You know what’s always funny to a crowd of people? A good rape joke! Yes. Those. And rape jokes, also known as the “knock knock” jokes of awful human beings, are the reason why popular Scottish nightlife group G1 has come under fire: one of its quiz hosts seems to believe rape is a real crowd pleaser!
Yesterday, Matthew Vickery, 23, wrote about a quiz night he went to earlier this week on his website “What’s Left Of The Left.” The quiz took place at Radio, a pub in Ashton Lane, Glasgow, and consisted of misogynistic, homophobic, albeist content that went seemingly unmonitored by the bar’s staff. According to Vickery, some of the host’s lovely comments included:
“What happened to the raging homo who walked from lands end to john o groats this week”
“Stephen Hawking is the biggest/most expensive vegetable, true or false?” (It was one of the two options, I was too shocked to take it in)
“Last week I was told my quiz was too male dominated, so this week we will have a whole round on tampons” (of which there subsequently was)
“Is it still rape if you kill her first?” – the answer given later was “Yes, because she can’t consent, poor her” (said sarcastically while he was laughing)
Vickery, a self-proclaimed feminist, was shocked by this behavior, so he approached the host and explained why he was upset:
After going up and explaining exactly how his comments were horrific, and then receiving a meek ‘OK’ in return, ten minutes later the quiz host, while sniggering, went on the microphone to tell everyone that he ‘doesn’t give a fuck if people are offended’ and that he ‘will continue to make his quiz rapey’. We were also told that we were not welcome back, and that our answers from other rounds had now mysteriously been left blank, in effect punishing us for standing against what he said.
As much as the word “rape” is unpleasant to me, as its mere need to exist is devastating, I find the term “rapey” even more frightening. To be fair, sometimes it is appropriate, as in “Kickstarter allowed a campaign to succeed that has rapey vibes and advice,” but typically, it seems to be used by people injecting humor into a topic it, by nature, does not belong with and in a manner it should not be done (i.e. joking about rape itself and those who are victims of it).
Oh, and remember that “Shimmy Club” where men were allowed to watch women in the bathroom via a two-way mirror? G1 owns that, too. It’s a classy company! And by “classy” I mean “horrifyingly permissive of misogyny and an avid facilitator of rape culture.”
bright PR-driven side, after Radio had to shut down its Facebook because it received so many angry responses due to Vickery’s blog post, G1 Group has issued an apology and promises to begin monitoring — albeit hopefully not via bathroom mirror — the practices on its premises.
Rhona Fyfe said: “We would like to apologise for any upset caused by the offensive nature and content of this quiz.
“Across a number of our venues we hold quiz nights, and on each occasion, we tender the business to local independent quiz masters who are given a brief on the target market and the type of quiz we are looking for.
“On this occasion the brief was ignored and due to the seriousness of the deviation from the original brief and offensive content of this quiz, with immediate effect, we are no longer working with the quiz master involved.”
Naturally, the “apology” is more of a “we didn’t do it, the other guy did,” but I guess it’s better than “we’re sorry you feel that way.”
In the event that anybody has somehow not noticed, violence against women is still an insanely prevalent problem the world over. From targets modeled after ex-girlfriends that bleed when you shoot them to documented gang rapists who are empathetically covered in the news, from supposed crime experts who believe being raped by a partner isn’t “always” rape to somebody literally using the “it was just a prank” defense after attempting to rape a woman. We don’t need more evidence that rape culture is an issue, yet we receive it daily. Can’t we just acknowledge that perpetuating sexual violence, that laughing at the idea of women being being penetrated against their will, is directly contributing to the way that rape victims are treated by the police, by the public, by the media?
But, on the actual bright side: somebody took a loud, angry stand regarding something he felt was dangerous and wrong. Now, that host is fired and there has been international attention brought to the situation. I, for one, find it incredibly heartening to see people listen, to see action taken toward a positive end.