That Flash of Fear, or How I Became Schrodinger’s Rapist

CN: Rape, rape culture

I was reading my gReader feed today and came across this re-post from a friend of mine.

Men, are you worried for your own safety because misandry?

You need to accept that misandry happens in the real world and take some precautions.

Take a self defense class, they’re only a couple hundred dollars a month.

Don’t go out after dark unless you have a woman to chaperone you. Misandrists are less likely to attack if they see you are with another woman.

Don’t wear anything too douchey. If you’re wearing a fedora or a sexist t-shirt, etc. you’re pretty much asking to get attacked. Misandrists can’t control themselves when they see a man in a fedora, their instincts kick in and before they know it they have a dead male corpse in their hands. Just be a good boy and don’t tempt them, okay?

Don’t ever invite a woman into your home. Misandrists will interpret this as you consenting to physical violence.

Drinking increases your risk of being attacked by a misandrist. They target drunk men because their inhibitions are lowered.

Never leave your drink unattended. Misandrists are notorious for poisoning men at parties and bars.

If a misandrist does attack you, be quiet and just let her finish or you might anger her further and you are liable to get murdered instead of just mutilated. But also, be sure to put up a good fight because a lot of men say they don’t want to be attacked by misandrists but deep down, they really like it.

And remember, accusing a woman of abusive misandry is worse than being abused by a misandrist. So before you make accusations, make sure it wasn’t all just a silly misunderstanding.

The joke, obviously, is that there is no such thing as “misandry,” and these are all actual, real things that are told to women in order to “prevent rape.” I use “joke” here loosely as it’s actually rather frightening that all of these ridiculous and contradictory rules are put in place basically as an excuse to blame women for their own rapes, but obviously it’s meant to make a point humorously. As Witchy Weaver (all nicknames subject to change based on the desires of the nicknamee) pointed out after the re-blog, this is a daily reality for women, and the wording of this post is based on a serious warning to women from a few years ago.

Which brings me to a few days ago and for the first time I realized that I was, at least briefly, Schrodinger’s Rapist.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, the idea is that in a culture that minimizes the occurrence of rape, that engages in a constant, low level misogyny, that blames victims and makes their sexual history, clothing, etc., the focus of any rape accusation, and that makes it nearly impossible to actually get a rapist convicted, women are put in a position where they must, by necessity, assume any unknown (and often known) man that they encounter may be a rapist. In most cases, they aren’t, but if women aren’t prepared for the possibility and do get raped, odds are heavily in favor that they will have to jump through all sorts of unnecessary hoops to not only prove that they were raped, but also that they didn’t somehow deserve to be due to wearing a short skirt, having had a drink, not being escorted by trusted men, or any of the other ridiculous excuses we make. In other words, because of rape culture, all men must be suspect.

In my case, I was out at Old Town with a friend. It was early evening and we were in a shop there, wandering around, me reading blogs while she looked through strings of beads that she could use for embroidery that I am informed were an incredible price. Bead work is not my craft, so when I wasn’t reading, I was people watching, and that’s when I noticed a woman wandering around alone. I also noticed that her fly was down and thought somebody should tell her.

At first I said nothing, but eventually I leaned close and quietly informed her about her pants. I didn’t think I was too close, but it seems I was since she jumped back. This was not me startling her, I had said excuse me from further away and made sure she acknowledged me before approaching, but I saw the fear in her eyes. She was afraid of me, an avowed feminist who writes about rape culture and discovered a few days before in a BDSM scene that I can’t top a serious masochist, even in an entirely consensual scene, because the sound of crying that I caused makes me cringe and want to comfort the person. I may be verbally confrontational, but I’m not a violent person and have never even considered rape for a moment.

And you know what? She has no way of knowing that, so none of it matters. To her I was only the weird guy who probably hadn’t shaved recently enough that was coming very near her to discuss her pants.

I took a step back, apologized, and moved on.

I’ve been in this game long enough to have been familiar with the concept, and I have no doubt that there have been several times in the past when some woman has thought that I may be a potential rapist and prepared herself just in case, but never have I seen it so very starkly.

Keep in mind, this is not a “poor me, some woman though I was a threat when I totes wasn’t” post, but rather a reflection on how serious this problem is and, hopefully, an example of how to handle it. I backed off because I don’t take personally a woman’s reaction to a culture that does not want to protect her, that holds her immediately suspect and treats her sexuality as common property.

