On my birthday I posted a Facebook status update that said: …”today, no means yes and yes means anal.”
This statement is one of the many inappropriate sayings I use almost everyday. It makes me laugh, and generally makes other people laugh.
But on my birthday, this girl — we’ll call her the Young Feminist — was anything but laughing. Instead, she understood this statement to be endorsing rape and ended up sending me this link, attempting to explain to my why rape jokes are never funny. She included the message: “I expected a lot more out of you as an activist, but you have severely disappointed me.”
There are a couple of problems here.
First, the Young Feminist obviously doesn’t know me as well as she should. Because while I knew the joke was not approperiate, I never considered it as a statement I would say to others. Let’s be real, I am far more concerned about myself. Others fail to come into my train of thought if I can help it. And it was something that I shared from my internal dialogue, as I do from time to time, on my own Facebook wall. Additionally, it was my birthday and as you could imagine, I am embracing a new philosophy to say yes more often (to the right things), and this statement deflects the no completely. It’s a new and improved way of living life. Instead of letting it pass me by, instead I have been more willing to just grab it by the horns and do something.
The second problem is that every Young Feminist should be somewhat well read. She obviously is not. Because that statement is set in the same tone already created by author Margaret Atwood, in her short story “Rape Fantasies.”
In this short story, during her lunch break a womyn discusses a bizarre, twisted and incredibly humorous rape fantasy she has. Her other coworkers discuss somewhat erotic anonymous encounters while she talks about the most incredibly complex, specific and insane fantasy a person could have.
She was obviously terrified of being raped. She made a joke of it because of her fears.
The main character in that short story and I have that in common. Because, for men rape is an even more taboo, terifying reality. Womyn can, and have, falsely accused men. Gay men (like myself) are viewed as pedophiles, despite the reality that all, err — most, of the boys I lust after are over 21. Further, gay men are raped at a far higher rate than heterosexual men.
There are reasons why gay men like me rely on the knifes they carry. And sometimes you just have to laugh about it. It helps in understanding the tough relationship between rape and reality. Plus, laughing really is the best medicine and heals even the most tense moments, so I implore the Young Feminist to laugh with me.
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