Dear Kidd Kraddick: A Joke Is When You Say Something, And People Besides The Sociopaths Laugh
Note: Jokes about sexual assault are unfortunately common. ⅓ of women will be raped in their lifetime. This means that every single time an entertainer chooses to joke about sexual assault, they do so knowing that many in their audience will have suffered from this sort of crime. Normally when I hear them I say something, and move on. Unfortunately for Mr. Kraddick my son idolizes him, which means that when he makes rape jokes I feel a moral obligation to make a public statement about it. Statistics show that at least ⅓ of women will be raped in their lifetimes. Many of these women will be raped multiple times. Kidd Kraddick’s comments on rape were a perpetuation of rape culture. Rape culture tells us it is the victim’s fault. Rape culture says, “lie back and enjoy it”. Rape culture says, “you were raped because you were a slut.” Rape culture says, “rape is flattery.” Rape culture says, “women who are raped are lying and only regret having a wild night.” These are all misconceptions Mr. Kraddick could have educated the public about. Instead, he chose to repeat the horrendous lie that the victims of a violent crime are lying and not deserving of compassion.
Kidd Kraddick recently had a conversation on his show about “a new epidemic” that was sweeping the nation. The “women-who-say-they’ve-been-roofied” epidemic. He went on to say that women who claim to be roofied are just trying to cover up a “wild night” they regret.
I have left several comments on Mr. Kraddick’s page, from the polite to the extreme. In all of those comments, I have asked him for an apology. My comments have been deleted, and the cries for an apology (from me and numerous others) have gone ignored. I have been banned from leaving comments on Mr. Kraddick’s page. It appears that Mr. Kraddick can joke about rape all day long, but the moment someone calls him out on it he shows his cowardice. It also appears that Mr. Kraddick doesn’t understand the concept of freedom of speech -- that is, he can say any stupid thing he wants to and that is his right. Just as it is my right to speak out against it. In short, if he cannot take it then he should not dish it out. Anybody who works with the women’s movement can tell you - there are two types of people one should avoid making angry. Rape survivors, and mothers. I am both, and I am angry. Here is my response:
Dear Kidd Kraddick,
Your recent comments making light of women who are drugged and then raped has caused quite a stir. I commented on your page, a comment which you have regrettably taken down. In that comment, I questioned your mother’s parenting skills and assured you that I am a better parent than that to my boy and I will do whatever I can to make sure he never makes light of rape, and never rapes.
Apparently I hit a nerve. Your mother is dead. I had no idea. You are still grieving her death. I assume this is the case given the hate mail I received from one of your fans (employees?) They sent it to my work email. They signed it “Your mom” and put their email address as “email@example.com”. They also told me I should be “ashamed” of the venom I am spewing. Forgive me, but anyone who would admit to being a d-bag (Hey, it’s THEIR email address, right?) and who signs letters sent to my work emails as Anonymous that are designed to intimidate and harass really does not have much of a point to make.
What an interesting juxtaposition this is, Mr. Kraddick! You went on the air and made disgusting, misogynist statements that hit a raw nerve with women and men all over the country. You insulted numerous people’s mothers when you implied that rape victims are lying. You made venomous, hateful, thoughtless, cruel statements about a situation you know NOTHING about. You made light of a crime that is grossly underreported in this country and implied that the women who say they are roofied are lying. I understand you didn’t actually say the word, “rape”, however the implication is clear: Women who say they were raped are liars.
I went on your page and questioned your mother’s parenting skills. It was a question that I can assure you was nothing more than hyperbole. However, given your reaction, this does make an interesting situation for you to be in. You made callous statements that hurt a lot of people. One of those people (me) made a statement which you viewed as callous.
It appears that you are dishing out that which you cannot take. Because if, in fact, using your mother as an example of just how ashamed of yourself you should be is the worst thing anyone could possibly say to you, then I only have one response -- Touche!
The beauty of it is this: You really have no power over me. You really can’t upset me. You can make me angry, but you cannot make me question my own experience, nor can you hurt me. You didn’t say anything on your show I haven’t heard numerous other people say both to me personally about my rape, and that every other rape survivor hasn’t heard. In fact, I’ve never heard of a woman being raped and NOT being questioned about it and called names. Part of being a rape survivor instead of a rape victim is coming to a point where one can hear these things and be angry, speak out, but not take it personally enough to be re-traumatized over it.
I’ve noticed something interesting about misogynists like you, Mr. Kraddick. Most of you seem to suffer from Madonna/Whore syndrome. You cannot STAND to see your sainted mothers criticized, yet you act as if every other woman is a lying whore.
But here is the thing, Mr. Kraddick: Me asking about your mother’s parenting skills was not a pot shot. I can only assume if you are joking about rape, that she never educated you. Perhaps this is because she lived in a time when people blamed women (well they still do, but we survivors are louder about it now.) Who knows? Maybe your own mother was raped. You probably wouldn’t know. She may have never told you. A lot of women carry that shame in secret, mostly because of people like you who imply they are lying. They know they will never get justice, so they try to cover it up and move on as quickly as possible.
