From Tracie: Louis C.K.'s SNL Monologue Compares Child Molestation To Eating Candy Bars

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Louis C.K.'s SNL Monologue Compares Child Molestation To Eating Candy Bars

I know something big happened on tv when I wake up to 58 emails that have Saturday Night Live and child molestation in the subject line. Louis C.K. hosted SNL last night, kicking the show off with a controversial monologue.

Louis C.K.'s monologue started with the observation that he grew up in the 1970's and that theme carried through each topic on which he touched. He continued with observations of how he has mild racism, progressed into comparing the Middle East to his fighting children, and ended with comments about child molesters and candy bars.....
"In the 70's there was a child molester who lived in my home town. And it wasn't a big deal, it wasn't like, 'We caught a child molester!' It was just like, 'Yeah, that's the house where the child molester lives. Hey kids, don't be stupid, or you will get molested. Just stay away from the child molester house. I know because he did something to me when I was your age, so just stay away from the child molester house.
We really did. We had a town child molester. His name was Jean Baptist. This is a true story. He liked teenaged boys. That was when you would find out, because, I was a teenaged boy. He didn't like me. I felt a little bad.
He would drive up next to teenaged boys and say, 'Hello would you like to go to McDonalds?'.....I had one friend who used to get in the car. He would be like, 'Sure, I'll go,' and he would get in the car. He would go to McDonalds and eat a burger, and then he'd say, 'See ya!' and just take off. And Jean Baptist was like 'Doh. I did not get to have sex with that child. Foiled again!' but he would always try. 'Maybe this time!'
Because child molesters are very tenacious people. They love molesting childs. It's like their favorite thing. I mean, it's so crazy, because when you consider the risk in being a child molester (speaking not of even the damage you are doing, but the risk), there is no worse life available to a human than being a caught child molester. And yet they still do it! Which from, you can only really surmise, that it must be really good. I mean, from their point of view. From their, not ours, but from their point of view. It must be amazing for them to risk so much. (How do you think I feel, this is my last show probably.) 
Because, look I can't key into it, because I love Mounds bars. I love Mounds bars, it's my favorite thing, right? But there's a limit. I mean, I can't even eat a Mounds bar and do something else at the same time. That's how much I love them. Like, if I'm eating a Mounds bar, I can't even read the paper. I just have to sit there with it in my mouth and go, 'Why is this so good? I love this so much,' because they are delicious. 
And yet, if someone said to me, 'If you eat another Mounds bar you will go to jail and everyone will hate you,' I would stop eating them. Because they do taste delicious, but they don't taste as good as a young boy does, and shouldn't, to a child molester. Not to me. Not to us, because we're all awesome."
There were some loud groans (prompting that aside about this probably being his last show), but many more loud laughs in response to this monologue. You can see the monologue in it's entirely here.

Louis C.K.'s monologue on SNL compared child molestation to eating candy bars.

Child Molestation Is NOT Funny

First, and most importantly, let me tell you this: Child molestation is not funny, just like rape is not funny. To remind you of how serious child molestation is, I encourage you to always replace the words "child molestation" with "sexual assault of a child" when you hear or read them. Do not let the less shocking term "molestation" lull you. There are no forms of sexual assault about which you should be making jokes.

What did Louis C.K. Say About Child Sexual Assault On SNL?

Now let's look closely at what exactly Louis C.K. said last night on SNL.
"Yeah, that's the house where the child molester lives. Hey kids, don't be stupid, or you will get molested."
If this was a representation of how things have changed since the 70's, well, they haven't. Not that much. I don't disagree that this victim blaming was rampant then - placing the onus on the child to stay away from the child molester, to not be "stupid" and get sexually assaulted. Not much has changed in 2015. And while we might make a bigger deal about people who sexually assault children now, while there may be stronger sentencing (not strong enough), restrictions on how close a child molester can live to a school, and registry lists, these things have not stopped 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys from being sexually assaulted before the age of 18.
"Just stay away from the child molester house."
If only it was this easy. The registry lists we have today provide many people with a false sense of security, creating much the same situation as Louis C.K. describes in his childhood. We can all easily look on the computer, and find exactly which houses contain a convicted child molester. And it is absolutely a parent's responsibility to keep their children away from those houses. But what we can't find on the registry list are the houses that contain a child molester who has not been convicted. And these houses, they are dangerous. They are prevalent. And they are visited by children every day.

This advice to stay away from "the child molester house" is great - unless that is your home. Your grandparents home. The home where your parents take you for family gatherings. The home of your babysitter. The home of your mom's best friend. The home of your scout leader. The home of the respected neighborhood doctor or lawyer. Not all child molesters are creepy guys riding around in a car trying to lure kids to McDonalds. In fact, that is the profile of very few child molesters in the 1970's or in 2015. Most people who sexually assault children are in a place of trust or power in a child's life. They are, at the least, usually someone the child knows. They very well could be neighbors, but often are the neighbors from whom no adults suspect nefarious behavior.

