For reasons that the fantastic Sady over at Tiger Beatdown has enumerated, movies like The Hangover bother me.
Now, I hate Forgetting Sarah Marshall and every Quentin Tarantino film as much as the next manhating humorless feminazi, but I believe that The Hangover is a special kind of awful, and here’s why: The Hangover doesn’t just contribute another small niblet of turd to the enormous pile of shit that is rape culture with its celebration of men’s narcissism, disregard for the basic humanity of women, slut-shaming, and joyful exaltation of the dudebro bond above any relationship with icky girls. No, The Hangover goes above and beyond. It includes a superfun cameo by an actual rapist.
I know. Hilarious, right? I especially like the part where they say Mike Tyson is “kind of a sweetheart.” It’s funny, because it’s true!
Unfortunately, it isn’t just the douchebagedy that is celebrating Tyson these days. The new documentary about him barely mentions his rape conviction. It is just… not that important, I suppose.
The other night, I was watching one of those Access Hollywoody type shows (I realize that your opinion of me is now 50% lower, but I’m telling you this embarrassing information for the sake of feminism). The perky blond lady who has no thoughts was talking about how Tyson is healing from the death of his daughter, and how sad it is that his daughter died now, when he is making such a comeback.
I am very sorry that Mike Tyson lost his daughter. I can’t imagine his pain.
But… what the fuck? This man is a convicted rapist. He tortured another human being, for god’s sake. What kind of culture do we live in when someone who we know has hurt another person in such a way can be held up as some sort of jovial, sympathetic hero?
I believe in restorative justice, and I don’t think that we should punish punish punish rapists out of a desire for vengeance. However, we also should never forget what they did. Mike Tyson is a very, very dangerous man. He is not cute and cuddly. He is a person women should avoid at all costs.
I am consistently amazed by the degree to which this is not the case, but rape is something that we, as a culture, should recognize as one of the very worst things a person can do. And we should express that by making it very, very clear that rapists have forfeited certain things. For example, their career in show business. And their status as heroes.
- Is she lying about rape? Just check out her pay stub. by Jill October 16, 2007
- Profile of a College Rapist by Jill March 5, 2010
- And you thought the Mike Tyson news couldn’t get any worse by zuzu October 17, 2006
- Charlotte Allen Missed the Memo by Guest Blogger November 1, 2011
- Rape Just Ain’t What It Used To Be by Jill February 14, 2008