Flipping the script on rape jokes

Amber Rollo and other feminist comedians are reimagining how we talk about sexual assault.

Amber Rollo is a comedian and a sexual assault survivor

Now she aims to empower survivors by flipping the narrative on rape jokes and addressing trauma with humor. Rollo was one of the women who confronted Harvey Weinstein at a comedy show in NYC in October 2019. The comedian recounted the angering moments leading up to a tension-filled encounter with Harvey Weinstein at a New York City bar in a tweet thread, shaming the venue for hosting him and some in attendance who she says were clearly supportive of the disgraced Hollywood executive. Amber Rollo’s thread began with a sexual assault trigger warning and explained why she was outraged by seeing Weinstein, who is accused of sexually assaulting dozens of actresses, at an event for actors.

Reclaiming the term through comedy

“I think the message that survivors have been getting so far is to shut up, to be quiet about it, to not talk about it. "It's not polite" to "you're gonna ruin someone's career." But what about their own career, and their own life, and their own experiences? I do think that making these jokes is combating the shame that society is putting on survivors. It's not us who should feel ashamed. It is the predators who should feel ashamed about their behavior. We have all this tension all the time and laughter is an amazing release of that tension. It feels very similar to crying, but we are allowed to do it in public all the time and with people we barely know. And that's kind of an amazing way of building people and connecting a community,” Amber Rollo tells Brut.

For the people who maybe don't identify as a survivor

The #MeToo movement brought new conversations about sexual assault, yet Every 73 seconds, a person is sexually assaulted in the U.S. while 3 out of 4 go unreported to the police according to RAINN. Out of 1000 assaults, 995 perpetrators will walk free.