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  • Amok Mama: The freedom of speech/rapist joke thing


Amok Mama: The freedom of speech/rapist joke thing

If freedom of speech is so important, then it should be important for everyone, rapist and rape-victim alike, says Jacinta Nandi

So, we’ve been over this a few times before, admittedly, but I’ve kind of got to say that I do find it strange that the same people – the very same people – the exact actual same people – who really fucking care about freedom of speech when it’s the freedom of speech you need to make rape jokes – you know, the kind of people who act like freedom of speech is this holy thing which must never be infringed on, ever – and who say they’ll fight to the death to defend other people’s right to make rape jokes – who say that the rape in rape jokes isn’t actually about rape at all – not rape-rape, anyway, just “rape”-rape – these people who act like freedom of speech is the single most beautiful, powerful, wondrous thing in Western society – that these EXACT SAME people get so angry when women and/or rape victims respond to the rape jokes.

It’s funny, isn’t it? It’s also slightly hypocritical. And the things is, it doesn’t really matter HOW people respond either. They might just say “Rape isn’t funny,” like that female heckler told Daniel Tosh once. They might say “Rape jokes make me feel really uncomfortable and scared, I’d prefer it if you didn’t make them.” They might say “You find rape jokes funny because, on some level at least, you find rape and rape culture acceptable.” They might even say “I don’t find that rape joke funny because I got raped once.” Or perhaps they’ll say: “I’ve never been raped but I think men who make jokes about rape have to think about rape culture and how they’re complicit in it.” Or: “All men are, to some extent at least, rapists.” Or even: “You are a rapist.” Yeah, they might even say that.

What I find strange is how now, suddenly, words have meaning. All of a sudden, words can hurt. Plötzlich, out of nowhere, the freedom of speech – the freedom to say anything you want, anytime you want, to anyone you want – isn’t quite as fucking important as it was three seconds ago when you were “joking” about how nine out of 10 people enjoy gang-rape.

So, boys. Listen up: if the fear and pain in a rape-victims eyes from a rape joke aren’t meant to be taken literally, then all the men in the statement “All men are rapists” shouldn’t be taken literally, either. It would literally be impossible for all men to be rapists. Watch out now – there’s a rapist joke coming up. How could all men alive on planet Earth be rapists? Some of them are paralyzed from the waist down.

If the freedom of speech that men in general and male comedians in particular think they’re defending when they defend rape jokes – the freedom, the right, to say anything – ANYTHING – no matter how offensive, no matter how despicable – were really as important to them as they think it is, then they would also be defending like mad the right of radical feminists to say that all men are rapists and male newborns should be castrated at birth and all PIV is basically rape and we should all become lesbians and live in peace and harmony. But they’re not. You’re not. You don’t give a shit about freedom of speech. You just don’t want to think about rape and rape culture, but you still want to get to tell the hilarious jokes. All that freedom of speech hysteria dissipates into thin air – the thinnest air possible – as soon as the freedom of speech you’re meant to be defending is a statement told from the point of view of the rape victim and not the rapist. As soon as the punchline’s on you, and not the girl.

One of my friends told me to get therapy last week. Fuck, he’s right, I really do need therapy. For the record, I’ve never actually been raped, but I am as fucked-up as hell and I have a lot of fairly sick rape fantasies and I feel kind of guilty about them. So, you know. I need therapy. Not just for the rape, also eating raw bacon and stuff. I’m not normal. But you know who else needs therapy? All those boys who make and defend rape jokes. You need therapy too. Just to help you understand why you make them. Coz the way you howl with pain and outrage whenever anyone tells you how having to hear men joke about how easy and enjoyable rape is makes them feel – the way you howl with pain at the injustice of a few women actually daring to admit that men talking about how much fun rape is reminds them of how scary and horrific being raped is – well, seriously lads. I don’t know how you’re going to cope once the revolution starts. You fucking pussies. Once the revolution starts, you’re going to be squealing like a pig getting its eye carved out at the slaughterhouse every second of every minute of every fucking day. I can’t wait.