Why do people have a problem with Joker committing sexual acts of violence? What is it that makes people accept Joker as a murderer of children but not a rapist or molester? OK, people are just digesting the notion that Joker might have raped Barbara Gordon in "The Killing Joke", but Joker is still miles away from playing sexual predator. I'm not clamoring for 100 years of Joker rape stories at all. But I happen to agree with Snyder on this one. Joker is an agent of ultimate evil, and should be capable of any depraved act that creates discord among humans. I feel as if when people remove rape from Joker's M.O., they're hinting at their own discomfort rather than making a statement on the character.
EDIT: I'll post the rebuttals from
2. The Joker is perhaps the most enjoyed comics villan in history, and perhaps all of entertainment. Yes, he is a murderer, and yes it weird that fans still enjoy him despite that, but that's how we as a society are. Sometime we like a bad guy who is smart, funny, or just plain cool. If you make him a rapist, we either have to accept that and still love him, or we have to stop loving him. Either way sucks. Either way the idea is outrageous, Why do that to a character that really is enjoyed by so many just the way he is? He never needed to be a rapist to be the ultimare bad-guy, Batman's true nemisis. This would mess with my enjoyment of comics overall and the Joker in particular. I can't be a fan of a rapist. I would be angry with anyone else who is. I read comics for entertainment, and yes, it can be violent entertainment, but rape is not in any form entertaining. This is why Snyder scares me a little. He says the Joker is his favvorite villan of all time. Make him rape somebody and then say that.
After 70 years and much of it on saturday morning cartoons, the Joker is EVREWHERE. 5-year-olds dress up like him for Halloween. Cosplayers. Video gamers. I have a children's book about Harley and the Joker on my nightstand. Bad enough for long-time fans of the Joker, imagime what it would be like for real life victims of rape if this celebrated character became a rapist. Not everyone would know. There would still be 5-year olds at Halloween dressed like him.
Maybe we tolerate him as a murderer becuase he is so far from real life crimes. Purplesuit, laughing gas, green hair, eternally escaping justice. Sorry, rape is far too real and too common.
I'd hope there would be a massive outcry. Snyder might loose his job, the story be cancelled. And I'd agree with that. It would be a step towards dragging society further into acceptance of abuse, with the odd twist that we would mostly be aware of it."
I do disagree on one point, though. Is the Joker who murdered a room full of executives for not trademarking "Laughing Fish" less brutal than Heath Ledger's agent of chaos?
I'll also add this: I do with agree with Snyder in the sense that Joker will do anything creatively rewarding in the pursuit of evil. Anything. But rape is hard to justify as a creatively rewarding plot device, especially for a meta-aware like Joker. Irréversible, a French film, succeeds on doing just that. David Lynch's Blue Velvet and the work of Suehiro Maruo also succeed on this feat, but it's an uncommon one. And I hadn't stop to consider that "less is more" might be better for general audiences. I don't mean water down the character, but keep aspects about the character shrouded in mystery rather than defining what he does and does not do. Rape has never been in the mainstream Joker's M.O., but it's a mistake to say he's incapable. Still, one must consider the audiences who could not handle their favorite character as a rapist. Again, the Alice Cooper rule: "Don't show 'em everything, or you'll give it all away".
Note: made another edit to the OP