When Rape Becomes Funny

I have been blogging for five years. I have shared the triumphs and tribulations of many bloggers during this time. There have been posts that make me laugh out loud. Some have even moved me to tears. Rarely there is anything that leaves me speechless…until now.

On October 28th, a 15 year old child was gang raped by a group of five very disgusting men. This occured while a crowd of minimally 20 people stood idly by and watched this crime being committed. It is an utter disgrace and a tragic statement about our society and the lack of willingness to get involved. As far as I am concerned, the people sho stood there watching as this child was violated repeatedly are just as guilty as the offenders themselves.

Of course, I am talking from a personal stance.

Back to blogging. My dear friend, Avitable wrote about this situation. However, his take on it was one of a humorous perspective in his blogpost titled Gang Rape: Looking Deeper Basically, what he was attempting to do was make a statement about the onlookers and what could have possibly possessed them to just stand there and do nothing.

You will have to read the post to understand what I am referring to.

Anyway, if you read through the comments, you will find that many women were hurt by the post. Some accused him of making fun of the victim. He wasn’t doing that at all. Rather, he was making commentary on the pathetic onlookers and their lack of vigilance when it came to helping this poor girl.

I get that. And, in some comments, I even stood up for him.

However, it doesn’t negate the fact that making light of rape is never a funny issue, regardless of attempting to use humor to assuage the pain. I have to admit, as a survivor of a gang rape, I didn’t find the post amusing. My ex-boyfriend, Tony, who I have written about countless times, passed me around to a few of his buddies. I was spit on. I was violated. I had my hair pulled. I was hit and battered. I was bit. And, this occurred while a few other people sat in my living room, not partaking…but rather, observing. No one stopped this. No one stepped in. Only ONE person “suggested” that they go get something to eat instead of continuing. It was said very passively and not for my benefit at all. I was left on the floor to rot. To cry. To curl up in a fetal position, wishing that the floor would suddenly open and my battered body would fall away freeing me from the utter pain and despair that I was feeling.

Last night, Avitable’s post brought that all back to me. I read his post when he first put it up. I didn’t fall asleep until several hours later. I was crying. I was shaken. I let him know that in a comment; that while I understood his intent, that he was sending me to bed in tears. Several other women expressed their pain upon reading his post. While I defend his freedom to write as he sees fit, I can’t deny that I felt anger and disgust toward what he had chose to blog about. I posed the question if this had happened to his wife, would he still be able to bring himself to form a humorous post about it?

He didn’t reply to that particular question…and that’s okay. There would be no need for him to state the obvious.

Having said all this, I get the intent of his post. I know he wasn’t out to hurt his female readers (though I must admit that the most angry comment that I read was from a man). However, he did pick open the scabs of old wounds for many of us.

I have been thinking about his post all day long. I can’t shake it from my head.

There are some things in this life that should never be made light of and rape is one of them. It destroys lives. It shatters and demeans people. It is a crime that stays with you for the rest of your life. It strips you of your ability to trust human beings. It steals your faith in God. It rips you of your dignity. It is heinous and ruthless. In my eyes, it is worse than murder. You are left to live your life dead inside; a heap of damage and ruin.

Women have died at their own hand for being unable to live after being raped.

I love Adam. He is one of my dearest friends, online and off. I treasure his candor and his comedy. He is always out to find the humor in any situation and funny, for him, is the end all/be all. Anything for the laugh. I would never suggest to him that he censor his words. I wouldn’t want anyone to tell me what I can and cannot write about. These are our blogs, our outlets. And, for Adam, humor was the way to deal with the pain of the situation. At least, that was his reasoning.

I choose to believe that because I trust him.

I can only hope that other women who have been his longtime readers can reach a place of understanding. I hope they don’t hurt from his words. I hope that they can forgive him for this particular blogpost and that they know what is actually in his heart.

Most of all, I hope that he is NEVER put in the position of knowing that type of pain when it comes to the women in his life.

It would render him speechless.

11 thoughts on “When Rape Becomes Funny

  1. Cat

    When I first heard about this story, I wasn’t sad. I don’t know if that, as a woman, makes me strange or not. When I first heard about this story (it was in the mid-morning right after I finished checking email), I became viciously angry. I have no idea what happened between now and a few years ago, CP, but anytime I hear something like this, I get murderous. I’ll never understand the mind of a rapists anymore than I’ll understand why there were people who saw what was going on and did absolutely nothing. For the rest of the day I was sure that I was going to end up with a nose bleed because that’s just how angry I was at these people.

    In a way, I do understand the rapists in the world. They are less than human, disgusting, and they don’t deserve the air that they’ve been given the opportunity to breathe. If there is a Hell, that’s where the rapists in the world are going. With the risk of sounding horrible, I don’t care how much they repent and swear they found God, I still hope they end up in the bowels of Hell.

