Daniel Tosh. Image via tumblr.
Another well meaning but ill-advised debate regarding the propriety of rape jokes has broken out on Twitter after a comedian in LA responded to a female heckler in his audience by asking the rest of them the following question:
Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…
A comedian indeed.
I say ‘ill-advised Twitter debate’ not because I think rape jokes are funny (they’re not unless you have an IQ hovering just below room temperature) but because Twitter is last place issues like should be discussed. Without fail, it turns into a points scoring exercise between bloggers (hey out there!) punctuated by people making increasingly outrageous statements to get retweets, before descending into your standard, “you disagree with me, therefore you’re a f**ktard” trolling.
The complex, emotive issues at the heart of this question cannot be addressed in handy 140 character rounds and people who are unable to convey their point succinctly will always end up caught in the back spray of vitriol.
Remember kids. Humour, like other art forms, is a coping mechanism for us to explore and engage with concepts that frighten us. When people don’t feel able to speak up about these issues, we end up with the massive levels of ignorance required to make these jokes in the first place.
And if you don’t like it? Well, there’s probably a reason you use Twitter as your primary debating platform, isn’t there?