around with the show for long enough to encounter all of those subjects, only to be put off by rape jokes, it strikes me as hypocrisy. To me, that says, “I can laugh at everyone else’s pain, but how dare they poke at my sacred cow?”

    We all have issues about which we’re particularly sensitive, and it’s perfectly fine to avoid media that exploit those. However, you can’t blame the show for doing exactly what it has always done.

  26. I think the main reason for the blurry line is that rape is not easily identified like, for instance, murder. Of course, and rightly so, people protect rape victims from blaming themselves because it can be psychologically damaging, but it doesn’t mean there can NEVER be confusion about consent.

    Some women – and I believe that this actually occurs in “Observe and Report” and I can back it up – decide they will get trashed and then have sex with someone. Because many statutes call any intoxicated intercourse between unmarried people rape, this is inherently problematic.

    If you don’t find rape funny, don’t put any rape jokes in YOUR movie. What else can you do? There are plenty of jokes about death, disease and other really sad things that people don’t like, and maybe these people had personal experiences with them which are legitimately awful, but hopefully none of them are in charge of what comedy is actually produced. Worrying about this kind of thing is comedy death, and it;s up to you to make choices about what you consume.

  27. @jrpowell:

    “And I should have the right to walk down any street in America with a suit made of 100 dollar bills and not expect to be robbed, even while sleeping in an alley.”

    Again, what the hell is it with people comparing my sexuality to money and/or swastikas. You certainly have the right to teach your daughters how you choose, but I will choose to teach MY SONS that a vagina is neither “currency to be robbed” nor is it a statement of anything other than the fact that a person has a vagina.

    This world still operates under the illusion that women represent sexuality by their very presence, but I am fighting like hell to make my pussy secondary to my personhood.

  28. Also, here is a better example, courtesy of Elyse and I, on what would be a better analogy for rape for men to understand:

    You go out drinking with your buddies and having fun. You wake up with HIS DICK IN YOUR MOUTH!

    Or you go to a club and start smiling and dancing with this girl. You go back to her house, start to make out, and then HER BOYFRIEND WALKS IN AND PUTS HIS DICK IN YOUR ASS!

    Any questions?

  29. In regards to the movie, although I haven only caught the previews and the scene in question, it seems this is supposed to be more of a black comedy. Rewatch the original MASH where death, war, suicide, and racism were all fodder for filmmakers. They don’t resound the same way now but things were different in 1969. So I suspect the scene is supposed to make people uncomfortable moreso than trying to be a cheap laugh.

  30. I think the line here is the difference between:

    “gallows humor” (an extension of it really, since people who work near death and other horrible things use humor as a coping mechanism or rhetorical tool)…

    “black humor” (i.e. – humor surrounding really dark and depressing subjects), and what I’m going to call…

    “id humor” (i.e. – this wave of movies – many of which star Seth Rogen – that seem to celebrate mostly the male id’s sense of humor)

    Gallows Humor? Indulged in it myself. I was the triage receptionist at a Level I trauma center for a year. You do NOT have a job like that – where you see all the horrible things that man and nature can inflict on your neighbors – and not use humor as an escape.

    So, yes, we used to take bets on the blood alcohol level of the extremely inebriated. It was, however, for no profit except bragging rights, and even then, it was done in the break room, not in front of the patients (highest I ever saw? A memorable 0.42 – don’t ask me how the person was walking and talking, ’cause I’m still stumped).

    Yes, you make jokes about sad stuff like that. Because either you find the humor in the horror that’s your day, or you end up screaming somewhere. (I personally was known for kicking the s**t out of the metal garbage cans in the ambulance bay on bad nights.)

    Black Humor? Look no further than the Coen Brothers. Fargo is a black humor masterpiece – you don’t expect to find yourself laughing about abduction and murder, but you do. As George Carlin put it – it’s about the exaggeration you use. Exaggerate the right part of the joke (i.e. – not the actual act itself but the circumstances), and it’s uncomfortable but not offensive.

    Id humor? I like a good, stupid, “low-brow” movie as much as the next person. Animal House is a classic, as are the best of the Mel Brooks movies, the Austin Powers movies, and the original “Airplane!”. But between the Farrelly Brothers and Judd Apatow, you’re looking at writers and directors one-upping each other on how gross, shocking, and/or crass they can be.

    It’s one thing for someone like heidiho to joke about rape. It’s part of her daily life. It’s another for Hollywood to display rape (or just drunken/drugged sex) as comical. That sanctifies it, which is unacceptable.

    Hollywood is counting on cults of personality and the claim that they are trying to be “edgy” or “topical” to get this stuff into the multiplex. screen. Personally, I don’t get it, and think it’s insulting. Is this the only kind of humor they think the US wants to see?

    I also think it just shows us how prurient the Hollywood establishment is. If an actor up for an Academy award had a sex scandal where he date raped an incoherent woman, he’s be blacklisted. But if he does it on screen for a laugh? It’s “art”. Black Velvet art, perhaps, except that drags down quality black velvet art…

  31. @Elyse:

    “I think the “she liked it at the time and then regretted it and cried rape” is a rare occurrence and more of a defense strategy. It’s a red herring in a date rape discussion.”

    I have no idea how common this is at all. It is unfortunately true that cases that start off with an accusation of rape and turn out to be something different are over-reported. There was a case just last week where a schmuck saved himself a rape charge by secretly videotaping the act.

    My gut instinct is that people having sex when their brains have so much alcohol that they aren’t forming memories very well is reasonably common. In these circumstances I don’t think either witness is very reliable. If I had a daughter I would tell her to avoid situations where this would even be a remote possibility, and I’m sure she’d ignore me. It is a sad fact that women have to consider every man a potential predator, but it is safer than the other assumption.

  32. davew: “It is a sad fact that women have to consider every man a potential predator, but it is safer than the other assumption.”

    It’s not just a sad fact, it’s idiotic. Why should women have to assume that all men are predators? Why should children have to assume that all people, even their relatives, are molesters? Why shouldn’t there be trust? Just so a guy doesn’t have to worry about being trustworthy?

    It’s an easy thing – no means no, and unconscious means no, and falling down drunk means no, and cries of pain mean no, and I’ve got a headache means no. No can happen at the beginning of the evening, all the way up until the guy is 3 seconds short of an orgasm.

    Why else do men have hands?

    As a guy, if I got drunk and my date got drunk, and we had intercourse, and then, when we both sobered up, she asked what the hell happened, I would feel like I raped her, even if I had videotape evidence that she’s said yes. Maybe that makes me “too sensitive”, but at least I’m not a mouth-breathing knuckle-dragger who thinks it’s more important to get my rocks off than to have a shared experience we both enjoy. (And Dave – I am NOT referring to you as belonging in that last class – you have made it very clear that you are not that kind of guy.)

  33. “Having sex with a passed out person is never portrayed as totally normal and okay. But it is portrayed as something that people do out of desperation… ”

    This also allows people to rationalize their own assault of other people by saying things like, “Do I look like I need to rape someone?” It gives rapists an out, if they don’t fit the “type.” I’ve posted several times about really handsome guys who have been convicted of rape, because, well, because they raped someone.

    And can we PLEASE quit with the victim blaming bullshit? There is just no freaking way that any woman could function in society if we abided by all the “protect yourself from rape” “suggestions” we’re constantly getting from the media, friends, family, random strangers on the bus…

    And I’m with Elyse, in the years immediately following my rape, I too would have chosen being murdered over living through that again.

    The “joke” isn’t funny. It’s normalization of a “type” of rapist, and it’s part of a systematic societal definition of who rapists are that does nothing but hurt rape victims, of any gender.

  34. @infinitemonkey:

    I know this is the internet and it’s easy to take things out of context, but your comment comes across as kinda douchey… like “hey, if you don’t like rape, I don’t want to think about your junk”

    I’m more than hoping that’s not what you’re trying to say to Heidi…

  35. @juryjone: Women aren’t the only one. I have men guys online for one reason. I’ll let you fill in the gaps. Well, when I do, I make sure I have a few very important items-

    Cash on hand
    Cell phone
    Wallet w/ID
    Condoms
    Box cutter

    Remeber, this is a post-Matthew Sheppard world we’re living in. While the guy on the other end of the chat room may be saying X, Y, and Z, I don’t know which, if any, are real. A real and serious possibility is that its some redneck who doesn’t take kindly to them damn qu***s, or a meth-head.

  36. @barry21:

    I don’t want to be a total jerk, but if you stuck around with the show for long enough to encounter all of those subjects, only to be put off by rape jokes, it strikes me as hypocrisy. To me, that says, “I can laugh at everyone else’s pain, but how dare they poke at my sacred cow?”

    This wasn’t the only reason I stopped watching. I stopped finding the show as entertaining as it used to be.

    This particular scene was not the first or only date-rape joke on the show. I personally think that if a show repeatedly depicts something that triggers painful memories, and depicts them as hilarious, while you’re reliving the pain, perhaps it’s time to turn off the TV. I don’t think that makes me a hypocrite.

    The other stuff, I agree with. I actually have a pretty twisted sense of humor… and there has been a time or two where I’ve even laughed at jokes about rape… but they weren’t jokes like, “Man isn’t it funny when someone needs sex so bad they drug someone and rape them while they’re unconscious? I hope I never get that desperate! But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, you know?”

  37. @ infinitemonkey: Of course, men can be raped, beat up and/or killed by the same mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers – and that’s just as sad and idiotic. But if I catch your drift about the reason you meet other guys online, then your particular situation would not fall in the catogory of “date rape” – unless you change your mind after the date begins, which is perfectly valid.

  38. I have no idea how to quote like Elyse, but:

    “I don’t want to be a total jerk, but if you stuck around with the show for long enough to encounter all of those subjects, only to be put off by rape jokes, it strikes me as hypocrisy. To me, that says, “I can laugh at everyone else’s pain, but how dare they poke at my sacred cow?”

    First of all, let me state that everyone has different hotbutton issues. Thats fine, however, I reserve the right to if you piss me off, I stop patronizing you. Now, he can do as many rape jokes as he wants, I won’t be watching them. Its his freedom of speech, and I’m not going to encroach on it because my feelings were hurt.

  39. Infinitemonkey –

    I understand that, and I certainly don’t want to say that you should be compelled to watch the show once it has offended you.

    At the same time, it really does rub me the wrong way when people sit through holocaust and AIDS jokes only to wind up outraged when their number comes up.

  40. At the risk of going slightly off-topic, this seems to be the perfect place to ask : why would anyone WANT to be so drunk they can no longer be conscious, let alone consent (or refuse consent) to anything ?

    Just to be clear, this is an honest question, I’m not trying to play “blame the victim”.

    This very well may explain my lack of a social life but I’ve managed to go through college (well, the equivalent over here) and beyond and I think I’ve only been really drunk once. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the attraction of alcohol.
    However, since, afaik, the only “reward” for massive drunkenness is a complete loss of inhibition (and assorted vomiting or hangover), I just don’t see how anyone, male or female, can feel that it’s a good idea to get to that point and be surrounded by others (potentially semi-strangers) in the same state.

  41. Elyse, I’m with you. This isn’t funny and is a very worrying part of our changing society. I’m one man that finds this kind of “humor” offensive in the extreme. Sometimes I think people have lost all respect for one another…

  42. @barry21:

    I think the difference is that reasonable people don’t discount the reality and tragedy of the Holocaust and AIDS. No one really believes that all priests are Michael Jackson… or that depicting a child molester in a funny manner is the same as endorsing NAMBLA.

    The sensitivity comes when things, like date rape, that are still looked at as kinda okay by “reasonable people” are treated so flippantly and depicted in a manner that doesn’t satirize the fact that it’s considered kinda okay.

    And as much as you may think no one thinks date rape is “kinda okay”, you’d be surprised.

    When I was raped, the cops told me that “no semen was found so evidently nothing happened”. Totally disregarding the fact that I had a bruise the size of a softball between my vulva and thigh… and the fact that the guy admitted to almost the entire attack and admitted that I passed out. But the guy’s friends told the cops I was known as being slutty… which I was interrogated about in front of my mother. And I was drinking… so it was just a case of college students getting it on. I was pressured by the school not to press charges, and chastised because I went to the police before campus security. I was told that there was nothing they could do to help me move my schedule around so I didn’t have to attend class with my rapist… of which I had 2- one MWF class and one TTh class.

    I ended up dropping out that semester, and learned that my friends had stopped speaking to me because I was making too big of a deal out of it.

    So yeah, it is still “kinda okay” by a lot of people.

  43. Could someone please explain this to me? What is so funny about this? How is rape something that becomes funny when it’s just something desperate people have to do?

