According to RAINN, (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), 1 out of 6 women and 1 out of 33 men have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape. The site gives these facts on their page on rape victim statistics
3 times more likely to suffer from depression.
6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.
26 times more likely to abuse drugs.
4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.
I wanted to put some statistics on rape up before I addressed the issue I have with rape jokes. The fact that there is even a category of jokes classified as “rape jokes” is sickening to me. Besides the fact that they’re not even funny, they can be very detrimental, even traumatic, for victims. I think that often times people make this jokes without even thinking about what they are saying. Most of the people I’ve heard make them certainly wouldn’t advocate in favor of rape.
Regardless of their intentions, these comments are still highly offensive. It’s the same principle as people saying “that’s so gay” when referring to something in a derogatory manner. In both circumstances words are being twisted to have a completely inaccurate meaning.
I do find it interesting that often times “rape jokes” are used to imply that the “rape” was an act of power over something. For example: “I just raped that test”. That statement actually reinforces that rape is about power and control, not gender or appearance. I mean how do you respond to a “rape joke”? Should I come up with an equally offensive and misogynistic response such as “What was the test wearing?”
There is nothing even remotely funny about rape. There’s plenty of other ways to express what you are trying to say that are much less distasteful.