When did rape become the new black?

by sharongooner

I’ve been thinking about this for a wee while now. I wanted to write about it when it first came to my attention, but I refrained because a) I didn’t want to be accused of being some namby pamby twitter user jumping on the bandwagon of criticising everything a comedian does; and b) As a victim of rape it will be assumed that my opinion has already been formed. So I left it. Kinda hoping it would go away. Did it? No. In fact it is growing and growing, or maybe I just have an extra sensitive radar to its existance. Believe me, I don’t go looking for this stuff, in my current state of health that would be inadvisable and probably finish me off. I did a bit of research today, for this blog, and can see that comedians of all genre’s and styles are not shy about using rape in their material.

So. I can’t change people, I can’t make them not do things, but what I can do is simply explain how this makes me feel. Some of you that have followed for a while will know that I have been very open about being raped and how I have been desperately trying to come to terms with it, and they will know my feelings without even having to read this. Others maybe naive, and this will hopefully just make them stop and think in future before being so flippant when including the word in their own (unfunny) jokes. Others will try to justify it, and make complex arguments for its use, while quoting me comparisons that will make them feel exonerated and trendy and thinking-outside-the-box-drop-dead-hilarious. All I ask is that you just listen to what I have to say, what my day-to-day life is like right now, and if after that you still condone it, then I wish you well.


I only found out in January that I had been drug-raped. since then I have tried to commit suicide on four occasions. Two of them were proper “end it” attempts. Two were purely uncontrollable self harming cries for help. Why is this? Because I can’t sleep. I have not slept this year, not properly. I have flashbacks. Big gory like-it-is-happening-all-over-again flashbacks every single day and night. Funny? Not at all. I started to drink really heavily, because it was a welcome escape. If someone offered me a needle of heroin and promised it would take it all away, I would probably believe them. Drinking was great! First glass relaxes, first bottle gives a welcome bit of tiredness, second bottle gives a fucking decent coma. If it doesn’t it gives you hell. A magnified dark, self hating, life hating hell.

The last time I self harmed was after reading a rape joke on twitter. I was confused, really confused. “Is this funny? Am I not getting it? Am I being over-sensitive? Oh get over yourself SG you fucking failure, this is comedy, if you can’t live with it then fuck off”. I feel like a failure all the time, this is my problem. Constantly unable to deal with this head on. Then is when I mostly want to die. Again, I ended up in hospital. I finally (4th time lucky) was noticed and I am getting help.

So brilliant, this is what I wanted. I may be able to lead something resembling a normal life soon. But this wont make me un-raped, and this is where the jokes come in. No matter what I can’t ever see the funny side to rape, in whatever context you parade it. My husband has had to watch me shaking with uncontrollable fear of everything, my nerves have completely broken down. My 14-year-old son has seen me with a knife in my hand, blood pouring from my slashed to pieces wrist, crying uncontrollably. My father has had to witness his daughter fall into something he feels he should be able to protect me from. Because someone who we all know, who we regarded as a “friend” drugged me and raped me and took away my power and destroyed my life. I probably have no career left, I’ve been off sick since July, they will soon tire of me and wave me goodbye after 21 years solid service. I don’t even care, that is how deep rape goes.


I could go on, there is so much more, but it is quite upsetting explaining it all. The next time you hear a rape joke, think of me, as your wife or girlfriend, or sister and how that would make you feel seeing her so helpless, think of my son, who at 14 has no damn right to see his mother not wanting to live. Some scars last forever, no matter how we try to heal.


Is rape still funny?