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When jokes make people lose their minds

19 July 2013, 23:27

There has been so much criticism of  Max Barashenkov's joke: "I propose correctional rape and sterilisation for any white person who twerks", that I had to write to point out the staggering hypocrisy of most.

First up - ask yourself if there would have been an outcry (or even report) had be said "Anybody who twerks should be shot"?  Barely anybody would even know that the comment was made - not because murder is not a serious issue in South Africa, but because people are not as sensitive about it.  But that does not make rape worse than murder - its your own double-standards coming to the fore.  Furthemore, nobody in their right mind would have assumed that Max was actually inciting murder.

Now lets look at the underlying point.  If you were to summarise the actual point Max was making, which was it?  1) "I don't like twerking", or 2) "I support rape"?  If you are convincing yourself to be "unsure" of this, then ask yourself if, given the opportunity to go back in time, Max would change his statement to 1)"White people who twerk annoy me something terrible", or 2) "Who's up for some correctional rape tonight?"
It is plainly obvious to see that the guy was annoyed by the dancers - his choice of imaginary punishment just happened to be something that people are sensitive to.
Put simply - there is no question here that the comment was made as a joke - distasteful as it may have been - nothing else!

Now that we have that out of the way, to anybody who outright condemns this type of joke,

Think carefully about that. Austin Powers jokes about women being objectified, men's erectile dysfunction, child neglect (Dr Evil doesn't love his son), terrorsim and cruely to animals.
The Dictator apparently finds the suffering of millions at the hands of dictators to be FUNNY! Anchorman finds sexual harassment hilarious, and fighting with lethal force hysterical! American Pie suggests that voyeurism is a chuckle, and mocking a kids sexual mis-encounters to the point of lifetime scarring is a hoot! The Simpsons certainly seems to condone numerous forms of child abuse (choking being the most popular). The Hangover 2 seems to think that raping a drunk guy in the bum is funny, and Despicable Me condones many forms of theft, terrorism, pollution and use of force.

Anybody who believes that JOKING about corrective rape equates to condoning or inciting it, should either disgusted by these so-called comedy shows I mentioned above, or must simply condone child abuse, terrorism and murder, theft, thuggary, animal abuse and sexual abuse in general?

One person suggested that the difference here is that films are entirely fictional (even though I believe that Max's comment was too!), and therefore are taken with a pinch of salt.  So let's pretend "Team America 2" is released (that politically incorrect puppet show).  Lets pretend that a young girl is recruited into the team, and has to go to India... but she is sugically given a fake vagina and fake bum that she can use when she is gang-raped on the Indian busses.  Now this is entirely fictional - they are puppets!  You laugh at the puppets portraying terrorists (just like Ahmed the Dead Terrorist), you laugh at puppets being sexually abused (Gary had to perform oral sex on his boss to be taken back into the team), you laugh at animal abuse (like in Anchorman where the dog is drop-kicked off a bridge)... but will the gang rape scene be funny?  Will the writer be suspended?

I call so many hypocrites because they only apply their logic to one narrow part of society:  Joking about rape means that you condone it, or at very least, trivialise it!  You are insensitive to the victims of rape.
Why not the apply the same logic to other sensitive areas?  Joking about murder means that you condone or trivialise it!  You are insensitive to the family left behind.  Joking about terrorism means that you condone or trivialise it!  You are insensitive to the familes effected by it. .  Joking about child abuse means that you condone or trivialise it!  You are insensitive to the thousands permanently scarred by it.  Disabilities are always on the menu.  The list goes on...

Yes - there are many jokes out there that are in poor taste - but its that very inappropriateness that makes so many jokes "funny".  Watch some of Jimmy Carr's comedy, and you'll see what I mean.

In short - if you misinterpreted Max Barashenkov's comment to be an actual request to go out and rape, then I urge you to seek urgent counselling (for the safety of us all).  If you simply thought that it was inappropriate, perhaps you could consider what makes so many of those other jokes listed above somehow more appropriate and acceptable.  If you are honest with yourself, I don't think you will be able to justify your double standards. 

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