“I was just RAPED!”
“Holy Sh&t did you see that? We got RAPED!”
“I am sooo going to rape that &*%^)$#”
“Hell yeah, I just raped him”
These are not cries for help, they are people celebrating, laughing and joking about getting their butts kicked in a video game or a sports team beating a rival. Rape, a word whose meaning is so horrible, that for generations it wasn’t even discussed. Now this word is being used as a joke and bandied around over VoIP channels, in games and around sports bars as if it means nothing. In an age where it seems so many are becoming desensitized to tragedy, sadness, horrific images and war I would guess that this shouldn’t surprise. However, every time I hear someone shout this I cringe and my stomach gets queasy. I can’t be alone in that feeling, or in the sense of frustration and outrage that a word that is meant to make us feel those emotions has been turned into a joke.
Rape is not a joke, the mental, physical and emotional anguish it leaves behind is not funny. This is not something that should be referred to so lightly, and it should never be referred to with laughter. The amount of violence our youth is exposed too on the internet, TV and in print is extreme. They are already immune to so much and accept that so many things are simply a part of life. This is tragic, but we should never just accept this and ignore the progression when we can take steps to stop it. This isn’t like changing the meaning of ‘gay’ to mean something more than happy, or about changing the meaning of the word ‘bad’ to mean good. This is about taking a word that stands for a horrific crime and reducing it to a casually used word. It also reduces the victims to something that isn’t a big deal.
To understand why this should bother everyone, let’s look at numbers. The average person playing video games is 37 years old. Women make up 42% of gamers. 1 in 5 women will be raped or sexually assaulted in her lifetime, usually before age 30. So, out of 100 gamers, 9 of them will be women who have been sexually assaulted in some way. That statistic ignores the male victims completely, but the numbers say 1 in 33 men report rape or attempted rape. so that means about 12 out of 100 gamers officially. I am sure we can all agree that most victims, particularly male do not report it. So the odds are in every raid in World of Warcraft, or Everquest 2, every match in Prime World or League of Legends, and every battle in Battlefield 4 at least 1-3 people will have experienced this horror. Which makes screaming about how you were just raped, or how you just raped someone else even more horrifying because you are making light of one of the worst events a human being can live through.
The definition of rape is
1 [reyp] Show IPA noun, verb, raped, rap·ing.
1. the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.
2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
Let’s not try to redefine the word and make it less powerful, instead find a different word to describe getting trounced. Why not use:
trounce [ trownss ]
1. beat somebody or something decisively: to defeat an opponent or team convincingly
2. beat up somebody or something: to beat somebody or something severely
Synonyms: beat · thrash · rout · crush · overwhelm · slaughter · defeat
This works perfectly, says exactly what is meant and doesn’t take a violent criminal act and turn it into something being screamed in living rooms across the country. When I hear someone yell “I was raped!!” I want to know it is a call for help, the cry of a victim seeking justice, not the words of an unthinking person who doesn’t consider the harm they could be causing. With so much noise in this world drowning out cries for help, we shouldn’t be adding more noise and static to the mix.