I'm going to start by saying this is a topic that I feel exceedingly strong about. Whether because it's something that happened to me or something that happened to someone I love isn't relevant, just know that I've got a pony in this race so it's not as though I'm just a totally unaffected third party. Let's be clear: there is nothing funny whatsoever about one person forcing themselves upon another, under any circumstance. That said, I do not find rape jokes offensive. Now, you may be saying to yourself, "Inari, you rarely find anything offensive," and that's a fair enough point, however my point is that there is (as with all things) a right way and a wrong way to react to something.
While I don't find them funny, I don't find them offensive either because I totally understand that some things are just so horrendous to think about that it's only natural we, as humans, look for some way to make it not so bad. Laughter is a coping mechanism. If you look at the amount of things people laugh at on a daily basis, you'll quickly realize that more than half of those things are terrible to laugh at too. Cancer, murder, robbery, abuse, bestiality, religion, minorities, sexual orientation, addiction, death, poverty, the Holocaust, natural disasters... I could go on and on forever. We laugh to make ourselves feel better.
You can go ahead and sit there right now claiming that you don't find jokes about any of the above funny, and I'll call you out on being full of shit because you are. If you've ever laughed at George Carlin, you've laughed at these topics. If you've ever laughed at Louie C.K., you've laughed at these topics. If you've ever laughed at Bill Cosby, Betty White, or Bob Saget, you've fucking laughed at these topics. If you've ever talked to anyone on the internet ever, chances are you've laughed at these topics.
You're not a monster. You're just a human being trying to feel better. Guess what? That's okay.
Is it okay to find one sort of awful joke funny and another not? Sure. Is it okay to be offended by rape jokes but not cancer jokes? Sure. The key is how you react to what you find offensive. If you're reaction is to condemn, shame, and guilt those around you, you're being an asshole. Plain and simple. I don't care if it's because you've lived through whatever (cancer, rape, addiction, whatever) -- that is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT. It does not matter why you're offended at all. Period. End of sentence. You are either offended or you are not. Including why you are offended is a manipulative tactic to try and guilt and/or shame others to see your point of view. Say you don't find the topic funny, remove yourself from the conversation if it continues regardless of your tasteful disapproval, and move on with your damned life. Don't hold a grudge, don't go talking shit about people being their back, don't try to get everyone to take sides. Just don't. Just because you are offended and they are not does not make them a bad person.
Despite popular belief it is entirely possible to be offended and remain civil. You can politely disapprove. It is totally unnecessary to fly off the handle and act like a major cunt. There is no reason you cannot behave like a rational person. What you've been through doesn't matter. Losing your shit at the mere mention of a subject is not something a healthy person does. If the mere mention of a topic sends you into a frothing rage or makes you cry yourself to sleep at night -- you need to seek professional help. Immediately. That is not the normal response to "trigger" situations for anyone who has actually dealt with their problems. If you are a survivor of rape, or anything else really, and are still reduced to an emotional mess at even the thought of it you're letting that person or thing that hurt you rule your life. I mean that in the most helpful way possible. You need help and I hope, truly hope, you go and seek it.
I'm not saying hurricane survivors should laugh hysterically at Katrina jokes. Don't misunderstand. I'm saying that if you find a certain subject taboo and offensive, that's a-ok, just don't go out of your way to make someone who doesn't find the subject offensive's life a living hell. It's uncalled for. It's not the world's job to pussy foot around afraid of your reaction. You're an adult, if you don't like something, don't participate in it. It's really that simple.