Day 12 – when you laugh at rape jokes.

oh god now for the big catch up as life has kind of swamped me and I am ridiculously behind… this post is a follow on from an excellent post by “Organon” entitled “For men who don’t think rape jokes are a problem” (i reblogged it so check it out)  this form of humour is seen as harmless, and yet it can have a devastating impact on a survivor’s perception of their experience.

when you laugh at a rape joke:

you send the message that a humiliating, devastating experience, is trivial.

you are saying you are not strong enough to stand up against real violence that if you stopped to consider it, would affect many of the people you know.

you are supporting a culture that enables horrendous human rights abuses, some of which occur to people who are already vulnerable.

you may be seriously harming the mental and emotional wellbeing  of someone right in front of you, who is sitting their quietly because she doesn’t know what to say.

you are further devaluing someone who’s already experiencing devaluation, marginalization and a systematic erosion of their worth as a person.

 You may not think you’re responsible for violence against women but sexist language, particularly in the form of rape jokes are an enabling of the culture that allows sexual assault to occur. It is a particularly thin line between those who joke about violence and those who commit it. Words do have meaning, and for some that meaning is incredibly real and often long lasting.

 If we’re ever going to see an end to sexual assault, we need to make sure we are calling people out on their behaviour when it enables and normalizes violence. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is neccesarry.

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