Another day, another troll-explosion on Twitter. This one, in particular, was aimed at a very public and well-known female figure with the audacity to make jokes or have an opinion. Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting the damn vote. But this time, those who have their panties in a bunch (if you’ll pardon the expression) are those who usually find themselves on the giving, not receiving end of jokes at one’s expense.
Sarah Silverman, 44 – actress, writer, comedian, woman on the Internet – found herself under scrutiny from the Tweeting with Aggression and Testosterone crowd (or TWATs for short), after she tweeted a meme that outlined several “rape prevention tips.” But here’s the catch: these tips to prevent rape are targeted at the would-be RAPIST, not the victim, who, if you asked the media, usually bears the brunt of the responsibility of prevention. For example, tip #4: “If you are in an elevator and a woman gets in, don’t rape her.” So, you know, it’s satire. And bloody good satire, at that. Satire that makes a very strong point. But alas, sharp social commentary is often completely lost on the narcissistic, and several men jumped at the opportunity to cry sexism over Silverman’s tweet. We’re not all like that! How dare she insinuate that every man is a rapist? (#YesAllMen, anyone?)
Whoa there, okay, let’s think about this logically for a minute. Aren’t these online Lotharios the same guys who have been saying things like “can’t you take a joke? Lighten up, sweetie, we’re just joking” for years? But alright, for the sake of the doubt and the benefit it brings, let’s assume that not one of those TWATs currently up-in-arms over Silverman’s tweet has ever in his life said anything resembling the above… is Silverman really trying to make the absurd (and obviously untrue) point that ALL men are rapists and potential rapists? Or is she using the humor of the unexpected to provoke a change in perspective about how we discuss rape? Really, is this any more of an offensive swipe at a demographic of people than every last one of those “women, amirite?” jokes we’ve all occasionally cracked up at? Guys, I may never get a chance to say this again, but lighten up. And learn to take a joke. If you think what you’re experiencing here is sexism, try going all Freaky Friday with a woman sometime – particularly a female comedian, if you can find one who will agree to wear sweaty Nikes for a whole day.
Check out the Ten Rape Prevention Tips below.