Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rape is Funny

First off I just want to say great job Dr. Highberg! We had quite the turn out. With a title like "Rape is Funny" it isn't surprising that the lecture drew such a crowd. The reality is, there are references of rape and rape jokes all around us. We have grown so accustomed to this that we do not even notice the horrible conotation of "making someone your bitch". More importantly, many people do not take the time to think about the corrupt circumstances this phrase has come from. Prison. No jokes there.

Half of the viewers in the room last night were probably thinking that, the people sent to prison deserve everything they get. The others probably sided with Dr. Highberg when he brought up the example of Fish, where a teenage boy was sent to prison for a robbery with a toy gun. While in prison he was raped over 1,000 times. There is no way that is the correct punishment for such a crime, when taking into account not only the physcial, but also psychological damage involved.

I do not side with the fact that people deserve to be raped. However, if we think about it that is the only prevelent threat in prison. Otherwise, if you are someone who roams the streets, has no money for food, and committs crimes day and day out to support themsevles...well then prison may not sound so bad. It's a roof over their head and food in their stomachs. The only real punishment and potential threat is the fact that in prison, either you own inmates or you are owned.

An interesting topic also came up - what about rapists, sex offenders, murderers? It seemed as though the audience agreed that it would be good for them to get a taste of their own medicine. This would mean that we concent to those people getting raped, but not those who committed lighter crimes. Here we almost have a proposal for a rape prison with the sign "WE RAPE" in the window. If you have murdered, raped, or sexually assaulted anyone you belong with us. However, this is where we enter the shades of gray...there is no way some people could go to a prison where people rape, and some could go to a prison where there is no rape permitted. Prison is prison.

Stemming from prison rape, is the idea that rape is the sexual way we show our domination. This is how we exert our power over someone else in the deepest possible way. In some instances like college campuses, guys think that raping a female may put her back in her place.

The last mention, brings us to a whole new place. Raping a woman to put her back in her place truly disgusts me, primarily for the reason that if women seek any improvement in status they will be brought down. If a woman dresses in a manner that displays her body, perhaps because she is proud or wants to test her boundaries, than she is shot back down because anything that happens in that circumstance is going to look like it was her fault. If she was so irrisistable then a man could not help but to rape her - what a proposterous idea! Yet this is a widely accepted notion, that still circulates today.

I will admit, there were some jokes Dr. Highberg mentioned which made me chuckle - I couldn't help it. This definetly rules out the moralist category from our reading, however since I do not hold these attitudes and I believe that these are just jokes, like most of us, I do fit into the amoralist category. What we don't realize is just how much damage "just a joke" can bring. We have been conditioned with rape as a common occurance with unproportional importance. We can poke fun because most people don't take it seriously enough. It is definetly a matter that deserves more attention. Not enough rape victims come forward. We should all take a step back and re-consider the correct move after we hear yet another rape joke. I think it's time we stop laughing.

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