Zip it Shut

A reader has asked that I post this video. She is looking for feedback. I am posting it without a preface.

Please comment with your first reaction, and any thoughts you have about it. She is looking for honesty and opinions. Thanks so much.

Here is the link to her website:

http://zipitshut.org/

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69 Responses to Zip it Shut

  1. Alethea says:

    I have realized after reading recent comments, that joking about incest is like joking about child murder. Do not do it.

  2. Lula says:

    I totally disagree with you drarlenedrake@gmail.com. Laura may have the intent of shaming individuals and society into improvement BUT SHE has forgotten the most important people. THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ABUSED. A person who has not been sexually abused will not understand why the video is not funny to a survivor of incest. Laura needs to joke about something SHE HAS ENDURED that has crucified or killed her soul and still left her breathing and gasping for air!
    Laura needs to joke about something that has raped her soul; Soul rape is the feeling you get when you see, experience, read or hear something that causes you to die a little inside and/or lose more of what little innocense you have left.
    Soul rape is the act of forcing someone to be witness to an event that causes their soul to rot and go into a downward spiral of depression and suicidal thoughts Yeah rape causes a feeling of dying inside and rotting! Only an insensitive ignorant mindless robot without true love would joke about something like that.
    Rape causes actual physical pain in the body and destroys (temporarily) many aspects of a person’s soul. It aint funny! The healing is long and arduous! Dont LOL !

  3. drarlenedrake@gmail.com says:

    I think the last step out of the closet for
    Incest is SATIRE! Let’s take it all the way out
    and throw it in their face!
    To hear and see the Abusirdity, Duplicity,
    and Blatant Colusion the adults and society
    have with the Perps. Where is a child to go
    When adults are taking care of themselves
    and Sacrificing the children?
    Since 1 in 3 girls will be sexually abused
    by the time she is 18, and 1 in 4 or 5 boys
    will be sexually abused by the time they are
    18. It stands to reason that much of the
    laughter and applause was done in recognition
    of the(Satire) and what they recognized
    as true in their lives, of Incest or any
    family abuse!
    Satire, a text or performance
    That uses Irony, Derision or Wit to
    expose or attack human Vice, Oppression,
    Or Stupidity.
    With the intent of Shaming individuals,
    and Society itself into improvement!
    First you make people laugh and then
    make them Think!
    That is exactly what Laura, has done!!
    Bravo Laura

  4. drarlenedrake@gmail.com says:
  5. drarlenedrake@verizon.net says:

    I think the last step out of the closet for
    Incest is SATIRE!! Let’s take it all the way out
    and throw it in societies face.
    To hear and see the Absurdity, the Duplicity,
    and the Collusion the adults and society have,
    with every Perp.. Where is a child to go
    when adults are taking care of themselves
    and Sacrificing the children.??
    Since 1 in 3 girls will be sexually abused
    by the time she is 18, and 1 in 4 or 5
    boys will be sexually abused by the time
    they are 18. ( and that’s based only on
    reported cases) It stand to reason that much
    Of the laughter and applause was done
    in recognition of the (Satire) that they
    recognized as true in their in their own
    life experience with Incest or any family
    Abuse!
    Satire, uses the comic to go against
    power and it’s oppression. To use wit
    to attack human Vice, Abuses, Foolishnes
    and Stupidity.
    Ideally with the intent of Shaming
    individuals, and Society itself into improvement.
    First make people laugh and then make
    them think!
    That’s exactly what Laura has done!
    Finally, someone with the Courage to hold
    up to the light the many ways in which
    Families, Parents, and Society
    are all a part of this Crime against
    children.
    Time we all wake up to the
    Cover Up!

  6. Josey says:

    This is not funny but treating a serious matter or sexual abuse with humor.
    China’s has a ‘Child Rape Isn’t Rape’ Law that Is Sparking Outrage! Is this serious matter of sexual abuse or rape funny. Should we make jokes about how China has sought a way to get around the death penalty for rape by making changes in their law that allow girls under the age of 14 to be raped! NO! Is it funny or should someone joke (with an intent to help others) about how china considers the age of consent for sex to be 14 ! No. THis is deeply saddening and not funny in any context. I am deeply saddened for these young girls in china. THIS MAY BE OFF TOPIC, IF SO PLEASE don’t publish it on this blog. I had to voice my disgust with this video and link it to a current outrage.

    A case of suspected child rape involving two men, an elementary school principal and a public servant, and six sixth-grade girls is causing outrage in China. The incident spurred a new round of debate regarding China’s controversial “prostitution with a girl under 14” law, which many believe lets rapists and pedophiles off easy, according to QQ News.

