Horrorible Review: “Rape Jokes”

Enjoy this Monday with Mildred!

Cameron Esposito Rape Jokes logo image

NOTE: Possible triggering, please read carefully. – CFR

Rape Jokes   

Yes, like you the title put me off quite a bit. Why does any decent person want to listen to rape jokes, it’s the most not funny thing in the world. Moreover, the comic is a gay woman who is herself a survivor of sexual assault. But I kept listening and it was funny and got funnier as I listened.

I’ve rarely listened to a full comic stand-up routine on-line, because most comics are guys who don’t understand what is not funny to women. But I decided to listen to a woman comic who happens to be gay and has been chastised for being a “social justice warrior”, like that’s a bad thing.

Esposito goes to a lot of places, including being very Catholic as a youth, and where it led her as an adult, and very earthy humor about blowing out her knee, having to crap and having to rely on EMTs in a red state while being obviously gay. All at the same time.

I don’t have a lot of experience with stand-up comics. The first one I saw was Bob Hope in the 70s, and he was so funny (not like his movies) that I nearly fell out of my chair because I wasn’t use to famous people using foul language, and then years later I saw Bill Cosby who put me to sleep. Cameron Esposito is different than those famous men in that she totally caters to the more political side of a modern audience, saying I am a gay woman and this is how the world is to me. It’s hilarious, and modern, like a man’s humor cannot seem to be these days.

Esposito’s humor is personal and sometimes very earthy, including long riffs on being “very Catholic”, including childhood games: “We played Mass, we played Birth of Christ”, we played “Jesus/Moses”, and learning how to use a tampon without knowing “which hole was which.” She also introduces straight audiences into being “sistered” as a lesbian (All lesbian couples are “mistaken” for sisters. All of us. It’s weird, but true.)

Like any great comic, she turns adversity and pain into funny, with a modern dose of social commentary that you don’t feel so much because you’re laughing at her pain and learning at the same time. She perfectly captures the confusing and universal feeling (for lesbians) of figuring out why they don’t feel sexual attraction for men without being crude or diversive in her language.

You can watch her routine for free on cameronesposito.com, but if you want to donate some money for the laughs, there’s a button to donate to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.

I’ve discovered a new world of funny, unlike the old world that didn’t speak to me or for me so much, and I think it’s great. Check this out if you have ever wished funny didn’t have to be mean to people – any people.


Comedian Cameron Esposito tackles sexual assault in new special “Rape Jokes” – A PBS NewsHour Weekend Clip

Cameron Esposito on Gay Sex

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