I frequently use writing prompts in my teaching and coaching. In fact, when the pandemic lockdown began in the Northeast, I had a regular weekly group and later developed a course under the umbrella of Prompted Expression. In the spirit of sparking my own creativity and getting ideas for my students and clients, I’ve decided to write from a prompt for seven consecutive days and share the results. The prompts are from a deck of cards called Actually Curious.

Writing Prompt Four: Is there anything too serious to be joked about?

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I have over 30 first cousins. While I’m not close to all of them, I have great affection for each one.

A few years ago, a cousin I’ve shared many laughs with over the years made a rape joke in a comment on one of my Facebook posts about something that was happening in the news. He made reference to a woman who he said was too ugly to be raped. I deleted the comment and unfriended him immediately.

It made me sad to do it, but because he’d said it publicly I would have been in a position to either defend or condemn him when the Facebook locusts swarmed. As well they should have. The comment was reprehensible.

I love dark humor, sometimes bordering on twisted. I laughed at a Halloween costume photo that went viral a few years ago that was a guy dressed as Bill Cosby with a cocktail and a dummy dressed as a passed-out woman attached to his back. I saw it as clever, as a statement.

Maybe that’s my line — mock the rapist, not the victim. Perhaps that’s still too cruel a line and I should rethink my standards.

Since #MeToo even my ability to watch certain things has changed. I recently turned off a movie just minutes into it because I felt uncomfortable with the consent dynamic in the first scene. And that wasn’t even supposed to be humorous.

Rape is serious. We’ve passed the point where there should be any question about it.

Next up … read Day Five (of Seven).

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Columnist, Blogger, Author, Coach in the Greater NYC area. Six-word bio: Zen chick with a Jersey edge. Favorite topics: gender, politics, race, meaning of life.

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