    What I’d like to know is, how does this edify us as people? If edification isn’t the goal, then I wonder about the morality of it. Why isn’t edification the goal?

  44. @ Elyse –

    Your story is horrible to hear, and I am aware that it’s all too typical. I started dating my first college girlfriend about a year after she went through a similar ordeal. Over the years, I have also noticed a disturbingly cavalier attitude toward rape in several of my friends who I expected to know better.

    I hope I haven’t given the impression that I think society is a-ok when it comes to rape; that’s not how I feel. It’s wonderful that you are empowered to be so open about your own experience, and hopefully you have and will continue to playing a role in raising awareness of the issues surrounding date rape.

    That said, I do think that the litany of taboos that find their way into contemporary shock comedy is guaranteed to include at least one element that hits too close to home for any one audience member. I think it’s totally fine to eschew those media for whatever reason, however I also think that after opening the door to any one of them, it becomes difficult to form a consistent argument against any other.

  45. @barry21: Let me point out that I never counted myself as a fan of the show. I watched it on adult swim, it came on around Futurama, so it was kinda a packaged deal. Also, if its being presented to show some of the more outlandish aspects of something, or the rule of unintended consequences, then that’s fine. I would like to point out I never saw the topics in question discussed. I don’t think you can present in a humorous way either the Holocaust or AIDS.

    @juryjone: I understand that my situation would not fall under date rape. I also concede that being a man, I have a luxury most women do not….the possiblity of defending myself.

    @Bethor: As an explanation to your answer, its not the desire to be in such a state. Its kinda a slippery slope. You have one, then another, and you think your fine, then, next thing you know, you’re three sheets to the wind. I just happen to be witness to such a scenerio this weekend. Fortunately, he was with a good guy.

    And, as a final thought, people who have had experiences with certain concepts have a completely different view of it than those who haven’t, and I would like to thank @Elyse: for sharing her story, it took a lot of courage.

  46. @Elyse:

    I think date rape is neither funny nor kind of okay. Nobody in my set thinks date rape is kind of okay, of course most people I know are female or have grown daughters. I haven’t run across this in the media either, but I tend to avoid the sorts of movies and TV shows you cite as examples. The problem now is find a decent comedy that doesn’t involve rather extreme pre-adolescent, borderline-felonious male behavior. There are some, but it’s easier to find them on DVD than in the theater.

  47. I’ve heard a new take on the “No means no” slogan discussed before- “yes means yes” which I think is an excellent point to be made about date rape to those who get defensive about it.

    What is so onerous about seeking a definite and enthusiastic yes to having sex? Why is it such a revelation that bullying and/or drugging someone into not saying no is not consensual sex?

  48. @Elyse:
    Elyse, my best friend in college had a similar incident. She got drunk and passed out in a female friend’s bed during a party (she was careful – with a friend!)

    When she woke up the friend’s fiance was raping her. She woke up and passed out several times during the rape.

    It completely ruined her life for several years. She shut down sexually and emotionally, and became very promiscuous – which is not uncommon. After all, one way victims often think they can guarantee never being raped again is to give it up to anyone when they show the least bit of interest.

    My mother was sexually abused and raped repeatedly throughout her childhood, and I can not recall a time that I was not aware of rape. My mother took great care to instill my sister and I with a sense of self and a belief that our bodies truly belonged to us.

    The problem is not with women drinking, dressing slutty, or dancing provocatively, the problem is with people who think their erection is more important than my enthusiasm or consent.

  49. I worked part time in a Forensic Biology lab for a couple of years. This is the area of forensics that gets all the fun bodily fluids and does DNA analysis and comparison. Most of the cases that get handed to this area are rape and child abuse cases. Not only is the rape kit sent, but the police report is also included. I read a lot of really sad cases. Like a young girl who went to the grocery store and was pulled into a guys truck and raped. Or the Pokeman sheets that I had to screen for daddy’s semen. So, no, rape is not funny. I don’t think I ever saw a case where the woman was drunk and reported rape, but I think this particular case is rarely reported due to the guilt the woman may feel. In the 2 years I was worked there, I only saw one case where the girl made it up. So I think this is a rare occurrence.

    One guy that worked in the lab, thought that the stripper who got raped deserved it. I really hated that guy. Unfortunately, there are too many people that think stupid things like that.

  50. Heidiho

    You know, me getting drunk and getting raped while asleep by some dude is exactly what I was thinking about when I first read this post.

    I think what you said about that drives home the point, for me, just fine. (Are you a mind reader? Just kidding).

    Elyse

    To answer the original question of this post, I don’t even think “tea bagging” is funny, let alone anything else.

    I have no answer.

    I’m sorry to hear that you had to go through much worse.

    I’m blessed (aka lucky) to hang with people who don’t think it’s funny either.

    rod

  51. @barry21:

    No, my point was that no one thinks that the Holocaust and AIDS are really funny. They don’t deny that these are real, serious, painful things… but sometimes taking a step back and poking fun at them is okay.

    But as much as we like to tell ourselves that no one thinks date rape is okay… the reality is that you, unfortunately, probably know more people who are okay with it than you think.

    In fact, the inspiration for this question came from a discussion among skeptics… many of whom were siding with an actual rape victim who claims that date rape isn’t really rape because you have to be stupid to get yourself in that position in the first place.

    And tha

  52. I can’t speak to Observe and Report, as I haven’t seen it but as somewhat of a non-professional and amateur comedian myself, I’ll take a crack at it.

    In the context of humor, nothing is off limits and rape can be funny for mostly the same reason that the Holocaust has been comedy gold ever since Charlie Chaplin made it acceptable to do so in 1941’s The Great Dictator. If you go to any comedy club one thing you’ll notice is that there aren’t many routines about non-taboo subjects. And there’s a reason why. Comedy and tragedy are the same thing. Mark Twain once said, “The secret source of Humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.” Similarly, Lenny Bruce once said, “All my humor is based on destruction and despair. If the whole world were tranquil, without disease and violence, I’d be standing in the breadline.” Further, I can’t think of one great comedian who hasn’t had a troubled background or wasn’t perpetually on the verge of self-destruction. And many great comedians have self-destructed. Comedy is often at its best when its about things society would rather not talk about. The main character of All In The Family was a lovable racist. Not to diminish your feelings in any way but I imagine there were probably a lot of people who had just as strong negative feelings about that as you do to rape-based humor. And in my opinion, that only further justifies the need to joke about it.

    It’s because of this close relationship to despair and tragedy that comics are given license to cross so many boundaries. Still, you’ll always find people who say another man’s humor goes “too far” or “too soon.” I believe that five minutes after a tragedy, it’s okay to joke about it. Anything before that and you should be ashamed of yourself. Of course the five minutes are entirely arbitrary and are themselves, meant for comic effect. I come from the school of thought that doesn’t actually believe it is ever too soon to make light of a tragedy, because one of the central purposes of humor is to cope with grief and tragedy. What’s the cliché? “You have to laugh to keep from crying.”

  53. This is my first post on this site, so please be gentle with me.

    My wife’s best friend was raped while on holiday in Bali about 10 years ago and she has only really gotten over it in the last couple of years.

    Rape is one of the worst things, out of the many horrible things, that we humans regularly do to each other. In a perfect world everyone would be able to go out, get boozed, wear what they want and dance how they want, but we do not live in a perfect world.

    From personal experience, though not as serious as rape, I was cutting through a carpark on the way to the pub a few years ago when a group of guys stepped out from behind a car and held a knife to my throat while liberating the contents of my wallet.

    Everyone needs to take precautions to lower the risk that they will be the victim of a crime. that being said, I agree completely with heidiho that far too many guys assume that just because a girl is drunk and/or dressed in a skimpy way that it equals consent.

  54. @ Elyse and Heidiho and A Team

    I have a sense of humor that can be as subtle as a whisper or as twisted and an uprooted sappling after a tornado.

    Furthermore, gallows humor is something I excel at and it’s a must in any intense field of work, but it’s most appropriately initiated by and shared with others within that field.

    I HATE political correctness because I think it substitutes rules and regulation (that are often too stringent ) for savvy and common sense, but since so many do not have both I live with the need to not dismantle it in it’s entirety. Man, I wish I could dent it though.

    I LOVE juxtaposing the tame with the wild, the expected with the unexpected – surprise is the keystone of much humor.

    But even with all that stated, the ONLY people who can even consider laughing at rape itself are those in Heidiho’s line of work, because it helps them survive their line of work, by coping with the atrocities, by allowing themselves the equivalent of a scream, only disguised in the form of humor. I would guess further, though I do not know since is not my job, that even when humor is initiated within the field it’s is rare and very selective. Rape is never, ever, EVER funny I’ve never heard a brilliant rape joke yet, because it would have to be brilliant to be funny. Seriously, I’ve heard brilliant sodomy jokes, but not rape.

    I have enjoyed Seth Rogen’s juvenille humor. I’ve laughed at his pot jokes even though I do not and have never done drugs, including pot. I , however, see the humor in it. It’s funny. This was one of the rare times I intentionally chose not to see this movie because I found what I read about this scene to be completely and utterly distasteful.

    And A team, although you are correct in that nothing is off limits – essentially the audience with tell you if what you are doing is funny and in order to be funny you had better know your audience well ( sorta like if a tree falls in the forest … blah, blah blah ) – when you are making something so horrendous the essence of your joke you had better be reeking with brilliance. I think it was in Eddie Murphy’s RAW where Murphy had Fred Murtz and Ricky Ricardo going at it back door style. It was mind numbingly funny.

    But rape? Well … though a comedian probably isn’t doing his job right if somebody takes offense, but … it still takes savvy. Woody Allen once said that comedy is tragedy plus time. I have a feeling that time is infinite when it comes to rape humor for the victim. Better not to offend sometimes? Maybe not. Then again, maybe this is that time. Unless you truly are an Einstein of comedy. Rogen/Farris’ scene seems to fall a tad short of this.

  55. I’m not done … too much comedy confuses shock for humor. Surprise is a cornerstone of humor, but there has to be an intelligence ( even if it’s juvenile ) behind the twist.

    Merely saying boo can scare someone, but it’s cheap. Hitchcock took the boo to artistic levels by building the tension and releasing it, over and over again until the final boo was magificently played out. It’s been copied ever since and Hitchcock stole it fromthose who prceded him. Saying F**K at the end of a joke is lazy when the joke itself doesn’t get a laugh. Psychological tension can be released and be perceived as humor, terror, confusion, anger , etc depending on the weapon chosen for the ultimate release. Shock, however, is as cheap as the mere boo. Often the milieu will determine shock’s ultimate perception: I’m in a comedy so it must be funny, but imagine if the Rogen/Faris scene was played out in a film without ANY humor, in a film in which we learn prior to this scene that his character is violent, hates women, and is psychologically damaged and she was predetermined to go from one abusive relationship to another and learned to survive by allowing passively such nightmare events to occur. The same scene, the same shock value would evoke an entirely different response. There is craft and there is crap. This was shock for shock sake. Only the fact that it was in a comedy was what made this a “funny” scene.

  56. First, what does this have to do with skepticism?

    Second, I want to thank “The A Team” for saying what needed to be said. I haven’t seen “Observe and Report” but from what I’ve heard is that the movie is not typical Seth Rogen fare and is at times dark and unexpectedly shocking in it’s humor. Can we at least consider that a movie staring a comedian can have a more sophisticated approach to real life from time to time with complicated characters that do things we don’t like. Whatever you think of this movie, it sparks serious discussion about serious topics.

    Art is a reflection of life in all its scary complexity, yes, that includes comedy too. I’ll reserve judgment on the movie until I see it. Let me just say, if you liked the movie, that doesn’t mean you advocate date rape or think that its funny when it happens to real people.

  57. Rape, the holocaust, Aids, 9/11, all these things are hilarious. Pretty much anything where there’s some group of people scowling and saying ‘that’s not funny’ is by definition funny.

    There are certain types that I don’t expect to laugh at this stuff; holocaust survivors, rape victims, people with AIDS; but that’s why it’s funny. Horrible things happening is funny, senseless tragedy is hilarious. Breaking taboos is what humor is about.

    I think I might be the only person in this thread who has actually seen the film. It’s funny, it’s well made, it’s the type of thing I like. It’s in the same genre as King of Comedy, Devin Faraci pointed out that it’s practically a remake of Taxi Driver. Our sympathies are not with the protagonist, he is a despicable person, we’re not laughing with him. I think that’s an important part of the picture that a lot of the people speaking out against the film are not fully understanding.

