Angry feminists in Scotland fed up with rape jokes at the Edinburgh Fringe and Free Fringe decided to take direct action against comedians who think that making jokes about rape, gang rape, sexual abuse, sexual torture and prostitution is funny. Feminist Avengers have sent comedians who have been telling misogynistic jokes about rape a courgette, together with a note saying: Did you ever hear about the comedian who told rape jokes? He was told to go fuck himself”.

Clara Zetkin, Feminist Avenger Spokesperson today said: “It is estimated that 1 billion women and girls on our planet have been raped –  this is not a laughing matter. Rape is never funny, it is a horrific crime of violence and violation. However we have a culture in the Edinburgh Fringe and Free Fringe; a rape culture where jokes about rape are the norm. Rape jokes are an everyday occurrence at the Edinburgh Fringe and Free Fringe. Rape jokes are told every day on Twitter and Facebook. As a group of radical feminists we have a great sense of humour; but making comedy out of violence against women makes us angry. We decided that we would take action and send the comedians a courgette with a short note suggesting they “go fuck themselves”.

Olympe de Gouge, the Director of Situationist Internationale (Scottish Chapter) stated “the spectacle of laughing at the rape of women creates a language and a culture that means the violation and abuse of women becomes normal. Women are seen to be used and abused and to be humiliated and mocked. To be bought and sold. We fully support the Feminist Avengers in their action in saying “fuck you rape apologist” and “fuck you everyone who laughs”.

Helen Crawford, Legal Advisor to Feminist Avengers explained “The United Nations recognises that violence against women and girls takes many forms and is widespread throughout the globe.  It includes rape, domestic violence, harassment at work, abuse in school, female genital mutilation and sexual violence in armed conflicts.  It is predominantly inflicted by men. It is a major barrier against women’s equality and liberation. The right of women and girls to live free of violence is inalienable and fundamental.  Women are not commodities to be bought and sold. It is enshrined in international human rights and humanitarian law.  There is a pandemic of violence and rape against women and girls; we only ask that women are not violated and humiliated. Laughing at rape means laughing at the inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of women, which is a breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It is a breach of women’s human rights to laugh at rape.”

“The direct actions of the Feminist Avengers are based on their anger and their struggle for women’s equality. The invitation “to fuck yourself” is indeed only an invitation but also a invitation to be more responsible in deciding to make rape jokes.”

Courgettes were delivered to the following comedians

Jim Jefferies, Chris Turner, Chris Dangerfield, Paul Revill and Jimmy CarrImage

 Courgette and letter sent to comedians making rape jokes.

Further information can be found here – source Guardian article http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/17/heard-one-about-rape-funny-now

Twitter account: https://twitter.com/FemAvenger



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  2. DS

    I fully agree that 95% of rape jokes (probably) are lame and misogynist, and should be condemned. But the statement that “rape is never funny” is wrong. First, sexist, racist or otherwise unsound jokes can, as a matter of fact, be funny. (I personally thought that “some audiences say they don’t like rape jokes. They say that, but I know what they mean” as mentioned by Tanya Gold was pretty funny) More importantly, jokes can deal with dark subject matter without being offensive or unsound, depending on how they deal with it. You have to look at the nuance of what a joke is saying rather than making sweeping statements about what subject matter is appropriate or inappropriate for comedy.

    1. Clara Zetkin

      We are challenging the rape culture that exists in society, it is perfectly normal now a days to laugh at rape, to deny rape exists, to call women who alleged rape to be liars or sluts or lying sluts or slutty liars.

      Everything can be laughed at but doesn’t mean it should. Feminist Avengers are challenging rape culture at the Edinburgh Fringe and Free Fringe because we are sick of women being unbelieved and unheard.

      Maybe rape will be funny when taken seriously (maybe!!) when convictions increase or better still when men stop raping! But until that we object to women’s humiliation and violation – it’s just too serious!!

      To be a Feminist Avenger you need a sense of humour! We just don’t think rape jokes are funny, they make us angry!!!

    2. Mary

      Ok, DS. Tell you what. Come back an give us that nice analysis of how rape jokes are funny after you have experienced being on the receiving end of a rape. Until then, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

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  4. Peter Brown

    Marxism…the death of free speach on the one hand, whilst colliding with supporters of Julian Assange. Power to you sisters. Or put another way: how minority groups set the agenda for the majority.

  5. Paris Nicolaides (@OdysseusCA)

    Rape is a crime that is violent, a violation of person, and a destroyer of one’s soul. It’s never funny. The sending of a courgette, of disturbing length & girth, with a warning letter is not without its own sense of reciprocity & humour. Yet I am troubled by this course of action.

    A comedian telling “rape” jokes is tasteless, offensive in the extreme & to some a form of hate speech. But in the western world, with it’s respect of free speech & artistic licence, one does not have the right to not be offended. It is too high a price to pay when one considers the number of people who have died to win these hard fought for rights.

    The best way to deal with “rape humour” is via protest & public education such that people will no longer tolerate such humour in a manner analogous to racially motivated humour of the last century.

    1. Mary

      the note and courgette ARE protest and public education, and free speech never means that anyone gives up the right to be offended. Now… if they had actually USED the courgette on someone, that would be going too far.

  6. Really

    It’s not even a funny response, nor serious. “Go fuck yourself”? That’s the best you can come up with?

  7. TruthBtold

    I wish i could join the Feminist Avengers.I read the Guardian article and think its horrific that ppl make jokes about this.I am a feminist and there are way too many misogynists out there dragging their knuckles along the ground living in days so far back it would be laughable if it werent so serious.

  8. Clara Zetkin

    Hey TruthBtold anyone can be a Feminist Avenger – just take action against misogyny and sexism. Be anonymous, be safe and keep in legal (just so you don’t get in to trouble, women have enough troubles without “getting into” trouble).

    Take a picture, tell us what you have done and email avengerfeminist@gmail.com.

    Tweet to @avengerfeminist use the hashtag #feministavengers

    Power to the Feminist Avengers

    1. feministavenger Post author

      90% my favourite statistic!! I wouldn’t normally even allow such unfruitful “jokes” onto the page but did just show we live in a rape culture and its not just us moaning about it

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  12. Guls

    Hi Violentwinter, thanks for following – I’m always touched when my words strike a chord with folks. Coming upon this post during a random browse of your blog, I’d be interested to know what you think about this:


    I don’t like cruel or gloating comedy, either – and I abhor any violence perpetrated outside of self-defense – but I do think it’s a valid medium for raising awareness and educating the masses. What you say?


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