You already know how adorable we think John Oliver is, and how capable he is at bringing humor to the darkest of situations — but, it’s still surprising when he makes us laugh while addressing violence against women. Case in point, as he brings up the subject of the horrifying online threats that have been (and continue to be) made: “I’m talking about the kind of direct threats that can make people fear for their safety. And if you’re thinking ‘Well, come on, that doesn’t seem like that big a problem,’ well, congratulations on your white penis.”
When Oliver starts getting into the nitty gritty and puts up a visual of a couple Twitter threats received by a female writer, and video of a teacher discussing her suicide attempt after an ex-boyfriend posted “revenge porn” photos of her, there’s no escaping just how serious things really are.
“This situation is insane.”
As Oliver points out, instead of handling the problem and/or the offenders, the accepted national fallback (helpfully perpetuated by the media) is, as always, victim blaming. Don’t take pictures, don’t dress that way, don’t wear *insert clothing item here* to school, don’t walk alone, don’t “have a thought in your mind and vocalize it online,” don’t…well, basically, don’t think that if you’re a woman you can live the life you want. Live your life according to how a would-be attacker might view you.
On the plus side, Google did make an announcement this past Friday, that upon request, it would remove nude or sexually explicit photos shared without consent from their search results.
That there’s no federal law against revenge porn is not only insane, it’s unacceptable. The same goes for police not knowing how to deal with women reporting online threats of violence. The last thing we need in this world is another weapon to aim at each other, but as Oliver pointed out, that’s just what it’s become.
All I can say is, thank god for spider-hands.