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Rape 'jokes'. Wtf is wrong with some people?

(70 Posts)
SailAwayWithMeHoney Sat 22-Apr-17 20:17:05

Just that really, why do some men feel it's appropriate or funny to make jokes like that?

I've been on a couple of dates with a guy I've been friends with for the best part of nearly 10years. He knows I have ptsd and we were discussing the effects my medication has on me. When I explained that they pretty much incapacitate me (drowsy, can't walk straight, can't type, forget words etc) he replied with " Sweet ill come around then then...easy target "

I was nice. Told him I don't find that funny to which he responded "it's just a joke poppet". Then I (nicely) asked him to explain why it's meant to be funny. Yeah, he really couldn't and instead got shitty with me, said "I'll leave you too it. Take care".

He's since been blocked. But I'm curious as to why some men do it? Do they genuinely think it's funny, or is it more an expression of what they deem an acceptable way to treat women (ie thinking it's fine to take advantage of incapacitated women).
Do they actually not realise that their "harmless jokes" mock and silence survivors (both male and female) and give perpetrators the impression that rape and sexual abuse is funny and acceptable?

AnotherQuoll Sat 22-Apr-17 20:50:17

I bet he wouldn't have thought that "joke" so amusing if it was directed at him by a larger, stronger man than himself who was sexually attracted to him.

SailAwayWithMeHoney Sat 22-Apr-17 21:13:35

Oh gosh probably not!!

IvankaTrudeau Sat 22-Apr-17 21:21:41

It's horrible. SailAway if he's been your friend for 10 years, does he know your situation? (If I'm remembering one of your previous threads correctly. Will delete this comment if you want me to.) If so, that's really awful of him to say things like that.

SailAwayWithMeHoney Sat 22-Apr-17 21:34:28

He knows about the abuse, that I fled the area and that there was a criminal trial and is an injunction, he doesn't know I was raped. I did think of replying saying "remind me to tell you why I've got ptsd someday" but thought better of it.

Thought I'd see if he could explain why it's funny instead...

M0stlyBowlingHedgehog Sat 22-Apr-17 21:37:36

Sail, I'm afraid I have a very dark take on this. There is research (e.g. by psychologist David Lisak) which puts the number of men who rape at about 1 in 20 of the male population. And these men are by their own admission repeat offenders (average of 6 rapes each). So when a man makes rape jokes I immediately suspect that (a) he actually is one of the 1 in 20 who are rapists and (b) it's part and parcel of his rape modus operandi, by which I mean two things. First, since rape is about power not sex, this (in a minor way) is more of the same: he's doing it precisely to upset the woman he's making the jokes to, because it makes him feel powerful and makes her feel powerless and he gets off on that. Second, it's a form of grooming behaviour - he's looking for that nervous laugh from the woman who's too frightened to challenge him, so that he knows that he's found a woman whose boundaries he can push at, and push some more. Most rapes are pre-planned and date-rapists deliberately target women who they can make vulnerable in some way.

My guess is your acquaintance got angry because you'd challenged him and stopped his boundary pushing at the first stage.

Incidentally, the only man of my acquaintance who repeatedly told rape jokes to me, after I'd told him not to and who did so deliberately to try to upset me - I later found out that he'd repeatedly anally raped one of my friends while they were going out together (she didn't, and I think still doesn't, realise it was rape, because she had a pretty screwed up upbringing thanks to her weirdly religious parents, and I think internalised all sorts of beliefs about "once you'd had sex out of wedlock, you'd demonstrated you were game for anything and no longer had the right to say no.")

mysonhatesmebutidontcare Sat 22-Apr-17 21:43:16

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

M0stlyBowlingHedgehog Sat 22-Apr-17 21:44:36

Cross posted with you, Sail - flowers. I hope you are getting the support you need now, and that the injunction is doing the trick.

Actually, I think your response was the better one - rather than allow him to get a frisson from you exposing your vulnerabilities, just calmly ask him to explain why it was funny.

M0stlyBowlingHedgehog Sat 22-Apr-17 21:45:51

Oh, and I've reported the troll to MNHQ, so hopefully they won't be around for long.

ImperialBlether Sat 22-Apr-17 21:46:26



MissCherryCakeyBun Sat 22-Apr-17 21:46:38

Yep me too can't stand vile trolls like this

Sending hugs xx

SailAwayWithMeHoney Sat 22-Apr-17 21:46:52

Lol sonhatesme try again cupcake 😘

NotTheDuchessOfCambridge Sat 22-Apr-17 21:48:53

Rape jokes are not funny, whatever the contexts. Saw a comedian a few days ago and he made a joke about rape, not sexual rape but rape of a "thing" (think having your fridge raided but calling it raped instead) and the joke just bombed. Nobody laughed, there were a lot of embarrassed groans x

SailAwayWithMeHoney Sat 22-Apr-17 21:51:44

bowlinghedgehog that's actually pretty fascinating, in a scary and morbid kind of way. I do find I agree with you though, but I wonder if it was a "harmless joke" if the person making it would then realise what they said and apologise?
Is it ever unintentional do you think?