  58. Man, I go to work and miss the chance to defend myself for nine hours.
    I thought my last statement made my point clear:

    “Women never deserve to get raped, just like any other innocent victim of any other crime doesn’t deserve it. We still must ALL protect ourselves and avoid dangerous situations.”

    @mrsepp: But someone slipping something into your drink is different from you getting yourself inebriated to the point of incapacitation. It’s still, of course, NOT the rape victim’s fault, but it’s a situation the victim could have avoided.
    @Elyse: ‘You wouldn’t say, “Hey, if you didn’t get too shitfaced you wouldn’t have gotten held up at the ATM.” ‘
    But you might have noticed that shady character lurking around. Again, the rape victim never deserves to be raped. But everyone knows that rapes happen and HOW a great number of them happen. I’m only saying to be careful.
    @heidiho:Absolutely, asshats should NOT go out into the world with their dicks loaded and ready to fire? But the sad truth is they’re out there.
    @mrsepp:I agree with this 100%, including carrying mace. Women (and men) should be able to have wild fun out in public, and they should be able to stop any action at any time.

    @bug_girl: You have always been one of my very favorite skepchicks, so you misconstruing me hurts most of all. I’m not blaming the victim, (though I should have been more careful with that particular sentence) I am merely cautioning against putting yourself in a dangerous situation. I don’t know the particulars of your rape, but I know it wasn’t your fault.

    @Stephen Moore: I agree I have the right, but it isn’t a good idea, and that’s my point.
    @jes3ica: You’re just being mean. I am as much a feminist as you are. I used quotation marks grammatically – and likely erroneously – because the word ‘she’ doesn’t actually refer to anyone previously in the paragraph.

    *Whew*

  59. Why do people have to be laughing at the victim or the perpetrator?

    I have to admit, as hated as the stance may be, that I would probably find this scene funny if I were to watch it.

    It’s an absurd and awkward situation. The humor there, at least for me, is the same exact type as Monty Python’s “Spam Song,” which as far as humor goes is pretty damn innocuous.
    The gender of each of the characters in the scene does very little to alter the scene. The major difference here is that with a woman being raped some people get to cry “misogyny.”

  60. I want to say that I liked the movie. I thought it was dark, creepy, and nonsensical. I found it interesting, not unlike Elise, that people thought certain part were purely comedy…

    For example, the hardest I laughed while watching the movie is when Rogen’s character breaks a skateboard over the head of a fleeing skateboarder… Undeserved violence, for sure.

    I think the fact that Rogen’s character has such blatant anti-social tendencies gives it away. I think the film is anti-moralistic, it isn’t trying to tell us what is right or wrong…

    I agree with most in here that in this particular instance, the whole movie centers around absurdly dark humor… I don’t even see it as “shock” humor.. There is something intrinsic about the film, that is hiding underneath the “this is another stupid, shocking, stoner-movie from Seth Rogen…”

    For some people, it just makes them laugh…. I agree with the concept of reassuring audience members that “at least they aren’t anti-social freaks.”

    In closing, I don’t even consider this film a dark COMEDY.. I just consider it DARK, flavored with “oh, you can laugh at this, if you want, because you if you walk out of this theater without laughing, you’ll be crying and need therapy….. but we wanted to show you these things some how.”

  61. Humour is one way we deal with really bad shit. Think of Blackadder Goes Forth – an entire comedy season about the First World War. As a man I wouldn’t joke about rape, unless it was the whole male-prison-shower thing, but I think it’s something a woman could get away with – if she was very, very good.

  62. Wow, these are some smart comments. Its really nice to see this level of discussion on the interwebs (or maybe I’ve just spent too much time on the World of Warcraft forums).

    The way I see it, these kind of jokes are funny BECAUSE they fly in the face of the real world. To say “I wish I was black, that way I could dance better,” is racist, but is, of course, quite silly. If Anna Faris woke up and actually got upset, that’s way too real to be funny. But her reaction was so far from what any normal person would do that the irony of it makes us chuckle a little. Of course, there are REAL racists and rapists out there who might laugh for another reason, but they’re assholes (and probably shitty dancers), so who cares about them.

    Now, some of you have a personal stake in this from experience, job, etc. That’s tough. I think all you can really do is say “well, I didn’t get the humor there” and move on, like the emo-pimp scene in “Spiderman 3” (I swear, I was the only person not laughing in the whole theater). If the scene/joke is hurtful or offensive, then let me speak with all my years of experience with consensual sex followed by milk and cookies and not ever being raped or knowing anyone who ever was: I’m sorry, but its part of your own history and (ugh, I’m gonna take heat for this) its your own responsibility to protect yourself from viewing something that could offend you. You don’t want comedians taking out jokes that some might find hurtful. Limiting art is always the wrong direction. If nothing else, the fact that it starts a conversation like this is a plus. Awareness FTW!

    My point is, I’m a super nice dude, everyone loves me, and you would, too, but that scene sounds really funny to me.
    ~Jonas

  63. Let’s try something different. How about a dude that was raped, and people try to play it for a joke?

    http://www.racialicious.com/2009/04/14/when-a-man-is-the-victim-a-second-study-in-rape-apology/

    Lil’ Wayne seems to me to be uncomfortable with the line of questioning, and yet Jimmy Kimmel and the other man on the show continue to laugh and joke around about it, even after Lil’ Wayne says very clearly that the experience was harmful to him.

    It seems like a reasonable question, to ask what the hell is wrong with Jimmy Kimmel. But the problem is, while not excusing his actions for a single second, that he has a whole culture (and audience) backing him up.

    It’s not “surprise sex.” It’s rape.
    I have discussed rape culture before in another post.

    If you’d like to see rape culture at work, go read this post:
    http://www.racialicious.com/2009/04/21/michael-baisden-is-a-misogynist-pig/

    A classic example.

  64. @The A-Team

    Good entry. Thanks.

    I do remember a moment when I laughed at a rape joke. Sarah Silverman said something like, “I was raped by my doctor. As a Jew this was bittersweet experience.” I laughed. My wife most certainly did not. Back to what @The A-Team said. There certainly comedy in dark experiences. It’s all in the approach. To me what made this joke acceptable is that the “victim” told it.

  65. Whether or not humor reinforces negative social norms or stereotypes is completely relevant to whether or not one should find it acceptable. Saying “anything is a target of ridicule” is a very privileged thing to be able to say. I should know, I am a while male, and I’m not sure I could be more privileged than that. This form of “argument” is not much different than that which defends white racist humor by saying “Chris Rock uses the word cracker” as if prejudice in both direction is in any way equally damaging.

    The fact that you don’t have to understand what it is to live in a rape culture because you are not a woman, is exactly the reason why you find rape humor funny. In the same way, not understanding what real racism is will warp your perception on what kind of race humor is and is not funny.

    Imagine a group of white racist kids at a high school laughing at a black child. This is a form of humor is it not? Now imagine one of those white high schoolers trying to reason with you about why they find a black person’s so funny? Imagine them saying “Stop being so sensitive”, or “Humor is how we deal with life’s hardships,” or “Nothing is free from ridicule and humor.”

    Are any of these answers adequate? Do any of these answers even begin to reach the actual point? No. Humor is not so cut and dry and simple. Do you consider yourself less funny because you don’t laugh with the white supremacists? Of course not.

    You can say “Nothing is free from humor” till you are blue in the face, it won’t change the fact that humor can be a big part of reinforcing social norms. As well as a big part of reinforcing prejudice.

    The question is not, “Will we laugh?” the Question is, “Should we?”

  66. @Elyse: “…When I was raped…”

    The cops didn’t do there job. Your friends were obviously less than they claimed to be.

    I’m sorry you experienced that.

    @infinitemonkey: “I also concede that being a man, I have a luxury most women do not….the possiblity of defending myself. ”

    Talk about sexist shit. This is the kind of thing that irritates the hell out of me. Women have just as much capability to ‘defend themselves’ as men do. Yes, I concede that statistically they are, on average, smaller, lighter, and have less muscle mass, however those things have nothing to do with ‘defending oneself’ – they have to do with fighting. A drugged or sleeping male is just as vulnerable as a drugged or sleeping female, and the same attitude about ‘defense’ you put forward actually ups the chance of a male ending up in a situation where he will need that ‘strength’. It also encourages women who are conditioned by society to think that way to become more prone to victimization since they, “Need a big strong male to protect them”.

    Defense starts in the mind and by paying attention to ones surroundings and situation. Anyone can do that.

    @heidiho: “…The problem is not with women drinking, dressing slutty, or dancing provocatively, the problem is with people who think their erection is more important than my enthusiasm or consent.”

    All right, I’ve decided how to address you now.

    Fuck you.

    I don’t know what your problem is, but the tone of every one of your post is that it has something to do with men and the fact that you and ‘women’ generally can’t do whatever the hell you want without any repercussions.

    Now before I go any further I want to make a couple things clear about my position and my background.

    1) I’m a guy
    2) I used to work in mental health
    3) I have fought off two ‘attempted rapes’ against my own person
    4) multiple people I care for deeply have suffered through the experience of rape, (several date rapes, one more aggressive one)
    5) rape, as an act, is never acceptable
    6) non-consensual sex of any sort is never acceptable
    7) I have been the victim of various things, some of which resulted in very similar emotional fallout to that associated with rape.

    That said, welcome to the real world.

    If I, as a 6′ plus, prior military, male let myself get into the wrong situations in certain crowds I will still get mugged – even with my angry face on. Generally, people will say I should have known better than to be there. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I was a victim and I am not at ‘fault’. Nor does it change the fact that I probably knew the risk I was running. After that happens, I also don’t then talk about my problems with humans as if ‘they’ are the big problem.

    And if a woman gets raped, for any reason, though she is a victim and is not at fault and a terrible thing happened, I don’t see how that then equates to a defense for comments that essentially boil down to, “I should be allowed to do whatever the hell I want with no outside force every acting upon me in a way I don’t want!”, or, “rape involves men!”.

    The point that several people have tried to make and you have attacked is that all our actions have consequences. No, I’m not blaming the victim, and yes the rapist is in the wrong. However, the simple fact is that we don’t live in a perfect world and bad things are going to happen to people. Especially when they make choices that put them in bad situations that are easily exploited by people who don’t have a strong ethical standard for themselves.

    If you want to take that fact and make it all about how men are villainous bastards who don’t have enough self control and ignore the more serious social problems that lead to the general acceptance, (even glorification), of such behavior then have your fun. It’s probably even the right ‘attitude’ to present to the victims, (they often need to be convinced that they are not the ones at fault).

    However, in the case of date rape, by ignoring the part that their choices did play in the situation and failing to help them address that; then you do the victims of these crimes no service. Even worse, you miss a chance to empower them in one of the most important areas of their entire lives. That being their ability to control the course of their lives through their own choices, independent of anything done to them by others.

    :/ Damnit.. this is probably to long and probably to aggressive. However I’m a couple sheets to the wind myself and have some very strong feelings about this topic.

  67. I have been in a situation vaguely like this. I was out with friends and completely slaughtered. Someone said his friend liked me and when I looked over I wasn’t interested, but later on this person kissed me and I kissed back. On the way back to the dorms I sobered up a bit and regreted it but we continued drinking once the group got back to the dorm and as I went to leave, now totally drunk again, the person followed me out and pulled me towards their room. Not that forcefully but pulling none the less. I kind of stumbled along and then remember being half naked with them going down on me.
    I am a male, she was female.
    I think this is why I can theorise and attempt to get into the head of the victim but will ultimately fail. I just thought, “Oh right, that feels good”. I actually ended up having to let HER down easily the next day. Guys can’t understand and the “guy raped by guy” comparison doesn’t work unless the guy is gay to begin with. For most guys, sex with their prefered gender is always good. Maybe not great, maybe not looked for, but okay. Perhaps it’s not your favorite pizza, but it’s still pizza. This is clearly not the case with women and men will probably never truely understand what a woman might go through.
    When it comes to getting permission, its not so simple. It should be obvious if someone is having fun and wants to continue. If it isn’t then, yeah, you need to hear the word yes. I’ve never asked my girlfriend permission for anything (and for the record neither has she from me), and I’ve woken her up in the morning by going down, something she very much enjoys. I think its important to distance this situation from the date rape discussion as it is totally different and shouldn’t be used as an excuse by a rapist.

  68. MoltenHotMagma–

    Check out the stats for who the rapists are, (RAINN is a good resource). Irrespective of the sex of the victim, 99% of the time the rapist is a man.

    Men go out, get shit faced, annoy the crap out of everyone in the bar or at the party, pass out, why don’t women have just as much power and self-determination to make jackasses of themselves?

