THERE is a popular trend that we may not even know was popular until I mention it. In my opinion, we became immune and desensitised to the trend of male rape or sexual assault jokes. Do the jail jokes/ soap dropping jokes ring a bell? In Guyana, there are mentions of this almost every time someone gets convicted and is sent off to prison. One is only left to wonder why do we take heed and protest against female sexual assault even in the form of jokes and it’s not the same for men.
In countless television shows, especially in comedy series and movies, they use these jokes over and over again. Even cartoon shows that are meant to be for children, pass these jokes off in a lighter fashion. Perhaps, it stems from the patriarchal pressure for men to be quiet and not show emotions. Somehow it’s okay for men, especially those who are vulnerable to be sexually assaulted and not speak up and against it.
These jokes are more than just for laughs, it is the sickening thought of society finding humour in the disgusting acts of sexual assault, rape, oppression and patriarchy. Men are also trapped in a system that is so-called designed for them; a system designed for the standard and stereotypical version of a man, that is. Gay men, men who speak out against abuse, male feminists, male rape/sexual assault victims are all examples of the types of men who are forced to be trapped as a result of oppression.
In the era of the ‘Me too Movement,’ it hardly seems as if men are taken seriously with their cases of sexual abuse. Hypocritical are we not? To think that because men are abusers of women in these #metoo cases, we often do not pay attention to any man who is abused by another man. In fact, it’s a bit funny to society to emasculate a man because we see men as strong and unstoppable in nature, it’s weird and automatically humorous to see him fold.
I highly recommend a video called ‘Sexual Assault of Men Played for Laughs’ that was created by the YouTube page ‘Pop Culture Detective’. It’ll further continue the discussion on this disheartening topic amongst us. In fact, it was this very video that inspired me to write this piece. The narrator of the video simply said, “When Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart or Adam Sandler or any other famous comedian amplifies dismissive and toxic ideas about rape in their comedy routines, it’s not meant to raise awareness and it’s certainly not designed to hold up a mirror and give voice to rape survivors.
They’re acting out these rape jokes because it’s an easy way to get cheap laughs. The price of those laughs is the further trivialisation of rape in a culture that already doesn’t take survivors seriously.”
If you or anyone you know was/is a victim of sexual abuse, please contact the nearest police station, hospital or social work organization for help.