    Six girls from an elementary school in Wanning city, in the southern island province of Hainan, went missing at the same time last Tuesday. Local police found four of the girls on Wednesday, the other two not until Thursday morning, when it was discovered they had been taken to hotel rooms by two men, one of them the principal at their elementary school, the other a public official.
    This is the latest of many scandals involving public servants and underage girls in China, where the age of consent is set at 14. From 2007 to 2008, more than 10 elementary school pupils, many under the age of 14, were forced to prostitute themselves to public officials. Similarly in 2008, nine girls were reportedly forced into prostitution, all of them under 14. In 2009, a high-ranking official in a provincial judicial bureau in Yunnan province slept with underage girls, according to QQ News.

    What is most interesting and saddening is that in these cases, perpetrators are not always punished, owing to a loophole in the law. Having sex with anyone under the age of 14 was considered rape in China, consent or not, but the law was changed in 1997. Under this new law, with consent, even if a girl is under 14, the perpetrator may be allowed to go free as long as he claims not to know the girl is under 14. If, in addition, money is involved in the transaction, the perpetrator is usually prosecuted for “patronizing a prostitute,” which usually carries a sentence of five to 15 years in jail, instead of the far more serious crime of rape.

    Only when a girl does not consent to sex is the perpetrator considered a rapist, a crime punishable by death in China. This is in sharp contrast with laws in most countries, where sex with someone under the age of consent is considered rape with or without consent, with the understanding that before that age, a child is not capable of legally giving consent.
    http://www.ibtimes.com/chinas-child-rape-isnt-rape-law-sparking-outrage-1255417

  7. Marjie says:

    I am not laughing and I don’t think the Holocost survivors I know ever laugh about thier experience either. Some things are not funny on any level.

    • Andre' says:

      To compare the holocaust and incest are two completely things, and continues to muddle historical accuracy of WWII and Germany. It’s irrelevant.

  8. Alethea says:

    Close your eyes and imagine if the comedian was joking about childhood autism or childhood terminal cancer…..

    I wonder if everyone who thinks this video is funny would still be laughing?

    • mary says:

      I think that people would still laugh. Laughing to keep from crying. Something that many people do.

  9. Jill Jones says:

    I am stunned as I watched this comedian’s satirical way of talking about the topic of sexual abuse or incest. She has used satire or irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice or folly.
    Vice is an an immoral or evil habit or practice! ! !
    The video exposes the sheer ignorance of those who HAVE sexually abused children! Perhaps they can watch this video and then see how stupid they were to have ever put their hands on a CHILD and called it LOVE! This video says IT IS NOT FUNNY!!!

    ***This is my take on this video and some people may not turn it into a positive as my mind did. I am just too sincere or honest to believe that she is being serious about making fun of sexual abuse! I want to think she is exposing the stupid people who perpertuate such a un-necessary evil ! IF she is being serious or getting laughs on the topic of sexual abuse, then she is a nonsensical idiot! ! !

    • Jill Jones says:

      I am aware that a perpetrator will not watch this and think he is stupid to have touched a child.
      However, The video helps me process or imagine the perpetrator is being made fun of with this video. My inner child needs someone to expose the rapist who hurt me and laugh at them. I envision the people laughing at the sheer stupidity of the rapists who hurt me !

  10. melissa lee says:

    I was not able to see the video the first time you posted this, and just commented on the her story of her abuse… now that I have seen the video, the part that was alarming is the laughing from those watching…. If I had not heard the laughing I would not have had the distress I felt… I think all the things she said are true and of course those things need to be said, but laughing about them, rather than crying, or at least silence as one takes in the comments, is disturbing…

    Melissa Lee

  11. Kevin F says:

    I hope this video isn’t on Youtube or any similar site. If it is, it will give child sexual abusers support and comfort. They’ll be able to say that if someone can tell jokes about incest as part of their recovery ‘therapy’, then child sexual assault can’t be too bad. Survivors of incest and sexual assault just need to get over it, take it all less seriously and joke and laugh about it. Survivors of rape should just get over it too and tell jokes about their experience.
    I think the video is a huge step backward and I’d question the motives and mental health of anyone who would make something like this.

    • Jess says:

      You know I thought abou this too. But trying to cater to what child molesters think…isn’t that the same as telling the victims well if you didn’t wear that then the molester wouldn’t have had the “wrong idea” ? In other words if we seriously keep trying to give them the “right message” then we aren’t realizing that there’s no saving them and that they are bright enough to figure it out on their own and if not then they have no business ever being a part of society. Ever. This message wasn’t about shaming predators into doing the right thing…there is no such thing. It is about getting healthy people who are stuck in denial out of it a little bit. That’s how I saw it. We need to be careful not to give sooo much leniency to the abusers and so much responsibility to the victims. Again if you just “give the right message” then you won’t be bad or have asked for it. I’m sick of that.

      • Hi Jess… please don’t be offended but what exactly are you trying to say here… I’m not following.

        • Jess says:

          I’m saying that if we say that the video is sending the wrong message to molesters that isn’t that the same as blaming the victim? As if we always have to cater to what they think or don’t think as opposed to holding them responsible for the same adult thought that we all have? You know?

