—> I’ve edited this down and included links to things I thought might benefit from sources, feel free to click through for the full post.
This post, in particular, is addressed to men. By nature of gender disparity, men are in a unique position to be taken seriously when they raise objections to casual language and humor regarding rape. Men are in a unique position to prove to rapists that not all men take rape lightly.
I get it—you’re a decent guy. You would NEVER rape anybody. Rape jokes have never made YOU go out and rape someone. They never would; they never could. You just don’t see how it matters.
Here is why I refuse to take rape jokes sitting down…
Because 6% of college-aged men, slightly over 1 in 20, will admit to raping someone in anonymous surveys, as long as the word “rape” isn’t used in the description of the act—and that’s the conservative estimate. Other sources double that number (pdf).
People accuse feminists of thinking that all men are rapists. That’s not true. But do you know who think all men are rapists?
Rapists do. Virtually all rapists genuinely believe that all men rape, and other men just keep it hushed up better. And more, these people who really are rapists are constantly reaffirmed in their belief about the rest of mankind being rapists like them by things like rape jokes, that dismiss and normalize the idea of rape.
If 1 one in 20 guys is a rapist, and you have any amount of social activity with other guys like yourself, then it is almost a statistical certainty that you’ve hung out with a rapist. It’s not like they announce themselves. But, it’s very likely that in some of these interactions someone told a rape joke. You, decent guy that you are, understood that it was just a joke. And so you laughed.
Or maybe you didn’t laugh… it wasn’t a very funny joke… so you didn’t say anything at all.
And, decent guy who would never condone rape… when you laughed, or, when you were silent… That rapist was in the group with you, and thought that you were on his side. That rapist knew that you were a rapist like him. He felt validated, and he felt he was among his comrades.
And if that doesn’t make you feel sick to your stomach, or want to throw up, or disturb you, or bother you, or make you feel like maybe you should not participate in that kind of humor anymore, not abiding it in your presence, not greeting it with silence…
Well, you aren’t as opposed to rapists as you claim.