Monday, March 2, 2009

Inappropriate laughter

I thoroughly enjoyed the "Rape is Funny" lecture, not because I found it amusing, but because Professor Highberg dared to discuss what others typically won't. I think society today is very forgiving. Aside from the media scrutiny and the talk of "politically correct" speech, America is still typically laughing at the taboo. Racist jokes are not a thing of the past, sexism is alive and well, and now we can add a new brand of humor to the mix. We generally laugh because we're shocked or because we cannot relate to those who would be offended, but rape victims commonly do not reveal themselves in relaxed settings. Anyone could be a victim of rape in the past or future, so to show blatant insensitivity to the situation is rather harsh. Personally i don't like the subject of prison rape because it is so common both in life and in humor. "Don't drop the soap" is a phrase that pretty much everyone recognizes and connects to rape. While I think that rape is unacceptable in prisons and think it should be a political and humanitarian priority, I feel like that idea is so common that it would be hard to rub out from conversation and entertainment. This is not just because people think its funny but also because it is something that happens all the's not a made up joke, it's a reference to a real-life occurance. The fact that we use those jokes as a deterrent to crime is repugnant, yet effective. The lecture was thought provoking and will surely spark conversation throughout the campus in the weeks to come.

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