West’s Way For Rape Jokes

We throw so much love at Lindy West that she may as well have a tag on the Dog Blog. (By “We”, I mostly mean editor Stephen Whitworth, who would probably trade myself and one or two others around here for a Lindy West, if that were a thing alternative papers did.)

We’ve got another occasion to highlight some great work by the former Stranger writer: her Jezebel post “How to Make a Rape Joke”.

For a few days, the controversy she’s responding to — comedian and T.V. host Daniel Tosh offending an audience member with rape jokes — dominated Twitter and, as West puts it, divided a lot of people into two camps: “outraged feminists arguing that ‘rape jokes are never funny,’ and defensive comics wailing about how the ‘thought police’ is ‘silencing’ them.”

She later says:

The world is full of terrible things, including rape, and it is okay to joke about them. But the best comics use their art to call bullshit on those terrible parts of life and make them better, not worse. The key—unless you want to be called a garbage-flavored dick on the internet by me and other humans with souls and brains—is to be a responsible person when you construct your jokes. Since the nuances of personal responsibility seem to escape so many people, let’s go through it. Let’s figure out rape jokes.

Then that’s what she does, in funny and well-considered fashion. This is the best response to the situation I’ve seen. If you don’t want to take my word for, just look at all the word out there calling this the “definitive” response.

Author: James Brotheridge

Contributing Editor with Prairie Dog.

2 thoughts on “West’s Way For Rape Jokes”

  1. Rape is a sensitive topic. Any pro comedian can get away with making jokes like that if they go about it the right way.

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