Comedian and actress Sarah Silverman is well-known for her satirical comedy skits that address controversial topics and social taboos, so it was no surprise when she re-tweeted a list of rape prevention tips aimed towards men.
The outspoken Emmy-winner tweeted the tongue-in-cheek list, based on a blog post in 2011, out to all of her followers with the caption, “send to all the men in ur life.” After appearing on Silverman’s official Twitter page, the infamous tips received a huge amount of praise from everyone…well, most. The list, which features a common double standard in the way we talk about rape prevention, targets potential rape perpetrators. It suggests tips such as, “If you pull over to help a woman whose car has broken down, don’t rape her,” and, “When you encounter a woman who is asleep, the safest course of action is to not rape her.” And my personal favorite, “Carry a rape whistle. If you find that you are about to rape someone, blow the whistle until someone comes to stop you.”
Since some men (and women) found these tips and Silverman’s comments offensive, it was obvious that a massive controversial Twitter debate would occur.
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) March 21, 2015
— Paul Jukes (@StumpsMonkey) March 21, 2015
— Mac (@Berkshire_Bok) March 21, 2015
Yes, of course, not all men rape women or would even think about doing so, but it seems that most of the people who are offended are missing the point. Rape is a serious matter and awfully common now. The message the list is conveying is that society often directs rape prevention tactics on the victims, and not toward the men who are committing the crime. In other words, the underlined PSA that Silverman tweeted is that rape is a choice- one that the perpetrator makes.