Society » Culture, Sexuality, Humor: "Are Rape Jokes Ever Funny?"

EdenFantasys Store

Are Rape Jokes Ever Funny?

Are Rape Jokes Ever Funny?
  •    
  • Print
  • E-mail
Comedian Daniel Tosh us under fire for joking that a heckler should be gang-raped. Now that rape jokes are in the spot-light, perhaps it’s time to ask if they’re ever something to laugh about.

  We love to hear from you!

We’d love to hear what you have to say as well! Leave it in comments, or write a post of your very own!

Yes, that’s right. We want YOU to write something for SexIs! See this forum thread for details and this one for this month's topics!

Our Top Stories Being Recommended on Facebook

Comments

Anything can be funny, handled properly and in the right hands. I think what the Tosh and Richards examples point to is comedians handling hecklers and other disruptive audience members (which is part of the job of being in stand-up) with lazy, inflammatory statements instead of actual humor. You take down the person using material they hand you through their heckling, or ridiculing them for something about their appearance, behavior, etc. Watching the "Original Kings of Comedy" provides a good example of how to handle a disruptive person (in that case, a guy in the front rows who thought it would be just find to get up and walk out casually when the show was being filmed for the movie about the tour).

Comedy can be on the bleeding edge of good taste, but if you're not going to actually have a well-honed bit about rape or murder or racism or child abuse or anything else, you don't use those topics as your weapon in a fit of pique. Because, frankly, that shows more about your lack of decency and what you probably really think is OK in real life away from the stage.

07/23/2012

Under no circumstances are jokes about Rape ever funny. I realize that being profane and unethical and not politically correct is part of comedy, but some topics are just off limits. No one is going to make a joke about Kennedy, Lincoln or Martin Luther King being shot. No one in their right mind would joke about Matthew Shepard or other similar cases. Rape is an off limits topic. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men. You are GUARANTEED to have a victim in your audience way risk it as a professional. We should never purposefully do something that we know will hurt someone else. To joke about rape is to do just that

07/23/2012

Being a woman in her mid-20s it's strange to think of how people can sometimes turn off the "moral" side of their personality. People who you've known your whole life, who you've heard steadfastly protest against things like abortion or abuse, can all of the sudden laugh at jokes making light of those very subjects. I've never liked dead baby, abortion, rape, etc. jokes. Maybe it was the household that I was raised in or perhaps just how my personality is hardwired but I feel like there are other jokes out there, you don't need to bring in these sensitive topics. A member of my family was raped. I've seen the psychological side effects. Believe me, it's no laughing matter.

07/24/2012

To me no rape jokes aren't funny, an I think its wrong for anyone to joke about it.

07/25/2012

As a woman who has been repeatedly raped, no, it is never funny and it should not be joked about at all. If only people knew how it can truly ruin a person's mentality then I'm sure idiots won't find it so funny...

07/27/2012

Here's my two cents: also as a woman who's been repeatedly raped, I'm perfectly willing to accept that rape jokes can sometimes be funny - if they are delivered well and with the right intention. Daniel Tosh and Family Guy... just aren't funny. From having watched a lot of Tosh's shows, I'd class his comedy as coming from the theater of cruelty. His jokes are usually derisive and exploitative... and if you've seen him on TV a few times, then you'd probably know to expect much the same in his stage show. I actually agree with his point that there should be no sacred cows when it comes to comedy (just as there should be no sacred cows when it comes to art in general), but he delivers that point poorly. He destroys but he does not build.

And to say that rape jokes must contribute to rape culture is a very flimsy argument. Surely it depends on the joke. Far from supporting the worst elements of our nature, comedy can often prick our social attitudes and help us to better understand the horrors we perpetrate - and it can actually be a lot more effective at delivering that change than just yelling belligerently at people. Books like Catch 22 and films like Dr Strangelove are fabulous "war jokes", but they could hardly be seen as supportive of war. Just the opposite. But they are also very cleverly written, and delivered well.

... For what it's worth, I don't let the past take away my understanding of the fun and absurdity of life... even the absurdity of cruelty. And I also believe that, just sometimes, to laugh at cruelty (rather than with cruelty) is to disarm it.

07/27/2012

Those who say rape jokes are off-limits...any joke about not bending over to pick up the soap in a prison shower is a rape joke. And I have heard assassination jokes about Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Shit, I've seen Jewish comedians joke about the Holocaust.

Really, people, we cannot rule ANY topic off-limits for comedy or anything else. One you start ruling out one topic, why not another? No rape jokes. Next, no jokes about violence at all. Next, no jokes about stereotypes. Next, no jokes about appearance. Every joke has the capacity to deeply hurt someone in an audience. That's a fact of life. We all have our sore spots, and all have topics that when we hear them joked about, it hurts us deeply. That's also life.

Now, are rape jokes very often funny or useful? No, not in my experience. But it's ridiculous to protect a single group from humor, no matter how horrific the experience of that group is in general or specifically.

08/06/2012
Jack M.  

Men, as the primary instigators of rape, do not get to decide whether it's funny or not.

11/22/2012

Forum

No discussions yet.

What's Hot

Sexis in your inbox

Keep up on new articles, projects, columns and more