Wednesday, June 15, 2011

So funny I forgot to laugh

Yesterday, in a political group to which I belong, someone posted a link to this story about a man having a heart attack while raping a 77-year-old woman.

The first comment was, "wow must have been one hot senior citizen there."

I asked, "rape-as-hot-sex jokes? Really?"

I was told that the joke was at the expense of the rapist.

But here's the thing: I don't see how that joke is at the expense of the rapist. I can't see it as anything but what I said in the first place, a joke that equates rape with sex and comments on the hotness of the rape/sex in question.

I'm not so literal that I think the joke was actually saying that the hotness of the sex is the reason (or the sole reason) that the rapist had a heart attack. But that's an old, familiar joke, isn't it? The sex was so hot it killed him. "She" was so hot she killed him. So how does applying that joke to a 52-year-old who died while committing rape not equate rape with consensual sex?

How is the idea of talking about rape as "hot" sex not offensive? How is not demeaning to rape victims, whatever their gender? How does it both promote and reflect the normalization of rape as one kind of sexual expression?

Am I missing something here? Because from where I stand, the intentions behind that joke may have been good, but the joker needs some real education.

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