Making light of sexual assault is a clear example of rape culture. When we laugh off fraternity chants like “no means yes, yes means anal” by making the excuse that “boys will be boys,” we’re supporting rape culture and trivializing an important issue.
Sure, jokes are jokes. But when the butt of our jokes are victims of unspeakable trauma, we’re unnecessarily reopening people’s wounds—and subtly sending the message that what they experienced is not that big a deal. Moreover, when we make rape into a punchline to be laughed at, it makes it harder to take real rape accusations seriously. And when we don’t take rape accusations seriously, it makes rape more permissible. Slut shaming, blaming victims, controlling how women dress, objectifying women’s bodies, not educating kids about sex education are all examples of promotion of rape culture in our society.