    This whole “women need to police themselves because men won’t” is bullshit that is all about maintaining an appropriate level of fear so that women’s sexuality might be better controlled. Everything you said made it clear that women are to think of themselves as inherently in danger anytime they are in the public realm. I cannot stress enough – THAT’S NOT A FEMINIST THOUGHT. The sort of gender inequality that turns over public spaces to men, by virtue of their “essential” aggressive and potentially sexually predatory nature and declares them naturally dangerous to women is the same sort of gender inequality which silences men who are victims of sexual assault, the same sort of inequality which proscribes conversations about sexual assault that address why the rapist is in error, the same sort of inequality that encourages very nice men, like yourself, to continue to support the “she doesn’t have the same right I do to be fucked up at a party, she should know better, some dudes are dangerous.”

  69. @Rebecca: I know… and I just drug myself back out of bed feeling guilty as all hell and hoping to apologize for it.

    :/

    All I can say is that a serious nerve was struck and I suspect I’m projecting my feelings about a particular councilor I used to work with onto heidiho. To this day, I still believe that the councilor I am thinking of is directly responsible for the deaths of three patients, (one of whom I had been working with a great deal and who had been doing well until a session with the councilor in question), through gross incompetence.

    None of that is an excuse, however. I can only hope that everyone, heidiho in particular, will accept my apology.

  70. @ HypatiasGirl (and anyone else),

    At the outset, please forgive my ignorance. You seem like a knowledgeable group, and I am curious about a few things.

    My understanding is that – however inartfully- moltenhotmagma is making a point that is not without merit. I think he is saying that women are more likely to be raped than men, and at least some responsibility falls on women to prevent crimes against their persons.

    You responded in part by saying that it’s “not a feminist thought” for women to be saddled with constant fear of sexual assault. I am sure you are correct about that, but I think it’s a straw man in this context.

    There is a broad middle ground between total fear and wild abandon, and I think the most valuable discourse on this subject takes place there, not at the poles. I do not lock my apartment door or even put on a seat belt out of fear, but out of caution.

    It would be really unpleasant if all I could think when I got in a car were, “I might die. I might die. I might die.” So I can understand your strong rejection of the notion of living in constant fear of rape. At the same time, it doesn’t matter terribly much how feminist one’s thoughts are when a sexual predator is looming.

    At least in my mind, the question of assigning blame is a settled one. The attacker is 100% wrong in every case, regardless of the victim’s actions. What I understood Molten to be saying is that once the blame question is out of the way, it’s time to address the practical steps that women can take to avoid attack. There’s certainly nothing un-feminist about that. People take all sorts of precautions all the time, right?

    I am sure I am missing something about your argument, and I would love to hear your further thoughts.

  71. Advice on how to avoid rape – for men.

    Most cases of rape happen in relationships or amongst friends and acquaintances. Be careful in these situations if you are unsure of the limits of human interaction.

    Rape usually happens in connection with alcohol use. Be careful with alcohol and other intoxicating substances.

    Do not seek out dangerous situations! Do not walk alone after dark or along desolated streets.

    Make sure you male friends don’t walk alone home. Always look out for each other. Always carry money for a cab.

    Do not walk around armed if you find it difficult to separate between sex and violence. Use of any weapons such as knives, bats, firearms, broken glass or rope for strangulation may cause additional harm while raping.

    A possible correlation between the use of violent pornography and rape is still not disproved. Avoid violent pornography to be on the safe side.

    It may be difficult controlling sexual lust, especially when seeing a cute girl in a spaghetti top. Masturbate one extra time before leaving the house if you have problems with these situations.

    It is unfortunately impossible to separate between normal men and rapists. We will not prioritize research in this area; this list of advice is therefore meant for the male population at large.

    Translated and borrowed from an entry on amazing Norwegian blog called Fjordfitte: http://fjordfitte.blogspot.com/2006/08/rd-for-unng-voldtekt_06.html

  72. @MoltenHotMagma:

    “Defense starts in the mind and by paying attention to ones surroundings and situation”

    This is assuming YOU CAN. What if you can’t? What if you aren’t able to defend yourself? What if you’re older? What if you’re sick? What if you have a broken leg? What if you’re weak? what if you can’t see well (blind, poor eyesight)? What if you’re deaf?

    Is it suddenly your fault you were raped because you were unable to pay as much attention as you “should” have been?

    The man has the RESPONSIBILITY NOT TO RAPE.

    Period, end of discussion.

  73. @MoltenHotMagma:

    “If you want to take that fact and make it all about how men are villainous bastards who don’t have enough self control”

    You are getting mighty defensive. No one was talking about men in general; everyone was takling about RAPISTS. Clear difference.

  74. And I think it is MIGHTY IRONIC that you’re telling us we shouldn’t think of all men as “villainous bastards” and yet, at the same exact time, you’re telling us to … “prepare” and … think of all men as villainous bastards, because hey, if we go out, we might get raped, and we should always be prepared to get raped!

    I’m not surprised you’re a man.

  75. @marilove –

    I understand your points, but if you end the discussion at assigning responsibility, you’re not being proactive, right?

    We know who to blame after the fact. Great.

    I could also end the discussion of a car accident once a court finds the other driver liable, but that doesn’t mean I should not have worn a seatbelt.

  76. @barry21:

    “I could also end the discussion of a car accident once a court finds the other driver liable, but that doesn’t mean I should not have worn a seatbelt.”

    That’s not the same thing and you know it. A woman is not a car, and a rape is not a car accident. In the case of a man raping a woman, the man holds the penis and therefore the responsibility not to rape. Period, end of discussion.

    You basically just said “finds the other driver liable” — are you implying that a woman who is intoxicated and raped is somehow “liable” for that rape? Really?

  77. @HypatiasGirl: “Irrespective of the sex of the victim, 99% of the time the rapist is a man.”

    I know. However, though that is an accurate statistic, the issue points to a much deeper problem than just the ‘maleness’ of the perpetrator.

    “…why don’t women have just as much power and self-determination to make jackasses of themselves?”

    They do. Feel free to exercise it. And just like men who behave that way end up getting their asses kicked or being sexually ‘pranked’ by their equally drunk, jackass ‘buddies’; don’t feel too surprised when the same happens to you. Men just usually have an even greater social pressure to accept, and not report, that sort of ‘pranking’ when it happens to them than women do.

    “Everything you said made it clear that women are to think of themselves as inherently in danger anytime they are in the public realm”

    Bullshit. Bullshit. and I’ve already been caught out for saying more than that once tonight.

    If your take on the statement, “Be responsible for your actions and recognize that the world isn’t always nice.”, is to interpret it as, “be afraid all the time”. Then I pity you.

    Women have every right to get just as fucked up as me or anyone else at any party they want to. The point, however, is that they will then suffer the same risk and consequences as I, or any other male, will.

    You, (and others), seem to think that we men are ‘safe’ from predation and risk when we get that drunk. Bullshit. Are the risk the exact same ones? No, they aren’t, but they are risk.

    I don’t go out and get shit faced. I certainly don’t get that way with people I don’t know. The one time I did, I woke up nearly naked, in an alley, missing a tooth and with several broken bones. I’ll give you a hint. I didn’t start anything, (as in I was the victim), and I have the grave misfortune of remembering the entire night, (no, I wasn’t raped. Yes, I was ‘powerless’ and abused. But everything healed up ok). And just like many rape victims, I was dismissed by the police because I couldn’t give any descriptions, (there were about 10 of them), and my father even blamed me, (he insisted that people don’t just get jumped, so obviously I did something to provoke the attack and had it coming).

    “…The sort of gender inequality that turns over public spaces to men, by virtue of their ‘essential’ aggressive and potentially sexually predatory nature…”

    I never said anything of the sort, and it is that sort of representation that I’m so angry about.

    I am a male. I am not predatory. Interestingly, I know lots of males. Almost none of them are predatory either, (I don’t deal with the predatory one). This exact point is why I get so irritated when people want to spend all their time focusing on the simple issue of ‘man’.

    My point here was that this misses the point. there is nothing wrong with man. In the case of rape, however, there is something wrong with the man involved.

    Forgive me for expecting a grasp of subtle, but important differences in point.

  78. @barry21:

    JESUS CHRIST PEOPLE, THIS IS THE POINT!!!!

    “And I think it is MIGHTY IRONIC that you’re telling us we shouldn’t think of all men as “villainous bastards” and yet, at the same exact time, you’re telling us to … “prepare” and … think of all men as villainous bastards, because hey, if we go out, we might get raped, and we should always be prepared to get raped!

    I’m not surprised you’re a man.”

    You tell us to protect our selves at all costs, but that we are man-hating bitches. We want the right to public space, as so brilliantly put above. Our vaginas (and yes, I WILL CONTINUE TO USE THAT WORD AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE) are not currency, cars, a statement, or a bargaining chip. It is MY BODY!!!!!

    You may not enter my body without my permission.

    I chatted with a male friend for HOURS about this last night, and as soon as I can put my thoughts together, I will post them. He did help me think more about the man’s point of view, and it was very interesting.

    Also, Molten Hot Magma, I can take it! As I am sure you have read, I can throw them and I can take them. I actually preferred what you said to the snarky “ooh she is an unfuckable feminist” tripe that was here earlier and on the JREF forum.

    Except for the gay dude! I know that was not what you meant.

  79. marilove: The man has the RESPONSIBILITY NOT TO RAPE.

    It sure would be nice if we all lived in that fantasy land but I think magma’s point is that it does happen, and that a woman saying that she should be allowed to dress like a stripper and drink herself insensible while having an expectation that nothing bad will happen is unrealistic, even if that is inconvenient to feminist sensibilities.

    For the record I have no objection to women dressing provocatively. Just don’t get mad when I look. As for drinking yourself insensible, eh, it’s a free country. Just don’t barf on my carpet.

  80. @ Marilove –

    No, Marilove. You have not characterized what I said properly. You also seem to have missed my recent post where I said that fault in the case of rape can be assigned to the perpetration 100% of the time, without reservation.

    I am not saying that a car accident is analogous to rape in any ways other than that liability can be assigned to one party and that there could be some actions one can take to mitigate the event.

    I am not saying that by not taking precautions, a woman is deserving of rape. To even read that into what I said requires a level of creativity on your part that I frankly don’t understand.

    Perhaps you should look at what I said before reacting so vehemently against it.

  81. Things we can all agree on:

    1. Rape is a horrible thing.
    2. The perpetrator always harbors 100% of the blame, and the victim has done nothing wrong.
    3. No one should ever have to worry about harm being inflicted on their person.

    That said, the world is an ugly, ugly place. Sorry. This is to say, even though no one should have to worry about being harmed in any way, it’s naive and irresponsible not to take that possibility into account when it’s called for. To say that a woman should be able to dress and act however she likes is not without merit, and yeah, to say “she was asking for it” or whatever is complete bullshit, but it’s still a pretty idealized view of things. Again, I’m not defending people who rape, but like I said, the world is ugly, in spite of our wishes to the contrary. Bad people are out there, doing bad things, so it’s important to watch out for them.

  82. I’m sure it’s a very hard statistic to get an accurate idea of but how many women who are date raped are drunk at the time? What about those that aren’t intoxicated? We’re placing all the onus on women to not get smashed so what about those that don’t and are date raped?

  83. @marilove: “…The man has the RESPONSIBILITY NOT TO RAPE.”

    Yes, I agree. If you read everything I wrote that should have been evident.

    “You are getting mighty defensive. No one was talking about men in general; everyone was takling about RAPISTS. Clear difference.”

    Nice… very subtle. As for my side of that, I cover part of it in my response to Rebecca. The rest of it in other responses. I’m not going to repeat myself here.

    And I think it is MIGHTY IRONIC that you’re telling us we shouldn’t think of all men as “villainous bastards” and yet, at the same exact time, you’re telling us to … “prepare” and … think of all men as villainous bastards, because hey, if we go out, we might get raped, and we should always be prepared to get raped!

    I’m not surprised you’re a man.”

    I’ll skip the return insult on women since I actually respect women. However, I will point out that none of what you just claimed I said is anything like the point I’m making.

  84. I can’t help being offended by the repeated insistence that women need to protect themselves

    As if, without this advice being repeated over and over and over, we wouldn’t have any idea that there are bad guys out there.

    What you are saying, maybe without realizing that you’re saying it, is that as long as girls go out drinking, boys are going to keep raping.

    Please assume that we have some common sense that there is danger out there in the world. What we’re asking is that people appreciate that we have the right to go out, or stay in, and not have someone’s penis shoved into us unwillingly.

  85. @ heidiho

    I didn’t say that you are a car. Nor did I say that your vagina is currency. I never said you were a man-hating bitch. I don’t blame the victim. etc. etc. etc.

