“That awkward moment when you randomly target a girl for rape and it turns out to be your sister… Christmas is going to be uncomfortable this year”
Here’s a post with some findings on why rape jokes are not “just jokes” or “black humour” or “freedom of speech” or “subversion”. No, they’re enablers of wider violence against women and girls.
[R]esearchers at Western Carolina University have found scientific evidence linking rapes jokes to the promotion of violence and prejudice.
“Humor, as a medium of communication, changes the manner in which we interpret a given message. The levity of humor invites us to treat a sentiment, whether decent or reprehensible, as a matter of play. Sexist humor—the denigration of women through humor—for instance, trivializes sex discrimination under the veil of benign amusement, thus precluding challenges or opposition that nonhumorous sexist communication would likely incur” (Boxer, Edel, Ford, 2007)
In other words, if rape jokes and misogynistic humour are accepted, this creates a trickle-down effect. Some psychologists believe that the human brain operates in either ‘serious mode’ or ‘humorous mode’. Whilst in serious mode we interpret things logically and reasonably, but in humorous mode we suspend rationality in the name of fun and take on information with a relaxed attitude. Thus, comedy and jokes play a key role in shaping people’s perceptions. Violence against women should shock people, but when the issue is treated as casual or humorous, society becomes complacent. This in turn changes how we view, treat and respond to sexual assault.