Schrodinger’s Rapist: Yes, We Have To Talk About This Again

Schrodinger’s Rapist is not about “all men are rapists.”

It is not even about “all men are potential rapists.” All men are, in fact, potential rapists, in much the same sense as all women are potential rapists, and all brunettes are potential rapists. All people are potential rapists, because rape is not a function of anything about a person except the fact that they rape people.

It is about “a very significant proportion of women will, when you approach them, be assessing whether you are going to be That Asshole, and it is in your best interest to ensure their conclusion is not that you are.”

Nearly every woman has an experience with That Asshole. That Asshole is, very simply, a person who disrespects the boundaries and “leave me alone” signals of others.

That Asshole calls you a bitch when you say politely but firmly “please leave me alone.” That Asshole follows you down two city blocks, you walking as quickly as you can and hoping he gets bored before you go to a place that’s too deserted. That Asshole calls “nice ass” at you from out of a moving car. That Asshole backs you into a corner at the bar, looming over you, and asks you for your phone number. That Asshole kisses you even though you didn’t want it, takes your clothes off even if you didn’t want it, fucks you even if you didn’t want it.

That Asshole makes up only a tiny percentage of men. However, he has poisoned the well for everyone else.

I think a lot of men underestimate the fear most women have around rape. For instance, I am the happiest little slut you could ever hope to meet. However, I would never have sex with a man whom a friend, or a friend of a friend, didn’t vouch for, because he might kidnap, rape and murder me. On a rational level, I know the chance of me getting murdered because of Craigslist Casual Encounters W4M is about as likely as me getting hit by lightning. However, on the emotional level, my brain associates “sex with men I don’t know” with “getting murdered.”

This may be related to why so few women have casual sex with men: it’s the natural side effect of a culture that says that having casual sex will get you raped, not watching your drink will get you raped, getting drunk will get you raped, going outside at midnight will get you raped, wearing a short skirt will get you raped, fucking wearing a ponytail will get you raped. That kind of thing can make a girl paranoid.

A significant minority, and maybe even the majority, of women, before a potentially non-platonic interaction, are not thinking “I wonder if we have anything in common, I wonder if he likes me”, but “I wonder what shit This Asshole is going to pull.”

That means you have to distinguish yourself from those people. The feminists are trying to give you pickup advice here! If a woman is suspicious that you’re going to rape her, she is not going to want to sleep with you.

This means that you should never, ever disrespect a person’s boundaries (if they say “leave me alone” or communicate it through body language such as turning away and picking up a book, don’t keep talking to them). It also means you should be aware of circumstances that may make even a perfectly natural approach more threatening and understand that, as a completely random example, you should not attempt to pick up a woman whom you have never spoken to before at 4 am in an enclosed space while she is in a foreign country, after she has stated that she is tired and wants to go to bed, and that she is tired of getting hit on at conventions of the sort she’s going to. That is probably a bad idea.

Schrodinger’s Rapist is what Captain Awkward, advice columnist to the socially awkward geeks of the world, calls the gift of fear. (Okay, technically it comes from a book by Gavin de Becker, but Captain Awkward is where I first heard about it, so she gets the credit.) The gift of fear is basically this: listen to your fear. Our brains developed to handle social interactions over millennia. If someone is afraid of someone else, it might be because the other person is socially awkward and not aware of what signals they’re giving off– or it might be because the person is a predator. Therefore, it is the right of every person to refuse social interaction with any other person at any time, even if it’s only because “they seem creepy to me.”

In fact, men should also develop their own gifts of fear. True, very few men have to deal with street harassment, but abuse and rape are not female-only things, and That Assholes often come in female guise. While many predators are not identifiable, and not identifying a predator doesn’t mean you “deserved” to be raped (as if anyone can deserve that!), identifying patterns of behavior that predators practice, dangerous situations, people who disrespect your clear boundaries and anything that gives you the twinge of not-right, and taking whatever measures necessary to avoid the situation, can make the difference between being a victim and not.

Further reading:

Ami Angelwings, Sometimes You Just Don’t Know >:|

Holly Pervocracy, How Not To Be Creepy.

Ozymandias (yes, I am citing myself in my own further reading, deal with it), Being A Socially Awkward Creep.

This entry was posted in noseriouslywhatabouttehmenz, rape culture, sexism, violence and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

564 Responses to Schrodinger’s Rapist: Yes, We Have To Talk About This Again

  1. Danny says:

    Here’s a bit of disconnect I’ve been having on this for a while. When I read about our buddy Schrodinger here I read this as “its okay for women to presume the worst faith in me because I’m a guy and if I don’t like that its on me to change myself and other men in order to make them feel safer”. My problem here is that when thinking about this on just about any other characteristic (like “its okay for black people to presume the worst faith in white people and if white people don’t like that then its on white people to change in order to make black people feel safer” or even swapping the genders) I don’t see it flying. (Yes I know that’ pretty uncharitable but with the way I’ve been condescended to and treated on this subject I’m running preciously low on charity and I’m holding to what I have left).

    Mind you I’m not trying to say that women’s fear of men is totally illegitimate. But given that its a small portion of men are the ones doing the attacking I’m left wondering how this particular tree gets poisoned under these circumstances while others don’t.

  2. Jim says:

    “In fact, men should also develop their own gifts of fear. True, very few men have to deal with street harassment, but abuse and rape are not female-only things,…’

    Oh, we already have. We know that you don’t have to be black anymore ot be Emmett Till.

    That means that every female – not just woman, every female – is Schrodinger’s False Rape Accuser. Every last one – that woman on the bus who cringes at sitting near you, that woman standing in the snow next to a broken down car, that female high school student that wonders why you will give after school instructiion to the boys but not to her, that former love of your life that now wants to take your children away from you, that little girl wandering around lost in a store,,,,, they are all suspect because they all, or their gutter-minded mothers – all have the power to destroy your life irreparably, and with no commensurate punishment. So they.can.all.go.hang. We have greater responsibilities thatn to them – to people that love and depend on us. These others, these strangers, can all go hang.

    it’s not a problem though, because none of these need our help, none of these Strong Independent Women. Good thing too.

    If you think this is some kind of some kind hypotheitcal, then googl around for the spate of articles – by women – in the past year or so on this very topic. Men afraid to go near even thier own children outdoors because the curtain twitchers call the police on them.

    However reasonable these women believe their fears to be,these fears are not rational, and to the extent they are not, these women are bigots, and bigots are oppressors. And no I do not have to empathize with bigotry and with oppressors’ feelings, or respect them, or understand them any further than to find out how to aovid harm to me and mine, Women feel uncomfortable; men go to jail, and for years and years behind this shit. And I’m supposed to care about their feelings of discomfort?

    You know why men don’t understand this shit – becauswe we learn the interpersoanl skills it takes to forestall it in the first place, mostly by the time we are eight. It comes down to prejecting enough menace to ward off the wrong kind of attention. Simple. What’s that – it would make you feel unfeminine? Why are women exempt from having to defend themselves the same way? Why is it always someone else’s job to defend you people? tlak about priveliege and blindness to privelege.

    And there’s a larger price to pay. If she’ll lie about something so heinous and do it so amorally, why on earht would she stick at lying about just about anything else?

  3. I know plenty of black women who feel the same way about white ppl b/c of white ppl touching their hair, or trying to :\ I know trans women who feel the same way about cis ppl. :\ Esp when it comes to a risk of being touched or assaulted, it’s that person’s body and that person’s life and memories and possible trauma, and they’re the ones who will ultimately have to deal w/ it, not us :\ (I feel the same way for men fearing rape, or fearing entrapment into fatherhood, or fearing false rape accusations, etc… as long as it’s about removing yourself from a situation you feel is unsafe, again, this isn’t about ideology, it’s not my life that ultimately will be affected, it’s theirs :\ )

  4. Eagle33 says:

    I still don’t by the article, no matter how many times you try to make it “It’s not about all men”.

    Here’s the thing with social interaction: You’re going to have to take risks. That’s how it is.

    Constantly assessing whether a guy is going to be The Asshole, putting it on a loop in your mind, does a disservice to what social interaction is all about.

    And what quantifies a man that fits their definition of The Asshole?

    Looks? The way they dress? Mannerisms? Personality? Vocabularly?

    What does a man have to go through in order to not be The Asshole?

    That’s my pet peeve with articles like this: It’s all generalisation and speculation.

  5. Sam says:

    Ozy,

    I like the Schrödinger’s essay because as opposed to most other feminist advice it’s intended to be actionable. Yet it suffers from a huge audience mismatch – it’s been written in basically feministspeak on a feminist blog, but seemed to adress guys who may need this kind of advice and who would like to hear it. Guys that read it were likely guys who are already reading feminist blogs and would likely take this essay as a reason to not say hi to a girl they see at the bus stop, or guys who read feminist blogs because they don’t like what’s said there in general. It’s a general problem, but it gets particularly pronounced in cases like this.

    And it’s really hard to see it as dating advice when the main focus is not “how to do it” but on how “not to do it”. The focus of the essay is still female safety and not pick up.

    You may be right that guys underestimate the female fear of rape, but I’m getting the impression that feminists overestimate it – which is likely a consequence of being confronted with the subject over and over. In my impression, women are afraid of running into “that asshole” but not because they fear sexual assault as much as the fear being annoyed and having their evening ruined.

    And as much as feminists don’t like it, there is the “driving while black”, or “approaching while being a man” issue. If it is wrong to feel less safe when asked for the time by a black person in a dark alley at night than by a white person, that it is the asked person’s problem to deal with their prejudices in that case and not the black person’s responsibility to do all they can to make the other person feel as safe as possible, then the question really is what is so different about female fear? Of course, I can refuse to give a black person the time if I feel uneasy, but the difference really isn’t the transactional result – it’s the differing moral evaluation of the behaviour.

    In both cases initiators who care about results will take the other person’s assumed level of fear and its behavioral impact into account when they act because they want the interaction to work and not perceived as a predator. Yet the black guy will be considered to be oppressed for having to do so while it is considered morally legitimate to demand men to do it. You see what I mean?

    I think men would have a much easier time with essays like Schrödinger’s rapist and consider them actual advice if that logical problem could be appropriately dealt with.

    Also: I agree that women need to feel safe to be willing to let go. Cold approaches in situations where women will not feel safe are unlikely to work and it’s in the best interested of anyone not wanting to get rejected to accept the bad logistics even if it means a lost interaction – the chances of it working out are simply too small. But there’s also the problem that giving a woman the feeling to be (physically) safe is not sufficient to get any further, in fact seduction is most likely to work in situations where someone, me too, is feeling safe enough to let go but the interaction still holds enough lack of safety to not be boring.

    Sure, the latter is a different kind of “lack of safety”. Some call this “emotional safety”. But the difference is not always easy to spot or perform. But it is also important.

  6. tu quoque says:

    Can someone explain why feminists try so hard to justify the “schrodinger’s rapist” concept, but at the same time criticize mras for positing their own equivalents such as schrodinger’s gold digger and schrodinger’s hypergamous slut?

    The more you analyze the concept, the more ridiculous it seems. Very few people are criminals of any sort, and for that reason when meeting new people we don’t expect them to prove they’re not criminals before we drop our guards around them. We build our assumptions of criminality based on behaviors that positively suggest criminality. We don’t wait for behaviors that disprove it, and when people do you can bet there’s usually some form of racism or classism at work.

    Sorry, but that’s what “schrodinger’s rapist” is, bigoted, discriminatory misandry at its worst.

  7. debaser71 says:

    I’m not buying it.

    My stumbling block is quite simple. To me it sounds like you are assuming the position of Goddess and then talking to Beavis and Butthead.

    Sometimes I feel as if I’m too old and/or too prudish to get some of the issues spoken about here but this Schrodinger thing has been irking me ever since elevatorgate. I realize that most of the context around this involves approaching women for dating purposes but it seems to extend much further.

    I have no problem with someone expressing how they feel creeped out but where I do have issue how this always seems to lead to “look, I’m just giving you advice on how to get laid!”. To me, it’s taking a serious issue and reducing it to teenager mentality sexual lust.

    With that said, I’m glad there is dialog about this…as long as it doesn’t look like Pharyngula.

    Sorry I am so dismissive. I am commenting on the content of the post not the character of the poster…if that makes any sense.

  8. Ella says:

    Honestly, I’ve always been torn over Schrodinger’s Rapist, partly because the tone of the entry is just horribly condescending, but mostly because as a woman I cannot relate to it at all.

    The problem for me isn’t that it says “don’t be That Arsehole” it’s that it implies that every woman is almost anticipating arseholishness. By and large I agree with the message the post is trying to send, but I think that message has been way overshadowed just by the title (yes, it’s a clever idea but every clever idea isn’t a good one).

  9. Just search FactCheckMe’s use of the term Schrodinger’s Rapist and see if she’s speaking in the spirit of conciliation… You say Schrodinger’s Rapist like I say I’m a conservative… most people? Most people with any power who use the word? They have an entirely different connotation in mind.

    And if you don’t address these people, if you don’t address how the people who write at Radfem Hub, (who are currently trying to deny trans women the right to use the bathroom) use the term, then you’re being dishonest.

    When I talk about being a conservative who believes that society is an organism, that rules should be based on empirical evidence, that all-things-being-equal tend to the status quo applied to the welfare state too, I have to address people who think it means an absence of government except to protect our neighbourhoods from the scourge of a drug that’s been around since before alcohol to little ill effect, or to keep two people who love each other, who would have run a good chance of being drafted for their sexual preference, two-thousand-two-hundred years ago when the empire which was the proving ground for western values was organizing Europe, from recording that love with their government, or preventing the social recognition of people who, at that same time, would have been revered priestesses of Cybelle (though I’d prefer a less painful transition technology myself.) While I’m a Tory who upholds the Magna Carta, I have to fight gun totin’ yahoos who call the PATRIOT Act the highest expression of Western Democracy since the FISA courts.

    I can’t ignore the elephant in the room when I use such a loaded term as conservative, if I’m trying to honestly reclaim it with a valid intellectual tradition. To fail to do the same with Schrodinger’s rapist is just lecturing cis guys not to be offended when the Ann Coulters of professional misandry bust out the term, whether one means to or not.

  10. OrangeYouGlad says:

    “In fact, men should also develop their own gifts of fear.”

    I do not think so. As a man I stand a fairly good change of being physically assaulted and I increase that chance by a few other factors in my life but I would not want to presume that everyone I meet is Schrödinger’s Assailant and live my life in fear. I do not want to assume the worst of everyone I meet. So, everyone is in the category of Neutral until they give some indicator of being That Asshole. And no, simply approaching and speaking to me is not enough.

    Now, I will admit there are situations where approaching/speaking to me is more likely to make me nervous. However, unlike this essay and the attitudes surrounding Elevator Guy I cannot and will not fault the other person for that. They did _absolutely nothing wrong_ in appraoching me and speaking to me. The worst I can say of them is they were a little ignorant of my circumstances. But once they’ve proven they are not That Asshole (by not assaulting or intimidating me) then what do I have to fault them for? A bit of friendly conversation in which all my stated wishes and boundaries were respected? They have done nothing wrong, they are not at fault (though I do not think I am at fault for being nervous) and since no one is at fault, I do not blame them or myself, and I move on. I don’t live in fear. No one should have to live in fear.

    I think this all goes doubly for rape because rapists aren’t strangers in elevators, they’re boyfriends/girlfriends, friends, brothers/sisters, _spouses_. There’d be no one you were free to feel safe with. That’s not a gift that’s a curse.

    ((Also, there’s the issue of the highly gendered language used in that essay. Yes, it is a problem. Because when your rape doesn’t fit the rape narrative (whether your rape was female-male, male-male, or female-female) and you are told “rape _is_ gendered” and “male-female rape is worse because of power imbalances” what you are being told is “your rape isn’t Real Rape or if it is it isn’t one of the Important Rapes because X-reason-male-female-rape-matters-more/is-worse”… And _no one_ deserves to hear that, especially if they’ve been raped.))

  11. BlackHumor says:

    As a man, I am in total support of this article.

    I’m not gonna say that the original Schroedinger’s Rapist article didn’t make me feel defensive, because it totally did, but it was clearly coming from a good place. Ozy’s trying to explain the good place it came from and I think you need to listen to her and be able to empathize with the feeling she describes before you just dismiss the idea that women might be worried that you would rape them.

    Rational or not they do, and no you’re not responsible for that itself; but if you, knowing that, act in a way that makes them fear they will be raped you are acting like a dick, plain and simple. If someone tells you they’re afraid of spiders you don’t get to complain their fear is irrational, and you certainly don’t get to spring your pet tarantula on them even if it’s harmless.

  12. Also, hmm… let me remember a time where I was very clearly in the Schrodinger Box…

    Ooh… Winter, 2003. I was coming home from the store, with four grocery bags, white grocery bags, in a well-lit area during a… well, I can’t remember but it wasn’t a new moon, and a loaded backpack in -20C weather, with a bulky brown jacket and a black toque on. I’m tall, I walk faster than most people… faster then because I was in better shape… I was slowly gaining on two women out for what seemed like an exercise walk, and waiting until I got to the point where I could comfortably pour on extra speed without it getting awkward, what with the forty or so pounds I was carrying…

    I never heard anyone shriek so loudly. I was about ten feet away at the time, and I froze. But hey, I should just accept that kind of humiliation… after all, I could have been a rapist… the boneless skinless chicken breast and prepackaged iceberg salad rapist… wouldn’t fit too well on a newspaper, but I can see it now.

    So to all the cis women out there: Don’t be that woman. You’ve taken precautions, you’re with a friend, or a cellphone or you’re in a well-traveled area, and for that matter you already know which weapon you will improvise (for me, it’s my ring of house keys.) You can take a half-a-second to assess the situation so that every male-presenting person out there doesn’t think that you’re Schrodinger’s overreacting-misandrist.

    The Schrodinger’s Rapist modality justifies that shriek. Not just the friend, and the keys and the cellphone, all perfectly rational, no, it justifies that shriek. Not to you, but to a lot of women (like FCM) it even justifies penis checks in the women’s bathroom. That’s about all I gotta add.

  13. BlackHumor says:

    Two things to say:

    One, I’ve got a post up there in moderation, and I can already tell you I’ve been ninja’d by a good bit.

    Two, @valarie: I think if you give yourself the benefit of the doubt that you did not seem like a rapist, you also need to give her the benefit of the doubt that she didn’t intend to humiliate you.

  14. The same standard “She Fears You” lecture that’s been ruining our social lives since adolescence. And you still don’t get that the only men who’ll take this to heart are the ones who mean you no harm anyway, and they’ll walk on eggshells around you for fear of making you afraid or uncomfortable, becoming the “nice guys” you’re probably already writing another condescending lecture about, while the assholes will still approach you assholishly because they don’t care. I’m starting to think it’s either deliberate, or biologically ingrained: a way of filtering out the non-socially-dominant from the pool of men who are prepared to approach you. Either that, or filter out the men who don’t confirm your prejudices.

    It rests on three assumptions that feminists don’t ever seem to question: one, that a woman’s subjective feelings are the objective centre of the universe and everyone else is responsible for them (this, of course, does not apply to men’s feelings – any man who expects you to take his feelings into account is an entitled asshole); two, always presume the best of a woman and the worst of a man (i.e. be prejudiced against men and in favour of women); and three, any woman can talk to any man like she’s his frickin’ mother. All three of these assumptions reveal an enormous sense of entitlement.

    I do hope this isn’t the way this site is going to go: announce you’re sympathetic to men’s issues, gather an audience of men interested in gender issues, then start the standard feminist lecturing and shaming. I gave up on the Good Men Project very quickly for that reason.

  15. dungone says:

    @Ella, @debaser, I agree on that. Let’s just examine the full title: Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced. Why should any reasonable man read past that point? It really does come off like the Goddess talking to Beavis and Butthead and it’s no use for feminists to rationalize it as a valuable lesson for their reasonable male audience to read and take to heart. Let’s put it another way – if the original blog needs a thousand other blogs to explain what it really meant, then perhaps it’s time to hang it up and find a better way of saying it.

    @tu quoque, I agree with you, too. Really,all you have to do to turn this into a PUA/MRA piece is rewrite Schrodinger’s Rapist as “Schrodinger’s New Girlfriend” and qualify every sentence with “but you don’t know if she’s not going to like it, so you might as well try.”

    @Ozy, I understand what you’re trying to say, but I don’t think that’s what Schrodinger’s Rapist says. What you’re saying is that people should avoid clearly inappropriate behavior. That behavior is inappropriate no matter who does it. I’ve had beggars, proselytizers, and prostitutes follow me down the street, so I know how that feels. I’ve been mugged in dark alleys and took beatings from gangs. I get cat-called from cars practically every time I go running. And I’ve also seen the gender-specific variations happen to all of my female friends. It’s wrong… agreed.

    But that’s not really what the blog says . That thing says that women can’t read men’s minds (literally, it says that) and implies that it’s men’s job to read theirs. It says that it’s not women’s responsibility to assess any given situation, so men who wish to approach a strange woman have to gingerly handle girls who are in a permanent freak-out mode.

  16. Kinder says:

    Pretty much what most commenters have already said. Schrodinger’s rapist is misandrist as hell.

    Prejudice is never acceptable. It might be a fact of life, but it is still something we all need to fight to win ourselves free from. Just because you are a woman does not give you any special rights to make and behave by false generalizations.

    You don’t deserve to be treated human if you don’t treat others humanely.

  17. Cwiles704 says:

    Just took a look at FactCheckMe’s Blog. Definitely triggered me. Some people. I don’t even. Rage. Depression.
    Anyway. I have serious issues with Schrodinger’s Rapist as well. Who is the target audience? If it’s men, then it’s awful full stop. It’s creating whole lot more anti-feminists than feminists.

    One night I was walking down my street from my local mini-mart to my apartment just two blocks away. I make this walk like twice a week late at night anywhere from 8-11pm. I was walking about 20-25 feet behind this woman in her with a bag of groceries in my hand. I didn’t pay any attention to her at first (why would I?). But after following her for about a minute, she does a 180 and gets right up in my face with tears in her eyes and SCREAMS at me. I didn’t hear what she said at first because I was listening to music on and kind of shocked. But I took one of my ear buds out and she screams “What the fuck is wrong with you!? what if you were a rapist!?” And she storms off. I’m only guessing she had some kind of personal issues she needed to work on… But I didn’t do a single thing wrong and anyone who tells me differently can go fuck themselves.

    But seriously. I’m not going to worry about what every woman I meet is going to be POSSIBLY be thinking about me. I’m not going to be preemptively empathic with every woman I get within 10 feet of either. I’m sorry, but making assumptions that I might do something bad because I’m a guy is straight just up sexist. Wouldn’t it be racist if I started freaking out if a black guy was walking behind me?

  18. dungone says:

    @Ozy… it also says (sorry haha) that it’s okay for women to treat every strange man as if he were about to rape her. And you know what that mentality has done before? It got a lot of white girls to accuse a lot of black guys of raping them. So a whole other reason that blog post doesn’t sit well with me is because I have personally experienced white women making fearful remarks about getting raped when they saw black or Latino men walking by. I don’t see anywhere in that post that says that women could ever be wrong about this, no matter how extreme their fears are or what sort of prejudices motivate them.

    And lastly, the one other thing that really pisses me off about that post is that it equivocates “That Asshole” with “That Rapist” every step of the way. I don’t appreciate that at all, even if someone is really rude and obnoxious, it doesn’t make them a rapist, potential rapist, Schrodinger’s rapist, or any other sort of rapist. Once again, let me point out that the post and all the supporters of it fail to delineate the boundaries between fair and extreme behavior, thus ultimately leaving it up to men to read women’s minds if they wish to avoid getting maced as per this anti-rape blog post.

  19. Dungone:

    I don’t see anywhere in that post that says that women could ever be wrong about this, no matter how extreme their fears are or what sort of prejudices motivate them.

    Make that four assumptions that feminists don’t question.

  20. Dr. Anonymous says:

    First a rather off-beat note. The original Schroedinger’s cat was a paradox designed to illustrate the absurdity of applying quantum mechanic interpretation on macroscopic systems. Something that seems to have passed these ‘educated’ feminists straight by.

    @Amy

    I say you mentioned the lan party that banned women on your blog. Let us assume that these men had been bullied by women, and the last woman who showed any interest in their lan party only did so because then she could bring her cool gang with her to make fun of them. Would you accept this as an excuse to the men deciding that they didn’t want to spend their leisure time with women?

    I still remember one blog post over at Shapley Prose that I think caught the double standard in a nutshell. ‘My right to be left alone, trumps your right to interaction’. So why is then, that these same people go on and on and on about how they don’t feel welcome by men in leisure groups and how women have a right to be welcome in groups formed by men to spend spare time together?

    Moderator’s note: This is off-topic, and I suggest you discuss it on the blog where you read it.

  21. @blackhumour I don’t think she intended to humiliate me. I don’t think I, the person, entered into her thoughts at all.

    I was, at that point, reduced to the status of object. I was not a person, just a potential problem.

  22. TheAverageOutlier says:

    There’s one thing here that I do not really get. Namely, is it ever socially acceptable in any Western culture to approach strangers, in a situation not obviously associated with making new connections, without a real reason? A real reason could be asking for directions or other help.

    I never do this, and I don’t even want to do this. But I do not know if it’s acceptable or not. I feel mildly uncomfortable whenever strangers talk to me without explicitly asking for help, but I do not condemn their behaviour outright. I try to be polite and non-confrontational and all that. But “I don’t like it” does not imply “no one likes it” or even “most people do not like it”.

    But if it is widely considered unacceptable, we could just advise everyone not to do it. If not, I do not know what advice should be given.

  23. @Cwiles704 Well, I certainly feel simultaneously more and less upset by that… my 8 PM shriek seems less likely to be the product of

    @BlackHumour I give myself the benefit of the doubt because, well, two seconds and you can see that beyond a pair of legs I’m immobilized. I’m weighted down visibly. Which she shortly acknowledged. I don’t like the kind of climate that says that that kind of public disturbance and accusation, on the off chance is appropriate. All the precautions in the world didn’t help me during my sexual assault. I spoke into a live mike and told him to stop touching me… not one of two-hundred people batted an eye, except his friends. They laughed.

    (That by the way, is what being closeted-trans is like for some women: All of the opprobrium, all of the responsibility, of presumed maleness, with all of the femmephobia and objectification that radicalfeminists (I’m writing it as one word until they write trans womyn as two case-appropriate words) say that all womyn suffer… but of course, without any of the sisterhood or support that someone should have after an incident like that.

  24. MaMu1977 says:

    Hmm, Schrodinger’s Rapist. The idea that due to the threat of a minority of men as rapists, all men should act towards women in ways that explicitly show that they aren’t rapists.

    OK, I’ll bite. When I served our country as a medical, literally 1 out of 4 children were sired by men whose signatures weren’t on the mothers’ wedding certificates. Of the 25% illegitimate rate, 80% (or 20% of the original total altogether), were conceived prior to wedlock. Schrodinger’s Faithless Troll tells me that its in my best interest to DNA test all children. After all, nothing is less comfortable that a father learning that his child is going to die from leukemia because the seed-squirter was some guy that his wife met a few weeks before he proposed…

  25. AB says:

    The way I see it, interacting with another person is a bit like buying a lottery ticket at a fair. Sometimes you’re going to win a small teddy-bear or something – not very valuable, but still worth the money you spent on the ticket (that is, you’re going to have a social interaction which is pleasant enough for the time and energy you put into it, but nothing special). Sometimes you’ll not win anything and the money will be wasted. And sometimes you’re going to win the big prize (a friendship, romantic relationship, business connection, or just a really, really great experience).

    But whereas the worst that can happen in a lottery is that you waste your money, social interaction comes with the risk of violence and abuse. Maybe not a great risk, but a risk nonetheless. And whereas you can easily walk away from the lottery without buying anything, social interaction has a way of finding you, whether you’re inclined to it or not.

    So most of us makes an assessment before engaging in a social interaction (or responding to people trying to engage us) about the likely cost (in terms of time and energy), the risk, and the potential reward. A guy who appeals to me physically offers a higher potential for a romantic relationship, a guy who wears a t-shirt with a band I like, or otherwise signals a shared interest or a connection to sub-culture I identify with, offers a higher potential both for romance and friendship, and a guy who has a very relaxed and comforting body-language and facial expression not only offers a greater potential for friendship and romance, but also of considerably less danger.

    On the other hand, a guy who casually invades my personal space, who reacts aggressively when I express a wish to not take the interaction further, who tells racist and sexist jokes (of the “funny because it’s true”-variety, not the “funny because it’s outrageous” kind), who use off-putting language, etc. signals an increased risk and a decreased chance of reward. I would never find it justifiable to conclude that the guy was a rapist, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about evaluating whether or not to spend time and energy interacting with him, as opposed to spending time and energy interacting with a guy offering a lesser risk and a greater chance of a reward.

    A lot of guys seem to assume Schrödinger’s Rapist is all about judging men, because that’s all women do. It’s about women having arbitrary demands to a guy’s behaviour, and then punishing him for failing to adhere to them by calling him a rapist. But in reality (sorry guys) it little to do with men, and everything to do with women (like everybody else) acting in the interest of a safe and rewarding experience.

    To compare to the aforementioned Schrödinger’s False Rape Accuser example, let’s say you’re a man who flirts, or have sex, with a woman who indicates that she believes that no means yes, that men should chase her, and/or that pushing men away is her way of a saying “try harder”. This isn’t an extremely dangerous behaviour in itself (people have worked with these standards for centuries, and most of the time, surprisingly, they kind of work), but compared to a more sane behaviour (no means no, pushing someone away means “back off”, and fantasies about being violently taken are acted upon with prior agreement and adequate safety mechanisms in place), it’s considerably riskier.

    If you understand the gist of what Schrödinger’s Rapist is all about, you’ll realise that you have every right to decide that the risk, small as it is, is not worth taking. If she acts like she doesn’t want sex, and then expects you to go for it anyway, it increases the risk of you misreading her signals when she really means no, which (assuming you’re a decent human being) would make you feel terribly whether she pressed charges or not. It also means that if she accused you of rape, she would have evidence to back her up, which is a further risk you take. The risk might be small, but it is perfectly reasonable to decide that the risks don’t make up for the potential rewards.

    If you’re one of the people who believe Schrödinger’s Rapist is all about condemning men, you might instead decide that you have the right to call her a false rape accuser even before she’s accused you of anything. And if you’re one of the people who believe Schrödinger’s Rapist is BS, you might decide that, since you have no idea whether she’d still be able to communicate a clear NO! despite her preferred method or courting, or whether she would ever accuse you anything in the first place, you do not have the right to decide against a relationship with her. Even though you feel uncomfortable and unsafe whenever she acts like she wants you to go away, only to turn around and ask why you didn’t pursue her, acting on your feelings of discomfort and insecurity would mean you were indirectly accusing her of being a false rape accuser, and since that would be terrible, you’re stuck with her until she does something genuinely unacceptable.

    This is basically what is expected of women when they’re told to completely disregard creepy behaviour until the guy exhibiting it has done something criminal. And I know no man who would find it reasonable if applied to himself in the aforementioned situation. To take Cwiles704’s example of a woman screaming at him: She did not do anything illegal, and at no point did she offer concrete proof that she would accuse a man she had sex with of raping her (she specifically said “what if you were a rapist?” and not “you are a rapist”), so he has no right to accuse her of making false rape accusations, only of being paranoid, having personal issues, and being rude.

    But if Cwiles704 decided after that incident that he did not want to get closer to the woman, because he wasn’t sure of her ability to distinguish between normal interaction/flirting and an attempted rape, he would be employing his own version of Schrödinger’s Rapist. Even with no concrete proof that he’d be facing an accusation of rape, he decides to not take the risk. Exactly like a woman finding a man’s behaviour creepy and deciding not to risk further interaction with him.

    Schrödinger’s Rapist is not about assuming all men are potential rapists. We already know all men are potential rapists, just like all women are potential rapists, and all people outside or in between the normal gender distinctions are potential rapists (and potential false rape accusers), so that’s already given. Schrödinger’s Rapist is about how we evaluate this potential. If you become uncomfortable when a woman mistakes innocent intentions for you being a sexual predator, then you should understand how women feel when a man mistakes “I really dislike being hit on in enclosed spaces when I’m alone” for “Please hit on me in an enclosed space when I’m alone”.

  26. f. says:

    I’ve noticed this tendency on my part – an overcautiousness about men who approach me in certain situations. Part of it is surely that I regularly deal with street harassment, usually verbal but occasionally physical (I’ve been grabbed by the hands, the upper arm, the hair, had my ass and breasts fondled). So, on public transport and on the street at night, I am sort of short with men who want to talk to me. As Ami says in her post, “we have to live with the memories” and every time I’ve been harassed, it’s been very difficult for me not to see it in terms of, I let my guard down. If I hadn’t smiled at him, or maybe if I had actively glared at him, or maybe if my posture had been more aggressive or if my hips didn’t sway back and forth when I walk, he wouldn’t have made that comment about how much I would charge him for a quickie. If I hadn’t been standing on the corner listening to headphones, I would’ve heard him coming up behind me and he wouldn’t have grabbed me. Etc.

    It’s tough, because I know I shouldn’t be blaming myself for harassment anyway, and because blaming myself makes me retreat further into an unapproachable and mean public persona. I mean, I wouldn’t scream like Valerie got screamed at. But I’m not really as chatty and smiley as I used to be. I have had one guy who stopped his bike very close to me and said “HEY!” in what I took to be an aggressive way, yell after me, “I just wanted to ask you for some directions!” and felt really bad… usually I’m always the person who stops whatever I’m doing to give directions.

    Basically, I think if I could let myself off the hook for “inviting” harassment, I could be less suspicious of people who approach me. But the actual experience of harassment trips me up. I’d do almost anything to keep that 1% of men who are The Assholes from getting up in my grill, because it is frankly traumatic to have one’s body treated as public property.

    I’m kind of worried that dealing with the assholes is making me into an asshole.

  27. SJ says:

    What the fuck is up with most of these comments? You shouldn’t be offended that as a person you may be Schrodinger’s Rapist. It’s How Things Are In Present Society.
    It’s just part of being a respectful and thoughtful human being that you don’t invade someone’s personal space, and then you don’t get offended when a person is put off by this behaviour.
    Most men are physically stronger and have much more of a presence than women do, not to mention the whole… Rape culture thing. You know, it’s a girl’s fault if she is raped, etc. That kind of thing. Tends to make one jumpy.
    I don’t understand the some of the commenters above, complaining about women who have jumped a mile when they’ve clearly come too close. They may be Schrodinger’s Rape Victim for all you know.
    Please just have respect for other people, no matter their gender.

  28. SJ:

    What the fuck is up with most of these comments? You shouldn’t be offended… Please just have respect for other people, no matter their gender.

    This comment is the whole “Schredinger’s Rapist” thing in a nutshell: feminists demanding men treat womens feelings and reactions as absolute, while simultaneously telling us what feelings and reactions we’re permitted to have. I will not take lectures on respect from others from people who demand it but don’t show it.

  29. Danny says:

    Long time no hear AB.
    AB:
    I would never find it justifiable to conclude that the guy was a rapist, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about evaluating whether or not to spend time and energy interacting with him, as opposed to spending time and energy interacting with a guy offering a lesser risk and a greater chance of a reward.
    If that’s not what Its about then why is it called Schrodinger’s Rapist? Why not Schrodinger’s Worthwhile Investment? Schrodinger’s Worthwhile Interaction? If it’s not about concluding if the guy is a rapist then (bearing in mind as someone above mentioned that the name comes from the theoretical existence of a cat) why name the principal after the theoretical existence of a rapist?

  30. Kenshiroit says:

    Im also offended by this schrodingers rapist issue. It’s basicaly rationalising Androphobic behaviour. And it justify pre-emptive defenses against guy’s even if they dont do anything.
    The schrodinger rapist idea, only helps perpretuate fear and distrust against the opposite gender based on this and that reason. Stupid and pointless.

    Sure lot of stuff is just common sence, but the way how it is presented it only show a huge bunch of prejudges and bigotry. And then feminist wonder why people belive they are manhaters.

  31. f. says:

    @ PB, I think my problem with both the “Schrödinger’s Rapist” post and your response to it is the fact that each of them pit “men” in general and “women” in general against each other in some kind of “Is he going to hurt me?” / “Is she going to baselessly treat me as a threat?” battle of the sexes. That’s silly. “Men” at large are not the people who trip my sense of danger. “Women” at large are not, I hope, the people who are treating you as a threat. The sense I get from the original Schrödinger’s Rapist post is that all day, every day, crowds of men are threateningly frightened/uncertain women to the soundtrack of Jaws. The sense I get from your post is that as you go about your business (maybe to the sound of “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”?) crowds of women are recoiling from your friendly smile and jaunty whistling and whispering “…rapist?” It all seems very melodramatic.

    @ Danny, I see where you’re coming from about the “Schrödinger’s Rapist” title. It’s meant as a kind of worst-case scenario for certain interactions I think. But it’s way too catastrophic. In daily life I experience this phenomenon more as “Schrödinger’s Harasser”. It’s been years since I felt I was in a situation where a guy was a potential rapist. It’s been less than a week since the last guy followed me down the sidewalk making rude obscene comments.

  32. Cheradenine says:

    SJ:

    I don’t understand the some of the commenters above, complaining about women who have jumped a mile when they’ve clearly come too close

    Uh… Valerie writes:

    I never heard anyone shriek so loudly. I was about ten feet away at the time

    Ten feet away is “clearly come too close”?

    Or Cwiles704:

    I was walking about 20-25 feet behind this woman in her with a bag of groceries in my hand

    Personal space varies widely from culture to culture — I think some of you would freak the hell out if you spent any time in Spain, for example — but 4 feet is generally the furthest out at which personal space ends, and by 8 feet you’re well into the sort of distance involved in addressing an audience, aka “public space”.

    Backing up a bit in your comment:

    You shouldn’t be offended that as a person you may be Schrodinger’s Rapist

    It’s not about offence, and nor is it about lack of respect; it’s about stereotype threat. I thought Sam expressed it well here:

    In both cases initiators who care about results will take the other person’s assumed level of fear and its behavioral impact into account when they act because they want the interaction to work and not perceived as a predator. Yet the black guy will be considered to be oppressed for having to do so while it is considered morally legitimate to demand men to do it. You see what I mean?

    Notice that he’s not saying that men shouldn’t approach women with sensitivity and awareness of their fears; and definitely not saying that men shouldn’t respect women’s boundaries or desire not to be intruded upon (even if only in terms of an unwanted conversation when they’re actually trying to, say, read, or think about something else).

    Quite the opposite, in fact. It’s important to note that I don’t think the problem people have is with the approach advice contained in the how-not-to-get-maced post, so much as the attitude and behavioural systems behind it. (Also, I seem to remember the comments section was full of hideous misandry, but I really don’t want to get sidetracked by that here. It did probably affect people’s judgement of the post, though.)

    But it is nonetheless an example of prejudice:

    That Asshole makes up only a tiny percentage of men. However, he has poisoned the well for everyone else.

    Sorry Ozy, with the best of intentions, I have to point out that this is an attempted justification of prejudice. What else do you call it when you judge a huge class of people by the stereotype associated with a tiny minority of them?

    And I can understand it — just as I can understand how someone who has been violently mugged might develop prejudice against people of the same race as the muggers — but understanding the cause doesn’t mean it’s acceptable.

    It’s not about offence, it’s about the ongoing psychological impact — the effect on self-esteem, confidence, ability to socially interact, etc — of being seen as a predator, purely for the class of person to which someone belongs. A class to which ~50% of the planet’s population belongs. When, in fact, not only is the person in question almost certainly not a predator, but could very easily be a sexual assault survivor themselves.

    The original post made some rather dubious claims about the prevalence of sexual predators amongst the male population. But even if we took those claims to be the gospel truth, if men really are predators as frequently as she claims?

    Any given male you encounter is still ten times more likely to be a survivor of sexual assault than a perpetrator.

  33. Fingenieur says:

    It’s far more likely (than encountering a rapist), that an interacting party is menstruating and should not be considered to be fully in control of herself, her mind and her mood. It’s still not an excuse to start treating such potential menstruators with caution or any less disrespect, even though we have all encountered “that asshole” and know how painfully likely it is to have such encounters.

    Even worse: there even seems to be an effective “culture of menstruation”. You know, the menstrual apologetics, “She just hit me!” “She’s got her period…” I mean, ain’t it just reasonable to accept the fact that by biology the other gender is that much more likely to succumb to irrational, violent and angry behavior. And it’s just natural for guys to be on our toes for that. And like, avoid putting them to places where it can do harm?

    There’s a million reasons for prejudice. They are shit. And you are the asshole if you can’t win yourself.

  34. B-Lar says:

    When I first read Shrodingers Rapist, I thought it was the finest feminist essay that had been produced. It does not talk about idealology, but instead talks about a thought process that I am not privvy to as a man.

    I had never thought about Shrodingers False Rape Accuser before, and I find that it is an interesting flipside to the coin. I think that it would probably get the same response from women (ie how dares you say that all wimmens are false rape accusers) as Shrodingers Rapist got from men and that is a good starting point for mutually beneficial discussion.

    My thoughts are that if we based our actions on what we fear might happen (for whatever reason), then trust is broken and the structure of society will fragment. This is an inevitable side effect of having individuals in a society who are willing to ignore the personal wishes of others when they decide how to act themselves.

  35. kilo says:

    One thing I never really understood about Schroedinger’s rapist is why the argument behind it only applies to strangers. How well do I have to know someone before my selfish desire for interaction trumps their potential fear of me or their right to be left alone?

  36. I really can’t believe we’re having this conversation here of all places. And with a post by the blog co-owner as well.

    The wrongness of the Schroedinger’s Rapist post is so monumental that I can’t believe anyone interested in issues that unfairly affect men would use it to make any sort of point.

    None of the men at this blog would ever corner a woman in a bar – or be “That Asshole.”

    I have an idea. Let’s go to the next NAACP meeting and say “Hey guys, I know none of ya’ll would actually mug us – but a whole bunch of black people mug folks, so they’ve tainted the well. So when we see a black person and we run screaming from you on a dark street – that’s not racism – it’s realism.

    Try that shit and see how quickly you get labelled as a racist – and you should be.

    For the men here: how many of you wish you could join vigilante sting groups where you find and kill rapists? I know I’d love to. But we don’t have a “Bait Car” that can go into clubs, onto dates and exist purely to lure out these human pieces of garbage who treat women like objects.
    I wish we did.

    There has not yet been one Feminist response to my post “Schroedinger’s Racist” who has been able to respond succinctly why stereotyping blacks as criminals is wrong but stereotyping men as rapists is ok. Either they’re both wrong or both right – you can’t pick and chose your bigotry because you feel like one is more politically correct than the other.

    My post: Everyone who things Schroedinger’s Rapist has any usefulness needs to read my post until they understand why that type of behavior is hurtful and wrong.
    http://easilyenthused.blogspot.com/2011/04/what-some-feminists-could-learn-from.html

  37. f. says:

    How well do I have to know someone before my selfish desire for interaction trumps their potential fear of me or their right to be left alone?

    Um, how about never? Why should it? I don’t expect my friends to never get nervous about me if I’m acting weird. If someone wants to be alone, I’m not standing on their doorstep whining, “let me in, I’m so loooooonely!” People do continue to have boundaries no matter how long you’ve known them. And just consider how many sexual assaults – and regular old assaults – are perpetrated against friends, relatives and acquaintances. Like, if you read this: http://captainawkward.com/2011/07/28/1061/ does the behavior of one of the guys in that letter seem more normal because they all know each other?

    Maybe I’m just misinterpreting your question, kilo, but it’s got me pretty confused.

  38. debaser71 says:

    “When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist.”

    1) For me, anyone who actually thinks this, in RL, won’t pass my personal jerkfilter. This also means they are in zero position to then give me dating advice or advice on how to get laid. At this point it’s that person who needs to show me that they are not ThatBitch. So if I’m already That Asshole and they are ThatBitch….it’s all good right? A perfect mismatch.

    2) there’s this assumption that every encounter from a man is always about sex…either in the form of potential rape (I loath even thinking about it) or that the man want’s to seduce her or get down her pants or whatever. Is there no room for chit chat or interesting talk?

    For me, Schrodinger’s Rapist fails even before it gets started.

  39. kilo says:

    f,

    “Um, how about never? Why should it? I don’t expect my friends to never get nervous about me if I’m acting weird. If someone wants to be alone, I’m not standing on their doorstep whining, “let me in, I’m so loooooonely!” People do continue to have boundaries no matter how long you’ve known them.”

    But then why focus Schroedinger’s rapist on strangers?

    And how far should one take the argument? Say I’m walking somewhere and see someone I know who appears not to have seen me. I have basically three options: go and talk to him/her, ignore him/her, or hide myself. Option one ignores that that person may not want to talk with me; you could even argue that it’s worse: I find it easier to tell a stranger that I don’t want to talk with them than I do with a friend, because I care less about not hurting their feelings. And as you note assault mostly happens between people who know each other, so I’m also more dangerous. Option two is clearly rude, which would leave option three as the most ethical choice. But that seems wrong.

  40. SJ says:

    @ Patrick Brown:

    So… What you’re saying is, you wont listen to the people, that in that particular situation, are the ones that are afraid? It’s not much of an ask to simply be considerate in certain situations. I know women who wont leave the house on their own. Precisely because of the Schrodinger’s Rapist scenario that has a tendency to show up when larger, broader, more physically threatening people are about…. As a woman, I don’t think every man I see might be a rapist. I’m just as likely to feel threatened by a female, if she’s bigger than me, stronger-looking than me, and has no respect for my boundaries
    The culture we live in demands that all sides of the gender inequality deal must listen to those around us if we want to understand each other. Men don’t want to think that to other people, they are Schrodinger’s Rapist. But for many women, it’s how they see the world. They may have to, if they’ve been sexually assaulted or raped before.
    There’s a higher chance the woman you’re walking behind is a rape victim – Schrodinger’s Rape Victim if you will – than you yourself being a rapist.
    It’s really not that much to ask to just be thoughtful in certain situations. If the person ahead of you keeps glancing back as though worried, would it kill you to change the route you were planning to take?

  41. Clarence says:

    SJ:
    I might increase the space between us, but that is as far as I would go. You want me to change my route because you are uncomfortable? What’s in it for me?

  42. SJ says:

    @clarence: you’re making another person feel safe in a space that they are no doubt as entitled to feel as safe in as you do.

  43. SJ: I have no problem being thoughtful, or sensitive, when I consider it necessary. What I have a problem with is (a) prejudice, (b) people who demand I walk on eggshells around women in case they’re prejudiced, and (c) women who demand I spend my entire life second-guessing their feelings while telling me my own feelings are illegitimate. Is that clear enough?

  44. Clarence says:

    SJ:

    You are speaking to a man who was mugged with a handgun within 3 blocks of the main police station in Baltimore City, and has been randomly assaulted on the street a total of 3 times over the years. Please do not assume that I walk the streets blissfully unaware of my surroundings. Thanks.

    I support limited profiling based on what makes one feel safe; but I’d never demand other people get off the sidewalk to make me feel safer.

  45. Barbara says:

    AB: Thank you, thank you. I was greatly heartened by your comment, to see the issue of risk factors laid out so clearly, without regard to which gender it oppresses.

    Schrodinger’s Rapist -IS- unfair to men. It sucks! Men should not have to make up for the actions of That Asshole. But just like feminism isn’t (or should be) about blaming men for systemic sexism and women pointing fingers at men and saying “fix it!”, masculism shouldn’t be about blaming this unfairness on women, and then pinning sole responsibility on women to disregard their own emotions and environment in order to right this injustice.

    What can men do to help feminism? What can women do to help masculism? We can be aware of the point of view of -everybody- involved, understand where the insecurity, unfairness, and frustrations are rooted, and then move together towards better interactions all around. It isn’t about being “in the right” or not, it’s about how fear factors work in real life, and how our culture has contributed to it. Change isn’t about ignoring your gut reaction, it’s about taking a good hard look at where your gut reaction comes from.

  46. Danny says:

    Sib:
    If the person ahead of you keeps glancing back as though worried, would it kill you to change the route you were planning to take?
    Would you hold blacks, Muslims, homeless people, etc… to that same standard?

  47. Sam says:

    AB, for once it seems we’re in agreement, who’d have thought that… 😉

  48. Jim says:

    “You may be right that guys underestimate the female fear of rape, but I’m getting the impression that feminists overestimate it – which is likely a consequence of being confronted with the subject over and over.”

    That or an over-active traditonal gender role that encourages them to see themsleves as fragile and vulnerable, Sam

    “What the fuck is up with most of these comments? You shouldn’t be offended that as a person you may be Schrodinger’s Rapist. It’s How Things Are In Present Society.”

    Are you happy with being Schrodinger’s False Rape Accuser, SJ? Because you are. That’s just the way things are in this society. Suck it up.

    “Please just have respect for other people, no matter their gender.”

    Do unto others, SJ. You really have no idea how offensive your comment was , do you?

    “The culture we live in demands that all sides of the gender inequality deal must listen to those around us if we want to understand each other. ”

    You really don’t listen to yourself, do you, SJ? We live in a culture that punishes men (and only men) even just supsected of rape very, very harshly. How much are you listening to that part of the discussion? Even if aquitted the accused lives with an ieradicable stigma. That’s if he’s aquitted, because in the case of rape the rules of evidence are not as strict as for any other crime. And that’s if it even comes to trial – vigilante violence is not uncommon, and in the US we have a horrifc hisotry of rape hysteris and lynch mob violence.

    But you seem quite unaware of all this contect, SJ. Why is that?

    “Two, @valarie: I think if you give yourself the benefit of the doubt that you did not seem like a rapist, you also need to give her the benefit of the doubt that she didn’t intend to humiliate you.”

    Aww hell no, BH – offensiveness is not determined by the person who is being offensive, remeber? And really, how could these women possibly think their action would not humilaite someone? Pull the other one.

    “Schrödinger’s Rapist is not about assuming all men are potential rapists. ”

    False, AB. It is explicitly about assuming all men are potential rapists because you cannot determine if we are or not.

    “@clarence: you’re making another person feel safe in a space that they are no doubt as entitled to feel as safe in as you do.”

    Oh, so now the woman is responsible for the man’s feelings, SJ? Passive-aggressive bullshit. it’s his job to reduce her bigotry? He’s supposed to be her knight in shining armor and make everything alright?

  49. Sam says:

    Cheradenine,

    thanks for the term “stereotype fear”.

    As I said, I suppose guys aren’t as angry about the behavioral demands that are pretty clear to most people anyway, and, as AB and others noted, aren’t limited to men at all, as they are about being singled out as the only case in which it is supposedly ok to be afraid of stereotypes (however backed up by statistics). If other people are considered to be oppressed for having to deal with stereotype fear, why is the case of female fear of sexual harrassment treated morally differently from the general fear of, say, being mugged.

    I believe that the actual productive point of the essay – “take people’s fears into account when interacting” – is more often than not forgotten because guys reading it get riled up about being treated differently from other cases of stereotype fear. And really, no feminist has been able to actually explain why the case should be treated differently.

    So people have been talking past each other: feminists and women are in this case talking about *the actual approach dynamics*, whether framed as “increasing female safety” or as “pickup tips”, whereas guys are talking about the meta level of “it’s not ok for you morally treat this kind of fear differently than others.”

    I really think that the whole disagreement is a case of talking about different layers of the argument.

  50. Rachel says:

    ozy, i really appreciate this post, and AB, your comment said exactly what i would have said, only better and with fewer obscenities.

    @Cheradenine: Any given male you encounter is still ten times more likely to be a survivor of sexual assault than a perpetrator.

    cite. because the only studies i’ve seen set the percentage of unincarcerated men who admit to having attempted or committed rape around 6%.

    and you still aren’t getting that the point of schroedinger’s rapist (and i agree that’s a terrible title, however sound i find the more generalized sentiment) isn’t really about individual women stereotyping men as a class. because we don’t want to live in fear and distrust any more than you want to be feared and mistrusted, i promise. the point isn’t that men have been culturally programmed to act in ways that women find threatening, nor that women have been culturally programmed to overreact to innocent contact with men because we have no way of knowing whether or not you’re a rapist. the point is that a lot of people (men and women) think that their intentions matter more than their actions towards other people (men and women), and that those intentions excuse them from giving due and decent attention to the reactions of those other people. it is not unreasonable for anyone, regardless of race or gender, to feel threatened by someone making inappropriate and unwanted comments or invading their personal space. it is unreasonable for that someone, regardless of race or gender, to blithely ignore the voiced or unvoiced discomfort of the other person because they’ve already decided that their own intentions matter more than the other party’s reaction.

    i don’t think that anyone in this thread expects you never to speak to a woman, ever, to avoid causing her even a moment’s nervousness, and likewise i don’t think that you should be labeled a potential rapist for the crime of being male, any more than i think that any muslim should be considered a terrorist or any black person a violent criminal. you aren’t responsible for other people’s irrational prejudices, nor for any overreactions that result. what schroedinger’s rapist is asking you to think about is whether or not you are doing anything that justifies that reaction because you are reinforcing that prejudice. it’s not “i label all men as potential rapists,” it’s “i don’t know when any man who does something that makes me uncomfortable and refuses to stop or back off when i telegraph that discomfort will stop, and thus he labels himself a potential rapist.”

    i’m not down with the militant “all hetsex is rape” crew and i don’t believe that men are the enemy. please don’t let your (justified) indignation at being called schroedinger’s rapist obstruct the key sentiment here: all people have the right to set their own boundaries, and all people should respect the boundaries that others set. if you let the rhetoric poison the well of consideration for the way you present yourself to others, you are absolutely no better than a rape survivor who justifies their prejudice against an entire class of people by identifying them with their rapist.

  51. debaser71 says:

    “When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist.”

  52. Rachel says:

    “if you let the rhetoric poison the well of consideration for the way you present yourself to others, you are absolutely no better than a rape survivor who justifies their prejudice against an entire class of people by identifying them with their rapist.”

  53. Rachel says:

    also consider that the appending of in public probably signifies that she’s doing something other than loafing about waiting for a dude to hit on her, and even if he is schroedinger’s rapist, the experiment will be disrupted based on what he says and how he says it

    just a thought

  54. debaser71 says:

    Why do you think people reading this blog need to be told not to be creepy?

    You don’t.

    What is being said is that other men’s creepy behavior makes you wary of all men who approach you.

    We get it. We just think it’s bullshit.

    Stop speaking to me as if I am Butthead.

  55. Cheradenine says:

    cite. because the only studies i’ve seen set the percentage of unincarcerated men who admit to having attempted or committed rape around 6%.

    I was basing that on the figures given by Kate Harding in her original Schrödinger’s Rapist post, since that’s the post we were discussing. She claims a 1-in-60 chance of a male being a perpetrator. If you don’t like that figure, take it up with her. I’m not keen on that figure either, but probably for different reasons to you.

    RAINN claims a 1-in-6 chance of a male being a survivor of sexual assault by the age of 16 — this is on their website and discussed extensively elsewhere on this blog — so we can assume it is, in fact, higher for the average male, unless you believe sexual assault against males magically stops when they reach 16, or that 16 is the average age of a male — both of which are, you know, false.

    The ratio of those two figures is 10:1. So there you go.

    and you still aren’t getting that the point of schroedinger’s rapist […] the point is that a lot of people (men and women) think that their intentions matter more than their actions towards other people (men and women), and that those intentions excuse them from giving due and decent attention to the reactions of those other people

    Apparently you’re not reading my comments, otherwise you wouldn’t say that.

    Did you not read the bit where Sam said, “initiators who care about results will take the other person’s assumed level of fear and its behavioral impact into account when they act”, or where I said, “he’s not saying that men shouldn’t approach women with sensitivity and awareness of their fears; and definitely not saying that men shouldn’t respect women’s boundaries or desire not to be intruded upon”?

    Notice how none of that addressed Magical Intentions(tm) but only actual actions and how they might be perceived? Right.

    I think you haven’t understood the point of my criticism.

    And don’t make assumptions about how I present myself to others. And especially don’t assume that because I have a problem with S.R. rhetoric, I am somehow either presenting as an asshole or justifying people infringing other people’s boundaries. Especially when I’ve already outright said that they shouldn’t.

