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Letter: The trouble with rape jokes

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Editor, the Gauntlet,

"Wow, that midterm test raped me."

Walking down the halls of the university, how many times do you hear this comment tossed around so frivolously? How many times have you yourself uttered this phrase? Have you ever stopped and thought about the implications behind your words? Sexual assault statistics show that one in four North American women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime and over 80 per cent of sex crime victims are women. This is quite a large number of women and chances are, when you toss around a phrase joking about sexual assault, one of these victims will overhear your comment. There have been countless occasions where friends, strangers and even family members have so carelessly used the term "rape." And every time I hear someone joke about this subject, it turns my stomach and sends me into a downhill spin of torment and painful memories.

It is hard enough to see sexual assault portrayed so commonly in television and movies. We can choose to turn the television off, but we can not "turn off" your comments. If there was one goal that I could accomplish in my life, it would be to make you, the reader, aware that I hear your comments. We all hear your comments and your jokes about rape. And it pains us beyond belief. Representing women everywhere that have been sexually assaulted, I believe I speak for us all when I ask you to please stop with the sexual assault jokes. The University of Alberta Sexual Assault Centre provides an excellent resource online for assault victims: uofaweb.ualberta.ca/SAC/

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Comments

Thank you for brining this to people's attention.
I never realized the implications of what rape "jokes" have on others until it unfortunately happened to me.
South Park is one of my favourite satirical shows. However a very recent episode involving Indiana Jones being raped by George Lucas triggered several sleepless and restless nights (which undoubtedly influenced my effectiveness in studying for finals).
I have learned this time and time again; you cannot imagine what goes on in peopleís lives. Many carry burdens with them. Not that you cannot bring humour into sad situations, but I think rape is one that cannot be satirized or used to replace other words.