The always hilarious comedienne Sarah Silverman is back in the news, this time for hurting the precious feelings of anti-feminist men. Silverman’s crime was sharing a list of “TEN RAPE PREVENTION TIPS” which included timeless advice such as “Don’t put drugs in women’s drinks” and “If you are in an elevator and a woman gets in, don’t rape her.” In other words, its a riff on the usual rape tips directed at women which advise them not to drink alcohol or dress provocatively in order to avoid being raped. And, for someone who’s made a living off of offensive satire, it’s odd that a joke that clearly wasn’t Silverman’s to begin with caused this nontroversy. The photo bears a 9GAG watermark and is more or less the same list of “tips” I recently shared on this very blog.
And faster than you can say “Not all men,” Silverman’s Twitter feed was inundated with semi-literate accusations of “misandry” by perpetually aggrieved male trolls. Twitter user “FTWEBK666” wrote “jesus christ wtf is this. not everybody out here raping bitches wats wrong with you.” “Zac Lee” found it “extremely offensive” because it “implies that it’s common for men to think about ways to rape girls, when that’s nonsense.” “Femibust” wrote, “‘We’ don’t want anything except for men to stop being demonized by ignorant hags like @SarahKSilverman.” He then hilariously followed up by Tweeting, “Also, I’m not an MRA, I’m an Egalitarian, which by definition actually is the equality of the sexes.” Egalitarian, my foot.
The right-wing Breitbart News also got in on the action, accusing Silverman of “paint[ing] all men as potential rapists” and “insinuat[ing] that only females can be victims of sexual assault.”
The Breitbart readership was more blunt. Commenter “Tiger McDrew” said Silverman “is disgusting and always has been.” “luceChange” replied, “Woman? What woman? Where? All I see is a loud, foul-mouth simulation of what it’s parents thought was a Daughter but turned out to be some alien life form.”
Another particularly foul response came from “Captain_America” who said that he is “[n]ot a potential rapist of her” as he would “rather rape a knothole in a tree than that loathsome Obama Yenta sow.” Who knew the guy who once punched out Hitler would turn out to be an anti-Semite?
Some, like “Phil”, got personal. “Jimmy Kimmel was lucky to escape her potential marital captivity. Other than consensual sex, why would a man want to live with that dried out soul?” One person responded to “Phil” by stating that sex with her would be “absolutely horrible” because she “probably spends two hours after consensual sex accusing her partner of rape.” Another commenter accused her of having “done it with dogs, too.” And “hootannanny” attributed Silverman and Kimmel’s breakup to Kimmel growing tired of “having his kids aborted.”
Others latched onto the horrible myth that rape is about sex and attraction, and that only young, physically attractive women are raped. (Never mind that attractiveness is completely subjective to begin with.) Someone named “Bo” wrote that Silverman “has absolutely ZERO chance of being raped.” “DIR” concurred, but added a slight correction: “Zero chances of being raped by a conservative. Liberals have strange tastes, so do flies. She might get lucky with either of those two candidates.” Yes, not only are liberal women physically repugnant, but being raped is “get[ing] lucky.”
In the end, however, Sarah Silverman still gets the last laugh. In Tweeting this innocuous joke about rape culture, she helped to, once again, confirm its existence in the form of this online backlash. And she got to have fun at the expense of overly sensitive misogynists at the same time.