  56. f. says:

    kilo, you’re making this more complicated than it has to be. Saying “hi” or waving at someone is not intrusive. If someone responds in a distracted, unenthusiastic, etc. way, it would be good to back off. If you truly worry that you’re imposing yourself upon your friends, it’s OK to ask “Listen, am I imposing upon you?”

    The idea isn’t that you should do everything right and never make anyone uncomfortable, imo. It’s more about paying attention to others in a specific situation. You can compensate for the fact that it’s tougher for people to say “no” to friends by not being pressuring, and by communicating explicitly about boundaries, which becomes easier and easier the better you know someone.

    The reason “Schrödinger’s Rapist” focuses on approaching strangers is probably because the original post was all about… approaching strangers?

    I do think it’s a very imperfect post. not least because it’s so gendered. Look at the behaviors the original blogger described in her post – they would be unacceptable coming from a woman, or directed at a man by a man, too.

  57. f. says:

    @ debaser:

    What is being said is that other men’s creepy behavior makes you wary of all men who approach you.

    We get it. We just think it’s bullshit.

    Ummm, fantastic for you? Unfortunately, we are still going to have to deal with creepy behavior from the 1% of assholes who are out there. As I mentioned above, being smiley, happy and trusting in public has earned me some not-awesome results. Traumatizing results, in fact. And unfortunately, you really cannot tell a harasser from a perfectly nice, pleasant person by looking at him. Or her, in fact.

    Do you have any tips besides “ignore the fact that you regularly get harassed and give everyone the benefit of the doubt”?

  58. Rachel says:

    @Chernadine: She claims a 1-in-60 chance of a male being a perpetrator. If you don’t like that figure, take it up with her.

    okay, i will take it up with her, although i’m reasonably sure that her figure is based on criminal convictions rather than free men self-reporting to psychologists so it’s apples to oranges. but i’m also taking it up with you, because the way you uncritically used that “ten times” figure upset me.

    and i’m terribly sorry, i didn’t mean to address all of that post at you, only the bit about the stat. it was EE who merited the substantive part and i just forgot the address part.

    @Debaser: Why do you think people reading this blog need to be told not to be creepy?

    because some people need to be reminded.

    You don’t.

    on the contrary, i actually wish that i’d be reminded more often, because when i found out after the fact that i did or said something inappropriate that made somebody uncomfortable, i usually feel terrible. i don’t have to deal with everyone thinking i’m a rapist, but i’m pretty sure that you don’t, either, as people who religiously adhere to every word of the schroedinger’s rapist post in their real-life interactions are a small minority of feminists, much less women at large.

    What is being said is that other men’s creepy behavior makes you wary of all men who approach you.

    no. when a person acts like a creep, i am wary of them because they are creepy, full stop. it is currently the case that the majority of creepiness i encounter has sexual under- or overtones, and the majority of the people employing said creepiness are men, but i don’t believe the reason for that is a problem with men.

    We get it. We just think it’s bullshit.

    coincidentally, i think the same thing about your patronizing strawmanning!

    Stop speaking to me as if I am Butthead.

    i think you’re more of a beavis, really.

  59. Kenshiroit says:

    Ok few observation, the basic rules of social interactions imposes that you keep fokus on the person you are interacting with. If the person Im interacting is unconfortable on my presence (for some reasons) I react perhaps leaving. If im in a conversation with the person, i try to remove what makes her/him unconfortable. But this is a universal behavior, not only man to woman, but also woman to man, woman to woman and man to man.

    The problem with the S.R is it takes only in consideration the M/F aspect and ignore everything else. This is where I get offended. I dont understand what is so difficoult for feminists to, at least one time in their life, to do a fair (FAIR) work on gender behaviour, without finding new and creative way to denigrate men. It seem to me, everything that come from the fem camp has as a reference only the female point of view, and it keeps anchored…almost fossiliced. While it should take both.

    I dont buy, the “only some men” talk, the S.R. is pointed against all men, and as evidence I have the OP claim : ‘That Asshole makes up only a tiny percentage of men. However, he has poisoned the well for everyone else.’ So with other words the OP agrees that the asshole is a small number o guys (and women) but advices anyways to generalice against the male gender enforcing negative stereotypes. So in conclusion the work is bigotted.

    Finally, to the people who claims to look above the rethotic, my answer is, if the rethoric is flawed, the entire work suffer. Find a better rethoric next time.

  60. Rachel says:

    that last bit was uncalled-for and i apologize.

  61. debaser71 says:

    I like the original Schrodinger post because it’s direct and clear.

    “When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist.”

    See, it’s about approaching. It’s not about approaching THEN being a creep. The approach makes you Schrodinger’s Rapist. But it’s not only an approach, it’s extended to being (for example) walking down the street without any actual approach at all. Merely being within 20 feet of a woman can trigger Schrodinger Rapist.

    Look, I’m 40 years old, married, with three daughter to whom I am the primary caretaker. It’s my everyday reality that most of the people I encounter over the course of my day are women; mothers, teachers, camp instructors, etc.

  62. f. says:

    debaser,

    Merely being within 20 feet of a woman can trigger Schrodinger Rapist.

    Examples please. I appreciate the fact that people on this thread are listing some times when, as a man or when presenting as male, they were considered “scary” while doing nothing threatening at all. But do you truly consider this a widespread phenomenon among women?

  63. Cheradenine says:

    i’m also taking it up with you, because the way you uncritically used that “ten times” figure upset me.

    I think you should come back when you’re not upset and throwing around insults at our contributors. And you shouldthink about why a comment making a claim about the high level at which males are assaulted upsets you so much. Even if we take your figure as gospel truth (and I emphatically don’t), male survivors of abuse still outnumber male perpetrators by 2.6x.

    It’s also worth bearing in mind the circumstances we’re discussing here: public approach. I believe the figures you’re referring to include sexual coercion within relationships. “Stranger danger” makes up a tiny, tiny proportion of rapes — about 2% (Citation, since you’ll ask for one).

    And if you want to discuss self-reports within the context of a relationship, then Denise Hines has something to say on the subject. Short version: within the context of their current or most recent relationship, men are approximately as likely to be physically forced into sex as women (men: 2.8%, women: 2.3%) and approximately as likely to be verbally coerced into sex as well (men: 22.0%, women: 24.5%).

    Important note for the avoidance of doubt: I’m not saying rape never happens, or happens very rarely. I’m saying it rarely happens to someone by a stranger who has just approached them on the street, despite that being an extremely common representation in the media, and that rape and assault happens to males much more frequently than assumed. And that the combination of these two facts means that in a public-approach situation, you’re vastly more likely to be dealing with an abuse survivor than someone who is trying to assault you.

    If that offends you, you really need to do some introspection.

  64. debaser71 says:

    “Examples please. ”

    Read Valerie’s and Cwiles post.

    Personally I am aware of ‘overtaking’ someone else on the sidewalk. If they are too slow I try not to make it like I’m walking right up behind them. When you have kids to be mindful of, you get very aware not to be stomping all over them. They have a tendency to dart from side to side. You can’t be knocking over kids as you walk.

  65. dungone says:

    My bullshit meter is broken now thanks to all the comments from that essay’s defenders.

    f., you have many examples in this thread already and many more if you seriously need more. I’ve had women scream “don’t rape me!” for nothing more than coming around a corner and running into them. You may think that Schrodinger’s Rapist is a fine explanation of the female point of view, but that just means that it’s an inherently bigoted and ugly point of view.

  66. I’ve had a bit to toss this around in my head for a bit – and I think I can better express my concerns and agreements with the ideas behind Schroedinger’s Rapist.
    (Especially after reading Rachel and AB’s posts multiple times.)

    I don’t think anyone here is arguing that a person doesn’t have the right to judge the probability of a person’s proclivity for “bad behavior” based on their actions or words.

    For example – imagine yourself walking down a street – and you see three people walking toward you from the opposite direction: One is a elderly man with a cane, hobbling along. The other is a young man, his arms full of grocery bags and a miniature poodle on a leash. The last is a half-naked man, wielding a sword running straight forward while screaming obscenities.
    Are all three Schrodinger’s Crazed Killers? I should hope not. Only one of them is.

    But now let’s shift things a bit.
    Let’s say you’re walking down the street and a man comes up to you, hands you a brochure about a town hall meeting coming up.
    Another man comes up and hands you a coupon for a discounted milkshake at a new restaurant in the neighborhood. You say you’re not interested and he thanks you for your time and leaves you alone.
    A last man comes up, offers you a brochure for a discounted steak dinner at another restaurant. You say you’re not interested and he continues to follow you down the street – asking you why you don’t want his deal – offering you other deals and asking for your credit card number.

    Now – which of these men is Schroedinger’s Scam Artist?

    Let’s look at these three men for a second.
    The first man wants your attention to impart knowledge to you. He may or may not actually want you to attend the town hall meeting. He doesn’t actually want anything FROM you. He should be perceived as zero threat. If you fear him because of his sex, race, hair color or accent, you are a bigot.
    The second man wants your money in some capacity. You are now aware of his desire for something you have. It is only at this point that he could become Schroedinger’s Scam Artist – but you declining and him moving on shows that he is not willing to push your boundaries to get your money – boom, he instantly drops out of the runnings for “Schroedinger’s Scam Artist.”
    The last man not only wants your money, but he doesn’t care if you resist. He’s going to manipulate you to get what he wants. He is Schroedinger’s Scam Artist. He might NOT be actually trying to scam you – but he has made recognizable and overt actions and statements that show his disregard for your desire to hold onto your money.

    When a woman blankets every man she interacts with as being “Schroedinger’s Rapist” they are being bigoted and sexist.

    The only way to save the concept of “Schroedinger’s Rapist” is to save the description for men (or women) who show a tendency to disrespect your vocalized and clearly stated wishes.

    This is the only way we’ll stop innocent men from being screamed at on the streets by delusional-terrified women ala Valerie and another commentator.

    To say it again and more clearly – if you are a woman treating every man you encounter as “Schroedinger’s Rapist” then you must also treat everyone as “Schroedinger’s Scam Artist,” and “Schroedinger’s Mugger” and “Schroedinger’s Human Trafficker” etc.

    But I don’t think these women go around like that. What I think is that they are using “Schroedinger’s Rapist” to validate their bigotry in an uneven application towards men who they happen to be alone with when they feel vulnerable. Those men don’t deserve that categorization because of their insecurity.

  67. f. says:

    dungone, I’ve spent the entire thread explaining why I think S. R. has numerous flaws. And please, spare me the nonsense of there being such a thing as the “female point of view”. Men, women and humans – none of these groups are hive minds.

  68. Jim says:

    ” they would be unacceptable coming from a woman, or directed at a man by a man, too.”

    I have some experience on the second part, f. You got that right.

    I don’t get this whole approaching strangers on the street bit at all anyway. I smile at random people on the street, occasionally make some quick comment in general standing at a corner waiting for the light to change – and in Seattle this is considered being extraordinarily outgoing. But I would never consider starting a real conversation , or even less try to devlop some kind of acqauiantance that way. I don’t get this business of calling out to random women (eventhough I am gay, I spent 40 years trying to pass and I learned all the motions). It’s a cultural thing, but I think that part of those cultures is pathetic really. Seems kind of needy or something.

    I expect anyone, man woman or dog, to get wary when a complete stranger approaches them. There are very few reasons why a woman would have any reason to speak to me on the street – she’s a prostitute, she’s a decoy for some other kind of attack, or she’s mentally unbalanced. Or the weather is so supernally beautiful that people are just talking to random strangers until it passes. But that is not the kind of scenario Valerie describes above at all, and Kate Harding’s formulation does not exclude Valerie’s scenario. It seems to grant infinite latitude to define “approach”.

  69. Toysoldier says:

    Schrodinger’s Rapist is not about “all men are rapists.”

    A simple point: if you have to explain what you mean every time you use a phrase, then the phrase does not mean what you think it means.

    If you look at the explanation for the concept, it is pretty clear that the author meant all men, until proven otherwise, as potential rapists, that all men have an obligation to prove they are not rapists (prove a negative) before they can be trusted, and that all men must accept and agree with this automatic distrust.

    It is absolutely moronic, and it does not take any effort to show how stupid the concept is. We can apply to it to Muslims, to Gypsies, to black people, to gay people, or to poor people and it would take less than a nanosecond for every feminist who supports Schrodinger’s Rapist to call that person a bigoted, homophobic, elitist, anti-Islamic racist. And they would be right.

    The greater irony is that should someone apply the same logic to women or to feminists, feminists would not support it. Feminists rail against men’s activists who paint all women as potential false accusers, and they absolutely hate people like me who have been abused by women and feminists and therefore distrust them.

    But what I find worse is the absolute failure to understand why this might upset men. That is not accidental. One must intentionally ignore the obvious to do that, and that makes the situation all the more ironic and honestly quite pathetic.

  70. Rachel says:

    @Cheradenine: the reason it upset me is because most men are unwilling to grant even the 1 in 6 for women survivors of rape, and then i interpreted your assertion as applying to the actual number of perpetrators among the general population as reported by multiple peer-reviewed studies. you don’t see how thinking someone is claiming that 60% of men (a ludicrous figure) have been sexually assaulted, in a comment thread full of posts saying that women are too sensitive about the threat of sexual assault, could possibly be construed as an upsetting oppression olympics game with strong undertones of the very victim-silencing that men suffer?

    it has been a long time since i read the actual SR essay (once was enough, and i have many of the same criticisms that a lot of people around here seem to have, i just don’t think it’s total garbage because it’s flawed) and i did not recall her 1 in 60 figure. the reaction was an emotional one and far from intended to minimize or erase male victims of assault. we are on the same team here, and now i hope we’re also on the same page.

    @debaser: the circumstances of the approach itself are more than capable of being creepy. again, the essay is not talking about a lady who has made herself available for conversation with strangers and is arbitrarily deciding which of the men who approach her are creepy and/or rapists. she’s talking about women who are minding their own business and are not expecting to be approached.

    honestly i think that following SR to the letter is unnecessarily and possibly pathologically paranoid, but unless i am sorely mistaken, kate harding is not going around pointing fingers at strangers and having them sent off to gulags for schroedinger’s rape. she’s just asserting her right and justifying her desire to be left alone in public in a way that makes sense to her in the aftermath of her own assault. if she’s actively hurting or frightening people in the way she feels hurt and frightened sometimes in public spaces, then there’s something there that needs addressed and she’d have a hard time claiming any sort of authority on the topic of public interactions…but as far as i can tell, she’s not hurting anyone except maybe herself, and that there’s something seriously wrong with a culture that has made her believe that she even needs to justify her desire to be left alone in the first place.

  71. trinity91 says:

    I’m feeling generous today and since ozy’s message doesn’t seem to be sinking in I’m going to try and clarify it.
    Here’s how it goes. By the time a woman has turned 20 she is likely to have at least one encounter with “the asshole”. “The asshole” encounters range from being sexually called at in a public place by a person we do not know who is driving down the road, to having to unwillingly view mens’ genitals, to having unwanted touching in public, to extremely inappropriate comments and jokes, to flat out rape and attempted rape. The concept of Schrodinger’s rapist boils down to this: in an attempt to protect ourselves from the ever present threat of being sexually assaulted, women in general take extreme care in who we interact with. In action this works differently for different women, and usually depends a lot on one’s confidence level, the willingness for platonic (aka nonsexual) social interaction, the level of which/the number of times one has encountered “the asshole”, one’s personal level of how to handle the encounter with “the asshole” (guess what we don’t all deal with the unwanted behavior the same way; some women just roll their eyes and keep on trekking. Some women have panic attacks from that kind of behavior), what kind of mood one is in that day (if we just found out that our grandma died we probably are not going to take kindly to you coming up to us and telling us how pretty we are, how awesome you are and how much you want to get to know us even if you do not give off creepy vibes). So what this means is that some women will never be open to your advances no matter how she perceives you. That doesn’t mean don’t approach women ever, it just means that even if you do everything right, she might still say no, and you have to accept that graciously and move on. (this means don’t make a scene. If you approach a strange woman and she rejects you smile, wish her a nice day, and move on.)

    So that is the understanding where women are coming from part. The next part is how not to (and how to) approach women and increase your likelihood of success. There are sometimes when it is never okay to approach a strange woman and ask her out. Any situation other than a bar or a club where the qualifier late at night has been added on (example: do not approach a woman if it is three in the morning and you happen to be sharing a subway car) This is the time of day when women have been taught (falsely I might add, but most women do not know this) that they are most likely to be assaulted. In an empty(ish) parking lot. At that point we do not only worry that you are going to assault us, we are worried that you are going to assault us, kill us, and use our car as a burial site for our dead maimed bodies. Is this irrational? Possibly, but it is the thing that we have had ingrained in our heads since we were little girls. The message that you teach your children of, never get into a car a with a stranger is a lesson which women are still being told well into adulthood. While we are clearly walking somewhere in a hurry. Guys come on, this is just flat out rude. That woman is likely on her way to work, missed her bus, and is trying to get there before her boss fires her. You stopping her on the street is going to make her more late and she is not likely to take kindly to this. Instead of doing these socially unacceptable things, try instead to approach women when they are more likely to take kindly to your advances. In the morning when she is sitting down at a table at the local coffee shop to drink her coffee is generally okay. There are likely to be plenty of other people around, and the coffee shop staff is likely to at least be acquainted with her so she is likely to feel at least a little bit safer. She’s also not in a big hurry because she is sitting down at a table to drink her coffee, rather than getting it to go. All of this boils down to common sense. A very good litmus test for when to approach strange women would be this. If I was in her situation would I be fearful that this stranger is going to mug me? If the answer if yes than leave well enough alone. If the answer is no than you can move on to step 2

    Okay so you determined that the situation you are in is a safe to approach time. The next step is who to approach and who not to approach. It is not ever okay to insert yourself into another’s conversation. If she is talking to someone else, whether on the phone or in person, do not approach her. If she looks like she is busy doing something else, like has a brief case full of paperwork/ her computer open in front of her and is doing something, it generally means that she is busy and doesn’t have time for a conversation. If she is reading a book that is also probably not the best time to approach her. That might be the only time she has during the day to read, she might be too caught up in the story to want to stop, or she might just be reading as a deterrent for random men to approach her. There are also some social cues which say do not approach me. Glaring at everyone in the near vicinity, generally means that this person doesn’t like dealing with people, let alone being hit on by strangers. Crying, or looking frightened goes into the same category. However, if this woman looks bored, is smiling and isn’t doing anything in particular, is looking back and you with socially nice faces, etc that probably means that it is okay to approach her. Litmus test: Would I want someone interacting with me if I was in the mood that she is demonstrating that she is in? If the answer is no, please do her and all men by association a favor and leave her alone. If the answer is yes you can proceed to step 3.

    You’ve determined that you are in an acceptable approaching environment, you’ve determined that the woman does not appear to be busy, or unwanting of attention. So now the question is how do you approach her. The obvious answer to this is don’t be creepy, but a lot of you have said that you don’t understand what that means. Holly does a pretty good job of explaining that and I highly recommend that you read it. Other than that what I have to add is this. Please please please do not look at the woman like you are a starved dog and she is a piece of meat. Women notice when you sit there and ogle for fifteen minutes before approaching us. If you are going to approach a strange woman, interact with her in the same manner that you would interact with a female relative who you don’t know very well. You would not stand so close to your cousin that she could tell you had nachos for lunch , or touch her, so don’t do so when approaching a strange woman. Sit down in a seat close by so as to talk in a not loud voice, but not so close to her that you are touching her. The personal space bubble is key here. Don’t break your own personal space bubble to talk to her. Also, approach her with this in mind. I want to get to know her, not just have sex with her, so I should lead in with something that we could potentially talk about, not about how pretty I think her hair is. Then rather than asking for her phone number, ask if she would like yours. Rather than writing it down and giving it to her, let her write it down on a piece of paper or put it in her phone. This gives her the option of calling you back if she wants to.

    I want to repeat for clarity that even if you do everything correct she is under no obligation to take your phone number, and you don’t get to get mad at her. If you get mad, it proves to her that you are “that asshole” and that she was right to say no to you.

  72. Kenshiroit says:

    @Rachel ‘ she’s not hurting anyone except maybe herself, and that there’s something seriously wrong with a culture that has made her believe that she even needs to justify her desire to be left alone in the first place.’

    I disagree, she’s hurting both men and women with her S.R. Since it is based on a stereotype who promote bigotrism and mistrust. Bigotrism is a double edged sword.

    Toysoldier. I agree 100%

  73. Ferris says:

    First a quick physics note:
    The original Schrodinger’s Cat thought experiment was devised as a way to test the internal consistency of a given theory of quantum mechanics. Schrodinger said that if you set up the classic cat-in-a-box system, and your theory of quantum mechanics requires that the cat be both alive and dead until you observe it, then your theory is wrong, because the cat is most decidedly either alive or dead, regardless of whether you’ve observed it or not. In this sense, it may be the worst possible metaphor to use for the concept being described in the Schrodinger’s Rapist argument, because the entire point of it is that your lack of information about the system is thoroughly irrelevant because the system is in one of two binary states, not a superposition of both. But moving on.

    Ultimately the concept being described in the Schrodinger’s Rapist article and followups is fairly basic probabilistic decision making based on incomplete information. It happens all the time in business, in poker, in social situations, in sports, etc. Boiled down it says that anything you lack information about, you treat as if it were both truth and not true, weighted by the likelihood of each. For this reason I approach strange dogs with my hand lowered and my fingers tucked in; because in the neighborhood I live in, chances are the dog is well trained and friendly, so it’s worth it to me to approach (I love dogs!), but in case the dog is not friendly I don’t want to appear abusive (with a raised hand) or allow it to get a grip on my fingers (which are vulnerable). In a similar fashion, women assessing the risk of sexual assault is not only not extreme or controversial, it’s in fact decidedly normal and expected.

    The problem I have with the original article (and most of the followups) is twofold. The first is that it assumes uniqueness in this situation, as if women not knowing whether a man is a rapist is the only example of incomplete information out there. These same feminists who tout the Schrodinger’s Rapist argument would (and are) aghast at the Schrodinger’s Young-Black-Male-In-A-High-Crime-Neighborhood argument, even though it’s fundamentally the exact same argument.

    The second is that the specific decision making process most women go through is fundamentally flawed. A probabilistic decision making process is only as valid as the probabilities assigned to various outcomes, and the original article (and again many of the followups) betray a wildly inaccurate assignment of probabilities. In the original articles one of the traits the author mentions for making her decision is personal hygiene. As if that has anything to do with the propensity for a man to rape. In fact, given that the majority of rapes are acquaintance, or even date rapes, it would seem that whatever judgments women are using to assess the likely probability of assault are woefully inadequate and often only serve as a way to express personal prejudices against the types of men they don’t really like rather than any valid and useful risk assessment that will make or keep them safer.

  74. Druk says:

    Thought the comment is pretty far up there, this is in response to AB:
    There’s a huge difference between “would you like to come to my room for coffee and a chat?” and “YOU COULD HAVE BEEN A RAPIST!!!”. The two should not be considered analogous.

    Mark me down as sympathetic to the racism argument. I don’t care how many statistics you come up for why X is more dangerous to you, treating an individual differently because of it is Xism.

  75. BlackHumor says:

    In an attempt to bridge the gap between the two sides, I’ll just leave this here (though it’s really about race I think we’re making the same mistake here):

    See, I think the problem is that we (that is, Ozy, AB, Rachel, and so on) think we’re having a what-they-did conversation, and you guys (debaser-EE-toysoldier and so on) think we’re having a what-they-are (or really, what you are) conversation. That’s okay, and I don’t blame you guys for that; it’s really our* fault that we ever got into a what-they-are conversation in the first place. We’re sorry for that, and we don’t intend to call you personally a rapist or even a potential rapist.

    But now we’ve made that clear, can we now all agree that making women OR men feel like they might be raped is wrong?

    —-
    *: And by “our” I mean “the original article’s”

  76. tu quoque says:

    People need to stop coming up with more elaborate and complex “clarifications” of Schrodinger’s Rapist in order to make it seem like those clarifications were actually needed. We all know what it means. SR was never useful in the first place because what women fear is general knowledge. It’s coinage is only meant to justify prioritizing women’s psychological states with no consideration of the emotional damage it causes men.

    SR will only end up making men not care about women’s fear response. Men will train themselves, yet again, to not give a shit about something in order to maintain their sanity. Then women will finally realize what it’s like to live like a man and stop fetishizing their own victimhood.

  77. @Trinity91:
    No one here has been claiming that women are obligated to react positively even if a man “approaches correctly.” No one here says they “get mad” when women turn them down.

    Your generosity has, unfortunately, been wasted by arguing against a non-issue.

    I’ll say it again: The issue is the validation of sexism and bigotry under the title “Schroedinger’s Rapist” – and that it is causing women to infringe on men’s agency by telling them not to approach women if it could possibly maybe kinda sorta make them just the tiniest bit uncomfortable.

    Argue against THAT point – if you have the generosity left, please.

  78. typhonblue says:

    Let me tell you a story about Shrodinger’s Rapist.

    A while back I was at a restaurant that I went to regularly. One of the assistant chefs there scared the crap out of me. Didn’t know why. We hadn’t interacted at all.

    One day they decided for who knows what reason to have the chefs serve the customers instead of the wait staff. This guy came over to our table and, without breaking any social norms, attempted to dominate my personal space while serving me. I didn’t let him and made it rather clear, without saying a word, that I knew what he was up to.

    He was trying to assess my situational awareness and how well I defended my boundaries. His disappointment was palpable as he returned back behind the counter.

    Here’s the kicker. He never once telegraphed any of this; not by saying anything, not by ogling, by no overt behavior whatsoever.

    I’m certain that the men who are approaching women on the street are not rapists by the very fact that they are approaching. Approaching telegraphs intent and actual, honest to god predators do everything they can to disguise their intent until it’s too late.

    The chatty guy saying hi? Not a rapist. The drunk-ass men hooting from their cars? Not a rapist. The guy behind you carrying groceries? Not a rapist. The man silently observing what you are alert to so he can modify his behavior to get past all of your supposed defences that you haven’t noticed at all because you’re too busy reacting to things that piss you off and not paying attention to your fear alarm…?

    What Shrodinger’s Rapist is, is an attempt to emotionally bully men who will never rape. What it isn’t, is a way of making women safer.

  79. Rachel says:

    if her words (in this essay, which promotes some very problematic gender-binary stuff in addition to the aforementioned paranoia, but which is actually intended to be expository and helpful) are hurtful, then why is it so outside the realm of possibility that any given approacher’s words (which may or may not be appropriate even in a public venue, but which are actually intended to be nonthreatening and even complimentary) may be hurtful to any given approach-ee? especially given that the kinds of words we’re talking about are usually accompanied by what the approach-ee may or may not interpret as an invasion of their personal space or other physical threat?

    i appreciate that we’re going for consistency here, i really do, but if you’re allowed to get upset over people on the internet, then surely a lady is allowed to get upset at people in real life using the mental calculus described in SR.

  80. Toysoldier says:

    you don’t see how thinking someone is claiming that 60% of men (a ludicrous figure) have been sexually assaulted, in a comment thread full of posts saying that women are too sensitive about the threat of sexual assault, could possibly be construed as an upsetting oppression olympics game with strong undertones of the very victim-silencing that men suffer?

    No one claimed that 60% of men have been raped (and I do not see why that is a ludicrous figure). The claim was that 1 in 6 men are sexually abused by 16, and the other author claimed that 1 in 60 men are rapists. That is a 1:10 difference, meaning that for every one male who rapes ten males get raped. That does not silence female victims, unless one assumes acknowledging that there are more male victims of rape than there are men who rape does so.

  81. Kenshiroit says:

    @Typhonblue ‘What Shrodinger’s Rapist is, is an attempt to emotionally bully men who will never rape. What it isn’t, is a way of making women safer.’

    Typhonblue, that line is epic. Wonderfull, bravo! You just hit the nail in the head 😀

  82. typhonblue says:

    “Here’s the kicker. He never once telegraphed any of this; not by saying anything, not by ogling, by no overt behavior whatsoever.”

    He also arranged it so he did his ‘dry run’ under circumstances of plausible deniability.

    The only way to be alert to predatory behavior like this is to be aware of fear. But here’s the problem. An alarm that goes off every five minutes from a breeze is worse then useless. I have never, in my life, felt the kind of fear towards a man that I felt towards that man. And he did absolutely nothing wrong according to ‘Shrodinger’s Rapist.’

    You have to learn to distinguish between fear and bigotry induced anxiety. Until you do, your anxieties won’t do a damn thing to protect you and likely will leave you in even more danger.

  83. AllSaintsDay says:

    First, off, I know that’s not the *point* of Schrodinger’s Rapist. That matters to me about as much as “The point of saying ‘I raped that test’ isn’t to traumatize rape victims.” and “The point of holding a door for women isn’t to imply that women are weak.” and a billion other things because most things relevant to gender equality aren’t about intentional unfairness, they’re about people taking actions for some reason and being unfair in a way that isn’t the point. So when I complain, it’s not that I missed the point.

    Secondly, I’d wager good money that this is true in dealing with most people on this blog who take issue with the SR post, but I’ll only claim it for me: it is completely irrelevant to this discussion how you deal with dudes who are being creepy or inappropriate or not respecting boundaries you’ve set. That’s like assuming a woman won’t be good with computers because she’s never heard of Linux or thinking a black guy is a mugger because he pulled a gun on you.

    The issue is about how women treat men who *aren’t yet being creepy*. More specifically, it’s about presuming men are creepy/inappropriate/rapists when your sole source of evidence is “They’re men.” It’s about being called out for not respecting a woman’s boundaries that I have no reason to expect she has.

    Or, alternatively, it’s about men and women acting the exact same way and it getting labeled as “creepy” or not based solely upon the gender of the person acting. It’s about the fact that by now, I’ve been told at some point or other that every possible way of approaching women makes me That Asshole.

    And lastly, the usual thing about advice holds: giving “do this” advice is good for actually effecting change; giving “don’t do that” advice is pretty much only good for venting. If the author actually wants to have men approach women in better, less creepy, ways, she should *tell them how to do it*. Tell them situations where it is appropriate.

  84. dungone says:

    “i appreciate that we’re going for consistency here, i really do, but if you’re allowed to get upset over people on the internet, then surely a lady is allowed to get upset at people in real life using the mental calculus described in SR.”

    Same thing as: “if blacks are allowed to get upset over racist people on the internet, then surely whites are allowed to get upset at blacks in real life using the calculus of crime statistics.”

    What you just said not only makes absolutely no sense, but it make strengthens the argument being made that people such as yourself are bigots.

  85. AllSaintsDay says:

    @trinity91: Funny, I’ve been told by many a feminist NOT TO EVER APPROACH WOMEN IN COFFEESHOPS BECAUSE YOU MIGHT BE CROSSING BOUNDARIES.

  86. PsyConomics says:

    I have noticed that, in many different areas of gender discourse, there tends to be confusion between what things “should be” and what things “are.” I have also noticed that many times there is also an unspoken qualifier to a lot of writings that should read something like, “of/about/explaining women who have been hurt/violated/troubled/moved to action by hatred/assault/rape.”

    When I read it, Schrödinger’s Rapist seemed like an article talking about what “is,” and mostly about women who have been “hurt/violated/assaulted” by a man/men in such a way that it greatly affects their daily lives and/or identities.

    Is the way that this subgroup of women look at men “bigoted?” Yes, to an extent, but it is “bigotry with a purpose” in that it arose as a mode of protection. On the individual level, I find myself hard-pressed to get angry at this sort of “self-defense” as it may be what is needed for a person to “heal.” It makes me sad that my very gender/presence may be a trigger, but there is little I can do but be aware of it and do my best to cope with the situation.

  87. Clarence says:

    PsycoNomics:
    Thank you. Very well said, and something I think EVERYONE should keep in mind. I’ve been as much a critic of the Schrodingers Rapist article since it came out for many of the same reasons that have been articulated above (as some would say, why NOT Schorodingers Harrasser instead as that is what is mostly being talked about here) but some of the bigoted comments are bothering me as well, as there is no nuance nor any heeding of reality in such moralistic terms. Sometimes it makes sense to “profile”. The difference between a bigot and someone who is not a bigot is that a bigot never turns the profiling off.

  88. Jim says:

    “Is the way that this subgroup of women look at men “bigoted?” Yes, to an extent, but it is “bigotry with a purpose” in that it arose as a mode of protection.”

    Bigotry with a purpose? Oh that’s alright then, that excuses it. Hey – all bigotry has a purpose, and so does this. Its purpose is domination and control through demonization. The question comes up occasionally, does feminism demonize men, or is demonization of men the purpose of feminism, or is demonization of men a tactic of feminism. It seems to me, PsyConomics, that you think it is.

    When Dr. Mindbeam heresticated Mary Daly out of feminism, Kate Harding’s man-hatred is exactly what he had in mind.

    “On the individual level, I find myself hard-pressed to get angry at this sort of “self-defense” as it may be what is needed for a person to “heal.”

    How very generous of you to value one one’s “need to heal” over some other person’s, not your, civil rights. And make no mistake, this is not just about some suspicion someone harbors, this is about the ability to attack and destroy someone through the power of the State. And note whose good you are valuing over who else’s – and then go look up the definition of “White Knight”.

  89. AllSaintsDay says:

    PsyConomics, how would you feel if someone who had, say, lost family in 9/11 treated every Arab he saw horribly from then on because that “bigotry with purpose” helped him heal? How would you feel if, further, this person wrote a blog post explaining how Arabs need to realize that their race and presence may be a trigger, and they should remain constantly aware of how they affect people?

  90. dungone says:

    @AllSaintsDay, I agree with everything you said, but I really don’t give a damn about how the author of that post might like to be approached. After what she wrote, I’ve heard enough out of her. Because maybe, just maybe, I don’t appreciate it when random women think they can talk to me like they’re my mother. This happens all the time, of course, and I often bite my tongue when 18-25 whippersnappers presume to give me relationship advice as if they knew more about it than any man. But sometimes it crosses the line, when outright bigotry gets dressed up as a concern troll and sold to me as friendly advice.

    Did that woman ever think about who might read her blog and how they might feel about it? Over my short lifetime I’ve approached and made love to women of ages from 15 to 40, from rich to poor, beautiful to homely. You know, I’ve handed the flag draped over my friend’s coffin back to his grieving widow and I’ve seen women wallow over the bodies of men I had just killed. I’ve seen former lovers get married, divorced, and become my lovers again. Those women who know me well, they often come to me for advice, they often cry on my shoulder and thank me for all of the experience that I bring to the table. Yet here we have a clearly inexperienced girl, can’t be over 26 years old, who presumes that she has something to say to me as if she understands men inside and out. And she calls me a rapist. She doesn’t even know me. And that’s her whole point – that we’re all rapists because she doesn’t know us. And this is supposed to be friendly advice?

  91. Kenshiroit says:

    PsyConomics “bigotry with a purpose”? there is no such as bigotry with a purpose. Either is bigotry or it isnt. Any way to rationalice it its just pathetic and actually mysoginist to, because it implyes that women should never be taken seriously and accountable for their actions/words.

    Its the responsability for everybody to fight the bigotry of people (men/women) and not finding excuses. Bigotry cannot be excused (although it can be explained, but not excused) and neither can the concept of S.R. Excatly because its based on (again) bigotry.

  92. Rachel says:

    @Toysoldier: reading comprehension 0%. the actual statistic for perpetrators is 6%, not 1 in 60. which i said. so there you go.

    @dungone: “if blacks are allowed to get upset over racist people on the internet, then surely whites are allowed to get upset at blacks in real life using the calculus of crime statistics.” strawman. it SHOULD read “if blacks are allowed to get upset over racists on the internet, then surely racists are allowed to get upset at people who commit crimes who happen to be black.” which is a reasonable statement, albeit not a laudable one. as i read SR, it’s not about EVERY MAN IN ANY VENUE IN ANY SITUATION, it’s about a man who engages in a social practice that the woman finds threatening. and that threshold for “threatening” changes with the woman, the man, the venue, AND the situation. is it paranoid to assume that literally every man i see is a potential rapist? yes. is it still reasonable for the threat of harassment or sexual violence, as ascertained by verbal and nonverbal cues given by someone who approaches me, to play a part in how i respond to that approach? fuck yes. is it reasonable to expect someone who wants to approach me to note my body language and any other activities in which i may be engaged before they decide to disturb me, and to respect my boundaries if i shut them down instead of engaging with them? again, fuck yes.

    what EE said in his follow-up about it being a question of degree — that was eminently sensible. there’s a pretty substantial amount of middle ground between “all men are potential rapists and men have no right to complain when women treat them as such until they prove that they are not” and “no woman should ever engage with men as though the men are potential rapists and women have no right to deny them the benefit of the doubt until they prove they are.”

    which is a good thing, really, because if there weren’t any middle ground, no heterosexual people would ever have sex ever again.

  93. Kenshiroit says:

    I think the only way to save S.R is to make it gender neutral. Seriously, otherwise its kinda useless, beside bein a excuse to bully men who never rape (the majority).

  94. @Blackhumor:
    I agree that intentionally making women OR men feel like they might be raped is wrong.

    Now we just have to set a standard for what makes every person in the world “feel like they might be raped.”

    Ready to get started?

  95. Rachel says:

    gender-neutral would be a pretty good first step, yeah.

  96. Jim says:

    ” as i read SR, it’s not about EVERY MAN IN ANY VENUE IN ANY SITUATION, it’s about a man who engages in a social practice that the woman finds threatening. and that threshold for “threatening” changes with the woman, the man, the venue, AND the situation.”

    First of, Rachel, how you read SR is quite beside the point. Itisn’t intedned for you, it is intended as advice for men. And though you are trying to beconciliatory rather than presumptuous, it is at least….inappropriate of you as a women to tell any man how offended or not to feel about bigotry directed at him. And men here are telling you this is bigotry directed at them, and not just private thought bigotry, but bigotry with sever real-world consequneces.

    Secondly your contention that SR is not about every man is refuted by the rest of that sentence, since it is completely up to the judgment of the women judging all those aspects of the situation and hers alone. She decides the threshold of each of those aspects, and then she gets to act on them, even as grossly offensively as those women in the experience Valerie recounted, without any constraint or penalty for their behavior. Surely you see a problem with this.

  97. Kenshiroit says:

    It’s really hard to me to understand why (some) women and men cannot see how offensive the S.R is. If it was directed toward women? the shrodinger child-abuser….its up to your wife/gf/mother to prove she is not a child abuser? would that feel good? no? offcourse not! How can you so expect we should take that with our smile on the lips, and perhaps even be gratefull?

    And no, the talk about its not directed toward all men is invalid, because IT IS directed to all of us, since we all can get at a certain point be suspected to be possible rapists.

    A good advice, next time you see or hear something similar, now it is the shrodinger rapist, but the next time it may be something different, try to turn it against you, and ask yourself how it feels….c’mon it not so hard!

  98. Kenshiroit says:

    And btw it is also pointless, because a serial rapist know how to approach women, he doesent go around with a sign – rapist here – .

    In the end we get bullyed, we distrust each other, women arent more safe….and worse, the serial rapist would even have a easier time.

  99. OrangeYouGlad says:

    There seems to be an argument going on here that women perceive men who dislike the article as saying, “I should be able to do creepy things and if that makes women uncomfortable they’re wrong”. When what is actually being asked is a chance to treat you like any other person and approach or speak to you *politely* and have judgement withheld until we’ve done something worthy of being judged.

    Also, if the article makes its point so poorly it has to be constantly clarified maybe it’d be best to leave that article behind and write a new article that makes the point better. Perhaps one that uses less gendered language considering all *people* are “Schrödinger’s Rapist” and all *people* are “Schrödinger’s Survivor”.

  100. AB says:

    Danny:

    “Long time no hear AB.”

    Well, you didn’t answer my last post, and I’ve been rather busy ever since then.

    “If that’s not what Its about then why is it called Schrodinger’s Rapist? Why not Schrodinger’s Worthwhile Investment? Schrodinger’s Worthwhile Interaction? If it’s not about concluding if the guy is a rapist then (bearing in mind as someone above mentioned that the name comes from the theoretical existence of a cat) why name the principal after the theoretical existence of a rapist?”

    Because part of the social assessment you’re making (and the part the article is focussed on) is an assessment of risk. For most women, a large part of the aggression the will experience directed at them (especially from men) is sexual in nature, so that’s what they’re most wary about, and what will take up the biggest part of their risk assessment in regards to men.

    Schrödinger’s Rapist is not about concluding whether or not men are rapists, it is about making an assessment of which men are the most safe, in order to decrease one’s general risk of being the victim of sexual violence. Sometimes people make mistakes in their assessments, but it is rarely done out of malice or bigotry.

    I’ll echo Rachel and say that I actually prefer it when people make me aware of which behaviours make others uncomfortable. I usually don’t read anything negative into it when someone says “I don’t think you (or people who exhibit this behaviour) necessarily mean anything by it, but for people of certain backgrounds, it can come across as unsettling because of x and y factor which you/they might not be aware of ”.

    For myself, in my experience, the vast majority of aggression I’ve had directed at me (and all physical aggression since I was about 10) has been sexual in nature and come from boys or men. I don’t intentionally act rude towards men, most of my social interaction is with men and goes without problems, I try to be generally polite and friendly towards everybody, and from what I can tell, I usually succeed. But when I make risk-assessments of people, I’ll still weigh the risk of sexual aggression higher than I imagine most guys will, simply because that’s the aggression my experience tells me is the biggest risk.

  101. OrangeYouGlad says:

    Also, wanted to add that I think the majority of people who aren’t That Asshole don’t pursue conversation with someone visibly uncomfortable or who states they want to be left alone… because trying to keep up conversation in that context is uncomfortable for both parties and social norms make it so most people (who aren’t That Asshole) want to avoid that.

  102. @OrangYouGlad:

    write a new article that makes the point better. Perhaps one that uses less gendered language considering all *people* are “Schrödinger’s Rapist” and all *people* are “Schrödinger’s Survivor”.

    ::puts his finger on his nose::
    Not it.

  103. typhonblue says:

    “In the end we get bullyed, we distrust each other, women arent more safe….and worse, the serial rapist would even have a easier time.”

    Bingo! Serial rapists know how to ply their trade.

    Women shouldn’t be paying attention to specific behaviors they should be paying attention to their internal predator alarm. Which means they need to learn to recognize it.

    The best thing I can say is that situational fear opens you up, anxiety based fear closes you down. When you’re in the midst of situational fear you are hyper-alert; it’s intended as a red flag–‘pay attention to this NOW’.

  104. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    “I usually don’t read anything negative into it when someone says “I don’t think you (or people who exhibit this behaviour) necessarily mean anything by it, but for people of certain backgrounds, it can come across as unsettling because of x and y factor which you/they might not be aware of ”.”

    Okay that’s fine.

    Could women stop wearing revealing clothing and waving their body parts in people’s faces, now? It comes across as unsettling to me due to my history of being sexually abused by women and groomed through inappropriate nudity.

  105. Rachel says:

    @Jim: of course there’s a problem with it, but telling women they shouldn’t be afraid is about as effective in correcting it as is telling men that they shouldn’t be creepy. i readily admitted that i think “schroedinger’s rapist” is needlessly antagonistic AND that i think kate harding is going way overboard if she applies that label — or even just “schroedinger’s harasser” — to every man she sees. but seriously, guys, most women don’t do this. most women wouldn’t even think to do this unless they’re alone in a dark alley or riding an empty subway train in the middle of the night.

    it is absolutely wrong for her to reduce every single interaction between a man and a woman to the attendant risk of sexual violence. it is absolutely wrong (and insulting to everyone regardless of gender) to so strongly imply that the only reason a lady would decline to engage a strange dude is because she is afraid that he will rape her. it would be absolutely wrong for jane q. public to read that post and consequently believe that every dude is a rapist until he proves that he’s not, not least because you can’t prove a negative on an open timeline. and the rape culture and antagonistic gender binary that make all of these things possible (and maybe inevitable) are also absolutely wrong. we can all agree on that, right?

  106. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    Better yet, could women start recognizing that their touch isn’t always wanted and that it’s not somehow beneficial or neutral? And that if you’re not into it that doesn’t make you some sort of freak or hater?

    I’ve had two women try to force me into kissing them, one a complete stranger. Because, you know, women don’t have a problem with that shit right?

    I’ve had women putting their breasts on my body. In public.

    One woman tried to force me into having sex with her. (Just talking about the stuff I dealt with as an adult right now.)

    But this is all a-okay because women’s bodies aren’t capable of doing anything bad like men’s bodies are, amirite? What’s a little bit of forced genital contact between women? Or from a woman forced on a man?

  107. Lynet says:

    I’m hearing a lot of people who are reading the original Schrodinger’s Rapist post as saying:

    “If you ever make a woman feel uncomfortable, it’s your fault,” or

    “You deserve to be treated rudely if you approach strange women in public.”

    I can’t blame people for reading the original post that way — there are definitely statements in the original SR post that could be taken that way by a reasonable person.

    If I was to rewrite that post, I think that I would try to make it sound more like:

    “There are perfectly good reasons why I might read you as a predator even if you aren’t,” so

    “Please forgive me if I incorrectly read you as a predator,” and

    “If I do make an incorrect judgement of this sort, please don’t overstep my boundaries in an effort to prove that you are not a predator, as this is pretty much by definition going to be unsuccessful.”

    I, personally, would also add “Don’t blame yourself if you accidentally trip a defensive response.” It happens. You think he’s a cute boy who will respond well to a slightly sexy joke about his attractiveness, and all of a sudden he’s looking at you warily. She seems confident and smiling and open to approach, but she shuts down, stares at the wall, and talks in monosyllables as soon as you open your mouth. I don’t want the people, over the years, who I have been unduly defensive towards because of previous bad experiences, to feel like it was their fault that they happened to try to converse with me right after that other guy decided I wanted to dance really close to him and just sort of grabbed me and went ahead with it. I don’t want the people I’ve shied away from after breakups to think that they’re just as bad as the guy who actually did refuse to leave me alone for six months afterwards. I’m grateful to the people who have respected me when I had a bigger need to feel safe than usual.

  108. Rachel says:

    and @typhonblue: if a woman in revealing clothing comes up to you and waves her body parts in your face, you are more than entitled to label her schroedinger’s rapist and tell her to fuck off.

    see how that works?

  109. Kenshiroit says:

    @Rachel Gender neutral is the only step. uintil it doesent happens the S.R fails. Sorry.

  110. AllSaintsDay says:

    @Rachel, Those aren’t the same. Would you agree with “If a woman in revealing clothes talks to you, you are more than entitled to label her Schroedinger’s rapist and tell her to fuck off.”?

  111. Rachel says:

    @kenshiroit i don’t think gender-neutrality is the only thing it needs, though!

  112. typhonblue says:

    @ Rachel

    I don’t think anyone’s arguing that a woman doesn’t have the right to tell a man to ‘fuck off’ if he approaches her.

    I think it’s about getting men to change the way they approach women is it not? In which case I want women, as a whole, to start taking responsibility for the attitude that their sexuality can’t be hurtful.

    It damn well can. Now start acting like it.

  113. Clarence says:

    @typhonblue:

    I’ve known you for probably 7 years now, at least 6, if we go back to Stand Your Ground, where I have an old, very seldom used, account.
    I just want to say if I’ve never said so before that I’m sorry for what happened to you. In all our arguments over the years (though we agree more than disagree) I’m sometimes not sure if that has came out. I know it very much is what drives you and I appreciate all you have done to open up the sexual and gender discourses in the areas you have.

  114. Kenshiroit says:

    @Rachel, the most important thing and let me add, sad thing. Is it isnt gender neutral. Uintill it remains so, it is invalid because its bigotted. If it was gender neutral everything else would be just minor points easely fixed. But its not, due to a bug in the mind of the creator, the SR is (offcourse how could it be different) gender biased, so most off it is only worth to trow it out in of the window.

  115. Rachel says:

    @allsaints: if a stranger makes you uncomfortable, you are more than entitled to tell them to fuck off. you don’t owe them social interaction of any kind! that is what this entire thread is about!

  116. Kenshiroit says:

    I wonder why the S.R didnt came out as gender neutral in the first place? mystery 😉

  117. @Rachel:

    if a stranger makes you uncomfortable, you are more than entitled to tell them to fuck off. you don’t owe them social interaction of any kind! that is what this entire thread is about!

    Right on! Yeah! And if you’re uncomfortable JUST because of that persons sex YOU can go fuck off along side them!

    (I’m not specifically telling you, to fuck off here, Rachel, just so there’s no confusion. I meant the Royal You … or whatever.)

  118. Clarence says:

    @Lynet:

    Thank you for that post. Very beautifully written. And that is what men need to hear. Yes, learn body language, yes, try not to corner her (or him!) or approach in isolated, dark, or otherwise strange situations. Try to consider what he or she is doing before you approach.
    All that is good advice, and should be heeded. But at the same time, one can never ever assume one is not going to “trip” something and thus one shouldn’t put on oneself and ones sexuality unncessary blame.

  119. Rachel says:

    @typhonblue, when the fuck did i ever say that it can’t?

    i am really sorry for what happened to you, really i am, but man, look at the comment directly above yours. we are on the same team, and i really don’t appreciate you repeatedly acting like i’m saying that your experience doesn’t matter, because i don’t believe that and i would never say it.

  120. Rachel says:

    @EE: oh, most definitely, but an individual bigot fucking off doesn’t fix the problem.

    fuck the patriarchy, etc. etc.

  121. BlackHumor says:

    So, most people are just totally ignoring my post (thank you EE for being one of the exceptions), so I think it deserves repeating:

    One half of you is saying “we’re not rapists” and the other half is saying “we get scared when you behave like rapists” and you are never going to be able to reach any kind of agreement if you don’t even agree on what you’re supposed to be agreeing on.

    Can we all agree that presuming all men are rapists is bad? Great. Can we also all agree that acting in a way that makes you seem like a rapist is also bad? Great.

    NOW are we all talking about the same thing?

  122. typhonblue says:

    @ Clarence

    Thanks, for what it’s worth. What pisses me off about all this is that the onus is always on men to protect other people’s emotions. What about putting some onus on women?

    If men have to be careful about their behaviors least they trigger fear in women, why don’t women ever have to take responsibility for the fear they trigger in others through their behaviors?

    Why aren’t they ever held accountable for their (seemingly) widespread belief that their sexuality is some sort of universal good that can never hurt anyone thus they have free reign to spew it over everyone in the vicinity in any way that they please?

    Kiss and grope random people? Check!
    Wear any sort of attire regardless of how lewd? Check!
    Expose your genitals to others? Check!
    Socially ostracize people who fail to respond the way you like to your sexual behavior? DOUBLE CHECK!

    And I’ll admit that I’ve also been ‘that asshole’ in the past too. With exactly the same rationalization process. ‘I’m a woman. MY sexuality can’t possibly hurt anyone, therefore I’ll express it in any way I damn well please. And if you have a problem with that, then you’re the problem.’

  123. Rachel says:

    @BlackHumor: DUCK SEASON!

  124. Kenshiroit says:

    Typhonblue, I agree, and thats why I wrote to change the S.R. from gynocentric to gender neutral. That’s the only way to save it. And seriously I cant belive im the only one who taught of this.

    Its not only guys, is everybody. PERIOD.

  125. Rachel says:

    and perhaps if we put more effort into telling women that they matter beyond their ability to sexually attract men, they would be a little more responsible with their sexuality and a little more cognizant of the damage it can do.

  126. typhonblue says:

    @ Brian

    “Can we also all agree that acting in a way that makes you seem like a rapist is also bad?”

    Yeah, sure. Now we have to decide what makes someone seem like a rapist!

    For me it’s women who choose to wear revealing clothing. As I said before, inappropriate nudity is what was used to groom me.

    So am I to understand that women who wear revealing clothing are acting in a way that makes them seem like rapists and thus bad?

    In other words every woman who reads this and continues to wear revealing clothing is automatically ‘that asshole?’

  127. Rachel says:

    typhon, if you tell a woman of your acquaintance that you would rather she not wear revealing clothing because it triggers you, and she continues to do it, then she’s definitely That Asshole.

    depending on the degree of “revealing” you find distressing, though, and the extent of your distress, you should probably be getting help for that.

  128. typhonblue says:

    @ Rachel

    “and perhaps if we put more effort into telling women that they matter beyond their ability to sexually attract men, they would be a little more responsible with their sexuality and a little more cognizant of the damage it can do.”

    What the hell do you mean by ‘matter beyond their ability to attract men’?

    This sounds, suspiciously, like you think the women who abused me were somehow victims of social attitudes that told them their sexuality was harmless. ‘If only those women had been told that they mattered beyond being attractive to men! They would never have become abusive!’

    Wow.

  129. typhonblue says:

    @ Rachel

    “depending on the degree of “revealing” you find distressing, though, and the extent of your distress, you should probably be getting help for that.”

    Orly? And why is it that I should be ‘getting help for that’ for being triggered by women’s behaviors but certain women shouldn’t be ‘getting help for that’ for being triggered by men’s behaviors?

  130. Rachel says:

    that isn’t what i was saying at all; what i was saying is that the laser-like focus we place on a woman’s sexual attractiveness as her sole source of worth encourages, as part of the patriarchal bargain, the belief that her sexuality is the best thing, rather than the only thing. and that can of course be used to justify, though not cause, abuse.

    and women are nearly never told that their sexuality is harmless, so i don’t even know where you got that. but again, i don’t appreciate you being so goddamned combative. it upsets me, does nothing to advance the discussion, and likely isn’t healthy for you, either. please stop?

  131. @Blackhumor:

    Can we also all agree that acting in a way that makes you seem like a rapist is also bad? Great.

    Yes and NO.

    We can’t all agree on what behavior constitutes “actiing in a way that makes you seem like a rapist.” THAT’S the problem here.

    It seems that some women are saying that a man simply speaking to them in public is “acting like a rapist.” Which is why I think so many men on here are up in arms.

  132. Rachel says:

    and of course if a woman has a panic attack when a strange dude talks to her on the street she should be getting help for it! anyone who has a mental block or disability that interferes with their ability to leave the house should be getting help for it! what the fuck!

  133. AB says:

    Typhonblue:

    “Bingo! Serial rapists know how to ply their trade.

    Women shouldn’t be paying attention to specific behaviors they should be paying attention to their internal predator alarm. Which means they need to learn to recognize it.”

    But aren’t half the posts attacking the Schrödinger’s Rapist about how women don’t have the right to be afraid of men, because it’s just like white people being afraid of black people (if we ignore that the claims of black violence were mainly used to restrict black people’s behaviour while the claims of male violence were mainly used to restrict women’s behaviour), and that women who react on their inner predator alarm are nothing but bigoted oppressors, ?

    “The best thing I can say is that situational fear opens you up, anxiety based fear closes you down. When you’re in the midst of situational fear you are hyper-alert; it’s intended as a red flag–’pay attention to this NOW’.”

    No. The last thing we need is even more people telling those who reacted to violence and abuse by closing down that their fear wasn’t real enough, and that they could have become hyper-alert if only they hadn’t shown bigoted and hysterical anxiety.

    “Okay that’s fine.

    Could women stop wearing revealing clothing and waving their body parts in people’s faces, now? It comes across as unsettling to me due to my history of being sexually abused by women and groomed through inappropriate nudity.”

    OK, can we please stop treating each other as idiots now? Most statements come with a certain set of assumptions in order for people to not have to spend 90% of their time clarifying. For instance “I usually don’t react negatively when people approach me politely” is not the same as “I usually don’t react negatively when people approach me politely to talk about the evils of Asian people”. That’s what words such as ‘usual’ are there for, as well as common sense.

    To get back to the point, I have met very few guys who were uncomfortable with physical interaction with girls. Many guys even make a point of saying how great it would be if girls grabbed their butts, or started giving them blowjobs while they were sleeping. So a lot of girls don’t grow up learning that men have sexual boundaries like women, and can fear sexual assault like women.

    If someone was to tell these girls “Listen, many guys don’t like to be spontaneously grabbed by girls. Even though the grab is not physically damaging, and even though you don’t think of yourself threatening or as capable of physically overpowering a guy, guys don’t necessarily see it that way. So if you want guys to react positively to you, it’s a good idea to be careful about grabbing them, and to pay attention to their body language and take a step back if they appear to be uncomfortable” I wouldn’t consider it wrong.