We can also look at the other side of that, though. On the execrable A Voice for Men, we see an example of the whiny, privileged, self-entitled bullshit response that stories like this often provoke. No, I won’t link to that rotting cesspool, but you can Google the quotes if you really would like to see the full context.

First thing’s first, the perpetuation of the “making themselves victims” myth. Emphasis theirs.

I’ll say it again so I’m absolutely clear: it is abuse of women. How so? Because it helps reinforce and ingrain an enculturated fear of men. In other words, even though all available evidence shows that men are as likely if not more likely to be the victims of violent assault, including sexual assault, and despite the mountain of data on women’s violence against men and boys, this essay sends a relentless message that women should live in fear.

I didn’t remove any links to supporting studies or documentation. Dean Esmay, the MRA who wrote this, simply neglected to provide any support for his assertion that “all available evidence shows that men are as likely to be the victims of…sexual assault.” Most likely he didn’t provide citations because the claim is absolute bullshit, unless somehow “one in four” has started equaling 3% (MRA math!)

But more to the point, this little excerpt demonstrates pretty thoroughly the rape culture narrative that the problem is never rape, it’s talking about rape. You see, if you are raped, it’s important to get over it as quickly as possible, lest you “make yourself a victim”. If you are ever on guard against rape, you’re victimizing yourself and telling the world that men can’t be trusted. Of course, if you are raped, you should have been more prepared. This is the world that MRAs like Esmay live in, and it’s one where women can’t win.

Esmay then goes on to post a transcript of a video done by the fairly useless John the Other. John, in his infinite wisdom, spends several minutes whining about how unfair it is that he’s suspect when he and most men have never raped anybody.

Here, you have exceeded your rights. Obviously, as a merely possible man, my potential is open, my self undefined. But it is mine to chose, not yours. Who or what I am, when realized, when observed, when I transit from probability to reality, that is mine. I will decide, you will not. I may, when I’ve done so, tell you who and what I am. However, I also might not, that is my choice as well.

Do not presume to trespass on my identity.

It is my own.

Boo fucking hoo, John. The man is so upset because women are “defining” him, even in their own minds, and that’s so very not fair. And, as we know, rapists are generally very clear about their identities, though often the way they share that little factoid makes its disclosure too late. As we also know, women don’t have the right to their own thoughts. John the Other will tell them wimmez what they should think about him. Not being a woman, I suppose I’m free to define him as an asshole.

What the self-styled martyrs at AVfM want you to believe is that there is a matter of principle involved here, that the very act of holding strange men suspect is an unspeakable offense that somehow takes away their agency. Again, this is absolute bullshit.

I was very briefly Schrodinger’s Rapist earlier this week. I knew my intentions, but the woman I spoke to did not, and while I have never done nor ever will do such a thing, I accept that we live in a culture where it’s not worth taking that risk. As a decent human being, I backed off to make another human being more comfortable because it was literally the very least I could do. This random woman wasn’t “making herself a victim,” she was avoiding being made a victim in the best way she could, which means eternal vigilance. Until such time as we live in a world and a culture that holds men and women of equal value and takes rape seriously, I am going to have to live with the fact that I will be considered a potential rapist until such time as I am not. It’s a world worth fighting for, and one that will never be won so long as speaking up is considered a perpetuation of victimhood.

UPDATE: The Sewing Goddess brought up a good point: in this case, I probably should have asked my female friend to inform the woman in the store about her fly. Will have to remember that for next time.

30 thoughts on “That Flash of Fear, or How I Became Schrodinger’s Rapist

  1. Yikes. Is it just me that reads your quote of John as vaguely threatening. “Only I will decide if and/or when to reveal whether I am a rapist.” Um… what? I don’t think I wanna be around for that reveal.

  2. Maybe you could’ve also got her attention from a distance and just signaled something to her. I think getting her attention, crossing the distance between you then coming in close to whisper might have made it more…dramatic than necessary.

    But you didn’t really do anything wrong.

    • Also a good point. I do have a habit of over-dramatizing things at times. It’s a good thing I didn’t have a trench coat, fedora, and sunglasses, or I really would have made an unnecessary production.

