Saturday, September 08, 2007

What do you think?

Remember that nice guy, John Petroski? He wrote an article for his student paper about how magical rape was-- and what a great thing it was for the ugly girls out there? You can read the full article here but I wouldn't recommend it if you just ate lunch.

Facebook has a group dedicated to shaming Petroski (it boasts nearly 2 thousand peeps) and yet Petroski is a member. He often makes overtures that "everyone in it is stupid" and he is "never coming back." Yet it seems there is little else to occupy his time.

He recently posted this video from the Onion as proof that we just didn't get his funny, funny joke.

Missing Girl Probably Raped

Well for once, Petroski and I agree on something. I don't find the news clip that funny. But to be fair, I work with sexual assault victims and their families on a daily basis. So trying to find some humor in these situations is a stretch for me.

However, the Onion is directing its criticism at the media. A media which often likes to spotlight stories of beautiful, young, white women and become foam-at-the-mouth excited talking about all the sordid details of their death. The Onion clip also makes fun of the lack of tact exhibited by news media when trying to get the "money shot" of the crying, pleading parents.

For example, I chuckled (although it was a sad, hallow one-- nothing like how you'd laugh at say, animal bloopers) when then news anchor made a comment along the lines of, "Would it comfort you to think that your daughter died quickly rather than being raped over and over?"

This is very clearly a satire of a shameful, calculated media who try to get ratings by selling the stories of brutalized women.

Now here's a sampling of Petroski's piece:

Take ugly women, for example. If it weren’t for rape, how would they ever know the joy of intercourse with a man who isn’t drunk? In a society as plastic-conscious as our own, are we really to believe that some man would ever sleep with a girl resembling a wildebeest if he didn’t have a few schnapps in him? Of course he wouldn’t, at least no self-respecting man would, but therein lies the beauty of rape. No self-respecting man would rape in the first place, so ugly women are guaranteed a romp with not only a sober man, but a bad boy too, and we all know how much ladies like the bad boy.

What is he hoping to accomplish with this "joke"?

Petroski isn't attacking media or people's morbid fascination with sex crimes-- he's mocking the victims of sexual assault and anyone who dares to take the crime of rape seriously.

Far from a vile act, rape is a magical experience that benefits society as a whole.

At the end of his mockery, Petroski hints that this is really about the media,
But if there is one bread and butter reason for why rape should not only be accepted, but even endorsed, it is because our news editors are in dire need of interesting stories for our front page.

If this is his attempt to pull an "Onion" he's failed miserably. You can't write an article where 80% of the subject matter is mocking a serious and heinous crime and also attacking any victim of this crime with a mentality that it's really "all in good fun for the victims." And then try to salvage the piece with a one-note comment at the end of "I remind you this is satire about the media because they think rape is interesting."

After all the fallout from this article, you'd think Petroski would learn something but he's determined to prove he's funny. It's just the rest of the world that doesn't get it. I'd like to live in his fantasy world, it must be such a easy place to delude yourself.

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