    In fact, this blog has done a lot of similar stuff, trying to explain to people (sometimes especially to women who might be less aware of certain typically male experiences) the problems and anxieties of men, and offer solutions as to how people (sometimes women specifically) can change their behaviour to make men feel better. So I don’t see why it’s that different with the Schrödinger’s Rapist article, except that it mentions the r-word and doesn’t focus on men as the victims, which seems to be an inflammable combination among certain people.

  134. @Rachel:

    and of course if a woman has a panic attack when a strange dude talks to her on the street she should be getting help for it! anyone who has a mental block or disability that interferes with their ability to leave the house should be getting help for it! what the fuck!

    I don’t think this response would go over very well with the author of the original Schroedinger’s Rapist post – actually. You want to try it? A man could not get away with saying it, methinks – why don’t you give it a go?

  135. AllSaintsDay says:

    @Rachel
    Okay. I just, as I said above, think a large part of the issue is people talking as though “a man approaching a woman in a relatively nonthreatening way” is equivalent to some other thing which is clearly universally not okay, everything from continuing the conversation when she’s clearly not interested to rape.

  136. dungone says:

    @BlackHumor, no, hell no, emphatically no… Bullshit. You haven’t even come close to describing what either side is saying, let alone described what the situation really is. You left out the one little detail where “behaving like rapists” is a completely subjective thing to be determined solely at the discretion of each individual woman, and that men are supposed to go right along with that and take all this heartfelt advice with a smile. No, what you’ve failed to notice is that the “we’re not rapists” side is very clear about one thing – that post, its tone, it’s analogies, it’s entire argument is bigoted and offensive. Meanwhile, its defenders have been asking everyone to ignore those sexist, offensive, threatening pasts of the post and focus on the great points it makes as if there was no other way to communicate those points.

    You also overlook the fact that men recognize who Schrodinger’s Rapist really is – it really is them when they’re walking home with their groceries and a girl 20 feet away looks at them and screams. It’s that guy. It’s not just “That Asshole” who did something wrong, it’s just that guy who that girl thought was going to rape her as soon as she saw him. It describes that guy exactly. And the guys who read about Schrodinger’s Rapist have a connection to it – it happened to them. To it’s defenders who think that it’s making a wonderful point. It doesn’t matter how much it gets brought up that this happens to men walking down the street minding his own business, to trans women trying to use the bathroom, or even that men sometimes end up dead from just a mere accusation of rape. That’s the real response to Schrodinger’s Rapist and you’re pretending that we (experienced men) are somehow missing the point if we don’t see that we could just be seen as a potential rapist only if we happen to do something clearly offensive to women.

  137. Kenshiroit says:

    To me its still a mystery on some people inability to see the bigottism behind the S.R as it is right now.

  138. Kenshiroit says:

    Dungone, well said….and I still wonder why only male to female is taken in account. Why the hell not doing this as a gender neutral, why not include all form of interaction. No only M to F, and then somebody wonder why we are defensive.

  139. Rachel:

    i don’t appreciate you being so goddamned combative. it upsets me

    That’s the second time in this thread you’ve used being “upset” to try and shut down someone else’s point of view. This is where “Schrodinger’s Rapist” comes from – women who appear to genuinely believe their feelings are the centre of the universe and everyone else should simply defer to them, no argument. Other people’s feelings, well, they don’t count so much. I particularly like the way you frame your attempted silencing as concern for Typhon’s well-being, and that passive-aggressive little question mark after “please stop”.

  140. typhonblue says:

    @ AB
    “But aren’t half the posts attacking the Schrödinger’s Rapist about how women don’t have the right to be afraid of men, because it’s just like white people being afraid of black people (if we ignore that the claims of black violence were mainly used to restrict black people’s behaviour while the claims of male violence were mainly used to restrict women’s behaviour), and that women who react on their inner predator alarm are nothing but bigoted oppressors, ?

    Not every man who approaches you is a rapist. Not every black person who approaches a white person is a mugger. Being afraid of black people or men is absolutely bigoted. Being afraid of specific black people or men is not.

    There is no way that the amount of fear expressed by these women is justified by the men in question actually being rapists. Because they fear every man who approaches them when very few of them will be rapists and many rapists won’t approach them.

    Therefore there has to be a difference between instinctive fear of certain men and a bigoted fear of all men.

    “No. The last thing we need is even more people telling those who reacted to violence and abuse by closing down that their fear wasn’t real enough, and that they could have become hyper-alert if only they hadn’t shown bigoted and hysterical anxiety.”

    We’re talking about trying to discern the difference between anxiety and fear in the context of _potential abuse that hasn’t happened yet_.

    What you’ve said here is not relevant at all. Yes people shut down during violence, myself included when it comes to women’s violence.

    “Many guys even make a point of saying how great it would be if girls grabbed their butts, or started giving them blowjobs while they were sleeping.”

    Well, I’m not a guy so I can’t comment. But I wonder about the mental state of guys who say stuff like this.

    Usually they have trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. Saying that they wished girls would grab their butts or give them blowjobs while they were sleeping usually involves them assuming the girls in question are ones they want grabbing their butts or giving them blowjobs while they sleep. It never occurs to them that the women who will exploit the right to ‘grab butts’ and ‘give blowjobs’ won’t necessarily be women they want to get touched by. Or women who have their best interests at heart. This harkens back to my post. Everyone assumes the absolute best outcome with women’s sexuality and the absolute worst with men’s.

    Also you could liken this behavior to conventionally unattractive women saying that they only wished they got the attention that conventionally attractive women got. It’s a result of being sexually invisible. That doesn’t make the attention acceptable.

  141. Kenshiroit says:

    AB, ‘ So I don’t see why it’s that different with the Schrödinger’s Rapist article, except that it mentions the r-word and doesn’t focus on men as the victims, which seems to be an inflammable combination among certain people. ‘
    No, not only it gliss over half of the humanity but it is shown in a extremely gynocentric way, actually forced through gynocentrism. Where it only fokus on Male to Female (offcourse, for a change, the male is bad and the female is the poor victim) relation shown exclusively again through specific female eyes.
    It justify bad female behaviour, naturally the guy gets the blame (you shouldn do this, you shouldn have said that ect) meanwhile he get labelled as rapist.

    I wonder how, in all your smartness you cant see the bigottry behind this…and if you can, why you excuse it?

  142. typhonblue says:

    @ Rachel

    “it upsets me, does nothing to advance the discussion, and likely isn’t healthy for you, either. please stop?”

    It might come as a shock to you, but the way you framed your reply upset _me_.

    It upsets me to hear that the women who abused me are the real victims. That if they’d only been told that ‘they matter’ somehow it wouldn’t have happened. That’s bullshit.

  143. Rachel says:

    @patrick, i already asked once and that request was not only ignored but followed up with another attack putting terrible things into my mouth. i don’t believe that my feelings are the most important thing in this discussion, and i’m neither trying to tone-troll nor saying SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP, i’d just like to talk about this in as civil a manner as possible without being called a monster.

    @typhon, i didn’t say what you accused me of saying. i already tried to make that clear, and i don’t know what else you want me to do. admit that women are terrible and we all need to be shipped off to prison camps so that we’ll never rape again? is there something beyond “wow this whole SR thing needs to be gender neutral and less confrontational in order to be effective” that i need to say in order to establish bona fides with you? because i’ve been explicitly saying those things all afternoon.

    i’m going to bow out because you and i are just going to keep hurting one another’s feelings if i stick around.

  144. Rae says:

    @ typhonblue: Kiss and grope random people? Check!
    Wear any sort of attire regardless of how lewd? Check!
    Expose your genitals to others? Check!
    Socially ostracize people who fail to respond the way you like to your sexual behavior? DOUBLE CHECK!

    Wow, most of that sounds deeply wrong and inappropriate. (I’m afraid I don’t understand the “attire” thing. It seems like a lot of women’s clothing is designed so that there is not a clear boundary between “normal” and “pretty” and “overtly sexual” and it’s sometimes a non-trivial task to dress “normal” or “pretty” while preventing people from reading you as “overtly sexual”. I have had men holler at me for dressing sexy when I was dressed in a normal way and trying to go about my business. So I am having trouble imagining what it would be like to dress sexy at somebody. But the other three things sound like real asshole moves on the part of the women in question.)

  145. Rae says:

    @ typhonblue: Also, I’m sorry all that happened to you; I do not want to be in a social environment where anybody does that to anybody else. (I’m pretty sure I know how to stop it–by calling it out–so the main thing is having the guts when it happens.)

  146. typhonblue says:

    @ Rachel

    “and women are nearly never told that their sexuality is harmless, so i don’t even know where you got that.”

    The lighter sentences for equivalent sexual crimes? The whole ‘rite of passage’ meme in regards to older women with younger men? The assumption that when women rape people or children the rape is somehow less traumatizing? The belief supported by the NVAWS survey (Which pretty much informs all rape advocacy) that a vagina can’t be used to rape? The FBI refusing to classify women forcing men to have sex as rape?

    Is there a corresponding meme to the whole ‘penises are weapons’ for women? Except for vagina denta (which requires the vagina in question have teeth which vaginas don’t and really isn’t a part of western culture), there isn’t.

  147. Rae says:

    As for the OP: I think there are good points about harassment in the vicinity (Lynet did a good job somewhere earlier in the comments), but the Schrodinger’s Rapist has engendered so much unproductive flailing between people who ought to be on the same side, and so little mind-changing, that I think we should probably just scrap it and start from scratch.

    Sorry for the triple-post; I am stuck in the Dubai airport for all the sins I have committed, and I think the atmosphere may be softening my brain.

  148. AllSaintsDay says:

    @typhonblue
    If I’m thinking of getting a blowjob while I’m sleeping, I’m thinking of a woman I want to get touched by because it’s the sort of thing I imagine being in an already established situation, not from a stranger.
    As for getting my butt grabbed, that happened to me this past weekend and I have to say I enjoyed it, despite the fact that I’m not even sure it was a woman, let alone one I’d find attractive.

  149. dungone says:

    @Rae, it’s not about women who try as hard as they to stay in line with social norms and the difficulty women have trying to be fashionable. It’s about women who feel that they can dress however they wish, regardless of social norms. Several of my feminist friends, for example, refuse to wear a bra, yet they wear loose fitting, low-cut attire that fully reveals their breasts to onlookers every couple of minutes as they go about their day. If you bring this up to them, they invariably say that they don’t mind if anyone sees because they’re nudists at heart and wish people weren’t so stuck up. It never occurs to them that some people just don’t want to see that, they just assume that they’re beautiful and it’s a gift to the world. One of those girls went to view an apartment dressed that way one time and got turned down because the landlord was an active religious figure in his community… he told her that her attire made him very uneasy and he didn’t want people in his church to start rumors about him. She got pissed off at him and spent the next 5 days telling everyone she knew how much of an asshole he was because she really loved that apartment. Another girl I know gained a couple pounds and as a response to it she quit wearing her panties, even with short skirts. When I mentioned that I could easily see everything down there, she shrugged it off and said she didn’t feel like spending money on new panties that fit, and that was that. I think all of these girls are awesome in my book – when we go to a secluded beach together, it doesn’t take any prompting for them to get naked. But you have to admit that they dress in a way that completely disregards the comfort level of other people around them and that’s not always cool.

  150. typhonblue says:

    @ dungone

    “It never occurs to them that some people just don’t want to see that, they just assume that they’re beautiful and it’s a gift to the world.”

    Exactly. It’s that sense of entitlement that many women have that their bodies are god’s gift to everyone in the vicinity. And that if anyone thinks otherwise, they’re an asshole.

    Men tend to be a lot more modest about their bodies and the value of their bodies to others.

  151. Titfortat says:

    Interesting how the blog is supposed to be about equality but it is rarely pointed out that men have similar fears when walking down the street. The fear of violence might not be expressed from a sexual perspective but it is the same thing. I wonder though, many times feminists point out that rape is not about sex and if that is true then why arent we just talking about people approaching people on the street and trying to have a certain empathy in regards to what the other person might be feeling.

  152. Paul says:

    This comment was a while back, but I have to respond to it:

    @SJ “If the person ahead of you keeps glancing back as though worried, would it kill you to change the route you were planning to take?”

    and in response to Clarence:

    “you’re making another person feel safe in a space that they are no doubt as entitled to feel as safe in as you do.”

    No. No no, and oh hell no. What you’re advocating for is essentially chivalry. Man sacrifices (ok, inconveniences) himself for the sake of a woman’s comfort. Yeah sorry, but if we as a culture are going to do away with chivalry, then we do away with chivalry entirely, not just the bits that women don’t happen to like. I do not have any responsibility to “make her feel safe” when i’m not actually doing anything wrong. If I’m so close I’m breathing down her neck? yes, obviously thats wrong. But in the examples given thus far, people were following at a range of ten to twenty-five feet. I don’t care what culture you’re from, you’re not allowed to have a “personal bubble” of twenty five feet.

    What you’re suggesting is ridiculous.

  153. Rae says:

    @dugone: Thanks, that makes a bit more sense. I see why what you’re describing is inconsiderate, but I don’t think it’s harassment. It doesn’t sound like it’s directed at a particular person. A guy in inappropriately tight pants, or an individual who fails to brush their teeth, wouldn’t count as a harasser, for the same reason. I suppose a person could harass somebody by dressing in a way that made the other person uncomfortable if the other person was forced into proximity with them (e.g., a child or a work subordinate), but just having an unpleasant day-to-day appearance is not the same as getting in someone’s face.

    Nobody is entitled to have other people keep up an appearance they find attractive. I have a male neighbour (really not my physical type) who likes to around in tight shirts, through which you can see his nipple piercings. I get to see more of this man than I want to, but you know, it’s a free country, and he doesn’t have a moral obligation to look pleasant for my benefit.

  154. @BlackHumor “One half of you is saying “we’re not rapists” and the other half is saying “we get scared when you behave like rapists” and you are never going to be able to reach any kind of agreement if you don’t even agree on what you’re supposed to be agreeing on.”

    Actually no. I’m saying: I get scared and othered when people refer to me as somehow dangerous, which I am clearly not. I’m a tall, fat, tryke, and I have the right to walk down a public sidewalk without someone creating a public disturbance and inciting people to commit violence against me.

    I’m saying that “we get scared” rhetoric has been used to justify forcing trans women out of public washrooms.

    And I’m saying that dismissing the fear of violence (both individual and state) that using anti-rape rhetoric evokes in those who are the explicitly stated intended audience, that it makes walking-while-gendered-male a crime.

    And finally, I’m saying, as a woman, that I find the entire conversation about as intensely ironic as possible… it’s the cissexism, you see, that has somehow served to make me a member of a suspect class, despite a public sexual assault at the age of fifteen that I initially tried not to talk about but by this point seems to get erased in every thread-on-gender that I am in so that I need to bring it up. On the plus side, this is reducing the power it has over me… but that should have been my decision, instead of a compulsory act by which I respond to a libel against my coercive-birth-assignment.

    To all the men out there: These people probably aren’t going away, so it would seem that the only way you can avoid getting treated like a possible rapist-in-waiting as often as you do seems to be transition to being gendered female, or at least something sufficiently female-assigned-genderqueer… at least two percent of you will really like this solution… the rest? I dunno.

  155. XM says:

    Sam:

    “In both cases initiators who care about results will take the other person’s assumed level of fear and its behavioral impact into account when they act because they want the interaction to work and not perceived as a predator. Yet the black guy will be considered to be oppressed for having to do so while it is considered morally legitimate to demand men to do it. You see what I mean?”

    Your phrasing here, and elsewhere in your post, is unfortunate, because can be taken to mean that you consider “Black guys” or “Black person[s]” to occupy a category which is mutually exclusive from “Men”. I am, of course, assuming that you consider Black men to be men in the same way you are; if you don’t, your phrasing is just fine as is.

    Just sayin’.

    -XM

  156. Tamen says:

    Someone sure stirred the hornets’ nest. I am kind of imagining ozymandias sitting on her couch overlooking the c*********k going “mohahaha…” with her extended pinky in the corner of her mouth.

    That imagery aside, re-surfacing the Schrødinger’s rapist article was a mistake. It seems like we getting close to an consensus that it’s a turd. Yet so many people insist on continuing to try to put on lipstick on that turd to make it acceptable. To try to make us too olfactory minded men ignore the smell (“So when you, a stranger, approach me, I have to ask myself: Will this man rape me?”) and only see the lipstick (Please be considerate and avoid doing creepy stuff when approaching me). You know what, it is still a turd, albeit a red one. And even though I like red and find that an agreeable colour I do loath the prejudiced turd.

    Blackhumor linked to a video pointing out the difference between saying “what you said or did” versus “what you are”. But if a person continuously defends the bigoted thing he did or said one at one point the need arise to move towards saying the “what you are” argument.

    tl;dr
    This insistence that
    “You are a threat, remember? You are Schrödinger’s Rapist.” and
    “you must be aware of what signals you are sending by your appearance and the environment. … This means that some men should never approach strange women in public.”

    should really be read as

    “play nice”

    is rather jarring.

  157. OrangeYouGlad says:

    “”“Many guys even make a point of saying how great it would be if girls grabbed their butts, or started giving them blowjobs while they were sleeping.”

    Well, I’m not a guy so I can’t comment. But I wonder about the mental state of guys who say stuff like this.

    Usually they have trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. Saying that they wished girls would grab their butts or give them blowjobs while they were sleeping usually involves them assuming the girls in question are ones they want grabbing their butts or giving them blowjobs while they sleep. It never occurs to them that the women who will exploit the right to ‘grab butts’ and ‘give blowjobs’ won’t necessarily be women they want to get touched by. Or women who have their best interests at heart. This harkens back to my post. Everyone assumes the absolute best outcome with women’s sexuality and the absolute worst with men’s.

    Also you could liken this behavior to conventionally unattractive women saying that they only wished they got the attention that conventionally attractive women got. It’s a result of being sexually invisible. That doesn’t make the attention acceptable.””

    I just wanted to add in that I think it is very possible that men simply learn to like that sort of thing. I am very skeptical that unexpected (possibly unwanted) sexual touch is inherently enjoyed by men as is occasionally suggested.

    I remember once when I was in Jr. High, a group of us were hanging out after school, my friends and some girls I didn’t really know. One good friend of mine was sitting down and one of the girls was standing a bit behind him, I don’t remember what we were talking about, when she reached over and grabbed him. Not in a location that is considered sexual in men, so I doubt anyone would accept it as a case of “sexual harrassment” or what have you but she slid her hands down his shoulders then rubbed and squeezed his pecs. It was a quick action and probably a little ‘joking’ but I remember my friend’s reaction, it was pretty brief, but for a second there you could see a look of shock, uncertainty, and discomfort pass over my friend’s face. Then she laughed, and he laughed (a bit nervously at first) and the atmosphere relaxed again. But it was clear for a moment he was upset by being touched in that way and wasn’t sure how to respond.

    From my own experience and experiences like that I think I can safely say that men don’t come with an inherent preference for being publically molested. You learn that it is a good thing through those situations.
    Because when she touches you it’s harmless and desirable. You can’t complain about what’s harmless and desirable. So when she laughs, you laugh. What else are you going to do? (Well, I suppose you could RUIN the moment with your pathetic whining about something that can’t hurt anything anyhow)

    It was strange in that it was the situation we’d all heard older guys (and gals, when talking about men) talk about as Always Desirable. That a woman placing her hands on you was nothing to complain about. It was something we’d even talked about or thought about ourselves. But it was really all theory, a sort of “repeated cultural norm”. Men Only Want One Thing (implcation: If you’re a man you better want it). The practice, it seemed, was different. Even if the girl was not undesirable (in fact, in theory/fantasy, she would be the sort of girl any of us would want that sort of attention from).

    I also remember the moment because it was the first time it really solidified for myself that boys/men (we thought we were pretty grown up, learning about teh sex and all that) didn’t always welcome sexual advances and that I wasn’t abnormal amongst guys for that fact alone (I had other things to make me abnormal : P)

    I don’t think that adult men are being dishonest about their desires or that the desirability plays too large a role in why they say they would like some form of public molestation. I just think that they learned to desire those things, or at least to not complain, because of situations like the above. Not that they desired them inherently. I know my friend handled future instances with much less distress. And just because adult men are saying “this is great”, and are probably honest in saying that, I’m not sure it’s a cultural meme worth repeating (despite enjoying public molestation being perhaps a better deal than being traumatized by it so I can’t quite say why I think it should stop (other than there is molestation going on… but then is it still molestation if the adult men like it? I dunno, I can’t justify it but I think it’s wrong).

    Ack, I think this is a sign I need to stop talking as I clearly don’t know what I’m on about and it’s off-topic just Rachel’s comment reminded me of that situation and TB’s response reminded me again so I figured I’d relate it.

    Also, there were probably plenty of guys in my middle school who would not have reacted as my friend did and were the “hormonal male” sorts. So I can’t claim this experience is universal either way. I don’t think it is uncommon, though (or my friends were all kinds of uncommon).

    Also, I think that what Clarence says here:

    “””Thank you for that post. Very beautifully written. And that is what men need to hear. Yes, learn body language, yes, try not to corner her (or him!) or approach in isolated, dark, or otherwise strange situations. Try to consider what he or she is doing before you approach.
    All that is good advice, and should be heeded. But at the same time, one can never ever assume one is not going to “trip” something and thus one shouldn’t put on oneself and ones sexuality unncessary blame.”””

    Pretty much sums up my thoughts on the situation. Basic social skillsets that avoid making the people you interact with uncomfortable/afraid are good. However, you can’t predict the line for uncomfortable/afraid for all peoples everywhere so someone who crosses it, assuming they _back off immediately once you’ve made your discomfort clear_, shouldn’t bear unecessary blame/guilt for themselves or their sexuality.

  158. PsyConomics says:

    Regards to Lynet who ninja’d a lot of what I was going to say : – D.

    Even if a person’s hatred/bigotry come from a hurt/assault/violation, I would still hold this person accountable/responsible for moving towards a position where the hatred/bigotry was no longer needed as a form of protection. However, its mere existence does not strike me as necessarily “blameworthy” as it is a natural outcome for some people from certain types of hurt/assault/violation. From where I sit, it looks no different than an expression of pain from a laceration or a broken leg – except that with a physical wound, one can usually see where the bleeding is.

    Note that the language in the above article is gender-neutral. Similar things can happen to both men and women for both similar and greatly dissimilar reasons. Note also that one caveat to the above is if someone is unwilling to heal/try to move beyond biases. That is a whole different ballgame.

    I guess… As a general response to the critiques of my previous comment, my concern is that without careful consideration, we as activists and gender-philosophers might fall prey to the “Fundamental Attribution Error.” Not all hate/bigotry is caused by intrinsic factors. To assume that the noted hatred/bigotry in the Schrödinger’s Rapist article comes from intrinsic (entrenched, unchangeable, persistent, monolithic, generalized) hatred of men to me seems like one would be missing the bigger, more enlightening questions of “why?” and “how?”

  159. Titfortat says:

    Arent most of the people who are afraid of people on the street usually people who have at one time or another been accosted? The truth is, how would the person walking up ever know that they were scared unless they got to know them. And the only way to do that would be to introduce yourself, but seeing as their already afraid that approach obviously wouldnt work. Round and round we go, where she stops nobody knows. The onus falls on the fearful to learn how to deal with their irrational fears. Also, maybe they need to learn how to defend themselves, Im told it is quite empowering.

  160. typhonblue says:

    @ OrangeYouGlad

    “It was a quick action and probably a little ‘joking’ but I remember my friend’s reaction, it was pretty brief, but for a second there you could see a look of shock, uncertainty, and discomfort pass over my friend’s face. Then she laughed, and he laughed (a bit nervously at first) and the atmosphere relaxed again. But it was clear for a moment he was upset by being touched in that way and wasn’t sure how to respond.”

    This is called grooming. The woman in your scenario is grooming the man to tolerate having his boundaries violated. Same dynamic as with the abuse of children. The fact that this seems to exist as a widespread and totally unquestioned social phenomena–the grooming of men to accept sexual advances from women unquestioningly–is… sort of disturbing.

    “I don’t think that adult men are being dishonest about their desires or that the desirability plays too large a role in why they say they would like some form of public molestation.”

    Let me ask you something. Can anyone honestly be said to like something they can’t say no to?

  161. ozymandias42 says:

    A few thoughts:

    1) Schrodinger’s Rapist did not, I think, convey its point particularly well; that’s why I wrote a post explaining what it was trying to get at. 🙂

    2) I agree that women often suffer from a high and improperly-calibratred fear of rape. This was a paragraph in my original post, but got cut for length, although I did get at it obliquely when I pointed out that my fear of being murdered if I have casual sex with a strange man is highly overblown. Being afraid of any strange man, particularly if he does not show signals of being a predator, is simply wrong, and is reinforced by our culture. The most common form of rape is not stranger rape, yet that’s what the advice women are given is about.

    3) If a woman is afraid of any man who comes near her, clearly, that’s misandric. However, if a woman is wary of men who come near her, especially given the experience most women have with street harassment, and if she assesses their threat potential and asserts her boundaries, that’s simply being safe. This is advice I would give to anyone, male, female or miscellaneous, who walks on street corners.

    4) I do want to make Schrodinger’s Rapist gender-neutral, which was why I suggested in the last paragraph that men should develop their own “gifts of fear.” 🙂 In my experience (and I may be wrong about this), men do not experience the same… suspicion, I guess, is the right word?… of women being predators as women do of men being predators, and I do believe that would be a useful thing for many men to develop. However, as I am not actually a dude (although sometimes I play one on street corners), I may be wrong here.

    5) A lot of the horror stories people in this thread are sharing about women who called them rapists strike me as “triggered rape survivor with PTSD,” judging from my (admittedly limited) experience with people with PTSD. Of course, some of them are probably just assholes, but that a person (male or female) might be a survivor is something we have to be aware of when a person enforces their boundaries with more force than generally considered necessary.

    6) I generally expect to be taken as Schrodinger’s Will Trap You Into Child Support, and take steps to reassure men I sleep with that if I got pregnant I would most certainly have an abortion (as I would). If a man wrote an article saying that many men were afraid of false rape accusations, I would certainly heed the advice in the article about how not to be taken as Schrodinger’s False Rape Accuser. In the rare occasions in which I initiate conversation in public, I take care to make sure I’m not, well, Schrodinger’s Rapist. Making an effort to ensure that people don’t feel uncomfortable around you is common courtesy, to be honest.

    7) One of the flaws with Schrodinger’s Rapist is its name, which doesn’t encompass the full spectrum of predator behavior, which ranges from street harassment to pressuring someone into giving you their phone number to kidnapping and murdering them, the fear of all of which may change a woman’s behavior.

  162. “A lot of the horror stories people in this thread are sharing about women who called them rapists strike me as “triggered rape survivor with PTSD,” judging from my (admittedly limited) experience with people with PTSD. Of course, some of them are probably just assholes, but that a person (male or female) might be a survivor is something we have to be aware of when a person enforces their boundaries with more force than generally considered necessary.”

    Having been a survivor myself when the aforementioned incident occurred… yeah… replication of (misguided in my case) misandry excuses much? Same as when Vancouver Rape Relief uses, among other disingenuous arguments, that trans women who are read as visibly trans will trigger rape survivors and thus, despite these women being victims of rape themselves, should be barred from shelters. (of course, they won’t call us women in the first place, unless they’re in polite company/court.)

  163. typhonblue says:

    @ OrangeYouGlad

    “Also, there were probably plenty of guys in my middle school who would not have reacted as my friend did and were the “hormonal male” sorts. ”

    How do you know these ‘hormonal males’ weren’t further along in the grooming process then your friend who reacted negatively?

  164. Clarence says:

    typhonblue:
    Please don’t misuse the concept of grooming. Grooming is not an isolated “one off” incident, it’s a pattern of behavior. Furthermore, if we are to use the concept of “grooming” in any meaningful way, it would have to be a set of behaviors done consciously for an ulterior motive. There are an almost infinite number of behaviors that could be considered grooming in the right circumstances, that is one of the reasons why men are often afraid to be anywhere near children of any age, and its also why we must be careful and consider context before using that term. So no, I deny the young lady in the example above was “grooming” OYG’s friend. What she was doing was ASSUMING (probably for reasons both personal and cultural as several posts above have mentioned) that her touch was “good” for him, and that he wanted it. I’m sure she liked him, this was not done to humiliate him or any other thing. In short, she had some boundary issues probably because of cultural tropes that we all agree are problematic. This doesn’t make her some evil victimizer.

  165. Clarence says:

    @typhonblue:

    And how do you know that women who have rape fantasies aren’t farther along in their grooming by the patriarchy?

    Geebus, why do you like to push your ideas so far out there? It’s me, remember? The guy you’ve seen online for at least 6 years, the guy who went for five years at one point without a hug that didn’t come from a female relative. And you want to say that I’ve been groomed to expect that all female touches are GOOD? Maybe most men don’t get ENOUGH touch or at least a significant minority don’t – and sometimes that means we have very low boundaries for acceptable touches due to despairation?

  166. OrangeYouGlad says:

    “”“I don’t think that adult men are being dishonest about their desires or that the desirability plays too large a role in why they say they would like some form of public molestation.”

    Let me ask you something. Can anyone honestly be said to like something they can’t say no to?””

    Hm, perhaps? I admit I am lucky in the most prominant instance I can think of where I would have liked a way to say “no” gracefully the only consequence was winding up with a woman’s number I didn’t really want. But I have had interactions that I did want, even if a way to say “no” gracefully might not have been any more present in those situations the fact I didn’t want to say “no” meant they were enjoyable (“no” wasn’t on my mind at all). But I see what you mean about the lack of options if I hadn’t been more amenable to such interactions… I suppose I think men who have come to like those sorts of interactions (however they’ve come to like them) do honestly enjoy them (they aren’t thinking about “no”) but there should be a way for those who don’t enjoy them, or those men who typically enjoy them but in a specific instance don’t, to have a way to say “no” gracefully.

  167. SpudTater says:

    Wow! A lot of hatred for the Schroedinger’s Rapist post here. I read it in a more forgiving light, but yeah, it was incredibly poorly targeted. The men who don’t care about women’s boundaries will likely never read it, and even if they do, will not change their behaviour. The men who do read it are probably already hyper-aware of the ways in which they could hurt a woman’s feelings, and are more in danger of being permanently discouraged and turning into that never-make-a-move “nice guy”. (Like in that XKCD comic).

    It was written by a woman who is most used to writing for women, and that really comes across.

    The one point I did get seriously ticked off was where it said “don’t bother a woman reading a book/with her arms crossed/in the middle of doing something” Because here’s the thing: that describes most women you are likely to meet, anywhere. It’s already fucking difficult to initiate contact with a woman, and we live in a society that demands that the man takes that initiative. The last thing we need is more fucking rules and judgement about how we do that. I mean, some are (or should be) obvious: late at night, deserted area, extremely enclosed space. But we’re not mindreaders; we don’t know that any particular woman doesn’t want to be bothered during any particular activity, so we’re going to just have to try it and find out.

    Uch. Still get annoyed and stressed about this, and it’s been years since I was single.

    Anyway. I really like Lynet’s suggested corrections to the post. I think I read at least some of that into the original post, but saying it explicitly does help. And yes, so much yes, to “don’t blame yourself if you accidentally trip a defensive response”. Women have had traumatic experiences in the past, and if you get mistaken for a rapist because of these experiences it is not fair and not your fault and you absolutely aren’t wrong or evil for triggering those memories. Dust yourself off and move on.

  168. OrangeYouGlad says:

    “”So no, I deny the young lady in the example above was “grooming” OYG’s friend.””

    Yeah, I don’t think she had any ill-intent either. I just don’t think she was considering that he might not be interested (or at least not interested in such happening so publically).

  169. typhonblue says:

    @ Clarence

    “Please don’t misuse the concept of grooming. Grooming is not an isolated “one off” incident, it’s a pattern of behavior. ”

    What she was doing was grooming behavior. There’s no way around it. Did she know she was doing it? Maybe not. I’m sure a lot of abusers aren’t consciously aware of what they’re doing. And I’m also sure she likely thought her actions harmless due to our society’s dysfunctional beliefs about male sexuality.

    ” It’s me, remember? The guy you’ve seen online for at least 6 years, the guy who went for five years at one point without a hug that didn’t come from a female relative. And you want to say that I’ve been groomed to expect that all female touches are GOOD?”

    I’m not talking to you specifically Clarence.

    Grooming can also involve isolating someone to increase their desperation for human contact and thus their tolerance for boundary breaking.

    I doubt that this process is consciously directed, but it is eerily familiar. It appears that our society is grooming men to tolerate exploitative sexual behavior from women. I’m not going to say this is women’s fault or that society is aware of the process. But the conclusion seems inescapable.

    “And how do you know that women who have rape fantasies aren’t farther along in their grooming by the patriarchy?”

    I dunno. Are women ‘groomed’ to assume that men’s touch is harmless and/or beneficial to them and that if they complain they will be called whiners or not really women? Is this a very common attitude?

    If OrangeYouGlad’s discomforted friend had been female and the person touching her male, would she have felt more empowered to complain about the touching? Would bystanders have taken her side and told him to stop and apologize or would they have told her to stop complaining about nothing because what real woman would say no to attention from a man?

    Further are women ‘groomed’ to consider men’s touch their only socially acceptable outlet for their touch-needs?

    Questions, questions.

  170. typhonblue says:

    @OrangeYouGlad

    “But I have had interactions that I did want, even if a way to say “no” gracefully might not have been any more present in those situations the fact I didn’t want to say “no” meant they were enjoyable (“no” wasn’t on my mind at all).”

    Just as a thought experiment. How would you have felt if, in those situations, you also had the opportunity to say no to them?

  171. BlackHumor says:

    It seems that some women are saying that a man simply speaking to them in public is “acting like a rapist.” Which is why I think so many men on here are up in arms.

    Okay, I want to reassure you that nobody is saying or has ever said this, in all the time I’ve seen people talk about Schroedinger’s Rapist. You are generalizing from “don’t approach women in these certain creepy ways” to “don’t approach women at all”. Unless you can demonstrate somehow that you absolutely must approach women in creepy ways they aren’t the same thing.

    —-
    But besides that, I kind of agree we shouldn’t be talking about that article specifically, because that article obliviously jumped straight into a what-they-are conversation and it really hurt a lot of men who read it and they got really defensive, when all that seems to have been meant is “don’t be creepy”. Connecting all men to rape is not a good idea even if you don’t happen to mean anything bad by it. (And I don’t think she did, and I think “she’s a misandrist” is making the exact same mistake she made. Try “that was hurtful to me as a man” and I think you’ll get a lot further.)

    So, uh, let’s talk about “don’t be creepy”; Schroedinger’s Rapist may have been a previous attempt to tell men not to be creepy but it wasn’t the end-all attempt which can never be superceded. You don’t reference Lamark every time you talk about evolution, right? You talk about the first guy who talked about evolution RIGHT, not the first guy that did it period.

  172. Danny says:

    AB:
    Well, you didn’t answer my last post, and I’ve been rather busy ever since then.
    Thousand pardons. Life’s been a bit ugly for me lately as well (I don’t suppose you recall what thread you made that last post on do you? If not its cool.)

    Because part of the social assessment you’re making (and the part the article is focussed on) is an assessment of risk. For most women, a large part of the aggression the will experience directed at them (especially from men) is sexual in nature, so that’s what they’re most wary about, and what will take up the biggest part of their risk assessment in regards to men.
    Okay but…

    Schrödinger’s Rapist is not about concluding whether or not men are rapists, it is about making an assessment of which men are the most safe, in order to decrease one’s general risk of being the victim of sexual violence. Sometimes people make mistakes in their assessments, but it is rarely done out of malice or bigotry.
    Okay so you’re including all possible risks and risk of sexual attack is the greatest of those risks. If that’s the case then again why not call it Schrodinger’s Bad Man (which would literally incorporate all possible risks from great to small)? I have a hard time believing that its about all risks and that sexual risk is the greatest because it would be very easy to name it in a manner that would include all risks. By using rapist the term comes off sounding like the only assessment being made is sexual. This is why I question if there is bigotry or malice (and I’m really wondering if it Rapist was used for the shock value and hopes of pissing people off) in both the naming of this assessment and the use of this assessment.

    So let me ask.

    How is this method of assessment fair for women to use on men (and I do agree that there is some merit in it) but in nearly every other instance this same assessment would be stricken down as some -ism, sometimes by the very people who would defend that assessment you just described?

    In our example let’s say the woman is white and the man is black. If that white woman makes that assessment based on his race it will be called racism but if she makes it based on his gender its okay? How can you tell the black man in that situation that its okay if he complains about a racist assessment but a sexist assessment is okay?

    Said white woman would not be concluding that that black person is a rapist but is making an assessment about if that black person is safe in order to decrease her general risk of being the victim of sexual violence (or nonsexual violence).

    And also considering that only a relatively small portion of men are a threat how does that play into the making of these assessments? I think you made a bit of a comparison to lottery tickets earlier. In lottery tickets the odds of winning often influence the price of tickets.

  173. BlackHumor says:

    Oh, and kudos to Lynet for advice that doesn’t make anyone defensive.

  174. OrangeYouGlad says:

    @typhon

    I dunno, I wasn’t really thinking about “no” in those situations, I was too busy thinking about “yes” or rather, the fact that I did, in those situations, want the interaction. I’m not sure it would have changed anything, as I would have still wanted it, but I guess the context would have been different (I’m trying to think of other things it’s possible to want but simultaneously not be able to back out of comfortably… maybe a gift? In the context of a gift you wanted backing out never occurs to you but in the context of a gift you don’t there’s no socially acceptable way to refuse? (except gifts obviously have fewer consequences))

  175. typhonblue says:

    Just an aside. Everything seems to be boiling down to a simple dynamic.

    A woman’s ‘yes’ isn’t respected; A man’s ‘no’ isn’t respected.

    A woman can’t say ‘yes’ or she’s a slut so she says ‘no’ when she means ‘yes.’ A man can’t say ‘no’ or he’s not a real man so he says ‘yes’ when he means ‘no’.

    How much we could improve if we empowered women’s ‘yes’ and men’s ‘no.’

  176. Danny says:

    BlackHumor:
    So, uh, let’s talk about “don’t be creepy”; Schroedinger’s Rapist may have been a previous attempt to tell men not to be creepy but it wasn’t the end-all attempt which can never be superceded. You don’t reference Lamark every time you talk about evolution, right? You talk about the first guy who talked about evolution RIGHT, not the first guy that did it period.
    Thing is though people are still talking about that first person as if they did talk about it RIGHT.

    Try to bring up objections about SR and its brushed off as “you’re don’t understand”, or as privileged whining, or that we’re trying to say that men have a right to cross women’s bounderies. If you can’t even critique the one that talked about it right how can you even determine if the next person does it right?

    But let’s talk about not being creepy. Well since all people aren’t the same I think outside of the obvious stuff there’s going to be a tough go of trying to define what behaviors result in one coming off as creepy (and I think that’s where the majority of guys fall, they know the obvious stuff but still get written off as creepy and don’t know where to go from there). Given that different people have different nuances on creepy its also going to a tough go of trying to define what is not creepy.

  177. OrangeYouGlad says:

    “”So, uh, let’s talk about “don’t be creepy”; Schroedinger’s Rapist may have been a previous attempt to tell men not to be creepy but it wasn’t the end-all attempt which can never be superceded. You don’t reference Lamark every time you talk about evolution, right? You talk about the first guy who talked about evolution RIGHT, not the first guy that did it period.””

    Well, most folk in the comments here weren’t the ones who brought up the Lamark of Rapists…

    (Which is why I think that if there’s some point in that article worth discussing it should be made anew in something else. The article is a bit detrimental to the point.)

  178. Xakudo says:

    My favorite thing about the Schrodinger’s Rapist article is the misuse of the title. With Schrodinger’s cat there was no question whether it was a cat or not, just a question of whether or not it was dead. So to use the concept properly, Schrodinger’s rapist would be a confirmed rapist whose dead-ness/alive-ness you could not readily determine. Perhaps a rapist zombie of sorts, but more quantum.

    (Also, said quantum zombie rapist would be in a box. And if you opened the box you would either be raped or discover a ghastly corpse–neither of which are pleasant possibilities.)

    On a more serious note…

    What bugs me about the Schrodinger’s Rapist article isn’t that it explains ways to help (to an extent) prevent women from having negative reactions to you. What bugs me is the tone implying that women are justified in feeling that way and that it is a man’s responsibility to cater to those feelings. Frankly, if I am (or any man is) not doing anything wrong then it’s kind of the other person’s problem if they have a fear response to me.

    As a practical matter, of course, it can be helpful for me to follow some of the advices in Schrodinger’s Rapist. But it is mostly a practical matter for my own sake, not an ethical matter for the other person’s sake.

    Also, women are not the only people who are afraid of men! A lot of men, myself included, also respond suspiciously and fearfully to other men behaving seemingly out-of-the-ordinary. But I own my reactions and recognize that they are my own responsibility, right up to the point where there is actual reasonable evidence of the person being dangerous.

  179. Thomas says:

    @BlackHumor

    You are generalizing from “don’t approach women in these certain creepy ways” to “don’t approach women at all”. Unless you can demonstrate somehow that you absolutely must approach women in creepy ways they aren’t the same thing.

    It’s explicitly stated in the article that some men should never talk to women in public:


    You must be aware of what signals you are sending by your appearance and the environment. We are going to be paying close attention to your appearance and behavior and matching those signs to our idea of a threat.

    This means that some men should never approach strange women in public. Specifically, if you have truly unusual standards of personal cleanliness, if you are the prophet of your own religion, or if you have tattoos of gang symbols or Technicolor cockroaches all over your face and neck, you are just never going to get a good response approaching a woman cold.

  180. Titfortat says:

    @Xakudo

    Ah, old fashioned accountability or responsibility for your own actions or thoughts. Something that always seems to be in short supply when these discussions arise. It is so much easier to blame someone else for what we are feeling.

  181. rox says:

    This is a really interesting conversation. had never heard of SD and see why it would make men feel horrible and it falsly accuses them of being rapists which is no way to help human beings learn to treat each other kindly! I am really confused about what it is ok to be scared of though? When I was very little I was scared of grown up men and they were sit close to me and rub their legs on mine and lean into me in ways that felt really scary and sexual and made me aroused and scared and feel bad inside. I feel like the kind of men who like to do this can sense that I am really easy to intimidate in this way because it seems like this kind of thing happens a lot. I don’t let any men get physically close to me because I can never tell which guy is going to do this to me. I have never had this happen to me from a woman so I don’t feel like it is necessary to be as careful about the physical boundary. I’ll think wow this guy I am talking to is really platonic!! And then he’ll tell me he’s going to explain something in my book and his legs and arms are touching me and I feel really scared about the intentions and it feels like I will get in trouble if I just move because if I move then I am accusing him of being a predator. But when I was younger that same kind of touching resulted in people groping me up and me not knowing what to do because the whole time they were acting like the touching was platonic and kept doing “platonic” things until I felt so bad and confused inside I was really easy to overpower.

    So now I just move away when men try to sit close to me or touch me and I don’t get violated when I feel scared as much at all any more. In fact it hasn’t happened in years, but I’m also afraid to work in places where there are men. It’s hard not to feel like it’s in all men, but that is because it’s easy to read that a lot of bad things have happened to me so I guess the kind of men that do that can tell that they should talk to me and I will be confused as to what they are doing or when I am allowed to say they are making a sexual advance and lying that they are just being platonic. Like, “I just want to show you this picture album” and then start grabing you. And I can’t handle people grabbing me so I know I don’t want to wind up in those situations. I think sometimes guys might just be trying to do sexual things without trying to be scary about it so I don’t think that makes them bad, but it’s just scary for me so I know I need to stay away as much as I can.

  182. @BlackHumor I won’t even begin to discuss the classism and policing that seems to be inherent in ‘don’t be creepy’ as opposed to ‘don’t be threatening’ but I’ll leave you with this:

    Next time you complain about nobody engaging you, don’t ignore the one woman who directly engages your assertions.

  183. ozymandias42 says:

    xakudo: I must admit, your image of the zombie rapist made me grin. 🙂

    I would say that it is a person’s ethical responsibility to try their best to keep other people from feeling uncomfortable. Obviously, we can’t predict every circumstance that could possibly make someone feel uncomfortable, but I think as social creatures we should do our best not to be, well, creepy. 🙂 And if someone says or communicates through body language that talking about or doing something makes them feel uncomfortable or that you would prefer they not do that, we should definitely stop.

    Thomas: I would suggest that people who do not bathe, found their own religions and/or have extreme tattoos represent a very small percentage of the male population, and she doesn’t suggest that they shouldn’t approach women, but that they shouldn’t approach women they don’t know on street corners because it is extremely unlikely to be successful. Personally, none of those ping my personal “predator” meter– except the gang signs, maybe– but I would probably not give them the benefit of the doubt in terms of conversation either.

    rox: You will not get in trouble if you move. You SHOULD move if someone is touching you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable– even if it’s just brushing your legs.* Your boundaries are scared and can be drawn wherever you feel comfortable drawing them. Anyone who doesn’t apologize and move away is at the least a douchebag and at the most a predator.

    *Before someone says that I’m privileging the feelings of women, that applies to everyone.

  184. Darque says:

    Sorry Ozy. I don’t see how fear is in any way a “gift” – and I think going through life fearful of all women would be a horribly depressing and self-victimizing experience.

    Fear has a very negatively transformative effect on society. It lowers people’s natural level of trust with one another and makes everything more difficult. It leads to violence, and many times, is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    The fear that we’re talking about – Shroedinger’s Rapist or fear of strange men is no different than the fear of strange latinos, or the fear of strange african americans, or the fear of strange middle-easterners aboard our airplanes.

    Hell, it actually is the same thing. When you hear a story about a swarthy person aboard a plan making others uncomfortable – its always the specter of a dangerous man that is conjured in the minds of the fearful. Most people do not quicken their step when a black woman is following them. But a black man? Absolutely.

    I fundamentally do not agree with you, as well, when you say it is is an ethical responsability to prevent the discomfort of others. I don’t think that life is comfortable in general, and I don’t think that comfort or discomfort is something that is imposed on us, but something that comes from ourselves.

    I think that some fear is useful. But for the most part, fear is something to overcome.

    and I don’t want to belong to a movement that exalts fear or labels it as a “gift”. I also think that your entire talk about comfort or discomfort, and feelings of safety in women betrays something else in your piece: That a woman’s feelings never come from something internal or innate, but are imposed on her from the outside world, especially men.

    Look, I’m not saying you’re a bad person or anything. But I think your post is wrong and flawed, and probably a dead end. Knowing that you write about so many other things and get them correct a lot of the time, I would hope that you would dig a little deeper into perhaps why you think fear is a gift.

  185. Xakudo says:

    @typhonblue:

    This is called grooming. The woman in your scenario is grooming the man to tolerate having his boundaries violated. Same dynamic as with the abuse of children. The fact that this seems to exist as a widespread and totally unquestioned social phenomena–the grooming of men to accept sexual advances from women unquestioningly–is… sort of disturbing.

    To add another story, a male friend of mine was in the living room on the couch with two women, and one of them reached into his pants and felt him up. He was visibly uncomfortable. He had given no permission to do this, and it happened after a lot of discussion about his penis which had also made him visibly uneasy. Both of the women giggled. I said point-blank that what they did wasn’t cool, and that maybe he didn’t want them doing that. But he composed himself and said, “Nah, it’s fine.” It was so freakin’ weird, because his discomfort was so blatant when it happened. Both of the women must have either been absurdly obtuse, or simply did not consider his discomfort of any import.

    I think there are a lot of factors that go into guys not responding to these sorts of incidents. And it really sucks. I honestly think that women need to be more careful about violating men’s boundaries than men need to be of violating women’s. Women are taught that this kind of thing isn’t okay when it’s done to them, and thus are better prepared to respond to it when it happens. Guys, on the other hand, are told that if something like that happens to them, then they “got lucky”. On average, they are extremely ill-prepared to defend their boundaries against women’s advances, or even recognize their own reactions as an indication of a boundary violation at all.

    A girl in high school also grabbed my ass. I had a similar, “I don’t care” response, but in fact it did make me uncomfortable. Also in high school, two girls accompanied by a guy walked into the boy’s bathroom while I was urinating and refused to leave because “it’s not like we can see anything” (worth noting that the guy was not blameless, but neither were the girls). I had a shy bladder for years after that.

    Most women don’t do this kind of thing, of course. Just like most men don’t. But there are fewer tools for men when asshole women do shit like that. As a guy, you’re just trapped. Maybe slut-shaming can work, but that has other problematic issues.

  186. superglucose says:

    Can one of you fine contributors write a blog post about violence against men? The statistics are truly scary when you consider just how much more likely a man is to be a victim of a violent crime in general, and they get much worse when you think about how often men will report being assaulted by women.

  187. Thomas says:

    @Ozymandias

     I would suggest that people who do not bathe, found their own religions and/or have extreme tattoos represent a very small percentage of the male population

    Yes, exactly. But why does she mention that very, very small subgroup of the male population at all? Doesn’t make much sense to me. Unless she wants to make her point that some men should never approach and then tries to soften it with the ironic, slightly humorous list of men who hardly exist.

  188. ralucahippie says:

    To be honest, I’ve never really bought into this “gift of fear” mindset; actually, I think it is a very toxic way of looking at people/the world. On the one hand, someone who really would be out to harm you is quite likely to be smart enough not to ward you off by giving “creepy vibes”, as opposed to someone who is just socially awkward- and on the other hand, by “listening to our fear” rather than having at least some fair attempt at analyzing it critically and rationally, we are only much more likely to act upon society-induced prejudice rather than think with our own minds. To give only one example- from “Schroedinger’s Rapist” articl: at one point she says something like “don’t approach women in public if you’re heavily tattooed or the prophet of your own religion; on the other hand, if I meet you at church with our mothers it’s a bit more acceptable”. Now- where does she get the idea that people who follow a traditional religion are more safe than the ones who explore their spiritualities in a different way? Well if this isn’t prejudice I don’t know what is; also I can’t help but notice how close the point she makes is to saying that someone is justified to be wary of people of different ethnicities than her/his own just ’cause she/he has some irrational fear of them.

    I am willing to admit that a woman or a man may have a strong feeling of fear of strangers of the opposite sex; or strangers of a particular racial background; or clowns- or whatever. But should that person embrace this fear non-critically and expect the whole world to cater to it? Or is it the person’s own responsibility to deal with/liberete herself/himself from this fear? Should we embrace prejudice just because we feel we’re avoiding risks (even though we might not)? I think these are valid questions that need to be asked.

  189. Argyle says:

    Actually, just reading through the comments, I think it actually *was* pretty damn valuable to be bringing SR up here, for the discussion it allows — which is what makes this blog a worthwhile read, at least for yours truly. If something strikes as much of a nerve (or multiple nerves) as the original SR essay did, I think it’s important to take another look at it to see *why.* Then again, I believe in lancing boils, so I could just have a kink for stuff like that . . . 😉

    I think one reason the SR post keeps making the rounds is that, despite its deep flaws, there are some worthwhile things mixed in — and I think Lynet did a great job of pulling those out. Others commenteors too numerous to name have done a great job of pulling apart where the original concepts/statement of concepts went horribly wrong — the big one being the gender-specific nature of the original post. Both genders are capable of being That Asshole. Once again, yay (?) equality.

    I think typhonblue hit a really important point with:

    “Just an aside. Everything seems to be boiling down to a simple dynamic.

    A woman’s ‘yes’ isn’t respected; A man’s ‘no’ isn’t respected.

    A woman can’t say ‘yes’ or she’s a slut so she says ‘no’ when she means ‘yes.’ A man can’t say ‘no’ or he’s not a real man so he says ‘yes’ when he means ‘no’.

    How much we could improve if we empowered women’s ‘yes’ and men’s ‘no.’”

    I think a *whole lot* of the boundary-pushing and making-people-uncomfortable-or-even-scared schtick committed by those who don’t mean actual harm (which is the original audience SR was aimed at) ties into that. Particularly the notion that women will “say no when they really mean yes,” which can cause a not-rapist man to push boundaries inappropriately because he thinks he’s supposed to/it’s okay . . . and, ditto, causes a not-rapist woman to do the same. Ironically, entirely different reasons/motivations lead to the same behavior, and it’s a double-standard that seriously needs to DIAF. Now.

  190. superglucose says:

    Oh also how the whole “men need to be self sufficient because it’s manly” is interfering with their health by not letting them see doctors? Because that’s in my life for sure. It’s MANLY to have a fractured wrist, it’s MANLY to have a cyst on my ass that keeps me from sitting down and why should I see a doctor just because I can’t swallow? It’s just a bad cold and certainly not strep.

  191. Tamen says:

    Ozymandias: To be more precise, she said “This means that some men should never approach strange women in public.” PERIOD. Public is a quite large superset of street corners and she also made that statement full stop without qualifiers. She did mention that it would be extremely unlikely to be successful (without defining success), but that is clearly not the real reason why those men shouldn’t approach women in public. The real reason – which is repeated several times in the article – is because women will judge them as a threat because of their appearance. Is it ok to flat out state that shower-challenged homeless men shouldn’t talk to women in public?

    I also get the sense that that “specific” list she listed isn’t exhaustive and it can’t possible be universal since you acknowledged that most of those she mentioned wouldn’t ping your predator meter. What about a man with a facial technicolor locusts tattoo? Or a black man? A disabled man (who also are unlikely to succeed in a cold approach in public, although for a different reason)? Or a young man with a hoodie?

    If she meant what you think she meant then she should’ve written something like this:
    “Some men will based on their appearance have little or no success when approaching women in public”. Do you see how that change from an advice to an imperative if I add “and therefore they shouldn’t approach women in public”?

  192. Xakudo says:

    @ozymandias42:

    I would say that it is a person’s ethical responsibility to try their best to keep other people from feeling uncomfortable. Obviously, we can’t predict every circumstance that could possibly make someone feel uncomfortable, but I think as social creatures we should do our best not to be, well, creepy. And if someone says or communicates through body language that talking about or doing something makes them feel uncomfortable or that you would prefer they not do that, we should definitely stop.

    Sure, I am not suggesting continuing an interaction when someone is visibly uncomfortable. And, like Jim mentioned, I think there is a lot to be said for being aware of social norms when it comes to one’s own behavior (e.g. don’t start conversations on a bus if doing so is considered abnormal in your area). But that goes for everyone, and is not (and should not be framed as) a gendered issue.

    The issue at hand is that there are additional things that men have to deal with that aren’t really appropriate, especially when we have to go out of our way to accommodate other people. I know this comparison has been done to death, but I think it’s actually really useful to draw a comparison to fear responses to minority races. Absolutely people of minority races still have normal responsibilities to make reasonable efforts to avoid making others uncomfortable, just like everyone else. But there are also _unreasonable_ reactions to them that are not reasonable to expect them to accommodate. Certainly they should not be going out of their way to induce such reactions, but if it happens in the course of normal day-to-day activities? Not really their fault, or their responsibility.

    And I feel like people are failing to make that distinction in this discussion, as if ignoring people’s unreasonable reactions is tantamount to disregarding their comfort and boundaries entirely. And I don’t think that is the case at all. I think these are absolutely separate issues. And I think SR also epicly fails to make that distinction.

    So what I am not saying is that we should disregard other’s feelings, comfort, etc. Rather, what I’m saying is that while we should care about other’s feelings, we should also care about our own ability to navigate our day-to-day lives without people reacting to us in unwarranted ways.

    I would say that a good litmus test would be to consider whether the same behavior from a woman would elicit a negative response… except that as I noted, I actually think women are often given too much latitude to violate people’s boundaries in our culture. I think there is a healthy medium somewhere between how people react to women and how people react to men.

    Having said all this, men certainly are not perfect at reading women, any more than the reverse, so I have certainly misread situations before, because I am expecting women to be afraid of me. But I am pretty sure I am not misreading such situations every time, either.

  193. Tamen says:

    Xakudo: Another personal anecdote: While I was dancing with friends at a disco two women who I hadn’t had any interactions with before started to lift my shirt up above my stomach. When I pulled it down and said stop it to them they laughed and asked me if I had anything to hide. They were attractive enough, but that didn’t allevite their behaviour. This “what if it were an ugly girl” rethoric used to legimitize men’s “no” has this flaw that attractive girls still can expect to get away with unacceptable behaviour.

