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Sun Jan 4, 2015, 09:03 PM

Don’t apologize to me for your rape joke [View all]

I was at a relative’s birthday party not long ago with a lot of people I didn’t know. All of the guests were already close friends, and for the most part they, like me, were in their 20s. Some of them were a good deal older, though, and one man—who seemed to be about my parents’ age—appeared to be the leader of the bunch. He was raucous and inappropriate and had a penchant for finding chops to bust; what he did not have, it soon became clear, was any sense of decorum.

At one point, while the whole group was outside on the deck and engaged in fragmented conversations, the man loudly interrupted his wife while she was talking to another woman. He wanted to tell a joke. He did. Or, I guess, he thought he did, because when he was finished most of the group started laughing. But the “joke” he told turned rape into a punch line. It was something he said in hopes other people would find it funny, and it sucked.

I wasn’t the only guest who didn’t respond with laughter, but I think I was the only one who didn’t even crack a smile. Everyone quickly turned back to their conversations, but I leaned over to another relative and whispered, “Glad rape jokes are still in vogue.” I pulled out my phone and fired off some similar snark for Twitter, then went inside to eat some more salami.

About 10 minutes later, when everyone was back in the kitchen filling their plates with food, the rape joke-teller stopped me as I passed him on my way to the dining room. “Hey,” he said, “someone pulled me aside to say that you’re a big feminist, so you probably didn’t appreciate my joke. I want to apologize.” He went on to say that rape is never funny, and that he knows people who have been sexually assaulted and that he would never want to make fun of their trauma. All in all, the jokester said some pretty enlightened things. But then he finished his remarks by saying something about how he was just joking, but he really hoped he didn’t offend me too much. He asked for a hug to let him know I had truly accepted his apology, to show that I knew he wasn’t a bad guy. I relented.

In case you’re wondering, he did not apologize to anyone else (especially not to the women whose conversation he interrupted).


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Reply Don’t apologize to me for your rape joke [View all]
ismnotwasm Jan 2015 OP
BlueJazz Jan 2015 #1
NYC_SKP Jan 2015 #2
braddy Jan 2015 #3
ismnotwasm Jan 2015 #4
braddy Jan 2015 #5
seabeyond Jan 2015 #6
braddy Jan 2015 #7
ismnotwasm Jan 2015 #8
seabeyond Jan 2015 #9