Kids aren't stupid. They do not want to be sexually assaulted. And in the real world, when it isn't a joke line designed to show how "even the child molester didn't find poor Louis sexually attractive when he was a teenager - poor teen Louis just couldn't catch a break, would he EVER get laid?" there are no children who are hoping someone will sexually asault them. There are children whose reality is being sexually assaulted every day, often by the very people who should be protecting them.

As for the kid who foiled the child molester, time and time again? That story just serves to further the mindset that children are responsible for the behavior of predators. Louis' friend was able to get all those free Big Macs without being molested. He probably even got a side of fries and a milkshake. Those other kids just weren't as smart at playing the game. Stupid molested kids. They were basically asking for it.

Molesting A Child Isn't Comparable To Eating A Candy Bar

Let's move on to the Mounds bar comparison. I've listened to the monologue several times, and I still don't have a clear understanding of what I am supposed to take away from this section. Should I feel sorry for these child molesters who are so very addicted to young boys that they just can't stop sexually assaulting them? Should I now understand a child molester's drive to continue sexually assaulting children? Should I step back and wonder how something that just feels so good could really be wrong? 

If Louis C.K. wants to approach child sexual assault as an addition, he will get no amens from me. While, yes, addiction can have far reaching consequences, and other people may be hurt by the addict and his actions, sexual assault is a crime that always hurts another human being. Period. There is no true comparison that can be made between addicts and child molesters.

I have no minutes of my life that are worth wasting on wondering how amazing the experience of raping a child must be, so I can finally understand why child molesters commit their crimes.

The same is true for rapists who sexually assault adults. Or serial killers who take great joy in not only murdering their victims, but also enjoy keeping their bodies close, or even eating them. Maybe dead humans taste really great like a Mounds bar. Hey, Louis C.K., shall we have a conversation about the taste of dead human flesh? Maybe we can help everyone understand it a little better, so we can further normalize murder and cannibalism the way society and the prevalent rape culture continually strive to normalize rape and child sexual assault and abuse?

Child Molesters Are Tenacious And Manipulative

Louis C.K. was right about one thing: child molesters are tenacious. Most child molesters groom their victims, often working slowly over a period of months or even years to set up the situation perfectly. They thrive on making children feel like it is their fault, and teaching the child that the child will be in trouble if anyone finds out what happened. When a child believes the molestation, the abuse, the sexual assault, is their fault, they will not tell anyone it is happening. 

THIS is why it matters that his monologue played up the idea that only stupid children get molested with the narrative children should just stay away from the child molester house unless they are smart enough to beat him at this own game and get a free burger.

The only thing he accomplished with this monologue is spreading the same, tired, rape apology, and reminding child sexual assault survivors that they deserved the abuse and rape because they were just too stupid to avoid it.

One last thing. Louis C.K. said,
"they [Mounds Bars] don't taste as good as a young boy does, and shouldn't, to a child molester. Not to me. Not to us, because we're all awesome."
Are we all awesome? The entire SNL audience? No. We are not, Louis C.K.

When you make jokes, rationalizations, and otherwise irresponsible comments about child molestation, or any form of sexual assault, you are not speaking to audiences who are all awesome. There are child molesters and rapists listening to your words. And even as you say young boys shouldn't taste good, you are being dismissive about what child molestation really is. Being a child molester is much worse than just not being awesome.

In this monologue, Louis C.K. set aside the very real damage to the victims and survivors of sexual assault. When you normalize child sexual assault and the predators who commit these crimes, you reinforce the believes of rapists that there is normalcy in their actions. Nothing about this monologue challenged rapists, child molesters, or rape culture. It was not a smart commentary on a difficult subject. It was just another joke about rape that wasn't funny.

Remember that this monologue was prepared in advance. Louis C.K. had time to think about what he was going to say, and most likely said it in front of other people during rehearsals. Since he specifically spoke about the rape of young boys in this SNL monologue, we can set aside the (incorrect) common belief that rape is just a women's issue. Unlike what Louis C.K. said in the wake of the Daniel Tosh rape joke situation, calling out inappropriate jokes about sexual assault (about the rape of an adult or a child) is not just women saying "This is how I feel and my feelings should be everyone's primary concern." And the conversation we have about his monologue does not have to place men and women on different sides, because jokes about sexual assault are everyone's concern. They send a seriously dangerous message out to the world, harming both women and men, boys and girls.

Rape is not funny. The end.

1 comment:

  1. What the hell, I don't know what to say who would think rape is funny, I can't get my head around that

    ReplyDelete