I have seen 2 articles (By Brian Logan and Kira Cochrane) getting het-up about "rape jokes" in the Guardian recently. Now the libertarian blogoshpere, including me, has been using the image of the rape - usually anal - to describe what Government does when it interferes with one's freedom, for ages. Devil's Knife, I'm looking at you especially. Mainly because we want people to realise how SERIOUSLY we take the government's intrusions into our lives, and how powerless we are to do anything about it. It's an unpleasant allusion, and perhaps tasteless. But apt. Nor are Comedians are not belittling rape when they say for example 'A bit rapey' meaning 'sleazy'. Just as one can joke about life, death, murder, paedophillia, animal abuse, torture; rape is not taboo.
When Kira Cochrane says
Aside from suggesting rape isn't all that serious, these jokes also underplay its prevalence. Estimations of the number of women raped or sexually assualted in the UK every year are necessarily imprecise, but they range from 47,000 to 100,000. It is thought that around one in four women are victims of sexual violence in their lifetimesI would like to see the study - she links to a report in that well-known academic journal, Marie Claire - suggesting one in 4 women are raped because they've been had sex when they didn't want to by their significant other. How many people define rape as lying back and thinking of England (or for that matter, climbing on and thinking of Christina Hendrick) when you're not in the mood as 'rape'? This is not to belittle non-consensual sex, which is always wrong, but was the question worded so as to include satisfying of one's partner's urges so you can get back to your book or go to sleep? Perhaps 'Havens' rape centres are talking their own book?
If she's suggesting that drunken hubby-humping or a squeeze of tit by a pervert on the tube, is 'rape', or even 'sexual violence', or equating domestic violence with rape, then it is not the comedians or bloggers who are belittling rape & sexual violence. It's her.