The Funny Thing About Rape

Before anyone comes around to lynch me, I don’t think there’s anything funny about rape. Not one thing. Ever. I think boys/men should be taught to respect the choices made by girls/women. I don’t think women should have to change their behaviour to avoid rape. The title is just one of those controversial titles designed to get attention.

Right, not that I’ve gotten that out of the way let’s talk about rape jokes. Because they are out there. There’s been a few things on the net recently about just that. There was a comedian who hoped a female heckler would be raped or something similar. There was a female comedienne doing stuff about rape and it made everyone uncomfortable.

I just wonder why that is, really. I mean, from Frank Capra to the Cohen’s, there have always been movies that had us laughing at murder. But rape? I’ve only seen one movie where there was a rape played for comic effect. I think the title was Grégoire Moulin contre l’humanité or, for those of us who don’t speak French, Gregory Moulin versus Humanity. (Don’t start sending nasty emails to the director as I could be wrong about the title– I saw it in about ten years ago, I think, and my memory isn’t perfect. Don’t send nasty emails to the translator either– I don’t know anything much about the French language.)

Anyway, in the movie, a man is having a bad night (chased by people and stuff like that) and one way or the other he ends up at a party and gets tied up and gagged in the kitchen. A man comes in and finds him there and takes advantage of the situation despite the fact that Greg (if that’s who it is) makes it obvious, even with the gag, that he really isn’t interested.

chalk-outline_fairyNow, I’ve seen a lot of movies where death and murder is hilarious but that one rape scene made me very uncomfortable. And with all the brew-ha-ha on the net recently I was wondering exactly how I, and seemingly many other people, are fine with one and not the other.

As far as crime goes, I would say murder is worse than rape. Don’t get me wrong, rape is horrible and terrible but, with time and counselling, you can at least (probably) paper over the cracks. You can’t do that with murder. But I think we are much more comfortable with murder than we are with rape.

I think rape makes us (or is it just me?) more uncomfortable not because of the impact on the victim, but because of the impact on us. It has to do with the fact that it is much easier for us, the audience (in life and movies) to move on from murder. Once a person is dead, we don’t have to deal with their trauma any more, just ours. We don’t have to listen to the victim. We don’t have to witness the ruined relationships. We don’t have to hear about the nightmares or the ongoing fear. Yes, we can see some of these things in the relatives and friends of murder victims, but they are just like us, right, watching from the outside? They aren’t the actual victim, so we can pretend to understand what they are going through. (And death is going to happen anyway, one way or the other so, you know, it natural.)

It isn’t the same with rape though. That person is somewhere every day, a living, breathing reminder you of how bad people can really be. And they don’t have to say a thing.

I’m not sure what all of this means (apart from don’t rape or murder people, or rape and murder people, because it isn’t nice), I was just thinking, that’s all. And.. well, I’ve got no momentous thought to end this on, no grand scheme to fix things. I just write some stuff occasionally.

Do you want to buy a book?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s