Content note: This post is about rape culture and thus includes some discussions of rape, though they are not graphic.
And it is in these casual comments that this power and control is reinforced, structurally and repeatedly. It is in the attitude that two men walking down the street have, the confidence that they can joke about an intoxicated woman and be secure in their joking, because they are the ones in power and in control. They might claim they don’t really mean it, but they do; they mean to remind the world of the fact that they are in positions of dominance. It is in the comedian’s knowledge that he can make a ‘joke’ which is really a veiled threat and the audience will support him; not only that, but other comedians will rush to his defense, will raise red herrings like free speech to underscore their desire to protect the sacred right to make rape jokes, to threaten members of an audience who live in legitimate fear of experiencing rape during their lifetimes.