1st : This is a very sensitive subject .
2nd : I will do my best to not offend or make light of this topic. (very hard since when I am uncomfortable, I make dumb jokes)
3rd : Remember … THIS IS A PLATFORM FOR COMMUNICATION BUT IF YOU WANT THINGS TO CHANGE, YOU MUST GET OUT AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
So you can understand where I am coming from: I’m a father of 2 (1 boy and 1 girl), a husband, the youngest of 3 sons, a future teacher and friend to many. That being said … I am not and will never see RAPE as a “good” thing. Sounds dumb for me to say, right? Wait I’ll explain.
Picture this, a large auditorium class at the University of Texas at Arlington, in the Spring of 2012, our class is discussing the “Topic of the Day” when a female student brought up the Susan G Coleman and a Planned parenthood issue from the news. This sparked an intense and rather lengthy conversation about Planned Parenthood and also RAPE and the laws directed at RAPE. My group partner and I got angry at how stupid one of the rules for catching a RAPIST was that when our Professor asked why we were shaking our heads … my friend answered,”so I guess the victim will have to now provide video evidence that they were being RAPED now?” Which I added,”but it would be thrown out since the RAPIST did not sign a written contract or release the rights to their image and that is also a stupid law in Texas.”
Why was this story told, you may be asking your computer screen now? Well later that class period my group partner was tapped on the shoulder and handed a note which read :
“Watch what you say about RAPE, there are students in this class that have been RAPED. Asshole!!!”
At that moment, I was offended for what the student thought we were trying to say.
It’s not like we were trying to make fun of the act of RAPE. We were just trying to show how stupid our legal system is at handling this horrible topic. It’s not like we were joking about it.
I try to find humor in almost every bad situation but when I told my wife about this topic, she put down her phone, muted the TV, turned to me slowly and said,”you can not make this funny. there is nothing funny about this and you have to censor yourself if you ever want to get a teaching job … understand? RAPE is not a funny thing.” To which I responded, “but George Carlin (GOD rest his soul) joked about it.” That made her smile and say,”You’re NOT George Carlin.”
She’s right, I’m not George Carlin, Aziz Ansari, Louis CK or Daniel Tosh but in my “Empty Mind” (see what I did there), there can be a semi-comic way to cover the subject. These comedians use the word RAPE in their comic routines but Daniel Tosh pushed the limit during his last stand up show. At this show, Tosh snapped at a female heckler by saying “she needed to be RAPED by at least 5 people”. Many other comedians stood up for Tosh and even Jim Norton offered this quote, “Why is it okay for an Actor to play a RAPIST but not for a comic to tell a joke about it?” If the topic of RAPE is always handled with anger and brutal images, then you’ll get reactions like we did in class of some students doing other classwork, others surfing the web and even others falling asleep.
There was a picture that I wanted to include that had a positive message stating that “A RAPIST might be someone you live with”. the picture was a large house cat mounting a German Shepard puppy. The image looks playful and innocent but the caption speaks volumes of truth that would probably be easier on the eyes and ears for our youth than the local political ads that play every 10-20 minutes about some politician either supporting or not supporting RAPE kits.
It’s not cool for images like this to circulate but our advertisement agencies feel that images like this perfume ad for Dolce & Gabbana are okay.
It doesn’t make any sense but that is how our “male run” government responds to everything. Que the 1988 movie, The Accused. This movie if rather graphic but shows the mental thought process of almost every guy that has been in that situation and as we see, only 1 out of all those guys is on the side of the victim but he didn’t do a damn thing until the law got involved. I still can’t look at a pinball machine in the same light since watching that movie.
But when the tables are turned in the 1994 film Disclosure, this movie was damn near laughed out of the theaters since “A man can’t be RAPED by a woman”. Sadly enough, as my classmate stated Friday, it happens far too often but rarely ever gets reported due to shame. I can honestly say that, in a drunken state my senior year in high school … a young lady tried to take advantage of me (shocking I know and no she wasn’t blind). I had to push this girl off me and got injured getting away but I can now talk about this without any issues. I’ve also been accused of forcing myself onto a young lady earlier that year. In my defense, I wasn’t even in town for said event but that didn’t stop the rumor from growing legs and running all over town.
I guess that because I have been on both sides of this spectrum, I can see it a little clearer. I can also teach my kids the right and wrong things to do and pray that they never have to be in this situation.
Maybe this topic got a little too real for us in class or maybe I just shared a few personal events in my life but I know I learned from them and I hope you can too.
And if you didn’t notice … I made sure the word RAPE or any form of the word stood out.