“I was ‘raped’ and I joke about it”


XOJane–read it. Remember Jane magazine? Possibly the thing that made me be like, hey, I’m a feminist? Jane’s back with an online mag that I really recommend. I just got around to reading this article, which is really wonderful–a woman who has been criticizing for joking about the rape attempt on her, and why she thinks it’s okay for her to laugh about it. It’s good stuff, with a paragraph in particular that I really love:

Lynsey Addario (who, by the way, is a total badass) had this to say: “What happened to Lara was horrible, by all accounts. There’s no question. And when I was in Libya, I was groped by a dozen men. But why is that more horrible than what happened to Tyler or Steve or Anthony — being smashed on the back of the head with a rifle butt?”

The answer of course, is because we expect, and in some way, glamorize, that sort of thing happening to male war reporters.  Men make jokes about other men being raped all the time (like in every movie remotely involving even the specter of jail) and nobody bats an eye, because nobody sees men as being irrevocably damaged — that is to say, tainted by it.  

I refuse to buy into this idea that rape is the Ultimate Bad Thing that can happen to a woman (worse than murder, or poverty, orpoverty, or in a lot of places, what comes after the rape — i.e., her devaluation by society and often physical danger) because it a) gives too much power to some shithead, fuckhole rapist and b) perversely buys into the archaic, subconscious notion that a woman’s sexual inviolability is her most priceless and irreplaceable asset.


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