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Is it acceptable to joke about things such as murder/rape Watch

  • View Poll Results: Is it acceptable to joke about things such as murder/rape?
    Yes
    66.46%
    No
    33.54%

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    (Original post by Multitalented me)
    Thanks, well i'm kind of glad someone shares the same opinion aha I've just heard other people say if it doesn't offend the people you're talking with it's ok which I don't think is a decent reason myself as you have to give consideration to others outside of that group, and things like rape/murder are truly horrific crimes that shouldn't be trivialised.
    people made jokes about starving Ethiopians back in the 80s, in the 90s it was something else. And so on and so on.

    Anyway i say yes its ok - but know your audience - if its a group of friends with similar sense of humour then fine - but id hardly start one on a bus full of strangers

    (Original post by HanAsh)
    Tabzqt, if a member of your family was murdered or raped or you were raped, would you still think it was ok for people to joke about it? Would you still think it was funny?

    EDIT: I got negatively rated for asking a question? Wow.
    One of my best friends was raped a few years back - and i still tell jokes - not about or around her, but i still do it. Doesnt mean i think any less of what happened to her.

    As i said its about knowing your audience.
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    You should definitely be able to joke about anything it is just a question of whether a joke is any good. A dark joke is told on the assumption that the person telling the joke is obviously not like that and therefore it is clearly just making fun of something.

    one in six is likely to have been a victim of sexual assault. If it had happened to you, I doubt you'd want to joke about it.
    If you're a victim of sexual assault and don't want to hear a joke about it then I suggest you avoid stand-up comedy altogether...
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    Yes, I think so. Obviously there's a time when bad taste humour is not 'socially acceptable'. I probably wouldn't greet my new employers with a cheerful murder joke on my first day of work, but the majority of humour is bad taste/offensive to some extent and I can't see much of a reason to pick and choose which potentially offensive bits to include/disallow.
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    Mostly depends in the way the joke is styled. Essentially, to perform comedy which touches upon the subjects of rape or murder is fine. There is no good reason to not include these aspects of real life into our comedy. However, its all very much in execution, something I think Matt Stone and Trey Parker, or Armando Ianucci both master.
    Using comedy to make people question their values is perfectly valid, nay, often the most effective way. Saying "Herp Derp, how many rapists does it take to change a lightbulb herpderp" isn't quite the same...
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    (Original post by tomj45)
    If you're a victim of sexual assault and don't want to hear a joke about it then I suggest you avoid stand-up comedy altogether...
    Wow, really? You realise that a tiny proportion of comedy is about sexual assault, right?
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    I think it reveals a pretty poor character.
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    It may be insensitive or tactless, but I hate the idea of things being "acceptable". Acceptable to whom? What's the punishment for breaching this acceptability?
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    I think yes, it provides comic relief.

    People made jokes about Michael Jackson supposedly molesting children, real serious situations that may have actually happened, still hilarious.

    People made jokes about OJ Simpson killing his wife, a very serious situation, still funny.

    It's not about mocking or trivializing the issues at hand, but more about of shining a harsh light on the irony of the situations and the truth. Things are just funnier when you feel you shouldn't laugh.
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    Having read all the replies I must say that my initial response was maybe a little knee-jerk. I still personally don't agree that making jokes about rape or murder is acceptable, however I have thought about it and realise that I make jokes about a lot of things that others may find unacceptable (religion, culture, etc). Of course these jokes will be unacceptable to a lot of people and as such I would never make them in front of the people that they might offend.
    Secondly, someone hit the nail on the head in regards to joking about a situation may make it easier to deal with. I know I've made jokes about a death of a family member (such as joking about how he's up there right now making it rain on us for a laugh as he was such a practical joker). I haven't done it because I disliked this person or wanted him to die or enjoy the fact that he's not with us anymore. I did it because I was hurting and I needed to make light of the situation in order to make it easier.

    So in summary, I feel I stand corrected. When said in the right situation with the right audience, maybe jokes about certain events can be O.K. However, I do agree that you must know your audience: making jokes in the middle of a busy street about rape or murder or death or religion when you have no idea who is listening in or their personal circumstances is still unacceptable.

    Humbly,
    Hannah

    P.S. I'm very impressed in the fact that this thread hasn't turned into a ****ging match or a list of rape jokes. Keep the balanced, informed opinions coming, people! Bravo
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    Ok some may say yes but one day someone you love could have it happen and then people joke about them
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    (Original post by HanAsh)
    P.S. I'm very impressed in the fact that this thread hasn't turned into a ****ging match or a list of rape jokes. Keep the balanced, informed opinions coming, people! Bravo
    Is it worth me throwing in a complimentary "yer mum" at this point just to bring us back down to earth?
    Comedy is a tool for healing society :P
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    I think it should be pointed out the pre-text for this thread..

    Which was an arguement the OP had with a few memebers of the football forum, on the 'Manchester United thread'

    It was over, whether Sir Alex Ferguson's Joke was innapropriate, he joked:

    'no, the 4th official was going to put up 7 minutes! Id have killed him!'

    you can watch it here:

    (41s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcXeT1pbjKY )


    Just thought it should be pointed out the context behind this.. and the sort of 'joke' that the OP has previously stated he thinks is innapropriate.

    (no opinion of my own given..)
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    (Original post by fallen_acorns)
    I think it should be pointed out the pre-text for this thread..

    Which was an arguement the OP had with a few memebers of the football forum, on the 'Manchester United thread'

    It was over, whether Sir Alex Ferguson's Joke was innapropriate, he joked:

    'no, the 4th official was going to put up 7 minutes! Id have killed him!'

    you can watch it here:

    (41s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcXeT1pbjKY )


    Just thought it should be pointed out the context behind this.. and the sort of 'joke' that the OP has previously stated he thinks is innapropriate.

