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Am I a Part of the Issue?

My boyfriend and I decided to meet up with a friend in Ann Arbor and decided to just hang out and walk around. It was getting dark and my boyfriend was just joking around and said that we should get going because it was getting dark out and he didn’t have his rape whistle. Obviously I knew he was joking around but our friend got very upset and started talking about how its people like him that help create this rape culture. After she mentioned that, it dawned on me that we learned about this in class. I guess since I knew he wasn’t being serious I wasn’t really paying attention to the meaning of what was said. Has it gotten to the point that rape isn’t taken seriously and we can just joke about it and I laughed? After that I felt really bad that I was part of something that turned rape into a joke.

I know that people don’t literally think that rape is a joke but we take things and make jokes out of it for laughs without really thinking about how what we say affects people. It’s terrible that I was part of this and it makes me wonder what other issues I’ve just laughed about. Usually when I make jokes about bad things that I have been through, it’s to try and forget about how bad it was, but that doesn’t make it right. I know that my boyfriend and I are not bad people we have just fallen into an issue that is plaguing our society. After that happened I spoke to my boyfriend because he didn’t even know what our friend was talking about and why she got so upset. The entire ride home was spent discussing why she was upset and why what he said was a problem. I can’t say that I will never laugh at jokes or say something that I shouldn’t say, but I can say that I will be thinking before I speak. Even though we learned about this topic in class it didn’t really sink in until it was brought to my attention in this way.


3 Comments

  1. rlaing2013 says:

    we all have this issue in our own lives because there has been moments when something inappropriate is said and it is said in a joking manner so we all laugh and do not think about the issue at hand like homosexuality, rape, even race but sometimes I believe that is how people cope with the awkwardness of the topic sometimes. But in your situation I would say it was a positive outcome because at the end of the day there was a knowledgeable discussion about the issue. The joke created an environment for conversation and that is what this world needs……conversation.

  2. alanar2013 says:

    I understand what you are saying in regards to making light of things that are serious in nature. But at the same token you shouldn’t beat yourself up for laughing at the comment or your boyfriend for making it. Making light of serious things is a practice I can admit to being a part of. It is so hard to be politically correct all the time. I’m not saying in the comforts of my own home I am a crazy person who just makes ignorant comments about everything, but I know when I’m around my family and close friends I can let my guard down and make comments (all for comic relief) and not worry about being labeled insensitive or being a part of the problem. I do understand your effort to make better decisions regarding your comments but I think you could also have told your friend to lighten up and your boyfriend didn’t mean anything by it.

  3. rkazan says:

    I have had many experiences like yours and I myself find that I do not even notice the references pertained to this rape culture. I guess that is the reason why it is considered a “culture”; we do not even notice that we are doing it. It has been embedded into our brains from the influences of our social; particularly the social media. It is a shame that people like myself stand firmly against these attitudes, yet fail to notice when they are happening.

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