  194. Paul says:

    Speaking of women violating men’s boundaries (or lack thereof in some cases…) I have this friend, she and I are extremely close, and I recall one conversation we had where she was asking me some fairly personal questions… and I remember at the beginning she said to me “If I get too personal, promise me you’ll tell me to fuck right off.” (Exact words no kidding) …And the thing was, nobody had ever said anything like that to me before… especially not a woman. But there it was, “you’re allowed to have boundaries, even with me.” it was one of those “things I never knew i never knew” moments.

  195. Gaius says:

    I feel like the kid who came late to the party. I read Schroedinger’s Rapist for the first time approximately 90 minutes ago. Since then, I’ve been reading comments and taking stock. Please forgive me if I misstep or overstep.

    My reactions are as follows:
    1). As someone with high-functioning autism, I have to systematize and consciously integrate social rules to which most people conform unconsciously. As a consequence, I’ve occasionally trespassed boundaries I had no idea existed. I have a high libido, and since society places the burden of initiation on me (see Noah’s article, “Rejection, Part One”), I’ve had to forge ahead in public places (always broad daylight) with those poor tools I have, or go crazy.

    From this perspective, I interpreted Schroedinger’s Rapist as a series of guidelines (irrespective of other condescending elements): “At all times, be aware that your surroundings may influence someone’s response to you. At all times, be aware that someone may have a history that may cause adverse reactions.” As someone who must consciously integrate the rules of social interaction, I found this helpful, irrespective of the additional baggage.

    2). At the same time, I recognize without qualification that Schroedinger’s Rapist is bigoted. Valerie’s experience, and CWiles’, are exemplary of the problems of generalization against an entire group. Likewise, Schroedinger’s Rapist places the burden of one groups feelings entirely on the shoulder of another group.

    But this raises an interesting problem for me. I live by the Golden Rule, which I translate to mean “respect others, always;” like Ozy, I feel an obligation to respect other people. Consequently, I feel an obligation to respect someone’s trauma reaction to a rape, regardless of whether or not that trauma reaction inconveniences me.

    At what point do I forfeit responsibility for their feelings?

    3). I am simultaneously thrilled and mildly annoyed by the discussion of gender neutrality and Schroedinger’s Rapist. Holding an entire subdivision of humanity (in this case, men) responsible for the actions of a few individuals is problematic on a number of levels: it is not only bigoted, but it is also essential and binaristic. It has been my experience that there is an individual gender for each person in the world. As such, how do you define “men?” How do you define “women?”

    Schroedinger’s Rapist could circumvent these problems by simply stating that all PEOPLE are potential rapists. But if so, what of it? A gender-neutral Schroedinger’s Rapist informs us that all people are potential rapists. Old news is old — what do we DO about it?

    To wit: in its gendered form, Schroedinger’s Rapist is bigoted. In its gender-neutral form, it is patently obvious to the point of tedium.

    4). TyphonBlue’s discussion of grooming prompted me to examine the presence of grooming in our society more thoroughly. I also found Paul’s comment at 12:44 AM to be encouraging, as I have used a similar line (“I won’t necessarily see all your boundaries, so tell me to fuck off if I transgress them”) many times as a disclaimer. So apparently I’m doing SOMETHING right!

    5). I would like to thank Ozy for bringing this up. To be honest, I feel the value of Schroedinger’s Rapist is not the text itself, but the discussion it engenders — a discussion which, by and large, has been ABOUT how rhetoric like Schroedinger’s Rapist effects t3h m3nz.

    My thanks to all contributors.

  196. aliarasthedaydreamer says:

    I’m going to read this whole comment thread later (long work week). But I just wanted to contribute, in the spirit of what Ozy was saying up top — the idea isn’t that all women fear all [strange] men and this is justified. The idea is that these are behaviors which will cause many women to increase their fear of a strange man.

    A story from this past week that this post/idea reminds me of: I was biking to the store. I got in a stupid situation in traffic while crossing a busier road, but fortunately an oncoming car stopped to let me cross. The car behind that (a vaguely military-looking, army-green-colored Jeep-type-thing) pulled out around it and accelerated to keep going, but fortunately I was far enough across that I didn’t get hit. I turned as I continued on to a small residential side-street, to see what had happened with the car that pulled around/if the driver was pissed. The car turned onto my street. I headed towards the side of the road and slowed to let them pass, not wanting to be in the way again. They turned a bit towards me and slowed themselves. At this point I am thinking oh god they are pissed they are going to run me off the road there are no driveways and a car in front of me and I’m boxed in fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck my ass is about to get kicked. I stop, the car stops, the driver rolls down his window and leans over. “Hey,” he says, kind of awkwardly. “Oh, sorry, I thought you were someone I knew from high school.” I’m shaking, hands raised in a defensive/conciliatory gesture, and manage to choke out something other than “NO GO AWAY RIGHT NOW.” A few other polite-but-awkward words are exchanged, and he drives away.

    I am not scared of cars. I am not scared of road rage, or cycling, or strangers — but the combination of aggressive driving maneuvers, my being an inconvenience, and the fact that this car was clearly following me freaked me right the fuck out. That driver probably had no idea. If this was a situation that occurred at all regularly, I might find myself posting Advice To Drivers To Not Scare The Piss Out Of Cyclists, but, well, it doesn’t.

  197. Kenshiroit says:

    Ozy, gift of fear or curse of fear? We already have our own fears, we should we now burden with yours?
    And I still dont understand why not gender neutral? why insist with the misandry with a non-explanation “men have to develop their own gift of fear”? we already have.!

    I still find the S.R kinda pointless, or low value advice. How do tell if somebody is creepy or if somebody is threatening? beside the enviroment…everything else is subjective. PUA’s have some really good and practical advices, more specific on how to approach, not abstract and impractical as the S.R.

    Actually there isnt any kind of advices on what to do, just some non specific-behaviour to be avoided that may or may not in certain non specific situations or with certain non specific persons. And it is heavely biased. Plus I dont understand why this boys vs girls attitude? why doesent the SR include also woman to woman and woman to men, but it only fokus on men to woman.

    Sorry, IMO the S.R is incomplete, weak, ineffective, to abstract, sexist, female centeret and all in all impractical. Beside outdatet, since mens also experience dangerous situations on the street.

  198. I go to bed, and when I wake up I discover SR’s defenders have backed off from the “rapist” aspect of the formulation and have reduced it to “creepy”. Still not acceptable to me. “Creepy” is a gendered insult. It means nothing objective beyond “what a given woman finds unattractive at a given time”.

    You would, rightly, not accept a man lecturing you on how to behave to avoid being labelled a “slut” or a “cocktease” by unreasonable men. In fact, a man lecturing women on how to avoid looking like a slut recently inspired an international series of demonstrations. “Slut” and “creep” are not equivalent in meaning, but they are equivalently gendered, equivalently judgemental and equivalently bestowed by the unreasonable.

    I have, however, found, that the behaviour most likely to get you labelled “creepy” is being less than absolutely sure of a positive reaction when approaching a woman. A man who approaches women with absolute confidence (possibly as a result of not caring whether or not he’s making her uncomfortable or afraid) is less likely to be considered “creepy” than a man who is hesitant and unsure in his approach (possibly as a result of worrying about whether he’s making her uncomfortable or afraid). Men who take rhetoric like SR to heart are more, not less, likely to be labelled creepy than men who don’t. But like I said before, it’s all about filtering those men out.

  199. BlackHumor says:

    @Valarie: I’m sorry! I seriously thought I had covered your complaints already. Is there anything you want to say now I’m aware I’m not?

    @Everyone else: We’re all well aware the SR is badly written; heck, the entire point of the OP was to write it better.

    I don’t think it’s worth continuing to argue about the one thing everyone in this thread agrees on.

  200. BlackHumor

    We’re all well aware the SR is badly written

    It was not simply badly written. It was badly conceived. It needs ripping up and abandoning, not rewriting.

  201. (Apologies for not closing the blockquote tag there. My reply starts “It was not simply badly written”.)

  202. Kenshiroit says:

    lol after a quick google I find this

    http://youapproachwomen.com/ or this http://www.alphaconfidence.com/approach/index-1.php

    much better advices and more practical.

    Ok my points on how to improve the SR is for now two majors : 1) gender neutral, 2) remove the word creep or rapist and replace it with the word ambivalent. And broad it up to include several other forms for interaction other than M/F (M/M,F/M,F/F) including PUA’s advices.

  203. Eagle33 says:

    I’m frankly dissappointed this site would post something that clearly deginerates all men and try to white-wash it as “They’re not talking about ALL men”. Particularly with you, Ozy.

    The fact that you try to assure it’s not saying “All men are potential rapists” when it has been pointed out that the article has the sentence “When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist.” is flabbergasting to say the least. Yeah, simply approach her and you’re that kind of guy in her mind. How is this NOT saying “All men are potential rapists”?

    I’m also disheartened that you adopt the same line subsets of feminism use when talking about men. “That Asshole makes up only a tiny percentage of men. However, he has poisoned the well for everyone else.”

    Replace Asshole with Rapist and there’s no distinction whatsoever. So, now because of this tiny percentage of men, I’m forever going to be known as a rapist or That Asshole because they share the same gender as me.

    I would expect this line of reasoning in faux-male support places like The Good Men Project, but never from you Ozy and this blog. I’ve got to wonder if this place really cares about the menz?

    Dissappointing. Especially after having felt the trust to open up here in the beginning.

  204. BlackHumor says:

    @Patrick: “Creep” is somewhat gendered; however “creepy” is not gendered at all. And apologies by the way for using it; I did remember that article by Clarisse Thorn, but I figured it wouldn’t be too harmful since I wasn’t using it as a gendered thing. If you want to read “don’t be creepy” as “don’t be an asshole” or “don’t scare people unnecessarily” feel free.

  205. Kenshiroit says:

    Blackhumor: Ambivalent is the right word…IMO

  206. AB says:

    Kenshiroit:

    “No, not only it gliss over half of the humanity but it is shown in a extremely gynocentric way, actually forced through gynocentrism.”

    To paraphrase one of the recent articles here: Making one article focussed one women and women’s problems from a female perspective ≠ disregarding over half of humanity.

    For instance, both men and women deal with insecurities about their genitals, but plenty of articles here deal only with penis anxiety, and only list women’s thoughts and reactions in the context of how they make men feel (about their penis). Am I supposed to conclude from this that the people writing these articles believe that only men deal with feelings of inadequacy about their genitals, or that men never make women feel insecure about their vaginas? Of course not, the writers of these articles have just chosen to focus exclusively on men’s problems in an area, because that kind of focus can give a different perspective than only focussing on the problem in general.

    When so many men ask “Why do women get uncomfortable when I approach them?” and so many women ask “Why don’t men understand why their approach makes me uncomfortable?”, it’s worth addressing. That means zooming in on women’s experiences, women’s backgrounds, women’s thought process (and the reason for it), and men’s approach as seen from the outside.

    If more women regularly experienced that they approached strange men who seemed uncomfortable, or more men experienced being approached in a way that made them uncomfortable, chances are we’d have more articles focussing on that, but as it is, we don’t, because it’s not something most men or women have expressed as having much relevance.

    On the other hand, men feeling that strange women don’t give them enough time and chances to prove how deserving of sex they are is apparently extremely common, so we have about a bajillion articles about the theme “I know don’t have the right to just get sex from a woman, but I do have the right to at least come under consideration for sex, so if she refuses to even talk to me to see if she’d want to have sex with me, I have every right to call her a sexist”, because that seems to be something men care about a lot, whereas it doesn’t seem to be a common experience for women.

    Seriously, you’re at a blog called “What about the menz?” and you’re complaining that sometimes people focus more on one sex than another?

    dungone:

    “It’s about women who feel that they can dress however they wish, regardless of social norms. Several of my feminist friends, for example, refuse to wear a bra, yet they wear loose fitting, low-cut attire that fully reveals their breasts to onlookers every couple of minutes as they go about their day. If you bring this up to them, they invariably say that they don’t mind if anyone sees because they’re nudists at heart and wish people weren’t so stuck up. It never occurs to them that some people just don’t want to see that, they just assume that they’re beautiful and it’s a gift to the world.”

    I have seen men go out in public with no/open shirts several times, showing their nipples. I see more men go topless or naked on non-nudist beaches than women. I personally don’t mind at all, but I’d appreciate if something as simple as women not wearing bra wasn’t considered such a taboo.

  207. Kenshiroit says:

    good point eagle.

  208. @BlackHumour The whole thing.

    And RE” ‘Creepy:’ When I search “creepy woman” (complete phrase) I get ‘About 53,700 results’ and when I search “creepy man” I get ‘About 526,000 results’

    The word would seem to be rather gendered. Oh, and for “Creepy Guy” there’s over 1.5 million hits.

  209. Kenshiroit says:

    about the creepy, its a ineffective word, because its subjective. Whats creepy for her, it’s attractive for another woman. Ambivalent instead it’s clear it make you unconfortable no matter what, and it is gender neutral.

  210. Kenshiroit says:

    Ab, you seem to ignore much of the critics, fokusing just on some. You know what, much of the reply you gave me is pretty much useless. First I dont understand why it fokus only at male vs female, enforcing the boys (bad) vs girls (good) meme and it doesent include the other way round and same gender realtions (who is on a certan aspect even more dangerous the other gender relation) . It is exclusively centered on the female point of view and it is volately, abstract. It up to the individual woman to define what is attractive and what is creepy, so much of the S.R is already outdated.

    As other pointed out the S.R actually makes all men rapist/creep and therefore is mysandric. The effort to justify this uitil now seems frankly just patetic. And I even wonder why some people cant see it.

    A good advice, the PUA’s have pretty good tecniques in approaching women and how to deal with rejection. Much more practical and more specific than the S.R. Just google for kezia Noble, shes a woman specialiced in PUA’s tecniques and she offer help to lonely guys, shes also on YouTube.

  211. BlackHumor says:

    @Valarie: I’m not sure what you mean by “the whole thing”, but with the creepy thing you’re ignoring that searching for just “creepy” doesn’t turn up a gendered result for pages. (It gets over 80 million hits, by the way.)

    @Patrick: I don’t think so; I think if the writer had been more considerate to men’s feelings nobody would’ve taken offense. And that’s without seriously changing the content of the message. Many people on both sides have said good things about Lynet’s rephrasings already.

  212. AB says:

    Danny:

    “Thousand pardons. Life’s been a bit ugly for me lately as well (I don’t suppose you recall what thread you made that last post on do you? If not its cool.)”

    I made one in the Mary Daly article, and one about the Klondike commercials, both at or near the end.

    “Okay so you’re including all possible risks and risk of sexual attack is the greatest of those risks. If that’s the case then again why not call it Schrodinger’s Bad Man (which would literally incorporate all possible risks from great to small)?”

    Because there are enough men complaining about the r-word as it is, so changing it to the even more inflammable Bad Man would just be seen as even more sexist. Besides that, rape is sort of the ultimate danger (next to murder, but they often go together). I guess it’s a bit like a black person talking about Schrödinger’s KKK member. They don’t expect every rude Southern hillbilly to routinely don a white rope and participate in lynchings, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t wary, even if the wariness is only a vague feeling of unease.

    “I have a hard time believing that its about all risks and that sexual risk is the greatest because it would be very easy to name it in a manner that would include all risks. By using rapist the term comes off sounding like the only assessment being made is sexual.”

    The main assessment is sexual. I haven’t experienced any kind of bullying, harassment, abuse, or assault from men that hasn’t has sexual undertones since primary school (and even that is debatable, since we were often told that guys would pull our hair or otherwise hurt us if they were romantically interested in us). Well, unless you count arguments with my grandfather (who’s sexist, racist, ageist etc.) and that one old man in the bus whose talkativeness and inability to take a hint ended up being halfway invasive.

    Also, the main reason men approach strange women tends to be sexual. If a man comes running towards me with a knife, or starts talking to me in a way similar to what he’d use to pick a fight with another man, my assessment of him probably isn’t going to sexual (at least not mainly), but when a man approaches me to hit on me or make aggressive sexual comments, I don’t think there’s anything strange about me focussing on the sexual aspects of it.

    “This is why I question if there is bigotry or malice (and I’m really wondering if it Rapist was used for the shock value and hopes of pissing people off) in both the naming of this assessment and the use of this assessment.”

    It’s used because the main risk assessment many women make in regards to strange men (especially strange men who start hitting on them) is about the likelihood of sexual assault. Not only because most violence committed by men against women is sexual, and because most men who approach women tend to have sexual motives, but also because this is what they have been imprinted with.

    They learn from an early age that when boys are interested in them ‘in that way’, they will react by hurting them (e.g. hair-pulling). They learn that boys’ sexual interest will override their respect for personal boundaries, and that they expressing sexual interest in girls as a sort of game they’re playing against the girls, which girls have to be wary about (e.g. boys sneaking a peak at naked girls in the locker room, causing some of the girls to scream, cry, and trying to cover themselves up, while the boys run away grinning).

    Later, they learn that many people consider it a perfectly natural that men will punish women who exhibit socially unacceptable behaviour by raping them (e.g. all the BS about short skirts). They learn that some men will be very aggressive towards them if they don’t want to talk to them (just read some of the comments at Clarisse’s Creep article again), but that talking to and showing interest in a man (even if it’s just to avoid angering him) will make some men feel entitled to more, and that they can never know which type of man they’re dealing with when they’re approached. This is not something women choose, it is something they’re told, frequently by boys or men, or women presenting themselves as talking on behalf of boys and men. And it’s simply not realistic to expect it to not have an effect.

    “So let me ask.

    How is this method of assessment fair for women to use on men (and I do agree that there is some merit in it) but in nearly every other instance this same assessment would be stricken down as some -ism, sometimes by the very people who would defend that assessment you just described?”

    Where have those people said that in all other instances it would be some sort of ism? From what I have seen, it’s the people who argue that women don’t have the right to be wary of strange men who keep bringing up the isms. Well actually, they don’t even bring up isms, they just repeat “Some white people were afraid of black men, some women are afraid of strange men, this makes women no better than racists”.

    I actually don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with being afraid of black people, or anyone else, in certain situations. If I lived in an area with lots of racial tensions, where violent groups of black people fought against whites, I wouldn’t think twice about being wary. If I walked down the street in a mostly black neighbourhood and felt people starring at me, I would be jumpy. If someone shouted “Hey white girl!” I probably would jump for real.

    In my everyday life, I could be a civil rights advocate. I could argue fervently that the violence of blacks came from poverty, their treatment in society, and a need to defend themselves against attacks from white people, who, btw, were every bit as violent. I could be an honorary Black Panther, have tons of black friends, and be respected by the African organisations at my college. But when walking a black neighbourhood alone, I’d still be a stranger, I’d still be considered the enemy, and no matter how little I’d personally done to justify their anger at white people, I’d still recognise the risk of being a target for said anger.

    It’s no secret that many men compare themselves to black people, because their situations are nearly identical, at least if black people had been the first to get the right to vote and hold political offices, if they still dominated most positions of authority and were generally richer than white people, if white people used to need permission of black people to do things like marry, and if black people’s reputation of violence for a big part came from blacks telling whites that a failure to paint themselves to hide their whiteness was likely to result in assaults from the black people it would provoke.

    Yeah OK, I don’t give a whole lot for that comparison, but it doesn’t actually matter. Even if I think there is more justification for the hostility of some black people towards white people than the hostility of some men towards women, it’s not the deciding factor in terms of risk. It wouldn’t noticeably change my wariness of going into a black neighbourhood alone that the hostile people there had some legitimate reasons for their hostility (if not a legitimate reason to take it out on me). I’d still make it part of my risk assessment.

    I’ve seen enough statements from men about how sex is something women have, and men need women to get, and that women who don’t share it evenly are being oppressive, that I’m reluctant to take my chances with strange men. The mindset is alien to me, and it scares me, and I’m not going to apologise for being afraid. Because there is something deeply scary about the thought that people believe you have a gold nugget between your legs which you didn’t deserve, and which you ought to share evenly, and which they always have the right to make a bid for. I’d probably be safe walking alone through a black neighbourhood the vast majority of times, even in a time and place of racial tension. A black person would probably be safe walking though known Klan territory the vast majority of times too. That doesn’t mean we need to demand of anyone to take the risk.

  213. @BlackHumor While I don’t have the time to search through 80 million search results I would happily make you a wager, wherein I paid you 3 dollars for every unique link where there creepy individual or group in question was gendered female and you could pay me a dollar where the creepy individual or group was gendered male.

    I would make a rather lucrative career out of such a wager, were it to persist for the rest of my life.

    It’s a gendered term.

  214. Hugh Ristik says:

    I’m troubled by the attempts of some feminist women to discourage certain types of male approaches. So I’m to say “what about the womenz?”

    There are women out there who would like to be approached by men with gang tattoos. I think they have bad taste, but it seems a little classist for feminists to try to stop them from meeting the sort of men they want.

    What’s more, it’s arguably misogyny. To me, trying to ban the sort of mating opportunities that many other women appreciate without consulting them seems potentially misogynistic.

    Upthread, Trinity wants to discourage men from approaching women who are reading. But I really wonder how universal her preference is, and how many women would instead be open to being approached while reading by men they find attractive.

    If you’re a female college student who wants the cute guy in the library to come say “hi” while she is studying, then guess what? Too fucking bad. He read on the internet that you shouldn’t approach women while reading or you are a Schroedinger’s Rapist.

    Why do some feminist women think that their preferences for how men approach get to automatically trump other women’s? Do they even consider that if men were to take their proscriptions seriously, it would lead other women to miss out on wanted advances from men, and missing out on dates and relationships? Are other women’s sexual and relationship opportunities merely collateral damage in the righteous cause of saving other women from discomfort?

    Perhaps the intuition is that between a contest of two women’s preferences, the one with the most restrictive preferences should win, because receiving unwanted attention is worse than missing out on wanted attention.

    Yet for a feminist women, the “she who is most paranoid wins” principle is dangerous to endorse, because there is always going to another woman out there whose preferences are more restrictive than yours.

    Jane likes being approached in ways A, B, and C. Mary only likes being approached in method B, so she says to Jane “I hate getting the A and C sort of approach, so we need to prohibit men from approaching in those ways… I know you like being approached those ways, but too bad, because my desire to avoid unwanted approaches trumps your desire for receiving wanted approaches.”

    Mary received only approaches of type B, and she is happy. Unless Zola comes along, who doesn’t like getting approached at all. Zola says to Mary “I hate getting the B-type approaches, so we need to prohibit them… I know you like being approached that way, but too bad, because my desire to avoid unwanted approaches trumps your desire for receiving wanted approaches.” Now all sorts of approaches are banned. Mary has no defense against Zola, who is merely using the exact same reasoning that Mary used to ban the types of approaches that Jane likes.

    In summary, the fact that an individual feminist woman doesn’t like a certain type of approach is not sufficient justification for her to try to ban it. We need to do a cost-benefit analysis of the behavior across the preferences of multiple woman (or at least, trying to guess at the feelings of other women).

  215. Of course assuming that we each picked a set number of unique random hits that we could practicably go through in the course of a day, say, one thousand… and we’d need a purely random search algorithm but, regardless, I’ll always happily lay three-to-one against the ten-to-one chance… people trying to fill inside straights helped pay off my credit card bills a couple of times.

  216. unreal man says:

    This blog is moving more and more away from being about and for men and towards being about and for women. This very post is riddled with subtle forms of sexism – though not always so subtle if you take a closer look:
    “That Asshole makes up only a tiny percentage of men. However, he has poisoned the well for everyone else.”
    Lets get back to reality. You know, in real life there are always going to be a few assholes. The question of poisoning the well comes down to how we deal with that fact. Are we going to make the sexist presumption that everyone with the same gender as some assholes we’ve met are likely to be that way? Or are we going to refine our judgement of individual characters independently of sex? The poisoning is done by those who make sexist generalizations.
    “However, on the emotional level, my brain associates “sex with men I don’t know” with “getting murdered.””
    Your emotional associations are your problem. I have certain anxieties too but I would never dream of expecting other people – especially strangers – to accommodate them.
    “The feminists are trying to give you pickup advice here!”
    Yeah, right! Who are “the feminists” here anyway? Are they even straight?
    “This means that you should never, ever disrespect a person’s boundaries”
    This is basic manners and goes without saying. Anyone who doesn’t already know that, won’t have read this far anyway.
    How do you even know that elevator guy was picking here up at all? Perhaps is interest was purely intellectual. It’s very sexist to assume that any invitation for coffee by a man is a pickup.
    “True, very few men have to deal with street harassment,..”
    Thanks for that one. I didn’t know that you knew about my experiences with harassment. Oh and don’t think the “very few mean’s not everyone” will fool me.

    Tell me something Ozy, what do you actually expect a good mannered man to take from this post? Is he supposed to adjust his behaviour to accommodate sexist generalizations of men. Is he supposed to somehow “make good” the bad behaviour of other men over which he has no control? Why is it always the men that have to fix the world anyway?

  217. “I’ve seen enough statements from men about how sex is something women have, and men need women to get, and that women who don’t share it evenly are being oppressive, that I’m reluctant to take my chances with strange men. The mindset is alien to me, and it scares me, and I’m not going to apologise for being afraid.”

    Seems like Schrodinger’s Entitled Male at that point… it’s understandable but not right.

    I’ve seen enough statements online to think that I wouldn’t be safe at a take-back-the-night or even a pro-choice rally which is really distressing, because I care about reproductive freedom pretty strongly, like most trans womyn, but I may be attacked. Let’s call my theoretical attacker, “Schrodinger’s Violent Radicalfeminist Transmisogynist.” Now, I know that not every cis woman who identifies as a feminist is going to attack me, but the statistics are there. I’ve heard the horror stories, and I just don’t know. So what can women do to not be Schrodinger’s Violent Radicalfeminist Transmisogynist? Well, they can gender me correctly. There’s a big plus… they can not use rhetoric that ascribes birth-assignment to a unidirectional gender power model… that helps set me at ease…

    But the thing is that Schrodinger’s Violent Radicalfeminist Transmisogynist wants me to be afraid of every woman I see, since I can’t tell immediately even which women are cis, I can’t ever be sure I’m safe… far easier then for me to crawl back into the closet, morally mandated out of existence…

    So the biggest thing cis women can do is to make it really clear that Schrodinger’s Radicalfeminist Transmisogynist Cheering Section isn’t welcome in women’s or even womyn’s spaces. Because then Schrodinger’s Violent Radicalfeminist Transmisogynist knows she won’t be able to incite a mob… knows she won’t be able to attack me. I may still become the victim of a violent radicalfeminist transmisogynist, but I won’t feel unnecessarily unsafe, because the culture of beating the tar out of trans womyn will have been opposed by enough people that I know I will have recourse.

  218. Kenshiroit says:

    exactly my words Hugh, one woman dream is anothers nightmare.

    And then who is a creep? its also a vague definition what is creep? how is acting creepy? is flirting creep? is talking to a stranger creep? walking down the road with your hood on is that creepy? to some maybe, but not everybody. All the advices I’ve read here applyes only to some women, not to all. No matter what you do there is always some body who will see in you a potential rapist/creep.

  219. Xakudo says:

    @AB:

    To paraphrase one of the recent articles here: Making one article focussed one women and women’s problems from a female perspective ≠ disregarding over half of humanity.

    I think he was referring specifically to the article, not to the blog as a whole. And in some respects I agree with him. I think few if any people here are denying that there are behaviors that are genuinely suspicious/creepy/whatever, and that men (and women) should avoid those behaviors. But that is only half of the equation, and addressing only that half comes across as assuming that women’s reactions to men’s behavior are always (or almost always, to the point where outliers can be largely disregarded) justified. And that is not consistent with many men’s experiences, and therefore feels very erasing.

    It would perhaps be more analogous to an article on penis anxiety that places the entire onus of the problem on women, and suggested or implied that the solution is for women to tiptoe around men’s irrational insecurities, as if men have no responsibility to try to unpack their issues.

    I have seen men go out in public with no/open shirts several times, showing their nipples. I see more men go topless or naked on non-nudist beaches than women. I personally don’t mind at all, but I’d appreciate if something as simple as women not wearing bra wasn’t considered such a taboo.

    Ditto. Frankly, I think our culture(s)’ discomfort with nudity is quite childish.

    Having said that, the intent and context behind nudity or revealing clothing makes a difference. Someone flashing a child, for example, probably oughtn’t be problematic in an ideal society, since it’s just the human body after all. But the mindset of the person and the context of our current culture sexualizes it, and therefore it becomes problematic.

    My impression is that most women who refrain from wearing bras are not doing so as a sexualized thing. But there is a lot of clothing that is intended to sexualize, and moreover that many women intentionally use in sexualized ways. And I think with that context in mind, it is appropriate to expect women not to wear certain things in many contexts, because it is effectively forcing sexuality into a context where it is not appropriate.

  220. Tamen says:

    SR is not salvageable by making it gender neutral since prejudice against women is no better than prejudice against men in my book. The problem is not any advice to try to be aware of and respect other people’s boundaries. But rather when one tries to specify what that means and one ends up with absolute statements like: People with facials tattoos should not talk to strangers in public. De-gendering that statement does NOT help.

    Several female commenters have mentioned that their fear of men probably is exaggerated and not rational in many situations. The SR article goes a long way in rationalizing irrational fear and doesn’t acknowledge irrational unfounded fear at all. It does not address at all how irrational and unfounded fear may impact the one being afraid – being too afraid will hamper you in life. Only you can decide what level of fear is appriate for you, but evaluating your fear level (after the fact, when you’re feeling safe) – as in trying to understand exactly why your fear were triggered and consider whether that root cause in fact is a danger and on what level is smart.

    Typhonblue mentioned that having a hair-trigger sensitive fear threshold in fact makes you less likely to discerrn the actual danger from no or minimal danger. Of course you’re pretty safe by initially assuming that every encounter with another human being is dangerous, but that life sounds dreary. I would never date anyone if I knew they were leaving my name and phone number on their PC screen so the police may recover her body if I murder her – she clearly haven’t vetted me enough to allay her fears of me and I would rather not be around people who are afraid of me to that extent.

  221. AB says:

    typhonblue:

    “Therefore there has to be a difference between instinctive fear of certain men and a bigoted fear of all men.”

    And there is your problem. It’s not always possible to distinguish between instinctive fear and bigoted fear, and even more importantly, there is a huge grey area of reflective fear, learned from experience, in between the two. I heard a story about a family who lit some candles because their electricity was temporarily gone. Their foster daughter, who had been taken away from a violent home, came down and saw the candles and immediately said “I hate candles!”. It turned out she had been sexually molested in a way which included the use of candles, and now the mere sight of them set her on edge.

    The fear was not instinctive, she hadn’t been born with it. But saying that she was a bigot who oppressed the poor candles with her discomfort is completely inappropriate. And it still would be even if the candles had been penises instead. As an adult, I’m sure she’d be able to understand rationally that the candles couldn’t hurt her. That doesn’t make her reflective discomfort bigoted fear.

    A man who had been sexually molested as a child by an adult woman once told about how he got a flashback on Christmas Eve, when his wife got a new perfume as a Christmas present, because the smell was identical to the one used by his abuser. The mere smell caused him to panic. Obviously, there is nothing more dangerous about women wearing that perfume than anyone else, but if he was in an elevator with a woman smelling like that, he’d probably be scared either way. Is that bigoted fear?

    “We’re talking about trying to discern the difference between anxiety and fear in the context of _potential abuse that hasn’t happened yet_.

    What you’ve said here is not relevant at all. Yes people shut down during violence, myself included when it comes to women’s violence.”

    And people can’t shut down before any actual violence has happened unless they’re bigots? That’s strange, because I remember my abusive boyfriend making me afraid (to the point where I started crawling beneath my pillow when he was angry) long before he’d done anything I would classify as abuse. I hadn’t been molested before, but somehow, something in the way he moved and talked caused me to almost instinctively become paralysed, and just crawl away and cry until it was over. He made a big deal out of how unfair I was to him, and how much it provoked him that I was afraid of him.

    The idea of telling him to change his behaviour into something which didn’t make me afraid seemed ludicrous, because he technically hadn’t done anything wrong. So I didn’t feel I had the right to expect him to try to change, so I instead I agreed that I shouldn’t provoke him by hiding away from his anger. But it only seemed to make things worse when I stood up to him, and eventually, he’d done enough real violence for me to leave him. But I can’t help thinking that maybe I should have listened to my fear and left earlier, rather than constantly telling myself I didn’t have a right to be afraid. Your classification of this kind of fear as bigoted certainly wouldn’t have helped me.

    “Well, I’m not a guy so I can’t comment. But I wonder about the mental state of guys who say stuff like this.

    Usually they have trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. Saying that they wished girls would grab their butts or give them blowjobs while they were sleeping usually involves them assuming the girls in question are ones they want grabbing their butts or giving them blowjobs while they sleep. It never occurs to them that the women who will exploit the right to ‘grab butts’ and ‘give blowjobs’ won’t necessarily be women they want to get touched by. Or women who have their best interests at heart.”

    I agree completely. But I have been called overcautious and silly several times when I’ve tried being more careful around men’s boundaries. So while I wouldn’t mind a guy writing to women about male fear in this aspect, I’m not surprised so few of them have done it. And that’s not the fault of the author of Schrödinger’s Rapist, and it doesn’t make the points in it irrelevant. It just means we need more men to talk about male fear of sexual assault.

    “This harkens back to my post. Everyone assumes the absolute best outcome with women’s sexuality and the absolute worst with men’s.”

    I’d say everyone assumes the best possible outcome for men, and the worst possible outcome for women, sort of like the study which indicated that when men thought of sex with a strange woman, they pictured her looking like Jennifer Lopez, while women pictured a strange guy as looking like Donald Trump.

    I think it’s a defence mechanism for both sexes. Men don’t like to think that they can get raped, so many of them engage in this fantasy of the women they’re already interested in taking the initiative and doing the stuff they want them to do without the men having to ask. Women have been told about the horror of rape, and how it will leave them ruined and unsuitable for marriage, so much that they can’t do this. So instead, many of them pretend to live in this fantasy world of complete justice, where only slutty women get raped, and good girls like themselves are protected and appreciated. Equally stupid and equally damaging.

    “Also you could liken this behavior to conventionally unattractive women saying that they only wished they got the attention that conventionally attractive women got. It’s a result of being sexually invisible. That doesn’t make the attention acceptable.”

    Except the men who say these things are often anything but sexually invisible, and even conventionally unattractive women tend to view sexual assault as a danger and humiliation.

    Kenshiroit :

    “Ab, you seem to ignore much of the critics, fokusing just on some. You know what, much of the reply you gave me is pretty much useless. First I dont understand why it fokus only at male vs female,”

    Because women more often experience being approached by (and hit on) by strangers in ways which make them feel uncomfortable and insecure. As I and others have already said multiple times, if you are often approached by strange women in ways that make you feel uncomfortable, you’re free to share these experiences, and write an article about what it was in these women’s behaviour that made you feel that way, in order for women to get some pointers about approaching men in ways that don’t come across as threatening. No one is stopping you, but so far, no one has expressed any interest in that subject.

    “It is exclusively centered on the female point of view”

    Yes, and from what I can tell, plenty of articles, including some here, are exclusively focussed on the male point of view. So how do you justify that?

    Thomas says:

    “It’s explicitly stated in the article that some men should never talk to women in public:”

    Some men, not all. I happen to know a couple of the kind of men who shouldn’t approach women in public. And guess what? They know it. They know that they don’t have the social skills to communicate safety and approachability, so instead of calling it oppression, they work on it.

  222. TheAverageOutlier says:

    Hm, as far as I can read the discussion, I may have been right in my first comment in this thread. So, this is how you can avoid being creepy towards strangers, of any gender:

    DO NOT approach them in unless you have a real reason, in a situation not commonly associated with making new connections. Simple as that. You do not need to worry about how you appear. Do not do it at all.

    People who want to make new connections intentionally GET INTO situations that are associated with making them. They make themselves available for being approached. Learn to recognize these kinds of situations. If someone, on the street or in a public place like the library, is clearly just minding their own business, do not go talk to them. Chances are you end up causing them inconvenience and yourself feeling like an idiot.

  223. Kenshiroit says:

    AB ‘ Because women more often experience being approached by (and hit on) by strangers in ways which make them feel uncomfortable and insecure. ‘

    so thats a good excuse to gliss over everything else and fokus only on a part of the reality, just because ‘somebody’ claims (hearsay) that only or mostly women experience this. Something that is purely subjective and irrational ‘ I got approached by a man with long hair…how creepy, I got approaced by a bald man…how creepy, I got approaced by a man dressed like a clown with a baloon in his hand how creepy’.
    bein inconfortable and insecure usually its connected by the state of mind and emotional state at the moment without mention geografy. If you get approached by a man dressed like a clown with a baloon in his hand it probably would creep out everybody, I know cuz I will. But if you get apporache by the said man in a cirkus…it would probably be harmless. Although it would be scary in a cemetery 😉
    If you are assisting to a retro 80’s rock band, with dudes with long hair, and one of them talk to you. You will probably even ignore the long hair. If you are talking to some fresh soldiers, in a military camp, the bald part is a non factor. But on the street all of the mentioned guys may be and may not be creepy or potential rapist’s. All depends by the observer.

    Its a game who is impossible to win, because you need mind reading abilities…to know exactly the state of mind and the personal story of that particolar woman.

    The reason I keep claiming its misandric its because this statement ‘ “That Asshole makes up only a tiny percentage of men. However, he has poisoned the well for everyone else.”’ it is a hyper generalitation of half of the humanity (I dont know if you realice how big this prejudge is, and offcourse lot of guys are angry because of this, and they should be!) beside its supercentered on female experience while erasing all other (how rude). So in other words ‘female entitlement first’ (female privilege?). That is the reason I say if it should have any validity it MUST be gender neutral and include all other factors, there isnt any other way! Finally i suggest all the supporters of S.R to give a look to the PUA culture out there, because this has already bein accounted, and they share tools on how to deal with scared women, agressive males/females and how you internalice your negative experience.

  224. Hugh Ristik says:

    @TheAverageOutlier,

    Learn to recognize these kinds of situations. If someone, on the street or in a public place like the library, is clearly just minding their own business, do not go talk to them.

    I agree with you that approaches in these contexts often don’t go well, but do things really have to be that way? Personally, if I’m in a library, I have no problem with a stranger approaching me (as long as they are somewhere remotely near me in conventional attractiveness, and go away if I say I’m busy).

    If people are open to being approached by attractive and considerate strangers in libraries, then clearly the problem isn’t the library. It’s the sort of people who would currently make an approach in libraries.

    In reality, mostly it’s not an attractive stranger approaching women in libraries: It’s That Guy. But why is that? It’s because men who aren’t That Guy, men who are attractive and considerate, have been frightened out of approaching by rhetoric like Schroedinger’s Rapist. When approaching is outlawed, only outlaws will approach.

  225. Kenshiroit says:

    Here is a good way to be creepy. Poor Borat he is only trying to fit in 😀

  226. f. says:

    When approaching is outlawed, only outlaws will approach.

    Oh, give me a break. How many men do you honestly think are familiar with the concept of “Schrödinger’s Rapist” at all?

  227. AB says:

    Xakudo :

    “I think he was referring specifically to the article, not to the blog as a whole.”

    And that makes it even worse. It’s one thing to criticise if a blog is overall biased against one group, it’s even more unfair to complain that a single article focusses on one group other another. Let’s say it’s a blog about ableism in general, but most of the articles were only about abuse of blind people. That’s a legitimate complaint. In the same way, I’ve seen blogs that are supposedly about sex in general, but only focusses on male sexuality.

    But that’s not the same as having an article which focusses on the difficulties of blind people, or on male sexuality. Those are both legitimate subjects. And so is women’s fear of being approached by strange men. It comes across as extremely unfair that this blog has tons of articles centred around men, where male experiences are given more weight than female experience, and yet people here are acting like the mere existence of an article focussed on women and women’s experiences is per definition oppressive.

    And this isn’t a new phenomenon. I’ve seen it on several blogs and message boards, feminist and otherwise. As soon as a woman start talking about some women’s issue, men come in and say that the fact that she didn’t include men or made a similar comment about the problems faced by men, it means she’s a bigot. Very often, the women on the board will say that they think men should be free to talk about their issues from a male perspective, they just didn’t think it was their job (or their right) as women to bring it up.

    Of course, it never helped, because most of the time, it wasn’t about men having an equivalent issue they wanted to talk about (they had different issues, and had no problems talking about them from a male perspective the way they refused to let women talk about things from a female perspective), it was about them not liking what the women were saying. Sometimes, women actually started conversations about men (even though they had nothing to say about it and had repeatedly asked men to bring up the issues they wanted to talk about) for no other reason than it meant a temporary lessening of the harassment of the women. Eventually, the men would get tired of talking on the mostly civil threads about men started by women, and go to the threads about women to say “Why don’t you talk more about men?”

    I can respect that some people don’t like what the Schrödinger’s Rapist article says. I can respect that they don’t like the concept. But I cannot, and will not, respect that focussing on one sex instead of the other is some sort of moral problem, just because that sex is female. I have no issue with men talking about men’s issues from a male perspective. I can disagree with them, and think they go about it in a shitty way (and the same be said about women btw), but I don’t mind the concept. If people truly thought focussing on just one sex over another was so wrong, where the hell is all the outrage over the penis articles here?

    “And in some respects I agree with him. I think few if any people here are denying that there are behaviors that are genuinely suspicious/creepy/whatever, and that men (and women) should avoid those behaviors. But that is only half of the equation, and addressing only that half comes across as assuming that women’s reactions to men’s behavior are always (or almost always, to the point where outliers can be largely disregarded) justified. And that is not consistent with many men’s experiences, and therefore feels very erasing.”

    Do you know what a good solution to that could be? Stop complaining about being erased while erasing women. In this thread alone, we have several people arguing that PTSD is oppressive for people who don’t have PTSD, because people with PTSD sometimes act overly suspicious. We have people refusing to believe that women who’re afraid of men can be anything like bigots. It’s basically turning into “Something I don’t like=evil”, with no regard for how the woman might feel, or why. How on earth do you expect women to respect that a behaviour which they perceive as innocent and justified is deeply upsetting to many men, if you refuse to even consider that women who find your innocent behaviour deeply upsetting are not part of the equivalent of a white supremacy lynch-group?

    “It would perhaps be more analogous to an article on penis anxiety that places the entire onus of the problem on women, and suggested or implied that the solution is for women to tiptoe around men’s irrational insecurities, as if men have no responsibility to try to unpack their issues.”

    Except that I have never seen an article about penis anxiety which placed any significant focus on men getting over themselves and stop having issues. The focus has always been on what causes penis anxiety, and what we can do as a society to get rid of those causes. At no point have women been allowed to waltz in and say “Men exhibiting penis anxiety makes me nervous, and makes the sex worse. This is totally the fault of the guy with penis-anxiety, how can he justify exposing me to this behaviour? Women are like black people being oppressed by evil white slave-owners, and men just don’t get how incredibly offensive it is to be with a guy who doesn’t feel good about himself or his penis. Why doesn’t this article focus more on women as the oppressed group, and of how we’re the real victims of men’s anxiety?”.

    We sort of realise that as much women might feel inadequate if the man they’re with suffers from sexual dysfunction, it’s not some bigoted or malicious intent of the man to make her feel bad. And if some men tell about how innocent teasing about penis sizes has made them anxious, we also don’t spend the whole thread talking about men don’t have the right to be hurt by the teasing, because they’re supposed to know it’s just for fun, or alternatively, because lots of other guys don’t mind, and sometimes even like, some playful teasing about their cocks, so the guys who feel bad are just bigoted racists who read more malice into the girls’ teasing than they should.

    “My impression is that most women who refrain from wearing bras are not doing so as a sexualized thing.”

    This is one of my biggest issues with bras. “If you don’t wear an uncomfortable contraption which makes your secondary sexual characteristics stick out, increase in size, and/or be extra nice and perky, you’re sexualising yourself”. It doesn’t make sense.

  228. Nat says:

    f. says:
    August 18, 2011 at 7:09 am
    When approaching is outlawed, only outlaws will approach.

    Oh, give me a break. How many men do you honestly think are familiar with the concept of “Schrödinger’s Rapist” at all?

    Most men are aware that their sexuality is being “sinisterised” (thanks typhoneblue) in this manner by rape culture propaganda. Its taught on campus, its all over feminist blogs … creep shaming is more prevelant than slut shaming in the culture.

  229. Clarence says:

    Nat:
    I have to agree with you. I got this message loud and clear back in the early 90’s when I was in college, and I didn’t even live on campus. They had the whole sexual assault training, the campus Womyn’s Center, the whole nine yards. It’s not new, and it’s not confined to Ivory League or private and expensive schools. It’s rather ridiculous for “F” to pretend that a very significant (possibly even a majority of guys by now over the past 20 years) haven’t gotten this very poisonous message.

  230. Nat says:

    Edit to above post.

    f. if you think men can’t see and feel this bigotry in the culture, you very much underestimate them and their intelligence. There is actually a men’s movement that’s very angry about it, that’s growing exponentially and is going to dismantle this doctrine of hatred.

  231. ozymandias42 says:

    I think that one of the problems in this discussion is that a lot of guys, once again, really don’t realize how common That Asshole is. I am generally viewed as male in public (I’ve often been called “sir”, never “ma’am”). However, occasionally I have to wear a skirt or otherwise signal that I have a female body. Every time I have done so, I have had at least one man shout at me “nice ass” or wolfwhistle or ask to have sex with me or hit on me then follow me down two city blocks after I politely said “no thank you” or…

    Admittedly, it happens to me a lot because I’m a young skinny blonde chick in the city I live in, and a woman who is older or larger or in a different city may experience less harassment. The fact remains: women get harassed; some women get harassed a lot. I’m pretty sure if most of the men here experienced That Asshole as often as I do, they’d be slightly suspicious of new people approaching them too. (I mean, I continue to be polite, because I’m nice, but I also… worry.)

    On Creepy: Creepy, in the way I use it, means “a person who violates major social norms or other people’s boundaries, especially in a way that makes people feel unsafe” not “a man who hits on a woman in a way she doesn’t like.” You’ll notice I linked to three articles, two of which are by women who experienced other people disliking them because, well, they were creepy. I agree that creepy is often misused in the latter way, but given a lack of other terms for “a person who violates major social norms or other people’s boundaries, especially in a way that makes people feel unsafe,” I am simply attempting to use it in a non-misandric way. If you would like me to use a different term, feel free.

    I think we can come up with a “reasonable person” standard of creepiness, i.e., a reasonable person would be creeped out by this behavior. I’d be interested in any thoughts people had on this point.

    Also, the difference between using slut as a pejorative and creepy as a pejorative is that having promiscuous casual sex is a morally neutral thing, and violating social norms or other people’s boundaries in a way that makes people feel unsafe is an unethical thing.

    On Elevatorgate: Yes, a person asking another person up to coffee in their hotel room at 4 am is hitting on that person. You know how I know? Because if she had assumed that it was just coffee, gone up to his room and been raped, the outcry would have been “well, she should have known it wasn’t just coffee, if you go up to a guy’s room at 4 am you know he only wants one thing.”

  232. Clarence says:

    AB:

    I don’t have a problem with women bringing the issue of problematic approaches up. There is an issue, however, with the original Schrodinger Rapist post. Honestly, Ozy would have been better served to have only linked to her and Holly’s stuff, which, while not perfectly morally or factually unassailable at least is far more respectful of male experiences and nuanced about the whole issue.
    On the other hand, recently, we haven’t had too much written by and for bisexual and regular cis-straight men, and these men arguably make up the majority of readers of this blog. About the only post recently that I can think of that applies to MOST men would be the penis shaming one, and possibly the “masculinity/feminity” one, though that obviously has something for females as well. Most of the recent posts have been on the subject of trans/queer conceptions of gender, and while I don’t have a problem with that per-se, and I’m glad that I”ve learned a few things and can more readily empathize with people in unusual areas of the gender spectrum, the fact is such things don’t speak much to my personal experiences. So I feel your complaint in this case is a bit dishonest: this site has hardly been an MRA site, a “Maxim” type site, or even one largely written from the perspective of your average “cis-het” man, and arguably that is the perspective of where the majority of men come from, and ignoring it on THIS site would be ..counterproductive.

  233. Nat says:

    Clarance.

    A friend of mine interviewed a 21 year old recently and feminism came up, he said that he and all his friends were afraid of women, she pressed him on it and basically what he said leads back to rape culture propaganda – being construed as being creepy, falsely accused of rape and everything in between.

  234. rox says:

    A soldier can have a biological PTSD response to a member of the race he fought a war against and saw horiffic death and torture and constant terror and in the context of the war it was always entrenched in the mind as coming from one ways— the actions of his body have terror is not racism. That is not something the man could help. And if you are in a war situation and someone is of the race that has been attacking you and you have never seen a member of your own race attack you then should you release your caution in order to not be racist? In the context of war and danger of death and horrific suffering and assault, you need to use any information you can to asses to situation. In the context of America, racial profiling is not justified because it is wrongly carried out against innocent people. In the context of being in a foriegn country where a large portion of people of a certain race are trying to kill you, your body will KNOW to be terrified and prepared for a proper response when a member of the enemy race is approaching.

    Women are in a country were one out of sixteen men might want to rape her. If she were drunk, would you expect her to take a ride home from a male coworker, or a female coworker? Would she be sexist if she declined the ride home from a man based on his gender? If a man from class asks a woman, hey would you like to come over to watch movies, should a woman view that request as the same as she would a request from a woman? Should she go over because after all he SAYS he’s platonic. Wheras if a woman from class asked to go watch movies it might feel like fun, but if you know you don’t want sex it is exhausting to have to pretend men are as platonic as they claim they are. People get horny. People are often either lying or in denial about how horny they are. If I were a man and I were not interested in sex I would avoid encounters alone with heterosexual women as well. I would not see this as sexist, but rather as respectful and knowing my own boundaries with sexuality.

  235. Nat says:

    “I am simply attempting to use it in a non-misandric way”

    Ozy, I think that you are too involved in misadry and misandric ideology and know too little about misandry to know what it is or speak about it with any authority. You are one of the legion that make sure rape of women by men is in the forefront of the minds of women at all times. You are part of the problem.

  236. Clarence says:

    Elevatorgate:
    Ozy, I hardly ever link to myself but here:

    http://traditionalchristianity.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/elevatorgate/
    I’m rather proud of this post, because I spent lots of time over several weeks following (lurking!) at various blogs and I think my post is one of the most fair and balanced in terms of elevatorguy himself (clearly I have an opinion on the whole mess that you may or may not disagree with). I’m afraid, according to Rebecca Watson he did specifically disclaim sexual intent, and so I’m afraid we should take him at his word and her at hers (about what he said) and drop this he was asking for sex business.

  237. f. says:

    Let me be clear, I don’t think men are unaware that society frames them as “threatening” or “predatory” in ways that are absolutely ridiculous and bigoted. Though I think the framing of “creepy” as a kind of male analogue to “slutty” is sloppy at best, I am well aware that men are often taught to put women on a pedestal and to treat us as if we are very fragile and easily frightened, like a baby deer or something. I’ve observed that men near and dear to me have a hard time relating to women and to their own sexualities due to these attitudes.

    However, going after feminism for it, I don’t think that will get us very far. I believe those attitudes are embedded in some schools of feminism because they come from a deeper place in the culture. A reactionary “men’s movement” against feminism is deeply misguided and will only end up promoting misogyny. I’ve often asked myself how feminism can help men, because I do see the struggles men go through. But if you find yourself raging against “sexual assault training, the women’s center, the whole nine yards” then I strongly question how you want this whole “society” thing to turn out in the end.

  238. rox says:

    I want to add another layer of complexity. I really genuinely think this changes when you are talking about someone who was abused severely in childhood and who has a literal boundary disorder, a mental problem in which they were so abused and forcibly confused about what is platonic and what is not that they literally can’t differentiate between a predatory and non-predatory action. what’s more, once someone has been abused to that extent they are statistically likely to continue experiencing assaults and sexual abuse. Predators can easily tell when someone has been broken down in this manner and their goal is continue using the person fear of calling him out for his/her behavior to wind up alone “platonicaly” and be able to do what he/she wants.

    The only way to ensure safety when you are continually being sexually assaulted is to reduce alone time and unsafe situations with the gender who keeps violating you sexually. Don’t take a ride home from a man when you are drunk or tipsy. Don’t go to a man’s house alone if you know you don’t want sex. I once had a male friend invite me to come see his house and I walked in the door and then I was pinned against the wall and the whole thing was awful. I have never had a woman do this to me and I have never had a woman think that walking into her house meant I wanted sex. However most all men whose houses I’ve walked into have thought that I wanted sex. I’m not talking one out of 16, I’m talking 9 out of ten. It’s a non-verbal communication that in many cases means “I want sex”. I do not want sex so I do not walk in guys houses to be alone with them. If you tell me I must stop this in order to stop being sexist I can assure I will be raped again like I was so many times in my life because of trying to take men on their word that they are platonic.

  239. rox says:

    I want to add if genders are reversed I think it’s totally fine for men who know they don’t want sex to avoid nonverbal communications that indicate they want sex to some women… such as being alone with her or going in her house. I think all of that is reasonable.

  240. Clarence says:

    Ozy:
    Some of the behaviors that go with “slut” such as binge drinking are problematic, need to be separated out and criticized. Even though I support Roe V Wade, I can also understand how casual sex that leads to an unwanted pregnancy (and hence the possibility of using abortion as birth control) could be morally or ethically problematic as well. As a person who mostly leans libertarian, I have no issues per-se with what you choose to do in your bedroom, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think that some combinations of promiscuity with other behaviors can’t be personally destructive, and because of ruined lives societally destructive as well. Thus if a bit of “slut shaming” would work to prevent my hypothetical friend from destructive drinking and sexual behaviors, I can see a use for it. So while I’m willing to work with you on a “reasonable standard” of creepiness, I am not going to give you some sort of unlimited pass to use that word – and also, a reasonable standard implies that you realize that the word can be used inappropriately, as can “slut”.

    I’m going to have to think more about this.

  241. Druk says:

    There need to be clearer standards between
    “Don’t do this action because it’s unlikely to get you the results you want.” (tattooed people approaching women on street corners)
    and
    “Don’t do this action because it is WRONG TO DO IT.” (tatooed people approaching women on street corners while wielding a weapon)

    I saw a lot of people using the first argument as if it were the second during Elevatorgate, and I’m seeing similar things here with SR. To be clear, a person has every right to engage in the first situation no matter how unsuccessful they might be, if they so choose, because they are doing nothing wrong.

  242. Clarence says:

    “But if you find yourself raging against “sexual assault training, the women’s center, the whole nine yards” then I strongly question how you want this whole “society” thing to turn out in the end.”

    Assume much?

  243. Kenshiroit says:

    AB I dont know if you are refering to my post, but I find your complain kinda pointless (I dont want to sound like antagonicing you, but bear over me since english is not my primary language, so its struggling to find the right words) nobody as far i can read, although I may have missed a post or two, is complaining because a topik on female problems (beside that, there are plenty of blogs on that subject) but people (some) are reacting because you force your view on us. Its not a women problem, but a problem women have with men (some men) and we all suddently are dragget into this. And it is natural and logical that (some) men complains especially when the so-called problem is only based mostly on fresh air. With fresh air I mean pure speculation.

    Most of the guys will never approach a woman on the street, and the so-called mr Ahole surely will never read this article, and if he does he would be unable to relate it to him, because he belive he is the plus non ultra of the dating scene, the guys who will read this are the common dudes who usually never harm anybody and are aware of their actions down on the street.
    And we also, belive it or not have our own experiences. So it is not only illogical but also unfair to simply stamp your POV on us, forcing it down to our throat and expect we forget everything of our own experiences and accept yours as ipse dixit.

    There is no need to drag neither MRA’s, radfems, serial rapists ect into this subject. People may use this words because they become frustrated that other users on this excellet blog ignore their voices. And in the end they become agressive….and here we go, the debate ends.
    Finally excuse me, but its really hard, next to impossible to see how the sexist undertones can pass unnoticed under the eyes of the articulist (no malice intended). I know its part of the pop culture to attack guys and promote the creep/jerk/rapist memes, just as for women to carry the labe of slut. But we should fight this not promote it.

    ciao

  244. f. says:

    Clarence, I think a lot of sex-positive writers spend time considering the things you’re talking about. You might find some interesting permutations in gay, male communities where sexual ethics have been considered a life or death matter for a bit longer than in het contexts, due to the catastrophic effects of AIDS. There are also ongoing fights about whether stigmatizing unsafe sexual behavior and trying to make people feel gross and bad for, say, barebacking is actually effective or not. I haven’t got much time to find you some links, but I find the whole thing really interesting. As it really divorces the issue of promiscuity or drug use from puritan moral condemnation, and instead turns to advising people to exercize their right to pleasure in a safe and sane fashion.