          Something my dad said later on..,”I didn’t know it would hurt you so much, you seemed to enjoy it” well you know he should have known just like any other adult is expected to understand the difference between satire and truth. Does that make sense?? If we Monitor how we express our selves for their expense then what’s the difference? They get to say “oh I thought everyone was ok with it cuz they laughed” which we would all know (including them) was BS. We treat them like they are sick individuals who don’t know any better which is BS and just another way they get away with it. My dad was an engineer…smart enough to know. No explanations needed. I don’t know does that make sense? It just made me mad that we are catering to what sick and twisted thing they think.

          • I think I understand part of what you are saying… maybe? You are saying that these monsters should know better, I totally agree! And I do NOT feel like they are sick and cannot help themselves. I actually don’t even care personally. .. I believe they do this because they want to and do not care how it hurts… and I also DO NOT believe there is help for anyone who does this. I believe they are worthless, throw-away scum who should be locked up to rot or given death. And by being offended at this comedy I am not thinking of the perps in any way OTHER than thinking that it would be enabling in a sense. I merely fear that victims may hear it and think that joking about the topic at all makes it less serious and that they are overreacting. Never should a child who has been touched feel that way. It almost sounds like my believe makes you think I am worried about the offender or catering to them in any way? If so I still don’t get this connection. I really feel for what u went thru though & am so sorry u didnt have someone to protect you! But as adults we need to do that. Even a stranger’s child should be stood up for!. We owe any child, anywhere or all the protection possible.

            • Jess says:

              I completely agree with you. And I wasn’t commenting on your comment I was commenting on what kevin said about giving these monsters the wrong message that its ok to do this.

              “If it is, it will give child sexual abusers support and comfort. They’ll be able to say that if someone can tell jokes about incest as part of their recovery ‘therapy’, then child sexual assault can’t be too bad. “

  12. mollyhagan says:

    I too suffered incestuous sexual abuse. I was lucky enough to be in the audience that night. I was one of the people that was laughing. I am 51 years old and went through an incredible therapeutic journey with my doctor Arlene Drake. I am not hiding behind laughter. I have gone through every emotion imaginable. Like most if us, my life has radically suffered from what transpired when I was young but I am now on the other side of it and am having a pretty darn good life. Video is a dreadful medium at capturing what happens in a live setting. The camera was static, far away and you can not viscerally or kinestetically feel what happened in that room that night. Laura wants this video to be taking on its own merits. But I do not think the video does the experience justice. Please know that the room was filled with wonder at this brave woman and were cheering her wit and bravery. We were laughing at the outrageousness of it all. Because it is outrageous to keep silent and what happened to us all is an outrage. And this is Laura’s way of getting others to be outraged.

    • Unzipped says:

      Thanks for what you said, mollyhagan. I was not in the room, but I imagined the audience to include several survivors (given the statistics for incest and childhood sexual abuse, how could it NOT?!). I interpreted the laughter as being similar to the laughter in 12-step rooms, where an addict recounts horrendous experiences and everyone present laughs hard – as part of their recovery! Laughter can be a healing balm in dealing with great pain. Gaining a sense of humor is part of most recovery programs. Laughing with a survivor who has chosen to point out the absurdity and hypocrisy of the situation is probably healing and helpful to at least some other survivors who are trying to recover.

      • Alethea says:

        My guess is that someone in that audience…maybe a few people, who have not yet dealt with their childhood incest (and most people have not) probably sat there not knowing what to do because their heart told them that incest is no joke, but their personality probably said “I want to fit in. I don’t want to seem like I am a party-pooper. I guess I will laugh.”

        Other survivors probably became very angry at the jokes and sat there fuming in anger but were too afraid to voice themselves in the middle of all the knuckleheads who were laughing.

  13. mary says:

    I didn’t read the comments the first time I tried to watch it, and I couldn’t get past the Lost joke before turning it off. Using something like a bad television show as a metaphor to humorously explain a seriously dysfunctional and sick dynamic rubs me the wrong way, like the issue is just trivialized all together. The second time, I watched the whole thing knowing beforehand that it was satire and the speaker’s intentions, and on a gut level it still made me feel really sick and upset hearing laughter during this topic. The jokes weren’t funny but it was hearing the laughter was actually the worse. Maybe she should have mentioned, in unflinching detail, how when a child is raped by their father, their tiny orfices are often ripped apart by the adult penis and bleed, requiring medical stitching at times, that they often don’t get because they are intimidated into staying silent about the abuse. Would the audience be laughing then? (it would be even more disturbing if this were so. ) This subject is supposed to make the audience mortified, angry, disgusted, and in tears for what child sex abuse victims go through. A sexual abuse victim’s genuine visceral emotions about their experience, not sarcastic humor is what moves the heart and galvanizes people to do something and gets them to care.