    I think that we are in agreement about 90% of the issues related to sexual assault.

    I think that women should be able to dress how they want and get as fucked up on whatever substance they want and pass out on a city sidewalk only to wake up the next morning unharmed.

    And if we lived in that world, everything would be much better than it is here. But we don’t.

    The crux of what I am saying is that it doesn’t really matter what theories underpin anyone’s view of the world at the very second disaster strikes.

  86. @ Elyse

    I have been wondering why we all seem to be talking past one another, and I think that something you just said shed a bit of light on the subject.

    You seem to feel condescended to by those of us who keep urging caution, not because you have to take caution, but because we keep urging it as if you didn’t know.

    That makes a ton of sense, and I am sorry to have missed that point on my own. Thanks.

  87. @heidiho: I didn’t think you would take my “f.. you” statement the wrong way when I wrote it. I just felt it was a bit aggressive afterwards. That said…

    “You tell us to protect our selves at all costs, but that we are man-hating bitches.”

    Damn straight protect yourselves! I protect myself. That isn’t fear, it’s sense. As for ‘man hating bitches’… That’s not something I ever said. My point, time and again, is that sure, o.k., I agree, 99% of the time rape is a crime perpetrated by a man. So why the hell does it even need to be said? Why does that point need to be emphasized?

    Nearly every post you have made seems to focus on the fact that rape is done by men. Umm.. duh. If you stopped there, and said, that most all rape is performed by men and that they are completely in the wrong, I would agree with you. That isn’t what your post say though. Instead, your post before this one all seemed to focus on how women should be able to do ‘X’ and ‘Y’ and blow a guy and stop before he was finished…….. and dance freely through a world with rainbows and happiness and it would all be just like that except for these dang men who keep raping women.

    That’s where we disagree. Sure, women should be able to do all that. And I shouldn’t ever have to work again. But we live in the real world. That’s my point.

    “We want the right to public space, as so brilliantly put above. Our vaginas (and yes, I WILL CONTINUE TO USE THAT WORD AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE) are not currency, cars, a statement, or a bargaining chip. It is MY BODY!!!!!”

    Once again, I agree with you. Everything I said agrees with this point. However, a right to a public space is by definition a right to a space shared with others. Thus enters the real world again. This isn’t a ‘male/female’ thing. It’s a reality thing.

  88. Could someone please explain this to me? What is so funny about this? How is rape something that becomes funny when it’s just something desperate people have to do?

    Perhaps the answers to your questions are, in part, that they are the wrong questions.

    If I understand what I’ve read in this thread and elsewhere about the scene in question, the humour is not in the rape; the humor is in the juxtaposition of the unexpected (however flawed, ridiculous, or unrealistic) of the reaction to the rape.

    If that’s right, then your question is a sort of red herring.

    Several posters before me have posted some very intelligent notes on how humour works. I think those notes have been, to a large extent, overlooked because the somewhat irrational emotional investment in the he/she argument has fallen off the rails (yet again) and grown too strong and entertaining.

  89. I’ve already said everything I think I need to say about this but I’ll just add that as davew pointed out, there really are jokes about rape that are funny to a general audience, like the Sarah Silverman one davew remembered. I’m also reminded of the SNL Celebrity Jeopardy where Sean Connery misreads the category THERAPIST, as THE RAPIST. It’s funny because of the wordplay and the very absurdity in the idea of Jeopardy actually having a category about rapists. While rape is one of the most horrible things imaginable, I simply don’t think comedies need to be overly careful when making jokes about it because they’re not making the jokes for rape victims but for general audiences who mostly have a safe emotional distance from it. Family Guy also has a reoccurring pedaphile character. Some people might have a problem with that. And I remember a few years ago, was it Prince Harry who caused controversy because he was caught going to a private costume party dressed like a Nazi soldier? Many were outraged and some said it proved his generation just doesn’t understand how tragic the Holocaust was. Well as someone from his generation, I think we understand how tragic the Holocaust was quite well, only now we have a safe distance from it that we can employ an ironic sensibility to it in order to find humor. And that a prince would dress up in Nazi garb is doubly funny. While individual comedians might fail to be funny, I don’t think the blame falls on their choice of subject matter. A great comedian can make anything funny and a bad comedian can make anything not funny.

  90. Let me apologize ahead of time if I’m misconstruing anyone’s meaning here. I tend to listen to conversations like this and attempt to help communication if people don’t seem to be understanding each other, and sometimes I’m just plain wrong about wheat the speakers meant in the first place…

    It seems to me that you’re talking at cross purposes regarding blame and responsibility. barry21 and MHM see them as two different things – the victim is never to blame, but should take some responsibility to not put themselves in the situation. Most everyone else (myself included) equate blame and responsibility – by abdicating this responsibility, you as the victim are made to feel part of the blame for the rape. Since the victim is not at fault for the rape, she/he should not be made to feel blame OR responsibility for the rape occurring.

    Am I right? Perhaps barry or MHM could clarify how they separate blame and responsibility.

  91. @ juryjone

    My sister suffered from ulcerative colitis from the time she was 11 until colon cancer killed her at 23.

    It is very well documented that when certain symptoms are present in a case ulcerative colitis, the likelihood of developing colon cancer can become very high, and it only increases with the duration of the illness.

    A colostomy could have prevented her death; she wouldn’t get one out of concerns for her subsequent quality of life.

    Even though she wouldn’t get the lifesaving surgery, it’s not accurate to say that she killed herself. Cancer killed her.

    Extrapolate from there.

  92. @MoltenHotMagma:

    For the record, my “blow job” reference was meant as a reference to a man who is not satisfied with only a blowjob, but thinks that because you are willing to blow him you will also be willing to screw him.

    I myself have a dedication to jobs that is unmatched, and will not slack off until the job is completed (well unless it involves reports I am avoiding)

    I also reserve the right to change my mind on any sexual contact after I have seen your penis. It is a sexual health must.

  93. @Elyse
    What you are saying, maybe without
    realizing that you’re saying it, is that as
    long as girls go out drinking, boys are
    going to keep raping.

    Well… Yes.
    There are evil, bad men out there. No matter what we try to reduce their numbers, they are not going anywhere and, as long, as women get themselves into vulnerable position, they are going to take advantage of this.

    It is merely a statement of fact, an aspect of the cruel hard, cold, horrible reality.
    Of course, we should try our best to limit and reduce the incidence of rapes. Through personal responsibility from the men, through education and sensitization to the issue as well as through aggressive investigation and severe punishment went sexual assaults are committed; putting sexual predators where they are less likely to hurt anybody.
    All that goes without saying for me and, I suspects, for most posters here.

    But, no matter how efficient we are (and I believe our society has made great if insufficient progresses in the right direction in the last few decades), there will always be some cases when society fail and sexual predators will be in position to strike.

    At which point, the only remaining solution is for women not to offer an opportunity for the sexual offender.
    It sucks, it’s not fair, it’s asking for women to pick up the slack for society’s failings. But it’s the way it is, at this point, the other solutions have failed, and I think that was Barry and other’s point.

    Of course, after the worst happened, it is once again society’s job to take care of the victim and treat her humanely and as the victim she is. Elyse’s story of how bad this can sometime go.

    My point, to summarize it is: Of course it is society’s job to limit the risk to women and of course, it is men’s responsibility to understand that “No simply means no”.
    But sometime, systems fail and, when all else has gone wrong, it’s women’s responsibility to avoid risky situations, simply because there’s nobody else around.

  94. @barry21: Seems like you’re having me do the heavy lifting, extrapolating from colon cancer to rape. No thanks.

    And I’m sorry for your loss. My mother-in-law also didn’t do what was necessary after a diagnosis of colon cancer, so I have some idea how you feel.

  95. There are quite a few problems here I see which seem to stem from a fundamental disconnect in understanding what it is to be a woman living in a rape culture. Being a man, I understand where this comes from, as I am immune to most of the issues being discussed in this thread.

    1.
    When you tell a woman that in order to be safe you need to:

    Not wear skimpy clothing, not get too drunk, if you get drunk be around only friends, make sure you are never alone, don’t take drinks from strangers, don’t walk around at night, etc…

    You are essentially saying that doing anything that violates that list, is irresponsible. No matter how many times you say “I am not saying it is their fault” or “I am not saying they are asking for it” or “I am not saying they are irresponsible,” this is what you are communicating, like it or not.

    2.
    Women are socially enforced to show off their body. How fucked up is it that we live in a society, that rebukes a woman when she is not attractive, or feminine enough, and calls her irresponsible when she is?

    Men aren’t socially enforced to wear gold necklaces in bad neighborhoods, and then told they shouldn’t do that if they expect to not get mugged.

    3.
    We act as if women obeying all these rules to protect themselves does not negatively affect their enjoyment of life.

    Its like telling someone who has to live in a shitty neighborhood to “not walk through shitty neighborhoods at night.” So basically they can’t go out ever?

    As men, we are essentially telling women that the only way to be responsible in our world, is to not take part in the same enjoyment that we happily take for granted every fucking day.

    Think about, as a man, with how sure you are of your ideals about social responsibility, how little this subject will actually affect your consciousness after you close your web browser, shut down your computer, and walk over to your friend’s place to have a few drinks. The fact that you don’t have to think about this, that it isn’t part of your thought process when you dress, when you pick up a glass of beer, when you ask for a ride home, is exactly why you should not be the social expert on this issue.

    Someone asked why this is relevant on a skeptical forum. I think the lack of rational thinking on the part of many posters here makes that abundantly obvious.

  96. Simon39759″it’s women’s responsibility to avoid risky situations…”

    Like going to work, or going to school, or dating someone, or being drunk with someone you’re dating, or being sober with someone you’re dating, or…

    The majority of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. If you want stats go to http://www.rainn.org, I’m tired of listing them (not necessarily here, just in general). This is what we keep trying to tell you, the majority of rapes are committed by someone the woman feels she can trust. She’s not getting smashed with strangers, or wandering naked down the street. She’s partying with people she expects are going to have her back.

    Apart from never drinking or being alone with anyone ever ever ever ever ever, just what the HELL do you propose we do to further reduce our risk? Shall I go ahead and commission that stainless steel box with the slit in the bottom for food delivery I keep talking about?

    The thing that is really frosting my cookies here, is the fact that we are having a bunch of men, for the most part, telling us how we as women need to protect ourselves.

    How about if you guys see someone starting to carry off a mostly drunk girl, you step in? Like my husband and I frequently did when we were bouncing at a dance club. If some guy had to carry the girl out, we always checked in with her and any friends she came with. How about that? How about all you guys pledging that if you some guy behaving like a predatory douchebag, that you’ll step in?

    Seriously, the reason women get so pissed off at you for telling us what we ought to do is that WE KNOW. We have spent our entire lives listening to this over and over and over and over and over… There is not a day that goes by without a magazine article, segment on the news, chain emial, website, co-worker, relation, etc… telling us how to protect ourselves from rape.

    And guess what? IT’S NOT WORKING!!!! No matter how careful we are we’re still being raped. By boyfriends, step-dads, uncles, friends, best friends’ fiances, fathers…

    So please, really, guys, we’ve heard it. Take a second to think about that. Just a second

  97. @Simon39759:

    Yes, there are bad people out there.

    The fact that people keep driving that home to us, as if we didn’t know this already, and that you continue to point that out after I mentioned that it’s NOT NECESSARY to point out, is incredibly insulting.

    And here’s the thing:

    Even if we stop getting drunk and wearing skirts (you know, giving men with insatiable sex drives a reason to put their penises in us), RAPE WILL STILL HAPPEN.

    As far as protecting ourselves?

    I passed out because I was drugged… by a friend.

    I was raped… by a friend.

    A friend walked me home, but needed to stop and drop something off at his buddy’s dorm room on the way.

    A friend told me to sit on the bed and wait.

    A friend then pinned me down and had his way with me as I slipped into unconsciousness.

    So tell me, would I have not gotten raped if I had just not had friends? Because certainly if I refuse to ever go out, have a good time and celebrate with people I am friendly with every once in a while, I wouldn’t have any friends.

    Do I not let a male friend walk me home? Do I only walk home with other women, who may have also been drinking? Should girls all assign a designated walker?

    Imagine saying this:

    Women would not be victims of domestic abuse if they didn’t get so sassy. I’m not saying it’s their fault. It’s always the man’s fault for beating the woman… but you know, if women made sure to stay demure, it would be an excellent precaution… you never know when your husband might have had a bad day and turn into a huge jerk. Being a smart-ass is exactly the type of thing that can bring on this kind of attack.