  245. f. says:

    And yes, Clarence, I quoted from your post and don’t believe I ripped any thing out of context. If you don’t want ugly assumptions I advise you to make less ugly, more qualified and nuanced statements. I found your blanket condemnation of “the whole sexual assault training, women’s center…” etc. to be ridiculous and highly questionable. If you would care to qualify, do so.

  246. Clarence says:

    f:
    When you understand it is bad form to assume more than is in evidence in terms of a posters political viewpoints or moral character, I might have use talking to you again. I don’t need to defend my statement from you, you have to defend your idea that it is fine to speak for and impugn the motives of people you do not know. You have no evidence of what I might have meant, and if you weren’t sure the polite thing would have been to ask me to clarify.

  247. Gaius says:

    Quoting Nat:

    “Ozy, I think that you are too involved in misadry and misandric ideology and know too little about misandry to know what it is or speak about it with any authority. You are one of the legion that make sure rape of women by men is in the forefront of the minds of women at all times. You are part of the problem.”

    I don’t think you’re giving Ozy enough credit. I’ve seen Ozy rail passionately against misandry before. Whether or not she does so enough (or whether or not she SHOULD do so enough) to meet your standards is another issue.

  248. f. says:

    Clarence, spare me. You may be used to speaking in contexts where your statement doesn’t sound like a blanket condemnation of feminism I suppose, but if you speak that way in mixed company I’m afraid you run the risk of being misinterpreted. All I said was that I don’t see much hope for working together with people who condemn feminism, because I don’t think people like that have an idea of society that I can get behind. If that makes you want to not talk to me, fine. Don’t talk to me. It’s true, you don’t “have” to defend your statements at all, you have a right to both free speech and taking umbrage at people who don’t understand what you meant.

  249. Clarence says:

    f:

    There is no “sparing” you. You assigned ANGER to me and assumed far more in terms of beliefs and emotions to me than you had any possible evidence for other than your own intellectual prejudice. I don’t know where you come from that you think that arguing in this way is either polite OR rational, but I can assure you that I hold myself to higher standards. Once again, you assigned emotions and political ideas not in evidence and now you accuse me of not speaking plainly. That still doesn’t explain where you pulled my alleged emotional context from , that is , except maybe out of your ass. I don’t like being spoken for. It is rude. Kindly stop doing so. If you need clarification about something, ask.

    And now I’m done with this.

  250. TitforTat says:

    @AB

    In regards to your candle analogy, doesnt it become a bigoted response if she as an adult is aware of her reflexive response but does nothing to change it? I have had that response to men for many years of my adult life, it only started to change when I found the only consistent part of it was me, even as the men changed.

  251. Clarence says:

    Gaius:

    I agree with you. Ozy is not misandric. We may have disagreements about things from time to time,but she truly treats men as people too.

  252. debaser71 says:

    “How to get an intelligent man to notice you. How not look like a pretentiousness know nothing tart”

    “Ladies, I am your humble instructor in these very difficult matters.

    I know you are young, scared, and probably a little stupid, but you really want an intelligent man to like you. This is perfectly natural. You want to marry up. But it’s hard.

    You’ve tried wearing glasses and carrying around a text book but that’s not working. All those intelligent men are still not noticing you.

    So ladies. Don’t twirl your hair. No intelligent guy is going to take you seriously if you twirl your hair like a 5 year old.

    Keep that pen out of your mouth. Intelligent men don’t like slimy chewed up pens!

    Also ladies, remember to to avoid using language that will be off putting to an intelligent man. Don’t say, “for sure!” or “like totally!”. I know, it’s hard to use those big complex words like the men do. So don’t try too hard. Just avoid using the girlie talk that works well with your lady friends.

    And ladies, you might want to stop chewing your gum like a cow too. Fresh breath is great but when you are trying to get an intelligent man to notice you, spit out your gum…and ladies, don’t just spit it out, use a a piece of paper or tissue first. Intelligent men don’t like young ladies who don’t know how to dispose of their gum.

    [thousands of words like this with useless, the sky is blue, advice on what not to do]

    So there you have it ladies. Take it from me, you don’t want to be that know nothing tart.”

    Condescending trash, no?

  253. Jim says:

    “And this isn’t a new phenomenon. I’ve seen it on several blogs and message boards, feminist and otherwise. As soon as a woman start talking about some women’s issue, men come in and say that the fact that she didn’t include men or made a similar comment about the problems faced by men, it means she’s a bigot. Very often, the women on the board will say that they think men should be free to talk about their issues from a male perspective, they just didn’t think it was their job (or their right) as women to bring it up.”

    That’s really superficial, AB. The first part is mostly false too – in general men aren’;t even ewelcome enough in spaces talking about women’s issues to be heard at all. I walked on eggshells the entire time I was commenting at Feminste. other men report this as the norm. However in fatc the oppsoite is true – women feel quite frwwee to comment on men’s issues and even to try to frame them as women’s issues. P aternity fraud gets this treatment quite generally. And oh my God for the longest time every mention of male circumcision faced a blizzard of “well it’s NOTHING compared to FGM!!!”

    Adn quite frankly that has happened in this thread. SR is irredeemably bigoted, irredeemably and indefensibly misandrist, and as Hugh pointed out, misogynistic as well. And every defense of it has centered on centering women’s feelings of vulnerability, privileging women’s assessments over every other consideration including other people’s human dignity. That’s pedestalizing women – just chivalrist and patriarchal as hell.

  254. f. says:

    Clarence, good.

    And debaser slides in with the analogy that’s not actually analagous, ftw.

  255. Jim says:

    “If you don’t want ugly assumptions I advise you to make less ugly, more qualified and nuanced statements. ”

    Oh, so what assumptions you choose to make are no Clarence’s responsibility. How ironic – that’s what this whole thread has been about. You seem to acknowledge no responsibility to be, you know, like accurate in anyway in your assessments. This is what people mean when we talk about female privilege. It’s not really right to blame you directly, because you grew up in this, but it might be something you want to examine and maybe change.

  256. debaser71 says:

    f,

    “you aren’t getting it”

  257. Kenshiroit says:

    Jim I agree, as I said before the “problem” for the most is pure fresh air, fantasy, because its based on suspicious. And the who get suspicious is for the most the person who has the problem.

    One womans dream, is anothers nightmare, a person who approach asking for direction or something else, risk getting labelled as a rapist. I think the scrodinger rapist, should be renamed as the imaginary rapist 😉

  258. Kenshiroit says:

    edit: I mean THE ONE WHO GET suspicious […]

    Forgot to add a word :-/

  259. f. says:

    No debaser, I’m not getting “it”. In fact here’s what I don’t get. Many women have been posting in here about the myriad ways in which Schrödinger’s Rapist is problematic, and in fact I’m fairly convinced at the end of this discussion that that post is unsalvagably antagonistic and hurtful toward men. But I was convinced by the men who have actually been arguing against the concepts inside of it and the language used, and speaking about how the post is hurtful.

    Not the men like you who have used the title of the post as a jumping-off-point for a tidal wave of “well-how-do-you-like-it!” misogyny.

  260. Kenshiroit says:

    debaser71, im not getting it either, but more probably because a language barrier 😀

  261. @Ozy: On Elevatorgate: Yes, a person asking another person up to coffee in their hotel room at 4 am is hitting on that person. You know how I know? Because if she had assumed that it was just coffee, gone up to his room and been raped, the outcry would have been “well, she should have known it wasn’t just coffee, if you go up to a guy’s room at 4 am you know he only wants one thing.”

    What we have here is a tautology: Everybody knows that asking someone up for coffee at 4 AM is sexual because if she’d been raped, people would have said, “Everybody knows that asking someone up for coffee at 4 am is sexual.”

    That’s like saying men weren’t rape victims in 1977 because you can’t name me a prominent second-wave feminist, law enforcement officer, or politician who acknowledged the epidemic of male rape.

  262. debaser71 says:

    “I’m fairly convinced at the end of this discussion that that post is unsalvagably antagonistic and hurtful toward men”

    Well good on you I suppose.

    “I was convinced by the men who have actually been arguing against the concepts inside of it and the language used, and speaking about how the post is hurtful.”

    f, I’ve made several comments on this thread…I didn’t just “slide in” 250 posts into it.

    This will probably be my last post here.

    /carry on

  263. f. says:

    Fine debaser, but what made you think, 250 posts in, that what this discussion really needs was a, erm, satirical treatise on Things Women Do Wrong?

    I already don’t post on feminist sites because every discussion seems to start or end with a condemnation of MEN!!! MEN WHO ARE BAD!!! and it disappoints me to see the equal/opposite tendency here.

  264. Kenshiroit says:

    Valerie Keefe, I had girls at 4 AM drinking coffee at my place, I even showed them my fossile collection…did we have sex? no…was sex planned? nope. Through my job I have lot of female friends, and I tell you it’s not difficoult to see if a woman is interested or not. But I do understand that lot of non experienced guys, may not know how to see if a woman have interest or not.

  265. Kenshiroit says:

    Come on Debaser71, this is the best part, where people disagree, imagine how boring it would be if everybody agree on everything 😀

  266. Toysoldier says:

    Obviously, there is nothing more dangerous about women wearing that perfume than anyone else, but if he was in an elevator with a woman smelling like that, he’d probably be scared either way. Is that bigoted fear?

    No, but that is not the situation we are talking about. The situation we are talking about would be if a woman mentioned the perfume in his presence and he reacted in fear and then expected that woman and all other women to never mention that perfume around him or other men.

    A stranger cannot anticipate something like that. For example, I am triggered by women using sing-song voices because that is what my abusive feminist aunt would do. It bothered me so much that my foster mother would not use that voice around me even when talking to her infant son. However, she meant no harm and therefore she is hardly responsible for my reaction, and it would be ridiculous for me to tell her or other women not to talk that way.

    In contrast, women feel free to touch me without my permission. They assume their touch is wanted because I am male, and it is usually sexual or flirtatious. That bothers me enough that I tell women to keep their hands off me, and when I do so it rarely ends well, particularly if the woman is a feminist. However, they are responsible for that reaction because no woman has a right to touch anyone without permission, and it is reasonable for me to tell a strange woman not to do it.

    Both reactions are born out of reasonable distrust of women and feminists, yet only the latter is reasonable to enforce.

    Telling men not to invade women’s space is reasonable. Telling men not to talk to women standing on corners, reading books, or who are present at a certain time of day is absurd. It is as absurd as me expecting strange feminists not to talk to me. How in the world would they know I do not trust them, and why should they assume that everyone thinks they are potential abusers just because that is the assumption I have of them based on my experiences with them?

    That is the difference. It is okay for a person to fear a group based on their experiences with that group. It is unreasonable and bigoted to expect that group to anticipate and support abject fear of them, let alone accept that they must avoid talking to people lest they trigger them.

  267. f. says:

    @Toysoldier, I absolutely agree. I’d say that there is absolutely no context in which standing where someone can see you and saying “hello” ought to be considered imposing. As for the whole “walking behind someone” situation, my mind is really boggled by the stories that have been told in this thread, about women freaking out about that. I can only imagine this is how most men who haven’t been in a position to observe street harassment, react to the stories women tell about it. I mean, I am sympathetic to the idea that some of the women who freaked out about a person walking 10 feet behind them, are suffering from PTSD triggers… but it is still just hard for me to imagine blaming another person for being in my general vicinity…

  268. debaser71 says:

    “Fine debaser, but what made you think, 250 posts in, that what this discussion really needs was a, erm, satirical treatise on Things Women Do Wrong?”

    f, because there were over 100 comments added since last I looked at this thread yesterday. Many of which simply ignored some of the men’s (imo thoughtful) objections about SR’s tone and lack of meaningful (in the context of this blog) content.

    If my satirical treatise on pretentious know nothing tarts irked you, or made you simply gloss over the words, then you understand the objections I have with SR.

  269. AllSaintsDay says:

    Whee, long post…
    @AB:

    When so many men ask “Why do women get uncomfortable when I approach them?” and so many women ask “Why don’t men understand why their approach makes me uncomfortable?”, it’s worth addressing. That means zooming in on women’s experiences, women’s backgrounds, women’s thought process (and the reason for it), and men’s approach as seen from the outside.

    I’ve seen a billion essays on that from feminist sites. What’s missing in my experience is talk of women’s reactions from the outside (i.e., from men’s points of view), where a woman’s boundaries are not available as a talking point, but the boundaries a woman has communicated are. If you want the blog post you write to have a positive effect on men’s actions, you write it from men’s point of view, telling them what isn’t okay and what is okay, and you make sure that they can draw those lines without mind-reading.

    The fear was not instinctive, she hadn’t been born with it. But saying that she was a bigot who oppressed the poor candles with her discomfort is completely inappropriate. And it still would be even if the candles had been penises instead. As an adult, I’m sure she’d be able to understand rationally that the candles couldn’t hurt her. That doesn’t make her reflective discomfort bigoted fear.

    No, but if she understands rationally that the candles can’t hurt her, but she writes a blog post trying to rationalize that fear and take the tone that the family was assholes for not considering beforehand that she might have had that reaction, the situation becomes different. She’s not bigoted, but she’s irrational in a way that would be bigoted if candles were people.

    via HughRistik

    In reality, mostly it’s not an attractive stranger approaching women in libraries: It’s That Guy. But why is that? It’s because men who aren’t That Guy, men who are attractive and considerate, have been frightened out of approaching by rhetoric like Schroedinger’s Rapist. When approaching is outlawed, only outlaws will approach.

    This. I like the xkcd comic about it

    @ozy

    Creepy, in the way I use it, means “a person who violates major social norms or other people’s boundaries, especially in a way that makes people feel unsafe”

    There’s a sort of hidden genderedness to your definition, because people’s boundaries are hugely gendered. Reminds me of the whole nymwars thing going on with Google Plus.
    I also don’t particularly like this concept (and don’t think it needs a term in this discussion). If someone violates social norms or expressed boundaries, it’s correct to say that they are something. On the other hand, if the person violates an unexpressed boundary, that’s not at all a characteristic of them and entirely about the person whose boundaries they violated. Conflating those two is what has many people up in arms.
    Violating people’s boundaries when you have no reason to expect those boundaries is unfortunate, but ethically neutral.

    via f:

    If you don’t want ugly assumptions I advise you to make less ugly, more qualified and nuanced statements.

    You may be used to speaking in contexts where your statement doesn’t sound like a blanket condemnation of feminism I suppose, but if you speak that way in mixed company I’m afraid you run the risk of being misinterpreted.

    These criticisms sound very familiar…

  270. Flyingkal says:

    Just a thought:

    “It’s really not that much to ask to just be thoughtful in certain situations. If the person ahead of you keeps glancing back as though worried, would it kill you to change the route you were planning to take?”

    I ride the bus alot from work. There’s also alot of people getting off at the same station as I do, and walking off in all directions. In the winter it’s often dark and fairly poorly lit. More often than not I find myself walking behind one or more women (It seems that women tend to sit closer to the bus doors than men, therefore disembarking faster and getting a headstart, but walking slower after that than men on general do. But that’s another discussion…)

    So if I (and the rest of the men on the bus) were to wait at the station until all the women had disappeared out of sight, as a precaution not to scare them, we would “never” get home. Esp since there’s probably another bus arriving in 10 minutes, repeating the process…

    Sure, I can go another way. But there are other women going in that direction. So I would only be scaring them instead. And, if you KNEW someone got off the bus behind you, wouldn’t you be even more scared of that person as a potential stalker/S.R. if that person did a circular movement and you were to MEET him on the other side of the block…

    So, if you are the person glancing back as though worried, would it kill you to just stop for 5 seconds? While you’re still within plain seeing and hearing distance of the group? To see if the person behind you is in any way adjusting the behaviour to your pattern, or just as you is only eager to get home?

  271. f. says:

    debaser, “I can write something that is unfair and will annoy you” is the point I figured you were making. That’s an…interesting rhetorical strategy alright.

    AllSaints, interesting points about the way peoples’ boundaries tend to be gendered! That’s worth thinking through.

    And yes, those criticisms should sound familiar, they are the same ones that convinced me the S.R. post is a bad post 😉

  272. Ferris says:

    Here’s an interesting overlap of Schrodinger’s Rapist and Schrodinger’s Violent Minority that I just remembered:

    It was Halloween a couple years ago, and I was in college in a high crime neighborhood. I was walking home from a party, and because I walk fast I was overtaking a female student walking alone from a (presumably different but similar) party. I didn’t realize it at the time, but she could hear my footsteps and was becoming very agitated by the potential threat that was approaching her. When I overtook her and moved past her, she addressed me, expressing relief that I was:
    a) A fellow student
    b) Passing her, and not approaching her
    c) White

    I ended up walking with her for a bit because she felt more comfortable walking with me than walking alone. Now, in her mind those things she observed about me made a street assault less likely, and were part of her Schrodinger’s Rapist calculus. How fair was her reaction?

  273. rox says:

    I tend to jump into conversation when I can offer a differing viewpoint without offering affirmations of what I do agree with because I feel like a conversation of 100 comments of people saying, “Yes I agree,” gets tedious but I think that makes it sound like I am more of a disagreement than I am. The way the SD paradigm is presented is confrontational and unfair. I feel like there is a way to present that some heterosexual women might have legitimate need to treat het mens seemingly platonic behavior differently than het womens seemingly platonic behavior is a valid conversation in and of itself but I think it would need a completely and utterly different format that doesn’t start with men being accused or being responsible for catering their behavior around womens potential fear. I really don’t think men should arrange their behavior around women’s potential fear. Approaching a woman, asking her out, or even “making a move” when you think a woman might like you— none of these things are predatory or bad. No approach that starts from asking men to feel bad for these behaviors is going to bring us to a better or more compassionate understanding of each other. I had extremely severe dissociative psychiatric PTSD of the kind where you need to be in a mental hospital because you can’t stop from curling up in a ball and screaming no no nononononononon over and over and reality is melting around you when men talk to you. This is in no way mens fault and it is not a condition that any man, just by virtue of being a man should bear ANY negative feelings about himself over. Not even a speck. Not even if he approaches me on the street for the time, or asks me on a date or puts his arm around me to “make a move”. Because of the extreme nature of my biological condition, it has been necessary to limit my interaction with men, particularly in light of repeated sexual assaults and rape that can be prevented by me choosing not to hang out with men alone. I think it’s perfectly valid for me to choose not to hang out with men alone even though I am willing to hang out with women alone. I do not think this makes me sexist or bigoted any more than men who choose to date women are being bigoted toward other men for being more aroused by women. We can choose who we want to hang out with and trust and I think it’s ok for gender to be considered in these preferences and in how we interperet others behavior. If a woman from my class asked me to come over to her house for lunch I would say “Sure!” if a man asked me to come over to his house for lunch I would say no. I think that is ok.

    I have a friend who was beaten and raped byhis grandfather, a christian priest, and his parents and also by the mexican gang members at his school. He was one of a handful of white kids and he spent most of his days getting beat up and sexually abused. If you say “christianity” around him he will start pacing back and forth and grabbing his hair and saying “I hate christians. I hate christians. I’m sorry it’s just… I hate christians I HATE CHRISTIANS!” and screaming in a ball. He is not a bigot. He has friends who are hispanic and completely respects that race does not make someone a physical abuser. But if a group of mexicans who looked like a gang were walking near him would he feel terror? Would he try to get somewhere he felt safe? Yes. He is not a bigot. And no— hispanic people with ancestry from Mexico have ZERO responsability for what other members of their race have done and it is not ON HISPANIC PEOPLE to make sure they don’t look gang like to appeas his comfort. Expecting an entire race, or an entire gender to carry the weight of single human beings actions from that group is not acceptable in any way ever. That said, we can still have compassion for people who have been severely abused at critical periods of development and realize that even with therapy and medication and a lot of internal work some people will still face symptomolgy of PTSD and poor mental health and increased bodily fear responses that they can’t help in relationship to triggers. It’s find to say, “get some help with that” but the reality is that even with help some people will be doing the best they can and still face debilitating mental conditions after childhood abuse and repeated traumas. The entire mental health field is finding that most of the more severe psychiatric conditions are in fact highly correlated with child abuse itself and it changes the way the brain develops in ways that may be somewhat hard wired. So I don’t think people who have been broken by horrific experiences and are doing the best they can with that need people slewing on attacks that just because they still have symptoms it means that FOR SURE that person just isn’t trying enough.

  274. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    If someone has been assaulted by a visible minority do they have any responsibility to deal with their anxiety in the presence of visible minorities?

    Would it behoove them to learn the difference between anxiety based on stereotype (a black man mugged me years ago, therefore every black man I meet is going to mug me) and fear based on an instinctive response to someone who really does want to do them harm? Or is it acceptable for them to go the rest of their lives avoiding speaking to and interacting with visible minorities?

    Again, this has nothing to do with abuse, violence, etc. _that is already in progress_ such as with your abusive ex boyfriend.

  275. Darque says:

    “It’s really not that much to ask to just be thoughtful in certain situations. If the person ahead of you keeps glancing back as though worried, would it kill you to change the route you were planning to take?”

    This kind of crap kills me. What if I’m shrodinger’s car accident victim, and the extra walking near the road is something that makes me frightened?

    What if I’m “shrodinger’s – my feet are kind of hurting right now from walking a lot” man, or “shrodinger’s – it’s getting dark and I kind of want to get home” man.

  276. dungone says:

    I can’t keep up with this thread. There’s so much worth responding to, so little time!

    I want to get back to what typhonblue brought up about grooming and the female touch. AllSaintsDay mentioned that he enjoyed having his butt grabbed by a random stranger and others have commented that part of men’s openness to having their personal space violated might have to do with an overall unmet need for intimacy. I have another take on it because I’m a guy and I usually do not appreciate when that happens.

    I was with a girl for a while who would do things like say “I’m not your girlfriend” in front of other people and at the same time she’d grab my butt. She’d do this at a restaurant after I picked up the tab, before we walked into a friend’s house, etc. Granted, the one way to get her to instantly climax was to let her grab hold of it then, but here she was using it to control my behavior by bringing me down and reminding me that I had something to lose. The message was loud and clear – she could do whatever she wants, but I better not get the idea that I can do the same thing.

    The point is, after I read typhonblue’s comments, it made me realize that Schrodinger’s Rapist makes me feel exactly the same way that getting my ass grabbed by that woman made me feel. Schrodinger’s Rapist is an attempt to manipulate and control men’s behavior by using intensely emotional concepts to trigger a loss of confidence and self-assuredness. It’s not about setting clear boundaries for right and wrong. It’s about instilling doubt. It’s that doubt that gives women the upper hand in how they are approached. Instead of coming up to a woman and confidently asking her out, now every guy will try to come up to her and “earn” her respect by performing countless favors and never being able to question her own behavior in the courting process. I know I’m making grandiose claims here without giving any solid evidence to back it up, but I that’s the gut feeling I’ve had about Schrodinger’s Rapist ever since I read it. It feels just like any number of other times in my life where I’ve felt that I was manipulated and groomed by women to conform to a certain set of expectations that gave them an upper hand.

  277. Clarence says:

    dungone:

    I think that IS part of the problems with the original SR post, at least as it was expanded upon by some of the commenters in the thread on that blog. Some of the radfems very much DO hate/distrust male sexuality and want it to be toned down by making every male pass an internal ideological litmus test before he even begins his approach. Now that doesn’t mean that the ORIGINATOR the post wanted it to be taken that far: I think she just felt, like many women (most women suffer from real street harassment [not just awkward approaches or the occasional stare or whistle] at one point or another in their lives) that street harassment is something gendered and that men could easily put a stop to it. There might have also been a subconscious (yes, I think THAT much of Freudian psychology still has meaning) desire to get back at undesirable men by shaming them – certainly her “some guys should never public-ally approach” statement seems to indicate that. Lastly, the whole post, like much of our politics, is built around FEAR. The whole undercurrent of the original SR post seems to be that women have to feel fear everywhere the go due to conscious and unconscious sexual perogatives taken by men.

  278. Clarence says:

    As for typhonblue I think she takes her “grooming” idea too far, and doesn’t see how it would easily apply to both sexes anyway. My disagreement with her is this: at some point we are going to have to trust one another.

  279. Nat says:

    Also conflating rape culture propaganda with pick-up advice is not on. Politically constructed preoccupation and conflation of rape with normal male / female interactions is not health, its a sickness.

  280. Jim says:

    “It’s not about setting clear boundaries for right and wrong. It’s about instilling doubt.”

    It’s a shit test!

    Let the PUAs say amen!

  281. Clarence says:

    Nat:
    Yes! Clarisse Thorne’s friend, Thomas, is an example of that. He has some egalitarian principles, but not when it comes to sex. To him, “rape culture” is present everywhere and only men can stop it. Yet, despite rape culture being everywhere and men mostly being sexual brutes, he still calls himself “sex positive”.

    Jim: Yes, in a way, whether they intended it or not, “SR Women” so to speak are throwing up a big shit test. Thing is, not only am I not going to worry about it day to day (how often do I have a female cornered, in a dark area, or in an elevator?) but women who live by the precepts that I am totally responsible at all times for reading her mind won’t get my attentions after I find that out.

  282. BlackHumor says:

    I don’t really have anything to say to the people who keep repeating “SR is bad!”; we heard you loud and clear the first time. As a matter of fact, the people who are coming in now and saying “SR is good!”, you are quite late and we heard your predecessors perfectly well back in the first 100 posts or so. (BTW, Ozy, I think it would be a good idea to redo this post without mentioning SR itself at all. As you can see it’s kinda stolen the spotlight from what you meant to say.)

    But one thing about 20 posts ago I need to bring up again: “I’m afraid, according to Rebecca Watson he did specifically disclaim sexual intent, and so I’m afraid we should take him at his word and her at hers (about what he said) and drop this he was asking for sex business.”

    No he did not. He said not to take his complement the wrong way, and then he used a euphemism to ask her for sex. He did not disclaimer the euphemism. (Also RW has said specifically he was “sexualizing” her IN THE VERY SAME VIDEO, and in her later post on it said outright she was “propositioned” so I don’t think you’re taking her at her word at all.)

    Exact quote of what he said, according to RW: “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I find you very interesting and I would like to talk more. Would you like to come to my hotel room for coffee?”

  283. anon says:

    I want to speak to the perspective that That Asshole is rare. Speaking from the perspective of a passably attractive female who sometimes goes out in public, That Asshole is not at all rare. Encountering rapists themselves might be rare, I don’t really know, but encountering boundary-violating and otherwise creepy guys is not at all rare.

    For one thing, a big yes to this:

    “In my impression, women are afraid of running into “that asshole” but not because they fear sexual assault as much as the fear being annoyed and having their evening ruined.”

    A fear of sexual assault is mixed in there, but it is a distant vague fear, whereas the risk of having your evening sucked up into dealing with some guy is very prominent. In my experience, when a unknown man approaches me in a public setting, such as a party or bar, etc, there is at least a 50/50 chance that he will shape up to be That Asshole. This isn’t prejudice, it is just my empirical reality as a woman out in the world. Maybe most men aren’t assholes, but the assholes really do seem to get around.

    You know, I don’t enjoy being guarded with men. It is not my natural inclination to be guarded or fearful. When I was younger I used to give a lot more benefit of the doubt. But then I lost a lot of evenings to men who didn’t know when to leave me alone. And, importantly, when you let a casually uncomfortable interaction go too far, it has a way of developing quickly and suddenly into a threatening situation. So I have learned, through practical necessity, how to shut men down. I consider it a skill that I have developed over time. I certainly aim for civility and politeness, but if rude is what it will take then rude is what I will do.

  284. Clarence says:

    Brian:
    What then was he asking her NOT to take the “wrong way”?
    Answer that if you can.

  285. Clarence says:

    *rubs hands together* in anticipation.

  286. typhonblue says:

    @ Clarence

    “at some point we are going to have to trust one another.”

    Clarence, we don’t have a relationship. We are two commentators on a blog. Therefore ‘trust’ doesn’t come into it. Also, I wasn’t the one who brought up ‘grooming’, dungone was, so why you’re addressing this to me is… odd to say the least.

    Some people have come down on the side of seeing the social grooming of men to accept any touch from a woman (and, no, this is not denying men’s heterosexuality any more then saying women may not wanting any man to touch them is denying their heterosexuality) as something worthwhile to consider. So I think I’m going to go ahead with it.

    @ AB

    Bringing this back to men, after all this is the ‘what about the menz blog’ and I think there is a very interesting Shrodinger’s Rapist (for women) brewing here.

    It’s pretty obvious that considering sexually entitled behavior a gendered thing–ie. only men feel sexually entitled–is actually deeply misandrous.

    AB: They learn from an early age that when boys are interested in them ‘in that way’, they will react by hurting them (e.g. hair-pulling).”

    And boys will learn that the same sexual behaviors exhibited by girls to boys are harmless fun while the reverse is ‘sexual harassment’.

    AB: They learn that boys’ sexual interest will override their respect for personal boundaries, and that they expressing sexual interest in girls as a sort of game they’re playing against the girls, which girls have to be wary about (e.g. boys sneaking a peak at naked girls in the locker room, causing some of the girls to scream, cry, and trying to cover themselves up, while the boys run away grinning).

    Xanadu: Also in high school, two girls accompanied by a guy walked into the boy’s bathroom while I was urinating and refused to leave because “it’s not like we can see anything” (worth noting that the guy was not blameless, but neither were the girls). I had a shy bladder for years after that.

    AB: Later, they learn that many people consider it a perfectly natural that men will punish women who exhibit socially unacceptable behaviour by raping them (e.g. all the BS about short skirts).

    Also, AB, I think your characterization here is unbelievably off. Some people believe that short skirts are sexual signals, not that rape is an acceptable punishment for behavior(except for men when it comes to prison rape or genital mutilation, of course.)

    But let’s look at the recent ‘The Talk’ debacle.

    Paraphrasing Sharon Osborne: I don’t know what he did to deserve it(although he obviously must have done something) but I think cutting off a man’s genitals is fabulous.

    The only reason I think our society doesn’t consider female-on-male rape ‘punishment’ is because it figures female-on-male rape is actually a benefit to the rape victim.

    AB: They learn that some men will be very aggressive towards them if they don’t want to talk to them (just read some of the comments at Clarisse’s Creep article again), but that talking to and showing interest in a man (even if it’s just to avoid angering him) will make some men feel entitled to more, and that they can never know which type of man they’re dealing with when they’re approached.

    OrangeYouGlad: One good friend of mine was sitting down and one of the girls was standing a bit behind him, I don’t remember what we were talking about, when she reached over and grabbed him. Not in a location that is considered sexual in men, so I doubt anyone would accept it as a case of “sexual harrassment” or what have you but she slid her hands down his shoulders then rubbed and squeezed his pecs. It was a quick action and probably a little ‘joking’ but I remember my friend’s reaction, it was pretty brief, but for a second there you could see a look of shock, uncertainty, and discomfort pass over my friend’s face. Then she laughed, and he laughed (a bit nervously at first) and the atmosphere relaxed again. But it was clear for a moment he was upset by being touched in that way and wasn’t sure how to respond.

    Xakadu: To add another story, a male friend of mine was in the living room on the couch with two women, and one of them reached into his pants and felt him up. He was visibly uncomfortable. He had given no permission to do this, and it happened after a lot of discussion about his penis which had also made him visibly uneasy. Both of the women giggled. I said point-blank that what they did wasn’t cool, and that maybe he didn’t want them doing that. But he composed himself and said, “Nah, it’s fine.” It was so freakin’ weird, because his discomfort was so blatant when it happened. Both of the women must have either been absurdly obtuse, or simply did not consider his discomfort of any import.

    Dungone: I was with a girl for a while who would do things like say “I’m not your girlfriend” in front of other people and at the same time she’d grab my butt. She’d do this at a restaurant after I picked up the tab, before we walked into a friend’s house, etc. Granted, the one way to get her to instantly climax was to let her grab hold of it then, but here she was using it to control my behavior by bringing me down and reminding me that I had something to lose. The message was loud and clear – she could do whatever she wants, but I better not get the idea that I can do the same thing.

    Yep. I think it’s time for the female Schrodinger’s Rapist. There are obviously rapey behaviors specific to women here.

  287. dungone says:

    @ABI have seen men go out in public with no/open shirts several times, showing their nipples. I see more men go topless or naked on non-nudist beaches than women. I personally don’t mind at all, but I’d appreciate if something as simple as women not wearing bra wasn’t considered such a taboo.

    Well if you don’t want to wear your bra in public then you should wear a regular t-shirt just like every other guy, not a shirt that lets everything hang out. And if you want to walk around topless on a beach, be my guest. We’re not talking about the beach, we’re talking about everywhere else where most people spend 99% of their lives. So please don’t misconstrue what was being said and why it was being said. Let me quote Ozy:

    I would say that it is a person’s ethical responsibility to try their best to keep other people from feeling uncomfortable.

    You see, when it comes to your own dress code and your nipples, the conversation always seems to revolve around what makes you comfortable. And when faced with examples of how it can make various social interactions awkward, you fail to acknowledge it. Imagine being a male landlord who is negotiating with a female tenant over an apartment lease. Now imagine her tits coming out of her shirt as he’s talking to her. Would he be wrong if he felt uneasy and wondered if she was sexualizing the negotiation in order to get a better deal? Like I said, one of my bra-burning friends also refused to wear panties, which, I can assure you, resulted in a 5 year old boy staring at her cooter while his mother pulled him away.

    That’s why typhonblue was talking about clothing, because it highlights one of the double standards between what Ozy said, above, and the way women seem to view their own sexuality as an exceptional case:

    Why aren’t they ever held accountable for their (seemingly) widespread belief that their sexuality is some sort of universal good that can never hurt anyone thus they have free reign to spew it over everyone in the vicinity in any way that they please?

    Kiss and grope random people? Check!
    Wear any sort of attire regardless of how lewd? Check!
    Expose your genitals to others? Check!
    Socially ostracize people who fail to respond the way you like to your sexual behavior? DOUBLE CHECK!

  288. Xakudo says:

    @ozy:

    I think that one of the problems in this discussion is that a lot of guys, once again, really don’t realize how common That Asshole is.

    In the world at large, sure, I think many guys are under-aware. But the guys on this site that you are currently conversing with? No. That’s been drilled into us ad nauseam. We are aware. And that is not the source of our disagreement.

    I think that one of the problems in this discussion is that a lot of black people, once again, really don’t realize how common That Asshole is.

  289. Kenshiroit says:

    Xanadu usually the asshole, is also or perhaps primary asshole toward other guys to.

  290. typhonblue says:

    If you want to talk about ‘that asshole’, the strange woman who forced a kiss on me (in a crowd) did so while I was backing away, putting my hands up to stop her and visibly distressed. Apparently she thought kissing me would somehow make me feel better or something. She seemed pretty p’od when I didn’t respond as desired.

    The one time I was touched sexually by a guy and it was unwanted he apparently misread my signals and, looking back on it, I can see how that would have happened. Plus he was contrite afterward. No ‘well, *my* touch should be like sparkles and unicorn farts to you and if it isn’t there’s something wrong with you.’

    I hate that attitude.

  291. No, no; a thousand times no!
    The Schrodinger’s Rapist post by Phaedra Starling is about anti-male fearmongering; pure and simple. It’s a well-written and very polite way of telling all men that you could be (and most likely are) “that guy.” Don’t get me wrong; it’s damn educational. It taught me that there exists a subset of women who are invested in a mentality of fearing men. It showed me that the philosophy of “stranger danger” doesn’t just stop with children, but women should follow it as well.

    Women and men are going to talk to one another. One day, out of the blue, you are going to see a person that you never saw before and you are going to be moved to try to reach out to that person. That person may respond favorably or they may not want anything to do with you. Now, if that person responds favorably, then things go on. But if they don’t, then normal people politely walk away; the episode ends and everyone goes on with their day-to-day lives.

    With that being said; we all know that there are some people who don’t get the message and continue to bother you despite “declarations of non-interest.” These people fall into two categories. The first group are people with poor social skills who can’t read body language. Odds are that if your lack of interest took the form of “terse replies” and/or “disinterested or nervous behavior” then they just aren’t picking up on those signals and a more direct statement of non-interest is required. A phrase like “Excuse me, but I prefer to be left alone” usually does wonders. That is unless you are dealing with the second category of person; the “masher.”

    This is the person who is all about their ego; they couldn’t imagine that you would not want to talk to them or be interested in what they may have to say to you. Your “disinterest” is a slap in the face to these people and if they have to intimidate you into interacting with them, then “it’s for your own good.” There are plenty of women and men who indulge in this kind of behavior. That is what “unwanted attention” should be defined as; not this manic fear that some guy on the bus stop who speaks to you at noon is going to rape you like that blog post promotes.

    More importantly, that entire post does another thing; it demonizes male attention and attraction toward women. Many of the women who were posting on that article were pushing the idea; “You as a man do not have the “right” to talk to me as a woman.” It typifies male to female communication as a “burden to be borne” by women.

    Furthermore, the hubris of the article ignores one very simple fact; the unwritten subtitle of that article should be “Attractive males need not apply.” Because everyone knows that the proverbial “cute guy” can talk to any woman on the bus, subway, coffee shop, etc… without any consequence. They can speak to women without concern about the issues brought up in the article. These are concerns only for us “lesser” males. Talking to new women for the overweight, unattractive, socially-awkward male is a crap-shoot to say the least. If the woman he speaks to has no hangups, he might get a conversation at the very least. If she’s not hung-up on appearances, she may even deign to allow his fumbling approach to further contact. But if she’s not, then even that initial, shy and unassuming “hello” may be branded “unwelcome attention.”

    Here is the bottom line with that article; you have the right to refuse to communicate with anyone you do not want to communicate with. We get it; sometimes you want to be left alone. That is human nature; sometimes you don’t want to be bothered, or that book is right at the good part, or that is your favorite part of the song.

    But you live in the world with everyone else and people are going to try to communicate with you and men and women try to meet each other every day. Because you live in the world with everyone else, you do not have the right to stop them from initially communicating with you. You however, have the right to demand that such communication should cease afterwards.

    “Schrodinger’s Rapist” is infamous because it does not even acknowledge that simple fact. It simply dehumanizes and demonizes male to female communication and because of that, it represents nearly everything that is wrong with gender relations today. The reason that so many men took offense to that article is that it does insult men. The men who are the actual problems to the women voicing their complaints in agreement with that article, are the same ones who would never deign to acknowledge; not to mention even read it.

    And if you want to talk about privilege, let’s examine the privilege that allows such an article to be actually posted and taken seriously by a woman. If a man printed such a discussion, it would be ridiculed and lambasted to oblivion.

  292. Fuck MRAs says:

    Look, all you whiny dudes. This is why it’s called Schrodinger’s Rapist. Listen closely now, it’s only 7 words and you might miss it:

    BECAUSE IT’S ABOUT THE FEAR OF RAPE.

    It really is THAT simple. To miss that, or to call it something else, would completely negate the point of the exercise it in the first place.

  293. By the way and of an anecdotal point…if I had followed the advice of “Schrodinger’s Rapist,” I wouldn’t be married to the beautiful woman I have been with for 18 years now.

    No good will ever come of demonizing human contact….

  294. typhonblue says:

    @ Demo

    “And if you want to talk about privilege, let’s examine the privilege that allows such an article to be actually posted and taken seriously by a woman. If a man printed such a discussion, it would be ridiculed and lambasted to oblivion.”

    I think we should have that discussion.

    Schrodinger’s Rapist was about men accommodating the fear of women who see their sexuality as being inherently predatory.

    Let’s have the discussion about how women need to start accommodating people who don’t see their sexuality as an inherent, universal good. Who would rather not see their genitals in public, or be touched by them, or have them freak out when they tell them they would not like to be touched by them.

  295. Xakudo says:

    @AB:

    And that makes it even worse. It’s one thing to criticise if a blog is overall biased against one group, it’s even more unfair to complain that a single article focusses on one group other another.

    I understand what you’re saying, and I agree… except that’s not what’s going on, as far as I can tell.

    Did you miss my analogy?

    It would perhaps be more analogous to an article on penis anxiety that places the entire onus of the problem on women, and suggested or implied that the solution is for women to tiptoe around men’s irrational insecurities, as if men have no responsibility to try to unpack their issues.

    The problem isn’t that SR and this article focus on women’s anxieties. That’s fine. The problem is that they inappropriately lay all (or most) of the responsibility on men as a group for those anxieties and for managing those anxieties. And as such they are actively disregarding men’s side of things, not just failing to mention it.

    And since you brought up feminism: this, too, is a problem that can regularly be observed on many (though not all) feminist sites. And when people complain, the responses to such complaints often reframe it as, “Geeze, can’t we just focus on women’s issues, asshole? What about teh menz? Har har.” Which is extremely annoying and misrepresents the complaint.

    Of course there is also plenty of the phenomenon that you describe (along with other forms of derailing), and I agree that it’s not cool. But this is not an either/or kind of thing. There’s shit on all sides.

  296. typhonblue says:

    @ Xakudo

    “But this is not an either/or kind of thing. There’s shit on all sides.”

    Here here. You can’t say something like ‘all men should do X because women feel Y’ and then tell men it’s ‘not about the menz’ when they chime in with ‘well being forced to do X makes me feel Z.’ (Or, alternatively, ‘being characterized by X makes me feel Z.’)

    Quite obviously it *is* about the menz when feminists are giving men a lecture about how men should behave. This, pretty obviously, affects men. And men have a right to voice their opinion about something affects them.

    Unless I missed the memo that feminism is about denying men the right to feel?

  297. AB says:

    Clarence:

    “So I feel your complaint in this case is a bit dishonest: this site has hardly been an MRA site, a “Maxim” type site, or even one largely written from the perspective of your average “cis-het” man, and arguably that is the perspective of where the majority of men come from, and ignoring it on THIS site would be ..counterproductive.”

    Which complaint? I would like to see it, because I quite clearly recall saying that I didn’t mind articles about men at all, and I don’t recognise any comparisons to Maxim.

    Nat:

    “A friend of mine interviewed a 21 year old recently and feminism came up, he said that he and all his friends were afraid of women, she pressed him on it and basically what he said leads back to rape culture propaganda – being construed as being creepy, falsely accused of rape and everything in between.”

    This is very interesting. These guys are clearly oppressive bigots who’re treating women just like racist white people have treated black people, and you appear to be OK with it. Given that the chance of being raped is larger than the chance of being falsely convicted for rape, and that scaring women into behaving by using the threat of rape has gone on for just as long as men have been labelled as dangerous, they have no more reason to be afraid of women than women have to be afraid of men, quite the contrary.

    And whereas even the supposedly bigoted women who write things for you to complain over still make an effort to at least make distinctions about where, why, how, and which men they’re afraid of, these guys just go right ahead and extend their bigoted fear towards all women. I’m very glad you gave this example of paranoid male bigotry which I as a woman is exposed to despite having done nothing to deserve it.

    At some point, I was beginning to consider that the guys who claimed that women’s fear of men was oppressive to men might have a point, but getting such a clear illustration of how entitled many guys (including in this thread) feel to expressing paranoia and unreasonable fear towards women who have done nothing to deserve it, has helped me to realise they were just expressing good old-fashioned hypocrisy.

  298. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    “These guys are clearly oppressive bigots who’re treating women just like racist white people have treated black people, and you appear to be OK with it.”

    lolwut? Just expressing the fear isn’t the same as writing an essay on how black people need to approach white people in order not to appear like ‘Schrodinger’s Rapist.’

    Having fears is not the issue. Where and when you can use your fear to control the behavior of other people(or cast aspersions on an entire group) is the issue.

  299. typhonblue says:

    Ooops, that should be ‘Shrodinger’s Mugger’.

  300. Xakudo says:

    @AB:

    At some point, I was beginning to consider that the guys who claimed that women’s fear of men was oppressive to men might have a point, but getting such a clear illustration of how entitled many guys (including in this thread) feel to expressing paranoia and unreasonable fear towards women who have done nothing to deserve it, has helped me to realise they were just expressing good old-fashioned hypocrisy.

    Wait, isn’t this exactly what many of the men on this thread have been complaining about, just with the genders flipped? For the record I totally agree that it is bigoted and inappropriate to fear women as a group for the actions/attitudes of a minority of them. I would just like to see the same standard applied to people’s fear of men.

    I mean the whole “some X are assholes, therefore fuck all X” attitude is just messed up, no matter who/what X is.

  301. Kenshiroit says:

    AB ‘ was beginning to consider that the guys who claimed that women’s fear of men was oppressive to men might have a point, but getting such a clear illustration of how entitled many guys (including in this thread) feel to expressing paranoia and unreasonable fear towards women who have done nothing to deserve it, has helped me to realise they were just expressing good old-fashioned hypocrisy. ‘

    Now you are talking. Finally we agree. You do understand now why the imaginary rapist…*cough* I mean the scroedinger rapist is a retardet paranoic mysandric, misogynistic piece of used toilet paper that deserve only to be thrown in the toilet, and then pull the water (hoping that it doesent stick in, otherwise u have to spent money on a plumber). You see how all prejudge is stupid and in this case bigottet? maybe it can be explained but never ever justificable. Sexism/racism is never excusable (but it is explainable its different). All that was needed was to turn the gender table around and puff like magic you are saying the same thing as we are! 😀

  302. Jim says:

    “Given that the chance of being raped is larger than the chance of being falsely convicted for rape,..”

    This is offensive. You really are just making things up at this point.

    The US in particular has a heinous history of false rape accusation used as a tool of racist oppression. Do you have any idea how blunderingly offensive it is to actual people right here in this thread when you as a white woman come in here and erase that?

    The problem of false rape accusations, sometimes for the most superficial and specious of reasons, is a continuing problem at least in the US and probably also in Britain and Australia. There have been several high-profile cases in the US in just that last two years. For you to deny that and dismiss it in such an off-hand way, after men here have explained in great detail exactly how these accusations are an actual, tangible threat, is just disgusting. Just unbelievable.

    And then there is this:
    “And whereas even the supposedly bigoted women who write things for you to complain over still make an effort to at least make distinctions about where, why, how, and which men they’re afraid of, these guys just go right ahead and extend their bigoted fear towards all women. I’m very glad you gave this example of paranoid male bigotry which I as a woman is exposed to despite having done nothing to deserve it.”

    How dare you make this look it is the men who are the bigots? In this example these men have been subjected to sexist misandrist indoctrination that trained them to think all women reagrded them as threats,a dn when they verbalize that, they are somehow the bigots. That is disturbingly dishonest, AB.

  303. typhonblue says:

    @ Jim

    To be fair, women have also been subject to a misogynist campaign to force them into the fear box in regards to men. Expressing that fear isn’t the problem, it’s trying to control other people with your fear that’s the problem.

  304. Nat says:

    AB “These guys are clearly oppressive bigots who’re treating women just like racist white people have treated black people”

    You misunderstand, its more like these men are in a similar position to that black men were in around white women while Jim Crow era Schrodinger’s black rapist propaganda was doing the rounds.

    And I’m pretty sure the chances of been creep shamed, falsely accused of rape or something in between are far, far, far greater than the chances of being raped.

  305. OrangeYouGlad says:

    “”Toysoldier says:
    August 18, 2011 at 11:36 am””

    Everything that really needs to be said here. IMO, if you redo this Ozy, use his post as a jumping point to clarify the issue. If it can still be said and not come into conflice with it, full steam ahead.

  306. AB says:

    Kenshiroit:

    “AB I dont know if you are refering to my post, but I find your complain kinda pointless (I dont want to sound like antagonicing you, but bear over me since english is not my primary language, so its struggling to find the right words) nobody as far i can read, although I may have missed a post or two, is complaining because a topik on female problems (beside that, there are plenty of blogs on that subject) but people (some) are reacting because you force your view on us.”

    I’m a foreign speaker too, but I know enough English to know that when someone complains that an article is gynocentric, it means they’re complaining that it’s centred on women.

    “Most of the guys will never approach a woman on the street”

    If they never approach women on the street, why do they care about women not feeling good about being approached on the street?

    “And we also, belive it or not have our own experiences. So it is not only illogical but also unfair to simply stamp your POV on us, forcing it down to our throat and expect we forget everything of our own experiences and accept yours as ipse dixit.”

    And what exactly is wrong with an article about women’s POV not including men’s POV?

    “Finally excuse me, but its really hard, next to impossible to see how the sexist undertones can pass unnoticed under the eyes of the articulist (no malice intended). I know its part of the pop culture to attack guys and promote the creep/jerk/rapist memes, just as for women to carry the labe of slut. But we should fight this not promote it.”

    The ‘sexist’ undertones pass unnoticed by me because I experience things that are ten times worse at an almost daily basis. Just look at Nat’s post which I quoted above. Here we have a whole thread of people saying that if you fear someone solely because of the group they belong to, it means you’re oppressing them, and then someone comes along and tells about men who’re afraid of women (not individual women, not women who have already done something abusive to them, or even women exhibiting a certain behaviour, but women in general), and not only is the oppressive implications of this completely ignored, it’s even brought up as a way to attack women and gather sympathy for men. Compared to that, Schrödinger’s Rapist is downright benevolent.

    There is also the repeated talk about not presuming to know about a man’s motivation even if he seems frightening, and yet men here readily assume deliberate malice and bigotry on the part of women who’re afraid of them, with no attempt to even consider the possibility that those women suffered from PTSD or anything similar. They feel completely content making absolutist statements about these women without knowing them. And you don’t notice the sexism.

  307. AB says:

    TitforTat:

    “@AB

    In regards to your candle analogy, doesnt it become a bigoted response if she as an adult is aware of her reflexive response but does nothing to change it? I have had that response to men for many years of my adult life, it only started to change when I found the only consistent part of it was me, even as the men changed.”

    I was addressing typhonblue’s categorisation of fear as either instinctual or bigoted. It’s an awfully convenient definition when it’s just about shaming women expressing fear, telling them that if a man is really dangerous, they’ll know it because of their instinctive fear and that evrything else is proof of bigotry. But as a practical model, it’s severely flawed.

    There is no ‘true’ instinctive fear which will always warn you about danger and always make sure you react appropriately. Not even close. Plenty of our most instinctive fears are in regards to things which haven’t been a severe risk for us for hundreds of years, and it’s entirely possible for our instincts to tell us to fight when we should flee, or play dead when they should fight. And PTSD is not bigotry. That was what the example illustrated.

    “That’s really superficial, AB. The first part is mostly false too”

    Wow! People are complaining all over this thread that women judge men without knowing them or their experiences, that it’s oppressive when things are presented only from women’s perspective, and that women shouldn’t presume to know about men’s experiences and POV, and yet, you feel entitled to tell me that what I talk about having seen is false, without knowing anything about me, or even knowing where I’ve seen it.

    dungone:

    “Well if you don’t want to wear your bra in public then you should wear a regular t-shirt just like every other guy, not a shirt that lets everything hang out.”

    I regularly see guys in T-shirts so tight they would be considered inappropriate on me, and with necklines so low they would expose my cleavage.

    “And if you want to walk around topless on a beach, be my guest. We’re not talking about the beach, we’re talking about everywhere else where most people spend 99% of their lives. So please don’t misconstrue what was being said and why it was being said.”

    The men I was referring to were walking around in public. I’ve had male friends who would casually stroll around with an open shirt in areas where children could see, I’ve seen guys take off their shirts at parties where girls held back, and I recently saw a guy riding a bike wearing nothing but shorts, shoes, and a backpack. I appreciated the sight, but I’m pretty sure certain people would have been all over the place to condemn him if he had been female.

    “You see, when it comes to your own dress code and your nipples, the conversation always seems to revolve around what makes you comfortable.”

    That’s because I think it’s usually people’s own business what they wear. But just as importantly, I don’t think it’s fair that my outfit is judged inappropriate solely because of my body-shape. Also, I find it pretty ironic that people here are saying that women are racist for being more afraid of strange men than women, even when it’s based on a statistical reality, but you seem to have no problem judging women harder than men solely for the crime of having more fatty tissue on their chest.

  308. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    You’re freaking out that these guys are just *expressing* fear much less going to the point of demanding that women change their behavior to accommodate their fear.

    What if these guys said women should wear modest clothing, avoid aggressive language or body language to ensure that they’re not perceived as ‘Shrodinger’s False Accuser’?

    I don’t think any man on this thread has said that a person doesn’t have a right to feel fear, what they’ve questioned is how much right does a person have to use that fear to control the behavior of others.

  309. Jim says:

    “To be fair, women have also been subject to a misogynist campaign to force them into the fear box in regards to men.”

    TB, this is exactly what 2nd wave feminists were calling out all thiose years ago. You are dead on the money. But now you have professing feminists deciding women are disposable with this rpae discourse. It is exactly what the KKK did with Southern white women.

    ” Expressing that fear isn’t the problem, it’s trying to control other people with your fear that’s the problem.”

    Oh and look! It’s for an exactly analogous purpose too!

  310. Jim says:

    ““That’s really superficial, AB. The first part is mostly false too”

    Wow! People are complaining all over this thread that women judge men without knowing them or their experiences, that it’s oppressive when things are presented only from women’s perspective, and that women shouldn’t presume to know about men’s experiences and POV, and yet, you feel entitled to tell me that what I talk about having seen is false, without knowing anything about me, or even knowing where I’ve seen it.”

    All I know is what you told me in the post I made that comment on, and I took you at your word. Your experience is shallow if that’s the kind of observation you draw from it, because there is plenty, masses! of contrary evidence out there in the gendersphere, and anything drawn from so shallow an observation base is going to be mostly false. Simples.

    @FMRA
    Look, all you whiny dudes. This is why it’s called Schrodinger’s Rapist. Listen closely now, it’s only 7 words and you might miss it:
    BECAUSE IT’S ABOUT THE FEAR OF RAPE.”

    First, no one here is fooled by sexist shaming language. You just outed yourself.

    And second SR is not about the fear of rape, it’s about whining about the fear of rape, and using it as a manipulative control tactic. Anyone can see that; it’s admiting to it that’s hard for soem.

  311. Nat says:

    AB – by your logic when black men were afraid of an innocent interaction being construed as creepy or rape-y or falsely accused of rape by white women circa Jim Crow, it was the black men oppressing the white women.

  312. Danny says:

    (I’ve already got one post up about this at my place and I’m about to put up a second more clear one either tonight or tomorrow.)

    AB:
    Because there are enough men complaining about the r-word as it is, so changing it to the even more inflammable Bad Man would just be seen as even more sexist. Besides that, rape is sort of the ultimate danger (next to murder, but they often go together). I guess it’s a bit like a black person talking about Schrödinger’s KKK member. They don’t expect every rude Southern hillbilly to routinely don a white rope and participate in lynchings, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t wary, even if the wariness is only a vague feeling of unease.
    Considering how the complaints of men were so casually and rudely brushed off (ranging from saying we want the right to invade women’s bounderies to accusing them of saying no man should ever approach a woman under any circumstances) by defenders of SR I don’t buy that. One thing I can say is that a lot of feminists have no problem introducing ideas that piss men off. Hell some think that’s a good thing to do.

    Where have those people said that in all other instances it would be some sort of ism? From what I have seen, it’s the people who argue that women don’t have the right to be wary of strange men who keep bringing up the isms. Well actually, they don’t even bring up isms, they just repeat “Some white people were afraid of black men, some women are afraid of strange men, this makes women no better than racists”.
    I’ve seen conversations in which white people express fear of black people and all of a sudden a discussion broke out trying to probe whether or not their fear was justified. In my experience when a white person says something like that its presumed that white person is not justified in that fear, yet when talking about gender its presumed that men are not justified in complaining about it.

    For the most part I’m very glad this post was made because frankly this thread has made more progress than the original where criticizing SR was on par with having no respect for women.

  313. AB says:

    Nat:

    “You misunderstand, its more like these men are in a similar position to that black men were in around white women while Jim Crow era Schrodinger’s black rapist propaganda was doing the rounds.”

    I understand exactly what you’re saying, that’s the problem. Ever since this thread started, people have said that since white people feared black people, and women fear men, it means women rule the world and are using their power to oppress men. But now you say that men are afraid of women, and it’s somehow not at all like white people being afraid of black people. You offer no proof, no explanation, you just expect your words to be immediately accepted. You have made several things perfectly clear in your post (and so have all the other bigots who support the view):

    When women are afraid of men, their fear is proof of how oppressed men are.

