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Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Rape" and metaphorical language

Christine Leigh Langtree's answer to Offensiveness: Is it now socially OK for a boy to write a joke about rape on a girl's Facebook wall? - Quora

(the question was on whether posting "WALL RAPE!!" on someone's wall is acceptable)

"I don't like the emerging alternative meaning of 'rape' and I told my 21 year old daughter that several times when she informed me she was going to rape some thing or another - one time, it was a Big Mac - she meant she was very very hungry.

She asked me if I was REALLY going to 'kill' the dog next door if it didn't stop barking.

Every generation must find words that offend in order to rebel. What are they to do when their parents use the words f*** and c*** as a matter of course?

The wall post in question is not a threat of physical violence.

How do we feel about using the common expression as a joke: I might as well just kill myself? I've had a close family member commit suicide and for a while, I found it extremely offensive - but I never thought the world should change for me. Offence is taken not given.

For the record, I am a rape survivor ."

This reminds me of an instance in Secondary School where I commented on possible sexual connotations of "fuck you".

I was told that there was a difference between "fuck you" and "I want to fuck you".

Another answer:

"Rape, as defined by Encarta...

3. violent destructive treatment: the violent, destructive, or abusive treatment of something "the rape of a beautiful stretch of countryside"...

Definition 3, however, has a more 'casual' less severe, definition. I hear it used by both men and women on daily basis. This definition has been used in literature for a long time to refer to things being corrupted or destroyed. This is definitely the least common of the definitions (barring 4), and some people may not be aware of its prevalence within certain circles. It is extremely common in gaming (video games) crowds and even fairly common in today's secondary and post secondary education crowds. Eg: "I am going to rape that English exam." Usually appropriate. "I am going to rape my English professor." Inappropriate. "I am going to rape my English professor on Call of Duty." Creepy, but fundamentally appropriate.

Definition 3 is a form of English evolving...

Rape, murder, and idiot have evolved to mean different things in different contexts. If I say, "My roommate is an idiot, I am going to kill him," because he let flatware go down the garbage disposal, I am not implying any threat and I know he is not a true idiot. It is a figure of speech. This is the direction rape is heading...

The casual use of words like rape and murder may bother some of the older crowd, but so did beads, weed, and hip-hop music. This is just an example of the status quo changing."

My answer:

"It is definitely socially unacceptable.

To "wall rape" someone is to "completely and utterly dominate a Facebook wall with numerous posts".

From the information provided in the question, the boy in question only wrote one post, in capital letters though it was. He thus doesn't fit the definition of "wall rape" and has abused the term, and is thus subject to social opprobium.

I used to write on the walls of people new to Facebook: "No more wall virginity!". This was before Timeline, before status updates and before mini-feeds, when walls were purely for friends to write on (yes, kids, I'm oldddddddddddd). This was not a sexual come-on or threat to take their maidenheads (assuming they were still virgins)."
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