Her poem has seemingly gone viral across the Internet. If you haven’t read it, check it out here.
She also put out a list of some of the feedback she received; such things as:
- “Destroyed cherry” would have been funnier. Good writing though.
- oh, get over yourself, you attention whore. he was your boyfriend. you were drunk. he was drunk. that aint rape. you’re not a survivor, you’re not important and no one feels bad for you. you’re the rape joke.
There’s a lot of angles to this poem to address. First, let’s start with the most basic one. In her follow-up post with the criticisms she received, Lockwood highlights one criticism that suggests her “Rape Joke” poem is in fact, not a poem. I humbly disagree. There are different formats for poems, different styles and whatnot, sure, but beyond those specific formats, there is no set way to write, format or otherwise stylize a poem. And that is what’s great about poetry and what really makes it “sing.”
Then there’s the obvious question about comedians and the rape joke. In other words, is it acceptable for a comedian to do a joke about rape? I normally err on the side of “freedom of speech” and I still would. However, that doesn’t mean I would seek to offend people; I think such jokes are for a specific audience. I’m just someone that appreciates dark, very dark humor because I often think the best way to address very taboo, difficult subjects is with dark humor. For a more insightful take on the use of the rape joke from an actual comedian, I’d highly recommend Patton Oswalt’s extensive blog post about it here.
Overall, I think it’s an effective, important and nuanced poem about a little-discussed subject — that is, from the perspective of a victim.