Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tickling is not synonymous with rape.

What is Rape Culture?
Rape culture is diminishing the gravity of any sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, or culture of actual or potential coercion in any way.

Rape culture is using the word "rape" to describe something that has been done to you other than a forced or coerced sex act. Rape culture is saying things like "That ATM raped me with a huge fee" or "The IRS raped me on my taxes."
 Tickling can be unwanted physical sexual contact. Tickling can be used to manipulate and abuse someone. Tickling can be part of sexual assault and rape. Tickling without consent is pretty horrible. But when you think of tickling, do you really think of assault and abuse and rape? Do you really think of someone trying desperately to get away, begging for mercy, unable to breathe? Do you really think of someone feeling used, abused, ashamed, in pain afterward? Most people do not honestly link "tickling" with "rape" unless tickling has been used against them.

So why compare the two?

Because  Rape Culture depends in part on down playing the severity of rape.

Rape! It's just like having to pay an ATM fee!

Rape! It's just like losing a video game!

Rape! It's just like paying taxes!

Rape! It's just like playful physical interaction between two consenting persons!

Tickling is often flirtatious, a way of expressing physical attraction and expressing a desire for physical contact. Tickling can lead to further physical touching, including consensual sex. So if tickling is just like rape (only you're  laughing!!!!) then rape is just sex, right? It's no big deal! Women, they sure do complain a lot!

This is Rape Culture, and we are soaking in it.


  1. Actually, I've been raped and it can be like being tickled without your consent, because I've also had that happen where I was crying and screaming to get away and the person tickling me wouldn't stop and they were holding me down.

    There was also one instance where I was given hallucinogens and several people were encouraged to touch/tickle me all over while I curled into a ball and screamed as they were laughing at me. So yeah, forced tickling can be a lot like rape in the right circumstances.

  2. You have written an appalling article. Rape is an act where a person's body is touched non-consensually and against their will as they are saying stop. As a person is being raped, they often feel sexual pleasure. This doesn't mean that they are enjoying it. It's an involuntary response. Tickling is another act where a person's body could be touched non-consensually as they are screaming no and begging the abuser to stop. People and children are often held down against their will and tickled. The 'laughter' during tickling occurs involuntary. You claim that comparing rape to another act of bodily violation undermines rape, however what you have done is undermine the crime of forced tickling which while is not as well known, can traumatise people.