      You’re right, I didn’t do anything specifically wrong, and I think that was part of my realization. Her fear was not a reaction to me, it wasn’t about what I did or how I did it. It was a reaction to our culture and the constant state of fear she has to live in if she has any hope of being taken seriously should something terrible happen. I didn’t take it personally, unlike the AVfM crowd, because I know she wasn’t jumping from me, she was jumping from the person I could have been and, more to the point, the additional pain she would have to endure if I turned out to be a rapist that is piled on in addition to being raped.

      • Sorry, but making a noise to get her attention and then pointing at your crotch isn’t likely to win you many points…just sayin’…

  3. The other interpretation is that women are being taught that they are in constant danger of imminent rape, and therefore that they must be on constant guard. I don’t put my eggs totally in either your (the Schrodinger rapist) position or in the other, MRA, basket. I think there is some truth to both sides. Rape is often not taken seriously, and woman are also having the shit scared out of them by a certain amount of hysteria. I do comport to much of the SR prescription for behavior, and I’m not one of those men who doggedly insist that they should never alter their behavior, no matter how it might appear. I do avoid walking behind lone women. I do try to come off as nonthreatening. However, in keeping with the current trend in helicopter parenting, we’re becoming a scared shit-less society, and I can’t help thinking that some of this is overreaction. I have myself experienced several instances walking to my car in parking lots while women frantically lock their doors on my approach. I mean, yes, I feel for these women. They’re suspicious, scared and paranoid. The slight against me is less than an actuality of rape, but make no mistake, there is another travesty here, and it’s one that is easily lost in the debate since we’re dealing with such a monumental crime. However going through life considered a threat, and dangerous, a monster, is an issue. It’s by far a lesser issue, but it’s an issue. I wonder if the sometime irrationality in MRM might be slightly assuaged if we just admit that this is a double sided tragedy, and acknowledge that SR makes men feel like shit too.

    • I’m disinclined to describe women’s paranoia as overreaction or being suspected of potentially being a rapist a tragedy. When one in four women will be raped sometime in their life, that’s not unreasonable to be consistently suspicious, especially when only a tiny fraction of rapists will see prison time and most of those women will be blamed for their own rape. If you’re saying that we can stop teaching women that the first question they hear after being raped is “What were you wearing?” or some variant on that, however, I am with you in that we teach women to be suspicious.

      I also wouldn’t be so quick to describe women’s paranoia as a travesty, at least in regards to you or I. Think of it this way: do you trust that everybody you see has good intentions, even without meeting them? Considering the stuff I mentioned above regarding rape rates and victim blaming, it’s an entirely rational reaction that in no way hurts me except in the sense that I am hurt that we live in a world where this is necessary. In my particular case outlined in this article, it was a shock to see how afraid this woman was of me just by reflex, but I don’t consider that a personal tragedy.

      And as to assuaging MRAs’ irrationality, you really do have to cut through the rhetoric and realize that they’re not fighting to be treated fairly, they’re fighting to maintain their privilege. Most MRAs are not rapists, but they certainly don’t want to do anything about rape culture because rape is used as a punishment for women who don’t fit into the masculine/feminine narratives that they so very much want to believe in. It’s an implied threat that if women don’t live up to the contradictory standards people like John the Other establish, then they will be violated. Oddly enough, this t-shirt sums up those contradictions fairly nicely. So no, I don’t think placating their little feelings will in any way stem the flow of stupid that comes from the MRM.

      That all being said, I think you’re right that there is a travesty that affects men and women when you look at rape culture, in that it reduces us to our sex organs. It presumes women to be communal property unless they go to extreme lengths to exempt themselves, and it presumes men are mindless sex machines, wholly unable to control themselves the moment they get an erection. However, this is less the fault of specific people and more the result of a culture that attempts to control women by casting men as monsters, like a cultural fairy tale telling women to not go into the metaphorical woods by straying from their particular societies’ standards of behavior. If they do, they’ll be eaten (raped) by a monster (man).

      • Glad I stopped back. I began to wonder if this wan’t a dead post.

        Yes, I’ll back way off “tragedy.” Bad choice of words. While being misidentified as a monster while traipsing through the parking lot made me feel very bad, as I’m sure did your episode for you, it’s hardly tragedy. These are just very awkward situations. What do you really say or do? Any attempt to apologize is probably going to just freak them out even further, so your best option is really just to remove yourself from the situation as fast as possible. So I’m probably an above average zealot of SR avoidance. Then again, how far do you go, and at what point does pandering to fear actually become an insult to the women you might happen upon? We might arrive at the ridiculous end of dashing across streets or ducking into alleys before we’ve been seen. At what point does the avoidance of creepiness wrap around and become creepy itself?

