Rape and victim blaming: The Weekly, Last Week Tonight and Inside Amy Schumer

I wasn’t planning on writing anything tonight, but I got home from craft group and saw the links to the “Don’t Rape” video from The Weekly.

I went to a taping of The Weekly a few weeks ago when Amy Schumer was a guest, and it was great. I kind of wish she’d been a guest this week though, because she wrote a great sketch for her own show, Inside Amy Schumer, called “Football Town Nights”. It’s a parody of Friday Night Lights, except the coach is telling the boys that they’re not allowed to rape this season, and them asking about all the situations that are rape but people use as excuses to say it’s not rape. It’s great. I would embed a YouTube video here, but apparently Comedy Central have decided that they don’t want to make their videos available in Australia any more (I watched a bunch of them a few weeks ago). Just take my word for it.

Meanwhile, Jon Oliver also took on issues of consent in his main story this week. He was talking about the abysmal state of sex education in the United States, and how the poor quality of that education leads to people not being conformed about consent, which is a particular problem on college campuses, complete with a sex education video starring Laverne Cox, Nick Offerman, and others whose names I’m too lazy to check the spelling for. The most horrifying part of this video is the popular fraternity chant “No means yes! Yes means anal!” No wonder they wanted to ban fraternities in the third season of Veronica Mars. That wasn’t a good season of television, but there were definitely good parts.

Where Oliver was tackling a larger issue, Pickering was focusing on the issue of victim blaming, and came complete with a song. So often women are told to try not to get rape: don’t dress too provocatively, don’t have too much to drink, wear this nail polish to make sure a date rape drug hasn’t been put in your drink! A few weeks ago The Project  (Pickering’s old haunt) did a story on self-defence classes for women in case they’re assaulted in the street.

Once again, the onus is on the woman to make sure she’s not assaulted. I can understand why you’d want someone you love to be able to defend themselves, it’s just that they shouldn’t have to. Instead of telling us to try not to get raped, teach men about consent. Use these videos; the “Don’t Rape” song made me tear up. It’s an important message that doesn’t get out enough. Or at least through to enough people, and that’s a problem. I have a right to feel safe.


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