Getting raped? Just start yammering about commitment!

Posted at 4:20 PM Apr 08, 2010

By Andrea Grimes

I don't even know where to start. I guess I want to find this trite, offensive fake rape infomercial  funny because I think the people behind it probably mean well, but mainly I find it trite and offensive.

Trigger warning. For serious.

I think smallGRAND productions has just about defined FAIL with this thing, even if you're willing to accept that joking about rape is hilarious, which I am not because it usually ends up in material like this instead of thoughtful social commentary. Whether you look at men generally or women generally as being the butt of this "joke," (either that men are too afraid of commitment to rape a woman who wants to date them, or that women are so obsessed with commitment that this is a desirable way to fend off an actual fucking rapist), either way it doesn't say anything funny or interesting about how our society deals with rape. Even being generous with the idea that smallGRAND is making fun of the fact that people think men are emotionally stunted when they aren't, and that this is a preposterous way to prevent rape, this thing rubs me the wrong way. (See here for further explorations of the overall unfunniness of joking about this stuff.)

Further, there's something vaguely victim-blaming in even joking that women have but to act like marriage-hungry robots and they'll be rape-free. The shame and blame placed on rape victims is just too prevalent and deeply ingrained in society for me to manage a giggle, mainly because I think the average layperson will be more inclined to react by saying "Yeah! If only ladies would start talking about marriage while they're being sexually assaulted! TOTAL BONER KILLER HAHAHAHA!" than "Ah, this video's assertion of the unlikeliness of women being able to prevent rape by talking about commitment is thought-provoking and invites me to reconsider my beliefs about the cultural construction of gendered desires and rape!" I see this video as reinforcing, rather than challenging, social beliefs and stereotypes about rape.

Which is all to say, this video misses the mark overall. Want to make a hilarious video about rape? Lampoon rape culture, not the individuals who fall victim to it--this video seems to either want us to laugh at the women being raped or the rapists themselves, both of which options make me deeply uncomfortable. Dolls, is there something funny here that I'm missing? Or does this creep you out the same as it does me?


James Early said:

Nothing does.

Not Guilty said:

I got through 43 seconds before I stopped watching. Not funny. I think maybe providing commentary for why this is NOT funny would help people understand rape culture.

Autumn said:

Agreed. Absolutely nothing funny here. In fact attempts like these to make light of rape culture is exactly what causes it to proliferate. Well written Andrea!

Danny said:

As I attempted to watch it the second time, (I could only make it 20 seconds in the first time) I had to stop about half way when she happily got on all fours for the would be rapist and started pretending to cry in an attempt to turn him off (as if rapists have never seen a woman cry?). The thoughts that came to mind for me were what if an actual victim of rape were to see this? That part specifically. This is worst than unfunny and offensive. It's like drop kicking a baby in front of a woman who had a miscarriage. Whatever degree of disgusting that would be is where I rate this piece of crap.

Nicki E. said:

This video is not funny at all.

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