        For all that, though, I do try to avoid as many encounters as possible, but this kind of blanket behavior I’ve adopted is probably due to a certain amount of social ineptitude on my part. Attempting to correct a wardrobe malfunction? No way in hell. Just let it go… But by doing this I realize I’m contributing to the fear factor. The avoidance technique is not a solution. Anyone who has ever dealt with fear in a clinical setting knows that pandering to it only ensures that the next episode will be twice as dreadful. Trying to not be that Schrodinger rapist is not going to do a single thing to lower the rate of rape unless you think the endpoint of the avoidance strategy should be no casual social encounters at all. In other words, all those men who have not dashed across the street will be, by default, probable rapists. Yes, this would give women an edge over possible rape, but at what social cost?

        I don’t entirely agree with your assessment of MRM, although I admit that I’m not an expert. I do think there’s a lot of crazy there, and offensiveness, and hate. I like the “idea” of MRM, but I have a feeling the present one would need to be scrapped and a new one built from the ground up. There’s nothing inherently misogynistic about the idea of men wanting to improve their lot and that of boys. Much of the present hate coming from them stems, I think, from the libertarian idea that they (men of the MRM) should not have to make any concessions whatsoever in the battle to end rape and other abuse against women. I hope it’s evident from my comments that I don’t agree with that at all.

      • I like the “idea” of the Men’s Rights Movement too. Unfortunately, it’s been co-opted by people who seem to think that helping men has to include putting down women, like it’s a zero-sum game. (Interestingly, I run into the same thing with White Supremacist groups, about which I know more than any person really should. One of the complaints these groups often voice is that society doesn’t “allow” white people to celebrate their own European heritage without being called racist. Which is patently untrue; I engage in a lot of activities that celebrate my European heritage. Case in point: the Highland Games. But these people don’t recognize that, because in their mind, “celebrating your heritage” has to include “insulting other people’s heritage.” There’s no room in their philosophy for “my culture is cool and so is yours, let’s both celebrate both of them and learn more about ourselves and each other!” But I digress.)

        I will admit, sometimes having men preemptively recognize that they may be SR can be a little unnerving. The other day I was getting the baby out of the car – a herculean struggle, involving having my ass sticking halfway out of the car door while I wrestle with bags, straps, toys, binkies, and a squirming baby. When I paused for breath, I realized there was a man waiting to get into the car next to me, standing back a ways. My first thought was gratitude that he hadn’t crowded me while I was fighting with a car seat; my second was chagrin that I was blocking his path, and I started to apologize. He smiled, and said something along the lines of “Oh, no, I just didn’t want to make you nervous.”

        And… rationally, I recognize that he was being nice, and that most women would want him to act that way, and that I’m the weird outlier, so the gracious thing to do was to smile and thank him, which I did. But it kinda hit me like a slap in the face, like a combination of “Oh, thanks for the reminder that as a woman, I could be attacked at any time,” and “You think I’m scared of you? Pfft; I’m a mother defending her baby, I could take you or anyone else out in a heartbeat.”

        Which… I am well aware is not an adult reaction to have 😛 But despite occasional evidence to the contrary, I’m not always an adult, so it’s the reaction I DID have.

        I have a hard time identifying with the SR mentality, because it’s really not anything like how I view the world. I don’t worry if random people are going to hurt me; I bloody well EXPECT them to be decent human beings, and I expect it HARD. (Imagine the above being said with the same stern expression as a teacher informing her class that she EXPECTS them to behave. Yes, I occasionally see the world as one big unruly room full of fourth graders.) It’s a strategy that’s worked for me so far, and so when people talk about that ingrained, taught fear, I’m often left bewildered, like “Why… why would you distrust Random Dude? You don’t even know him!”

        However… I am not everyone, and my experiences are not everyone’s. And while I don’t think the answer is to avoid all social contact whatsoever, I do think it’s important to remember that some people DO have very good reasons for being afraid. If someone responds to you with fear, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it doesn’t mean that they’re a bad person, and it doesn’t mean that you should never approach anyone ever again – it just means that this one person was not comfortable around you, and THAT IS OK. Be aware that it happens, take reasonable precautions to avoid it, and if it happens anyway, do both yourself and the woman in question the kindness of shrugging it off and moving on with your life.

