Rape culture is very real and we are all a part of it. This past week, allegations of sexual harassment have been revealed left and right by various celebrities. It all started with reports of sexual harassment allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
There has been nothing minor about this issue, yet people still tend to blame the victims. Donna Karan spoke out against the women who suffered from Weinstein’s harassment. And most of the women have been called attention-seekers.
The behavior surrounding rape and sexual harassment is so genial it’s disgusting. A clip just resurfaced from 2011, when Jason Momoa sat with the cast of Game of Thrones and made a distasteful rape joke.
The video shows the cast sitting on stage, answering questions from the audience. When asked about working with women on the show, Momoa praises the sci-fi and fantasy genre for providing him with the opportunity to do so many different things. Apparently, one of the things he has the ability to do is “rape beautiful women.”
The cast next to him had mixed reactions, while some face-palmed and others seemed to be laughing.
On top of his gross comment, one problematic and disgusting part is that the audience loved his answer and erupted into laughter and scattered applause.
— elizabeth (@peeanofreek) October 12, 2017
People on Twitter had mixed reactions to the video. Most, as expected, were completely appalled by his comment:
AHAHAHAHAHA! Brilliant. Rape beautiful women. Funny. Funny stuff. *jumps off the planet* https://t.co/APbEEvdWFO
— amanda abbington (@CHIMPSINSOCKS) October 12, 2017
and allllllllllllll the laughter in the audience is what we mean when we say rape culture. https://t.co/YR645XyLnP
— wikipedia brown (@eveewing) October 12, 2017
TW: let me add his notation of "beautiful women" subtly implies that raping "ugly women" happens IRL but only to beautiful ones in Sci-Fi
— #BlackWomenBeing (@LeslieMac) October 12, 2017
I shoulda known Jason Momoa was too fine to be worth a damn. Wow. https://t.co/EmuqEsknzo
— king crissle (@crissles) October 12, 2017
One tweet eerily echoed the argument for Trump’s disgusting Access Hollywood comment.
People defending Jason Momoa by saying the clip is super old – he still said those things, whether it was today or 5 years ago. Disgusting.
— Anne Dolinschek (@AnneDoli) October 12, 2017
A few others don’t see the big deal because it happened in the past:
Jason Momoa made a bad joke 6 years ago. Calm down ppl it wasn’t recent. Also the show has lots of rape on it that we all watch.
— Jazz D. (@Jazzey2788) October 12, 2017
“Jokes” about rape and harassment are never funny. Instead, they perpetuate rape culture because the actual effect of rape gets diminished and passed over as “just a joke.” But for people who have experienced some type of sexual harassment, there is really nothing humorous in reveling in forced or unwanted sex.
So for the people who think everyone has to lay off because the clip is old, that’s an invalid argument. If the clip were old, we wouldn’t have to be experiencing similar circumstances that literally just happened, and are still happening to this day. Rape culture is not a “fad,” it’s not something that will just go away if we lessen the impact or meaning.
It’s not being “too sensitive” if rape humor is offensive. Expressing anger at this behavior is just a reaction to expecting a little decency.
So why is it a good thing that this video has resurfaced? Because it’s relevant. Because society has to realize that this affects men and women alike, and that it’s not okay to keep undermining this issue. It’s not just Jason Momoa, but all people who make light of serious and personal situations. Call out the instances that don’t seem right, expose the ones who create this world of harassment and expect to get away with it.