    I noticed that people often use humor as a way to deflect and desensitize their pain. It is a coping mechanism and sometimes a way to avoid fully feeling it. Sometimes people will joke about being marginalized by society or their family because they have been ignored and abused and humiliated so much, it’s way too sad for them to admit the full reality of how much it hurts, so instead they try to joke laugh at the situation. Dave Chappelle quit his successful show on comedy show when he heard a white guy laughing at one of his racial sketches and realized he was laughing at him and not with him. It was then how he saw how some of his jokes were socially irresponsible. I would feel uncomfortable hearing someone who has no knowledge of sexual abuse and its effects laughing at these ones….

    • Andre' says:

      I agree and well said, Mary. Watch Dave’s interview on The Actors Studio (Youtube) , there were many reasons why he got out of pedophile Hollywood – it was a very very sick and depraved place.

    • Alethea says:

      I agree Mary. The Lost joke bothered me too.

      Maybe she should have mentioned, in unflinching detail, how when a child is raped by their father, their tiny orfices are often ripped apart by the adult penis and bleed, requiring medical stitching at times, that they often don’t get because they are intimidated into staying silent about the abuse. Would the audience be laughing then?

      Good point.

      Alethea 🙂

  14. Laura, did you tell your audience that you were an incest survivor ahead of time? How did they know this was a satire? Did you tell them before hand or afterwards off of the video recording that I saw? There is a whole rape culture out there that blames the victims of incest and rape for their own abuse. How does a satire help to do away with that culture of individuals that will believe every word you said about incest in your satire? There are too many people out there already telling me to shut up or to use your words to “Zip it up.” As an incest survivor, I will never shut up as long as there are still children being abused.

    There are better or at least different ways to help other survivors than poking fun at them and incest. I didn’t hear one tone in your voice that said you were poking fun at the abusers. I didn’t hear one sentence of your “satire” that said “I’m only kidding.” There is nothing funny about incest. Your words encourage people to laugh and think it is funny. There is nothing “lighthearted” about incest and the hard work of healing.

    • grace0808 says:

      I agree with your comment, Patricia, about the current rape culture. I believe that this “rape culture” is being intensified by – and is directly linked to – pornography. Part of the porn industry that is getting more profitable, readily available, and violent, is incest-themed. “Daddy-daughter” porn is readily available. Add to this the fact that teenagers today are interacting with porn (elicit and explicit) daily. If you THEN add satirical approaches to incest to this mix, what do we get? Completely deluded youth who think “daddy-daughter” porn is the basis for sex, and the devastating effects of incest, something to chuckle at. It’s a slippery slope. I think that presenting a “discussion” about incest through satire is making assumptions that the people in the audience who laughed would “do the right thing” if they were “really” dealing with incest in “the real world”. But what is the difference between what we think funny and what we would “actually” do “in the real world”? As one of my teachers always said “common sense is not so common”.

      • Grace, thank you for your words of support.

      • Alethea says:

        and Grace, I would bet a million bucks that several of the men in that audience subscribe to Hustler, Playboy etc….both of which have been proven over and over to portray rape and incest as sexually stimulating.

        Not one of those men will go home and cancel their subscriptions or write the publisher and tell them to remove the rape and incest references.

    • Laura says:

      Hi Patricia. I’m happy to hear you will never shut up. It’s hard to speak up and I applaud your courage. Have you visited my site zipitshut.org? It may put things in context for you.

      In the video, I tell the audience that I am a survivor at the start of the bit where I say, “If you’ve had some personal experience with [incest], you find that the way the world treats it is really insane.” Do you really think people may believe I’m being sincere when I say that small children should pack their jammies into their Barbie suitcase and find somewhere else to live? My comments are intentionally over-the-top and ridiculous.

      There are always better and different ways to do everything. But if you misconstrue my comments as encouraging incest and abuse, I don’t know what else to tell you.

      • Laura, thank you for explaining. The video that I saw didn’t have your explanation at the beginning saying that you were an incest survivor. Also telling me that the topic is a topic that isn’t discussed helps too. The audience knew it was a satire from the beginning. They also knew you. It wasn’t just a room full of strangers with no idea what you were going to talk about. That makes a big difference. I just went to your website. Thank you for doing what I do in educating others about incest and being an advocate for children.

        There are sadly many sick people out there that would not take what you said as satire. My dad would have taken what you said as absolute truth. Fear and rage is what my dad used to rule our house when I was a child. He was a dictator.

        I don’t think that my reaction would be much different than the majority of my friends who are also incest survivors. I shared your satire with a friend of mine who is not an incest survivor and she was just as upset as I was. Even as a satire, your words have the power to hurt. Please consider that if you ever do this in front of a live audience.

        • Alethea says:

          Patricia, I think my mother would listen to that and laugh along with everyone and think she is okay in what she did because, after-all, it is being made into a joke in this performance.

          I do not think that this stand-up act will shame any abuser, co-abusing mother, or family members in denial to change. I think they will think what they do is funny.

          I don’t recommend it to be spread as a tool to enlighten the masses.

