ba·nal: / beyn–nahl / adjective
1. devoid of freshness or originality; hackneyed; trite
a·nal·o·gy: /uh–nal–uh-jee / noun
1. a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based 2. similarity or comparability
banalogy: / beyn–nal–uh-jee / noun
1. A hackneyed and stupid comparison made between two things that bear absolutely no similarity or comparability to each other 2. A word I just made up
In an upcoming interview in Vanity Fair, Johnny Depp compares photo shoots to rape:
“Well, you just feel like you’re being raped somehow. Raped … It feels like a kind of weird — just weird, man.”
While I understand the point Depp is trying to make, he could have used another word — “violated”, for example.
Is it just me or are people increasingly using the word “raped” as an analogy to describe feelings of frustration and annoyance? For example, I once heard someone say they were “raped” by their cellphone provider. Really? Getting overcharged on your phone bill is analogous to a violent sexual assault?
I can’t imagine the psychological, emotional and physical turmoil that a rape victim goes through. Rape is a tool used to wield power, dominance and fear over a person. It is meant to diminish a person’s dignity and self-worth, to reduce them to something less than human. To have the word “rape” used in such a way as Depp has takes away its impact and its brutality, and trivializes the experiences of those who have been victimized by it.
Before you use the word “rape” to describe something you’ve gone through, ask yourself this: would a victim of rape describe her or his experience in the same way? Would they say something like, “As my vagina was being torn apart, I thought, ‘Now I know how Johnny Depp feels being in a photo shoot.’”? Or, “Getting punched in the face felt like getting hit with data roaming charges.”?
Yeah, didn’t think so.
UPDATE: Shortly after I hit the “Publish” button, I saw this:
Hank Williams Jr. pulled from ESPN after comparing Obama to Hitler