Jokes about sexual violence make recovery for victims difficult

Using rape as a punchline is insulting to victims, not tolerable

Payton Fenwick

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Sexual violence is absolutely, positively not a joke. Laughs should not be procured and jokes should not be created centered around the feeling of terror and vulnerability caused by sexual assault. According to, every two minutes an American is exposed to some sort of sexual violence. Instead of laughing at the expense of others, people should be sympathizing with those who have been sexually abused.

Rappers seem to think that using the word rape is a great way to connect the verses and pull listeners in. Rape should be considered a “bad word”, only to be used when absolutely necessary in describing a horrible instance of sexual assault and nothing else. Using it as a rhyme that fits well with a beat is unacceptable and insulting. One who has been through sexual assault could be subjected to flashbacks at the mere mention of the word according to For somebody trying to get past the horrifying event, it is extremely hard to move on and become mentally stronger when this person is constantly having flashbacks. Instead of taking advantage of this word, rappers should be using their highly influential music as a way to raise awareness for this crime. Not only do some rappers mention rape like it is mundane, but this word is also mentioned in a way that does not reflect the crime itself but mentioned in a joking manner like beating someone badly in a game of basketball.

According to, over half of sexual assaults are not reported. Why? Maybe it is because of the regular, joking manner that some individuals seem to think is appropriate. Or maybe it is because of the way some throw around the word ‘rape’ and how often it is heard as a joke, it seems to victims as if no one would care. The New York Times says that teenagers listen to about two-and-a-half hours of music a day, and according to, about 50% of each gender listens to mostly hip-hop music.

Yelling this word in the hallway as a joke when someone simply touches a student is not okay. Comparing the feeling of stress before a test to the feeling a rape victim may feel is not okay. Without people surrounding these victims offering help, victims will not overcome the obstacle that is sexual violence.