If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past couple of days, you’ve surely seen “Football Town Nights,” a sketch from the third season premiere of Inside Amy Schumer. But I love it so much I had to share on the off chance that some of my readers live under rocks.
There have been plenty of debates lately about backlash to poorly executed and unfunny jokes about rape, usually jokes in which the punch line boils down to “raping people is funny.” As Amanda Marcotte points out, Amy Schumer shows the “right way” to joke about rape:
Schumer’s team, on the other hand, understood that rape isn’t really about sex, but that sex is just a weapon being used to assert power and establish a social hierarchy that puts victims at the bottom. The SNL sketch scoffed at the idea that men can be raped, assuming men are biologically required to try to get it in whenever possible. Schumer’s sketch, doing what good humor should do, questions this belief, showing how ridiculous you sound when you actually try to argue that men are incapable of understanding context or meaningful consent…
…Rape itself isn’t funny, but the constant excuse-making for it is a goldmine of humor. Hopefully, more comedians will take their cue from Amy Schumer and start using the the sexist whiners and rape apologists as the juicy targets that they are.
Katie McDonough (with whom I wholeheartedly agree when she says “It succeeds brilliantly. I love it. I want to marry it.”) talked to the writer of the sketch and looks at the important points it makes about rape culture.
What “Football Town Nights” and research like Edwards’ get at is that it isn’t enough to say rape is bad. You have to start looking at the ways that male entitlement and sexual degradation get communicated in much subtler ways. In fact, other studies have shown that the “rape is bad” messaging isn’t even all that effective in a cultural context where people have a really hard time identifying rape as rape or believing themselves or their loved ones are capable of it.
Love Friday Night Lights? Hate rape culture? Enjoy.
Clear eyes. Full hearts. Don’t rape.