Rape: It’s not funny; or, why I’m never entirely comfortable in Azeroth
WARNING: This post is potentially triggering. Read at your own discretion.
So… I wasn’t gonna do a srs post. And then I realised that whenever I think about blogging, I’m STILL thinking of what happened to one of my guildies recently when she was in a PUG.
UPDATE: Lee says to link. Therefore, I link! The Original and The Follow-up.
Now, I’m not going to link to it because there was already a lot of drama in the comments and I know it stressed her out some, and I don’t feel like stressing her out more, but the story is… really all too common. (I apologise for the epic ramble, but I got into rant mode and I refuse to change a single word.)
She’s in a PUG, and some guy over vent jokes about raping another guy in the run, and there are laughs and it goes on, eventually hitting “there’s no such thing as rape unless the check bounces”. She’d whispered the guy who put the PUG together, and he mentioned at the end how the tossing about of the word “rape” had made some of the ladies in the group uncomfortable. Then some of the guys start saying how it’s funny, really, it’s a joke! When she gets so pissed that she actually pushes her PTT and lays into them for it, it’s met with “Well, I’ve never been raped, that’s why it’s funny!” Yet another guy is insulted that she says that men are less likely to be raped than women, and also says he doesn’t believe a woman’s body will respond with arousal if she’s not actually turned on, despite scientific evidence to the contrary.
And then the comments on her post ranting about it… a well-meaning friend linked to the post from her FB, and a couple dickheads followed the link and got all up in her business in the comments. How people who’ve been raped should just suck it up and move on, because it’s not the end of the world. How people shouldn’t make a big deal about it used in such a situation because it’s not like the guys are gonna go out and ACTUALLY rape anybody.
This is stuff that makes me see red, people. I have been sexually assaulted. Has it ended my life? No, but for a long time, it influenced the kind of clothes I was willing to wear, the kind of places I was willing to go, the kind of men I was willing to be around. I was a scrawny 12-year-old hanging out with a few kids her age and a grade above her at her church. I was a dumb 15-year-old who’d run away for an afternoon, gotten lost, and had the bad sense to hitch a ride back to her neighbourhood, and was too scared to say no when the guy who picked her up started making advances.
My life isn’t over, and most of the time, these memories are no more than a bit uncomfortable to think about. But I’m one of the lucky ones, in that sense. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days. And that doesn’t mean that people tossing around the term “rape” like it’s funny doesn’t both really knock me off kilter, emotionally, and make me REALLY FUCKING ANGRY. Rape is not a joke to me, and given how goddess-damned common it is, it shouldn’t be a joke to anyone else, either. When you fucking joke about rape, in my mind, you are the boys who cornered me in my church and stuck their hands down my skirt, and you are the man who intimidated me into having sex with him when I just wanted to get home. I don’t care if you’ve never sexually assaulted anyone in your life and you never would – making a joke out of it is an implicit approval of such an action.
The rape-jokers aren’t the only people who make me both want to cry and bash heads in, either. It’s the people who use “fag” or “faggot” to mean “stupid”, “idiotic”, “slow”, “unmasculine”, or any other insult. It’s the people who say, in all seriousness, that in their country, they “don’t let fags walk down the fucking street. [They] fucking murder the sick bastards.” It’s the people who say anyone looks/sounds/acts “like a tranny”. It’s the people who assume that because I am a woman, I don’t belong in the game/can’t play as well, who tell me (with the obligatory “lol” tacked on) to “get back in the kitchen” or to not “get [my] panties in a knot”. (“Knickers in a twist” is the exact same thing, for you sexist pedants out there. Don’t fucking talk to me.) It’s the people who laugh at these things, or don’t speak up against these things.
I run into these types of people rarely enough that they haven’t ruined my internet dragons, but goddess knows they’ve ruined internet dragons for countless women, sexual abuse survivors, homosexuals, and trans-people.
This sort of shit is NOT OKAY. I don’t care if you think that it’s “just a word”. I don’t care if you find it funny. It doesn’t matter. Because it is not okay. So many rapes and sexual assaults don’t get reported because from the very beginning, the weight of proof is on the victim. Prove you were raped, even though it’s horribly painful for you and possibly permanently traumatising. Prove you were raped, even though he had the presence of mind to force a douche before letting you go, washing away the proof you needed. Jokes about rape perpetuate this horrific culture where the victim is silently assumed to be faking it until there’s proof that she wasn’t. And even then, if there’s any indication that she liked it, if she was at all physically aroused, if she didn’t shout loud enough or struggle hard enough, then it couldn’t have really been rape. It’s not rape if she liked it. And anyway, she was out drinking, and wearing that tiny little skirt and that revealing top. She was asking for it, right? And guys, well, guys can’t get raped, right? They ALWAYS want sex, it’s just hardwired into them.
Here’s a hint, you fucking turds: It does not matter what her body does, it does not matter what he was wearing, or where she was, or what he was doing, or how much she flirted, or how much he likes sex. Rape is rape. Assault is assault. The victim was never-fucking-ever asking for it.
Rape jokes are not funny. Rape jokes will never be funny as long as we live in a world where 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men will be sexually assaulted at least once in their lives, and where the majority of those people will be assaulted more than once. And once we live in a world where sexual assault is unheard of? Well, by then we’ll be taking it seriously enough that people would be horrified by the very idea of a rape joke.
Rape jokes. Will never. Be funny. Not ever. Not under any circumstances.
If you can’t deal with that, let me know now so I can block you from every fucking interaction I can think of, and let my friends know what kind of person you are.