    I’ll never understand those that just watched as this girl was being violated. Was it a case of not wanting to put themselves in harm’s way? No, if that were the case, one of the idiots would have, at least, stepped away and called the police. Did they fall into the trap of thinking, “Oh well, someone else will call the police”? Perhaps. I don’t understand. I just don’t understand how anyone can sit there and watch knowing that what’s going on is going to drastically change a young girl’s life and not for the better.

    And sicker yet, I don’t know what I would have done if I were confronted with the situation. Call the cops. Yes. Without a doubt. But there’s this violent part of me just itching to get out. A part of me that is just waiting patiently for a moment like that one to, in the paraphrased words of Madea, “go crazy just one time so much so that you scare yourself”.

    This makes me angry. I want to put the rapists and the people that watched in a body bag. I understand that this almost makes me as horrible as they are, but the world would be a better place if people that weren’t in it.

  2. CP

    Me, personally? I wouldn’t be able to just stand there. Even if weapons were involved…I couldn’t bring myself to just stand by and watch it happen. I would definately call 911, but I also know that I would insert myself into the situation, even at the risk of being attacked myself.

    Because of my history as a survivor of domestic violence (which included acts of rape), I have put myself in harms way before when seeing a man attack a woman on the street. It strikes me deeply as both a woman and a nurse. I have the need to protect victims, but more specifically, women and children from the hands of their abusers. It’s just something I can’t help.

    It’s probably going to get me hurt one day, but I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t intervene in a situation like that.


  3. MB

    I don’t understand how people can stand by and watch something like happen like they’re watching a movie. It is disgusting.

    I was attacked in junior high school and although my rapist was interrupted and stopped before he went “all the way” to rob me of my virginity it left a very deep scar especially since I had a crush on the b*st*rd. I believe rapist should be castrated and on-lookers should be jailed. There is just no excuse.

    As far as Adam’s post I think some things are just NOT FUNNY no matter how much of a spin you put on it. I love Adam and know his intention wasn’t to hurt but to make people laugh but there is just nothing funny about rape.

    My heart breaks for you, the 15 yr. old and any other person who has been violated in such a way.

  4. Robin

    The story makes me mad, so mad. I remember watching The Accused when I was 12 (yeah thanks mom and dad) and having nightmares for 2 weeks. I think Adam’s post didn’t bother me because I’ve never been in that situation. I know there are subjects he could mention that might hit somewhere deep inside me, like the Holocaust or child custody situations. I think it is good for people to think about these things and talk about them. I’m glad he did that.

  5. Kailyn

    I am from Richmond. Just one correction — there have been five arrests. They are still looking as it was as many as 10 assailants. And two dozen people watched. And some took photos with their phones. I have been physically ill since first reading about it all. And because I grew up there, I know at least one person who knows the victim and her family. He was upset about some of the callous things that folks were saying on the Internet. I don’t blame him.

  6. CP

    MB – I don’t understand it either.

    Robin – I’m glad it didn’t bother you. And, I am glad you were never in that situation. The Accused when you were 12? Oy vey. That’s a big movie for a little girl!

    Deb – Nothing more needs to be said.

    Kailyn – Thank you for the update. I am glad to know that arrests are being made. It is sickening that people took pictures. That’s really sad.


  7. annie

    I equate making anything humorous out of a young girl being gang-raped along the same line as making fun of that same young girl dying. Cuz that’s what she’ll probably feel like when she thinks about it.

    I’m glad to hear that some of Avitable’s commenter stood up to that and called him out.

    I quit reading him years ago, I think when he put the man fucking a snake video up, which I did not watch. I’m not a prude, it’s that something just screams PERVERT about a fat-ass man who spends all his time on the internet, chatting with women, has all these female followers and puts up videos like that and “2 girls 1 cup” etc.

    Someone shouldn’t have to personally go through the same situation to have a feeling of sympathy and compassion for a victim.
    It’s like, You’ve never had anyone near you murdered, so thinking murder doesn’t bother you? How about thinking of a child or a young person murdered?
    It’s “Whatever”? “Oh well?” “Ha-ha! this is a FUNNY post”?

    That’s the most selfish thing I’ve ever heard.

    Of course, most of those selfish people don’t have any children, because, again, they’re too selfish to think about anyone but themselves, so can’t imagine if it was their own daughter.

    Now this girl is exploited again as the butt of a joke by bloggers so they can say something outrageous and drive traffic to their site to make them feel popular?
    That is so ridiculous.
    Anybody who can sit and laugh at a post like that needs to seriously have their head examined, AFTER they remove it from their ass.

    See, this is exactly why I’m not reading hardly any blogs anymore. There is way more interesting stuff to read on the net than some bull-shit bloggers and the idiots who follow them and pat them on the back and stroke their ego.
    I got better things to do than worship any blogger.

    But thank you CP, for having the guts to say something.


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