I’m not just like stub my toe mad.
I’m like I want to go picketing, flip cars and yell in the streets mad.
I’m woman. Hear me roar.
The problem with any open mic night, is that the MC and/or place of business have (or fail to execute) very little control over who says what once they get their grubby little hands on the mic.
Now, I’ve been to an open mic before. I knew that there would be content intellectually and morally sub-par than I would care to listen to and it’s always been a mixed bag of the profane and hilarious.
But, last night got to me.
Person after person took the stage and the content got gruesome.
Below are a few of the lowlights:
- How disgusting women’s menstrual cycles are & how they get in the way of what men need, want & deserve
- Allusions to a father having sex with his daughter.
- Graphic & explicit descriptions of male & female genitalia and how to use them to get what you want.
- And finally…RAPE.
Rape. A wannabe comic joked about raping his girlfriend.
I’m fairly certain (perhaps, hopeful is a better word) that this young man hasn’t actually and isn’t actually going to rape his girlfriend. But, rape should never be a joke. Incest should never be funny. Degrading the gift that is woman should never be the point of ridicule.
I don’t know if these men and women behind the mics had terrible childhoods, lacked nurturing parents, struggle with abuse, were victims themselves or are simply complacent.
But, what I do know is, we live in a culture that laughs when it should be shouting.
After the guy joked about raping his girlfriend, a woman got out of her seat and shouted, “That’s NOT funny.” The comic, who had since cavalierly moved from rape onto a new joke, asked her from stage why she didn’t think the new joke was funny and she said, “NO! F*&#ing rape isn’t funny!” and then stormed out of the bar.
I wanted to applaud her. I wanted to walk out too.
You know what was even more infuriating than the dude on stage touting rape? Almost everyone in the bar was laughing at the woman who walked out.
Their laughter was guttural, intentional and belittling. We all knew she could hear the cackles from the parking lot.
…and that’s why they laughed louder.
Maybe some laughed to calm the obvious tension. Perhaps some laughed because they thought the woman prude. Some may have laughed because they had been victimized themselves and felt uncomfortable. Others may have laughed because their hearts were so thick and calloused they didn’t actually see the problem.
We didn’t laugh.
My friends and I were shocked, sorry and enraged, but we stayed. We wanted to hear our friend’s attempts to redeem the stage and shed some light in the thick darkness. My friends were funny, but my stomach was sick. No amount of humor could mend what had just been said, done and witnessed.
For the first time in a long time, I felt weak as a woman.
I understand I may be more sensitive to these issues than others because of my faith, moral convictions and personal experience with the issue of date rape.
But, I would hope that if asked, most women and men would feel as angry as I do about this subject. I would hope that most people wouldn’t laugh about rape and victimization and that they would stand up and shout against it.
But, I can still hear the echoes of their laughter.
We live in a culture that jokes about raping women, slipping roofies and taking advantage of moms, sisters, wives and friends. We live in a culture that sees no problem in forcing a hand, verbal or otherwise.
We live in a culture that allows the media to saturate us with portrayals of women as objects, play things and worse yet, disposable. People are shocked at the story of the boys convicted of rape in Steubenville, but it’s happening in our cities too.
We’ve become calloused to what should shock us and mock what we should stand up for.
Our culture thinks it’s cute when a company like Victoria Secret targets teens (and let’s be honest, tweens) for their ‘Bright Young Things’ line in their ‘PINK’ (ugh…as if that name is just for the Pantone color.) collection. We giggle at young girls buying panties with “I Dare You” and “Call Me” written on their bottoms and crotches. We point and playfully, “tsk, tsk, tsk” at beach towels that tease passerbys and showcase unveiled messages and bodies on them.
We shop and endorse a “women’s” company that calls women…’THINGS.’
And with all that I’ve ranted about today and pages upon pages more, we all can’t seem to SEE the correlation between all of this muck and the rise of date rapes, forced rapes, abuse, teen pregnancies, abortions, suicides, depression and human trafficking.
What is wrong with us!?
It’s time for women to stop thinking they have to use or give up their bodies to get love and attention. It’s time for women to understand that sexually objectifying themselves in the name of the upper hand, in turn, only encourages the cycle of depravity to continue.
It’s time for men and women to revel in inner beauty, modesty, mutual respect and true love. It’s time to take a stand against rape, abuse, destruction and injustice.
Attention Ladies and Gentlemen.
It’s time to ROAR!
(Video clip from the 1976 movie, Network.)