    When men are afraid of women, their fear is proof of how oppressive women are.

    When a woman reacts with fear towards a man who wants her no harm, it is because she is a bigot, and she needs to be shamed and shunned until the behaviour stops.

    When a man reacts with fear towards a woman who wants him no harm, it is because he is oppressed, and he ought to be cuddled and comforted, while the woman needs to just accept that she will be treated with fear and distrust for no other reason than her sex.

    Yes, I understand perfectly what you’re saying. You refuse to acknowledge women’s fears, but you expect nothing but complete agreement from them when you mention men’s fears. While the women you condemn out of hand as some sort of inherently untrustworthy untermenschen are going out of their way to explain themselves and their fears (as much as you don’t like the explanations), you just offhandedly say “Since men are oppressed like black people were in the Jim Crow era, their reactions to women, no matter how unpleasant, are automatically completely justified result of the oppression we suffer” with no proof offered, and no regard for how offensive it is.

    “And I’m pretty sure the chances of been creep shamed, falsely accused of rape or something in between are far, far, far greater than the chances of being raped.”

    Now you’re just moving the goalposts. If you include every single instance of a woman not treating a man as pleasantly as he wants with rape, of course the risk is greater. But if you include all aspects of what you think men suffer, you should also include aggressive and invasive behaviour, sexual threats, groping, rude sexual comments etc. in addition to rape. In which case the risk is still greater (for both men and women) than the risk of false rape accusations.

  314. Nat says:

    AB

    You don’t seem to understand that both the heightened fear of black men and the current rape hysteria generated by rape culture propaganda were/are socially constricted for political reasons.

  315. Nat says:

    “Now you’re just moving the goalposts”

    No I’m not, I initially said those guys said they were afraid of being creep shamed or falsely accused or something in between.

  316. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    “When women are afraid of men, their fear is proof of how oppressed men are.

    When men are afraid of women, their fear is proof of how oppressive women are.”

    Aside from the irony let’s unpack the relative fears.

    Women fear men because of a campaign to sinisterize men’s sexuality. Men fear women because of the social advantage women have in accusing them of sexual crimes. (Whether or not you believe that women who are raped are treated the way you would like them to be treated, it is verifiable fact that a charge of rape can not only get a man sent to jail but can also inspire people to beat, torture and kill that man.)

    White people feared black people due to racist assumptions about black people’s proclivities to violence. Black people feared white people because of the advantage white people had in accusing black people of crimes.

    Now, in both cases what men(and black people) fear is not women(or white people) but the powers that society grant women(or white people) to cause them harm. These powers aren’t inherent to women or white people, they are granted to them by society.

    By way of contrast women(white people) fear men(black people) due to innate characteristics that men(black people) can never remove, ie. their race or their sex.

    If people stopped engaging in vigilante justice against men accused of rape–including social ostracism–then men would have no need to fear women levelling an accusation of rape at them. Thus they would have no need to fear women.

    However women(and white people’s) fear of men(and black people) is essentially never ending because it’s a fear of something innate to men (and black people). Not a fear of an advantage society grants them.

  317. Nat says:

    it was you who changed “creep shamed or falsely accused or something in between” to just falsely accused to suit your argument.

  318. Darque says:

    @AB

    Racism and misandry don’t have to be mutually exclusive forces. The U.S. prison population is an exemplar of this fact.

    Also, I think the majority of the people on this thread would categorically say that it is not cool, NOT COOL, to categorically shame a group of people because of fear. It is not cool, or at least it is worth re-examining, if someone fears all women because they are “gold-diggers” or “like to cry rape”. It is likewise, not cool, or at least worth re-examining, if someone fears all men because they are “potential rapists” or “potentially violent”.

    This is why Shrodinger’s rapist is a dead end argument. I don’t think people have really thought about how genuinely fucking offensive it is.

  319. Nat says:

    AB

    If you want to stop being in constant fear of rape, get out of circles, and political movements that drum that fear into you by talking incessantly about rape and use fear of rape as political capital. Read some stats and find out that rape isn’t gendered. Deprogram the indoctrination.

  320. typhonblue says:

    In before the inevitable ‘the low conviction rate of rape means men are advantaged by society’ point.

    If you want to point to the low conviction rate of rape being evidence of men’s advantage in society then we have to look at a few things. First of all what percentage of men who are raped by women get a successful conviction versus what percentage of women who are raped by men get a successful conviction.

    Ah, you say, but the low conviction rate for rape disproportionately benefits men because men are more likely to rape. Assuming that that’s true statistics also say that black people engage in more criminality against white people then the reverse. The fact that our justice system is far from perfect in protecting the victims of crime and has low conviction rates across the board does not imply that the justice system favors black people over white people because more black criminals(in toto) are freed.

    Once again you have to look at how black alleged criminals with white alleged victims are treated versus how white alleged criminals with black alleged victims are treated.

  321. Darque says:

    @Nat

    I think it is highly uncool to say shit like “Deprogram the indoctrination”. Even if you strongly disagree with someone’s opinion, I would refrain from playing armchair psychologist.

    Thank you.

  322. AB says:

    Danny:

    “Considering how the complaints of men were so casually and rudely brushed off (ranging from saying we want the right to invade women’s boundaries to accusing them of saying no man should ever approach a woman under any circumstances) by defenders of SR I don’t buy that.”

    And those accusations were true. The men who got pissed over the article are for the most parts bigots and male supremacists. They don’t just want the right to invade women’s boundaries, they want women’s boundaries (as well as women’s thoughts, opinions, perspectives, and experiences) to be completely erased.

    We could have had an interesting debate about the limits of personal boundaries, reasonable precautions, prejudices, varying perspectives, etc. But that’s not what’s happening here. What’s happening is that people are seriously saying that even women who have been gang-raped multiple times or seen their family get shot by men need to work on their issues in order to not bother men too much. But men who have never been falsely accused of rape or sexual harassment have the right to react to random women with fear and distrust solely based on something they’ve heard.

    I can’t take the complaints seriously any more. I’ve tried explaining several times my reasoning for why I think men employ their own Schrödinger’s Rapist, but here we basically have men saying “Yes, we do the exact same thing, but when we do it, it’s justified”. Were are all your fancy words about not judging individual members of a sex based on stereotypes about the whole sex? Where is all the stuff about not making people feel uncomfortable by being overly careful?

    “For the most part I’m very glad this post was made because frankly this thread has made more progress than the original where criticizing SR was on par with having no respect for women.”

    I feel the opposite. I came to this thread with the delusion that some of the people criticizing SR had some respect for women. I’m not so sure any more. But more than that, I’m tired of listening to men make statements that would be considered blatantly sexist if made by women, and having to accept it in the name of tolerance. I’m tired listening to complaints about feminist double standards from men who’re advocating double standards in favour of men. I’m tired of having to make long, thoughtful, and mostly friendly and polite posts to you in threads where oppression of women is getting justified all around us, while you remain completely indifferent to it, and inform me that the real problem is the way some women talk about men.

    Sorry, but I need a break.

  323. Nat says:

    Darque – Rape culture hysteria is political indoctrination. It’s totally cool to advise people that are in cults that are making them fearful, to leave cults cults that are making them fearful, so chill man 😉

  324. Nat says:

    “They don’t just want the right to invade women’s boundaries, they want women’s boundaries (as well as women’s thoughts, opinions, perspectives, and experiences) to be completely erased.”

    And men don’t have to be worried about false accusations of sexual misconduct right?

  325. AB says:

    Darque:

    “It is not cool, or at least it is worth re-examining, if someone fears all women because they are “gold-diggers” or “like to cry rape”. It is likewise, not cool, or at least worth re-examining, if someone fears all men because they are “potential rapists” or “potentially violent”.”

    When women do it, it creates an outrage. When men like Nat do it (he specifically defended the men who said they were categorically afraid of women) people don’t even react, except perhaps to defend him.

  326. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    “And those accusations were true. The men who got pissed over the article are for the most parts bigots and male supremacists. They don’t just want the right to invade women’s boundaries, they want women’s boundaries (as well as women’s thoughts, opinions, perspectives, and experiences) to be completely erased.”

    The men who got pissed not just because women are afraid of men but using that fear to justify expecting men to change their behavior are bigots and male supremicists.

    And yet, you, who got extremely upset at one poster mentioning that young men are afraid of women due to the sinisterization of male sexuality (note that this isn’t even a situation in which these young men are expecting women to change their behavior to accommodate their fear) are not a bigot and female supremacist?

    Personally, people are welcome to fear whatever they want. And if their fear is not socially acceptable they are welcome to get the fuck over it if they want to take part in society. (Do I expect women to dress in burquas because seeing women’s naked flesh has the potential to trigger me? NO. I manage my fear rather then expecting other people to manage themselves to accommodate me. I also know from experience dealing with anxiety attacks that if you retreat from what makes you fearful, you end up retreating more and more until you’re living in a bathroom.)

    Further, you are mischaracterizing what I was saying when I talked about stereotype versus instinctive fear. Fear based on a bigoted assessment that every person in a group is out to get you is not healthy, it should not be socially acceptable regardless of the group its directed at, and it doesn’t actually make you safer. Instinctive fear actually identifies situations where you should be fearful; stereotype fear just makes you fearful of everyone who superficially resembles something that hurt you in the past. A vast majority of these people will never hurt you at all. And then because you’re focused on your stereotype-based fear, you miss your instinctive fear of people who *don’t* conform to your stereotype.

    If I had kept to stereotype fear, I would have dismissed my instinctive fear of the *male* assistant chef and failed his dry run attempt at violating my boundaries. He was male after all and the only people who had really sexually hurt me in the past were *female*.

  327. Nat says:

    AB

    These men are afraid of women bigotry that has been created by socially constructed rape hysteria.

    Black men were correct to be afraid around white women circa, Jim Crow, women were wring to look at black men and see Schrodinger’s black rapist because of black rapist culture fear mongering.

    Do you see?

  328. Xakudo says:

    @AB:

    Here we have a whole thread of people saying that if you fear someone solely because of the group they belong to, it means you’re oppressing them, and then someone comes along and tells about men who’re afraid of women (not individual women, not women who have already done something abusive to them, or even women exhibiting a certain behaviour, but women in general), and not only is the oppressive implications of this completely ignored, it’s even brought up as a way to attack women and gather sympathy for men.

    I can’t speak for the rest of the commenters here, but as I already alluded to in my previous comments, I agree with you that fearing women as a group is bigoted and oppressive. But I also think the same is true of fearing men as a group, and I have the strong impression that you are extremely reluctant to agree with that for reasons that seem to amount to “But… statistics!”, which is an argument that can also be made (and has been made in the past, and by some people even today) to justify fear of many minority groups.

    I feel like there is a lot of reactionary attitudes spilling into this discussion. My impression thus far is that the discussion has gone roughly like this (grossly simplified):

    OP: women’s fears and reactions to men are fully justified!
    Group A: No they aren’t!
    Group B: Yes they are!:
    Group A: Nuh uh! And besides, if women’s are, then men’s fears and reactions to women are!
    Group B: No they aren’t! Only women’s are!
    Group A: No, it’s the other way around!
    Group C: wtf? Aren’t both unjustified to some extent, past a certain point? Sure, there are behaviors that are reasonable to react negatively to and be suspicious of, but stigmatizing a whole group of people? Kind of an asshole thing to do.
    Groups A and B (ignoring group C): Rawr! Kill! Kill! Kill!

    So, can everyone here at least agree that there is a point past which a reaction to a person based on a group they belong to is unwarranted? Even if we can’t agree on what that point is, at least we can start by (hopefully) agreeing that there is such a point?

  329. Cactuar says:

    Nat,

    It’s massively uncool to dismiss people’s wariness of strange men on the street, which is contextual and solidly based on personal experience, as some bandwagon they jumped on because they’re gullible and have been manipulated by this politically motivated feminist conspiracy or whatever.

    I felt uneasiness and wariness around me before I ever looked into feminism, because of how men have behaved towards me ever since I developed. 16 year old me wasn’t a ‘feminist,’ but she still found herself on edge and hoping that this guy (often, much older, much bigger guy), wasn’t going to be That Asshole and corner me or chase me or grope me, as was not infrequent.

    It IS a problem, and it’s not women’s problem for being ‘too sensitive.’ Becoming upset when someone behaves in these ways towards you is reasonable, and the behavior itself is unacceptable. SR has done a terrible job of articulating the problem, and made a number of conflations I find problematic, as I’ve said elsewhere, but don’t suppose this means that if only it wasn’t for feminists telling them to be fearful, women would be completely comfortable. In my experience, you’ve got it completely upside-down. The wariness, justified by repeated unpleasant experience comes first, and people come to feminism trying to articulate what is an actual problem and find ways deal with it.

    SR is a very bad way to do both of those things, but the underlying issue is no less valid.

  330. Nat says:

    AB doesn’t get that its because of rape culture bigotry and propaganda that these guys were afraid.

  331. typhonblue says:

    @ Xakudo

    “So, can everyone here at least agree that there is a point past which a reaction to a person based on a group they belong to is unwarranted?”

    Yes. If that group is not unfairly advantaged by society. 😉 In which case it’s acceptable to fear their advantage rather then them.

  332. Nat says:

    And its also why women look at men and see Schrodinger rapist.

    Take rape culture political fear-mongering out of the equation, and things become more normal.

  333. Jim says:

    “I came to this thread with the delusion that some of the people criticizing SR had some respect for women. ”

    Clearly you would not know respect if it came up and bit you. Respecting women means expecting them to behave like adults and like decent people who are willing to repsect each other. Bigoted gender-shaming doens’t accord with that.

    What oyu seem to thin is respect is in fatc indulgence, and this culture is saturated with indulgence of women’s weaknesses. It insists that women be weak, and this rape-fear discourse is one very successful method of accomplishing this, as one woman here has already pointed out to all of us. Too bad if as an outsider you don’t understand this about Western culture, but it’s true nonetheless. It is infantilizing and misogynist- it is the opposite of respect. Typhonblue has been banging this particular drum during this whole damned thread.

    “When a woman reacts with fear towards a man who wants her no harm, it is because she is a bigot, and she needs to be shamed and shunned until the behaviour stops.”

    AB, show one comment, just one, that come s anywhere close to saying that. Even one will will do.
    No one said that anything about shaming anyone or saying a damned thing to them.

    We talked about how these exaggerated were offensive and bigoted. We talked about how they led to overt acts of bigotry, and how those overt acts are condoned and accepted by society. We talked about lotrs of things, but no one anywhere said even once an ything about actually saying a thing to these people or shaming them. What makes you think these bigots have any sense of shame anyway?

  334. Titfortat says:

    I came to this thread with the delusion that some of the people criticizing SR had some respect for women(AB)

    @AB
    I pretty much respect everyone until they show me otherwise. I think the SR article was shit. I do think people can/should try to be empathetic to others but the truth is if you have major issues due to abuse or violation then its your job to correct it. It is definately NOT the responsibility of people walking on the streets.

  335. AB:

    The men who got pissed over the article are for the most parts bigots and male supremacists. They don’t just want the right to invade women’s boundaries, they want women’s boundaries (as well as women’s thoughts, opinions, perspectives, and experiences) to be completely erased.

    Whoops! Projection alert!

    Guys: you’re not going to get through to people like this. Make your points as eloquently as you can, then stop and leave them to it.

    Bloggers: the very existence of this article makes a mockery of your claim to care about men. Articles like this treat men as something that happens to women that needs to be managed, not as human beings. Like the Bad Dog Project, you started off by lulling us into a false sense of security by pretending to be interested in men, and then once you had our attention, launched into the standard feminist boilerplate scolding and shaming. It’s like Lucy persuading Charlie Brown that this time she won’t pull the football away before he kicks it, before doing precisely that again.

  336. Kenshiroit says:

    ‘If they never approach women on the street, why do they care about women not feeling good about being approached on the street?’

    AB are we following the same debate? it has been stated at nauseam about the gross generalitation about the imaginary rapist. And you know that.

    ‘And what exactly is wrong with an article about women’s POV not including men’s POV?’

    ok, I re write the sentence you answered, because what you ask me is already answered:

    And we also, belive it or not have our own experiences. So it is not only illogical but also unfair to simply stamp your POV on us, forcing it down to our throat and expect we forget everything of our own experiences and accept yours as ipse dixit.

    It means, that since the so-called womens POV (some women actually) is about men, it includes men, it attacks men. Then we have the right to answer, exactly in the same way as it was in the opposite case. that means if there were a misogynistick article from the masculists, women have the right to respond. Its basic morality.

    “Finally excuse me, but its really hard, next to impossible to see how the sexist undertones can pass unnoticed under the eyes of the articulist (no malice intended). I know its part of the pop culture to attack guys and promote the creep/jerk/rapist memes, just as for women to carry the labe of slut. But we should fight this not promote it.”

    ‘The ‘sexist’ undertones pass unnoticed by me because […]

    And here you fail, the sexist undertones should NEVER pass unnoticed. There is simply no excuse for that. And I dont understad actually how you can even try to justify such behaviour.

    ‘Just look at Nat’s post which I quoted above. Here we have a whole thread of people saying that if you fear someone solely because of the group they belong to, it means you’re oppressing them, and then someone comes along and tells about men who’re afraid of women […]’

    Excuse me AB, but that is what happens with the imaginary rapist. Im puzzled that you criticice the users but ignore the imaginary rapist. The other way around is also wrong, but we are talking about the IR, their reaction, no matter how wrong it is, is a reaction toward the article. And you should know that, since your latest post is a big rant on how bad are the users who disagree with that particular article. Come on AB, its not so hard!

    ‘There is also the repeated talk about not presuming to know about a man’s motivation even if he seems frightening, and yet men here readily assume deliberate malice and bigotry on the part of women who’re afraid of them’

    Because what you call the scrodinger rapist (I prefer the imaginary rapist) is based only on suspiscious. Its fresh air, its fantasy my friend. Nothing more. Nobody should be accoused of something if they didnt do. And certanly a supergeneralitation as the IR do its ethically wrong, morally wrong and perhaps even legally wrong. Basically 100% wrong. Finally it is legittimate to be suspicious toward the women who wrote this and if you fear all the men, then yes you are a bigot. Exactly as a guy who are fear all women. The anxiety may be explained, but never ever excused.

    ‘ with no attempt to even consider the possibility that those women suffered from PTSD or anything similar. They feel completely content making absolutist statements about these women without knowing them. And you don’t notice the sexism.’

    We are not talking about individual women or men (the citations is used to make a point), what is bein debated is (again) the super generalitation that article does. As you can see, when the opposite happens it offends you. Why in the name of heaven would it be any different the opposite. Franckly your reaction to the critics has zero value. First you support a misandric text and then when people react (and with good reason) you are, nobody knows why, offended.

    You cant be offended, you shouldn be offended, you have no right to be offended. Because the humans in this group are only defending themselves as they should be doing. As every social category, class ,race gender should be doing. Its the right of selfdefence. Defending from a irrational, paranoid, empty, slanderous piece of mysandric diahrea. Nothing more.

  337. Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant says:

    Sure, I can get behind the thrust of this article. Though I think we need to establish that it’s not my problem unless I decide voluntarily to make it my problem.

    Basically, here’s the deal. If I feel like it, or it’s in my best immediate interests, or I feel morally obligated for some reason, then and only then will I take steps to ameliorate distrust that a given woman, or man, may have toward me. Otherwise, you know what? She can just fucking deal with it. I don’t give a shit about a stranger on the bus, especially one with negative feelings toward me. Fuck her. And I think that’s a totally reasonable position. I won’t be pressured into making my life a giant ongoing test to prove me nonassholeness. I’ll do that shit when I want to.

  338. Thomas says:

    @AB

    What you fail to realize is that fallowing the advice in the article doesn’t make women’s lifes less dangerous. On the contrary, the given advice encourages a culture of anonymity. Everybody minds their own business, because approaches from well meaning men could be interpreted as predatory. Also approaching someone doesn’t have to be in a romantic context. In the end every single interaction in public between strangers can be seen as approach.

    This culture of anonymity makes is much more easy for predators to operate. People just look the other way if someone needs help, because the someone is a stranger and they don’t want to get involved in their business. But if you had brief chat with someone or exchanged a greeting or just a smile it’s much more likely that he or she will look after you in case you need help.

    So telling harmless men they should not approach women or only under special circumstances is counterproductive. Not because of their romantic success, but because they are the ones who might call the cops or step in if a woman needs help. Encouraging them to look the other way, to mind their own business, to ignore women in public is exactly wrong.

  339. Wow, 300+ comment thread… so, let me point out a few things:

    First, from my trans-centric point of view: the man you fear may be a woman, may be a victim of sexual assault, you name it.

    Second, if you are afraid of an unwanted encounter you have already developed strategies to deal with it. Mine involves a very loud shriek and my keyring.

    Third, yeah, you have to wait until there’s more than just the presence of someone you find intimidating looking at you sideways… why? Public space. As much as I have a right to feel comfortable, so do they have the right to be mobile… actually, I’ll put mobility rights over comfort rights… I’m already not protected from speech that makes me uncomfortable.

    Fourth, being afraid is no legitimate excuse to adopt a first-strike capability because you treat the out of doors or a particular gender as though it is going to attack you. I should know, I’ve spent the summer being pretty agoraphobic because I thought someone was going to give me trouble about my weight gain, intimidate me, you name it.

    Fifth, non-rapey men? Women may be irrationally afraid of you. This is because most of us have been taught that rape happens only to us and is only perpetrated by men, or that there is an order-of-magnitude difference in the incidence of female rape and male rape, so that your rapes are more or less irrelevant… A discussion of Schrodinger’s Rapist directed at men should be cognizant of this, because, you see, it’s really based on misandristic teaching that men are the raping class and misogynistic assumptions that women can’t take care of themselves.

    And as for me personally: Being six-foot-two, formerly six-three, every single discussion of men, by which they mean the coercively male assigned, being bigger and thus stronger, makes me want to curl up into a little ball and die. Not only don’t I want to be stronger, I’m not. I never beat my little sister in an arm wrestle, not for lack of trying. I benched 70 pounds on a good day in college, but hey, by all means, draft me into the potential warrior caste and give me differential treatment simply because I have to buy longer pants… I get dysphoric about my height, and the last thing I need is someone telling me that it somehow makes me more dangerous too. So please, stop with that argument. Height and Weight differences mostly matter for those of equal training engaging in sanctioned martial arts. Most people have no training… a sizable amount of people, men or women, would break their hand throwing a punch. It’s the possession of weaponry that’s a concern, as it has been since we exploited our opposable thumbs.

  340. Danny says:

    AB:
    And those accusations were true. The men who got pissed over the article are for the most parts bigots and male supremacists. They don’t just want the right to invade women’s boundaries, they want women’s boundaries (as well as women’s thoughts, opinions, perspectives, and experiences) to be completely erased.
    That’s a sweeping generalization and you know it. When SR was first introduced it was all but hailed as the perfect analysis with the intent of painting any man that complained as a bigot and supremacist. Yes some of those accusations were true but its pretty unfair to get mad at the baby for getting mad because they got thrown out with the bath water.

    I can’t take the complaints seriously any more. I’ve tried explaining several times my reasoning for why I think men employ their own Schrödinger’s Rapist, but here we basically have men saying “Yes, we do the exact same thing, but when we do it, it’s justified”. Were are all your fancy words about not judging individual members of a sex based on stereotypes about the whole sex? Where is all the stuff about not making people feel uncomfortable by being overly careful?
    Actually my complaint is just the same as yours. Perhaps because our experiences are different. I’ve been told that I have no right to be mindful of women but being male makes it okay for women to be fearful of men. So either its fair both ways or its unfair both ways. If its fair both ways its gonna get ugly but at least it will be consistent.

    I feel the opposite. I came to this thread with the delusion that some of the people criticizing SR had some respect for women. I’m not so sure any more.
    I’m sorry you feel that way. You’re wrong (unless you can somehow prove that no one here but yourself has respect for women). But I’m sorry you feel that way.

    But more than that, I’m tired of listening to men make statements that would be considered blatantly sexist if made by women, and having to accept it in the name of tolerance. I’m tired listening to complaints about feminist double standards from men who’re advocating double standards in favour of men. I’m tired of having to make long, thoughtful, and mostly friendly and polite posts to you in threads where oppression of women is getting justified all around us, while you remain completely indifferent to it, and inform me that the real problem is the way some women talk about men.
    Well welcome to my early interactions with feminists (that still happen on occasion mind you). The reason I come off as indifferent to the oppression of women is because of women/feminists themselves. I tried to talk to them calmly and respectfully and time and time again I was told that my issues don’t matter (even in threads that were supposedly about men). Do I acknowledge it? Yes I do. Do I try to say its the fault of women themselves? No. But does that mean that I’m going to align with people who literally think that I need to pretend my issues don’t exist until they say they do? I hope it doesn’t but that’s not how I roll. Does that mean that I’m going to drop my concern for men in order to pretend that women are the only ones that need help? Not. On. Your. Life.

  341. Hugh Ristik says:

    @AB,

    A lot of guys seem to assume Schrödinger’s Rapist is all about judging men, because that’s all women do. It’s about women having arbitrary demands to a guy’s behaviour, and then punishing him for failing to adhere to them by calling him a rapist. But in reality (sorry guys) it little to do with men, and everything to do with women (like everybody else) acting in the interest of a safe and rewarding experience.

    That’s your personal conception of Schrodinger’s Rapist, which may not be the same as how other women (like Starling herself) conceptualize it. I think that many reasonable feminists who have trouble understanding objections to Schrodinger’s Rapist have mentally overwritten it with their own version, and they are missing some of its more problematic dictates, or the harsher versions that other women adopt.

    Let’s briefly review some of the advice in the original Schrodinger’s Rapist post:

    When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist. You may or may not be a man who would commit rape.

    This is true, but the chances of a stranger on a street being a rape threat are minimal. Schodinger’s Harasser makes a lot more sense, because there is a non-trivial chance that a man approaching a woman on the street will harass her and not go away.

    Women are under no obligation to hear the sales pitch before deciding they are not in the market to buy.

    Agree. I have no problem with women cutting off a sales pitch. If man approaches a woman, and she doesn’t like the look of him, or the way his pitch starts, then there is no obligation on her to hear the rest of it. He already had his chance to impressive her on the approach, and if he failed, then he needs to go away.

    The second important point: you must be aware of what signals you are sending by your appearance and the environment.

    I agree to an extent. Personally, my ethical standard would be to only approach someone if there is a nontrivial chance of them appreciating my approach.

    This means that some men should never approach strange women in public. Specifically, if you have truly unusual standards of personal cleanliness, if you are the prophet of your own religion, or if you have tattoos of gang symbols or Technicolor cockroaches all over your face and neck, you are just never going to get a good response approaching a woman cold.

    But now things get problematic.

    Perhaps Starling’s point is that certain types of low-status men shouldn’t approach women in public. Although I might agree that certain types of low-status men shouldn’t approach conventionally attractive white women in public (due to the low probability of her appreciating the approach), not all women are in that category.

    Starling erases women with different backgrounds and preferences by universally prohibiting the approaches of men who she considers low-status and undesirable. Her dictate prohibits unbathed homeless women from being approached by unbathed homeless men, it prohibits women with gang symbols from being approached by men with gang symbols, and it prohibits women with facial tattoos from being approached by men with facial tattoos.

    Perhaps Starling’s point instead is that it’s unproductive for women to be sexually approached by men who are substantially outside the norm of what women of her culture are generally attracted to. Such an approach is most likely to fail, make the woman uncomfortable, and waste the guy’s time.

    Unfortunately, this standard would prevent cute punk or metalhead guys from approaching women outside those subcultures. And it would probably prevent any man from approaching women of a different race, since women prefer men of their own race.

    Ask yourself, “If I were dangerous, would this woman be safe in this space with me?” If the answer is no, then it isn’t appropriate to approach her.

    This sounds pretty good.

    You want to say Hi to the cute girl on the subway. How will she react? Fortunately, I can tell you with some certainty, because she’s already sending messages to you. Looking out the window, reading a book, working on a computer, arms folded across chest, body away from you = do not disturb.

    If woman is doing several of those things, then there is probably a pretty high-chance that she doesn’t want to be approached, especially if she spends the whole time with her arms folded and body/gaze turned away. Yet if a woman is merely reading or using her computer, then I disagree that it’s self-evident that she doesn’t want to be approached. Starling might not want to be approached under those circumstances, but I reject her attempt to speak for other women on this point.

    A compliment is not always a reason for women to smile and say thank you.

    Agreed. It’s not impolite for women to reject compliments from men who are hitting on them in public.

    If you speak, and she responds in a monosyllabic way without looking at you, she’s saying, “I don’t want to be rude, but please leave me alone.”

    Agreed. He had his chance to make a positive impression, he failed, and now it’s time for the eject button. I think it’s pretty probable that Starling’s feelings on this point are representative of other women (even those some of her other views are not).

    The fourth point: If you fail to respect what women say, you label yourself a problem.

    Agree 100%.

    As you can see, I actually agree with about half the advice in the article. I agree with women holding a subjective probability that strange men approaching them could pose a risk (though I think this risk is more likely harassment than rape). I agree that women have the right to cut off approaches from men. I agree that men should not always expect positive responses to their compliments to female strangers in public. I agree that monosyllabic responses while looking away mean “back off.” I strongly agree with women making negative judgments of men who give actual evidence that they don’t respect women’s boundaries.

    Where I start parting ways from Starling is when she starts asking for broad restrictions on men ever approaching women in the first place. Don’t get me wrong: it’s good for men to know that there are women out there who have Starling’s preferences, so they can judge the cost-benefit value of their approaches to women. For instance, it’s useful for men to know that some women don’t like to be approached while reading.

    My disagreement is with Starling’s belief that her discomfort with being approached in certain contexts (and by certain men) is sufficient grounds for her dictating to men that they should stop those approaches. I think Starling should consider how intersubjective among women her preferences really are before swinging around the banhammer. Not wanting to be approached on deserted streets sounds a lot more intersubjective than not wanting to be approached during the day while reading a book.

    And of course, I deeply disagree with her argument that men must go out of the way to make women feel “as safe as possible.” That standard bans not only all public approaches, but also all approaches in bars, clubs, and parties. It also bans men going on any dates with women without chaperones. Instead, I believe men should take reasonable steps to allay intersubjective fears from women, especially when such fear is based on a real-world risk.

  342. Hugh Ristik says:

    @Patrick Brown,

    Bloggers: the very existence of this article makes a mockery of your claim to care about men. Articles like this treat men as something that happens to women that needs to be managed, not as human beings. Like the Bad Dog Project, you started off by lulling us into a false sense of security by pretending to be interested in men, and then once you had our attention, launched into the standard feminist boilerplate scolding and shaming.

    Patrick, I think it’s possible for women, even feminist women, to care about men, yet still hold some views that are prejudiced and confused. As long as folks like this show a willingness to listen, I’d prefer to work with them and try to raise their consciousness, rather than to convince them that they are the enemy.

    As I mentioned in previous post, I think that some ideas in Schrodinger’s Rapist speak to some women, which blinds them to the more problematic statements of the article. I think Ozy and some other feminist women have mentally replaced the original views of the article with their own views, which are probably more nuanced.

    One of the other bloggers here, Cheradenine, already called out the original post as justifying prejudice. I am also somewhat comforted by some of Ozymandias’ followup comments, which are much more nuanced than either the original article or her original post (for instance, admitting that some women’s fears of rape are improperly calibrated is in a different universe than the original SR thread, where it would be deeply offensive to make such a suggestion). It’s not always pretty, but I think we’re making some progress here.

    If anyone does find that their views shifted in any direction from this thread, I’d be interested to hear about it.

  343. OrangeYouGlad says:

    ^Can’t find anything to disagree with myself. Bravo Hugh.

  344. Darque says:

    Nice post Hugh.

  345. Danny says:

    On the real I had to take a few moments to get my thoughts together on why I have problems with SR. Nothing ground breaking like Hugh’s comment above but worth it to men.
    http://dannyscorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-about-shrodingers-bad-man.html

    http://dannyscorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/2011/08/my-thoughts-on-schrodingers-rapist-now.html

  346. Hugh Ristik says:

    Thanks.

    Btw, comment in mod due to links.

    Another problem with the Schrodinger’s Rapist mentality is when this attitude views men who are not approaching as threats, and mistreating them or trying to preemptively restrict their behavior. We see several examples in this thread, where Cwiles and Valerie Keefe experienced women freaking out at them when they were merely going about their business.

    Then we have this comment, which asks men to change harmless behavior due to the possibility of female fears:

    It’s really not that much to ask to just be thoughtful in certain situations. If the person ahead of you keeps glancing back as though worried, would it kill you to change the route you were planning to take?

    Perhaps some women would also be more comfortable if men used different water fountains.

  347. Eagle33 says:

    AB: “The men who got pissed over the article are for the most parts bigots and male supremacists. They don’t just want the right to invade women’s boundaries, they want women’s boundaries (as well as women’s thoughts, opinions, perspectives, and experiences) to be completely erased.”

    Others have articulated their own retorts, but I’ll do it anyway.

    This is a pretty serious accusation to extend to everyone here, AB. Do you have evidence to back up your accusation? And no, I’m not talking about what people said in your own words. Provide quotations from the sources themselves with no alternations whatsoever. Can you do that? Because calling the men here, including me, bigots and male supremacists “for the most part” because we happen to disagree with the article even going so far as to say “They don’t just want the right to invade women’s boundaries, they want women’s boundaries (as well as women’s thoughts, opinions, perspectives amd experiences) to be completely erased.” is not to be taken lightly.

    I also want to know why disagreeing with an article that includes statements like “If you approach me, you’re a Schrondager’s Rapist” comes even close to communicating a desire to dominate women and their experiences? Notice, in that quote, the author of the article goes straight to calling any man who approaches her a Schrondager’s Rapist. Nowhere does she quanitfy what makes a Schrondager’s Rapist. No, any man who approaches her is Schrondager’s Rapist.

    How is criticism of a generealisation, along with other faults in the article, an example of men shouting down women who’ve had negative experiences? Really, I just want to know what caused such a leap in logic.

    AB: “I can’t take the complaints seriously any more. I’ve tried explaining several times my reasoning for why I think men employ their own Schrödinger’s Rapist, but here we basically have men saying “Yes, we do the exact same thing, but when we do it, it’s justified”. Were are all your fancy words about not judging individual members of a sex based on stereotypes about the whole sex? Where is all the stuff about not making people feel uncomfortable by being overly careful?”

    That’s not what the article did though, AB. It went with assumptions and generalisations, not to mention some pretty anti-male statements mixed in there. Now, think of any innocent man who has already had his fair share derogatory insults heaped on him because of these assumptions and generalisations? Can you blame them for their reactions?

    It’s not just the article here. Whenever gender debate is brought up, a man has to fight tooth and nail to express himself because society thinks “Men oppressors, women victims”. Sexism is basically “Anything done against women by men”, not “Sexism hurts everyone”. Again, I ask you, can you blame any innocent man for reacting with hostility, even the most well-mannered?

    The article does NOTHING except fuel the flames of hostility.

    AB: “The ‘sexist’ undertones pass unnoticed by me because I experience things that are ten times worse at an almost daily basis.”

    Male vicims of female rape. Male victims of domestic violence. Boy victims of abuse (physical/sexual) from women. Boy victims of bullying from girls. Male victims of false accusations from women.

    So I take it because you experience things ten times as worse that it renders these problems (and no, don’t throw statistics at me showing how women have it worse in that regard) irrelevant and not worthy of your time? Even the feelings of men towards the unfair tarring this article gives them?

    I have two words for you: Oppression Olympics. The very thing you feminists criticise men for when they intrude into your discussions.

    AB: “I feel the opposite. I came to this thread with the delusion that some of the people criticizing SR had some respect for women. I’m not so sure any more.

    Well, if you’re someone who dismisses the concerns of men because you experience things ten times as worse it’s fairly obvious you came here with an agenda on your mind and wanted to see sexism where it isn’t. Unless of course, again, you can cite actual examples from the people in this thread where you feel they’re sexist.

    Other than that, it’s your loss.

    AB: “But more than that, I’m tired of listening to men make statements that would be considered blatantly sexist if made by women, and having to accept it in the name of tolerance. I’m tired listening to complaints about feminist double standards from men who’re advocating double standards in favour of men. I’m tired of having to make long, thoughtful, and mostly friendly and polite posts to you in threads where oppression of women is getting justified all around us, while you remain completely indifferent to it, and inform me that the real problem is the way some women talk about men.”

    As Danny pointed out, welcome to my own early encounters with feminists when talking about the traumas I experiened at the hands of the opposite sex.

    You know what I’m tired of AB?

    I’m tired of having my hurt negated and invalidated because I happen to be a part of some priveledged, oppressor class.

    I’m tired of being told “Women have it worse”. Particularly from women like you.

    I’m tired of hearing that the people who hurt me should be pitied and looked at as victims of the patriarchy or someone, mainly a man, holding a gun to their head and forcing them to do it.

    I’m tired of being told not to generalise all women yet help myself when doing it to men.

    I’m tired of hearing/seeing sexist statements from women that would get them talked down to and repremended if they were men. That goes not just in social circles, but in the media (I’m lookin at you, “The Talk”) print, radio, and on the internet.

    Most have been my experiences when I naively thought those feminists would be considerate to a person’s struggles. After all, isn’t feminism about equality between the sexes? Or only when it’s convenient or uncomfortable questions are asked?

    In conclusion, good-bye.

  348. Hugh Ristik says:

    Two comments in mod due to links.

    @Ozy

    I think we can come up with a “reasonable person” standard of creepiness, i.e., a reasonable person would be creeped out by this behavior. I’d be interested in any thoughts people had on this point.

    I appreciate this sentiment; of course, it’s like night and day from the original SR post.

    Also, the difference between using slut as a pejorative and creepy as a pejorative is that having promiscuous casual sex is a morally neutral thing, and violating social norms or other people’s boundaries in a way that makes people feel unsafe is an unethical thing.

    Are you sure that violating social norms in a way that makes someone uncomfortable is always unethical? This principle would ban approaches in libraries. It could also ban many cross-racial approaches. It could prohibit gay men from approaching men who might be heterosexual. Furthermore, since women approaching violates social norms, this principle would say that it is unethical for women to make any approach towards men that happens to make a man feel unsafe. Isn’t that a little broad?

    You can’t know for sure in advance if your approach will make someone feel unsafe; there is always a small chance that they might be a survivor of something. If instead you mean “don’t violate social norms in a way that consistently makes people feel unsafe when you do so,” then I would agree. Approaching in a way that you know makes a large segment of people feel unsafe is unethical; approaching in a way that might make someone hypothetically feel unsafe isn’t necessary unethical, even if the approach violates some social norms.

    As for slut, someone having promiscuous unprotected sex without getting tested for anything, and failing to make any sort of disclosure of health status even when they show STD symptoms, isn’t a morally neutral thing. We could define a “reasonable person’s” notion of “slut,” just like we could attempt to rescue “creep.” But I’m not sure either approach is productive, given the gendered baggage and broadness of each term.

  349. @HughRistik

    One small quibble Hugh: I’m not a man, though I was pretty uniformly gendered male when the aforementioned incident occurred.

  350. BlackHumor says:

    @Clarence: “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I find you very interesting” Because “you’re interesting” is not unambiguously a compliment, so he was making clear that he meant it that way.

    @AB:

    The men who got pissed over the article are for the most parts bigots and male supremacists. They don’t just want the right to invade women’s boundaries, they want women’s boundaries (as well as women’s thoughts, opinions, perspectives, and experiences) to be completely erased.

    I know you aren’t a man and might not get why that article was hurtful to men, so I’m going to assume you said that in good faith:

    As a man the original article made me feel INTENSELY defensive. It took a lot of self-control and an already feminist viewpoint to fight through that long enough to realize that the article was coming from a good place. It is totally understandable and not the least bit bigoted-seeming to me that other men would just be insulted and not get that there was anything worthwhile in the article at all.

    Please try to understand how men might feel about being called potential rapists. I don’t agree the article was intentionally misandrist but it was certainly written clumsily. You can’t normally offend this many people without having done something wrong.

    @Hugh: Thank you for one of the most well thought out critiques of that article I’ve seen so far.

  351. Clarence says:

    @typhonblue:
    I was talking about men and women in general trusting each other, sorry if that was not clear. And that’s the point I’m making :you are merely pushing a culture of fear in the opposite direction. Most people truly do mean well, and their behavior should be evaluated in light of that, full-stop.

  352. Clarence says:

    @BlackHumor:

    Let’s parse this, then:
    Statement according to you that RW assigned EG: “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I find you very interesting and I would like to talk more. Would you like to come to my hotel room for coffee?”

    The first sentence contains a disclaimer (don’t take this the wrong way) and a statement that he finds her interesting and he would like to talk more.
    For some reason you decided to strip out the part where he specifically says he would like to talk more.
    Also, by standard english grammar he could only be disclaiming :
    A. He finds her interesting
    or
    B. that he wants to talk more
    So either the first sentence can be taken to mean that he he doesn’t want her to believe he finds her interesting, or he doesn’t want her to believe he wants to talk more. Neither A nor B makes much sense given the conversation as a whole. More likely he is thinking ahead to how she might take going to his room as a sexual invitation when he brings that up, which he intends to do, and does do in the very next sentence.
    Then we have the second sentence. This is a question: “Would you like to come to my hotel room for coffee?” Let me put something to you, buddy. The VERY FIRST time I ever heard that “coffee” could be a synonym for sexual activity was when the “Hot Coffee” mod for GTA came out in , I believe, 2006 or thereabouts. I was already at least 35 years old at that time. I can assure you that if I had asked a woman to coffee prior to that time I would not have any clue that she might think I was propositioning her for sex!

    This guy might not have even been American or British, but Scottish instead as RW was in Scotland. I find it amazing that you feel free to think you know (without any proof whatsoever) this guy’s sexual culture. Yep, you know for SURE he was propositoning her for sex and it doesn’t even bother you that to do so you have to twist his disclaimer and his first sentence all out of any kind of normal context. In short, your argument makes next to no sense. I find it far more likely that he knew she might be thinking he wanted sex because he was inviting her to his hotel room late at night (and THAT part of “sexual culture” goes back to well before Mike Tyson’s rape conviction and is far more well known than “coffee=sex” is) and so he tried to put her at ease with his disclaimer.

  353. HughRistik

    Patrick, I think it’s possible for women, even feminist women, to care about men, yet still hold some views that are prejudiced and confused.

    True. But running such a piece on a site with the mission statement this one has seems to me rather more than confused.

    I am fed up with the attitude that while men have no right to expect anything from women, even basic standards of politeness, women feel entitled to put expectations on men that are fucking endless. She doesn’t owe me social interaction of any kind, but apparently I owe her uninterrupted social comfort. I must be endlessly concerned about her feelings, even if she just happens to be sharing the same street as me, but she feels no such concern for mine, and can berate, insult and accuse me freely.

    My arguments have never been about defending my right to make women afraid or uncomfortable. They are about defending my autonomy. My world does not revolve around you, any more than yours revolves around me. Schrodinger’s Rapist is a demand for my world to revolve around you. Well sorry, but no. I am not your servant, and I do not oppress you by not knowing my place.

    There is never any point, no matter how assiduously I obey the edicts of the SR advocates on how to avoid being Schrodinger’s Rapist, that I become not Schrodinger’s Rapist in their eyes, because it’s not about anything I do or don’t do, it’s about her feelings. I can either be solicitous of her feelings, ignore them or argue against them, but I’ll get the same shit whichever way, so on a cost-benefit analysis I may as well ignore them. As it happens, that’s how strange women usually treat my feelings, so that’s fair and equal, isn’t it?

  354. doubletrack says:

    “If anyone does find that their views shifted in any direction from this thread, I’d be interested to hear about it.”

    FWIW, I’m a feminist woman who was broadly pro-SR (as a concept) at the beginning of this thread, and I’m now finding myself both less able and less inclined to defend it. Thinking about it in terms of the racism/minority group analogies helped changed my mind. I also think Thomas’ idea that the “culture of anonymity” which SR creates “makes it much more easy for predators to operate” is interesting, and worth exploring.

  355. Sephy says:

    If I may chime in (a bit late, I know), about what I think the main problem with SR is: it’s not really that it uses inflammatory anti-male language (that is, of course, a problem, but not the biggest one here). It’s also not that it makes certain requests as to men’s behavior (they’re actually not that unreasonable). It’s that it does both at the same time. This means that supporters say, “How can you be offended by such reasonable requests?” and detractors say, “How can you not be offended by such bigoted language?” and neither is actually wrong, per se. They’re just focusing on different things about the post. Of course, this means that people who actually have fairly similar values may get into completely unnecessary arguments on the subject, just because they interpreted it differently. So perhaps everyone should take a step back and look at how anti-man some of the language in there actually is, or how a lot of the demands are things that most reasonable people would do anyways, and see if perhaps we actually don’t disagree that much after all.

  356. Hugh Ristik says:

    @Valerie Keefe,

    One small quibble Hugh: I’m not a man, though I was pretty uniformly gendered male when the aforementioned incident occurred.

    I apologize for the ambiguity of my language. What I was getting at was that the SR attitude towards men might have led to the way you were treated, due to their perception of you as male.

    @BlackHumor,

    @Hugh: Thank you for one of the most well thought out critiques of that article I’ve seen so far.

    I’m glad you got something out of it. I thought it might be helpful to list some of the points I agreed with, to correct the perception that men who don’t like SR don’t want women to have boundaries.

    @doubletrack,

    FWIW, I’m a feminist woman who was broadly pro-SR (as a concept) at the beginning of this thread, and I’m now finding myself both less able and less inclined to defend it. Thinking about it in terms of the racism/minority group analogies helped changed my mind.

    Interesting. Thanks for speaking up.

  357. doubletrack says:

    Actually, to be clear, a number of things (in combination) helped changed my mind:

    1) The racism/minority group analogies (although I am wary of racism –> sexism analogies generally, and they don’t always work).
    2) The initial defensiveness I felt upon reading terms like Schrodinger’s Gold Digger/False Rape Accuser, then playing the ol’ switcheroo in my head to imagine how men would feel about SR (again, they’re not exact equivalents – but it helped).
    3) Thinking about where the onus should lie in terms of making people feel safe in public spaces, and deciding it should lie closer to “respect the stated/expressed boundaries of strangers” than “assume people fear you, and act accordingly”.
    4) Remembering a time when I (a small woman) was going for a run one evening, and was about to overtake a woman on the sidewalk who hadn’t seen me yet but must have heard me, who leapt out of the way and look at me in a horrified way as I went to pass her. And how shitty that made me feel*, and how that must be how men feel some (/a lot?) of the time.

    And probably some others, which I’ll flesh out if I think of them.

    *And how shitty it is that she felt scared enough to do that.

  358. AB says:

    Danny:

    “That’s a sweeping generalization and you know it. When SR was first introduced it was all but hailed as the perfect analysis with the intent of painting any man that complained as a bigot and supremacist. Yes some of those accusations were true but its pretty unfair to get mad at the baby for getting mad because they got thrown out with the bath water.”

    No, it’s not unfair to get mad, if you reserve the right to do something to women you wouldn’t accept they did to men, which many men alluded to and Nat openly said he did. What bothers me most is not that men are afraid women. I think it’s a huge stretch to extend this fear to all women everywhere, when even the dreaded SR article only extended it to strange men approaching women under certain circumstances, and I think the fear is based less on reality than the fear of sexual assault and harassment is, but that doesn’t mean I find the fear so offensive in itself that I’ll ask for a complete condemnation from men everywhere because of it.

    What bothers me is that the same men have established that they consider judging all members of a sex on the basis of individuals to be bigotry, and that being afraid of people solely because of their sex is the equivalent of the attitude white people had towards black people during the Jim Crow era, and yet they have no problem exhibiting this behaviour (which they themselves labelled as bigoted and oppressive) towards women.

    It’s a bit like if I tell an offensive joke, let’s say about bestiality. Based on my standards, that’s not terribly offensive. I can be blunt even by Danish standards, and Danish humour is downright evil (a bunch of guys in my class recently chilled out by telling racist jokes. The last one was: “What separates the humans from the animals? The Mediterranean!” When they were done laughing, they agreed they ought to stop now, until one of them said “Wait, I just got one last Jewish joke: So, Hitler takes a stroll in a concentration camp….”. Yeah, that’s the standards for humour around here).

    But someone gets offended, and starts telling me how wrong it is to tell those kinds of jokes. “Bestiality is never funny, to be associated with bestiality is like being called a lesser being” etc. etc.. So while I find the offence to be a little over-the-top, I make a point to not immediately read malice into it. I consider the arguments while making some of my own, about how jokes like these are not supposed to be taking seriously or about freedom of speech the difference between being offended and oppressed, or whatever.

    And then one of the people who’d just told me that any association with bestiality is like being called a lesser being starts saying “I have this really great joke about Indians and donkey-fucking”. It’s not the person’s initial offence to my joke (even if I can have trouble understanding it), it’s not their own joke about bestiality (even if I can find it worse than mine and probably crossing the line), it’s the combination of them first ruling out anything but malice in regards to these jokes, and then making one themselves. Just as being called gay isn’t an insult in itself, but being called gay by a homophobic is, being told some people are afraid of your sex is not sexism in itself, but being told so by people who consider fear of a sex the equivalent of racism most definitely is.

    That’s pretty much how I feel when I spend time explaining that men make risk assessments too, and that I would find it completely fair if a woman acting like she’d be more likely to accuse him of sexual assault caused a man to be more wary, only to be told that women being wary of strange men is the equivalent of treating men like white racists treat black people, and then have the same people tell me it’s completely fair for men to be afraid of women. It pretty much feels like I’ve just been called a nigger, and by their standards, I have.

    “Actually my complaint is just the same as yours. Perhaps because our experiences are different. I’ve been told that I have no right to be mindful of women but being male makes it okay for women to be fearful of men. So either its fair both ways or its unfair both ways. If its fair both ways its gonna get ugly but at least it will be consistent.”

    No it’s not the same. My complaint is that one shouldn’t make blanket statements about how fearing people because of their sex=racism, only to turn around and say it’s completely fine for the group you belong to to fear people because of their sex, and if you’re in favour of the first part of the argument (which you are), the least you can do is to take a stand against the last part too.

    “I’m sorry you feel that way. You’re wrong (unless you can somehow prove that no one here but yourself has respect for women). But I’m sorry you feel that way.”

    When people establish that a certain behaviour is racist, and then justifies the behaviour in regards to women, it’s a pretty clear sign there’s no respect to be found. At least the author of SR had the decency to not make a huge point about how any man being afraid of a woman would just be a bigot.

    “Well welcome to my early interactions with feminists (that still happen on occasion mind you).”

    Not this again. First you make a big deal out of how I’m supposed to empathise with you and understand how bad you feel over an article somewhere. Then you say that you can’t be expected to empathise with women (and by extension, me) being called the equivalent of niggers here, because some women used to be mean to you, and that makes it OK.

    “The reason I come off as indifferent to the oppression of women is because of women/feminists themselves. I tried to talk to them calmly and respectfully and time and time again I was told that my issues don’t matter (even in threads that were supposedly about men). Do I acknowledge it? Yes I do. Do I try to say its the fault of women themselves? No. But does that mean that I’m going to align with people who literally think that I need to pretend my issues don’t exist until they say they do? I hope it doesn’t but that’s not how I roll. Does that mean that I’m going to drop my concern for men in order to pretend that women are the only ones that need help? Not. On. Your. Life.”

    I’m not asking you to drop your concerns about men, I’m asking you to not justify treating women like you wouldn’t be treated yourself. You’re just as bad as the feminists you’re condemning. If your point was that there were reasons both for men to be afraid of women and for women to be afraid of men, and that we ought to work together to dispel the unreasonable fears and minimize the actual risks, I could accept it. If you said that there was no reason to for anyone to be afraid of anyone based on their sex, and that doing so was bigotry no matter who did it, I could accept it. Whether or not I agreed, and what I would think was the best solution, is a different matter, but we could talk about that and I could accept it.

    But having an example of the very same kind of bigotry you’re supposedly fighting (Typhonblue even made a word-for-word argument identical to that you most criticise feminists of using: That since men are institutionally disadvantaged, a behaviour which would be incredible bigoted and offensive in women is to be accepted in men), and just casually saying that since you were once treated badly, you’re not going to lift a finger to oppose it, right after you’ve several posts asking me to support your POV in regards to what offends you, is not something I can accept.

    You’re not trying to eliminate the kind of prejudice you believe feminists to guilty of, you want to take the place of those very feminists and get to be the one to tell women “Since I’ve been treated badly, I have no regard for your issues (even though I’ll present myself as an egalitarian and act outraged if you dispute it), and because of the way society works, you’ll just have to accept that some behaviours are acceptable for men but not for women, until I judge we’re no longer oppressed”.

  359. AB says:

    typhonblue:

    “And yet, you, who got extremely upset at one poster mentioning that young men are afraid of women due to the sinisterization of male sexuality (note that this isn’t even a situation in which these young men are expecting women to change their behavior to accommodate their fear) are not a bigot and female supremacist?”

    I did not become upset that some men are afraid of women, I became upset that many posters on this thread do not think women have the right to be afraid of men, and called the fear oppressive to men, and yet the very same posters are either indifferent or supportive towards men being afraid of women and judging all women based on sterotypes and propaganda.

  360. Nat says:

    AB

    “I became upset that many posters on this thread do not think women have the right to be afraid of men,” Do you get upset when people say that x group do not have the right to fear women/gay people/black people/ muslims/jews/etc? Its you that is basing your prejudice on stereotypes and propaganda, a man has very good reason to fear a woman like you. That views him as a criminal and has the full force of society and the law behind her if she decides to make a false allegation of sexual misconduct as you have already done here on this thread. You are projecting what you are on to others that are objecting to what you are and fear you for being what you are, which is a bigot. If you have a fear of all men, because of a bad experience or because you mix in rape culture propaganda circles or a combination of the two, its up to you to get away from the sort of people that circulate Schrodinger’s rapist type propaganda and get the right help.

  361. AB says:

    Xakudo:

    “I can’t speak for the rest of the commenters here, but as I already alluded to in my previous comments, I agree with you that fearing women as a group is bigoted and oppressive. But I also think the same is true of fearing men as a group, and I have the strong impression that you are extremely reluctant to agree with that for reasons that seem to amount to “But… statistics!”, which is an argument that can also be made (and has been made in the past, and by some people even today) to justify fear of many minority groups.”

    I’m not talking about fearing men as a group or women as a group, or any justifications for it. In my earlier posts, I expressed an understanding that a man would avoid a woman if she engaged in a behaviour which appeared to make it more likely that he would receive false accusations of sexual assault or harassment (my first example was a woman insisting on saying no when she meant yes, and how I could understand if men decided the risk of being with her was not worth it).

    What makes me angry is that people are either defending double standards, or acting indifferent towards them, merely because those double standards target women.

    “OP: women’s fears and reactions to men are fully justified!
    Group A: No they aren’t!
    Group B: Yes they are!:
    Group A: Nuh uh! And besides, if women’s are, then men’s fears and reactions to women are!”

    No one is saying “If women are, then men’s fears and reactions are justified too”, they’re saying “If women fear men, they’re bigots, but men fear women and we should feel sorry for them”. So far, I’m the only one who’s used the argument that if the reaction of one sex is bigotry per default, then the reactions of the other sex must be too. Or in other words, if I’m to take men seriously when they call women’s fear bigotry, I expect them to also agree that men’s fear is bigotry. They obviously don’t.

    “So, can everyone here at least agree that there is a point past which a reaction to a person based on a group they belong to is unwarranted? Even if we can’t agree on what that point is, at least we can start by (hopefully) agreeing that there is such a point?”

    Of course. But we should also agree that people who accept a certain degree of racial and sexual stereotyping in both sexes, modified by the actual situation and the behaviour exhibited, are at least consistent in their views, while people who claim that all sexual stereotyping of one sex is false, oppressive, and a proof of bigotry, while sexual stereotyping of another sex is justified per default, are bigots themselves. That’s all I’m asking.

  362. Hugh Ristik says:

    @Patrick,

    I agree with the frustration in your comment.

    I must be endlessly concerned about her feelings, even if she just happens to be sharing the same street as me, but she feels no such concern for mine, and can berate, insult and accuse me freely.

