Thought Catalog
August 2, 2013

Wape Jokes Awen’t Funny, And Neither Is My Speech Impediment

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What is the issue?

Okay. Hewe it is, another bwog about wape jokes. I know what you’re thinking. How could I possibwy add anything to the diawog at this point? Well, stick with me. We’ve heard a wot of voices suwounding this issue – comedians, feminists, feminist comedians, bwoggers, pundits, cewebwities. But there’s one voice we haven’t heard yet – mine.I was inspired to wite this after seeing how bwave Patton Oswalt was wast week when he admitted he was wong about wape jokes. Things finally seemed wike they were tunning awound. Then, suddenwy, Woseanne Baw decided to pen a piece on why comedians SHOULD tell wape jokes. Ugh, Woseanne! At weast it was just a bwog and not a speech we had to hear filtered through that unbeawable midwestern accent.

I’ll admit it – I have never been to a comedy show. Pubwic speaking tewifies me, and even watching someone speak pubwicwy is a huge twigger for me. Ideawy, people would onwy communicate in witten format and aw pubwic speaking would be seen as awchaic and backward – but wet’s put one foot in fwont of the other and fix the wanguage first. Wet’s get wid of wape jokes.

The pwoblem is that wape jokes are evewywhere. Sometimes, even one of my fwiends will cwack a wape joke and I’ll have to bite my tongue – which weminds me to mind my uvular fwap and helps with pwonouncing words with the wetter r in them. It’s hard enough to speak out against wape culture, and even harder when you have to pretend wike you’re eating peanut butter whenever you wemind people that wape is a weal thing that happens to weal women.

But more important than the fact that women get waped, is the fact that wape is so hard to talk about. It’s not that you can’t say wape – it’s that I can’t, and neither can a warge portion of the popuwation that never wearned specific phonemes. I mean, weawy? You’re going to sit there and cwack jokes and I have to just sit quietwy and wait until we’re tawking about mexicans or jews?

Comedians want to compwain as if they’re being censored. Pwease, no one is censowing you. You have the wight to say whatever you want, and we have the wight to call you an asshowe when you do. You’re just not fwee fwom cwiticism. You need to understand that fweedom of speech comes with wesponsibility, and that for some of us, fweedom of speech is awmost a technical impossibiwity.

It’s just wike white people compwaining about not being able to say the n-word. Whoa. Check your priviwege. You can say the n-word whenever you want. In fact, you pwobabwy do. But you don’t take into considewation how that makes certain people feel. Certain people wike me – who are compwetewy incapable of saying the n-word with a hard r. What if some bwack guy pisses me off and I want to hurt his feewings? He’s just going to think I’m hip or one of his ‘dogs’ or something. I don’t want that. I want him to know what I think about his wace.

In this day and age we all need to be more mindful of the words coming out of our mouths. You don’t know what people can say – and you don’t know what people can hear. So for good measure, I’m asking all of you: Shh, be vewy vewy quiet. TC mark

This post originally appeared at THOUGHT BROCHURE.

image – [Duncan]