Yes, please don’t apologize for rape jokes

Salon assistant editor Jenny Kutner was let out of her cage to spread fear and sadness to all the little children. Before I begin making her regret writing her recent tower of half-baked thoughts and baby Jesus meat, I’d like to ask Salon’s recruiters to start screening for insecure morons. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t want to continue living in fear of being pinned down and having my brain forcibly impregnated with inane theories about first-world “social issues” like rape jokes.

Kutner, you should feel special. I wrote this article on my birthday, which means that picking apart your stupidity was a more arousing prospect than doing anything involving cake and ice cream.

Here’s Kutner’s entire brain abortion in a few sentences:

A man told a rape joke. I didn’t like it. He learned that I was a feminist and apologized with a hug. Now I feel bad because I feel different. I should not feel different. Everyone should have been offended like me. He should have apologized to people who laughed.

Reading Kutner’s inane ramblings brought to mind comedy legend George Carlin’s old rant about how rape can be hilarious, all you have to do is picture Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd. Carlin repeats old bullshit talking points about how men victim-blame, but notice he never lets his stupid gender politics stop him from becoming a comedy legend that talks about whatever the hell he wants.

As a “raucous and inappropriate” man, I find rape to be just as appropriate as a joke topic as the priest and the rabbi. Why? Because I love jokes and I love laughing. I even love jokes made at my expense, because it turns out you can go in all sorts of directions with the colorful stereotypes we have for redheads (Case in point, I look like what happens when Ronald McDonald starts lovin’ it with Beetlejuice and Jamie Hynemen in a lumber mill).

I even welcome jokes about men and MHRAs. I laugh at Georgie’s pot shots at men, even if I disagree with them. I even laughed at SNL’s wildly inaccurate depiction of MRAs as white, balding anti-abortion loons with mail order brides.

Of course I find rape as disgusting and horrifying as you do, but I simply don’t let my political leanings influence my ability to laugh, even at the things I love. Granted, I do sometimes take offense when someone isn’t actually joking, but laughing is infinitely better than getting pissy and defensive.

I’m nowhere near as funny as Christopher Titus, Cheryl Wheeler, Reginald D Hunter, Doug Stanhope or Aries Spears, but I try to joke around anyway because life is better when you are laughing. But somehow, the whole experience of laughing is ruined if your laughter has to be approved. Why in the hell would I need some idiot’s approval for how I should feel? What kind of backwards-ass society would that be?

Every time a feminist scribbles why rape jokes should be banned in “Rosie the Riveter’s Time of the Month” red crayon, I immediately stick my head out of my window and scream the most inappropriate joke I can think of at that moment. The neighbors may throw various lawn implements at my head, but I don’t care, I’m still free, and they can’t take the sky from me.

In fact, I will follow Maddox’s example in his fight against the vegetarian superiority complex and say that for every rape joke you don’t tell, I’m going to tell three. Here’s three heart-stoppers that you can find around the net:

  1. I said, “Do you know the difference between rape and conversation?” She said, “No.” I said, “Let’s go upstairs for a chat.”
  2. I called that Rape Advice Line earlier today. Unfortunately, it’s only for victims.
  3. I was raping a woman the other night and she cried, “Please, think of my children!” Kinky bitch.

As a bonus, your article made me remember one of my favorite one-liners: “I used to be a necrophiliac until some rotten cunt split on me.” That one has everything, it’s gross and politically-incorrect, sure, but that’s not why it’s a favorite. I love that joke because saying it immediately helps you find friends who are just as messed-up as you are. I promise that the people who laugh at that joke are the some of the coolest people you will ever meet.

But you just can’t identify with free-thinkers who choose to laugh, right Kutner? You must keep everyone aware of the social consequences of every joke, everywhere.

You make life miserable, even when life tries to make you happy. You reluctantly accepted an undeserved apology hug from the evil, wicked man who told the rape joke. But then, you cast off the embrace of oppression and compressed the top of your personal can of Lysol to liberate your temple from cooties.

Let’s stop for just a moment and appreciate how rude this woman is. Am I the only one who thought to ask how the poor guy must feel right now? He just goes to a family party to have fun, tells a raunchy joke, and now the person he apologized to is trashing him online!

I wasn’t the only guest who didn’t respond with laughter, but I think I was the only one who didn’t even crack a smile. Everyone quickly turned back to their conversations, but I leaned over to another relative and whispered, “Glad rape jokes are still in vogue.” I pulled out my phone and fired off some similar snark for Twitter, then went inside to eat some more salami.

What the hell is wrong with you, Kutner? Have we already forgotten what going public with emotionally loaded tweets about jokes can do to people? Are you so morally bankrupt that you cannot even attend a social gathering without having your night ruined by your own opinions about a rape joke?

Read this carefully: Making rape into a punchline carries the implicit understanding that rape is awful. The laughter brought on by rape jokes comes from people who know perfectly well that it is a crime. But the punchline, like with other comedic elements, strips the horror of its power.

You have it backwards, Kutner. It is the people who find rape jokes offensive that give rape and rapists power over our emotions, not the people who joke about the topic. The people who joke are not controlled by societal expectations, they are actively seeking joy instead of crying on command. This doesn’t make them less able to sympathize with rape victims, it makes them more able to process and recover from trauma once they are able to do so.

Your emotional instability is no one’s problem but yours, but your family and friends cared enough about your feelings on rape jokes to accommodate you. Now that I think about it, that’s probably why you turned out the way you did.

The man who told the joke came up and apologized, although he had absolutely no reason to do so. He gave up his time and energy to make sure you felt okay, and you still bitched about him on the Internet. Why?! Why would you do that? Do you need other people to feel guilty to validate your stupid emotional framework? Or do you just hate men that much? Why are you such a horrible person?

The only thing I agree with in your piece is the headline “Don’t apologize to me for your rape joke.” If it is a joke, then by nature it is not serious. You took something that had zero moral expectations of your reaction, forced it into your contrived worldview, and expected everyone to react in the same way you did.

I’ll admit it, Kutner, you offended me. But unlike you, I’m not reacting to a joke, I’m reacting to your serious, honest opinion as an assistant editor for a major publication. I get to be offended because you are sharing thoughts that you hope will in some way change life as we know it, and I’m not okay with that.

There is a difference between someone joking and someone pretending to joke. That’s why one can laugh at a racist joke, but not when a racist tells it (because then, it’s uncertain if (s)he’s really joking). But in this instance, your male party-goer was joking. You’re not. That’s why you are the bitch in this situation, and he’s clear of all charges.

I say to you and everyone who thinks like you that I will tell any joke I want, and you will never have the culture you seek if I have anything to say about it. When you are at your next feminist-approved formal gathering, listen carefully over the sound of your guests’ pretentious harrumphs for laughter over the horizon. That’s sound is coming from an actual party, and it’s the sound of something called “fun.”

I grew up listening to people joke about male rape in prison, disconnected fathers and circumcision. If I can deal with that, then you can deal with a man joking about Ms. Goody-goody getting a surprise sperm deposit in her ovum bank.

I’m done. Go suck on your salami.

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