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Cameron Esposito on rape jokes —> http://therealcameronesposito.com/
Tell your rape jokes. Expect to be challenged on them.
Seems like every 6 months or so - maybe once a year - there is a debate about rape jokes. Here’s how it goes:
A dude tells jokes about rape or deals with hecklers in way that includes rape. A woman hears these jokes or is the heckler. She publicly states that she is upset or didn’t like the joke or didn’t think it was funny or doesn’t think that particular joke really dealt with the topic seriously. And then the comic somehow takes that feedback & uses it to LOSE HIS MIND.
Other comics get on board & support the comic. For some reason a discussion about censorship breaks out, which really makes no sense since the audience member isn’t really in a position to censor anyone. Dude comics generally support the other dude comic’s right to tell a rape joke, without realizing rights weren’t being questioned, choices were. Chick comics support the dude comic or keep quiet - not wanting to be labeled stupid or bitchy or against their own community. Female audience member is labeled stupid or bitchy & publicly shamed by comics. Everyone moves on.
I personally don’t advocate for any topics being categorically off limits, because OF COURSE I DON’T. I’m a comic. I have talked about rape on stage. I do think, though, that when a comic is in a group of people largely unaffected by a topic, that comic should be able to do some extra work to make their jokes funny, relevant, well thought out. If you are a white comic talking about dealing with racism, or a straight comic talking about being uncomfortable in a gay neighborhood, or a dude talking about rape, you are asking for higher scrutiny.
You also get a greater reward - you get the built in laughs that come with chatting on a taboo topic. And there are plenty of angles on rape that affect dudes more - no one has ever thought I could possibly BE a rapist for instance, which is an angle I have heard dude comics use for huge laughs & it totally worked. There are always new jokes to tell on a topic or new angles to take.
IN THE END: tell the jokes you want to tell. But know that it makes you a better comic to have to either ignore criticism or defend yourself. This is the rest of all of our careers: success balanced with ignoring criticism or self-defense.
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME, though, if you, a dude comic, take a woman’s response to your rape joke & yell over it or call it censorship or persecution. If you say she couldn’t take what she got into. That she should know better. That she brought it on herself. When you do that, fine comic, you become just another dude ignoring a woman saying no.
YES !!! (pretty much sums it up)
Kyuss “Hurricane“ (… And the Circus Leaves Town 1995)
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