Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Few Things About the Word "Rape"

As the white knight of Twitter, WomensLaw was busy this afternoon getting out the word about our services, when we came across the most horrendous uses of the word "rape" in users' tweets. Twitter has this fantastic search function where one can search keywords and all tweets containing those words will appear in the search listings. WomensLaw uses this function to find people in cyberspace who are looking for information about domestic violence, and then tweets them an appropriate link to our website.

I digress. Here are some examples of the way people are carelessly and harmfully throwing around the word "rape":

"If you force sex on a hooker, is it rape or shoplifting?"

Oh thats it. Im a republican now. I just had to pay even MORE in taxes than the rape i have endured all year!!"

The test didnt rape me, but i didnt like it."

One nice thing i've noticed about NIN is they don't rape you on ticket cost, unlike Depeche Mode who want $90 a ticket."

Okay, so you get the idea. These were also the tamest of the ways which the word "rape" is misused. I am incredibly disturbed by this. Rape is a serious and terrible assault on someone's human rights; the severity of which is undermined when people use the word as common slang. If someone can say "That test raped me" then it takes real power away from someone else saying "That man raped me". See?

Adding to further despair, I happened to see Observe and Report with Anna Faris this weekend, which portrays a very real date rape scene, which the media is in a frenzied debate over at the moment. Some say its humorous, and others say offensive.

What do you all think? Have you heard the word "rape" misused, or seen other instances where sexual assault is devalued?


1 comment:

  1. I totally agree. Someone on my Facebook posted the exact joke about raping a hooker, but was politically correct enough to change the noun to a prostitute, so I "unfriended" them and told my remaining grinds that I did and why. I hope (and know) this will indirectly get back to the person I unfriended avoiding any confrontation that may have occured. I work for a Womans Crisis Center and see this type of abuse first hand. It is not something to joke about-ever.