Dear Tyler Oakley, Daniel Tosh
I think that anyone who has not experienced rape either themselves or through helping a very close family member through a rape has no right to comment about it, write about it, joke about etc.
Until you have stayed up with your sister or mother or brother until 5am because the night before they tried to drink a bottle of bleach so that they wouldn’t need to feel anything again or stopped them from rubbing their skin any rawer while trying to feel clean again. Or had to sleep with the lights on in your room even though you are 30 because you don’t feel safe. Or helped put a lock on the inside of you cousins bedroom door because that’s the only thing that will help them sleep at night. Or watched your girlfriend over night turn from that bubly flirty person into a person you don’t recognize any more because all she wants to do is be curled up on the couch in hideous tracksuits and not shower. Or when your loved one flinches away from you when you go to touch them. Until you have experienced these things then you know nothing of the pain that rape causes.
To joke about rape by one person isn’t funny. To suggest that someone should be gang raped by five men is supposed to make it funnier? It doesn’t.
Rape has such long lasting effects on a person regardless of sex. Look at all those sports stars that have come forward to accuse their abusers and ended up taking their lives. Yes some were overdoses, but why do you think that so many victims of rape become addicts?
Do you know why they say that people feel violated when they are raped? It’s not because of the physical penetration, though that is terrible. It’s how it gets into your mind, your psyche, the very heart of your being and rips it apart. It’s because of how it makes you have to rewrite your story. How you will never be the same again. Of how you have to struggle to remotely get back to the person you were before it happened. It changes your sense of self, your self-worth and your sense of safety.
Rape is an act that never truly leaves you. You can move on from it and then you catch a scent or a rustling of clothing or a texture and you are right back there again.
If you do know someone who has been raped and you think your jokes are still funny, I dare you go and sit in front of them face to face and crack that joke. I think you will find you can’t do it.