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The Raping of Johnny Depp (and 7 More Bad Analogies)

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Slade Sohmer


By Slade Sohmer on October 5, 2011


That’s it, Johnny Depp is the last straw. We officially need a moratorium on bad rape analogies.

Depp’s no fan of photo shoots, and in the latest issue of Vanity Fair, the 21 Jump Street star thought he’d liken someone taking pictures of you to being sexually assaulted: “Well, you just feel like you’re being raped somehow. Raped … It feels like a kind of weird – just weird.” Um, sure.

But good on Depp, who quickly realized his error, and after catching a deserved earful from Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, he apologized: “I am truly sorry for offending anyone in any way. I never meant to. It was a poor choice of words on my part in an effort to explain a feeling. I understand there is no comparison and I am very regretful. In an effort to correct my lack of judgment, please accept my heartfelt apology.”

Depp’s not alone in his use of the word to describe an utterly trivial action or event by comparison. Here’s a list of seven people who should know by now that alleging “rape” over something otherwise meaningless diminishes the actual crime and actual victims of actual rape.

1. Former St. John’s basketball coach Mike Jarvis: The ol’ Red Storm coach didn’t take too kindly to the NCAA’s declaring his star player Erick Barkley ineligible in 2000. During a press conference that followed, Jarvis said, “I hope that none of you feel the way I have the last two days, as if someone had come into my house and raped me.” Yes, because a player receiving punishment for illegally taking extra benefits and special treatment is very much akin to what a woman goes through when she’s raped.

2. Actress Kristen Stewart: The Twilight star made similar comments to Depp’s in 2010, but her spin was a little different. She told a British magazine that seeing photographs of herself taken by paparazzi was just like seeing images of rape: “It’s so… The photos are so… I feel like I’m looking at someone being raped,” she told Elle. She quickly pulled a GOB Bluth-ian “I’ve made a huge mistake.”

3. Metro-North rider Hermon Raju: Remember the “well-educated girl” from the train to Connecticut who exploded on the conductor and made a villainous name for herself on the web? When contacting PR firms for help afterward, she wrote, “I can honestly say I feel raped by the Internet.” Sure, she may have been traumatized by the experience. The Internet can be a harsh mistress. But if it’s sympathy and reputation reparation Raju was after, putting herself on par with victims of sexual assault is the worst possible way to characterize an episode that everyone had already forgotten about.

4. WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian: In an otherwise unintentionally hilarious op-ed on his far-right, birther-infested website, Kupelian dropped this unfortunate bomb: “The spectacle of a far leftist president literally forcing socialized medicine down the throat of an unwilling center-right America is reminiscent, perhaps more than any other contemporary metaphor, of date rape.” It’s amazing, WND hates the president because he’s a black Chicago thug, yet when it comes to health-care reform, he’s just another privileged frat boy with a handful of GHB.

5. Texas politician Clayton Williams: This isn’t a personal rape analogy — it’s just a stunningly horrible rape analogy in general. While running for governor of Texas in 1990, Williams compared rape to the weather, saying “if it’s inevitable,” women should “just relax and enjoy it.” His wife, by the way, a woman named Modesta, laughed it off as one big joke. He lost the race.

But, wait, there’s more. Click on Page 2 below for Obama raping the Statue of Liberty, Megyn Kelly’s illegal immigration analogy and Dane Cook as voice of reason(?!)…

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