    Please, be smart ladies!

  98. But there is a difference between telling women not to partake in a certain activity and pointing out that there are risk associated with this activity.

    Sure, it would be patronizing if you expect women not to be aware of these risks before you and your superior masculine brain mention it for them. And it would be particularly horrendous to go to a rape victim and argue that she is somewhat to blame in any way.
    Hopefully, nobody around he is having either attitude.

    But there are some behaviour which essentially are risk factors and women need to be aware of them so that they can make the informed decision as to which extent these risks are acceptable for them.

  99. Some information.
    Most rapes involve someone known to the victim (70% to 84% with FBI statistics indicating that 60% to 85% of all rapes are date or acquaintance rapes.) and the rape usually occurs in the victim or perpetrators residence with 28% of the victims being raped by a husband and 35% being raped by a boyfriend. Forcible rape by a stranger or the use of a “date rape” drug are typically rare occurrences. Some studies report that the majority of sexual assaults involve alcohol being consumed buy both the victim and the perpetrator in some studies, and in other studies specific to college students alcohol was involved 55% of the time for victims and 74% of the time for perpetrators (90% total involvement by either victim or perpetrator) with some studies. National statistics regarding stranger rape indicate 45% of perpetrators were under the influence of alcohol. Studies consistently show about 70% of sexual assaults are not reported to law enforcement.

    It is estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted by the age of 18. that means about 24,000 men are forcibly raped or sexually assaulted each year in the U.S.. Teens 16 to 19 are 3 1/2 times more likely to be victims of rape than the general population. In 2003 one in every ten rape victims was male.

  100. Simon: “But there are some behaviour which essentially are risk factors and women need to be aware of them so that they can make the informed decision as to which extent these risks are acceptable for them.”

    We are. More than you will ever know.

    Please to quit patronizing us now, thank you.

  101. “What you are saying, maybe without realizing that you’re saying it, is that as long as girls go out drinking, boys are going to keep raping.”

    @elyse: This is not what is being said. Boys will keep raping whether or not girls go out drinking. The rapist is no less wrong if the victim has been drinking and the victim is still not at fault but it doesn’t mean going out and drinking was a good idea. Making oneself more vulnerable by drinking is a conscious decision.

    Unless you’re specifically talking about how to reduce the rape rate it’s probably best to think about rapists and how to avoid being raped as an environmental hazard.

  102. The only reasonable way I can see to reduce rape rates is for us to collectively do a better job raising our boys. Men don’t arrive at the perceptions necessary to decide rape is OK when suddenly there is an opportunity or available victim. These are formed from early childhood through adolescence.

  103. @Elyse

    Certainly. I am not saying that women are unable to figure out these risks by themselves.

    My point was that every situation, including the most mundane ones, has a certain amount of risk associated with it.
    Crossing the street to go to work put you at risk of getting run over, eating steak increase your risk of colon cancer, getting shit-faced in a bar put you at greater risk of being date-raped.
    When I say that it is women’s responsibility to evaluate risks, it is that, ultimately, women should decide for themselves how much risk they are willing to take.

    Now, indeed, I now realize that I am only referring to a tiny minority of case.
    In many others such as referred to by Geek-Girl and certainly in Elyse’s story, my little blurb about risk management is essentially irrelevent.
    If you want, the risks associated with trusting a friend should have been so low as to be insignificant.

    In other word, I did focus on the small minority of case committed by a stranger and went totally oblivious to the vast majority of other cases.
    So, obviously, my reasoning was obviously faulty.

    Similarly, I suspect that many other posters have been making the same framing mistake, focussing on the wrong, less numerous, kind of situations…

  104. @GeekGirlsRule
    We are. More than you will ever know.
    Please to quit patronizing us now, thank you.

    To be clear, I probably was not, that was my whole point.
    That it was every women right/responsibility to decide by herself how to manage these risks and not to have anybody make these decisions for her.

  105. Comment #3:

    “I have the right to wear whatever the fuck I want, to lapdance with you, blow you, and then decide I don’t want to fuck you.”

    I believe this whole conversation can be traced back to that statement. I think the point some of us have been making is that yes, you have that right, but it’s not necessarily a good idea.

    And while I’ll probably get a lot of flak for saying this, I think it needs to be brought up: there is a vast difference in how that statement is perceived by men vs. women. While what heidiho said is totally accurate, it stirs up some strong emotions in any sexually frustrated guy, which I think helps us to better understand the volatility of the situation you’re getting yourself into. Of course, only an evil scumbag would rape someone under those circumstances, but to me anyway, it just seems like poking at a hornet’s nest. And who knows, maybe that makes me a chauvinist pig for reasons we’ve already discussed, but I’m just saying.

  106. Mint Classic: Sometimes you’re getting into it with someone and something just clicks and suddenly you don’t want it anymore. Maybe it was bad clams, one too many screwdrivers caught up with you, oh dear God it’s the flu, he thrust too deep and hit your gag reflex. There are a million reasons why someone of either gender might decide mid-make-out session that they don’t want to continue. And none of them involve poking a hornets nest.

    The problem is that there seems to be a default assumption by most of society (not necessarily you, I’m just picking on you because you’ve hit part of something that bugs me) that men are barely able to control their animalistic urges and are little more than mindless brutes who are slave to their own weiners.

    This is part a large part of the problem, our cultural predisposition to see women as the Gatekeepers of sexuality and men as unreasoning animals about it. And it contributes to rape. In a big way. A frequent excuse I hear from guys is that they couldn’t help themselves because she was so hot, and if she didn’t want it she shouldn’t have been waving her ass in front of them like a steak in front of a starving dog.

    This is insulting to both men and women on sooooo many levels.

  107. @GeekGirlsRule:
    Indeed, it was most certainly my fault for poorly communicating. Hope it clarifies.

    As for your last post, I could not agree more. There are a cultural expectation that men should be directed by their urge. Some time, there is even the sub-text that you are not really a man if you can control yourself.

    Outside of the dramatic situation of rape, I have heard people arguing that, if a man was separated from his wife for a few months (being away for work, for example), he was somehow entitled to cheat on her…
    I have terribly little patience for this argument.

  108. Simon39759 “But there are some behaviour which essentially are risk factors and women need to be aware of them so that they can make the informed decision as to which extent these risks are acceptable for them.”

    The biggest risk factor for rape in this world?

    Being a girl. Even when we try to change that (Brandon Teena) it still does not always work.

  109. Why is it considered insulting to suggest that a person should act cautiously? Perhaps it was repeated so many times in this forum because every time someone did suggest it the post was interpreted to mean that not taking precautionary measures indicates liability. No one said acting cautiously is the only deterrent or the best. Personally, I agree with James Fox that the principal way to reduce rape will be by altering the way males are raised both by parents and peers.

  110. @James Fox:

    I agree. That is why I am raising my boys to know that their bodies belong to them, and their private parts belong to them as well.

    I will also make sure that they know that future partnersex is a negotiation, not a dictatorship.

  111. @Heidiho
    “The biggest risk factor for rape in this
    world?

    Being a girl. Even when we try to change that
    (Brandon Teena) it still does not always
    work.”

    No argument there. But there is little practical way to reduce this particular risk factor.

    Now, having to share the world with men, or at least the weiner slaves among us, would also be considered a big risk factor, maybe even bigger than being a female.
    Thankfully, there is a way to mitigate this particular risk, which would be to reduce the proportion of the aforementioned weiner slaves: education and sensitization to the problem…

  112. @Simon39759:

    Thankfully, there is a way to mitigate this particular risk, which would be to reduce the proportion of the aforementioned weiner slaves: education and sensitization to the problem…

    Maybe Seth Rogen and Jimmy Kimmel can start helping.

  113. @heidiho
    “Actually, I think weiner slave
    DESENSITIZATION in some areas would be
    preferable.”

    In all seriousness, I remember some countries imposing chemical castration to some of their convicted sex offenders.
    But, I could see a limitation with that, is that you’d need to identify the offender.
    I suspect, you are better informed than I am on this subject, that most assaults are actually committed by people with no record of previous predatory behaviour…

    @Eliza
    “Maybe Seth Rogen and Jimmy Kimmel
    can start helping.”

    Which brings the conversation back full circle and allows, at least for myself, to understand Elyse’s initial post better.

    Well… I certainly did make a fool of myself, but at least, this conversation allowed me to see things into another perspective. So, it was well worth it.

  114. The problem with chemical castration is that while the offender can’t get an erection (and the fact that it is worthless with female offenders), they can and frequently do assault future victims with inanimate objects, potentially doing even more harm.

  115. @heidiho: “…I also reserve the right to change my mind on any sexual contact after I have seen your penis. It is a sexual health must.”

    Once again, I support you in that position and agree with you. Again, this wasn’t my point. I was addressing tone and general ‘gist’ of content and my perception of it.

    @Mint Classic: “I believe this whole conversation can be traced back to that statement. I think the point some of us have been making is that yes, you have that right, but it’s not necessarily a good idea.”

    You are probably right, but I have to claim part of the responsibility too. I think things went particularly offline with my very poor attempt to respond to it.

    With that in mind, (and awake and completely sober now), I want to try and clarify my positions because I think I have been completely misunderstood in many cases.

    My entire position is based on a couple key principles – bear with me:

    1) each individual is entirely responsible for his/her own choices and actions.

    2) we live in a less than ideal world

    When I apply those to a couple cases it should make what I was trying to say clearer. For instance –

    example 1) A woman does everything ‘right’, is careful, doesn’t get to drunk, and doesn’t dress to revealingly. At some point she goes out on a date with a guy who is a friend of hers who she also ‘likes’.

    Long story short – sometime around midnight, back at her place for coffee, things go completely wrong for her and he doesn’t take, “No”, for the answer he should.

    example 2) A woman dose everything ‘wrong’. She dresses as revealingly and ‘sluttily’ as she can. She then goes out to a dive bar/dance club in a rough part of town where she proceeds to get absolutely hammered drunk. She ‘picks up’ some dude randomly and heads back to his place.

    Long story short – sometime that night she wants to call it quits and he won’t let her. He also doesn’t take ‘No’ for the answer he should.

    – Now if I apply my ‘principles’ to several key questions for each case my position is pretty evident.

    For example 1 –
    Q) Was the girl responsible for the rape?
    A) No. The woman is never responsible for the action of the man. He is responsible for his own actions and thus for the rape.

    Q) Is the woman to ‘blame’ for the rape?
    A) No. See the answer above.

    For example 2 –
    Q) Was the girl responsible for the rape?
    A) No. The woman is never responsible for the action of the man. He is responsible for his own actions and thus for the rape.

    Q) Is the woman to ‘blame’ for the rape?
    A) No. See the answer above.

    Now, however, there is a third question that is where I think all the friction started.

    Q) Could this rape have been ‘reasonably’ avoided by the woman?
    Example 1, A) No.
    Example 2, A)Yes.

    I think that this is where the problem is all coming from. So I want to be clear. This ‘Yes’ answer for the second example in no way changes the previous answers. However, for me, it raises the points that I and others have maid about personal responsibility. Especially in response to some post from others which seemed to try and discount this question as having any validity.

    That’s the entirety of my position on those aspects of the question of ‘responsibility’ and ‘blame’ for rape.

    This rapidly moves into much more complex areas though. Especially when we add more information.

    For instance – the simple fact, as presented quite well by others, is that the vast majority of rape is ‘date rape’ and is performed in a manner similar to my ‘Example 1’ above. This is also why I get so vehement about the ‘responsibility for self’ issue. It is one of the key points the victim needs to internalize to help her understand that she isn’t at ‘fault’ for the rape. No matter what the situation. However, in many ways, this point is even more important for the victim in my ‘Example 2’, because she is even more prone to blame herself and be blamed by others for the events.

    A natural corollary of the ‘responsibility for self’ point is my ‘Question 3’ above. That is why it has to be presented. Not for blame, but for honesty. *sigh* If I came across as patronizing previously, (or now), then I am sorry. It isn’t intended or felt.

    @GeekGirlsRule: You have just stumbled onto why many tribal cultures in the past would execute rapist. Fundamentally, it is a ‘power’ crime. A person doesn’t need a working penis to violate someone else. This is why chemical, (or otherwise), castrations do not work as deterrents.

    @Simon39759: “Well… I certainly did make a fool of myself, but at least, this conversation allowed me to see things into another perspective.”

    Try being exhausted and partially inebriated when wading into a conversation like this one. It really ups the, “HEY!, I’m an idiot!” factor for one, (looking at myself here).

  116. @Elyse
    Yes, there are bad people out there.

