Rape isn’t Funny So Please Stop Joking About It

Beverly Holoka
7 min readAug 12, 2018


We know jokes tend to touch on sensitive issues, but there should be some jokes that are off limits. Of course, it’s hard when we grew up with “dead baby” joke books being spouted to us from our male peers from middle school on. Those jokes aren’t funny either, I should mention. Now you might think I’m being “triggered” or that this is a subject that doesn’t relate to you. You know that dead babies and rape jokes aren’t funny or are horrible things that actually happen to people, but you would never harm a child or rape a woman. I feel you on this. I understand that you feel this may not apply to you, but I promise you it does.

Do you have a mother? Do you have daughter? Do you have sister? Do you have an Aunt? A good friend who is a woman? Or let’s just stop there, because women aren’t the only people who can be raped. Men are often raped too. So let’s see…is it funny? No. It’s not. It’s a sad fact that people feel the need to overpower someone, because I guarantee you that rape has nothing to do with sexuality as we are led to believe and everything to do with power over another human being. It can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time. The sad part is it’s usually someone we trust or someone of authority that partakes in this lewd and despicable behavior. There is no excuse for the behavior either, but what’s even worse is when someone jokes about it or when famous people use their celebrity status to joke about social subjects they don’t know much about.

Larry David, is an extremely funny comedian, but sometimes he pushes his jokes too far. Recently he did just that. He had a SNL monologue on November 4ththat was not funny at all. He brought up jokes about Quasimodo’s dating habits, homelessness and the holocaust. It was a total train wreck of a monologue and it couldn’t have been any less funny. Larry David began to joke about rape as well and it made me cringe. It made me realize that people still don’t get it. It’s not funny. It’s not a joke or a punchline, it’s a sad act that happens to people every day and scars people for life. The trauma never goes away for some people, but here Larry David was joking about it to the world. To people who are okay with rape and to those who think it’s funny to overpower the weak. It couldn’t have made me more sick.

Larry David referenced Weinstein and went on to say how he hates Jews having bad headlines in the media. He doesn’t like that jews should be famous for things like sexual assault or rape…: “I want ‘Einstein discovers the theory of relativity.’ ‘Salk cures Polio.’ What I don’t want: ‘Weinstein took it out.’” Larry joked. Although I’m sure that Larry David meant nothing by this joke, but for it to be funny the truth is he hurt people. He hurt fans and he made me cringe. I can’t blame him entirely though it’s our society that is sick. Our society has a rape culture that doesn’t seem to be going away and we need to have more real conversations about this sad subject, because apparently joking about it is still considered okay, when clearly it’s not.

I know this because there are more celebrities that have joked about rape and while they have had to apologize for the error of their ways, I truly wonder how sorry they really are. Are they sorry because people are offended or do they realize that it’s disgusting to joke about such a horrible crime?

James Cordon recently apologized for his joke about Weinstein at a Beverly Hills awards dinner that he had made. “This is a beautiful room, this is a beautiful night here in LA. It is so beautiful that Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel room to give him a massage,” Cordon said. He of course, apologized on Twitter.

Then just last month two Supernatural stars also had to apologize for their bad rape jokes, but Weinstein wasn’t the person they referenced in their jokes, not this time it was Bill Cosby. Then there was also Game of Thrones actor who plays Khal Drogo that had to apologize for his lewd comments. He was bragging about how he got to “rape” a beautiful woman on the show. Again not funny.

Some feminist said that jokes about rape culture are okay as long as it’s not the victim that’s the butt of the joke, but the rapist. I personally don’t think people grasp the gravity of this crime. Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. That’s not the whole world that’s just America. Every year there is an average of 321,500 rape victims that are age 12 or older. That’s every single year! That’s also only people are 12 or older so not including child rape. Acorrding to RAINN the following stats are true, “

The likelihood that a person suffers suicidal or depressive thoughts increases after sexual violence.

· 94% of women who are raped experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the two weeks following the rape.9

· 30% of women report symptoms of PTSD 9 months after the rape.10

· 33% of women who are raped contemplate suicide.11

· 13% of women who are raped attempt suicide.11

· Approximately 70% of rape or sexual assault victims experience moderate to severe distress, a larger percentage than for any other violent crime.12

People who have been sexually assaulted are more likely to use drugs than the general public.11

· 3.4 times more likely to use marijuana

· 6 times more likely to use cocaine

· 10 times more likely to use other major drugs

Sexual violence also affects victims’ relationships with their family, friends, and co-workers.12

· 38% of victims of sexual violence experience work or school problems, which can include significant problems with a boss, coworker, or peer.

· 37% experience family/friend problems, including getting into arguments more frequently than before, not feeling able to trust their family/friends, or not feeling as close to them as before the crime.

· 84% of survivors who were victimized by an intimate partner experience professional or emotional issues, including moderate to severe distress, or increased problems at work or school.

· 79% of survivors who were victimized by a family member, close friend or acquaintance experience professional or emotional issues, including moderate to severe distress, or increased problems at work or school.

· 67% of survivors who were victimized by a stranger experience professional or emotional issues, including moderate to severe distress, or increased problems at work or school.

Victims are at risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

· Studies suggest that the chance of getting pregnant from one-time, unprotected intercourse is between 3.1–5%13, depending on a multitude of factors, including the time of month intercourse occurs, whether contraceptives are used, and the age of the female. The average number of rapes and sexual assaults against females of childbearing age is approximately 250,000.1 Thus, the number of children conceived from rape each year in the United States might range from 7,750–12,500.12 This is a very general estimate, and the actual number may differ. This statistic presents information from a number of different studies. Further, this information may not take into account factors which increase or decrease the likelihood of pregnancy, including, but not limited to: impact of birth control or condom use at the time of attack or infertility. RAINN presents this data for educational purposes only, and strongly recommends using the citations to review sources for more information and detail.”

You can get more stats on RAINN.org. My point by showing these statistics is that these are real people. These are real issues as a result of sexual assault, attempted rape or completed rape. This is too prevalent and too evil to joke about. It SEEMS to be men that are telling these jokes and I’m just wondering when are we going to say enough is enough? When will you understand, as a person, that this is a traumatic and lifelong impact on people from these acts and when will the jokes cease? I plea with you to help stop sexual assault and rape on any person, because the reality is while women have a higher chance of sexual assault or rape, it can happen to anyone.



Beverly Holoka

Author, Marketer, and Blogger.