          • Bree says:

            I agree totally! I had the misfortune of looking inside the mind of a rapist and I can say for sure he thought that rape was funny and not really a crime. He was a psychopath and a narcissist and he could not understand anothers person’s hurt emotions as far as rape. It was all very funny to him and he felt that he deserved to feel good at anothers expense. he was sadistic and he enjoyed hurting others. He felt loved when others experienced intense hurt about something that he did. This was his way of life. I can honestly say he will never ever change or be reformed! The person I am talking about raped me. I found out during our discourse that he was indeed a person who had sexually assaulted me. I was under stockholm syndrome and I had no clue he was a rapist. I thought we had a mutual relationship. He told me he would touch again if given the opportunity. The rape was 2O something years ago and he is still the same today. REFORMED BY A VIDEO! I agree. It will never ever happen. The mind of a rapist is not normal or like mine or anyone elses. They are beyond help by choice. I accept this fact!

  15. Jess says:

    I think she was trying to show how ridiculous the messages that we give to children who are victimized are. I remember many of those messages given to me as a child. They were horrible and people gave them to me in that same glib manner. I wasn’t offended by how she did it because what she said is true that is what and how people think and until we recognize how riducilous that is people won’t change. I don’t want to shame people into doing the right thing I want to get people motivated with logic and compassion. I remember thinking as a young girl that maybe if he actually killed me then people would care because no one cared about what he was doing to me and it was worse than death. I didn’t find it funny just sadly true. I know she did it as an in your face thing but maybe it will get people talking and thinking about it as opposed to everyone just sweeping it under the rug like always. Silence is not ok. My two cents.

  16. Laura says:

    Opinions from both sides of the table!

    The presentation is satirical. I am ridiculing familial shortcomings with the intent of shaming people into improvement. Although it is meant to be funny, it won’t be funny to everyone, which is ok for me because its greater purpose is constructive social criticism–using wit as a weapon to challenge taboos and conventional wisdom. People who watch Steven Colbert don’t actually believe he hates gays and loves The O’Reilly Factor, they understand that his comments uncover harmful opinions and beliefs in a way that allows people to come to that conclusion themselves.

    A woman who was sexually abused by her mother came up to me after the show and told me how brave I was to be able to talk openly about incest. She said she thought the message was important and that getting it out through the avenue of comedy could make it accessible for people. She cried and then thanked me. Another woman in the audience who was sexually abused by her brother told me I was her hero. So while the video angers and disgusts some, it has others thanking me through tears.

    As a survivor myself, I am constantly inspired by the various ways in which people heal from sexual abuse in general and incest specifically. I spent several years in group therapy and have witnessed the powerful process of understanding which leads to healing. Everyone is different and makes their way through the process in their own way. Please don’t misunderstand, I do not think that incest is a funny subject–quite the contrary. But I find that it’s quite difficult for people who have not been victims themselves to understand the harm they do when they pretend like the abuse never happened or, worse, turn on family members who talk about it.

    • Its great that a woman came up & cried thanking you… that must help you in your healing as well, but just out of curiosity, does your audience know that you will be talking about this in advance? Or was this the first time you went on stage with this topic or something? Just wondering.

      It would seem that helping one person in your audience, or maybe 2 or 3 people, would be a wonderful thing, but if during that same process you are reinforcing a handful of perverts, how can that be a good thing? Unless you consciously decide to only focus on the one or two who come up & say thank you, I just don’t understand how this could help you… unless you clear it up at the end by explaining it, and making it known how downright disgusting & serious the lasting effects of incest are on its victims. And I don’t know that you don’t already do that… or donate some of your proceeds to helping children??? But, I would be interested in knowing since you wanted the feedback especially.

      • Laura says:

        I had taken a class in stand-up, this was my first time in front of anyone. The audience was not the “public” just friends and family of those of us 8 who took the class. I came up with the bit during our assignment to “talk about something you think you shouldn’t talk about.” Have you been to my site zipitshut.org? If I had any proceeds I would definitely donate them 🙂

        • Lol…I actually did take a look at it and also watched the whole video on there. First off let me tell you, you do not look like a rookie! I couldn’t believe that was your first swing at stand-up! You are extremely talented & looked very comfortable up there. It was very funny up until the incest part… I just understand it differently now being that it was in front of people you sort of knew and friends & family. My hope for you on your road to success is that you could tweak the incest portion to include some info of substance so your entire audience is clear about how it may have been brought up in a satirical manner, but the problem does exist and hiding it is not only wrong, but devastating. You could clearly guide it into something that can champion for victims. Good luck with the stand up comedy & I’m so very sorry your Mom was such a b@#$%! You deserve all the Halloween candy you can stomach…lol!

    • Alethea says:

      Dear Laura,

      I think everyone gets the message, but I do not think that the human race can be shamed into anything anymore. If the human race is not already ashamed of itself, then there is little hope.

      Alethea

    • grace0808 says:

      I am glad to hear that there were audience members who thanked you for helping. It just goes to show that you never know what will “touch” someone and change their feelings about something.

