My family just told me a couple of jokes which illustrated the point perfectly, whilst having nothing to do with rape at all. My dad began it, with this gem:
So a young mother was pushing her baby along a street in Manchester when a huge rottweiler leapt towards the pram, snarling. The mother was terrified but a suddenly a man appeared from nowhere, rushed into the fray, wrestled with the enormous dog and broke its neck. Another man, seeing everything that had happened, rushed over and said to the first man, "Wow, that was incredible, you're a hero! I can see the headline now: United fan saves baby from savage beast!"I laughed. My sister laughed too, and then she said hey, have you heard this one?
"That's great" replied the first man, "but I'm not a United fan."
"Oh, ok: City fan saves baby from savage beast!"
"I'm not a City fan either, I'm a Liverpool fan."
"Oh, right! I can see the headline now: Scouser brutally murders family pet!"
Wow, those new 3D TVs are so realistic! I fell asleep watching the Liverpool match last night, and when I woke up my wallet was gone!I did not laugh. But I did realise, in a blinding flash, how perfectly this illustrates the argument about good rape jokes and bad rape jokes. In the first one, you're laughing at the media's treatment of a certain group of people. In the second one, you're laughing at that group of people. That's the difference, and it's a good measure of how jokes on any subject can work: jokes about racism rather than racist jokes, jokes about sexism rather than sexist jokes - the list is probably endless.