Today, this photo showed up in my feed from CakeWrecks.com. In case you don't know, CakeWrecks.com is a Web site that features "professional cakes that go horribly, hilariously wrong". I often think the cakes on that site are very funny and perhaps if I weren't married to a man who was the victim of domestic violence, I might think the above picture was funny, too. As it stands, though, it kind of disturbs me on many levels.
First off, this is a presumably a wedding cake... unless, of course, someone had it made to celebrate a particularly nasty divorce. Either way, it symbolizes a partnership gone horribly wrong. The bride is standing there, holding the head of her mate, which bleeds some kind of bright red substance that is supposed to symbolize blood, but is probably actually strawberry puree. If they're just getting married, this is a pretty telling look at what the future might be like. If they've just gotten divorced, the woman must have taken the man to the cleaners. Maybe he deserved it... On the other hand, he'd have to be a special kind of asshole to deserve a symbolic beheading on a wedding cake. And that means the bride must not have known him that well before she married him. Either that, or he just suddenly turned into an asshole-- which in my experience is a rare thing. More often than not, people who "turn into assholes" after a wedding were always assholes; their victims just didn't want to admit it. Either way, it's pretty sad that someone would make this kind of a statement about marriage.
Secondly, when I posted a comment wondering what people would think if the cake featured a groom holding a bride's head, I was relieved to get a comment from someone agreeing that this was rather disturbing and offensive. But then I got a comment more along the lines of what I was expecting...
I think most people would say, "You both need to get the stick out of your asses and rent a sense of humor, since you are clearly incapable of developing one on your own".
Wow. Because I think a bride and a decapitated groom on a wedding cake is tasteless, I don't have a sense of humor? This was my response.
I have a perfectly good sense of humor. Otherwise, I wouldn't be looking at Cake Wrecks. It's a valid question, though. If it were a beheaded bride on this cake, people would be up in arms. Just pointing out the double standard is all. Nice to know you think beheadings are funny, though.
Someone thanked me, which was nice, and I even got a few "likes". I was expecting a whole slew of comments from feminazi types who think this kind of "humor" is a real knee slapper. Seriously, if this were a cake that showed a woman being assaulted, raped, or killed, would people think it was funny? Why is it funny when the male is the victim? Yeah, I know I come off as someone who takes things too seriously when I bring up this point as it relates to a cake, but when is it appropriate to observe and talk about the double standard?
And finally, the fact that people do think this is funny is a sign that we've really become desensitized to violence. I mean, I have a pretty raunchy sense of humor and I think a lot of tasteless, vulgar things are funny. I will even admit to thinking George Carlin's routine "Rape Can Be Funny" is kind of humorous, though he did show some rare ignorance in that routine when he basically implied that rape is about sex and not violence and power.
The main difference, though, is that George makes it clear that he doesn't really think rape is funny. In the case of this cake, though, it's hard to tell what the baker was thinking and what kind of statement s/he was trying to make. In any case, I hope that bride it was made for never got remarried. She clearly has some pretty unhealthy feelings about marriage, weddings, or both.
I have a great sense of humor. I just don't think gratuitous violence is funny, whether it's directed at men or women and whether it's literal or symbolic. That doesn't mean I can't laugh. It means I still have a heart and a functioning brain. With this kind of "humor" out there, no wonder we have so many people running amok, killing others in a violent way.
You can laugh at the CakeWreck if you want to. Just don't tell me I have to think it's funny.