I made a rape joke on twitter last week. I was having a rant about public transport – a trip that usually takes 40-50 minutes took two hours because the trains were shit – and I used the hashtags #fuckthisshit #fuckitintheearhole.
I thought “fuck it in the ear” was a fairly harmless, fairly amusing thing to say. But it’s a rape joke and that isn’t harmless or amusing. The idea that fucking something against its will – raping it – is a suitable punishment for wasting my time is part of rape culture. Rape culture is believing that a woman caused someone to rape her (either by being drunk, or by walking on the street, or by being so hot that he simply couldn’t control himself). It’s believing that rape victims must act a certain way, otherwise they’re just making it up. It’s about anti-rape strategies that tell women to take self-defence classes so they aren’t raped, but don’t tell men not to rape. It’s using the threat of being raped in jail to stop people committing crimes. It’s the MSM calling rape a “sex scandal”.
Rape culture is our culture. Yes, the term is confronting and I imagine that most people would immediately think, “no, our culture does not support rape”, but when you look at all the things that are involved, like those mentioned above, then it’s clearly our culture. I don’t know how anyone could argue that it isn’t.
(Shakesville has an excellent post on the things that make up rape culture, and I highly recommend checking it out.)
Now, I’m not interested in policing private conversations because fuck knows I say enough inappropriate, insensitive things when I’m with my friends. (I’m a loud, rude lush and I think it’s one of my finest qualities.) However, I said it in a public forum and if someone else had done that, I’d probably blog about what jokes like that actually mean. Which is why I’m blogging about how I’m a bit crap.
I’m not proud of that tweet. I’m even less proud that it took me a few days to realise what I’d done. I apologise to the people I offended. I should stick to jokes about how Velvet Elvis is a great name for a clitoral stimulator. The Velvet Elvis Mini Pro.