    To be fair, I don’t think most feminists in this thread support women berating, insulting, and accusing men who walk on the same street or even approach them in public. I give them the benefit of the doubt that they would never do something like that.

    Unfortunately, it might be difficult for them to understand that not all women are the same way, and dole out punishment to men for approaching (or even just being in the vicinity) that is not proportionate to the crime.

    I hope that feminist readers of this thread have gotten the picture that Schrodinger’s Rapist type leads some women to behave abusively towards men who have not even approached them.

    In the case of men who do approach women, I think it can be sometimes hard to define what a “proportionate” response to an undesired approach might be. Even if an approach sounds polite, a woman might have experienced other men who approached the same way and quickly made her uncomfortable by quickly sexualizing the conversation without paying attention to her level of interest. Her belief that this guy will do the same might be reasonable. Consequently, I’m willing to give women considerable latitude for expressing negative reactions to male approaches.

    As someone with pickup background, I think female reactions to male approaches are useful for learning. I am probably far harsher on male approachers than many feminist women (though I advocate men improving their approaches, rather than trying to ban them). I’m not convinced if it’s a good thing if uncomfortable women stay in conversations with male approachers to be nice to them, because it can be hard for him to figure out what went wrong and fix it.

    So what sorts of responses are proportionate from women to approaches they don’t like? I will briefly attempt to outline some of my intuitions, and note that I could be convinced differently.

    Think of it this way: if a homeless person tries to talk to me and ask for money, I’m not obligated to give him money or talk to him, and I’m justified in being rude in proportion to any rudeness from him… but his approach doesn’t make him fair game for any sort of abuse or derision I might hurl at him. If a guy politely asks me for money, and I sneer and call him a filthy beggar, is that response proportionate to what he has done, even if I genuinely feel uncomfortable?

    To anyone who objects to a man talking about what female responses are proportionate, then you are of course welcome to describe your own views of what responses are proportionate (but if you think that no female response to a male approach can ever be disproportionate, then I would encourage you to rethink your views).

    – Ending a conversation can be an appropriate response to any approach, even if the guy hasn’t finished delivering his “pitch,” or even opened his mouth.

    – Violence is never an appropriate response to a nonviolent and non-threatening approach (and by “non-threatening,” I mean intersubjective indication of threat, such as unwanted touching, explicit threats, or gross invasion of personal space)

    – If an approacher uses words commonly understood as smarmy (e.g. “hey baby”), ignores requests that they go away or attempts by someone to physical get away, initiates physical contact (beyond a tap on the shoulder in a noisy environment), or says things that would be widely considered insulting, then insults or expressions of derision like eye rolls and sneers might be an appropriate response.

    – If a woman is genuinely so freaked out that she jumps, turns away, or runs away, there is nothing wrong with that response, even if it hurts the approacher’s feelings (yet if her fear is based on untrue and misandric believes, than those beliefs might be problematic).

    – Racist or homophobic insults are never proportionate. Same thing for insults based on appearance (unless the approacher has also used appearance-based insults).

    – If a woman feels that the guy approaching her was polite and non-threatening, but she merely isn’t attracted to him, then insults in response are over the top. Eye-rolling or sneers might be appropriate if she feels that there is a wide gap in attractiveness that should be obvious to him, and they could be useful feedback… though they are profoundly unempathetic.

    – If a woman doesn’t believe that a guy approaching her is a creepy asshole, but treats him like one, then her response in disproportionate. If she doesn’t believe that he is a potential criminal, but she treats him like one, that’s also disproportionate.

    Putting this together, I support “leave me alone” in general, or even “leave me alone, creep” in response to certain types of norm-violating approaches. I don’t support a response like “get lost, fatso,” because getting fat-shamed is not a proportional response to any approach (unless the man was making similar sorts of insults).

    I can either be solicitous of her feelings, ignore them or argue against them, but I’ll get the same shit whichever way, so on a cost-benefit analysis I may as well ignore them.

    Personally, I take women’s feelings into account to a degree that I judge ethically appropriate, adjusting my behavior to avoid common intersubjective female discomfort, while acknowledging that I can’t please all the outliers.

    Certain sorts of feminists have tried very hard to poison the well for men considering women’s comfort levels, but I’m not going to let them damage me so much that I stop caring.

  363. Xakudo says:

    @AB:

    What makes me angry is that people are either defending double standards, or acting indifferent towards them, merely because those double standards target women.

    Do you feel that I am doing this? If not, then can we have an actual discussion for a bit? Because I am interested in trying to sort out what we actually agree and disagree on, and then perhaps continue from there. But I am starting to feel like this is impractical, as it feels to me like you are conflating me with your perception (true or not) of other commenters here.

  364. Hugh Ristik says:

    AB,

    You are broadly criticizing some of the views in this thread, but you’re not always very specific on which views you are criticizing. My perception of what people are saying in this thread don’t match yours, but it’s been a long thread and I’ve skimmed a bunch of comments.

    I did not become upset that some men are afraid of women, I became upset that many posters on this thread do not think women have the right to be afraid of men, and called the fear oppressive to men, and yet the very same posters are either indifferent or supportive towards men being afraid of women and judging all women based on sterotypes and propaganda.

    I support the right of women to be afraid of men. There is no contradiction between doing so, and believing that some women’s fears are based on prejudice or incorrect facts. I also support the right of certain MRAs to fear women, though I also believe that in some cases, their fear is based on prejudice or incorrect facts.

    I don’t believe that women’s fears of men are oppressive to men on their own. Yet women can express their fears in oppressive ways. For instance, yelling at men minding their own business 10 feet away on the street is oppressive. PTSD makes this behavior more understandable, but no less oppressive. If war veterans with PTSD are yelling at women on the street, it’s understandable, but it’s still oppressive street harassment.

    Also, the attitude of Starling that she can prohibit certain types of approaches she doesn’t like (e.g. while reading) by everyone, or that she can prohibit certain types of low status men from approaching anyone (even women in their own demographic!) is also oppressive.

    My suspicion is that most of the male critics of SR agree with me on the above, but I could be wrong.

    No one is saying “If women are, then men’s fears and reactions are justified too”, they’re saying “If women fear men, they’re bigots, but men fear women and we should feel sorry for them”.

    Personally, I don’t think that anyone in this thread has said anything close to that. But if they have, perhaps you could quote them, so I can set them straight.

  365. Bogus Fraudarelli says:

    AB Since the S.R has nothing to do with menz beside bein a object of womens fear, how about training women in not bein afraid in men. Lets solve this problem at the root. Opening special classes in colleges, schools, universitys ect for women of all ages. Finally we may solve this irrational phobia.

  366. Nat says:

    AB

    If I objected to someones fear all gay men, I am not oppressing the homophobic person, I am telling them that they are incorrect.
    If that man feels fear of being accused if being gay because he is in a society full of homophobic people, he is not being oppressive, he is justified in feeling that fear and society is incorrect.

    Your arguments very similar to NOW Slaves’ when he claims that his homophobia being questioned is oppressive discrimination.

  367. AB says:

    Kenshiroit:

    “Excuse me AB, but that is what happens with the imaginary rapist. Im puzzled that you criticice the users but ignore the imaginary rapist. The other way around is also wrong, but we are talking about the IR, their reaction, no matter how wrong it is, is a reaction toward the article. And you should know that, since your latest post is a big rant on how bad are the users who disagree with that particular article. Come on AB, its not so hard!”

    So, a couple of Jews enter a discussion about racial stereotyping of black people, and people start making comments about the evil Zionists and Hitler having a point, and the reaction is “Of course that’s wrong too, but we’re talking about blacks here, and since blacks have been treated badly by rich white Jews, their behaviour is just a reaction to that”.

    You know, the fear described in the Schrödinger’s Rapist article, no matter how wrong it is, is also a reaction toward slut-shaming, rape-threats, and experiences of having one’s personal space invaded. It didn’t just pop out of nowhere. And yet, you have no problem immediately condemning it, and expecting everybody else to do too. On the other hand, you are now defending bigotry in men by saying it’s just a reaction towards the article. Do you see the problem?

    “if you fear all the men, then yes you are a bigot. Exactly as a guy who are fear all women. The anxiety may be explained, but never ever excused.”

    Except that you did excuse it: “their reaction, no matter how wrong it is, is a reaction toward the article”. Were is that understanding towards the author of Schrödinger’s Rapist?

    “We are not talking about individual women or men (the citations is used to make a point), what is bein debated is (again) the super generalitation that article does.”

    There have been several descriptions from men here about how some women suddenly got afraid of them for no reason. These men did not conclude that they probably ran into an abuse survivor with PTSD, or simply that they didn’t know the reasons for the woman’s fear. They immediately linked it to bigotry instead. IMO, Schrödinger’s Rapist describes something most people engage in, including men. And people here have already confirmed this.

    “As you can see, when the opposite happens it offends you. Why in the name of heaven would it be any different the opposite. Franckly your reaction to the critics has zero value. First you support a misandric text and then when people react (and with good reason) you are, nobody knows why, offended.”

    The difference is that the people who claim it’s OK for men to be afraid of women have also called it bigotry when women are afraid of men. I say that the concept of Schrödinger’s Rapist is not as offensive as it’s made out to be, because it describes a very common human behaviour which men also engage in. Many of the people attacking the article had made it clear that they do engage in a similar behaviour and find it completely justified, but only because they’re men and therefore inherently more reasonable in their fears. The former is an opinion, the latter is sexism.

    “You cant be offended, you shouldn be offended, you have no right to be offended. Because the humans in this group are only defending themselves as they should be doing.”

    Wait, what happened to “Exactly as a guy who are fear all women. The anxiety may be explained, but never ever excused.”? Now these bigoted men are suddenly the righteous defenders of sexual justice or something?

    “As every social category, class ,race gender should be doing. Its the right of selfdefence. Defending from a irrational, paranoid, empty, slanderous piece of mysandric diahrea. Nothing more.”

    And again we come back to the claim that men’s anger and fear is understandable and justified because they really have experienced injustice and violence, but women’s anger and fear is hysterical propaganda because they haven’t really experienced either violence or injustice. Forgive me if I can’t tell the difference between that and what you’re accusing the SR article of doing.

  368. AB says:

    Thomas:

    “@AB

    What you fail to realize is that fallowing the advice in the article doesn’t make women’s lifes less dangerous.”

    I’m not interested in the article, I’m interested in why people get so angry over it while at the same time readily admitting that they hold similar attitudes towards women as the writer of article allegedly has towards men. I would feel a lot safer around strange men if I knew it was the norm for men to hold the same attitudes towards women as they wanted women to have towards men.

    “So telling harmless men they should not approach women or only under special circumstances is counterproductive. Not because of their romantic success, but because they are the ones who might call the cops or step in if a woman needs help. Encouraging them to look the other way, to mind their own business, to ignore women in public is exactly wrong.”

    Most men I’ve talked to about the subject say that they don’t feel safer around hostile radical feminists than other women. Based on that, I don’t think it’s really that unreasonable for women to wish that the male equivalents (“It’s OK when I treat you in a way I’d never accept being treated myself, because I’m a man and it’s all women’s fault”) just went away. Preferably to Siberia.

  369. Kenshiroit says:

    @AB
    ‘ I’m not interested in the article, I’m interested in why people get so angry over it while at the same time readily admitting that they hold similar attitudes towards women as the writer of article allegedly has towards men. I would feel a lot safer around strange men if I knew it was the norm for men to hold the same attitudes towards women as they wanted women to have towards men. ‘

    I like to know why you get so hostile, when you basically agree with us when the situation is reversed. Ask your self, why do you feel offended when the table turn the other side?
    AB honestly speaking, you need to put a effort into this, I dont have problems in understanding women and i dont think im smarter than you. I simple feel you are either looking for a specific answer or you are not working hard enough. BTW your questions have been answered tons of times.

  370. AB says:

    Xakudo:

    “Do you feel that I am doing this?”

    To some extent, but mostly I just feel it’s the theme of this entire thread. Some people attack the Schrödinger’s Rapist article on the grounds that being afraid of men is bigotry and it’s women’s responsibility to get over their fears in order to not oppress men. Others talk about how afraid men are of women, and that’s all because of how horribly they’ve been treated by women. Some people do both. I’m just wondering how anyone can still act as if things like being perceived as Schrödinger’s [Insert Very Bad Thing] is a uniquely male problem.

    “If not, then can we have an actual discussion for a bit? Because I am interested in trying to sort out what we actually agree and disagree on, and then perhaps continue from there. But I am starting to feel like this is impractical, as it feels to me like you are conflating me with your perception (true or not) of other commenters here.”

    I find it hard to move on without actually getting clarified if it’s OK for someone to justify being afraid of women, while simultaneously calling the whole concept of Schrödinger’s Rapist categorically misandrist and indefensible in all ways.

    Hugh Ristik:

    “You are broadly criticizing some of the views in this thread, but you’re not always very specific on which views you are criticizing. My perception of what people are saying in this thread don’t match yours, but it’s been a long thread and I’ve skimmed a bunch of comments.

    You’re right that it’s a long thread, and I can’t recall every comment I’ve reacted to specifically, but there have been several comments about how the fear itself is oppressive, and about examples of women reacting with fear towards a man, which the men in question compared to bigotry and racism.

    At the same time, men’s fear of alleged creep-shaming (which you’re already intimately familiar with) and false rape accusations have always been presented as honest (in lack of a better word), if not justified. That is, men who openly defended their right to engage in creepy behaviour might have been considered hostile to women, but men telling about how they were afraid of even getting near a woman for fear of being labelled a creep have always received, and demanded to receive, a certain degree of sympathy for it.

    The most obvious example of what I’m talking about was Nat’s post (August 18, 2011 at 8:47 am) where he talked about men being afraid of women and how it was feminism’s fault. He has later made it perfectly clear that he believes women’s fear of men is like white people’s fear of black people during the Jim Crow era (i.e. bigoted and oppressive), but men’s fear of women is like black people’s fear of white people at the same time (i.e. justified and proof of their oppression).

    Whereas the original Schrödinger’s Rapist, from what I recall, stuck to explaining that (some) women were afraid, and gave an explanation for why, Nat’s claim wasn’t just about male fear (with considerably less explanation for it, and no caveat about it only being true in rare instances), but also dismissing women’s fear at the same time.

    “I support the right of women to be afraid of men.”

    You appear to be in the minority.

    “I don’t believe that women’s fears of men are oppressive to men on their own. Yet women can express their fears in oppressive ways. For instance, yelling at men minding their own business 10 feet away on the street is oppressive. PTSD makes this behavior more understandable, but no less oppressive. If war veterans with PTSD are yelling at women on the street, it’s understandable, but it’s still oppressive street harassment.”

    I don’t recall the Schrödinger’s Rapist article talking about yelling at someone 10 feat away, which I agree is rude. From what I recall it was mostly about men approaching and hitting on women, but perhaps I should read it again.

    “Also, the attitude of Starling that she can prohibit certain types of approaches she doesn’t like (e.g. while reading) by everyone, or that she can prohibit certain types of low status men from approaching anyone (even women in their own demographic!) is also oppressive.”

    She’s trying to impose her standards of decency and respect on everybody, which is something most people do. In this thread, for instance, women have been criticised for wearing tight T-shirts and going without bras, because it’s allegedly more sexualising than when men do it. When I read, it’s partly because I don’t want people talking to me. Sometimes I don’t even read, I just have the book in front of me to not get disturbed, and so I can glance it to signal disinterest when someone tries to talk to me. I don’t know if it’s normal, but I’ve never heard about it being unusual.

    And in regards to people reacting with more wariness towards people who choose to present themselves in a certain way, it happens all the time. People who want jobs including social interaction usually do well to take out their piercings and hide their tattoos, for instance. I agree that her standards are not everyone’s standards, and in some cases, I find them silly myself, but she’s nowhere unique in requesting everybody to follow them.

    I’ve seen in you in threads where guys were seriously arguing that they had the right to become angry at strange women who wouldn’t talk to them (something which seemed to provoke far less ire from you than this article), and that such women were the equivalent of racists, so I know you’re familiar with the phenomenon of expecting everybody to follow your social norms and considering it the height of injustice when they don’t.

  371. Danny says:

    AB:
    No it’s not the same. My complaint is that one shouldn’t make blanket statements about how fearing people because of their sex=racism, only to turn around and say it’s completely fine for the group you belong to to fear people because of their sex, and if you’re in favour of the first part of the argument (which you are), the least you can do is to take a stand against the last part too.
    No I’m trying to ask why is one set of sweeping blanket statements okay but another set is not. I don’t like the idea of black people doing it to white people (or vice versa) anymore than women do it to men (or vice versa).

    When people establish that a certain behaviour is racist, and then justifies the behaviour in regards to women, it’s a pretty clear sign there’s no respect to be found. At least the author of SR had the decency to not make a huge point about how any man being afraid of a woman would just be a bigot.
    Actually let me think back a bit. Other than in terms of consistency when did I say that it is okay to treat women that way but then say its unfair to do the same to men?

    Not this again. First you make a big deal out of how I’m supposed to empathise with you and understand how bad you feel over an article somewhere. Then you say that you can’t be expected to empathise with women (and by extension, me) being called the equivalent of niggers here, because some women used to be mean to you, and that makes it OK.
    Yes this again. One thing I’ve noticed is (in regards to gender) there some expectation that certain people are supposed to have an infinite amount of patience and understanding as they they are ignored, talked over, and otherwise dismissed. In an idea world this would not happen but this world is far from ideal and its getting harder and harder to care when I’m being told that be virtue of being male I don’t matter.

    If your point was that there were reasons both for men to be afraid of women and for women to be afraid of men, and that we ought to work together to dispel the unreasonable fears and minimize the actual risks, I could accept it. If you said that there was no reason to for anyone to be afraid of anyone based on their sex, and that doing so was bigotry no matter who did it, I could accept it.
    I (and Easily Enthused as well I believe) have been trying to ask why is it that people think that there are reasons for one but not the other (although my question was more why is it okay in gender but not okay in race). But in regards to you mentioning men and women I’d like to ask that same question in that regard.

    You’re not trying to eliminate the kind of prejudice you believe feminists to guilty of, you want to take the place of those very feminists and get to be the one to tell women “Since I’ve been treated badly, I have no regard for your issues (even though I’ll present myself as an egalitarian and act outraged if you dispute it), and because of the way society works, you’ll just have to accept that some behaviours are acceptable for men but not for women, until I judge we’re no longer oppressed”.
    No I’m saying, “Since I was treated badly when I tried to work with you I’ve decided to go set up my own shop and work from there. There are things I agree with you on but our differences too major. I wish you the best of luck. But since you’ve decided to define things like oppression, sexism, and discrimination in your own terms good luck with how others react to you and your talking points.”

    But on some level there is a bit of validity in the words you’re trying to put in my mouth.

    So let me ask. Considering the contention that has gone on in this thread can it be said that there are at least some valid criticism of SR? At first yes there was a bit of the blind rage at blanketly calling all men potential rapists but even after calming down and thinking about it a bit I still say that’s happening, if for no other reason than in the original Schrodinger’s Cat it was firmly established that it was a cat then the question was was the cat alive/dead meaning that by changing cat to rapist you’re starting off with the firm establishment that said man (isn’t this risk assessment used mainly on men?) is a rapist and then the question is will he attack you. If its a question of “is this man safe/dangerous?” then wouldn’t it stand to reason to call it Schrodinger’s Man and question if the man is safe/dangerous?

  372. Johnny_B says:

    Late to the discussion, but..

    “I find it hard to move on without actually getting clarified if it’s OK for someone to justify being afraid of women, while simultaneously calling the whole concept of Schrödinger’s Rapist categorically misandrist and indefensible in all ways.

    I think that’s fair. So would you, or would you not agree that men are also within their rights to be afraid of being alone with/approached by a woman, because she might potentially falsely accuse him of harassment and/or rape?

    (I apologize if this has been answered before, I tried my best to look for it but with nearly 400 comments I might have missed it).

  373. Johnny_B says:

    *and as an addedum to the above post (stupid lack of edit function), should women be aware of this fear and try their best to not cause it in men, such as by approaching them or being alone with them?

  374. Danny says:

    There’s more I wanted to say but had to stop there to leave for work. Ill be back this evening.

    Danny

  375. Nat says:

    AB

    You are missing a piece of the puzzle. Schrodinger rapist and similar rhetoric is hateful, bigoted doctrine that creates bigotry and an oppressive atmosphere and men become afraid because of the atmosphere that this bigotry creates. Same why Jim Crow era Schrodinger’s black rapist rhetoric created fear of white women among black men.

    What you are saying is that black men who felt fear of white women because of their Schrodinger’s black rapist propaganda/bigotry and white women that felt fear of black men because of progressive era Schrodinger’s black rapist propaganda/bigotry should be equally entitled to their fear and if we say that one is more legitimate than the other, or one created the other its a double standard.

    The reality is that the white women were bigots because of Schrodinger’s black rapist propaganda, the black men were justified in feeling fear because of the atmosphere that created and Schrodinger’s black rapist propaganda socially constructed and engineered the whole situation in the first place and was used to advance progressive democrat politics.

  376. AB says:

    BlackHumor:

    “I know you aren’t a man and might not get why that article was hurtful to men, so I’m going to assume you said that in good faith:

    As a man the original article made me feel INTENSELY defensive. It took a lot of self-control and an already feminist viewpoint to fight through that long enough to realize that the article was coming from a good place. It is totally understandable and not the least bit bigoted-seeming to me that other men would just be insulted and not get that there was anything worthwhile in the article at all.”

    And I have heard about men complaining about creep-shaming and being afraid of approaching women, and being afraid of women in general, and feeling they have to walk on eggshells around women, and being constantly nervous about false accusations again, and again, and again. These men aren’t doing anything even remotely constructive (say, telling women “I know very few women are actually this way” or “here is what you can do to put my fears to rest (which doesn’t include pretending rape and sexual harassment never happens)”), they’re just complaining about women and explaining how they’re exactly like black people and women are racist.

    I don’t see how that’s any different from the SR article. In fact, the SR article is far more polite, concrete, and constructive than most of what I’ve seen from the other side. That doesn’t mean it’s above reproach, but if you can’t see why some of the comments in this thread would make many women feel INTENSELY defensive, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise to you if not everyone feel that Schrödinger’s Rapist is as bad as it’s made out to.

    “Please try to understand how men might feel about being called potential rapists. I don’t agree the article was intentionally misandrist but it was certainly written clumsily. You can’t normally offend this many people without having done something wrong.”

    Men are potential rapists. So are women. and everybody in between and outside the normal gender distinctions. I’ve said it before, and it’s still my position on the subject. How much someone considers people’s potential of being a rapist varies, but the concept itself is not that offensive. Also, I’m having trouble taking this alleged offence seriously, when many of the same people who make these types of complaints are also the first to justify men exhibiting a similar behaviour.

  377. Nat says:

    Would a gay man be justified in feeling fear in a society that have a prominent political group that promoted Schrodinger’s gay rapist doctrine as are the fears that the followers of the Schrodinger’s gay rapist doctrine have of gay men as legitimate as the fears that gay men have of the followers of the Schrodinger’s gay rapist doctrine?

  378. Nat says:

    EDIT

    Would a gay man be justified in feeling fear in a society that HAS a prominent political group that promotes Schrodinger’s gay rapist doctrine and are the fears that the followers of the Schrodinger’s gay rapist doctrine have of gay men as legitimate or the same as the fears that gay men have of the followers of the Schrodinger’s gay rapist doctrine?

  379. AB says:

    Nat:

    “You are missing a piece of the puzzle. Schrodinger rapist and similar rhetoric is hateful, bigoted doctrine that creates bigotry and an oppressive atmosphere and men become afraid because of the atmosphere that this bigotry creates. Same why Jim Crow era Schrodinger’s black rapist rhetoric created fear of white women among black men.”

    And you’re refusing to acknowledge that women experience bigotry and threats too.

    Fact is, there are plenty of men out there who claim they a right to a conversation with any woman they want, whether she wants to or not, and a right to be considered a potential sexual partner for any woman they’re interested in, whether she’s interested or not. This is hateful, disrespectful, unempathic, and oppressive, and it’s no wonder women are wary about strange men approaching, because there’s no way of knowing if they will be one of the many men who consider every woman who just wants to be left alone to be The Enemy.

    There is slut-shaming used to justify rape and prude-shaming used to justify harassment. Women being called teases just for talking to men without being prepared to offer sex in return. Men telling women that they’ll get raped if they wear short skirts and it’s their own fault. There is pick-up advice for men telling them to not respect it when women say no or turn away, and to never back off unless the woman threatens to call the police. That’s oppressive and bigoted too. But somehow, that doesn’t count for you and other men on this thread.

  380. Uncalledfor says:

    AB: “There is slut-shaming used to justify rape and prude-shaming used to justify harassment. Women being called teases just for talking to men without being prepared to offer sex in return. Men telling women that they’ll get raped if they wear short skirts and it’s their own fault. There is pick-up advice for men telling them to not respect it when women say no or turn away, and to never back off unless the woman threatens to call the police.”

    My, what wild exaggerations. If you have to slant, distort and misquote so massively what other people say in order to make a point, then don’t be surprised when you’re not respected or taken seriously.

  381. Thomas says:

    @AB

    I’m not interested in the article, I’m interested in why people get so angry over it while at the same time readily admitting that they hold similar attitudes towards women as the writer of article allegedly has towards men.

    As I see it, one commenter made a remark which could be interpreted this way.

    Most men I’ve talked to about the subject say that they don’t feel safer around hostile radical feminists than other women

    Please, you are implying that everyone who disagrees with the article is some kind of women hater. That’s just not the chase. And as a general point, I think it’s possible to disagree with a feminist or to criticize feminism without being a misogynist.

  382. Kenshiroit says:

    @Thomas: I think it’s possible to disagree with a feminist or to criticize feminism without being a misogynist.’

    I agree

  383. AB says:

    Danny:

    “No I’m trying to ask why is one set of sweeping blanket statements okay but another set is not. I don’t like the idea of black people doing it to white people (or vice versa) anymore than women do it to men (or vice versa).”

    Where do see these two blanket statements? From what I can tell, we were just talking about Schrödinger’s Rapist, and a bunch of primarily male posters decided to conclude that no amount of fear on behalf of men would ever be accepted, and therefore SR was oppressive. You never even bothered to ask, you just concluded that this was how women were.

    I gave concrete examples of situations where I would find it completely natural for many men to be vary of women, and even examples of where I would find it natural to be wary of people of a different race. You ignored it. Then some of the same people who’d complained that judging all members of a sex on the basis of the actions of just a few is the same as racism started doing the exact same thing to women, and you’re just OK with it? I wasn’t the one saying fear was never justified and that reacting on the basis of previous bad experiences was the same as bigotry, you were.

    “Actually let me think back a bit. Other than in terms of consistency when did I say that it is okay to treat women that way but then say its unfair to do the same to men?”

    You didn’t, you just never objected to it and continued to argue as men were the only ones it ever happened to, which makes it very hard for me to take your complaint about the SR article in good faith,

    “its getting harder and harder to care when I’m being told that be virtue of being male I don’t matter.”

    That’s funny, I’ve told you several times that I would really appreciate if you pointed out when it happened, instead of making vague references to unspecified evil feminists as the cause of everything wrong, but you never did. For all I know, you just spent years posting at the female equivalent of The Spearhead and getting angry that they weren’t catering to you. And yet, when I point out an obvious case of bigotry, a person literally saying that women are stupid and mean for being afraid of men, but that it’s completely fair for men to judge all women as a threat (something the SR article didn’t even do), you stay silent.

    “I (and Easily Enthused as well I believe) have been trying to ask why is it that people think that there are reasons for one but not the other (although my question was more why is it okay in gender but not okay in race). But in regards to you mentioning men and women I’d like to ask that same question in that regard.”

    First off, it’s really rude to answer people without reading their posts. You know full well my argument has always been that SR is a common human reaction which everybody engages in to some extent. So that question is moot. What I want to know is why people like you don’t take a stance against a declared misogynist like Nat. You’re the one trying to explain why being extra wary when people of the other sex approaches you is the same as racism, and yet you don’t even bother to point it out when a man does it to women.

    You keep deliberately ignoring the most important difference (hence why you didn’t quote anything related to it). If someone refers to you as ‘boy’ because it’s just the way they talk, they don’t mean to single you out, and they often refer to other people as boys/girls too, you might find it rude, but at least it’s not deliberately oppressive. If someone makes a long and angry speech about how referring to people as if they were children is inherently oppressive, bigoted, hateful, etc., and then afterwards refer to you as a boy, you know it’s done out of malice. In the same way, there’s a huge difference between saying “I can understand that some people are afraid of strangers” and “Being afraid of strangers is racist, that’s why I’m afraid of white people”.

    “No I’m saying, “Since I was treated badly when I tried to work with you I’ve decided to go set up my own shop and work from there.””

    But you’re not setting up your own shop. You’re here, in a common space, talking to other people, and you’re telling them that while you have no issue condemning them for refusing to empathise with you, you don’t feel you have any obligation towards them.

    “So let me ask. Considering the contention that has gone on in this thread can it be said that there are at least some valid criticism of SR?”

    Of course there is. But the criticism “Anyone having a heightened fear or wariness towards a whole sex on the basis of the actions of only some of its members are oppressive bigots” is simplified and, frankly, stupid. And the criticism “Anyone having a heightened fear or wariness towards a whole sex on the basis of the actions of only some of its members are oppressive bigots, unless those people are male and their fear is directed at women, because women oppress men and that makes it OK” is misogynist, and more so than the SR article was misandrist.

    This debate makes me feel a little like the Creep debate at Clarisse’s did. At first I figure some of the people complaining might have a point, but the further along it goes, the more I realise that maybe it’s actually the thing they’re complaining about which has a point. When a guy comes in a says “All women owe it to me to talk to me and consider me a potential sexual partner whether they’re attracted to me or not, yet whenever I go out to get the conversations and attention that are rightfully mine, women call me a creep. It’s so oppressive!” I start wondering if the whole ‘creep’-thing doesn’t just bother him because it hits too close to the mark.

    People say that if an article manages to offend that many people, it must be wrong. I can’t help thinking that if so many people are that eager to tell women their fears are not only unfounded, but so oppressive that they MUST be eliminated, while at the same time justifying male fear, then maybe it has less to do with the fear itself, and more to do with them trying to protect existing double standards.

  384. AB says:

    Uncalledfor:

    “My, what wild exaggerations. If you have to slant, distort and misquote so massively what other people say in order to make a point, then don’t be surprised when you’re not respected or taken seriously.”

    What exaggerations? There are tons of studies showing that this happens, not to mention tons of women telling about their experiences with it. Are you calling them all liars?

  385. Jim says:

    “I did not become upset that some men are afraid of women, I became upset that many posters on this thread do not think women have the right to be afraid of men,…”

    I see part of the problem right here, AB.

    No one ever said women have no right to be afraid of men. We said sometimes that fear is bigoted (and sometimes it is coldly rational and very necesaary too.) BIG difference. Bigotry is a matter of opinion and people are entitled to their opinions. In other words people have a right to be bigots. How fascist does a society have to be to have thought crimes and try to outlaw bigotry?

    Opinions are one thing and actions are another. Actions include overt physical actions and speech that threaten or harm another person. We objected to bigoted actions.

    We also objected to claim that anyone has any obligation to respect or base or restrict our actions someone’s bigotry.

    I cannot see how this restricts anyone’s, woman or man, rights in any way.

  386. TitforTat says:

    Here’s the irony of all of this. Dont I as a man have to assume that the woman walking in front of me is potentially weaker and afraid? If so, isnt that thought in itself sexist?

  387. Clarence says:

    AB:
    Though you deserve a kick in the ass for totally ignoring the male posters on this thread such as myself who have spent lots of words trying to defend the right to rationally profile and trying to work with Ozy and etc, I will agree with this:

    “Of course there is. But the criticism “Anyone having a heightened fear or wariness towards a whole sex on the basis of the actions of only some of its members are oppressive bigots” is simplified and, frankly, stupid. ”

    Both men and women have reasons to be fearful at times.

  388. Sam says:

    At the risk of repeating myself – people appear to be constantly talking past each other about this issue.

    Yes, women are sometimes afraid of being annoyed/having to deal with/ that asshole or that rapist I don’t think the fear is as common or as pronounced as feminists tend to suggest, because I think that their being constantly confronted with rape taints their perception of reality on this matter, but it nontheless exists and is an important and relevant aspect that everyone who is approaching women should be taking into account in their own self interest. How do I know? I know because *I was taught how my sexuality is at least potentially toxic*. Now that may not have been fair, and all that, but for what it’s worth, this message is out there, and it’s a fact of life that people need to deal with, women and men. That’s the practical level, on which the perspective offered by SR is attempting to be helpful, even though it suffers from all the problems feminist advice usually suffers from, notably an audience mismatch.

    But most guys here and elsewhere aren’t complaining about the practical level that every PUA will tell them is a crucial element of connecting with a person. They’re complaining about the feminist disregard for what they perceive to be male oppression and differential treatment. And just like the women who complain about *that asshole” have a point, so do the guys complaining about feminists not accepting that they *are* in fact treating this issue differently from other cases of stereotype fear, and that they’re doing so without any good reason.

    This is a logical problem within the “social justice” discourse – if a black person is oppressed when subjected to stereotypical reactions then why aren’t men who are subjected to stereotypical reactions? The only answer given by feminists is – men have male privilege, there’s patriarchy, they can’t be oppressed. And that’s an answer that really only works for those who already believe in that axiomatic structure. No one else will accept the oxymoronic nature of the statement.

    And that’s why people are talking past each other about this. While men should be listening to the issues presented on the practical level, feminists should accept that men are right to point out that their social justice arguments are hypocritical if they claim higher morality for discriminating against men than they claim for people’s behaviour against other groups.

    There’s really only two ways out: One, feminists and others accept that people’s stereotype fears are *real* and are not necessarily an expression of racism and should be considered morally inferior – they can no longer look down upon someone being more afraid of being approached by a black person in a dark alley than they are afraid of being approached by a white person. Two, they can continue to pretend that stereotype fear is not ‘real’ and does justify imposing behaviroal demands on other people, and accept that being more afraid of being approached by men than being approached by women is indeed oppressive in nature and as such challenging the entire axiomatic structure of feminism.

    It’s one of the two options.

  389. debaser71 says:

    The best post on this thread is IMO the one that says, “SR IS ABOUT THE FEAR OF RAPE”. See, this is something imo worth talking about. Something that I get 100%. (so stop telling me “I don’t get it”).

    The second best pot on this thread is by Sephy who says this:

    “This means that supporters say, “How can you be offended by such reasonable requests?” and detractors say, “How can you not be offended by such bigoted language?” and neither is actually wrong, per se. They’re just focusing on different things about the post.”

    This is it exactly. But I will say that the ‘reasonable requests’ made in SR are (to me) so damned obvious that it’s insulting (to me) that the author feels as though grown men who might be reading SR don’t already know this stuff. I’m insulted that the author feels that I need to be lectured on ‘the sky is blue’. So IMO not only is the language bigoted and offensive, the content is so vapid it’s insulting. (for an example of vapid content directed from a man to women see my previous post on “how to get an intelligent man to notice you”.)

    And again, in my world of being a stay at home father, most of my everyday interactions with people are with women. SR tells me that any time I approach a woman I am Schrodingers Rapist, even if I am only talking about children, parenting, or some other topic not having anything at all to do with hooking up, sex, or come-on’s.

    SR is triply offensive, 99.99% content free, and flat out not representative of how most women I interact with (and talked about SR to) feel.

  390. Clarence says:

    Nat:
    I find your understanding of history during the Jim Crow era (of which the Victorian Era was merely a part) to be rather suspect. I deny that most white women were afraid of black men , instead for social standing reasons and the fact that Jim Crow empowered out and out bigotry I’m sure the majority of false rape lynchings were more about keeping blacks in their place, covering up interracial sex/relationships, and just for the cruel satisfaction of some bigoted white girls.

    Regardless, trying to extend such analogies to female fears of rape and violence is wrong. It’s understandable that some men do have fear of women (at least in certain situations; I’ve often felt fear in the workplace lest one of my jokes go wrong, I annoy some girl, etc) but its also perfectly rational for women to fear men in certain manners and in certain situations. I refuse to use “institutional” anything to excuse individual bigotries, and I will not give one sex an excuse while chastising the other. Hence both women and men have the right to take reasonable precautions, what they do not have the right to do is insist that all members of the opposite sex change their behavior solely to suit their feelings. One can ask and dialogue and maybe a better social compact might come out of such conversations. At least I hope so.

  391. HughRistik:

    Personally, I take women’s feelings into account to a degree that I judge ethically appropriate, adjusting my behavior to avoid common intersubjective female discomfort, while acknowledging that I can’t please all the outliers.

    Certain sorts of feminists have tried very hard to poison the well for men considering women’s comfort levels, but I’m not going to let them damage me so much that I stop caring.

    I agree. My point was rhetorical.

  392. Toysoldier says:

    Sam, I think there is a third option: Accept that people’s stereotype fears are real and are not necessarily an expression of bigotry while acknowledging that imposing behaviroal demands on people based on ideology is an expression of bigotry.

    That is a little harder to do, and I do not think it is something a lot of people want to do, but I think it is the better choice.

  393. Thomas says:

    @Debaser71

    But I will say that the ‘reasonable requests’ made in SR are (to me) so damned obvious that it’s insulting (to me) that the author feels as though grown men who might be reading SR don’t already know this stuff.

    That’s exactly how I feel about SR. I also think the patronizing tone implies that men have no experience with harassment or violence on the street. That’s not true. It’s true that harassment against men less frequently has a sexual undertone, but in general harassment happens to men, too. The risk assessment she describes in the article is something men do, too. There is really no need to treat your audience like a bunch of idiots.

    And again, in my world of being a stay at home father, most of my everyday interactions with people are with women. SR tells me that any time I approach a woman I am Schrodingers Rapist, even if I am only talking about children, parenting, or some other topic not having anything at all to do with hooking up, sex, or come-on’s.

    Yes. Eventually, the post is not only about romantic interactions between men and women, but about any kind of interaction. I really dislike the frame of giving dating advice she chose to get across her message. It’s a strange idea that every man approaching a woman in public is only interested in one thing. It’s insulting for men, because they only think about sex and it’s insulting for women, because they are only interesting for the purpose of sex.

  394. dungone says:

    @Patrick, I have to say I found your last comment very persuasive. Yes, I can definitely see that as a subtext of Schrodinger’s Rapist but also mainstream dating culture and even just culture in general. It’s tough to listen to someone tell you that you have to be genteel and discrete when dealing with women when you yourself find yourself a target of derision and scorn. There is a certain cold logic in your comment and yes, I agree that there’s a lot that you could be angry about this aspect of the issue.

    Consider the classic scenario of a woman who asks a man if she looks fat. There are literally books full of unwritten rules stipulating how a man should respond. The “modern man” must be a corrective force against societal tides, taking into account mass media, body image, eating disorders, self esteem, etc. A guy could be an honest person who gives her an honest answer and yet he’ll be judged as That Asshole. And this isn’t even a case where he’s badgering her for sex on a street corner, this is a case where she herself approaches him. I don’t think there’s anything remotely similar where women are asked by society to look after the self esteem and well-being of men. I can’t think of one single issue where women are expected to care about my personal feelings just because I’m a man.

    @Hugo, I really like your initial list of appropriate responses, but I think the problem goes a little deeper than that.

    I think there are very real scenarios where an average girl gets approached by an average guy and she responds as if there was a very wide gap in attractiveness. Your list is useless unless we can establish an objective set of standards to determine who is good enough for whom else. Until then, we’ll be dealing with the issue of hypergamy. The reality is that even a girl who has unrealistic standards will eventually meet a higher-status guy who is willing to give her a chance, thus reinforcing her own notions of her worth. Whereas men have few if any similar opportunities outside of a Hollywood script. That cold-hard feedback that you’re hoping men can swallow like good medicine, we should somehow ensure that women get the same kind of feedback and learn from it the same way.

    There is also the issue of smarmy responses from women. Every woman I ever heard from on any blog and in any conversation portrays herself as being someone who turns men down by saying, “Sorry, but I’m just not interested.” But in my personal experience and that of the vast majority of my friends, the real-life responses most men get when they are turned down are along the lines of the classic, “Sorry, but I’m washing my hair.” I have several male friends who have recently complained to me about girls who said they lost their cell phone, that their phone fell in the swimming pool the other day, etc. Then they cap it off with “I think I just want to be friends,” which we can all agree that in that context is a facetious response given in hopes that the guy will just go away.

    What’s interesting is that I was lucky enough to experience the reaction of a woman who didn’t receive a call back from a guy for 9 days who then told her that his phone battery died (meanwhile, he had 8 days’ worth of Facebook status updates from his iPhone app). Oh, the righteous indignation! She just about ripped his head off! And yet this is a woman who doesn’t think twice about telling a guy at a bar, “Why are you speaking to me, again?” It was a poetic moment. Golden Rule, anyone?

    My point is, we can’t just teach men to learn how to approach women by telling them to be emotionally un-involved in their own rejection in order to learn from it for next time. And it’s not enough to just ask women to be fair and in-kind when giving their responses. It goes deeper than that. Women ask for a hell of a lot more than that out of men in all sorts of social interactions. I would like to see it going back in the other direction as well, which can only really happen if more women receive the proper inventive to make the first move once in a while. We should NEVER let women off the hook for simple rejecting guys in a fair manner. We should only regard women who approach men themselves as being our equals.

  395. dungone says:

    @Hugo – I meant @Hugh! Sorry! LOL

  396. Clarence says:

    @dungone:
    “…only regard women who approach men as being our equals.”

    How many approaches? Is one enough? Does it have to be evenly split? How would you know in the first place?

  397. debaser71 says:

    @Thomas

    ” I also think the patronizing tone implies that men have no experience with harassment or violence on the street. That’s not true. It’s true that harassment against men less frequently has a sexual undertone, but in general harassment happens to men, too. The risk assessment she describes in the article is something men do, too. ”

    I’m so glad you added this because it’s so true.

    When I was younger I’d get jumped by gangs. Granted it wasn’t anything like the movies of the gangs in LA but I was still beaten up and had my money stolen. I ran from most trouble but sometimes I had to fight. It probably matters that my heritage is spanish and puerto rican.

    Fast forward to today and now that I walk the streets with my children I have to be extra aware of potential threats. I’m a target because I’m distracted and I can’t really fight back, or run, when I have to first worry about my children. And if I do ‘fight back’ I’d have to deal with the cops and social services…again that I’m spanish and puerto rican (and not a white woman) probably matters.

    And I’ll add that when I was younger I had long hair. Even I’d get whistled at or have men approach me, thinking I was a woman. Men would call our from passing cars…people would comment on my ass, etc. I’d even have unwanted come-on’s from gay guys.

    This idea that I (men) “don’t get it” is insulting.

  398. Xakudo says:

    @AB:

    I find it hard to move on without actually getting clarified if it’s OK for someone to justify being afraid of women, while simultaneously calling the whole concept of Schrödinger’s Rapist categorically misandrist and indefensible in all ways.

    I believe I made that clarification both here:

    For the record I totally agree that it is bigoted and inappropriate to fear women as a group for the actions/attitudes of a minority of them.

    And here:

    I can’t speak for the rest of the commenters here, but as I already alluded to in my previous comments, I agree with you that fearing women as a group is bigoted and oppressive.

    Further, just to be perfectly clear, I agree that it is bad, sexist, etc. to hold women to standards that we do not also hold men to. (And that absolutely includes railing against SR whilst simultaneously claiming that an SR-style (or more severe) attitude about women is justified.)

    I am certainly not perfect, and I won’t pretend that I never violate this or am always aware of when I violate it. But it is a principle I certainly value and I endeavor to improve my behavior based upon it.

    So at least as far as our exchanges with each other in this thread go, can we move on now? Or do I need to clarify in even stronger terms?

    AB:

    To some extent, but mostly I just feel it’s the theme of this entire thread.

    If it wouldn’t put you out, I would certainly appreciate a brief summary of the ways you feel I am doing this. Though I am more concerned with simply continuing the conversation at hand, and would not wish for it to be derailed by that.

  399. typhonblue says:

    @ AB

    Again with the mischaracterization.

    I said that if group X has a social/legal advantage over group Y, group Y absolutely has the right to fear that advantage. But the focus should be on changing the unjust advantage not fearing the people who have it. (Although men taking it upon themselves to minimize the risk isn’t the same as expecting women to change their behavior to accomodate their fears.)

    I also said there is a huge difference between group X being afraid of group Y and expecting group Y to change their behavior to accommodate that fear. Not just avoid doing the criminal behavior that makes group X afraid, but avoiding behaivor that group X thinks is somehow related to the criminal behavior, and this category is wide and vast. (This, of course, doesn’t seem to apply to violence against women advocates that publicize distorted statistics that terrorize women.)

    For example if group X is white people and group Y is black people, white people could say the following things cause them to fear a specific black person will mug them:

    Dressing in clothing that could look like gang-wear
    Wearing flashy jewelry
    Using eubonics
    Assuming aggressive, non submissive body language
    Addressing the white person as anything other then sir or ma’am
    Being visibly angry

    etc. etc.

    Can you see how this is really a grab for control of black people’s behavior?

  400. dungone says:

    How many approaches? Is one enough? Does it have to be evenly split? How would you know in the first place?

    Obviously that’s a subjective question. I don’t care if it looks like the Special Olympics – I just want to see a valiant effort. Measuring it is the easy part – just take a survey of men and see how many times they get asked out, on average. Then take a survey of women and ask the same thing. My hypothesis is that as more women approach men, the number of men who approach women would go down as well, and the more seriously women take the solicitations that they do receive, and the more rewarding it will be for everyone involved.

  401. Xakudo says:

    @AB:
    To get things started, can we agree on the following? (Perhaps not agree on how it should be applied in various circumstances, or limits placed on the concept, but at least agree on the principle?)

    1. People frequently do not have control over what emotions they experience, at least not in a direct way. This is part of being human.
    2. People typically do have control over their actions under most circumstances.
    3. Therefore, holding people accountable for their emotional experiences is generally not useful or appropriate.
    4. However, holding people accountable for their actions usually is.

    For example, my abusive ex identified as a radical feminist and–among other things–used concepts from both mainstream and radical feminism to manipulate me in highly inappropriate ways. Therefore it is understandable that I have a negative emotional reaction to women that identify as radfem or espouse certain views that I associate with my ex. However, I am still accountable for acting toward such women with civility.

  402. dungone says:

    @Clarence, don’t you think that’s a problem even more fundamental than the wrongheadedness of Schrodinger’s Rapist? Women bitch and complain about unwanted, desperate, ill-conceived solicitations from men and they demand that those men constrain themselves to a set of desirable behaviors. But the fact of the matter is that those very same women will consciously deny men that basic human experience – the experience of being wanted – while demanding that men understand exactly what that feels like. They make up all kinds of hypothetical situations – what if an unattractive woman asks out a guy who doesn’t want her – how would men like it then? See the problem with that? So I say DO IT. Ask him out, let him know what it’s like. How hard is that? Be that sexist Asshole woman who yells out at men and says “Nice Ass Stud Muffin!” Or just ask him out nicely, let him know by example how you would like to be treated. It seams to me that basic economics alone would dictate that if more women asked men out, and ask them out in a realistic fashion, not just going after Brad Pitt, then the number of men who resort to high risk / low reward approaches would drop significantly. That’s the real problem here. Instead of seeking equality with men, sex-negative feminists spend all their time and energy trying to portray men as rapists. They want relationships, but they want to create a world where only the one guy that they are interested in would ever approach them. The solution is simple – ask that guy out yourself. No more worries about sending the proper signals, no more discussions about how to let a guy down easy, etc. If they’re so sure they know exactly who it is that will make them happy, they should go straight up to that one person and ask. That’s as clear a message as women could ever send to men about how to approach them.

  403. Jim says:

    “I said that if group X has a social/legal advantage over group Y, group Y absolutely has the right to fear that advantage. But the focus should be on changing the unjust advantage not fearing the people who have it.’

    This is the nub of the issue, TB. Women’s justified or even unjustifed fears of men are not threats to men in and of themselves; they are threats mostly because of other men’s over-reactions based on these fears. Lynch mobs were made up of men; the women only packed picnic lunches and came along as spectators to enjoy the show. They were naturally nurturing and peace-loving like that. What I mean of course they were vicious, but at least they were ineffectual.

    I may be offended that some woman I have never met assumes I’m a rapist, but she’s a stranger and I don’t (or shouldn’t, at least ) really give a shit about that or any other of her opinions. If she starts edging away form me on the bus, well she’s just a rude shit. and she has that right. If it bothers me because I imagine it reflects on me rather than on her… well, I have work to do – on myself.

    But when I know that her accusations have a good chance of being acted on, either through the legal system or through vigilante violence, or that her accusations reflect a general stereotype about me that will affect the way I am treated in the legal system or in society, that’s where the problem starts. And that is in fact the the situation in society.

  404. Johnny_B says:

    Not sure if this is true of anyone else, but I will say that as a dude, I was generally happier and more comfortable around women before I started reading all this feminist stuff on the internet. (and before the feminists jump in with “It’s not about YOU!” I’m aware of that, I’m simply relating a personal experience). I’ve never catcalled, harassed, or god forbid, attacked a woman. Yet I used to like looking at beautiful women, I thought about them, and yes, occasionally talked, hung out and even dated them. When I did, the interaction felt natural and fun.

    Nowadays, when I see a strange woman, I feel primarily a mix of revulsion and unease. I’m reminded of dozens upon dozens of articles like Schrodinger’s Rapist or “She Fears You” and I wonder “am I far enough to not seem like a threat?” “what if she’s afraid of me?” “what if I mistakenly give the wrong signal and end up getting accused of harassment or worse?” And I end up confused and probably coming across as even creepier than I’d be otherwise.

    Same thing when interacting with women acquaintances or even on a date. All I have in my head is “don’t be a creep”, “don’t be a Nice Guy”, “respect her boundaries! what are her boundaries?” “she’s touching me, what does that mean?” “remember enthusiastic consent! Does she want me to kiss her or was the consent not explicit enough? If I ask, and she says yes, should I do it or is she only agreeing because she’s afraid of me?” and I end up cold and distant, probably leaving her wondering what the hell is wrong with me.

    Anyway, I’m not trying to accuse feminism or dismiss Schrodinger’s Rapist entirely. Maybe some women do have reason to fear men, justified reasons. I just think that “normal” people, aka those of us who are fairly happy and with no particular load of emotional/psychological baggage, should probably stop killing ourselves over all this stuff and just live our lives as decent people, as best as we know how. And if that’s still not enough for a minority of hypersensitive folks, it’s their problem, not ours. IMO.

  405. typhonblue says:

    Changing the subject a bit(I think.) Here’s my ‘is he a rapist flow’ chart.

    1) All men in my vicinity are placed in the ‘not a rapist’ box initially. This is because the vast majority of men are not rapists and should not be treated as such. I refuse to become ‘that asshole’ who views everyone of a particular group with overt suspicion. (I very much dislike this part of myself when it comes to women and I am working on it.)

    As my vulnerability to any particular man increases(as he moves from stranger to acquaintance to friend to lover) I become more attuned to less immediately threatening behaviors.

    2) Do I feel any sense of unease in his presence regardless of his behavior? (Into the ‘watch out’ box.) Note that I have only felt this once or twice in my life despite meeting many thousands of men.

    3) Is his behavior overtly intimidating or threatening? (Into the ‘watch out’ box.) For example, when I’m walking through a secluded grotto in the evening does he shout out an obvious challenge from a position above me where I cannot see him? (Happened to me once on an evening walk. Probable-rapist said: Where are you going? I replied: That way. *pointing in front of myself.* Most likely he did this to discern how startled or frightened I was in order to safely press his advantage, since I was neither–and very deliberately continued on my way without quickening my pace or loosing a beat–he didn’t. If I had reacted with fear I would likely have been dead now.)

    4) Does he violate my physical space in a dominating way when I’ve given no indication that I’m okay with it? (This doesn’t include close talkers or other people with socially awkward but not physically dominating quirks.)

    5) Does he betray any sociopathic tendencies, ie. does he fail to empathize with people? This is not the same as caring about what people think of him.

    6) Has he ever been charged or convicted of sex-related crimes. (Yes, I know false accusations happen, but unfortunately this is me being very honest about my threat appraisal process.)

    Unless the man in question has evinced any of these behaviors/traits, I don’t see why he should be considered a potential rapist.

  406. ozymandias42 says:

    Personal shit has interfered with my ability to comment on this thread (I’m back at college!), but I just want to say I agree with pretty much everything Hugh said.

  407. Jim says:

    “If someone refers to you as ‘boy’ because it’s just the way they talk, they don’t mean to single you out, and they often refer to other people as boys/girls too, you might find it rude, but at least it’s not deliberately oppressive. ”

    This is some of the disconnect we are having, AB. You either are unable to or refuse to acknowledge the context of either those use of “boy’ or the rape fear reactions. They are not neutral. There is no way that anyone can call Danny “boy” without it being an intentionally racist taunt. It is simply impossible for anyone competent in the language, and by that I mean anyone who has a grasp of the cultures that the language is a component of. People have a responsibility to know the connotations as well as the denotations of their words and of the gestures and actions as well.

  408. Clarence says:

    “People have a responsibility to know the connotations as well as the denotations of their words and of the gestures and actions as well.”

    Jim: I totally disagree with this. People should be expected to know dictionary definitions only. Do you know the slang terms and word redefinitions of every sexual and racial subgroup out there? If not, then why do you expect it from others?

  409. Thomas says:

    @typhonblue

    That’s very good and wise advice.

    Sometimes I have misanthropic tendencies and then I have to remind myself that people are essentially good. That doesn’t mean you should be naive, but most strangers are not out to get you. If you treat them as potential friends instead of potential enemies it will make your life happier.

  410. Schala says:

    @Jim

    Consider the amount of people who write “u” and “r” because its faster, and who don’t know how to spell for shit in their first language – I bet they don’t know the cultural context. Also AFAIK, this context (of boy being a racial taunt) doesn’t exist where I live in Canada.

  411. AB says:

    Sam:

    “I don’t think the fear is as common or as pronounced as feminists tend to suggest, because I think that their being constantly confronted with rape taints their perception of reality on this matter”

    I suggest you read more about what non-feminist and anti-feminist women written on the subject before you conclude it’s something specific of feminism. Holly had a nice Cosmocking-post, where she commented on some of the advice given in Cosmo (which opposes almost everything feminism stands for) about women’s safety, which would be a good place to start. There also seem to be far more conservative (and anti-feminist) women who consider it a given thing that men will rape women who don’t dress conservatively enough – they’re not exactly afraid themselves, because they believe they take the appropriate precautions, but they don’t exactly try to minimize the aggressiveness and hostility attributed to male sexuality.

    “But most guys here and elsewhere aren’t complaining about the practical level that every PUA will tell them is a crucial element of connecting with a person. They’re complaining about the feminist disregard for what they perceive to be male oppression and differential treatment. And just like the women who complain about *that asshole” have a point, so do the guys complaining about feminists not accepting that they *are* in fact treating this issue differently from other cases of stereotype fear, and that they’re doing so without any good reason.”

    The issue here (apart from the assumption that feminists are blankly denying the validity of all stereotype fear in all situations except when it’s women towards men, which is not something anyone here has actually said) is that many of the men complaining are doing so in a way which makes it clear that they’re more interested in silencing the women that are talking about *that asshole* than they are in helping people understand their (men’s) fears and anxieties.

    “This is a logical problem within the “social justice” discourse – if a black person is oppressed when subjected to stereotypical reactions then why aren’t men who are subjected to stereotypical reactions? The only answer given by feminists is – men have male privilege, there’s patriarchy, they can’t be oppressed.”

    First off, you must understand that it is disingenuous to represent this as something uniquely feminist. At least three posters on this thread (that I recall) have made the argument that women have institutional power over men, which means men’s fear of women is justified on a level women’s fear of men isn’t. In contrast, I have not seen a single such statement from a feminist, or a woman appearing to be a feminist, here. In fact, I even provided several examples of situations where I could see the reason for being extra wary of certain people, which included both black people, white people, and women, and so far, not a single feminist have criticised it, and several posters who support the gist of the SR article have expressed their agreement, which stands in sharp contrast to your claims about what ‘feminists’ believe.

