Letter to a rape joke

Sorry for being dead, I’ve had a sudden rush of performances to prepare for, which has been… interesting. Here’s a relatively-quickie-but-goodie for y’all just to, you know, pretend I’m actually still alive.

I was subscribed to the very-popular raywilliamjohnson on youtube up until relatively recently. I started to take issue with more and more of the things he was saying until I couldn’t take it anymore. I decided I’d let him know why it was that I was unsubscribing, even though I knew the chances of him reading the message would be minuscule considering how full his inbox must be. I took the time to write out a message to him, only to find that he doesn’t actually accept private messages on youtube from anyone except members of his friends list. I thought, okay, I’ll check out his website. But there was no contact information there. And no private messaging available on his facebook account.

So my revocation of my subscription went unexplained, and I’m sure he couldn’t care less, but it meant the chance of him having a possible lightbulb moment – or the beginnings of one at the very least – was nonexistent. Despite the fact that ray is unable to receive this message, I decided to share it anyway. With you guys! YAY!

 

***

Dear Ray,

I know that one person’s voice rarely makes a difference. Especially around the topic I’m about to cover.

I love your stuff, I’ve been subscribed to your channel and facebook page for several years now. I know that you’re a great guy; and so I hope you’ll actually read this, and maybe even think about what I say. I know it’s asking a lot because you must get about a bajillion messages every day and it’s impossible to take everyone’s opinion into account.

But look. I think you’re awesome, but lately I’ve been finding I can’t bring myself to laugh at your jokes. You made two domestic violence jokes in one video, and your latest facebook statuses about “epic” sexual harassment…

Yeah, yeah, I know “omg get a sense of humour”.

I work with victims of abuse, rape, sexual assault and harassment. I have friends who have been assaulted and/or raped. Those jokes are about real people. They’re about real people I know; real people I’ve worked with and helped through horrors, nightmares. The worst parts of their lives. And when I hear people make jokes about the torture these people have been through…

It doesn’t make me angry – I’ve no anger towards you. It makes me hurt. A lot. I can’t even imagine how it makes the actual survivors of those crimes feel. Especially since everyone makes these jokes.

They are heard every single day by people who have suffered through it.

I think everyone needs to start thinking about how that must feel.

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