      • It’s not your place to decide whether a woman’s life is unfairly limited by our culture’s inaccurate message of paranoia about stranger-rape or whether women have something to complain about, unless you’re a woman and actually know what you’re talking about.

  4. Pingback: Men’s Rights | Reasonable Conversation

  5. Schrodinger’s Maneater is not about “all women are evil.”
    It is not even about “all women are potentially evil.” All women are, in fact, potentially evil, in much the same sense as all men are potentially evil, and all brunettes are potentially evil. All people are potentially evil, because evil is not a function of anything about a person except the fact that they do evil things.
    It is about “a very significant proportion of men will, when you approach them, be assessing whether you are going to be That Crazy Bitch…”

    …That Crazy Bitch makes up only a tiny percentage of women. However, she has poisoned the well for everyone else.
    I think a lot of women underestimate the fear most men have around relationships of any kind. For instance, I am the happiest little stud you could ever hope to meet. However, I would never date or have sex with a woman whom a friend, or a friend of a friend, didn’t vouch for, because she might lie about being on birth control and ding me for 18 years paying for a child I didn’t want, or cry rape the next morning when her boyfriend demands to know where she was all night, or only be after my wallet, or take me for everything I have or care about–including my kids–when she’s done with me. On a rational level, I know the chance of me getting screwed over in some way because I slept with or entered a relationship with a woman is about as likely as me…well, actually, it’s getting likelier all the time. Huh. I mean, on an emotional level, I want intimacy with a woman, but my powers of observation and sense of self-preservation associates “sexual involvement with women, whether I know them or not”, with “getting fucked over, maybe for life.”

    • …and you know what? You are completely within your rights to set your own boundaries regarding which women you want to date or have sex with. You’re absolutely right that anyone, male or female, may potentially be out to screw someone over, and if that’s a real fear that you have, then yeah, you may feel safer not entering a relationship with someone unless someone you know and trust vouches for them. Much like with Schrodinger’s Rapist, this won’t protect you 100%, and it may result in you missing out on meeting someone wonderful, but those are YOUR risks to take and YOUR boundaries to set, and more power to you.

      I know you were trying to get a rise out of us by using a sexist and ableist term (yes, “Crazy Bitch” is both) and referencing some misogynistic stereotypes, but I’m sorry, it’s not working. You can set whatever limits you want for your own emotional well-being, and even if a woman wants to date or have sex with you, she has to respect those limits.

      Thank you for making our point for us.

  6. Hello.
    Some years ago, whilst discussing gender identity in a tutorial group, the professor described the way in which gender can sometimes be at the forefront of people’s minds/attention whilst for others it’s race, sexuality, age, etc. I offered that I was often hyper-aware of my gender and often felt vulnerable in social situations/public. I have a serious case of Schrodingers rapist paranoia. I am cautious of most men. She asked if we (the women in the class) were to pull up at a stop light and in the car next to us were a group of men, would be immediately be aware of our gender or something else. One girl huffed that she is never aware of her gender, never feels vulnerable or nervous around men and that we are sexist if we do.

    Maybe I read too much true crime so am often hyper cautious.

    Well written.

  7. This is not an oversimplification – as to men raping women – ONLY men can stop rape. ONLY men can change the societal mores that would make Rape reprehensible. It simply does not matter WHAT women might do – change their clothes, speak different, stay in at night……and the list goest on…..Women are powerless to stop rape as being acceptable in any form. This follows through with any other form of violence as well – only pedophiles can stop pedophilia. Only parents can stop beating their children……would you expect a child to hide from their parents because they MIGHT be dangerous?? As always, EDUCATION is the key. Why aren’t children learning from birth that they must respect other living creatures – at no time – EVER – do you have the right to harm anyone (parents – are you listening – it is NOT ok to beat little Johnnie – for ANY reason). It is time for this so-called “enlightened” world to stop ALL forms of violence. It is really SO simple – but so difficult for this human race.