      You say, “People who watch Steven Colbert don’t actually believe he hates gays and loves The O’Reilly Factor, they understand that his comments uncover harmful opinions and beliefs in a way that allows people to come to that conclusion themselves.” These assumptions are unsettling. It’s been common these days in the media for people to express their true feelings through satirical humour. The audience is laughing along, meanwhile….the speaker is laughing AT them because he/she is actually serious.

  17. Alethea says:

    I waited for some comments on both sides of things to come in before I posted my thoughts on the video.

    This has been a very interesting thing for me. When I first watched the video, I reacted with anger and disgust. I do not find ANYTHING funny about incest, or about the things said………….especially about a father murdering his daughter’s soul. NOT FUNNY because THAT is what my father did to me.

    I understand her points, but what I feel she is doing, is making a mockery -a joke out of incest, its devastating effects, and a joke out of what family members, society, and mothers of incest victims do to the victim.

    This video, in my opinion, reinforces the negative information in the minds of the audience.

    I don’t think this will shame anyone into improvement. To the contrary, in my view.

  18. I was careful not to read any other comments before I formed my opinion… My first reaction is that I cannot get over hearing the laughter & cheers. That to me was extremely inappropriate. I understand adult humor, even dark humor, but this turns my stomach. Secondly, I get it. She is trying to say only a complete idiot would think it was ok to zip it shut… which is her way of dealing, I suppose. But, again how can you stand there and entertain people who find it humorous. .. or lighthearted? The people laughing at it could only laugh if they didn’t find it disturbing. I would have felt better about this had she put a nice twist at the end like “And for those of you who enjoyed laughing during that last segment. .. feel free to pick up one of the pamphlets on your way out for sex offenders… “

    • Alethea says:

      I love this comment Loudest Silence. You nailed it when you mentioned the laughter. Oftentimes, people laugh when they are uncomfortable with a topic, but this audience seemed to be mocking incest and laughing at it, not feeling icky because it is so horrible.

      “And for those of you who enjoyed laughing during that last segment. .. feel free to pick up one of the pamphlets on your way out for sex offenders…”

      I kind of have to agree.

      Alethea

      • RIGHT.. that is just what I thought.. those were belly laughs.. loud confident laughs at times. It almost comes off as entertainment for child rapists. Again I understand her mockery of any idiot who wouldn’t encourage a child to speak up, and wanting to raise awareness & speak out about it, but it seems like it would do more harm than good like this. I’m in no way criticizing her path to healing, and I am sorry that she went through this as a child, but could you imagine if just one child pulls this up online and listens to it? I just feel like unless she really changes the end up to slap those people in the face,who are practically peeing their pants, it is the wrong message. Or save it for a therapy session… spill this humor there. Sorry if I offended anyone but come on.

        • Alethea says:

          Loudest Silence, never apologize for speaking your truths. If you offend someone, so what? That’s part of the problem in society. Everyone is afraid of offending others with truth.

          Speak up, speak out, speak your truth.

          Peace,
          Alethea

  19. I am very upset that the audience thought incest was funny. My gut is rolling with anger and tears are about to overflow from my eyes. Every laugh that she got is at the expense of a wounded child. Raping a child is not funny. It sickens me that those people laughed. I would have gotten up and walked out of the room. Or maybe I would have been too horrified and shocked to even move. Is this a sick way to raise awareness? As an incest survivor, I didn’t think she was funny. Satire has its place. I don’t agree with this at all. I am not asking for anyone here to defend her to me. I don’t need that. My opinion is difference from the other comments that I read here. Hearing this satire hurt me. I won’t be sharing it.

    • Alethea says:

      Patricia, great comment……“Every laugh that she got is at the expense of a wounded child.”

      I will allow Laura to post why she made the presentation. I understood where she was coming from when we discussed my posting it on my Blog for feedback. I don’t know if I should keep it up or not. I will let Laura give her view and comments. I will also be interested to see how many people like it and how many don’t.

      Alethea

  20. Kristin Morrill says:

    Horrible. I do NOT like jokes about such a horrendous and serious subject. I am offended.

    AND…FYI…I love sexy jokes. I am 63, and some people call me Nasty Nanna, so I am NOT a prude.

  21. rnjess888 says:

    WOW. I admire this woman’s bravery to not only address her past abuse but to do it through stand-up comedy. I was nervous watching it. It made my mind reel. And then I realized I was angry, but not at her, at the fact that abuse like this exists at all. WELL DONE ZIP IT SHUT!!!!!

  22. grace0808 says:

    My personal reaction: I think she presented important facets of the Incest situation that exists in some families. However, I disagree that the use of satire is appropriate. Although I was able to capture her “point”, I didn’t find it funny at all.

