There are few vaginas more sandy than humourless feminists, fewer still are sandier than humourless feminist anti-rape advocates, yet the sandiest vaginas of the week undoubtedly belong to the Humourless Feminist Alliance against Dickwolf Perpetrated Sexual Misconduct, or as they might be more accurately termed; Rape Trolls.
For those not in the know, a Rape Troll is the sort of miserable creature who Googles ‘rape jokes’ and then affects great moral OUTRAGE when they come across the desired articles of rape, whereupon they make haste back to their dank lairs so that they might feed this ‘OUTRAGE’ in dribs and gormless drabs to their foul brood as they nuzzle blindly at their leathery old teats. Or so was Penny Arcade’s experience this week at the hands of the unscrupulous pile of turds; Shakesville, wherein rusted on feminist ideologue and sandy vagina at large Shaker Milli A took great offence at a relatively innocuous Penny Arcade strip involving a World of Warcraft slave being raped to sleep by dickwolves. In fact so incensed was this fatuous Rape Troll, that for her “Penny Arcade took it to another level”, the joyless hag goes on to claim “This is why I’m a humorless feminist. Because rape jokes killed my sense of humor” (It is always someone else’s fault, isn’t it?), she seems to have got the causal link back-to-front.
While in the face of this purile onslaught many would be content with maintaining a dignified and stony silence, Penny Arcade on the other hand accorded the inconsequential digital rag with the undeserved recognition and respect of penning a follow-up strip addressing their concerns directly by stating:
Tycho: Hello, this is Tycho Brahe, of Penny Arcade. We recently made a comic strip where an imaginary
person was raped imaginarily by a mythological creature whose every limb was an erect phallus. Some found that idea disturbing.
Gabe: We want to state in clear language, without ambiguity or room for interpretation: We hate rapers, and all the rapes they do. Seriously, though. Rapists are really the worst.
Tycho: It’s possible you read our cartoon, and became a rapist as a direct result. If you’re raping someone right now, stop. Apologize. And leave. Go, and rape no more.
Sadly, acknowledging Shaker Milli A’s petulant diatribe merely provided more oxygen to the den of moribund petty journalism and handwringing that is Shakesville, as another clueless bint from the faceless ranks of rank amateur ideologues which populate Shakesville’s digital wasteland promptly stepped in to spout more irrational nonsense:
Quite a pithy—and familiar—reaction. It encompasses the three same old tired strategies that defenders of rape jokes typically employ:
1. Misrepresenting critics’ primary objection as the assertion that rape jokes “create” rapists and/or “cause” rape.
2. Summarily treating that idea as absurd.
3. Concluding that critics are thus hypersensitive reactionaries with no legitimate critique.
Ah, so Gabe and Tycho’s response was just ‘typical’ of what sounds to be a fairly large and prevalent demography of rape joke defenders, a group populated (one suspects) exclusively by the recipients of prior Shakesville trolling. Try substituting ‘rape joke’ with ‘free speech’ and Rape Troll Melissa McEwan may well be on to something. If the ideas of Rape Trolls are treated as absurd, it is because they are. If Rape Trolls are viewed as hypersensitive reactionaries with no legitimate critique, it simply indicates that their beholder is possessed of functioning sentient comprehension. McEwan continues:
I will never understand why anyone wants to be the total jerk who evokes someone’s memories of being assaulted by blindsiding hir with a rape joke (or image, or metaphor, or whatever), in the guise of “humor.” No “joke” is worth triggering someone. Not if you understand what triggering someone really means.
I’m more bothered by the thought of a woman who’s recently been raped, who’s just experienced what may be the worst thing that will ever happen to her, and goes to the site of her favorite webcomic, or turns on the telly, or goes to the cinema, or a comedy club, to have a much-needed laugh—only to see that horrible, life-changing thing used as the butt of a joke.
I don’t understand—and I don’t believe I ever will—why anyone wants to be the person who sends that shiver down her spine, who makes her eyes burn hot with tears at an unwanted memory while everyone else laughs and laughs.
Yeah … I’ll bet that was exactly what they were thinking when they wrote their funny comic strip, boy I hope we can “trigger” someone’s PTSD symptoms. The Rape Trolls of Shakesville = “it’s all about me”. It is the abject arrogance and selfishness of Rape Trolls that they fervently believe that the entirety of productive society should be organised to the convenience of their own mental health defects, right down to the tastes and sensibilities of mainstream right-thinking citizenry. Quite why a victim of sexual assault suffering from severe PTSD would think it a good idea to surf the melting pot of bile that is the internet (given their likelihood of avoidance symptoms) is quite beyond me, yet even assuming exposure, the Rape Troll’s core assumptions are flawed. The gold standard of PTSD treatment is currently prolonged exposure therapy, wherein prolonged exposure to a low level aversive stimulus is able to cause an individual’s irrational fear to habituate, so it might be said that Penny Arcade is positively performing a most valuable service to the coven of misanthropes squatting at Shakesville. At any rate this line of thinking is moot for the passionless husks of Shakesville, as they obviously run little risk of being inadvertently exposed to the traumatic stimulus of Penny Arcade, since quite clearly they do not read the comic, preferring as they do to lurk and loiter on the interwebs until they espy something objectionable, before descending like a plague of locusts to infest it, so that they might feed their insatiable appetite for complaint. To put things in perspective; the name of the original article was: Rape is Hilarious, Part 53 in an Ongoing Series, bringing into question whether the Rape Troll really does suffer from PTSD or merely OCD.
At any rate, enough breath has been spent on this frivolous pursuit. Shakesville isn’t a legitimate news site, the Rape Trolls in question are not real journalists, and their entire community is one colossal circle jerk. Legitimate media has given this cabal of narcissistic ne’er do wells altogether too much oxygen as it is, and have failed in asking the appropriate questions, such as “do these dreadful people even read Penny Arcade”. In this gamer’s humble opinion Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik (A.K.A. Tycho and Gabe) are to be commended for not being cowed by a vocal, thuggish minority, who would (if they could) encroach upon our free speech and good humour in ways which do not bear thinking about. So, until next week Lusireaders, be warned that the only safe feminism is contained in the pages of the Collected Works of Gaga, and remember; it isn’t rape if you shout ‘SURPRISE’ first.