I don't for a moment my ex friend was unintentionally offensive, I very much agree that it was deliberate hence his shittiness at being called out. I'm just curious

SailAwayWithMeHoney Sat 22-Apr-17 21:54:17

I see that a lot on social media sometimes, (mainly) girls saying the wind "raped" their hair. And "frape" used to be a commonly used term when I live to describe someone hacking into someone else's Facebook hmm

I'm a little relieved to hear no one laughed nottheduchess x

RebelRogue Sat 22-Apr-17 21:54:58

Some people are just dicks with the emotional intelligence of a newt. And I say people as i know men and women that do similar type "jokes".

Some men though use them to say exactly what they think and would do,but then use the cover of "just a joke" when it backfires. It's a testing of boundaries, a setting of the future roles and a warning.
Given your situation (and abuse ,fleeing etc) that he knew about it's quite frankly disgusting and a red flag as big as my ass.

scootinFun Sat 22-Apr-17 21:56:17

Aah but all these 'jokes' do is try and normalise these scenarios and cloud consent issues. And they all get indignant - oh I wouldn't rape someone etc after insinuating they'd take advantage of a incapacitated women.

RebelRogue Sat 22-Apr-17 21:58:30

I see that a lot on social media sometimes, (mainly) girls saying the wind "raped" their hair. And "frape" used to be a commonly used term when I live to describe someone hacking into someone else's Facebook

I hate that. Also the overuse of violated. It minimises the seriousness of rape and makes it all almost casual.
One would hope it's because they never had the misfortune of being raped and the awful aftermath of it and again,the emotional intelligence of a newt.

Foldedtshirt Sat 22-Apr-17 21:58:32

The alarm on your Shark Cage is working Sailaway flowers

HorridHenryrule Sat 22-Apr-17 22:05:21

I have never heard rape jokes in my life. MN is the first place I heard of it. He either doesn't know what he is doing and he's thick or he lost control.

RebelRogue Sat 22-Apr-17 22:12:08

Another thing that drives me mad is advice to women to "have a drink or ten wink wink" when someone is unsure/ needs advice about trying something new sexually.

M0stlyBowlingHedgehog Sat 22-Apr-17 22:26:41

Interesting question, Sail. I think when men tell rape jokes in male company, rather than to women, they are looking for validation that "all men are just like me, just some don't have the balls to put it into practice". However (because men rarely live at the level of defcon 3 when it comes to the threat of sexual assault, the way women typically do), the men listening to the jokes may not realise that's why they're being told and just put it down as a deliberately tasteless joke - then re-tell it, out of stupidity rather than for sinister motives. I think though that you're spot on that the acid test then becomes: how do they react when a woman calls them out on it? As you say, if they're decent blokes just doing something stupid from a position of ignorance then they'll immediately realise they've been an arse and apologise. It's the ones who get angry, or who simply repeat the joke over and over, smugly watching you get more upset, who are the ones who should set alarm bells ringing.

Glad we both agree that your ex friend was up to something creepy and boundary pushing.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 22-Apr-17 22:30:17

I have never heard rape jokes in my life. MN is the first place I heard of it

The unspeakable Frankie Boyle has made rape jokes about Rebecca Adlington and Katie Price as part of his stand up routine.

The equally unspeakable Jimmy Carr does too.

I have not been and never will be at their shows. I have not in real life heard rape jokes.

deydododatdodontdeydo Sat 22-Apr-17 23:07:13

I don't have an answer, but interestingly, it's not limited to jokes about women. The "jokes" about men getting raped in prison, picking up the soap in the shower, etc. are extremely common.
It doesn't seem to matter whether it's females or males they're upsetting in many ways.
I have heard such "jokes" as best pickup line being chloroform or rohypnol and similar, but not too many from professional comedians.

M0stlyBowlingHedgehog Sat 22-Apr-17 23:15:01

I was thinking about the "don't pick up the soap" jokes in connection with this thread - but I'm not sure they are the same. The "don't pick up the soap" jokes always strike me as being of the classic type of "humour to defuse fear" kind. The rape jokes about women victims, on the other hand (see the article Lass links to) seem more like racist jokes, intended to bond one group of people together over their shared hatred of another group of people. (The one exception would be the "backs to the wall" type of joke about gay men being raped, which I think do share the same underlying hatred as the jokes about women victims - but again, because they're driven by hatred, homophobia rather than misogyny. It's about a bunch of bullies ganging together to laugh about sexual violence against their chosen group of victims.)

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