Prison rape is a canard of popular culture. Comedians from Jay Leno to street-corner wiseguys recycle the tired joke: "Don't drop the soap," or some big, scary criminal will make you his "bitch." This jocular fear is often racialized: "A running joke throughout movies concerns the theme in which a very large Black male prisoner threatens a boy... [who may be] raped or 'punked' by a Mike Tyson-esque character." These jokes reveal one of men's starkest fears about prison: that they will be unmanned or "made gay" by being sexually assaulted by a big black man.
Buchanan, Kim Shayo
"Our Prisons, Ourselves: Race, Gender and the Rule of Law,"
Yale Law & Policy Review: Vol. 29
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/ylpr/vol29/iss1/2