Esquire Magazine turned a few heads today when trying to promote their article on getting blowjobs via their twitter feed. Apparently, they thought a “joke” about the Dominique Strauss-Kahn rape case would entice their readers to laugh heartily, clicking all the while. (I put “joke” in quotation marks because jokes are generally funny.) They tweeted thusly:
Unfortunately, as Jezebel’s Irin Carmon pointed out, the piece “does not begin and end with, ‘Don’t rape someone.’ Allegedly.” Which is really the only thing that would excuse this kind of tweet. Somewhat.
They deleted the tweet once they realized enough people did not find their rape joke funny, subsequently posting this weak apology:
Gotta love the ol’ “sorry if anyone got mad” chestnut. (I especially love how they used “if,” like there was a chance nobody had gotten upset after all, because really, why should they?) And then, twenty minutes later, it was back to business as usual with tweets about James Bond’s outfits and pulled pork sandwiches. Oy.
The thing that gets me about this is that I’m pretty sure no one at Esquire condones rape. They are probably mostly nice people–both men and women–who love and respect the women in their lives. Maybe some of them have even experienced sexual assault themselves. And yet, in keeping with the “house style” of a lad mag, they continue to do stuff like equate an act of violence (forced oral sex) with one of pleasure (fun times beejays). They do this without thinking too hard about it, because if they did, they’d realize it wasn’t cool, and then they’d have to change the magazine’s tone or find new jobs. This does a disservice not only to DSK’s alleged victim, but also to the many people who love blowjobs. I’m pretty sure most dudes do not want the pleasure they get from their lady friends’ happy mouths compared with whatever sick pleasure DSK got from attacking that maid. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is just one more reason why men should care about rape culture, too.