UConn Student TV Runs “Rape is Funny” Skit

Students at the University of Connecticut met Wednesday night to consider action after the university’s student-run television station aired a video they claim promotes rape culture.

The student-run and student-funded UCTV aired a comedy sketch show called Shenanigans. In one sketch a woman is running from a possible rapist and stops to use a campus blue-light phone to contact UConn’s 911 system. Instead of getting help she is met with insults and slurs like “stinky bitch” and “holler monkey.” The statements get worse, but you get the idea.

A spokesperson for the university is denying any accountability and told the Connecticut Post that students should contact the station, not the university, with complaints. “UCTV, like the Daily Campus newspaper, is funded by students and run by students, and they produce the programs and decide what goes on the air.”

Since initial complaints the station has removed the video and issued an apology, but students insist this is not enough. “We as UConn students pay mandatory fees for UCTV to be able to publish this crap,” an event notice on their Facebook page said. “If you don’t think violence against women is funny or sexy than please join us.”

As you can see, the comments on the Facebook page also show just how far women and their allies have to go to counteract rape culture on college campuses.

There is real value in an independent media presence on college campuses that has no ties, nor is answerable to, university administration, so I won’t fault administrators per se for not jumping into this mess. But the producers, writers and actors who thought making a joke out of sexual assault was good material? Maybe they should start thinking of another line of work.

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Photo from Helga Weber via flickr


Thomas P.
Thomas P5 years ago

Thanks. The school should be ashamed and should definitely consider sanctioning, if not pulling off the air, the student station. There isn't anything funny about sexual assault...period. And there never will be. Some of the comments here likening the alleged "degradation" men have suffered at the hands of women, as if they somehow rise to the level of atrocities, is not just bizarre, it's laughable. I don't have any statistics about whether there are men who are raped by women, but if it does occur, it's ridiculous to suggest it is anything but beyond the pale. This is an obvious attempt to obfuscate the very real problem with rape, both here in the states and the world. That is the atrocity. Fred H...violence against men, at the hands of women, while wrong, is not at all common, and it is certainly not the epidemic that violence against women at the hands of men is. Let's be reasonable. Elaine A....I absolutely agree. Scarlet P...spot on!

Marion W.
Marion W5 years ago

Perhaps the producers, writers and actors in this "comedy sketch" would have a different perspective if they all were able to experience rape in a real personal way. Maybe they should spend a little time in prison where they would have the opportunity to laugh at how funny rape is from an up close and personal position. Yes, there is rape in both women's & men's prisons.

Kynthia R.
Kynthia Rosgeal5 years ago

Fred. Stop reading the skewed facts on your mens rights advocacy websites and take a reality check.

Women earn .77 for each 1.00 males earn.
Women are constantly being attacked by legislation that moves to remove a woman's choice in birth control, sex education, health and abortion (up 700% this year - bills proposed and passed by republicans)
Women being sexually assaulted are quite often dismissed by victim blaming/shaming and the courts allow these defenses. Such culture is called rape culture the very thing the video above promotes.
MRA's often times cry about the unfairness of legislation that enforces child support calling it an "Attack on males" well, bucky, when you get pregnant and bear children and your partner skips out on you I bet the whining will be a LOT louder then.

Spare me your MRA attitude. You wear blinders, if it doesn't benefit a male directly you refuse to see it or better yet call it an attack on males. I certainly hope you are forced to undergo a transurethreal ultrasound before they prescribe viagra to you. Lets see how "fair" you think that is.

None are so blind as HE who will not see.

Lilithe Magdalene

What I want to acknowledge, however, from what I hear you saying, is that men also suffer when women are not given equal consideration, power, status and respect in culture. It comes out on men in other ways. Lets face it - in this culture, as a man (white? IDK - but if you are) you have the most potential power in this system - you have the most access to jobs, higher income, and overall respect wherever you go. Women are just treated differently. That is a fact. That puts a lot more pressure on men to be and do and figure things out, and get the brunt of the effect if it doesn't work out. There is a burden to it. But as a perfect example, nobody asks if it is good to have insurance pay for erectile dysfunction pills - but the whole country goes up in arms about insurance paying for birth control. If you can't see the huge disparity right there - then you are choosing to be blind.

Lilithe Magdalene

Like I said, Fred, male privilege talking. Less than mere 100 years ago, women in America couldn't even vote. We did not have rights of property - hell WE were property! I echo Kynthia - that sentiment of controlling women, denying women the right over their own body lives in on in the Republican party right now. I think they would see us completely under the whim of men and religion - and even imprisoned or put to death for daring to take reproduction into our own hands.

I think you are so busy crying about the hurts you have suffered in your life at the hands of women (which is a one person, anecdotal story - and though I CAN honor your experience, it does not speak for the bigger picture) that you cannot see the mass power struggle women still face. Women are still only 17% of the gov't decision makers. Very few women run the corporations that are massacring our planet and people. It is predominantly white men. And it is out of balance.

I will repeat - I do not condone making Bobbitt jokes, or that kind of violence. I merely asked you to put WHY the jokes are popular into some kind of perspective. WHY ballbusting jokes are popular - it's because in light of the power men hold in this culture, that seems their only Achilles heel. It's a sense of "ah ha! They ARE vulnerable!" Again this is not condoning or justifying - it is putting it into perspective.

What I want to acknowledge, however, from what I hear you saying, is that men also suffer when women are not give

Kynthia R.
Kynthia Rosgeal5 years ago

@ Fred H. in re your comment "When men form a government which puts into action a plan to eradicate all women, let me know and I’ll take seriously your opinions."

They are referred to as the republican party.

George Payerle
George Payerle5 years ago

That UConn vid is gross, totally. I applaud Lilithe's allusion to "the Bobbit thing". Men find that funny too, even if it shrivels their parts thinking about it. What Mrs. Bobbit did can't be condoned, but it can be recognized as an irrefutable statement. What this "fear of rape is funny" video SHOULD have done is stick with the parody on the impersonal measures offered to provide security for women. The grossest point this thing makes is that the woman is garrotted. the "rapist" is a total sicko, like Pickton the Pig Farmer here in Canada. In my version, he'd come up to the Blue Light device and get nailed by it, preferrably in the privates, as the device's follow-up on its threat to hurt the woman if she touched it again. I think that would be funny.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe5 years ago

Rape is NOT funny - be it in a skit or in an actual situation!!!

Jackie Agusta
Jackie Agusta6 years ago

This is not funny at all :-(

Sarah M.
Sarah M6 years ago

This is infuriating and despicable!