Back on Halloween, I wrote something. Some of you knew what I was referencing:
Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!which I'd first heard on an episode of The Cosby Show.
If you don't, I don't care, I'll pull down your underwear!
A lot of you didn't know what I was referencing (I later checked), which likely cut down on how many of you found what I wrote funny.+
At least one person, elsewhere on the Internet, was reminded of being raped.
Congratulations, Chris, you made someone think of one of the worst things that can happen to someone.
My feelings on what happened have been an at-times complicated stew of sad, bothered, annoyed, defensive, sarcastic. And meanwhile, it's still simple: I hurt someone. Inadvertently, but is it fair for me to hold onto that? To say "But I didn't mean it"?
I do my best to understand the pain of rape: something that I've never done, something that's never been done to me. I hope all parts of that statement remain true: that I understand it, that I not do it, that I not live through it, that people I love stop living through it. Rape still happens far too often. It's wrong no matter what.
And if I somehow (any how) contribute to that, in this way or by, say, quoting George Carlin's routine about rape jokes (I could, but I won't), I have to nip that in the bud and not be an asshat about it. Remain careful, at least reasonably careful. (I like to think I have a decent radar for people who are offended because they at some level like being offended, who will find any reason to find you in the wrong for what you say, and do my best to tune out such criticisms. That is not what happened here.)
Maybe "consensual" should be a safe word. Because, at some level -- and I like to think this is what I was trying to say on Halloween -- sex should be safe. Comforting. Loving. Life-affirming. When it stops being that, it's no longer sex. I know, rape is not sex. It's an abuse of sex. That puts it simply to give a basic idea of its wrongness. Probably an inadequate way, but it's headed towards enough of the truth.
This was inspired by my trying to be funny and, I hope, managing to learn something from what happened this time.
+ As of this morning, per that poll, 2 people other than me knew the rhyme. 12 didn't.