The other day I was utterly appalled when someone I know made a rape joke. A group of people I was in walked past a woman standing alone on the street in the dark and as we passed, he said, “Oh, that lady was standing all alone. Should we go back and rape her real quick?”
No, it wasn’t intended to harm anyone and no, it wasn’t a big deal, just a harmless comment — to him. But it really bothered me. I couldn’t believe that people actually make jokes like this. I mean, I know it happens… but really? Come on dude. What does that even mean? Like what did he hope to accomplish by saying that?
In the moment, I simply told him that rape jokes are never okay and to please never say that around me again. But I wish I would have had the chance to explain why.
As a woman, I am told not to stand or walk on the street by myself at night. Always find someone to walk you home. I love running outside, but I have to wait until daylight. I’ve taken a self-defense class and hold a key pointing out while I run to my car when leaving somewhere late at night. I tell my girlfriends to text me so I know they got home safe. This is my reality, so excuse me if I don’t think your jokes are funny. Sexual assault is real and happens to 1 out of 6 American women. That’s not joke material.
I am hoping that this was just a lapse in judgement, foot-in-mouth kind of moment. It happens, I know. But PLEASE — open up your mind and put a little more thought and care into your words.
This goes for many different things. You never know what someone else is going through. Let’s all try to be a little more aware.