    • I was sort of understanding the idea of Schrodinger’s Rapist until I was reminded of the points made in your comment. It makes the entire theory kind of redundant, as it’s not victim blaming but is suggesting in some way that if the victim had been considering that her attacker might have been a rapist that some how makes it better? Also I would hate to live my life assuming every man I met had that potential, its good to be vigilant I think, but only to a healthy degree.

      • I don’t think that’s what the “Schrodinger’s Rapist” concept is doing at all. It’s not saying that women SHOULD suspect strange men of being potential rapists – I certainly don’t. Nor that having that suspicion would somehow make it better if a woman actually is raped.

        What it’s saying is that many women DO have that instinctive flash of fear around strange men. Especially if a woman actually has been assaulted or raped before, it’s a fairly common reaction. Maybe it does help to make them marginally safer – after all, as the theory goes, that’s why we feel fear in the first place. Or maybe it’s just completely irrational. Either way, it’s there, and as with most fears, it’s difficult-verging-on-impossible to just will it away (even assuming you wanted to.)

        So the SR explanation is mostly intended to help dudes – dudes who are NOT rapists, who hate the idea of even being taken for a rapist – understand why that fear sometimes exists, that it’s not a personal judgment on them, and that honestly the best thing to do if you realize a woman is afraid of you is just to give her her space and leave her alone. It’s not intended to be a prescription for how women “ought” to view men.”

  8. Pingback: Why Do You Want To Be on Team Rapist? | Reasonable Conversation

  9. Agreed that Schrodinger’s Rapist is totally valid. That’s not prejudice. That’s just math. Okay? So, if in 2011, out of 151 million men, 11,934 were arrested for rape, which means we can reasonably be scared of .007% of men. Now, it doesn’t sound like a lot, until you consider that we don’t know which seven one thousandth of one percent. So, to be safe, we have to be scared of all of them. I have the right to my own thoughts!

    It’s the same reason that whenever I see a black person walking down the street, I always put my hands over my wallet so I can make sure it stays there, and have my other hand in a fist ready to strike. I always keep a glaring eye on them to make sure they don’t try and rob me. When I’m sitting in my car and see a black person approach, I immediately lock my doors- just to be safe. Blacks commit over 1/2 of all murderer despite being 13% of the population, so if some uppity Negroes get upset over me profiling them…Jesus, they shouldn’t take it personally.

    • Oh, how cute, you think you’re clever.

      So, 93% of crimes committed by black people don’t go entirely unpunished. When a black person commits a crime against you, nobody assumes that you did something to invite it or cause it. In fact, if you happen to be white and accuse a black person of a crime, it is much more likely that they will be arrested and incarcerated whether they actually did the crime or not.

      But thank you for demonstrating the little known inverse of intersectionality: misogynist assholes are also likely racist as well.

      • How cute, you called me both a sexist AND a racist! You’re clearly a rational and intelligent person.

        So, you think 100% of rape accusations are true? See, we have this thing called “innocent until proven guilty”, it happens to be something an overwhelming majority of us love and don’t want to lose. When someone gets accused of a crime (like if I accused you of raping me) it has to be investigated by professionals to find evidence to support that the crime happened and the right person is being accused. Then other professionals review all the evidence and see if it can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that person A committed crime B. If I decided to tell the police you raped me, you wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss it.

        And more than 93% of false rape accusations go unpunished, funny how you don’t seem too upset about that.

      • How cute, you called me both a sexist AND a racist!

        A good way to avoid that is to not say sexist and racist things.

        So, you think 100% of rape accusations are true?

        No, I think that roughly 92% of rape accusations are true.

        blah blah blah, self-righteous misunderstanding of legal concept

        “Innocent until proven guilty” is a legal concept, which means that it applies in a court of law. You know what isn’t a court of law? The street. And a club. And people’s houses. And the myriad other places where people are raped on a daily basis. Much like “freedom of speech” only applies to governments preventing you from speaking, “innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t mean that women shouldn’t assume that anyone can be a rapist, especially considering that if they are raped, the odds are in favor of that they will be asked why they didn’t take precautions against it and accused of inviting her own rape if it’s determined she wasn’t vigilant enough.

        And more than 93% of false rape accusations go unpunished, funny how you don’t seem too upset about that.

        Citation needed, there, Sparky. Considering you don’t even seem to know how many rape accusations are false, I suspect that the statistic you just gave is entirely made up.

      • Allow me to point out that, in addition to being misogynistic and racist, your analogy was also inaccurate.