  23. Wow.. well, without letting myself think into it too much before getting my first reaction out, I guess what I first think is I GET IT! I get the satire, I understand that she is mocking everyone from the monster parent who does this, to the spouse who allows it to happen and a few in between… like anyone who would think it’s best to ignore it. What she is saying is that only a moron would actually believe zipping it shut would be a good thing. And this is obviously someone who deals with pain through humor… very ADULT humor. Hopefully it will get some people to really think… people who do ignore it and choose to only want to watch funny movies, or stand up comedy etc. I know people like that… when you talk about these horror stories in the news they like to change the subject.

    The other thing that struck me right away is hearing the men laughing and clapping & cheering. I cannot explain exactly what I mean because yes it is stand up comedy, but at the same time totally not a funny topic. I guess it bothers me that to an offender this message may sound encouraging as if victims are the ones overreacting. I would have LOVED to hear something cynical at the end like… “Thank you so much you’ve been great. Oh and to those of you who cheered me on emphatically just then…. you might want to pick up a pamphlet here for sex offenders on your way out.”

  24. Andre' says:

    She was good, until her stupid holocaust remark.

  25. Unzipped says:

    Thanks for your courage in bringing levity to this subject! Please keep going!!
    All the best,
    SS

    • Laura says:

      Thanks Unzipped!

      • Unzipped says:

        You are welcome. I read all the comments, and my heart sincerely breaks for the ones who were offended by your satire. I have great compassion for them, to be in a sensitive place in the healing process and to be hurt by the mention of this problem in any other form than the dreadful terror that it is. That is obviously the majority opinion of the people who responded to your routine. The paradox, though, is that the dreadfulness of incest is the very reason non-survivors (e.g. regular people) do NOT want to discuss it or hear about it – and incest, like a fungus, thrives in that dark silence. It seems to me that many of the survivors would prefer to silence you, which to me is tragic in the long run. Artists like you bring the issue out to the light (in your case, with a touch of lightness!) so it CAN be discussed. To censor satire or any other freedom of speech and expression perpetuates the silence. Perverts will do what they do regardless of art, so I do not buy the argument that your satire will cause them to perpetrate. Art exists to reflect the world and transform the soul – whether through humor, political statement, beauty or other. Without art, there is no hope for any of us to find liberation. Art is what saved my life and I respect it all. I stand by my original encouragement of your bravery. It is important for each and every survivor to find his or her own voice, tell his or her own story, and give the inner self the freedom to be who you really are – and I believe you have done just that. Please keep going! More will be revealed, and I thought your Holocaust point was right on target. Incest is an individual Holocaust of the soul. I personally did not laugh our loud at the video – partly because incest is discussed so seldom in public that ANY mention of it is still a bit of a shock – but I greatly appreciated your use of exaggeration to draw attention to the obscenity of silence in the face of so much suffering. Thank you for speaking up! Brava!

        • Unzipped and Laura,
          I started my healing journey in 1989 at the age of 38. I am not at a sensitive place in my journey that every little mention of incest upsets me. I have been an advocate for myself and for other survivors online through my blog Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker for the past 6 years. I speak out about incest and its effects upon survivors every day. I am on Facebook and Twitter too, speaking and helping other survivors to heal. I am at peace with my life and have joy and laughter in my life with a wonderful supportive husband who has seen me go through the hell of healing and learning new ways to cope because the coping skills that helped me survive a childhood of incest and living with a raging alcoholic dad and a passive-agressive codependent mother didn’t work. I learned to feel my own rage and to see my own behaviors for what they were – unhealthy. I was able to let go of that rage and learn self-love and that anger can be a healthy sign that something is wrong. I don’t have to live in constant fear of life as I did as a child. I am not a beginner at healing. If your satire still has the ability to cause me pain, I can only imagine what it would do to a survivor who is early in their healing days. Today I can laugh at myself but I would never laugh at the woundedness of a small child who has been forced to remain silent in order to survive the horrors of incest.

          Unzipped, I am not telling everyone to shut up about incest. We need survivors and non-survivors alike talking and educating others about the signs of incest and the effects of incest upon survivors and society too. I want us all to be talking about incest and supporting survivors. Until everyone is willing to acknowledge that incest happens, that is happens every day to some child – male and female – predators will continue to hurt children. I don’t think satire is the way to do that. Listen to the laughs on that video. It wasn’t just men. Some of the laughs may have been embarrassment over the topic but some of those laughs were real enjoyment. It was the laughs that offended me more than Laura’s words. You mentioned bringing levity which means light and humor in the dictionary. I looked it up to make sure I was right in its definition. Yes, we need to bring light to the topic of incest and refuse to let it stay in the dark. Humor has its place and this humor can hurt. I don’t think hurting survivors was Laura’s intent. But intent and reality aren’t always the same. Normally I would share Alethea’s blog posts on my Facebook page and on Twitter. I am not sharing this one because too many survivors would be hurt by it. I am glad we are having this conversation on here.

