So in this OP I don't intend to fully lay out my arguement, but more posit my beliefs and then defend them as needed later in the thread:
I used to subscribe to usual neckbeard manifesto of "nothing is offlimits in comedy" "if you cant take a joke, fuck off". About 2 years ago, due to firsthand experiences, I did a 180.
1. I genuinely believe that telling rape jokes publically is morally wrong in many circumstances;
2. I believe that 1. is highly dependent on setting, audience etc, but I don't think a mainstream comedien not specifically known for exactly that type of humour should EVER throw a rape joke into his set.
3. I believe that rape is a special case (there may be others) - its not that people might be offended that matters, I think that is irrelevant, its that a statistically significant and entirely blameless portion of the population might (and its not a small chance) be severely hurt by hearing the joke. I know one such person and I've seen the effect it has on her (she doesnt get angry, she deflates, withdraws and it kills me a little inside each time I see it and the teller of the joke doesnt notice).
4. I believe the "freedom of speech" arguement is a copout. Exercising your rights doesnt preclude you from being morally blameworthy for doing so. Sure you are ALLOWED to make rape jokes in the potential hearing of rape victims, but that doesnt mean you arent WRONG for doing so.
5. I believe the "don't listen to it if it hurts/offends you" arguement is a copout. You can't control what you hear short of living in cotton wool. 95% of standup comedy doesnt involve jokes about being raped or raping, why should you be forced to opt out of that so that in the remaining random 5% of cases a comedian can make a particularly sick joke.
6. I also believe, though this is entirely seperate to the above arguement, that rape jokes are a low form of humour. They rely solely on shock value, breaking tabboo - there is nothing inherently funny about them. If they didnt carry the risk of causing harm and offence, they wouldnt be funny - that, for me, is the nail in the coffin for rape jokes as a form of comedic art.
Inb4 cretins post rape jokes (I've seen them all, they dont offend me, I just pity you and anyone who inadvertantly reads them and is hurt).