    Based on this thread alone, it is only anti-feminists and non-feminist men who have ever argued that privilege and institutional power means some people (in this case women) can’t be oppressed by other people’s fear. Now, I wont deny that there are feminists out there saying what you claim they’re saying. I haven’t experienced it myself, but I certainly have heard a lot about it from people who aren’t feminists, and I’m willing to believe they have a point (even if their representation of feminism seems to be about as selective as Manboobz is about MRAs).

    But attributing a certain attitude or opinion to feminism without even providing any examples of it is problematic enough in itself. Acting like it is an opinion shared by people who defend SR, and demanding that they ‘acknowledge’ how wrong that makes them, again without any example of where they express the opinion you claim they hold, and even with examples of the opposite (such as my first post and the reactions to it), is very disrespectful. Ignoring when the same problematic beliefs you attribute to feminism are expressed by anti-feminists, in the same thread where you berate feminists for these beliefs, makes it very hard to take your complaints in good faith.

  412. Jim says:

    “Jim: I totally disagree with this. People should be expected to know dictionary definitions only.”

    This really puts the cart before the horse. Speakers intuitions/experience and not dictionaries are the standard for what constitutes the semantic load of a specific word, and correct usage for it. Much of that gets left out of dictionaries. Dictionaries – at best – only describe word usage already active in the language, and in fact they are notoriously inadequate in accurately describing the language they purport to codify. Speakers absolutely do not learn their grammar or their lexicon from books. What you are claiming is the case, that there are hard and fast definitions for words, is a layman’s myth – typically people in STEM areas succumb it because it aligns with their (valid) exprience in other areas – that does to reflect empirical data. Odd that they don’t apply thier own empiricla requirement so to their understanding of language.

    ” Do you know the slang terms and word redefinitions of every sexual and racial subgroup out there? If not, then why do you expect it from others?”

    I don’t but that has nothing to do with the discussion. Racist use of “boy” is not a matter of some obscure sociolect, as your comment seems to claim. It is hardly restricted to some “sexual and racial subgroup”. There is nothing abscure about this particular usage. There is nothing obscure about the offensiveness of calling some random German “Adolf”, but where in what dictuionary will you find that?

  413. Clarence says:

    Jim:
    Racist use of “boy” is NOT something that every English speaker in the whole world should be expected to know. Only in the US would that really be an appropriate expectation, and even then ONLY because the history of slavery and Jim Crow is specifically taught in schools and is recognized in several Federal holidays and policies. Schala himself has pointed out that the word does not have that connotation in Canada.

    Make your arguments on more persuasive and solid logical ground, please.

  414. AB says:

    Clarence:

    “Though you deserve a kick in the ass for totally ignoring the male posters on this thread such as myself who have spent lots of words trying to defend the right to rationally profile and trying to work with Ozy and etc, I will agree with this:

    “Of course there is. But the criticism “Anyone having a heightened fear or wariness towards a whole sex on the basis of the actions of only some of its members are oppressive bigots” is simplified and, frankly, stupid. ”

    Both men and women have reasons to be fearful at times.”

    I didn’t respond to those posters because I didn’t have much to address. I made an initial post about my thoughts on the subject, and from then on, I mostly debated with Danny. Then Nat such an obvious “It’s OK when men do it”-post that I had to point out the hypocrisy, and from then on, I’ve mostly argued with people who addressed me.

    Xakudo:

    “To get things started, can we agree on the following? (Perhaps not agree on how it should be applied in various circumstances, or limits placed on the concept, but at least agree on the principle?)

    1. People frequently do not have control over what emotions they experience, at least not in a direct way. This is part of being human.”

    Agreed, to some extent. But people’s emotions are often directly related to their moral stance, and I believe it is fair to criticise them in that context.

    “2. People typically do have control over their actions under most circumstances.”

    Not always, some behaviours are instinctive and happen before people have time to think. I’m arachnophobic, and if I suddenly see something looking like a spider near me, or feel something crawling up my arm in a situation where I know the chance of encountering a spider is high(er), I’ll react with immediate fear and disgust before I have any chance to confirm that it’s even a spider. On the other hand, when I’m in a ‘safe’ situation (e.g. the spider is far away) and have time to consider the actual level of danger (non-existent), I can choose to act in spite of my feelings of panic.

    If someone I didn’t see coming walks up to me, I’ll probably be startled by it. I know I’ve jumped at least once when a strange man approached me from behind and placed his hand on my shoulder, even though he was harmless. There’s also the whole PTSD thing to consider. Though my arachnophobia probably isn’t comparable, I’m not sure (outside emergencies) I could control my feelings of fear enough to let a spider crawl on my skin even though I know rationally that there is no danger, and likewise, I’m sure there are people who can’t stand being touched certain ways no matter how hard they try.

    So it’s a bit more complicated than just controlling one’s actions, especially because many of the situations involving a Schrödinger’s Rapist are the kinds of situations which make not reacting on one’s fears pretty hard (people startling you, unwanted touching etc.).

    “3. Therefore, holding people accountable for their emotional experiences is generally not useful or appropriate.”

    I disagree. Feelings are related to attitudes and opinions, and those can certainly be criticised. If you’re talking about unwanted fear, I agree that it’s usually not appropriate to hold people responsible for it, but other than that, I think feelings are often extremely appropriate to criticise.

    “4. However, holding people accountable for their actions usually is.”

    That depends on the actions. I once caused a woman to almost panic when I was about 11 (she froze, gasped, and might even have screamed a little), and I never blamed her for it even though she didn’t really have a reason to be afraid. We would have to be a lot more concrete about when being jumpy or startled was appropriate or not in order for me to make a judgement about it.

  415. Danny says:

    AB:
    Where do see these two blanket statements? From what I can tell, we were just talking about Schrödinger’s Rapist, and a bunch of primarily male posters decided to conclude that no amount of fear on behalf of men would ever be accepted, and therefore SR was oppressive. You never even bothered to ask, you just concluded that this was how women were.
    Okay I’ve give you that one.

    I gave concrete examples of situations where I would find it completely natural for many men to be vary of women, and even examples of where I would find it natural to be wary of people of a different race. You ignored it.
    No I wanted to know why its supposedly fair for one to do it but not the other. Its good you don’t feel that way.

    You didn’t, you just never objected to it and continued to argue as men were the only ones it ever happened to, which makes it very hard for me to take your complaint about the SR article in good faith,
    I really hope you are just pointing out that I didn’t object to it and not trying to make something out of it (like maybe I support it).

    That’s funny, I’ve told you several times that I would really appreciate if you pointed out when it happened, instead of making vague references to unspecified evil feminists as the cause of everything wrong, but you never did.
    Given that I’ve grown tired of you trying to shrug off my experiences (and please by all means tell me the “several time” you’ve asked for this) as fantasy and myth here goes.

    Being told that the fat hatred I’ve experienced in my life has nothing to do with my gender.

    Being told that there are no ways in which men are systematically harmed by the system (in other words there’s no such thing as oppression of men because of our gender).

    Being told that since I’m male I have no business speaking on sexism.

    Being told that since I’m a white dude I have no business speaking on racism and sexism (just to have the person that did that delete my comment to correct her on my race).

    And since it sort of relates to the topic at hand being told that it is okay for women to broadly generalize all men as either rapists or rapists that haven’t attacked yet (and be called a privileged whiner when I questioned it).

    Of course there is. But the criticism “Anyone having a heightened fear or wariness towards a whole sex on the basis of the actions of only some of its members are oppressive bigots” is simplified and, frankly, stupid.
    Looking back on that you’re right. And I’ve looked at it some more and I still have criticisms about the concept of SR. Its not total bull but its by no means on the money. In fact, and it may not be by design, but I still say that the way its named and looking back at the original name sake there is still a very high chance of people taking it as a generalization. And frankly with that name, it is.

    I’ll say that you are getting me to look at and refine my complaint with SR. But unfortunately that doesn’t make them go away (but unlike others I don’t think that’s your goal).

    You know full well my argument has always been that SR is a common human reaction which everybody engages in to some extent.
    And you know full well that I’ve been trying to work through how its supposedly okay for only some people to engage in that common human reaction.

    What I want to know is why people like you don’t take a stance against a declared misogynist like Nat. You’re the one trying to explain why being extra wary when people of the other sex approaches you is the same as racism, and yet you don’t even bother to point it out when a man does it to women.
    Because frankly I haven’t been paying attention to Nat or the “misogynists” like him, which is why I haven’t pointed it out.

  416. Schala says:

    “Schala himself has pointed out that the word does not have that connotation in Canada.”

    Herself please.

  417. Clarence says:

    Sorry, Schala.

  418. Daran says:

    AB:

    At least three posters on this thread (that I recall) have made the argument that women have institutional power over men, which means men’s fear of women is justified on a level women’s fear of men isn’t. In contrast, I have not seen a single such statement from a feminist, or a woman appearing to be a feminist, here.

    […]

    Based on this thread alone, it is only anti-feminists and non-feminist men who have ever argued that privilege and institutional power means some people (in this case women) can’t be oppressed by other people’s fear. Now, I wont deny that there are feminists out there saying what you claim they’re saying. I haven’t experienced it myself, but I certainly have heard a lot about it from people who aren’t feminists, and I’m willing to believe they have a point (even if their representation of feminism seems to be about as selective as Manboobz is about MRAs).

    But attributing a certain attitude or opinion to feminism without even providing any examples of it is problematic enough in itself.

    But you haven’t provided any examples of “posters on this thread who have made the argument that women have institutional power over men” etc. There are currently 415 comments to this thread. Do I have to go read them all to find out what you’re talking about?

    I can’t think off hand of any times I’ve seen a feminist say that men cannot be oppressed by women’s fear, but I have seen feminists say that men cannot be oppressed as men. Since this is a particular example of men being oppressed as men, it is a specific instance of what is generally denied.

    You ask for examples, and that’s a reasonable request. This post provides many examples of feminists denying that men can be oppressed as men.

  419. AB says:

    Jim:

    “This is some of the disconnect we are having, AB. You either are unable to or refuse to acknowledge the context of either those use of “boy’ or the rape fear reactions. They are not neutral. There is no way that anyone can call Danny “boy” without it being an intentionally racist taunt.”

    First off, as others have already said, this is specific to the USA, so your use of ‘anyone’ is pretty nationalist. Secondly, what if danny was white? I don’t even recall if he ever mentioned his skin colour, but I actually reflectively assumed he was white (and American) as the default, because it’s far more common in places like these. I wouldn’t have argued specifically on the basis of this assumed race and nationality (such as telling him he couldn’t know what it was like to be black because he was white himself, or expecting him to know about cultural connotations unique to the USA, like you do), because that would be unfair, but when I picture him, the image I get is white (though now that you mention it, he might have said something to the contrary, but since we never talked about race, I sort of forgot his). And finally, even in the USA men are sometimes referred to as boys in a friendly manner, so obviously it’s not inherently a slur the way nigger is.

    “It is simply impossible for anyone competent in the language, and by that I mean anyone who has a grasp of the cultures that the language is a component of. People have a responsibility to know the connotations as well as the denotations of their words and of the gestures and actions as well.”

    Who said anything about being competent in the language? My native language is not English so I’m not required to be competent in it, and even if it were, what you’re talking about is not a feature of the English language (which actually originated in a place called England, across the Atlantic Sea from you), it’s a feature of US culture which I assure you most people are about as aware of as they are of the names of your baseball stars and the rules of the strange football you play.

    And since we’re on the subject, it’s actually pretty rude to go around assuming everyone knows what you’re talking about in regards to the USA. I think most non-Americans have ignored it so far because a) It’s the expected behaviour of people from the USA, and b) It’s sort of nit-picky. But I’m considered pretty well versed in US culture compared to the norm here, which is why I know about the use of ‘boy’ (though interestingly enough, at the time I was mainly thinking about women being annoyed that they were referred to as girls while men were referred to as men), and even I don’t know exactly who or what Jim Crow was, except it had something to do with lynchings.

    Anyway, the point of the example was not about race. Referring to someone like a child can be both a friendly and a condescending gesture, a term of endearment and of contempt, all depending on the tone and context. Sort of like referring to someone as ‘deary’ or ‘sweetie’, which can be incredibly offensive but also sometimes comforting. It’s also less formal than ‘man’ or ‘woman’ is, sort of like calling someone by their first name instead of their last, which is also typical for discrepancies in power (teacher/student, employer/worker). But exactly because it is less formal, many people find it more relaxing.

    So it’s really a matter of taste and context whether it’s offensive or not. Some black Americans find it offensive because it has been used condescendingly about them, and some women find it offensive for much the same reason (though most appear to be OK with it as long as it’s used evenly of both sexes). But they are the exceptions, people with a specific background which makes them more sensitive to it. A lot of other people just find it generally inappropriate in certain contexts, and mostly fine in others.

    There is no universal rule for it, and most reasonable people know that. It doesn’t mean they have to agree with every use of boy/girl, but it would be reasonable not to assume malice or act hostile towards the speaker unless s/he categorically used it only about people of a certain race or sex. But if someone actually states that they find it offensive when people call them a boy/girl, and that addressing someone as a child is a sign of disrespect, I think people have every right to be pissed if that person starts calling other people boys or girls.

    In the same way, as I’ve said multiple times before, if you start arguing that being afraid of a certain demographic is the same as racism, and then start arguing that men have the right to be afraid of women, it’s a lot more offensive than if you stuck to explaining men’s fear without making a big deal out of how it’s only justified because they’re men.

  420. a male says:

    Well I am a male, and I for one am willing to listen to this take on Schrodinger’s Rapist (as opposed to being offended by the original). I am willing to understand there are people who have been victimized and those who fear being victimized having this kind of thought process, without condoning it. I do however, have two preteen children, and some of the conditions I put on them are absolute, because they don’t have the skills to make a lot of judgment calls yet. For example, neither my son nor daughter have situational awareness, and don’t really pay attention to where they are or what is going on around them. I can’t even trust them to ride their bikes to school on a busy street. It would be fairly simple to rob, abduct or assault them without supervision.

    As for Schrodinger’s False Accuser, I live with that thought process very often. I commute to work some distance in a rural area with high tourist traffic. Local children often walk or hitchhike to the beaches. Even near midnight, I may see men and women walking or hitchhiking on the highway, in all weather. Though I feel sorry for them, I pick up no one. Men for unease over e.g. the sketchiness of a shirtless young man or group of them walking in the dark miles from town, and women for fear of being accused of something. Just today, I had to ignore a number of people walking in the rain. Just like hundreds of other drivers, I must add.

  421. typhonblue says:

    @ Daran

    I did say that women do have the ability to make credible false claims against men. Does that count as ‘institutional’ privilege?

  422. AB says:

    Danny:

    “Okay I’ve give you that one.”

    Well, it’s a pretty damn relevant whether you find the article offensive in itself, or offensive because of assumptions you’re making about the author of the article and the posters on this thread who’re defending it.

    “No I wanted to know why its supposedly fair for one to do it but not the other. Its good you don’t feel that way.”

    How could you suspect I (and others) felt that way when I’d just given an example to the contrary?

    “I really hope you are just pointing out that I didn’t object to it and not trying to make something out of it (like maybe I support it).”

    I don’t think you’re actively supporting it, if that’s what you mean. But arguing this way can sometimes be….. well, it’s a bit like we’re each on different sides observing and discussing a common reference point in the middle. The idea is that we’re interpreting the reference point differently, and we’re supposed to reach some understanding/agreement, which often works OK. But when we no longer have a common reference point (say, an article or a concrete statement by some third party), and yet continue to communicate as if we had, bad things happen.

    Very often, when you put things in contexts where I can’t follow you (such as the unspecified feminists who were mean to you when you tried talking to them), I feel like you’re not taking into account that I have no reference point – that is, no way of judging what exactly happened, especially not when you’re not being concrete about it. In this case, you’re suddenly not talking about the article which we can both see and refer to, or the comments in this thread, which are right in front of us, you’re talking about a general attitude allegedly held by feminists in general and how it clashes with the article.

    But I don’t know about this common feminist attitude. And you don’t explain it or refer to concrete examples of it, it just suddenly pops up in a post, and I have no way of reacting to it, because I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ve only just now discovered that one of your main issues with the article is that some feminists somewhere other than here would be willing to accept it and any other form of stereotyped risk assessment, but only from groups they have not labelled as privileged. Hell, until recently, you didn’t even distinguish between these unspecified feminists and people on this thread, and you still don’t distinguish between the message of the article itself and the theoretically bad attitude of the author, which is pretty damn relevant.

    “Given that I’ve grown tired of you trying to shrug off my experiences”

    I don’t shrug off your experiences, I’m saying that it’s unfair for you to ignore the statements that are the subject of the debate, or the stuff that’s happening in the actual discussion, in favour of what happened to you at some place which isn’t here, at some time which isn’t now, with some people who aren’t here. I’m fine with you using your experiences to explain the difficulties you and people like you are facing, or explain why you or people like you sometimes react in certain ways which may not make sense to outsiders. That’s what exchanging experiences is all about after all.

    But I don’t think it’s fair of you to judge the message of an article based on whether or not you believe the people supporting the gist of it would hypothetically accept some white people being extra wary of some black people under certain circumstances, especially not when the people commenting on the article, and the people you’re basing your evaluation of them on, are not the same. And I don’t think it’s fair of you to say that whatever is said to and about people who aren’t like you, right here, right now, in the actual debate, is irrelevant compared to what happened to you, or people like you, sometime in the past, at a place we can’t get to, among a group of people we can’t affect. That’s why I want you point it out when it happens, so I have a chance to react, rather than getting indirectly blamed for it later.

    “”

    I’m not asking you to prove your experiences, I’m asking you to either make them relevant to the current discussion, or to just talk about them, without holding other people responsible for them. For instance, you say you have experienced some feminists saying that male fear, white fear, and any other fear coming from an alleged privileged group is unacceptable. And I believe you. But does this mean an article about women’s fear is automatically bigoted? Does it mean it’s fair of you to assume that people in this thread agree with those feminists and hold them responsible for it?

    That’s where the discord is. Not whether or not you experienced something ugly, but whether or not different people, on a different blog, in a different time, discussing a different subject, are supposed to be held responsible for it. I would find it fair enough if you used your experiences to make people aware that men had similar/equivalent fears which were often not acknowledged. Not to take over the whole discussion, but just bringing it up, and perhaps suggest for someone to write an article about it (or write one yourself). And if someone engaged in the same behaviour as you experienced at the time, I would expect you to call them out on it. But right now, your attitude just really comes across as “I don’t care about what’s happening now, only what happened then”.

    “I’ll say that you are getting me to look at and refine my complaint with SR. But unfortunately that doesn’t make them go away (but unlike others I don’t think that’s your goal).”

    No, it’s not my goal to make your complaints go away, it’s to get to a point were we can have a fair and friendly discussion about them.

    “And you know full well that I’ve been trying to work through how its supposedly okay for only some people to engage in that common human reaction.”

    It’s only OK for some individuals to engage in this reaction because the circumstances are different, but that doesn’t mean it’s only OK for some demographics to engage in that reaction. It’s not about people as much as it is about circumstances. It’s the difference between being wary because you’re white and walking through a black neighbourhood in a time and place of great racial tension, and of deciding to beat up a black guy in advance so he stays away from your neighbourhood. Change the races as you want.

    Some fear is justified, some is not, some reactions are reasonable, some are not, but where that line goes is up for debate. And it would probably be a pretty interesting discussion to have at some point, if we could get over the initial differences, such as the important question of who besides black people are most like black people (I vote for the gays) 🙂

  423. AB says:

    Daran, I have to go now, but I’ll give you some quotes tomorrow.

  424. Daran says:

    Typhonblue:

    I did say that women do have the ability to make credible false claims against men. Does that count as ‘institutional’ privilege?

    I fail to see how this is responsive to anything I said in the single comment I’ve made so far in this thead. But I’ll reply anyway.

    I think the way you’ve framed the question is inappropriate. The privilege here is that abuse of women is taken more seriously in our society than abuse of men. That some women abuse this privilege to make false claims is not per se a distinct privilege in its own right.

    I also think bringing up the topic of “false accusations” or claims or whatever in every single discussion about abuse really poisons the debate. And I wish people would stop doing it.

  425. typhonblue says:

    @ Daran

    I’m responding to your response to AB. This all started with Nat’s statement:

    “A friend of mine interviewed a 21 year old recently and feminism came up, he said that he and all his friends were afraid of women, she pressed him on it and basically what he said leads back to rape culture propaganda – being construed as being creepy, falsely accused of rape and everything in between.”

    That was it.

  426. Clarence says:

    Daran:
    In THIS thread, in THIS case it is perfectly appropriate to bring up false accusations as we are partly discussing what each sex might fear from the other.

  427. Daran says:

    AB:

    Daran, I have to go now, but I’ll give you some quotes tomorrow.

    Please don’t put yourself out. I was merely pointing out that you had engaged in the very behaviour you had labeled as problematic. I’m prepared to believe that some guests in this thread have made the argument you say they did. But seems unlikely that they thought it up all by themselves. Rather I think it more likely that they took a standard feminist position and adapted it to their purpose.

    Are you prepared to concede that the view that men cannot be oppressed as men is a standard position within feminism, in the light of the many examples that my coblogger gave in the post I linked to, and the few counterexamples he could find, despite searching for them?

    Are you also prepared to concede that it is an immediate consequence of this standard position that men cannot be oppressed by women’s fear of men?

  428. Gaius says:

    I know I’m both the new kid on the block AND quite a bit behind most people here in terms of both knowledge and cultural capital, but I was reading over the last few dozen comments and had an epiphany.

    Though I have some issues with the rhetoric used by AB, a pattern seems to be emerging in AB’s comments. At the risk of stating the obvious, this pattern appears as follows:
    1). A concern over double standards (i.e., why is it OK to make X judgment about women when Y judgment about men is NOT OK?)
    2). A concern over equal treatment (i.e. who is being shamed when, etc)
    3). A concern regarding fear and judgment of entire groups; though AB emphasizes fear and judgment of women, AB also expresses concern with fear and judgment of men
    4). A concern regarding the relationship between someone’s experiences with a group of people and their fearful/judgmental responses. In particular, AB is concerned
    5). A concern for reactions. Specifically: though sympathetic to male reactions to S.R., AB is ALSO sympathetic to people who react to those reactions (I’m so meta)

    On the other hand, I could be totally off-base here; your thoughts?

    Note: I use AB’s handle, rather than a pronoun, because I’m not sure which pronoun AB would prefer. I’m trying, in my clumsy way, to be respectful; it is not my intent to speak about AB as though s/he isn’t present.

  429. Daran says:

    the post I linked to

    Ack! That was the wrong post. I meant this post which has a very similar title.

  430. Daran says:

    Clarence, TB.

    Without gainsaying Nat’s experience, or any other guest who may have commented here, I think advocates for men greatly overestimate – or give the impression of greatly overestimating – the degree to which men are fearful of false accusations, just as I think feminists overestimate – or give the impression of overestimating – the degree to which women are fearful of sexual assault.

  431. typhonblue says:

    @ Daran

    I never remarked on how many men are afraid of false accusations.

  432. Schala says:

    “Referring to someone like a child can be both a friendly and a condescending gesture, ”

    In Japan it is friendly if speaking to a female friend, but condescending if speaking to a male friend. Fun isnt it? But Japan is incredibly hierarchical compared to other places. And I’m not certain how much of their militaristic hierarchical background they owe to the US occupation of the 1940s (which changed their whole scholar system – to copy the US one – I might add).

    -chan as a suffix can apply to female friends (especially if female yourself), younger siblings, younger co-students or younger employees (the latter being less tolerated), yet women seem to call -chan between themselves a lot more than men would. A sort of endearment.

  433. Clarence says:

    Daran:

    I was an active member of the Pickup community for awhile. I can assure you that most men I ran into were VERY cognizant of false accusations. They might have needed me to educate them on family court and definitions of rape and etc, but one thing they had coming in was a cognizance that it was and is very easy for a woman to accuse them of sexual misconduct. That meme seems to be in the popular culture now. I dare say that while its relatively rare for a man to be the victim of a false rape accusation that makes it all the way to a court of law, a very significant minority of men have run into some sort of false accusation in their lives whether it was an unfair restraining order taken out for custody considerations or some jealous witch fibbing about them to human resources. This is not something that happens to one in a million men, so it’s going to come up perhaps more often than you like. Tough. It happened to me a total of 2 times, and was threatened one more time.

  434. Daran says:

    I was an active member of the Pickup community for awhile. I can assure you that most men I ran into were VERY cognizant of false accusations.

    You can stop right there. PUAs are not a representative sample of men. They’re likely to be a high risk group.

    This is not something that happens to one in a million men, so it’s going to come up perhaps more often than you like. Tough. It happened to me a total of 2 times, and was threatened one more time.

    I don’t disagree, and I’m sorry this happened to you. I’m not PUA and I’m not at all concerned or worried about a false accusation in respect of my (alleged) behaviour toward women. Of course, I’m not representative of “men” either, but I’m no less so than men who are worried.

    Yet there is another way in which I am “at risk” which is similar to that of PUA. I’m a voluntary youth worker. I don’t try to pick women up several times a week. I do, however, play with other people’s children several times a week, and yes I’ve also faced false accusations, manufactured in my case by some institutionally powerful people whom I’d been causing trouble for because they had been abusing their power. As soon as I stopped making trouble for them, the alleged concerns magically evaporated.

    So yes, I know what it’s like, and yes it does affect my day-to-day interactions with the children: I don’t like to be out of sight of other adults, for example. I also watch my male co-worker quite closely, not because I have suspicions about him, but as a guide to appropriate behavior.

    So yeah, it’s a problem. but it’s not a huge problem for me. I don’t look at every encounter with every child as a potential false accusation in the way that the author of SR seems to look at every encounter with every man as a potential rape or murder. I don’t have the level of fear that she appears to have, and I don’t think men generally do, though I agree that some do. Neither do I think women generally have the level of fear that she does, though I agree that some do.

  435. Nat says:

    I’ve been threatened with and falsely accused of domestic violence, and I’ve been arrested when I called in a domestic violence incident. As someone who is involved with men’s rights issues, I’ve had false allegations and things insinuated many times. Google “fathers rights” and “abusers lobby” – apparently if you care a bout fathers rights, you are an abuser.

    False allegations of abuse, sexual or otherwise are part of the culture.

  436. Kenshiroit says:

    I was asking my female friends about the S.R. And nobody could relate to anything describet in there, if it happens is whery rare. Unless they are clubbing.

    I think it has something to do also with local culture. In skandinavia there isnt in the culture just to apporach lonely women on the street or scream after them, I dont say it never happens, just it is wery rare at least with native skandinavians. In Italy, where I come from it happens frequently and thats annoying. So as I said before the culture is a major factor. At least what I get asking the various women I know.

  437. Tamen says:

    FWIW: I find it strange that so many don’t know that the use of boy to address an adult black man is a derogatory and racist slur. Here in Norway it is mentioned together with the n-word in history classes when covering slave-trade and colonialism. And I’ve even picked up several media stories about republican politicians (like rep. Geoff Davis, R-KY) issuing written apologies to Barack Obama for calling him a boy (“I’m going to tell you something: That boy’s finger does not need to be on the button,”).

    Secondly, it might be very wise to not make assumptions about either race, gender or experiences of people you address online – it can really help you keep your foot out of the your mouth.

  438. Kenshiroit says:

    Tamen: I for one didnt know about the boy factor. Where I come from it is whery unpractical to call people bambini, it will just leave the listener confused. People from Napoli (me) we use the term Guaglione as a general word for young man (guy) race is irrilevant.

    quote: Secondly, it might be very wise to not make assumptions about either race, gender or experiences of people you address online – it can really help you keep your foot out of the your mouth.

    I agree…

  439. Clarence says:

    Daran:
    I’m talking about COMING IN to the pickup community. Not some active guy who has been doing this stuff for months or years and presumably had some decent social skills.
    As for me, MY false accusations all happened in work environments.

    It’s one thing for you to talk about PUA’s being a “high risk group” because of all their contact with women. Hell yeah, I’ll agree with that. But the point I was making was the ONE THING I never had to educate any new members on was false accusations.

  440. Danny says:

    AB:
    How could you suspect I (and others) felt that way when I’d just given an example to the contrary?
    Because I’ve gotten that treatment from others that how I’ve been suspicious.

    In this case, you’re suddenly not talking about the article which we can both see and refer to, or the comments in this thread, which are right in front of us, you’re talking about a general attitude allegedly held by feminists in general and how it clashes with the article.
    You questioned my suspicious of feminists on SR then asked for examples of how I’d become suspicious of them.

    But does this mean an article about women’s fear is automatically bigoted?
    At first I would have said yes. But I now I still want to get a handle on the hypocrisy of it.

    I don’t shrug off your experiences,…
    The reason I suspected you of that is because I pretty sure you’ve asked this of me before which I’ve answered before.

    It’s only OK for some individuals to engage in this reaction because the circumstances are different, but that doesn’t mean it’s only OK for some demographics to engage in that reaction.
    And that’s what I’ve been looking for. Some acknowledgement that its not right that only certain people (as in certain groups,) are justified in doing it.

    But I don’t think it’s fair of you to judge the message of an article based on whether or not you believe the people supporting the gist of it would hypothetically accept some white people being extra wary of some black people under certain circumstances, especially not when the people commenting on the article, and the people you’re basing your evaluation of them on, are not the same.
    At least its good to know that there are some feminists and folks smart enough to not blindly buy into SR without thinking about it.

    Now I want to backtrack here a bit (and bear in mind I’m throwing ideas here in general not at a specific person).

    I was skimming over the original thread linked at the top and from what I can tell no one has questioned the naming of this theory.

    When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist. You may or may not be a man who would commit rape. I won’t know for sure unless you start sexually assaulting me.

    So she is saying that a man may or may not be a rapist. If that’s the assessment then why is it name Schrodinger’s Rapist? In the original SC we know we are dealing with a cat. This implies that we know we are dealing with a rapist. See the problem?

    Again I’m not saying that women don’t have the right to assess men but if you’re going to appropriate a known theory wouldn’t it do well to align it properly? With the say its named now it starting off calling a man a rapist and questioning if he’s going to attack. I was really hoping this was one of those times where after getting past the blind rage I’d see clearly and all would actually be well. Hell I see clearly and its worse than I thought (I was thinking SR was calling all men potential rapists but in fact it calling all men, or at least all men that are put under this assessment, rapists from the get go).

  441. AB says:

    Daran:

    “Please don’t put yourself out. I was merely pointing out that you had engaged in the very behaviour you had labeled as problematic.”

    Not quite. I believe it is problematic when you say that you can’t take people seriously because some other people somewhere else once said something which is objectionable to you. I don’t believe it is problematic to point to out what is happening in the actual discussion.

    “I’m prepared to believe that some guests in this thread have made the argument you say they did. But seems unlikely that they thought it up all by themselves. Rather I think it more likely that they took a standard feminist position and adapted it to their purpose.”

    I’m not asking for proof of what the unspecified feminists somewhere else have said, I’m just saying it doesn’t come across as very principled to me to make such a big deal out of what happened somewhere else, only to ignore (and thereby indirectly accept) the same thing happening where you are right now.

    And I think it’s really problematic to defend hostility from posters here on the grounds that it’s probably just a reaction to feminism, and then turn right around and deny the possibility that the SR article, rather than being a sinister attempt at oppression or something, is really just a reaction to sexism and that maybe we should address that too.

    “Are you prepared to concede that the view that men cannot be oppressed as men is a standard position within feminism, in the light of the many examples that my coblogger gave in the post I linked to, and the few counterexamples he could find, despite searching for them?”

    No. I have never heard a feminist here say that. I have heard a couple of US (and possibly British) feminists make some distinction between disadvantages and oppression which I didn’t think was quite correct, but that’s about it. And exactly because my reference pool is different than that of people in the US, and smaller than people who’ve spent years arguing on feminist blogs, I prefer to stick as closely as possible to the subject at hand (in this case the article itself), and possibly concrete examples to provide perspective, rather than trying to guess which unspecified feminists I’m supposed to condemn out of hand now, and what argument I’m supposed to ‘concede’ in order to reach the accepted quota of feminist-bashing.

    “Are you also prepared to concede that it is an immediate consequence of this standard position that men cannot be oppressed by women’s fear of men?”

    I don’t care. If you want to put feminism in trial, make your own article about it, but from what I can understand (and correct me if I’m wrong), this discussion is about one article, and one concept only, not feminism as a whole. I’m interested in the subject of this thread (as shown by me, you know, actively entering it) specifically, not general feminism. I’m not a feminist myself, and if I decided to become one, it would be one the basis of information I’ve found myself, by looking at actual feminist material put out there and suggested by feminists, not you or other people’s cherry-picking of feminist quotes (I’ve tried that before, and it turns out most of the US feminists I meet on the net often have no idea who the quoted feminists even are, and most non-US feminists I meet aren’t even aware of the concept), and long, detailed explanations about why it’s horrible. I can make up my own mind thank you very much.

    You can’t just default everything into “Well, feminism is awful”, insisting on judging anti-feminists only in light of the terrible feminism they may or may not have been exposed to, while at the same time acting like the feminism you object to just sprung out of nowhere. It’s historical revisionism at it’s worst, pretending oppression and sexism against women never existed, and insisting on judging feminism in a vacuum (but only feminism as a whole, naturally. The idea of judging a single feminist article on it’s own apparently isn’t an option) while judging misogyny in the context of exposure to feminism.

    It’s probably not news to you that a PUA has shot a woman in the face, allegedly because she refused to have sex with him, and that other PUAs have defended him, and denied any connection between his ideology and his crime. But you know what? I actually think it’s entirely possible to judge a concrete article about dating advice from a PUA without making the evil of PUAs into the main topic of the discussion. And I think it’s entirely fair to demand that people who comment on the article should have to make it clear whether they find anything in that article particularly objectionable or whether they’re just attacking PUAs in general. The same principle applies here.

  442. Glaivester says:

    I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I think it is rude to be overly critical of someone for a purely defensive prejudice. Whether it is someone who was mugged by a black person looking nervously at black people coming toward them they do not know (or crossing the street to avoid them) or a woman who has been sexually assaulted treating a man approaching her warily, in both cases reprimanding them basically sends the message that they should have made themselves feel unsafe.

    Now, there are situations when prejudice actively harms another person (say, the mugged individual is in human resources and decides not to hire a black person because of their experience). That is unacceptable.

    But when someone is truly afraid of something, telling them to get over it or they are bigoted strikes me as a bullying tactic. Moreover, it gets them to associate being against racism, sexism, etc. with bullying, and rather than getting them to re-evaluate their prejudices will simply turn them against people who advocate against prejudice.

  443. Schala says:

    @Glaivester

    SR post goes beyond saying “some women may fear men as a group”, it tells men that it’s the natural stance for all women, and that they should accomodate it.

    Every person is responsible for their own triggers, they cannot expect people to anticipate it.

  444. typhonblue says:

    @ Glaivester

    “But when someone is truly afraid of something, telling them to get over it or they are bigoted strikes me as a bullying tactic. ”

    You’re missing some stuff here. It’s one thing to have a fear of someone who superficially resembles someone else who hurt you in the past. It’s a far different thing to expect everyone in that group to change their behavior to lessen your fear.

    I don’t think anyone here says that women can’t fear men for whatever reason they want, just that expecting men to change their behavior to accommodate their fear is absolutely wrong.

  445. Clarence says:

    Typhon, Schala:

    I don’t mind being asked to change a very few behaviors that some socially clueless men might make such as “cornering” someone, or touching someone prior to conversation or that sort of thing. Feminists, PUA’s , even self proclaimed anti-feminists could get together and agree to try to put those kind of things more out into the culture so even the clueless can avoid some unencessary “creepy”. It’s that, as you have both said SR goes far beyond that sort of thing to asking men to anticipate all possible fears. And that is literally not possible and is an unfair expectation. If you’ve covered the basics and she has an out and you are polite (or use whatever sex/gender combination you want) then you have nothing to be ashamed of and you are not responsible for any freaking out she might do.

  446. dungone says:

    @Glaivester, if someone fears black people as a group because they got mugged by a black person, they’re still a bigot. The most dangerous criminals are always upstanding and respected members of their communities, whether they be Somali pirates or the VP of home loans at your local bank. Imagine how ludicrous it would be for a black person who got mugged by another black person to develop a prejudiced fear against blacks. I’m white and I got mugged by two white guys, by the way, and it didn’t cause me to fear white guys as a group. What it comes down to is that the prejudiced fear against members of a particular group comes from the otherness of that group, not because one or two of its members have done something wrong at one point.

    It also doesn’t help that, in the case of black people in America, the fact that they are sometimes criminal is a direct result of deperation and poverty imposed on them by whites. Go to places like Savannah today and you’ll see white people training their dogs to distinguish whites from blacks and attack blacks. Imagine being a black guy walking through a park and seeing a white person is pointing their finger at you as their pet growls and froths at the mouth. This really does happen and these white people will rationalize it by telling you that all the criminals in their town are black and that they’re the real victims of crime, the ones with a reason to fear. Meanwhile, some white person who works at Citibank is busy foreclosing their neighbors’ homes using forged documents and these whites are busy voting for their Tea Party candidates to make sure that we don’t get another black boy with his finger on the button. Those people are just racist idiots and that’s that. If you fear an entire group based on the actions of a few of its members, you really need to work on that and stop imposing your fears on everyone else.

  447. Xakudo says:

    @Danny:

    So she is saying that a man may or may not be a rapist. If that’s the assessment then why is it name Schrodinger’s Rapist? In the original SC we know we are dealing with a cat. This implies that we know we are dealing with a rapist. See the problem?

    I think this isn’t really an important point. I brought it up as a joke. Even to people familiar with Schrodinger’s cat thought experiment, it is blatantly obvious that SR is intending to replace “dead or not dead” with “rapist or not rapist”.

    I do think, however, that it is highly disingenuous of SR to use rape as the act in question, since the large majority of rape is done by someone the victim knows, not by an unacquainted assailant in public. (And I think that has a lot to do with why the article comes across as fear-mongering, and why the article feels like it is aligned with a lot of other “But… but… rape!” rhetoric that is often used to sweep away men’s experiences.)

    Harassment, however, is another matter, which–depending on locale–can happen pretty regularly to women in public spaces. And while this is not as ‘dangerous’ of a threat, it still sucks and can be stressful and psychologically/emotionally corrosive. I think we can all agree on this, no?

    (Not to Danny anymore, now just general venting.)

    But being treated as suspicious just because you happen to be walking in the same direction as someone, or because you want to know the time or if the bus already came, or because you’re bored at the bus stop and want to attempt to start a (mutually consenting and enjoyable) conversation while you wait, or, or, or, etc. That can also be stressful and psychologically/emotionally corrosive, though in very different ways of course. And it is very frustrating to me that many people participating in harassment discourse seem unable to accept or acknowledge this as relevant to the equation. I am not suggesting that it should be the equation, but it is crazy-making that it is consistently excluded (e.g. SR and this OP).

    Also, even just in terms of women’s comfort, “leave them alone” isn’t always the answer! There are situations where I have intentionally started a conversation in order to (successfully!) diffuse fearful vibes I was picking up from a woman, because making a connection like that can be very reassuring sometimes! (e.g. *startle* at this guy I was suspicious of starting small talk, but oh, what a relief, he’s just a normal person.) But I also often choose not to do so, because, frankly, other people’s comfort is not my responsibility as long as I am not behaving unreasonably.

    Unfortunately, SR says, “you must accept that I set my own risk tolerance”, which I presume she doesn’t mean merely in an existential “you, unfortunately, have to accept reality even if it’s stupid” way, but rather with the implication that said risk tolerance/assessment should be accepted as a-priori reasonable. And many (I dare say a large majority) of women’s risk assessment and subsequent behavior is reasonable. But that is not always the case, and it is frequently enough not the case that a lot of guys have sufficient reason to complain. And I wish that things like SR wouldn’t be so erasing of this by saying things that imply (intentionally or not) that we have to a-priori accept women’s reactions toward us as reasonable.

    So can we also agree on this: there is such a thing as reasonable and unreasonable risk-assessment, and it is okay to talk about that, and it is okay to be offended when someone assesses and subsequently behaves toward you in an unreasonable way?

  448. a male says:

    “I do think, however, that it is highly disingenuous of SR to use rape as the act in question, since the large majority of rape is done by someone the victim knows, not by an unacquainted assailant in public. (And I think that has a lot to do with why the article comes across as fear-mongering, and why the article feels like it is aligned with a lot of other “But… but… rape!” rhetoric that is often used to sweep away men’s experiences.)”

    This is the important point. Men are considered Schrodinger’s RAPIST, not Schrodinger’s “That Asshole.” BIG difference.

  449. typhonblue says:

    @ Clarence

    “I don’t mind being asked to change a very few behaviors that some socially clueless men might make such as “cornering” someone, or touching someone prior to conversation or that sort of thing. Feminists, PUA’s , even self proclaimed anti-feminists could get together and agree to try to put those kind of things more out into the culture so even the clueless can avoid some unencessary “creepy”. ”

    And I don’t mind being considerate of the fact that male sexual consent is wrapped up in their gender identity.

    Just as long as there is equal consideration on both sides for the vulnerabilities of men and women. Not just a unilateral ‘well men have to do X, Y, Z because they’re the ones with agency and culpability, not women who are utterly harmless and helpless.’

    @ Xakadu

    “So can we also agree on this: there is such a thing as reasonable and unreasonable risk-assessment, and it is okay to talk about that, and it is okay to be offended when someone assesses and subsequently behaves toward you in an unreasonable way?”

    One time I was on an elevator with my husband and a woman reacted with terror when she saw my husband. She looked visibly relieved when she saw me.

    The whole thing made me feel like shit, actually. Even though it was directed at my husband, it infuriated me. Not the least because she was about the same age as one group of women who had sexually assaulted and attempted a gang rape of him when he was younger and she had no right to consider herself ‘harmless’ and him ‘predatory’ because of their respective groups. Her smug expression of ‘oh, that is with a woman, that makes him safe’ made me feel about as bad as some of the worst street harassment I’ve ever experienced. (I did experience some very negative versions when I was larger.) Although, of course, just by proxy.

    I would consider that a form of harassment every bit as ugly as if I were with a black friend and the woman had reacted the same(I’m white.)

    So here’s my question. If we can consider ogling and other non-verbal behaviors harassment, can we also consider that women’s reaction to be harassment?

    Saying that a woman can’t get over her fear enough to avoid being an asshole to others in public seems about as weasely as saying that a man can’t get over his animal instincts enough to avoid being an asshole to others in public.

  450. a male says:

    Is Glaivester actually saying it is alright for people to be prejudiced against black people, in the name of defending prejudice against men? Thank you for making your defense of such bigotry clear. Does that mean that women who have the Schrodinger’s Rapist thought process, who are NOT survivors, are akin to racists?

  451. Clarence says:

    dungone:

    I live in Baltimore city. I’m white. I live in a mixed neighborhood with blacks, whites, latinos and a few asians. I have black friends. However, my brother was attacked once by a group of blacks in an area in which the percentage of black people was over 90 percent. In my life since adulthood (roughly 20 years ago), I’ve been attacked 4 times:
    1. Mugging with a gun: old black guy
    2. 3 attacks by groups of teens. Basically punch once or twice and run. Gang initiation? Bored? I don’t know. 1 group was a mixed group and my attacker (at least the one I could identify at all) was white or hispanic. The other two attacks were by groups consisting of all black youth. One of those two attacks, due to comments made, I think was totally racial in nature.

    Now, I live in Baltimore City. I profile enough to avoid certain areas at night where the population is poor and mostly or entirely black, and I’m always wary at night or day of large groups of youths, particularly if they are all of another race than my own, which, in this area , is far more likely to mean they are all black than all hispanic. How a person dresses also matters in my profiling. I feel totally at ease with people of whatever color who wear business or casual attire. Gang colors or thug attaire sets off some alarm bells. I can assure you that none of my attackers was ever wearing casual clothing, let alone business or church attire.

    Am I being horribly racist in my profiling?

  452. Clarence says:

    @typhoblue:
    We agree. 🙂

  453. Sam says:

    AB,

    (since you address me here)

    “I suggest you read more about what non-feminist and anti-feminist women written on the subject before you conclude it’s something specific of feminism.”

    I don’t think that the fear is specific to women, I don’t think the perception of male sexuality as primarily predatory is specific to feminism. It’s one of the oldest cultural themes around. That said, it is my opinion that feminists are *more* concerned about this matter than other women, as sexual self-determination, and the extreme opposite, rape, are core aspects of feminism. But while I believe that feminist concern is misrepresenting most women’s level of concern about male approaches, it may also be the case that my perception of the level of misrepresentation may not be accurate because it is naturally influenced by the fact that feminists talk about this more than others, and certainly differently. As for examples about the difference – do you remember the link about “kissing and explicit consent or not” from one dating forum that Hugh Ristik posted over at Clarisse’s in one of the threads? As opposed to most feminists’ articulated concern with safety, most women in that thread explicitly asked for more excitement through *less explicit communication*, which also implies less safe communication and thus less overall safety. I don’t know who’s right or wrong here, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

    The issue here (apart from the assumption that feminists are blankly denying the validity of all stereotype fear in all situations except when it’s women towards men, which is not something anyone here has actually said) is that many of the men complaining are doing so in a way which makes it clear that they’re more interested in silencing the women that are talking about *that asshole* than they are in helping people understand their (men’s) fears and anxieties.

    Well, that’s the problem with the discourse I was talking about. The SR piece in combination with standard feminist arguments about intersectionality theory and oppression certainly makes it vulnerable to creating the kind of defensiveness it obviously created. I’m not saying it’s impossible to get over it, in fact, that’s what my comments were supposed help with, by explaining how people are talking past each other. But giving each other the benefit of the doubt in that respect is hard. I had the opportunity to talk to Pheadra Starling about her essay so I think I know her point of better than others critizising the essay, but I think it is important to understand that most of what people say in this respect is bound to be contextualised by the overall discourse and because that discourse is not unusally adversarial, people aren’t giving each other the benefit of the doubt.

    “First off, you must understand that it is disingenuous to represent this as something uniquely feminist.”

    I’m pretty surre anti-racism activists single out “black oppression” through stereotype fear. But within the social justice discourse, the only group who’s treated differently, are (white) men. If you don’t see that, I don’t know what kind of sources you look at.

    “But attributing a certain attitude or opinion to feminism without even providing any examples of it is problematic enough in itself. Acting like it is an opinion shared by people who defend SR, and demanding that they ‘acknowledge’ how wrong that makes them, again without any example of where they express the opinion you claim they hold, and even with examples of the opposite (such as my first post and the reactions to it), is very disrespectful. Ignoring when the same problematic beliefs you attribute to feminism are expressed by anti-feminists, in the same thread where you berate feminists for these beliefs, makes it very hard to take your complaints in good faith.”

    I don’t really think examples in this thread are particularly relevant. It’s one among many about SR. All of them follow a pattern. Feminists bring up real concerns on a practical level either without considering that they will be differently contextualised (which is what I believe happened in the case of the original essay) by the audience or taking that into account but not caring about it because having a good fight may be considered more useful than having a civilised debate. That other people make the same mistake or poison the public discourse by trying to rally supporters exploiting the same mechanism is a real problem, and one I’m not denying in any way, yet it is also only indirectly relevant, as *this* thread is about SR and with respect to SR the problem is one of “feminist message” and “male recipient”.

  454. Danny says:

    Xakudo:
    I think this isn’t really an important point. I brought it up as a joke. Even to people familiar with Schrodinger’s cat thought experiment, it is blatantly obvious that SR is intending to replace “dead or not dead” with “rapist or not rapist”.
    I still think its a bit of a problem since it gives the (unlikely unintentional) impression that its already decided that the man in question is a rapist. As it stands it is now “he’s a rapist. i need to assess whether or not he’s a rapist.”.

    I do think, however, that it is highly disingenuous of SR to use rape as the act in question, since the large majority of rape is done by someone the victim knows, not by an unacquainted assailant in public. (And I think that has a lot to do with why the article comes across as fear-mongering, and why the article feels like it is aligned with a lot of other “But… but… rape!” rhetoric that is often used to sweep away men’s experiences.)
    Well considering that its called Schrodinger’s Rapist and not Schrodinger’s Jerk….

    Harassment, however, is another matter, which–depending on locale–can happen pretty regularly to women in public spaces. And while this is not as ‘dangerous’ of a threat, it still sucks and can be stressful and psychologically/emotionally corrosive. I think we can all agree on this, no?
    I can dig it.

    So can we also agree on this: there is such a thing as reasonable and unreasonable risk-assessment, and it is okay to talk about that, and it is okay to be offended when someone assesses and subsequently behaves toward you in an unreasonable way?
    I can dig it.

  455. superglucose says:

    I’ve finally reached a place where I can talk about this.

    Schrodinger’s Rapist. If a woman sees everyone around her as a potential rapist, she needs to seek counseling. I do not get into my car every day and think, “Man, I’m extraordinarily likely to get in a car accident.” I do not look at my cheeseburger I eat once a month and think, “Man, pretty much every male my age eventually dies of coronary disease.” I understand there are women who feel that way, and many of them have reasons to do so being survivors. That being said, it is not a healthy outlook on life.

    My whole life I’ve spent learning a very important distinction: caution versus fear. From google, caution is ” Care taken to avoid danger or mistakes” while fear is “An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” Fear is an emotion to be overcome, caution is an appropriate response to a dangerous situation. Caution would be: walk away from anyone moving towards you in a dark alley. Fear would be: “That guy has a lot of tattoos therefore it is extraordinarily likely that he is dangerous.”

    There are other things as well: SR suggests that every woman’s level of caution and risk-tolerance is different, and that’s fine. But SR continues on by saying that whatever their level of risk-tolerance is, their level of risk tolerance is fine and acceptable. This is patently incorrect. Being paralyzed by fear is not a healthy way of living your life. If you, as a woman, find yourself terrified of a man because he has chosen to have tattoos, then you really need to check out the basis of that fear and try to overcome it.

    Indeed one of the primary issues I have with SR is not that it is laden with bad advice… but that a lot of it isn’t good advice. If I see a woman reading a book on a train, for example, and I had been interested in reading that book I may ask her how it’s been. Apologetically opening with “I’m sorry to bother you but I heard that book is good. What do you think about it?” If she then gives a curt answer and isn’t interested in talking, move along. Yes, good advice there. “If she has a book,” I paraphrase, “don’t talk to her.” Eh. That’s less good.

    There are other issues I have as well: the instant demonizing of tribal tattoos and suggesting that men with them simply limit themselves to online dating (I’m surprised that wasn’t accompanied by an online dating manual of how people who are proud of weight lifting shouldn’t even try online because being strong is a sure sign of being a rapist) and the perpetuation of male sexuality as predatory. Yes, it perpetuates it. By suggesting that the solution is for men to stfu and look down, especially if they are dressed a certain way or have certain pieces of art, they are in direct opposition to a blog that someone ’round these parts posted about that book of “how men should be sexy” or whatever.

    The truth of the matter is men will approach many women. They will say “no” for various reasons. *It is not the responsibility nor is it the prerogative of men to change their method of dress to establish positive social interactions with women, nor is it healthy to do so.* If she is afraid of me because I have a tattoo of a cockroach on my face, then, well, she is what we call *prejudiced.* Is that ok? No, it sure as hell *isn’t* ok, but it sure is understandable. Like I’ve said many times, if the first five black men you meet respond to “hello” with a punch in the face, you’re well within your rights to be afraid of the next black man to approach you. Doesn’t mean you’re right that he will and it sure as hell doesn’t mean that that sort of thinking is ok or good, it just means that I won’t get pissed at you for thinking that way.

    But I wouldn’t blame a black man for getting pissed at you if he found out.

  456. Titfortat says:

    F-false
    E-evidence
    A-appearing
    R-real

    That pretty much sums up Shrodinger’s Rapist.

  457. Skidd says:

    “I still think its a bit of a problem since it gives the (unlikely unintentional) impression that its already decided that the man in question is a rapist. As it stands it is now “he’s a rapist. i need to assess whether or not he’s a rapist.”. ”

    I think it’s a valid point as well. It’s not Schrodinger’s Threat, it’s not Schrodinger’s Harasser, it’s Schrodinger’s Rapist. I find “Threat” to be the only useful term, since it indicates any sort of violence and I’m much more at ease with the idea of a person exhibiting red-flag behaviors being labeled a potential threat rather than a potential rapist.

    “Feminists bring up real concerns on a practical level either without considering that they will be differently contextualised (which is what I believe happened in the case of the original essay) by the audience… with respect to SR the problem is one of “feminist message” and “male recipient””

    I think part of the uncomfortable feeling is that SR as an article is written in the tone of a lecture – I’ll hesitantly call it “matronizing” as a joke. The article addresses men like they are puppies to be housebroken with a waggling finger. (“Miss LonelyHearts, your humble instructor, approves.”) There’s a definite condescending tone, and I’m not surprised so many people find it inflammatory. I personally find the writing obnoxious and degrading to both women and men, and I’m female (and before reading I never knew I had to be on CONSTANT VIGILANCE. ).

    As much as some feminist groups or blogs call out “man-splaining” for potentially condescending, patronizing argument, they should police themselves as well. I actually don’t think it’s a bright idea at all to speak directly to the reader (“Fortunately, you’re a good guy. We’ve already established that.”) — directly pointing at YOU the reader is confrontational and uncomfortable for the reader, assuming things about that person, rather than what I’ll call conversational learning. It reads as “you are to be ashamed of these things” rather than “lemme rap to you about these things women find disconcerting sometimes when unfamiliar guys get too close”. Accusatory, blaming language towards the reader (“Are you wearing a tee-shirt making a rape joke? NOT A GOOD CHOICE” vs “A man wearing a shirt with a rape joke instantly sets off red flags in a woman’s mind”). It’s POSSIBLE to use directed “you” language when writing a teaching article, but write as an equal, not as a lofty professor. (Holly Pervocracy’s “How not to be Creepy” doesn’t come off as condescending to me at all – http://pervocracy.blogspot.com/2011/07/how-to-not-be-creepy.html )

    TL;DR, SR is written in a directly confrontational, condescending, and patronizing tone towards the (presumably male) reader and treating them like pupils under a teacher, rather than an honest heart-to-heart, “can you understand why this is a thing?”.

    Having discussion with women and lecturing men isn’t really the way to include men. Nobody likes being talked down to like a kindergarten student.

    I’m not saying yes or no to whether it’s right or wrong for women to judge men by the outline in SR (I’m leaning towards it’s a little “men-phobic”, in the literal fear sense), but the writing of the article is inflammatory and is definitely NOT how you should teach people.

  458. While my own experience is more than a little unique, I’ll add my two cents. I expect a few concern trolls to piss all over it while missing the point spectacularly.

    My own conduct and reactions in public are part a consequence of my own traumatic experiences and part an attempt to pre-empt a possible situation where a woman attempts to “perp” me based solely on my gender.

    As I was drugged, raped and blackmailed into silence, I have serious trust issues with regard to women. Given how dismissive some women are of sexual violence or violence in general as committed by women, I a This is not minor and it greatly affects how I interact with women I do not know. I work in human resources which is a female dominated field, so while on the job I often spend long periods in close contact with women. I have learned that while on the job, I can put up the “at ease” face which generally does not betray my how much I am freaking out inside. This allows me to get my job done until I feel comfortable enough to trust these women.

    While in public, I seldom make eye contact, speak or otherwise do anything to attact the attention of women around me aside from those I may encounter during a retail or transportation transaction. If a woman speaks to me I am polite and accomodating to the degree that I feel comfortable and that is about it. I don’t owe anyone, regardless of gender, my attention, time or interest. As I don’t have any desire to be put in the “perp” box and I certainly wouldn’t be able to handle it without being triggered into a serious panic attack, I do tend to err on the side of over-cautiousness. I know it is an over-reaction, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

    None of this is the fault of any of the women I encounter on a daily basis. I carry a great deal of guilt around as a result. I deal with it and own it as my own burden to overcome. I certainly wouldn’t expect any woman to feel compelled or guilt-tripped into walking on eggshells around me. I would certainly never write a condescending diatribe full of generalizations and logic fails to defend it.

    I’m working through it as I can and it has improved over time, but it doesn’t make it right.

  459. namae nanka says:

    “In fact, men should also develop their own gifts of fear. ”

    We are neurotic, so should be you!

  460. typhonblue says: