When asked that question, I usually respond: Is murder ever funny? I tend to think that it's possible for any number of terrible topics or ideas to be successfully, even smartly, employed for laughs. Now, mind you, I've never come across a joke about rape or murder that has caused me a laughing fit, but I can appreciate unnerving, ironic humor.
I bring this up because Shakespeare's Sister recently wrote about a comedy skit on FunnyOrDie.com that jokes about rape. It features the environmentally conscious Green Team -- John C. Reilly, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay -- which goes around assaulting, murdering and raping anyone who litters or pollutes. Shakespeare's Sister writes: "It's a completely despicable and indefensible expression of overt misogyny, a tacit advocacy of rape -- but no one's demanding a public apology from these hilarious comedians, because violently hating women for laughs is still just fine and dandy in America."
I wasn't amused by the skit, either -- not because it kidded about rape but because it was pretty stupid (or, stoopid). It wouldn't occur to me to take particular offense at the lame rape joke -- it also har-hars about running a dead person over with a golf cart, "murder boners" and throwing babies in compost bins. But the video sparked an e-mailing frenzy among Broadsheet's bloggers. Some of us think the video is funny; others of us feel that joking about rape, as well as murder and infanticide, is never funny. The point is, despite talk of "Broadsheet feminism," we aren't always in agreement. Lucky us that feminism isn't one size fits all.
Funny or not so funny? You be the judge: