Friday, June 14, 2013

Patton Oswalt on Joke-Thievery, Heckling and Rape Jokes

May I direct your attention over here to Patton Oswalt's honest and self-reflective analysis of the rape joke debate.  It's pretty long, here are few excerpts:
...See if any of these sound familiar: 
There’s no “evidence” of a “rape culture” in this country.  I’ve never wanted to rape anyone, so why am I being lumped in as the enemy?  If these bloggers and feminists make “rape jokes” taboo, or “rape” as a subject off-limits no matter what the approach, then it’ll just lead to more censorship.  
They sure sound familiar to me because I, at various points, was saying them.  Either out loud, or to myself, or to other comedian and non-comedian friends when we would argue about this.  I had my viewpoint, and it was based on solid experience, and it…was…fucking…wrong. 
Let’s go backwards through those bullshit conclusions, shall we?  First off: no one is trying to make rape, as a subject, off-limits No one is talking about censorship.  In this past week of re-reading the blogs, going through the comment threads, and re-scrolling the Twitter arguments, I haven’t oncefound a single statement, feminist or otherwise, saying that rape shouldn’t be joked under anycircumstance, regardless of context.  Not one example of this. 
In fact, every viewpoint I’ve read on this, especially from feminists, is simply asking to kick upward, to think twice about who is the target of the punchline, and make sure it isn’t the victim....
There is a collective consciousness that can detect the presence (and approach) of something good or bad, in society or the world, before any hard “evidence” exists.  It’s happening now with the concept of “rape culture.”  Which, by the way, isn’t a concept.  It’s a reality.  I’m just not the one who’s going to bring it into focus.  But I’ve read enough viewpoints, and spoken to enough of my female friends (comedians and non-comedians) to know it isn’t some vaporous hysteria, some false meme or convenient catch-phrase.

Alright, if you're reading this blog, you don't need Patton Oswalt to tell you any of this. But I think it's awesome that he's written it, and I hope it gets widely read.

On a side note, I wonder if he's friends with Diablo Cody (who wrote Young Adult, and Juno, and that book, Candy Girl, about stripping in Minneapolis). Probs.

H/T Russ Rogers

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the hat tip. I'm curious about "Young Adult," but it looks a little painful to watch.