(This blog post is in reference to my previous post. It contains subject matter that may be a trigger for individuals who’ve experienced extreme stress.)
Since I wrote my blog post apologising for my hypnosis joke, I’ve had tons of emails pouring in. I’ve read a lot of them, but I still have many more to go. I’d guess that about 60% of the emails have been supportive. Many, many women (and some men) have taken the time to explain in a friendly, welcoming manner, what a rape survivor has to go through. I’d like to thank these people. Some of you took offense to my He-man/Goblinslayer questions, thinking that I was trying to make light of the whole thing or make fun of rape survivors. This is not at all true. I was genuinely curious about what someone like that might do in that situation. Here is an excerpt from one of the more enlightening emails…
In your blog you asked why someone who could be triggered by a rape joke be okay with the comic. It comes down to the fact that in the joke that was interpreted as a rape joke it could be very seriously interpreted as you making light of rape, there are a lot of rapists and rape apologists that do just that through jokes, but in your comic you treat it very seriously. In the comic it’s very obvious that you don’t take rape as light subject matter and don’t support rapists. Someone who is triggered by mentions of rape might be in serious trouble at first mention of the rape, but when they calm down and come back to the comic and see you handling the subject seriously they will appreciate it and it might even help them. It is probably also even more helpful that the character you have who is a victim of rape is still a very real person(in characterization) and isn’t someone who just occupies the story to be a token victim or damsel in distress. It is very nice for and appreciated by victims to see a character survive and continue on with their lives after something horrible has happened to them.
These sorts of emails have been very helpful. The more that I can learn about the subject matter, the more I can avoid accidentally offending anyone again. However, I’ve also gotten more than a few nasty emails. I’ve been called a “rape apologist”, a “supporter of rapists” and some other names. I’ve also been threatened by someone who claimed that someone else will one day “find” me (at least I think it was a threat, that email wasn’t very clear).
Some people took offense to my referencing my own values, such as a right to uncensored comedy. Some took offense to the fact that my apology contains a personal request for respect. Let me be clear that although I value my own rights, that blog post was about others that I may have hurt with my joke and I was not placing my own values above the pain that rape survivors go through. I do not want to laugh at anyone going through pain. The tweet was a failed attempt to laugh at myself in an exaggerated manner and NOT an attempt at to laugh at rape victims.
If someone online thinks my comic sucks or thinks that I’m annoying/unfunny during my live feed, I can easily deal with that. It comes with working on the internet and after almost six years, I’ve gotten pretty thick skin. But this… this being lumped into the same category as someone who laughs at something as painful and horrific as rape… this is different. I’m not that kind of man. Please stop telling me that you see me as such.
As I mentioned, many of the emails have been supportive and I’m very thankful to all of you. To the people who are angry at me, let me reiterate that I regret making that joke. Not just because it’s caused me to go through what I’m going through now, but because I have clearly hurt some people and that’s never something that I want to do.
I also want to point out that the majority of rape survivors who have contacted me have been very helpful and communicative in a constructive way. So please don’t let this blog post paint a picture of rape survivors as a bunch of monsters. I believe that the truly insulting (and the one threatening) emails were just sent by people who’ve let their emotions cause them to see me as someone that I’m not.
Finally, please do not take this as an invitation to debate. I ask that you do not argue these points in the forum or email me about how I’ve further offended you or how offended you are that others are angry at me. You can either label me as a villain or accept my apology. Either way, let’s all move on and get back to our geeky comics.
As always, thanks for reading.