    (no opinion of my own given..)
    Interesting. I often say things like "I'll kill her if she does this" or "Oh god, kill it. Kill it with fire". I guess I hadn't looked at those as jokes about murder, but I can see how they'd be taken that way (since, basically, they are). It's interesting to see the different levels we hold as acceptable and unacceptable; I see my above quotes as acceptable but other jokes about murder unacceptable.
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    I would say it's perfectly fine, as long as (a) you're not insensitive to people around you, e.g. it would be unwise to tell rape jokes around someone who was raped recently; and (b) you don't go so far as to arguably be encouraging the acts themselves. There are also different thresholds of what is acceptable in different situations - I would tell far more controversial jokes to long-time friends, for example, than to people I'd just met or to my nan. But as long as you're sensible with what you come out with then I don't see why it should be a problem - having people joke about such subjects is surely far better than them being taboo and never discussed. Jokes bring an issue into the sphere of discussion, rather than it just being ignored.
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    (Original post by Theflyingbarney)
    I would say it's perfectly fine, as long as (a) you're not insensitive to people around you, e.g. it would be unwise to tell rape jokes around someone who was raped recently; and (b) you don't go so far as to arguably be encouraging the acts themselves.
    This got touched upon by someone earlier in the thread. The idea runs that in a group of individuals, there will be someone who takes a joke made about rape to affirm that contemplating rape is acceptable; the 9 of 10 people will see it for what it is, but the 1 in 10 will be listening to it thinking "Ah, so people are like me and think rape is acceptable" which is the start of the slope into actually commiting a sexual assault.
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    (Original post by AeneasBK)
    This got touched upon by someone earlier in the thread. The idea runs that in a group of individuals, there will be someone who takes a joke made about rape to affirm that contemplating rape is acceptable; the 9 of 10 people will see it for what it is, but the 1 in 10 will be listening to it thinking "Ah, so people are like me and think rape is acceptable" which is the start of the slope into actually commiting a sexual assault.
    I think the vast majority of us would like to think our friends we joke around with do not secretly consider rape okay

    I also find it very, very unlikely that a silly joke would be the catalyst for someone to go out and rape another human being. The link there is so tenuous that I would absolve the joke teller of all responsibility.
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    (Original post by Damask-)
    In a large group of people where someone tells a joke, one in six is likely to have been a victim of sexual assault. If it had happened to you, I doubt you'd want to joke about it.
    Don't hang out in large groups then. I have Jewish lineage, but I don't get all huffy if someone tells a Holocaust joke. I don't particularly like it, but I don't really care either - it's a joke.
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    (Original post by Redolent)
    I think the vast majority of us would like to think our friends we joke around with do not secretly consider rape okay

    I also find it very, very unlikely that a silly joke would be the catalyst for someone to go out and rape another human being. The link there is so tenuous that I would absolve the joke teller of all responsibility.
    I think the idea is more that you go through all your teen life not getting any attention from girls, in a crowd of hormone-fuelled guys making constant jokes/remarks about how women are "****s" and "desperate for it" and other jokes such as:

    "Its said at University, 3 in 4 sexual assaults go unreported"

    "I like those odds!"

    Hohoho. But to the certain individual, this environment leads to an attitude towards women developing that de-humanises women, and objectifies them. Throw in all the modern cultures influences. . .

    I'm not saying you or your friends are rapists or secretly considering rape, don't take this the wrong way. But I can see how the above *can* be true.

    There was certainly guys at my 6th form college for whom the above story could apply.
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    (Original post by HanAsh)
    I would whole heartedly suggest you watch this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTvSfeCRxe8

    It's a bit long, but it's poignant, I feel.
    I watched the whole of that Jackson Katz video last week. I'm not usually a fan of feminism, but he made plenty of excellent points, having said that, I don't feel what he's saying is really that relevant here. People need to learn how to distinguish between jokes about rape and actual misogyny, making a joke about rape does not mean that you in any way support, sympathise with or condone rape.
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    (Original post by AeneasBK)
    This got touched upon by someone earlier in the thread. The idea runs that in a group of individuals, there will be someone who takes a joke made about rape to affirm that contemplating rape is acceptable; the 9 of 10 people will see it for what it is, but the 1 in 10 will be listening to it thinking "Ah, so people are like me and think rape is acceptable" which is the start of the slope into actually commiting a sexual assault.

    (Original post by Redolent)
    I think the vast majority of us would like to think our friends we joke around with do not secretly consider rape okay

    I also find it very, very unlikely that a silly joke would be the catalyst for someone to go out and rape another human being. The link there is so tenuous that I would absolve the joke teller of all responsibility.
    I basically agree with what Redolent says.

    Skipping over the implication that 1 in 10 people believe rape is OK, I also don't think that the vast majority of people would see a joke in that way. Rape and murder are such serious crimes that they naturally take far more contemplation and encouragement to commit. I think it'd be different, for example, if you were joking about having nicked a chocolate bar from a shop - I reckon that could easily encourage petty theft if misinterpreted. But if you were saying something along the lines of "Oh, I was shagging this bird so hard last night, she really didn't want it but I wouldn't let her go," I think most people's response, rather than being 'That's so cool, I've gotta try it myself' would be 'Is this guy for real'?

    It would take a very sick-minded individual to actually take encouragement from a rape/murder joke to actually go out and commit one, at which point I don't really think you can lay any blame at the feet of the person who told the joke.
 
 
 
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