I find myself facepalming at the stupidity of humanity on an increasingly regular basis.
This afternoon, Lorrie Hearts tweeted something that confused the hell out of me. A twitter user, Darren Elmore, had accused Lorrie of threatening and insulting him. Needless to say, Lorrie challenged this, thus bringing the conversation to the attention of her followers. Cue me scratching my head in a confused manner.
See, I’ve been following Lorrie for a while now, on both my RL account, and under FrothyDragon. I’ve yet to come across her threatening anyone. The same can be said of her insulting people. It doesn’t happen. So, taking up my childhood dreams of becoming a detective, I searched through the conversation.
Now, remember that post I made about rape jokes not being funny? Lorrie’s interaction with Darren Elmore had begun after Elmore’s claims that the woman upset at Tosh’s joke was “ovary-acting”. (Yeah, because only women get hurt by rape jokes, right?) Lorrie did what I would like to think I’d have done under the same circumstances. Pulled him up on it. What followed was a game of what I like to call “Woman Silencing Bingo”.
Elmore responded automatically to Lorrie’s heckling with insults, immediately calling Lorrie a “humourless asshole”. I mean, hell.. You’d think an amateur comedian would have some experience of dealing with hecklers, right?
But what’s most notable is throughout the exchange, Darren Elmore repeatedly insulted Lorrie. “Mental”, “humourless asshole”, “idiots”…
Elmore fails to understand that women have the right not to hear “HEYYY, rape can be funny!”. Had I been in the audience, I would have interjected. Telling women to STFU and take a rape joke is effectively telling them to just shut up with how they feel about rape. “Yo, it’s all very well that being raped severely traumatised you, but y’know, let me tell you how you should laugh about it instead…”
Men joking about rape deserve to be challenged. I mean, rapists love rape jokes. You see that comedian, making all those rape jokes on stage? Each time he utters a rape joke, he’s reinforcing the rapists’ belief that rape, really, isn’t that wrong.
But what’s most telling is the number of men who’ve spoken out in defence of Daniel Tosh, whilst claiming rape is abhorrent. “I’m not pro-rape, but women, STFU and let men make rape jokes.” What Elmore has effectively said this afternoon can be summed up along the lines of “yeah, rape’s awful, but don’t challenge our right to joke about it, else we’ll insult you, then claim you did the same to us…” In other words, Elmore was trying out the old silencing tactics.
To men, like Darren Elmore, who claim they believe rape is abhorrent, I have a few suggestions. Stop making excuses for rape jokes. Stop insulting women who speak out against rape jokes. Stop making rape jokes. Instead, put the energy you use in doing that into speaking out against rape. Find a way to give survivors back their voice, rather than silencing them further.