“Oh just say nothing, Lizzie.” Is a statement that made me extremely mad tonight as someone who I thought I knew made a distasteful joke on Facebook.
TRIGGER WARNING: R*pe
On a Facebook meme circulating which was “Comment something that pisses you off during sex” an acquaintance replied “When the drugs wear off and she starts to wake up.” My blood instantly boiled.
As someone who knows victims of date rape drugs, as a young woman who went to a college and was extensively taught about how to lookout for herself because men cannot be trusted to not slip something into their drinks, this made me more than angry. And then I had to ask myself the question, should I comment or should I say nothing?
In this instance, I replied “R*pe jokes aren’t funny.” to which began a disagreement. On his part, mansplaining how it’s all a metaphor and how waking up isn’t always used in a literal sense, thinking he could reverse his words and turn himself into a deep, loving and sensual male; not taking on the implications of his words. Of course, I called him out on his bullshit and discussed date r*pe drug and party culture as well as the time that a pill was slipped into my drink. But surprisingly, something else makes me so much more angry.
After my simple initial comment, someone said to me “Oh just say nothing, Lizzie.” I couldn’t. Why should I stay silent when a person is making such insensitive jokes about such a serious topic. Why should anyone stay silent? Is this the reason that certain topics are too taboo to speak of? Is it why victim blaming exists? Is staying silent the difference between someone living their life thinking it is fine to negatively impact others’ lives or should we say something in the hope of educating them to realise that maybe, just maybe, they should think of what they’re actually saying.
According to the ABS, 77,400 people over the age of 18 in Australia were victims of sexual assault in 2015-16. That is more than 210 people EVERYDAY. More than 210 people everyday, and people believe it is still alright to joke about it. Where is the support.
So, if you see or hear something along these lines, please speak up. Please tell them that it is not okay, it is NEVER okay to write or say jokes about these topics.
If you are in need of help please visit the following sites, no matter how alone you feel, there is always someone to help.