    The fact that people keep driving that home to us, as if we didn’t know this already, and that you continue to point that out after I mentioned that it’s NOT NECESSARY to point out, is incredibly insulting.

    oh yea?! well, I think YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT and I APOLOGIZE!

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I say things like that because I don’t have an answer for that problem. If I ever meet some dude bragging about how he nailed some chick while she was passed out, I’m gonna shank the bitch. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t. And so, its hard for me to imagine this sub-species of man that sees Seth Rogan do it in a movie and think, “oh, that’s not so bad. See? She enjoyed it!”

    I guess I’m saying that I don’t think movies create bad guys. They’re out there, doing… you know, bad guy stuff. Until we think of a good solution, I think we’re just gonna have to work around that.

  117. How is rape something that becomes funny when it’s just something desperate people have to do?

    Because such ‘humour’ mocks people for not being able to get sex the ‘normal’ way. In other words – making fun of people for not having sex frequently enough is more important than rape.

  118. @ A Team: “A great comedian can make anything funny and a bad comedian can make anything not funny.”

    You are 100% correct. The problem is that too many mediocre comedians think they are great and materal in their rear mirror may appear funnier than it actually is to them, but alas, no one else might be laughing.

  119. I’m really confused by how often people seem to be making a skimpy clothing = increased risk for rape correlation. Of all the women I’ve known, myself included, who have been raped or sexually assualted, we were not dressed like strippers at the time. How do you define dressed “sluttily”? Tank top? bikini top (but is it okay during the day at the beach)? T-shirt? It reminds me of the passages in Infidel where Hirsi Ali is describing the Islamic belief that if a woman shows an ankle or her hair, the world will fall into chaos. Obviously, if we women just went around in burqas we wouldn’t increase our risk of rape. Because we all know how women in Iran and Afghanistan never get raped. Or female soldiers, while we’re at it – those slutty little body-armour numbers they wear. A WOMAN’S OUTFIT DOES NOT INCREASE HER CHANCE OF RAPE – it only increases her chance of being BLAMED for it. Actually, I recant. Maybe it does. Because so long as what a woman was wearing can be used as evidence against her, it makes it safe for bad men to use that as a defense.

    And back on topic to the question: why do people use the Seth-Rogan’s-character-is-depraved explanation for part of the dark humour? That, to me is precisely why it’s UN-funny. Because rapists are usually not (in my experience) weirdos. They’re fairly popular, maybe have girlfriends, wives, – they don’t rape because they’re desperate for sex. They seem to rape because they feel they deserve sex. In fact, many of the women I know have lost their cases simply because the man was a “desirable” man – why would he rape someone? He got lots of sex from perfectly willing women! Clearly, these women were lying, because if everyone else wanted him, who did they think they were saying no?

    That’s why the joke isn’t funny to me – it feeds too many myths that are soooooo prevalent. It wouldn’t be funny to laugh at the Holocaust (i still don’t think it is) while people were being marched to the gas chamber, and it’s not funny to laugh at jokes based on societal acceptance of rape culture myths that continue to obscure the real issues around rape.

  120. I have read several time that rape was less about sex than about power and control over their victims.
    But I don’t know the subject enough to have an opinion as to whereas it is true or whereas date-rape has a different psychological dynamic than the stranger-assault rape…

    “In fact, many of the women I know have
    lost their cases simply because the man
    was a “desirable” man – why would he
    rape someone? He got lots of sex from
    perfectly willing women! Clearly, these
    women were lying, because if everyone
    else wanted him, who did they think they
    were saying no?

    Is this shit still flying? I would have hope this “defence” to have died it’s long overdue death in the 70ies or 80ies…

  121. @Simon39759:

    Yes, that shit is still flying.

    And there are women who believe their boyfriend/husband doesn’t rape because he already gets what he needs at home.

    “Why would you say no to him? *swoon*” As in, George Clooney is exempt from rape because no rational woman would turn him down… sooooooo dreamy.

    “Why would he rape a girl who says no when he could just go home with any other girl in the world, and they’d say yes!”

  122. “Is this shit still flying? I would have hope this “defence” to have died it’s long overdue death in the 70ies or 80ies…”

    I think that’s at the crux of it too – people who think this is a funny matter, albeit a dark comedy topic, don’t seem to realise that it’s NOT a taboo subject. It’s not poking fun at the dark side of life, at stuff everyone agrees is wrong. Most people don’t even believe rape is TRUE, let alone wrong. (It’s over – just like racism!*snark*)

    When I was in grade 6, I made a joke involving rape. and a teacher overheard me, and that’s when I was first told it was something bad. I knew what it was: a man forcing a sexual act on a woman. But I didn’t know that was wrong – I saw it on tv and in movies all the time. And I saw people joking about it all the time. And nobody seemed too bothered by it. TV women seem to *like* it. It’s not dark comedy – if Family Guy, a prime time cartoon aimed at teenagers, can joke about it on channels that bleep “Goddamn” from their weekend movies, it’s pretty frickin’ mainstream.

  123. @truthwalker:

    Wait, out of everything I’ve written, you have a problem with me using ‘girl’ and ‘woman’ interchangeable at some point that I don’t recall?

    @SaraDee: And that is the real problem here. Unfortunately, there are still segments of western society who think rape is o.k. as long as it isn’t TOO violent. That is a problem. Not just for women, but for the entirety of society because it reveals a deeper problem involving ‘power’ crimes and a fundamental failure in the greater social structure.

    Rapist don’t rape someone out of respect for them, they rape someone as a fundamental expression of disrespect, (yes.. there are other factors involved but I’m picking on universals for this.. So I’m not talking to specific cases, nor am I addressing edge cases such as the mentally ill). A culture, or subculture, or individual that thinks the act of rape is ok is really saying that women have no place in their society except as objects to serve men, (amongst other things that they are saying). To put it clearly, this isn’t o.k. and it is never defensible.

    To address the original question, (yeah, I know.. late to the party). No, rape isn’t funny, ever.

  124. 25 years ago I was quite the headbanger and a big fan of the band Iron Maiden. One of their albums’ title track is “Power Slave.” So now I’ve got this going through my head:

    “Tell me why I have to be a weiner slave…”
    *screaming guitars*
    “I don’t want to stop, I’m a guy, why can’t I go on?”
    *howling vocals*

    Weiner slave is my new favorite phrase.

  125. @SaraDee: “I’m really confused by how often people seem to be making a skimpy clothing = increased risk for rape correlation”

    This is why I had to just stop with this conversation. It’s interesting to me that it’s the MEN who keep bringing this up.

    “If you would have just not gotten drunk! If you would have just not dressed so slutty!”

    Yeah, what if the man just hadn’t raped? How ’bout that?

  126. And there are women who believe their boyfriend/husband doesn’t rape because he already gets what he needs at home.

    They’re wrong. There’s no correlation whatsoever. The man with two hot girlfriends who gets consensual sex 13 times a week is just as likely to rape as the guy who’s been desperate and suffering without sex for 12 years.

    (other people already pointed out that even if there was a correlation, it wouldn’t be a justification of any kind.)

  127. There is a huge difference between saying “rape is funny” and saying “jokes about rape are funny”.

    Since I spent some time doing rape crisis work, I’m personally not amused by rape jokes. But, a lot of people deal with horrifying things through humor, and that I identify with.

    At my father’s wake, I was telling corpse jokes – it’s how my family deals with tragedy.

  128. @SaraDee: “I’m really confused by how often people seem to be making a skimpy clothing = increased risk for rape correlation. ”

    I don’t believe that anyone actually is making that correlation. I could be wrong, I haven’t re-read the entire thread, but this seems to be a case of ‘what some people are hearing is different from what others think they are saying’. For the record, if anyone has stated that correlation, then they are flat out wrong. It isn’t a statistically useful correlation, on it’s own, for rape ‘risk’ in any way.

    @marilove: “This is why I had to just stop with this conversation. It’s interesting to me that it’s the MEN who keep bringing this up.

    ‘If you would have just not gotten drunk! If you would have just not dressed so slutty!'”

    Actually, I think that ‘point’ and the ones you are projecting onto men in this post of yours are points that WOMEN keep bringing up and projecting onto men in this thread.

    I can certainly say that your ‘points’ don’t address any position I have taken or stated, and given that I have been the most inflammatory of the men you seem to have a problem with… Well, then I would guess that if your response doesn’t actually address me it isn’t likely to address anyone in this thread. This makes it look a lot more like your coming from a position of righteously histrionic anger to me than anything to do with a valid ‘point’, (other than the one that everyone agrees on anyway – that being that rape shouldn’t happen).

    So, what the hell is your point and who the hell is it aimed at?

  129. @heidiho: “Oh, and my manhate is both explicit and aimed perfectly at weiner slaves in cowboy hats.”

    COTW

    but seriously, your missing out. I try not to limit myself to just ‘manhate’ or ‘womanhate’. There is a whole hate filled world out there just waiting for properly directed ire. ;)

    @SicPreFix: Given that my big gripe with marilove is that I don’t see any point to her post other than to attack people/genders instead of points, I have to judge your post against the same metric.

    That said, there wasn’t really anything at all constructive about that comment was there? So what was your point?

  130. @heidiho:

    Ha, ha, ha! I’ll have you know, madam, I am no weiner slave! Heh, heh. Haven’t used the old thing with anyone else other than my lonely old self in well over a decade.

    Anyway, you’re a hoot Heidiho, and have indeed posted some good stuff nonetheless.

    To carry on in a more serious vein….

    @bug_girl:

    and

    @Key:

    Refer to “rape culture”. Well, that is such an inflamatory insult to all healthy minded, well balanced members, male and female, of any primary culture in any society. And it is also deeply false. There is no such thing as Rape Culture. It is a invention of angry, irrational feminists (male and female), coined to cover almost any form of sexual aggresiveness, even assertiveness that is deemed, for the nonce, unpleasant and “anti-woman”. That concept, that phrase, more rightly belong to what Skeptical Inquirer magazine (http://www.csicop.org/si/2008-06/) calls the Moral Panic.

    Every primary culture on the planet perceives and defines rape as a taboo (see Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, Penguin; 2002). Within many cultures there are certain authority figures, principally but not exclusively religious in nature, who allow within their specific subculture set of authority something of an allowance for rape under arbitrary, though perhaps dogmatized or ideological circumstances.

    Within some cultures there are certain subcultures, for example the Hells Angels, who also may have an allowance for rape under certain circumstances — though in the case of the Angels, the irony is that they generally do not perceive such instances as rape. It’s some kind of perverse party usually involving gang bangs and such. However, wWithin the Angels, when a members “lady” is raped, the retribution is swift, unerring, and extremely brutal usually involving hospitalization if not death.

    But to label any Western culture in its entirety as rape culture is beyond the pale.

    @truthwalker: Brings up the hoary old “girls” is a bad word thing.

    So, what? Girls cannot be raped? Phew! That’s a relief. Mom’s and Dad’s everywhere will be so grateful to hear the good news.

    Seriously, it’s not healthy when discussing such difficult issues as rape, to bring in the PC feminist word police, or for that matter, any ideological word police. Doing so only works to constrain expression of ideas, limit dissent and discussion, and force the direction of the discourse into someone or some group’s ideological myopia. Anyway, lots of the women posting in this thread are also using that nasty wee word. Snap at them too.

    @James Fox:

    I would just like to quote the usually calm and sagacious James Fox who stated:

    It is estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted by the age of 18. that means about 24,000 men are forcibly raped or sexually assaulted each year in the U.S.. Teens 16 to 19 are 3 1/2 times more likely to be victims of rape than the general population. In 2003 one in every ten rape victims was male.

    I am slightly sorry if it ruffles any tidy feathers, but there is a preponderance of women, and not a small number of men, who seem to me to be all too willing to ignore the fact that women are not the only creatures to be raped/sexually assaulted, and men are not the only creatures to commit rape/sexual assault.

    And that does no one any good at all. Sexual assault, which inarguably happens to girls and women more than it happens to boys and men, is nonetheless a species-wide problem that damages all members of society. And as such should be researched, investigated, and dealt with and ended (hopefully) as a species-wide problem, not as a women-only problem.

    It’s rather the like the otherwise well intentioned but misfocussed WAVAW, in that violence happens to men, women, boys, girls, old folks, children, and so on. Time to take the defense out of the women-only clubs. Let’s make it global, all encompassing, and humanitarian.

    A ponderance: When the discussion here at Skepchick turns to such difficult social/behavioural issues as rape, why do we not discuss the research and theories of folks like Dawkins (see Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, Oxford University Press; 1989), Loftus, Mead, Pinker, Sagan (see Carl Sagan, Ann Duryan, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, Ballantine Books; 1992), et al? Wouldn’t their research and insight add much additional, meaningful grist to the generally didactic, dogmatic, anecdotal me say, he say, she say timbre?

