The Lady Garden

Tea and Strumpets

In which I get very, very angry with Louis C.K.

Trigger warning for rape

So this, this right here, this person you like and laugh at and respect in other ways, this person is currently the personification of male privilege.

Thinking that it’s part of a “dialogue” when a woman gets singled out in a comedy club and has someone “joke” about how funny it would be if she was pack raped there and then, that is privilege. It is something only someone who is fortunate enough to not be threatened by rape culture can afford to think.

The fallout from a woman being threatened with rape in a comedy club for the purposes of a “joke”, is only beard-strokingly interesting to people who have never been told that what they’re wearing could get them into trouble. To people who don’t have to think of survival strategies on a daily basis, to the point where they’ve perfected LOUD FAKE CELLPHONE CONVERSATIONS while walking home in the dark. To people who haven’t memorised which neighbours stay up later than others in case you have to run to their door. Or which shoes you can run in and which you can’t. Or which of your boyfriend’s friends you don’t want to get a ride home with. Or what you’d say if you needed to leave somewhere fast.

Rape “jokes” (no matter how public they become) are not part of a dialogue. They are part of a systematic and institutionalised violence against women everywhere and always.

The reactions to those jokes are not part of a dialogue, they are fucking survival strategies. They are attempts to try and protect ourselves, our sisters, our daughters, our mothers, from the ever-present threat of rape, which is now even more dangerous because apparently it’s funny. They are attempts to get people to please stop scaring the shit out of us, or reminding us of something we’re trying to forget, or what could be in our futures, or what has definitely happened to women we love.

It must be really nice to have the ability to enjoy those pleas as part of some interesting anthropological discussion which benefits everyone apparently, because Louis CK got reminded he doesn’t have to worry about it.

4 responses to “In which I get very, very angry with Louis C.K.

  1. Curvaceous Dee July 23, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Unfortunately the video you included isn’t showing any more, but I managed to track down the segment in question here on the Daily Show website.

    I’m more than a little unimpressed with Jon Stewart, too (and that’s a first for me). There was the opportunity there for some meaningful conversation about this furore, and instead it was all light-hearted (for them) and bantery. Yuck.

    xx Dee

    • cranapia July 23, 2012 at 11:58 am

      As I’ve said elsewhere, I’d like someone — anyone — to ask Louis C.K. which “good” rape jokes he tells his daughters.

      And what’s he going to tell his daughters WHEN (not “if”, Louis, WHEN) some little douchebag decides to throw some rape-flavoured harassment in their direction? They need to stop being so damn EMOTIONAL and GET A SENSE OF HUMOUR?

      Or is it just different when your own children are involved?

  2. Hugh July 23, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    John Stewart has always been an ableist, I’m totally unsurprised he is a sexist too.

    As for Louis CK this is not a new thing for him – a couple of years ago he did a lovely little number talking about how he wished his daughters were dead.

  3. MJ July 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    There are some fascinating conversations happening around this in the Wellington comedy scene at the moment.

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