Demetri Martin and Rape Culture

I am sad. Very Sad. I had been looking forward to “Important Things with Demetri Martin” for ages. Last Wednesday my wait was over, and I could bask in the silliness of one of my favorite comics! Or so I thought.

Alas, though it had some funny parts, many jokes weren’t up to his normal level of funny. This alone would not prompt a negative response as I was a huge fan girl and would defend a poor joke in the name of “I-want-your-DNA-for-my-baby-ness.” But check out the tense in that last sentence. “Was.” It really pains me to say this, but I don’t think I can support this new endeavor by my former hero. I remember being upset a couple of times by jokes but the one that sticks out in my mind nearly a week later was about a “time pimp”.

a regular guy finds a time machine and goes throughout history “seducing” womyn to be a time pimp. “Seducing” is in quotes because it is really rape. at least a couple of the circumstances. Rape by circumstance of poverty.

The “regular guy” goes to Ireland during the potato famine with a sack of potatoes. He then approaches a womyn and comments on the famine and shows her his sack of potatoes. She is starving and in need of food and she removes her clothes and we learn he successfully “bangs” her.

This is supposed to be funny? A women is forced into sexual acts through her poverty and no one calls it rape, they call it comedy.

I feel so let down, I feel so betrayed. How could such a clever, kind person be such an ass. When I got to meet Demetri two years ago I was struck by his kindness and patience, speaking to every single fan, trying to sign each individual’s shwag in a unique special way.

I understand we are all products of our culture, but this is someone who had the audacity to drop out of Yale Law School when they had a full scholarship so they could follow their dreams. This is someone who is looks at the world to find juxtapositions and the odd and eccentric in everyday situations. He does this for a living. how could he be so misogynistic?

I just wish I could talk to him about it. In my silly fan-girl-ness I keep hoping there is some sort of explanation. but how do you explain making rape jokes on the premiere of your national TV show?


I suppose it shows a lot about the culture.  That if someone is starving, and you have food, it is ok to withhold that food until they perform sexual acts.  This is normal, this is rape culture.


Why yes that does look like rape culture.

For some reason I’ve been thinking about how “funny” rape is.  Because in movies if it happens to a man it’s high-lar-ious.  This has always bothered me.  If someone is a victim of such violation it should not be made fun of in general.  I really noticed it in “Sorority Boys”  Where one guy drugs his Frat brother who he thinks is a woman (as he’s in disguise) and then rapes him.  But it’s funny because he thinks he’s raping a girl, but in reality he’s doing a guy.

That’s pretty disgusting.  Also at the end of Mallrats The jerky guy goes to jail and is forced to submit.  Doesn’t that tickle your funny bone.  In countless comedies there’s  a prison rape scene that is supposed to be funny.

Now, personally I was already disgusted at the reaction I was “supposed” to have to these scenes.  But recently I’ve been thinking about the implications this humour has in society.  Why people think these scenes are “funny”?

In case you hadn’t figured it out, I’m going to answer that.  Because rape is something that happens to women.  So when it happens to men it feminizes them.  It’s making them “weak” and “girly”. And we all can tap into our inner bullies and laugh at that, right?

This implies that at some level as a culture we accept rape as something that happens to women.  We don’t view it as nice in general, but it is accepted nevertheless.  It also implies that people see women as inferior, weak creatures, with which similarties should be avoided at all cost.  What greater insult is there than to be a “girly” man?

And no, I don’t have answers at the moment.  And yes, that pisses me off even more.  I feel helpless to change this.  After all I’m just a girly weak being according to the dominant paradigm.  I know that things can change because progress has been made in the last 100 years, but damn if I know the next step in this case.  bleagch…