I recently followed a link on one of the blogs I read regularly. The blogger is normally a very funny guy. The link was to a site containing an extensive catalogue of sex acts (which was clearly stated in his post – no surprises there). I’m hoping the site was meant to be funny.
As a general rule, I can laugh at just about anything, including accidental flashers, farts in the car, and naked men dangling (snicker) outside my hotel window. I clicked through to the site knowing that it would contain adult content, and I fully expected that I’d find some things that were not, um, up my alley.
But a large percentage of the acts included punching and/or kicking a female partner, breaking bones, non-consensual acts (which we old-fashioned types still refer to as “rape”), and murder.
Yeah, really. Gang-rape her and chuck her in the dumpster when you’re done. Or smash her head against the wall until her brains smear all over it. Their words, not mine. “Bitch” and “whore” were the words of choice when referring to a female partner. And apparently one method of birth control is to smash her pelvis with a hammer. “By the time she’s finished at the hospital, she probably won’t get pregnant anyway.”
Some of the acts came with the endorsement, “This one’s really fun”. Like this one: Punch her in the eye and kick her in the shin hard enough to break it. Then she’ll look like a pirate with an eye patch and a peg-leg.
Wait, why am I not laughing?
I didn’t read the entire site. Maybe it got funnier. Or maybe I took a wrong turn somewhere and missed the humour.
I didn’t know how to react. I expected ripe language and adult content. But for me, this site stepped over the line. Hell, who am I kidding? This site launched itself so far over the line, it achieved low-earth orbit.
I went back to the blog again and read the comments, wondering if anyone had reacted negatively. No. Comments from both male and female readers, none of whom apparently had any problem with the link.
I don’t know what to do.
I know that my blog may offend some people. I can be pretty vulgar. I assume that people who don’t like my style will simply go away and never come back. Nobody’s forcing them to read this.
So now that I find myself offended by a site, is it “my fault” for reading it? It is hypocritical to comment on his blog about it? Should I just shut up and go away?
Or should I go whole-hog and report the site as hate-mongering and inciting criminal acts of violence against women? I’m sure the site owner(s) would insist it’s meant to be funny and I’m clearly some tight-assed do-gooder who can’t take a joke. Free speech and all. But where do you draw the line?
What would you do?
12 thoughts on “That Ain’t Funny”
Yes, I wouldn’t want to wade through sexually violent webites either. You see enough sexual violence, etc, on the news, which is why I usually try to avoid the news . . I’m too sensitive. 😦
Thank you for writing this post. As you know, I am a frequent contributor of flash fiction at the blog which linked to the site in question. I was shocked when I read the acts described in a supposedly “comical” context. Not shocked that such a site exists, but shocked that someone I “know,” albeit online, would link to such a site and find that site “funny.”
But even more shocking was- last time I checked- nobody seemed to mind in the comments of the post. Makes me wonder where these people draw the line at appropriateness, and if such a line exists.
Then I think to a few of my own flash fiction stories, and recognize that I have written, for example, about genital severing as an appropriate climax for a horror-comedy. I am a horror writer, and often use elements of humor and sexuality in my horror stories.
“Where do you draw the line?” is a tough question. Perhaps I would start to figure it out if I read some of the entries in that particular flash fiction challenge you called into question. But I won’t. I don’t want to read anything inspired by a website that attempts to glorify and humorize *gratuitous* sexual violence.
I don’t recall seeing any violent acts against men described on the site, but then again, I just skimmed the descriptions. That’s another variable to consider, though. The inclusion of descriptions of violent acts against men wouldn’t make the site any more appropriate, but it might make the site less misogynistic.
Thanks for your comment, CM. You bring up a good point – am I upset by the gratuitous violence, or by the misogyny? I’d have to say “Both”, although violence towards women is a particular “hot button” for me.
If I was going to do the proper research into this subject, I’d check the web to see if any counterpart sites exist that incite sexual violence against men, and compare and contrast the findings. But frankly, I just don’t want to wade through what I might discover.
Nothing like burying my head in the sand.
Wow. As a humor (OK, I try) writer, I know that funny needs to push boundries – but what you’re describing is a problem. Humor can offend – usually it even *should* offend – but I still subscribe to the “first do no (lasting) harm” idea. The site you describe contributes to the general attitude that objectifying and de-humanizing women is OK.
Nope, not funny.
It’s nice to hear the guys weighing in on this. I don’t feel any better about the site, but at least I feel better knowing that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Thanks for your comment.
The biggest trouble with these things, I find, is that by decrying it you are are inadvertently drawing attention to it (which you have done a good job of avoiding by not linking to it). It’s a double-edged sword, because every click is an endorsement, but how else can it be called out?
Thanks for your comment. That was exactly what I struggled with when I was writing the post. I flatly refuse to drive traffic to the site, but on the other hand, I can’t expect (and wouldn’t want) readers to get all exercised about the content of a site without actually letting them evaluate the content for themselves.
I’m still not happy with this solution, but I guess this isn’t a topic I’m going to feel happy about anyway.
Wow. Sounds like a horrible site. (And that’s coming from someone who writes BDSM erotic romance, lol.) If it’s as violent and non-consensual as you’re saying, then I think it’s appropriate to either email the blogger privately and say “hey, really like your posts, but just wanted to let you know that I found that site really disturbing.” Or go ahead and put that in the comments. I think if you approach it in a concerned vs. attacking way, he may be open to having dialogue with you about it.
Thanks, Roni. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.
Roni has a couple of excellent blogs here: http://fictiongroupie.blogspot.com/ Please go and check them out!
In my humble opinion. I would contact the owner of the blog you regularly follow to see if the link is meant to be there. It may be a mistake and they would probably be happy that you pointed it out.
Thanks for your comment, Bayley. The link was definitely intentional; he mentioned some of its content (though not the violent portions) and warned that it was unsuitable to view at work. Otherwise, you’re right, I’d have given him the benefit of the doubt, too.
Such a difficult situation. A polite notice that you were offended maybe? I agree too, that the material as you described is ultra offensive.