People love to say ‘it’s just Twitter’ when speaking about some of the ridiculous things that take place on the popular social networking site. However, we must remember that those are actual people behind the computer and cell phone screen. Thus, what happens on the internet is a reflection of those who are making it happen.
That said…what the hell is wrong with the people who have made #rapistsongs a national trending topic?
This is not hardly the first offensive trending topic; #thingsfathoessay is also trending at the moment. Sadly, this isn’t even the first time that rape jokes have gone viral; comedian Lil’ Duval made #itaintrape a trending topic this time last year, as he and his fans made jokes about situations that can’t be considered rape (i.e. if you fly a woman in for the weekend, then she’s required to sleep with you). Many people are asking Twitter to remove the topic (which you can do by sending tweets to @twitter and @support), but the question remains: why are so many people comfortable with this sort of humor? Considering the large percentage of both women and men who are survivors of sexual assault and molestation, why is the pursuit of a cheap laugh more valuable than consideration for what others may have endured?
This is what rape culture is about; we are so comfortable and used to the idea of rape, that we don’t treat it with the seriousness that it deserves. It’s sad, but it’s not really a big deal, unless we are talking about ourselves or someone we know or some specific case. We joke about men looking ‘rapey’, call Big Ben “Rapelisburger” (without actually calling for his ouster from the NFL) and make fun of R. Kelly’s perverted reputation. We ask what victims “did wrong” and we tell girls like Rihanna that they are too Hot or controversial to discuss such a serious matter.