Is Rape Ever Funny?

Touchy subject, I know. Once a week I write a round-up for Jezebel, Gawker Media’s women’s site, about the misogyny that runs rampant on all of the web’s gossip blogs. A frequently targeted topic is the issue of rape. Some of the blogs I read regularly (mostly for Missdemeanors) make tongue-in-cheek, but still extremely offensive jokes about rape. Here’s a recent example from the blog What Would Tyler Durden Do?

“I read somewhere that the reason dudes rape girls is because they think the girl is really pretty. It’s basically a compliment.”

Horrible huh? The thing is, it’s pretty safe to say the writer behind the blog doesn’t believe this garbage and that his commentary is more of a tongue in cheek jab at the notion that rape could ever be about beauty or sexual desire. The biggest problem, however, is that WWTDD’s readers clearly don’t get the joke, chiming in with comments far too foul for me to repost here. Is rape ever worth joking about, even if the point is satirical? And is it only men who can’t joke about rape? Sarah Silverman, a comic I find extremely funny while at the same time totally offensive, makes the occasional rape joke in her stand-up. Some women find her comedy acceptable, while others still think joking about rape is on a short list of black listed topics. So where do you all stand? Gimme gimme your thoughts in the comments!