It’s not a joke.


ByteDance on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, sought relief from the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., in a bid to block a move by the Trump administration that would force the Beijing-based company to sell its popular video sharing app TikTok. (Dreamstime/TNS

Emily Prince, Design Editor

   A couple weeks ago a trend arose on TikTok marking April 24 as “national rape day”  and spreading the news via TikTok videos. It is excused as a “joke” and not meant to be taken seriously. But just over a month ago, the study featuring 97% of women took the media by storm and reminded people, especially females, how often and normalized sexual harassment has become. You cannot excuse rape as a joke when it is a very real thing both women and men deal with; labeling a sigular day only makes the problem worse. It is insensitive for anyone who has ever had to deal with the trauma and emotional distress, and labeling it as a joke is the dumbest excuse I have ever come across. Jokes are supposed to be funny. Who laughed?  The trend originates from a group of six men who recently created a TikTok video in which they encouraged others to commit sexual assaults on April 24. And to top it off, a source claimed that on April 24, 2021, it’s legal to sexually assault anybody and they even provided tips on how to do so. The NSVRC spokesperson explains how even just videos circling around the Internet can negatively impact survivors of sexual assult/rape.  

   “Just because disrespectful, dehumanizing or threatening comments take place behind a screen, it doesn’t make their impact on the victim any less real,” he said. 

   Friends of mine have already expressed their concerns of going out this Saturday because of a joke that has been taken too far. It is a human right to not have to walk around in a constant state of fear; I would personally like to stop walking around with pepper spray in my hands and a key in between my fingers.