Banalogy

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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.”

Really.

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?

REALLY?

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

Wow.


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