Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Frapes

Is it cool to make light of rape? Obviously not.  Is there any way in which non consensual sexual intercourse, most often violent and incredibly traumatising, is at all humorous? I cannot, therefore, understand why the term ‘Facebook rape’ as a flippant description of modifying another party’s Facebook profile to amusing ends has entered uncontested into the vernacular.

If it’s done well, meddling with some poor, trusting fool’s information can be very funny; most of the time, however, false declarations of homosexuality and poor genital hygiene get old very quickly. Whatever. It’s not the act that I have a problem with, but the entirely inappropriate name that it has been given. Ask someone why this is so, and most of the time they will tell you that it falls under the jurisdiction of ‘banter.’ Banter is a word that is used, mostly by the congenitally ignorant, to justify saying and doing completely unacceptable and unjustifiable things. Racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, sexism, physical and emotional bullying; all of these and more are constantly dismissed as mere ‘banter’ by the perpetrators, and often by bystanders or witnesses, unwilling to get involved.

Messing around with someone else’s online information is, on the whole, fairly harmless, and any problems or misunderstandings that arise from such an endeavour are easily explained as such, such is their frequency. So why does it have to equate to rape? You pull a prank on someone – you don’t ‘trick sodomise’ them. I wonder how actual victims of sexual assault feel when they skim down their Facebook newsfeed...

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