There are so many quality words out there to describe an attraction to someone that I don’t think using the word rape isÂ necessaryÂ to get your point across.
However Jenny McCarthy clearly disagrees because last night at the 2012 American Music Awards she tweeted out a photo of herself kissing Justin BieberÂ with the caption, “Cougar Rape? #PoorJustin.”
While she’s obviously joking around and she’s obviously not advocating raping Justin Bieber, using the “rape” jokingly isn’t really funny.
Especially when people respond with tweets like this:
Yes, rape and jail. It’s an lol indeed.
Let’s reverse the genders for a hot sec and pretend that a 40-year-old male celebrity made a joke about cradle-robbing-raping an 18-year-old female celebrity. People wouldÂ immediatelyÂ be up in arms at thatÂ inappropriatenessÂ of that comment. Once again, it’s not the attraction, or the joking attraction, that’s wrong.Â It’s the use of the word rape to express that attraction. Rape’s a violent act. Why associate it with anyone you care about?
Last time Jenny McCarthy made a rape joke via Twitter in 2011, the executive director of the California Coalition Against Sexual AssaultÂ Sandra HenriquezÂ told Radar Online.com: âIt is not uncommon for the people to use the term ârapeâ as a figure of speech, particularly when feeling violated, upset or taken advantage of.Â However, it is critical to recognize the power of speech, and its ability, when used out of context, to undermine the experience of victimization of sexual assault survivors.Â Each incident is an opportunity to further educate the public about the seriousness of rape and the role we can play to participate in its elimination.â
I think the same quote applies to this tweet as well. Let’s all agree to think before we tweet. I know it’s only 140 characters, but it’s scary how much of a message we can send in that small amount of space.