Frat Boy Humor Isn\'t Funny, Dammit!

You know, we liberals really have enough baggage without getting tagged -- as we so often do -- as humorless. So it doesn't help things all that much when Amanda Marcotte takes time out of her busy day to point out that this shirt Just Isn't Funny. Because rape is Serious Business.

Funny, funny college boy

One might point out here (as one of Amanda's commenters does) that, yes, rape really is serious business which is why it's not such a good idea to, like, accuse people of it without any real evidence and then pretend like you didn't actually do it. But that'd be snarky. So instead I'll just content myself with asking whatever happened to hipster irony. After all, no one who really believed the message on the shirt would actually advertise it. So isn't the thing actually likely to be sold to people who, you know, already know that rape is wrong and who wear the shirt as a sort of ironic acknowledgment of that wrongness?

Or maybe I'm overthinking things and college male humor really is that bad. I remember fraternity shirts with helpful instructions like, "Liquor in the Front and Poker in the Rear." I even remember thinking that it was clever, though to be fair, I spent most of my time on Fraternity Circle in a Jim Beam-induced haze. On more...sober...reflection, I recognize that it was pretty juvenile. For that matter, most of what I thought was funny back then is probably pretty juvenile. But it seems harmless enough.

Of course perhaps I say that it's harmless only because I'm a man living in a patriarchal society, one in which men continue to subjugate women through a misogyny that is carefully wrapped in empty protestations that "it's just a joke, babe" when in reality I'm expressing the natural brutishness that is the Y chromosome. Which all just goes to show you that nothing in this post is even remotely funny. Especially not that T-shirt.

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