        The myth of Black crime and “dangerous” Black people is just that – a myth. One perpetrated in part by institutional racism: Black people are convicted at a disproportionately high rate when compared to White people committing the same crimes, and violent crime committed by a Black person against a White person tends to be sensationalized by the news. In reality, most crime is intraracial, meaning that a White person has more to fear from another White person than from a Black person. And when it comes to this topic in particular, most rapists are White men.

        So basically what you’ve done here is try to attack women from feeling a very reasonable fear (and yes, I agree that we SHOULDN’T have to be afraid of men in general, but society has quite clearly indicated that it won’t have our backs if we’re raped, and especially not if we did ANYTHING that could be construed as “asking for it,” which to some rapists is anything up to and including not running away fast enough, so wtf are we SUPPOSED to do??), and doing so by dredging up untrue and racist stereotypes to draw a false parallel.

        Oh, you are just a peach.

  10. Not sure if I need this here given the name of the page, but “Trigger Alert: Rape”

    ” There is no such thing as “misandry” ”

    I was with you 100% until you said this. I came here from your explanation of the Schrodinger’s Rapist name, which I understand to mean that you, as a random person cannot know for sure if any given person will rape you, and that it’s males that concern you. I only assume this because I didn’t see you address the idea of a female raping you.

    You’re making the same mistake you accuse others off – ignoring something that is a real issue that affect real people. Are you honestly telling me that you believe that misandry does not exist? Because I can find no other meaning behind your words than that. And how is that not misandry in and of itself: To ignore that misandry exists?

    I understand that this page is *not for males*. That doesn’t make the statement ” There is no such thing as “misandry” ” any less false, or any less destructive. I am not being precious, you are simply wrong. And perhaps you should consider that reaching males, instead of alienating the ones *who agree with you that this rape culture and common stupidity and hypocrisy of many males is a real problem*.

    Perhaps you were being poetic or artistic, and immediately recanted it, to prove a point – if so, then please feel free to ignore or mock me as you see fit.

    But I’m not reading the rest of it to find out, because NOBODY should be made to feel like they don’t count in society – something that *you of all people* should know. I mean, isn’t that kind of your point overall?

    However, thank you for the Russian Roulette analogy (in another article) which explained quite a lot to me and taught me how to be act less ‘creepy’ around the random females in my life.

    I hope you find what you’re looking for in life, and I honestly wish you nothing but the best.

    • I may be confused by what you’re saying, so please correct me if I’m wrong, but what you appear to be saying is that you get the impression that the existence of female rapists implies the existence of misandry, and that’s not the case at all. Let me see if I can be more clear.

      The use of the word “misandrist” in that example is not synonymous with “rapist.” They’re actually separate, but related concepts, or, more accurately, misogyny and rape are. Misogyny is the mistreatment and perceived inferiority of women based on cultural assumptions of what women are and what they should be. Like all oppression, it’s a combination of prejudice and power. Because men are granted the lion’s share of physical and cultural authority in most places, they are the ones in a position to be oppressive.

      The reason why I say that “misandry” doesn’t exist is that women are not granted the power component to actually enforce any oppression. MRAs will claim that because it’s culturally less acceptable to hit a woman or that women are granted favors based on classical chivalric standards (holding doors for them is one of the most common examples), that they are in fact the more powerful gender, but this is an incredibly problematic premise for a number of reasons, not least of which is that chivalric standards were created as a way of oppressing women by claiming that they were these delicate, precious things that could not be allowed to do certain activities, so men were required to make up for their deficiency. It would be like if you were chopping vegetables for dinner and I came and elbowed you to the side, saying to let me do that because you’re going to cut yourself. On one hand, yes, I’m doing your work for you, but on the other hand it’s because I think that you’re too incompetent to do something as simple as chopping vegetables without hurting yourself. It’s no longer a favor at that point, if you catch my drift.

      That’s why I claim that misandry, a systemic oppression of men by women, doesn’t exist: because the system, even when it appears to be in women’s favor, is not actually in women’s favor.