This really did give me pause, Mr. Kraddick. After all, I am a women’s rights activist. My son knows this. My son does not know about the two rapists I reported to two different police departments. He doesn’t know because charges weren’t pressed. He doesn’t know because the assumption is always that the woman is lying.
I never mentioned it to him because it is entirely too painful a subject for me -- up til now, I wanted to shield him from the fact that his mother went through the pain and recovery from rape. I wanted him to never know how I was victimized and ultimately survived.
Thanks to you Mr. Kraddick, I realize this is a great disservice to my son (who by the way is a great fan of yours, and listens to your show).
There is no need to give him gory details of my experience. There really is no need to tell him of it at all, except to say that your comments are something I take personally and find morally repugnant, and then use your words as a starting point for a conversation having to do with respect, compassion, and empathy for others.
Your implication that rape victims are lying when statistics prove otherwise is nothing short of astonishing. Someone on your page asked the question: if women will lie about being pregnant or having cancer, why wouldn’t they lie about being raped?
Well, of course some people will lie about anything. However, there is a huge difference in these situations. Women who lie about being pregnant or having cancer are generally found out eventually, but not at first because NOBODY ASSUMES THEY ARE LYING.
When a woman is raped, EVERYBODY assumes she is lying. Or at least, a large enough majority that when I went through reporting two rapists I lost friends both times because “he seems like such a nice guy” and “maybe you gave him the wrong idea?” Oh but my favorite is “you just got drunk, had a one night stand, and regretted it.”
Regretting a one-night stand does not lead to years of recovery, PTSD, and therapy, Mr. Kraddick. It certainly doesn’t lead to open letters like this, calling you out on your hypocrisy.
Also, I found your anger at women for suspecting men to be rapists rather out of touch with reality. After all, shouldn’t the rapists be the ones making you angry? If you and other men are in fact such “nice”, normal guys, who would never ever hurt a woman or rape her, then shouldn’t the fact that rape is so prevalent in this country that women are automatically suspicious make you absolutely livid? Shouldn’t you, instead of making yourself and other “nice guys” out to be the victims, actually do something to educate people about rape, and try to stop it, rather than being angry at women for being cautious?
Talk about male privilege!
Aside: You have a daughter in college, correct? This is what I understand from your webpage. Now...if your daughter was drugged and raped (which happens to at least ¼ of college aged women, though many people believe the number is much higher due to underreporting), would you find your jokes about roofies funny then? Or would it be a different matter. “MY daughter would never lie about that. How dare anyone accuse her of making it up!” Would you be offended if your daughter reported a rape and nothing was done to the perpetrator? Would you be angry if people accused her of lying? I can assure you that if GOD FORBID this ever happens to her, this is exactly what you are going to deal with.
It is called “rape culture” Mr. Kraddick, and you have just contributed to it.
I did a google search on your mother. I couldn’t find any information about her. I was specifically looking for the cause and date of her death, so I could get a good idea of how fresh this wound is for you.
Because I can’t find any information about her, I am going to assume that you are still grieving her death something fierce. I am going to also assume that you loved her and are not, in fact, a sociopath, but instead woefully undereducated.
I am also going to give you the benefit of the doubt and hope that the harassing, cowardly email I received was not from you or one of your employees, but instead a deranged fan.
I am in short, giving you the benefit of the doubt that you do not see fit to extend to victims of sexual assault, in the hopes that you will be able to take something from all of this.
I was not attacking your mother, Mr. Kraddick. As I stated before, I was using hyperbole. If you do not want people to question your mother’s parenting skills, I suggest you adjust your actions to reflect upon her better.
For that matter, if your mother truly raised you right, then she raised you to know that when you make a hateful, ignorant statement about millions of women, there is only one thing to do: apologize. Prove to me that your mother raised you right, Mr. Kraddick. If you don’t issue an apology, I am going to assume that your mother did not parent you correctly. I really won’t have any other choice. You see, my words were hyperbole, but your actions speak for themselves.
Now that I have given you a stern lecture, I would like to issue you an apology: Because I have chosen to give you the benefit of the doubt, I will say this. I would never willfully attack the character of a woman I don’t know anything about.
If you are in fact grieving the death of your mother still, and this upset you as much as it obviously has, I truly apologize. As I said, it was hyperbole, however I can understand that if you are grieving her death then it struck you in your heart of hearts, and it probably brought up a lot of pain for you, pain that you didn’t expect from a stranger, criticism that you didn’t dream of hearing about something you know about so intimately, and I am completely unaware of.
Do you not see the parallel, Mr. Kraddick?
I am a big enough person to publicly apologize for any insult you felt.
Are you a big enough person to do the same?
For more information about rape culture, please read http://www.shakesville.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html