I don’t know if you are going to be shocked or not.
First you have to take 30 seconds to listen to this video. It shows what was “humorously” said about rape on television in 2013.
I listened to this several times to try to determine how I really felt. I have watched a couple of the shows portrayed. I have never watched most.
I don’t think all of them are as bad as most of them are. Most of it is pretty awful.
The obvious sarcastic, offhand, and casual nature of the conversations is incredibly objectionable. People are not necessarily going to talk with any kind of vulnerability about being overpowered sexually.
They have walled it off.
So the sarcasm and supposed “wit” of these comments serves to model that the act of being victimized is something you bear alone.
You don’t tell. It’s too embarrassing.
I don’t know if you know someone who has been raped. Or tragically this might apply to you. 1 out of every 6 women. 3% of men. Actually, these figures are low from what I have seen in the past. As I consider it, they probably don’t include sexual abuse statistics.
I have worked with a lot of people who have been raped. And survived emotionally, physically. Sexually. But it can be terrifically difficult.
Mr. Lamour is correct in saying the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can develop, causing nightmares, flashbacks, dissociative experiences, emotional numbing or maybe over reactivity, and other kinds of problems. And not only can that be right after the event, it can be a more chronic condition. Meaning it can last years after the initial trauma.
I have watched as these mostly women, some men try to build back a sense of safety in their lives. Rape is not typically an act of sex. It is an act of power. Maybe it was their neighbor. Their cousin. Their uncle. A random date. A perfect stranger. But there is a time they always feel it was their fault. They have to work through that.
Then realize they were powerless. They did their best. They survived.
So what does all this have to do with the video?
I am all for laughing. I laugh a lot.
What is most egregious to me about these clips, are the intimations that sex with a person without their consent is okay. This is what has to stop. This is what is so far from funny – it makes my skin crawl.
I am no longer laughing.
I can just imagine if one of my patients was watching one of those shows.
So thank you to Joseph Lamour, the author of the article.
You never know who is listening.
If you hear someone making a joke like this, please stop them. Remind them it’s not funny. Take action.
That’s the only way this will stop.
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