        • grace0808 says:

          Unzipped,

          It seems to me that you are saying that anyone who disliked the use of satire in adressing incest and its effects on children is “at a sensitive place in their healing.” I resent this on principle. I don’t believe that healing is attained when you can simply “laugh at yourself”. Exaggerating to achieve a reaction is like wanting shock value…and I’m not sure that Laura was hoping for shock value in her performance. Maybe she was, since it obviously opens up discussion. Either way, I’m not negating anyone’s healing path or what they engage in, in order to heal (such as humour, or art, for example). I’m so glad that art helped you heal – that’s wonderful! What I am saying is that it is unfair and untrue to assume that if you are offended, that you are “sensitive” (read: not fully healed). This kind of thinking divides those of us on a healing path…it implies that there are those who can now laugh, that are truly healed. And that’s just not true.

          I also find it dangerous to have “silence” and “use of exaggeration” as opposites. Humorous, kitschy performances aimed at catering to the masses’ idea of entertainment is NOT the only acceptable opposite for silence. Like I said in a previous post, it makes incest the “topic du jour” which is kind of insensitive in and of itself. I agree that it is important, as you say, to maintain freedom of expression. But disagreeing with the method of presenting information is not necessarily an attempt to silence someone. No one here has said “Laura you should not ever talk about incest, or your experience”. That would be trying to silence her. I hope that this is helping her heal, and that she will consider the opinions of others when continuing her work (which I think is probable, since she was eliciting feedback). I hope Laura will never be silenced.

          In trying to move away from “silencing” victims, I can’t help but think that a discussion of incest from the point of view of a stand-up routine excludes children sufferers and children survivors from the conversation. Stand-up relies on mature humour and wit. Also, in this satirical example, lots of sarcasm…which children don’t capture. Any thoughts?

          • Alethea says:

            “it implies that there are those who can now laugh, that are truly healed. And that’s just not true.”

            Grace, in my experience, those who laugh at things like incest jokes are not only not healed, but are people more likely to be in denial, “apple pie” people pleasers, and those who say “move on with your life, get over it,” or, “I am not affected by that anymore,”…but they are very much affected inside themselves.

            It’s like people who whistle in public (like in line at a store or at the bank). I am certain most of them carry a lot of repressed anger and the whistling is a big facade.

            Alethea

        • Alethea says:

          Unzipped,

          Please do not judge one’s healing progress by their personal reaction to art/comedy/satire.

          Life experience, the level of the person’s abuse, spiritual growth, etc affects every human being’s reaction to these kind of things.

          I am at the end of my healing journey, and close to total freedom from every aspect of the abuse. I am not in a “sensitive place in the healing process” anymore, and I still do not find this performance funny.

          You said that art exists to reflect the world and transform the soul, but not all “art” is capable of such things.

          This video will affect each individual differently, and no reaction is “right or wrong.” It may help someone and it may hurt someone.

          “Incest is an individual Holocaust of the soul.”

          The word “holocaust” derives from “sacrifice by fire, burnt offering,” from Greek holokauston “a thing wholly burnt,” Originally a biblical word for “burnt offerings.” I do not wish to correlate sexually abused children with sacrifice by fire, or burnt for a sacrifice. That would be like the Old Testament garbage of sacrificing babies, or Abraham going to take a sword to his son in some sick offering to “God” as a test.

          Alethea

        • Laura says:

          Thank you. There have been innumerable movies, tv shows, exposes, books, blogs, articles, pamphlets, classes, seminars, etc. that address, in a serious manner, the taboo of adult survivors talking about child sexual abuse and attempt to teach those who would be in a position to support those survivors how to successfully do so. Clearly, the problem still exists. Let’s try another way.

          • Andre' says:

            Why dont we target the pedophiles in Hollywood/TV ? And stop giving them your money

          • Alethea says:

            Another way? What other way? Your stand-up comedy act? I think that by all the negative responses you received, surely you don’t think this is the way?

            I am not trying to offend you, but after reading all the replies, I do not think that joking about it is the way to go.

  26. melissa lee says:

    Loved it, and will put it on my facebook page…

    xo
    Melissa Lee

    • Laura says:

      I very much appreciate you spreading the word that TALKING about incest is not a bad thing, thank you!

      • grace0808 says:

        “Talking” about incest and talking about it via a satirical sketch on stage, in front of laughing audience members, are two different things. I think that making it the “topic du jour” by addressing it through stand-up comedy is inappropriate and disgusts me. It is exactly this laissez-faire attitude that has normalized so many injustices and killers of Love in this world.

        • Alethea says:

          You know Grace, when I first posted this article, and positive feedback came in, but no negative reactions…my first thought was, “what’s wrong with me?” This is because I am STILL…yes, to this day……….still dealing with my issues of feeling different, being defective because of the incest, and feeling “off” because I don’t adhere to the crowd.

          Your comment Grace has put me in touch with the words I wanted to express but could not find. *It normalizes injustice and kills LOVE.*

          Thank you Grace for helping me to remember that just because I might be in the minority in my beliefs…it does not mean I am wrong, or right.

      • Bree says:

        Talking. Yes. Laughiing. NO!

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