      As to the point about female rapists, I agree that they exist and that they are a huge problem, but significantly less likely than a male rapist. That being said, there are a host of problems that go with that as well, especially when it comes to female on male rape, where people question the man’s sexuality if he didn’t enjoy a woman having sex with him for any reason, even against his will. People will pretend that this was a good thing and deny that men have any right to feel violated in some fashion. This does happen, but I would point out that nobody will suggest that the man who was raped “brought it on themselves” in some fashion, and that this is also an aspect of patriarchy that men are assumed to be always willing to have sex, never capable of being violated, and expected to physically fend off anything that might be perceived as an attack. It’s the same bullshit gender standard.

      The thing is, this page is as much for males as anyone else. Claims of misandry are very little different from claims of “reverse racism” or “anti-Christian bigotry”. They are a group that wields power complaining that they can no longer say and do whatever they want without consequences. It’s important for everyone to realize the deficiency of those claims. Occasionally they have a point, but often the target of their ire is bizarre. For example, I do feel that MRAs are right that prison rape of males is a huge issue, I just don’t see how an opposition to feminism is conducive to solving that issue. In order to solve many of the problems we’re facing, a good first step is to recognize where the power dynamics actually lie.

      If Vin Diesel has been picking on me for years (which he wouldn’t do because he’s kind of awesome, so we’ll call him Jerk Vin Diesel) and I decided to fight back, it doesn’t mean I’m picking on Jerk Vin now. Moreover, while I might get a punch in if I’m lucky, the odds are that I will get pounded pretty hard, so it’s rather absurd to suggest that I was oppressing Jerk Vin Diesel in this metaphor. To take it out of metaphor, I am women (that sounded weird) and Jerk Vin Diesel is patriarchy. Jerk Vin Diesel picking on me is the myraid ways that patriarchy makes women’s lives difficult every day. Me fighting back is feminism, which sometimes lands a good blow, but is usually beaten down by patriarchy because the latter is so much stronger. And to claim that women trying to prevent the things that have been making them miserable for no other reason than because they’re women is a systemic abuse of men makes no more sense than my trying to stand up to Jerk Vin Diesel is a systemic abuse of him.

      Is that more clear? Did I miss your point entirely?

  11. Great post. I actually came across it because I described this to a male friend and he said, “Oh, like Schroedinger’s Rapist.” I’d never heard of it so a quick Google and here I am. Here are my main thoughts – you didn’t do anything wrong. You know that. And you weren’t harmed or oppressed by noticing for one second that someone was afraid of you. A couple people argued that this fear is prejudice – but how are they really harmed by someone being afraid of them for a moment? Especially when compared to the real harm that occurs to 1 out of 4 women in the United States.

    I live in LA and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been harassed on the street. If I’m walking alone at night and I don’t know you, just please don’t talk to me. It’s not that hard. Just recently I walked by a group of guys at a bus stop (alone, at night) and they shouted to me that I was pretty. I felt like I needed to be nice so they wouldn’t get mad at me and follow me (that’s happened) or attack me (hasn’t happened, but it does) but all I wanted to say is, “Please don’t talk to me.” It sucks that I can’t just say that.

    If you walk up behind me and I turn around to see who you are, don’t shout, “Jesus, I’m not a rapist.” (That’s happened.) Because that makes you scarier than you were before. And personally I’m not just afraid of rape, and I’m not just afraid of men (honestly I am not afraid most of the time, but when I’m walking alone at night in a big city I’m wary of who’s around me, especially who’s behind me, staring at me, or talking to me). I don’t want to be mugged, either, and young men are also more likely to mug me, especially when I’m alone and vulnerable.

    Being annoyed that a woman looked at you in fear is not a big fucking deal. Everyone telling me that I can’t walk home at night without a man with me pretty much sucks. Knowing that I’m seen as vulnerable because I’m female sucks. If we’re in the grocery checkout counter and it’s taking forever and you say, “Jeez, it’s taking forever!”, you’re fine. If I’m alone at midnight and you say, “Where are you going?” or you linger behind me, it’s not fine. Not making me feel unduly uncomfortable is so not that hard. I appreciate that’s something you understand and I don’t know why it’s so upsetting for some of the commenters here.

  12. One point I read in a sequel to the original article is that women aren’t necessarily afraid that the dude who interrupts their reading on BART is going to rape them there during rush hour, or follow them off the train, or make a big scene about her being a bitch for not giving her number. Even if the guy seems like he’d otherwise be date material, if he’s the kind of guy who feels entitled to her attention when she’s reading, he may insist on her sexual compliance later.

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