Artist Spotlight: Adrienne Truscott Reclaims The ‘Rape Joke’ For Feminists

The performance artist Adrienne Truscott is taking her new show “Asking For It” to Joe’s Pub in New York City on April 18th. In this subversive but highly relevant and greatly needed discourse, Truscott takes on the rape joke – asking questions like “Who can say it? Can we say it at all?” Her answer is anyone can do one — she’s not interested in censorship, but she is very interested in women reclaiming it and reformulating this trope for the purpose of feminism and comedy (my two favorite things besides dogs to be quite honest). For something that happens to so many women but that has been thrown back at us to the point of chaos, her work is focused on womn gaining the power to wield our experiences and our ideas about sexual violence in a way that is our own. Her goal is to “turn the tables on misogynistic cultural attitudes.”

This is the kind of art that women need right now, when controversies are making us look like the bad guys who are “censoring” art (no, we’re not) and where everyone thinks the PC police is like, a real actual thing (it’s not). I personally don’t care if a dude makes an uncouth rape joke, but I would MUCH rather prefer a woman does a smart and honest joke about it. They also happen to be funnier this way.

Truscott’s style is highly provocative: she performs naked from the waist down and her reasons are both to elucidate the severe absurdity in a woman who is “asking for it” and also it’s just very funny to see.

The show has gotten rave reviews so far in London and I, for one, am going to do my darnedest to attend her show here in New York. In any event, I think we should all keep watch for this powerhouse because I think she’s going places. [The New York Times]