pissed off feminist fights back: against offensive humour
**Trigger warning: discussion of rape, rape culture and assault**
Offensive humour: it almost always goes wrong, and it’s pretty obvious why. Most of the time it’s just not funny. Offensive humour is a way for people to justify saying things that are at the very least insensitive, and at worst are racist, sexist, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, vilifying, ableist, triggering and do irrevocable damage. Don’t believe me? Let’s deconstruct a recent example.
The #FBrape Twitter campaign is one of my favourites because the object of its attack deserves it. Facebook SHOULD be in trouble for taking down pictures that celebrate women’s bodies, like images of vaginas, or photographs of a woman breastfeeding. One person reporting a picture doesn’t make it offensive. Semi-nudity and the human anatomy are not by definition “vulgar”. They shouldn’t be censored. Facebook SHOULD be in trouble for allowing images that harm women to stay up, images that normalise the use of violence against women. Facebook SHOULD be losing advertisers because of these kinds of images, pictures that actively promote rape culture.
Repeating the oft-used phrase ‘Bitch, make me a sandwich’ doesn’t make you a clever kitten. You’re no poet. You’re no maverick. Your offensive slogans, rape jokes, and the incredibly graphic images you find online or post on Reddit do not make you some subversive force, telling it like it is, making a joke. What you’re doing is saying something that reaffirms that a woman’s position in society is still not where it ought to be. It’s still not up there with the big boys. It’s still not up on the boards of multinational companies or in Parliament, but rather in the kitchen, but rather as the plaything for ruthless men, men who still don’t recognise a woman’s independence and strength. Women are still not equal and still aren’t being treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve. By chuckling at an image of a woman being ‘taped and raped’, you’re effectively condoning a practice that subjugates women, that scars them emotionally, that will affect them their entire lives.