Stories of rape and sexual assault often make the headlines, but does that mean we should take the news lightly or moreover joke about their frequency?
I certainly think not, but such is the defense of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Forrest Griffin who recently tweeted, “Rape is the new missionary.”
Griffin says his tweet was reacting to the recent sex abuse scandal at Penn State and his amazement at how rape has somehow become so “commonplace” in society. The tweet, however, does not display this sentiment and following the fierce backlash he received it seems like Griffin was just looking for an excuse to get him out of hot water.
The Tweet Backlash
Following Griffin’s tweet a number of his followers commented on his inappropriateness, some even deciding to stop following the fighter altogether.
“Following him is a privilege.” (Nice.)
At a news conference this weekend, a group of mothers also protested offensive comments by fighters like Griffin. The women called on Fox Sports and advertisers to drop the UFC until it adopts a code of conduct for fighters like other professional sports.
Griffin has since apologized for the remark and made a donation to the Las Vegas Rape Crisis Center.
“I feel bad. I want to apologize. I feel like I should be punished a little bit,” said Griffin.
Despite insisting his tweet was merely his take on how common rape is in the news nowadays, Griffin realizes that he was wrong and that more sensitivity is needed by him and other professional athletes.
“Maybe other professional athletes or just guys in locker rooms can kind of be more sensitive towards the topic of rape. Once you take the comments in the light of day, you feel disgusted by it, but at the time, you don’t think.”
Rape is Not a Joke
Not only was Griffin’s tweet incredibly insensitive and offensive, but it actually wasn’t the least bit funny. It was inappropriate, cruel, degrading, stupid . . . need I go on?
To be honest I always find it so odd (and infuriating) when people make jokes about rape. I’m fortunate enough to be a woman who has never been raped, but many others are not so lucky and it’s not funny at all – not in the least bit.
What do you think? Was Griffin’s tweet offensive?
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Photo by michperu used under a Creative Commons license.