  131. I just saw the movie tonight and when the scene came up I whispered to my girlfriend that the next scene is controversial and she had no idea why and now neither do I. Did anyone actually see the movie? This is not a “date-rape” scene at all in fact when he thinks she’s passed out she says “why the fuck are you stopping” Aside from the fact that people should relax; its just a movie, the scene is meant to show how delusional and pathetic the rogan character is and it achieves this with a few laughs too. You have to watch the whole scene that it starts with him waiting all night to take her out, she comes home in a van of guys already drunk and to top it off he kisses her after she vomits. Anyone who sees this as a date rape scene is not a critical thinker at all and more of a cherry picker, using this as an excuse to discuss the serious matter of date rape is an insult to the makers of the movie and to women who actually have been victims of real date rape.

  132. @mikekoz68: “Did anyone actually see the movie? ”

    Did you actually read any of the actual comments in this thread? The vast bulk of the comments have been about the topic of rape, itself, not the movie.

    “…using this as an excuse to discuss the serious matter of date rape is an insult to the makers of the movie and to women who …” wah, wah, wah.

    Talk about a failure in critical thinking. Lets take this from the top.

    1) You see the movie and have heard that a particular scene is controversial
    2) You decide that the scene is just fine
    3) You go to a group of people who started a conversation about rape because of the controversy and you accuse them of insulting everyone

    Wow.. yeah… I completely see how that chain fits together in a logical manner. Well done for bringing reason to all of us Captain Critical Thinker Sir!

  133. @MoltenHotMagma:

    Woah, cool that molten magma down. You know, it could be that mikekoz68 is referring to this:

    Could someone please explain this to me? What is so funny about this? How is rape something that becomes funny when it’s just something desperate people have to do?

    While all us blabber mouths did take it off track, that was the original question.

  134. @mikekoz68:

    Though I haven’t seen the movie, I don’t think hilarity ensues upon half-conscious too-late consent. You can’t just start fucking away at an unconscious girl and then hope she eventually comes to and consents… and even if she does come to, it’s still rape.

    As a real victim of date rape, I still find this offensive and I still don’t see what’s so funny.

    And until someone can make a solid case to me that this scene is not rape I will not be seeing it. That means, it has to not contain a scene where a man sticks his dick in a girl who’s passed out.

  135. @SicPreFix: “Woah, cool that molten magma down. You know, it could be that mikekoz68 is referring to this:”

    :) But then I would have to change my name. ‘Tepid, Cool Magma’? ‘Luke-Warm Magma’? ‘Almost Crystallized but Still Flowing Magma’? *shakes head* None of them have the right feel. Nope, I’ll stick with what I am. ;)

    Anyway, I knew exactly what he was referring to. If he had stuck to calling it inappropriate to characterize the movie scene as rape then I would have let it roll on by and waited to see why he thought that. However, to claim that, “…using this as an excuse to discuss the serious matter of date rape is an insult to the makers of the movie and to women who …”, well.. I’d still like to hear his defense for that take on things. Particularly the last part saying that our conversation was an insult to women who have been raped.

    @mikekoz68: No problem then. Having not seen the movie I don’t know if I agree with you or not.

  136. I can definitely make a solid case that the scene is not rape in that we don’t see the first part so we don’t know that she was passed out when they started having sex in fact if you watch the movie it looks like she just has her eyesclosed and he stops because he thinks she’s passed out and she says ” why..stopping..” Now ask yourself why would he sop if he presumably started fucking her when she was passed out (which is rape) it makes no sense that he would stop unless she WAS awake at the start. Like I said we are not privy to the start of the sex, the scene cuts from outside to them doing it. I urge you to see the movie before commenting furthur.
    And moltenmagma, I take back the last part of what I said earlier and I’m sticking to calling in inappropiate to calling that scene rape.

  137. @mikekoz68 said:

    I have not seen the movie, but if what you say is accurate it’s a pretty strong argument that the theory that the scene tries to make rape “funny” is a flawed theory. I thought that was the case all along, but from a different angle. I am still convinced that Elyse is reading the scene wrong. So to speak.

    Nonetheless, the posts about rape here at Skepchick are always interesting and informative, even when they, as they always seem to do, veer off from the “skeptical”, so-called, into the deeply anecdotal.

    @MoltenHotMagma said:

    Almost Crystallized but Still Flowing Magma

    Hey, that’s cool.

    A bit long winded though.

    Oh, the punz! It burns.

    Ha, ha, ha.

  138. @SaraDee:

    Okay, coming back to this thread late…

    Per the clothing thing: my freshman year in college a male acquaintance (we shared one of those massive classes together and occasionally talked before lecture started) walked me home from a party one night.

    I say “walked me home” but it was more like we left at the same time and our dorms were in the same region of campus, and he gallantly offered to make sure I got back to my room safely.

    Despite leaving a party, I was, at best, mildly buzzed – nowhere in the vicinity of drunk and much closer to stone-cold sober. Other than being chatty, I wasn’t really anywhere near flirtatious with the guy. Indeed, I’d gone to the party because I had been interested in someone else (who didn’t show), and hadn’t even seen the guy who was now walking me home until we were walking out the door together.

    He insisted on walking me back to my room, whereupon he pretty much shoved his tongue down my throat and tried to take my top off once he got in there (I forgot the excuse he’d used to get in the door, I think he said he wanted to have a glass of water or something else equally innocuous and harmless sounding). I pushed him away immediately in disgust and asked him WTF he thought he was doing?

    He replied that he was positive I liked him, I led him on, and besides, how could I blame him the way I was dressed?

    What was I wearing? In early grunge fashion (which pretty much stemmed out of being a geologist – I was accidentally fashionable), I was wearing long jean shorts, ankle boots, and a long-sleeved “Henley” style shirt with about 15 buttons…all buttoned up and I wore it backwards (my youthful nod to iconoclasm). I was probably the most covered-up girl at the party that evening, and possibly on campus.

    I have long since summed it up to 18 year old male hormones combined with lack of social skills (the guy actually transferred out after the first semester – he apparently didn’t fit in with many people). But I was always amused by the fact that the exposure of my knees, calves, forearms and neck meant I was dressing in a come-hither manner. Who knew?

    Note – I don’t even begin to call this date rape, and it’s the closest I ever got. Due to bursts of temper, I had a rep as someone who could kick your ass, both figuratively and literally (like I said, geologist, with the active lifestyle that goes with it). Guys who knew me well knew better than to try.

  139. @mikekoz68: “Okay then we all agree that the movie “Observe and Report” does NOT contain a date rape scene just waiting for the OP’s retraction.”

    I’m not entirely clear on what you are saying here. Are you saying the OP should retract her statement that the movie has a date rape scene? Or are you saying that the movie does not have a scene in it which requires the OP to retract her statement?

    Either way, I don’t think we all agree with either statement. Presuming, for the moment, that some of the people who saw the movie consider the scene to be date rape, and that some of the people who saw the movie don’t consider it to be date rape, (eg. you), then all we have is a disagreement about what is and isn’t actually date rape. There is no resolution there. At best, it opens the door for a conversation about how one does and doesn’t classify something as date rape, (a topic well covered through this thread.. I would posit that the accepted definition is – sex with a woman who either doesn’t want it or who is not in a sound state of mind to responsibly make the decision.).

    Given that you came to the thread late in it’s life, I suspect that most people who would put up an argument against you have stopped contributing to the thread. On their behalf. I do not acknowledge any consensus about this movie.

    @Chasmosaur: Wow… just wow… not at you I must say, but at his sheer creepy stupidity.

    “I have long since summed it up to 18 year old male hormones combined with lack of social skills…”

    You are kinder to him than most of the men I know would have been . Even at that age most of the guys I knew didn’t tolerate that sort of behavior in other men.

    “But I was always amused by the fact that the exposure of my knees, calves, forearms and neck meant I was dressing in a come-hither manner. Who knew?”

    The Romans thought ankles were dead sexy, or so I am told. ;)

  140. In one of my feminist brainwashing classes that I compell poor defenseless college students to attend, I always make this point.

    Maybe that girl is asking for it with her clothes. However, how do you know she is asking for it from you?

    A rapist always assumes that the victim’s behavior is targeted to him. Always.

    Perhaps this dude had a grunge girl, Doc Marten fetish. I know I do! But he was projected his wishes onto your clothes.

    I wish that we could get practitioners of BDSM to teach classes on sexual negotiation. This community regularly practices risky sexual behavior and has managed to keep the negotiation of the behaviors hot and interesting.

    Hmm, maybe I could dress like a dominatrix next time I go teach college students, and make them submit to using sophisticated sexual negotiation techniques.

  141. @MoltenHotMagma:

    “You are kinder to him than most of the men I know would have been . Even at that age most of the guys I knew didn’t tolerate that sort of behavior in other men.”

    You know, now that you say that, I now remember telling a male friend of mine about it (this was an actual friend – someone I knew from high school), and I was sincerely surprised when he offered to kick his ass for me. Because even though he was actually quite huge and strong (but not an athlete), he was a guy notoriously slow to anger, not prone to shows of macho posturing, and there was never any romantic vibe between us.

    I told him not to bother (I didn’t think it was worth my actual friend getting in possible trouble over). Knowing my friend though, I’m sure there were probably threats since we all lived in the same general area of campus. (Me? I utilized my icy stare whenever I saw the dweeb.)

  142. @heidiho:

    No no, you must teach them how to develop an emasculating icy stare. Really. ‘Cause there’s no negotiation with guys like that and you have to send unequivocal messages.

    I don’t mean to sound like an emasculating bitch, because actually, I’m not. I truly enjoy the company of most men over the company of women. Side effect of being a geologist – lots more of them are men (at least when I went through college).

    But in my 20’s, I was a female field geologist with hair like Helena Bonham Carter’s in “Room With a View”, a pretty face, a good sense of humor, and very long legs (I come from a tall leggy family, is what it is). No matter how I dressed or how much I kept my language as banal as possible, I attracted all sorts of attention I didn’t want. I was a novelty.

    I had to learn over the years how to keep the less gentlemanly men at bay. Instant freeze rays work wonders at stopping many (at one site, the men half-jokingly referred to me as “T-Rex”…because I had a big smile but could bite your head off). It’s not 100% effective, but it works on a good 90%.

    For the more persistent 9.5%, you match it with a low, even, un-seductive, cold tone, which screams “[email protected]#$%^ off”. This seems to work well. (Okay, having a rock hammer in hand probably had something to do with it, too.)

    For that last persistent 0.5%? Use that level tone and icy stare (hell, learn how to deftly spin a rock hammer, too) to discuss testicular torsions and locking them in a room overnight.

    I’ve only had to do it once, I didn’t want to and I felt dirty afterward for being so despicable, but it worked fucking wonders, I’ll tell you – the asshole wouldn’t come near me unless someone else was in the room.

    Life is what it is. I like to say I’m a only bitch when the occasion demands it. But oh, what a bitch I make.

  143. @mikekoz68 said:

    Okay then we all agree that the movie “Observe and Report” does NOT contain a date rape scene….

    Not at all.

    But it may be safe to say that a small percentage of us think that the “joke” is not the rape scene, it is the conclusion of it.

    Another way of looking at that could be to say that some people see the set-up to the “joke” as the punchline. A sort of conflation of the juxtapositions as it were.

  144. @heidiho: “Hmm, maybe I could dress like a dominatrix next time I go teach college students, and make them submit to using sophisticated sexual negotiation techniques.”

    I would attend that class. Would try and get my wife to come too. ;)

    @Chasmosaur: “…he was a guy notoriously slow to anger, not prone to shows of macho posturing, and there was never any romantic vibe between us.”

    Yup, you just described a fair chunk of the guys I hung out with back then. Add that most of them also had a rep for being terrifying if they did get angry – Give them the same response as your friend had, and well.. Yeah.. That is exactly how we all responded to guys who didn’t understand the word ‘No.’.

    (For the record, I’m not claiming to have been one of the scary ones. Just one of the slow to anger ones) ;)

    “Life is what it is. I like to say I’m a only bitch when the occasion demands it. But oh, what a bitch I make.”

    :) Best way to be.

    The most effective people I know are all nice, kind, easy-going, slow to get riled, and hard to visibly stress. They also all have an iron core that lets them be the hardest bitches and bastards in the room when it is needed. To be clear, it isn’t needed very often, but inevitably someone mistakes their mellowness for ‘weakness’ and has to get raked over the coals every now and then.

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