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Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:59 PM

A bit about "potential rapists".

One of the most commonly misunderstood and misquoted ideas that come up when discussing rape is Schrodinger's Rapist. Schrodinger's Rapist basically states that when a strange man approaches a woman, she has no idea if he is or is not a rapist. It's not about defining rapists or accusing men of being rapists, it's about threat assessment and an attempt to explain that threat assessment to the people being assessed. (That would be us, guys.)

This is not the same thing as claiming all men are potential rapists. The claim being made is that a woman simply cannot tell if a man is a rapist or not by sight alone. This is not an extraordinary claim. Rapists don't wear “Hi, I'm A Rapist!” t-shirts. They don't have flashing neon signs over their heads. There is no physical characteristic that will allow a woman to pick a rapist out of a crowd.

Given all of that, it's often in a woman's best interest to assume strangers approaching them might be a rapist, especially since there's a not inconsequential segment of society that will blame them if they engage a man in conversation and he turns out to be a rapist. Also known as the "What was she wearing?" discussion.

It's why we use a username here instead of our real name. The vast majority of us aren't crazy people that might hurt someone from the internet, but someone might be. Since we can't tell who might be a psychopath, we hide our identity from people we don't know. We're all Schrodinger's Crazy Person That Might Kill Me Over A Disagreement On The Internet.

It's the same reason that if I asked you what your Social Security number is you'd ask me if I'd lost my fucking mind. I'd never steal someone's identity, but you have absolutely no way of knowing that. To hand that over requires trust, which I, as a completely anonymous person in the crowd, don't have. It doesn't mean you think I'm an identity thief or even a potential identity thief. It just means you have no way of knowing, and without any way of knowing, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Our desire to interact with a woman does not trump her right to be left alone, and it certainly doesn't trump her right to set her own acceptable level of risk. We're not entitled to a conversation. Men actually turn out to be rapists at a far higher rate than parachute failure: This doesn't make someone wrong for refusing to go skydiving, it just means they have a different level of acceptable risk than we do. We all have different levels of acceptable risk, and none of them are wrong.

Women are simultaneously expected to keep themselves from being raped and expected to be courteous to every single person that approaches them. When they aren't, they're accused of hating men, wanting to outlaw attraction, and being stuck up. (Among other things) Society cannot demand women be responsible for their own protection, then insist what they decide is necessary to protect themselves is unreasonable. We can't have it both ways.

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JoeyT Dec 2012 OP
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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:03 PM

1. Nice analysis

thanks!

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:06 PM

2. +1,000

I can't recommend your insights highly enough. Many, many thanks for the post.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:11 PM

3. Great post. Thank you. n/t

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:16 PM

4. Awesome analysis. Wish I could rec this thread to the high heavens and hope

 

to see more of your work in the future.

You last paragraph nails the pernicious double standard that still pervades gender relations in the U.S.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:17 PM

5. One could feel similar in the hood where I live when a person of color approaches them

Based on past experiences, crime rates here based on race/type, etc.

Two of our small stores here you can buy drugs any time day or night, homes broken into, people have shot up cars with guns and BB guns, and the crime rate since I was a kid has soared.

Many of the older people see this as a direct correlation to our area becoming mostly minority (and their own experiences have added to that).

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:24 PM

7. Based on my experience I'd only worry about white people as far as theft goes

and I live in a pretty diverse area. But all the times I've had something stolen when the person was caught, and the one time my house was broken into, every time it was someone who was white. Well it was two white teenage kids when the house got broken into, not just someONE.

So you and I have different experiences, since those crimes are committed often by white people and often by people of color. On the other hand, 99% of rapes are committed by men.

Also, I lock my door and don't give my key out to any stranger, of any race, because any one of them might rob my house. I don't know who until my house gets robbed, and I don't assume anyone can be trusted with my key.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:34 PM

8. The stereotype of the thief being a lowlife black or white from a poor socio-economic

background sort of flies in the face of the fact that our two greatest economic upheavals were caused by wealthy white males. The excesses of the robber baron days and the crooked speculation that lead to the two Wall St. crashes and the economic crash of 2008 demonstrated just how skewered our perceptions are of criminal behavior--and which class pays the highest price for breaking the law.

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Response to Rozlee (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:36 PM

9. That's true too

Our criminal justice system goes after some crimes more than others, and there's a reason for that. Good point!

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Response to gollygee (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:45 AM

56. It's the crimes they want us to notice that they go after. Pay no attention to that man behind the

curtain pocketing billions of our nation's wealth. Look at that black dude with the weed!

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:10 AM

75. Stupid analogy. Men are the only people who will rape a woman.

The gender-based distinction is based in fact, not prejudice. A woman is not equally likely to be raped by a man or a woman. Nowhere is this or will this ever be the case.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #75)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:30 AM

87. This depends on whether you're talking about the population at large

or the prison population. Both men and women in prison face rape from their own gender. It's rare that a woman in the general population will be raped by another woman. It might happen to a very young girl from a female babysitter, a relative or another female in a position of authority. The rape can be in the form of penetration by objects aside from genital contact and girls and adult women can be coerced by force, blackmail, threats and while under the influence of drugs such as Rophenol. It's extremely rare outside of the prison population, but it unfortunately happens. And females raping men also happens in much the same way; from babysitters, teachers, relatives sexually assaulting young boys, to forcing sex with men by blackmail and threats. Men can't control their biology and their shame and trauma are just as acute as women's, but they live in cultures that tease and undermine their suffering and the number of men reporting such occurrences are thought to be much lower than women who do for this reason. There are organizations for men like rainn.org and malesurvivor.org that address a great many of these issues with men and boys who have been raped by other males and females.

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Response to Rozlee (Reply #87)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:35 AM

90. I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm saying it's MUCH less likely for a woman

to be a rapist than for a man to be a rapist.

This isn't disputed by rational people.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #90)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:56 AM

98. I updated my post but you're right.

Female rapists outside of the prison population are about 1%.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:18 PM

6. k&r

Thank you for putting this all together for an OP. Excellent work.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:36 PM

10. You can extend this without it being insulting even

I'm a male and I don't talk to people in public unless I have to. The people I talk to are potential threats and are treated as such. It doesn't have to be rape- I'm often accosted by salespeople, people of questionable motive, people who aren't in control of their dogs, people on bikes who don't understand right of way, etc.

The idea that women should need to give due consideration and attention to strangers in public is insane. That's like saying we should be forced to carry signs around saying "easy target."

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Response to Hydra (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:15 PM

16. Wow. What a constrained mindset.



I'm a male and I don't talk to people in public unless I have to. The people I talk to are potential threats and are treated as such.


This is NOT healthy. Sounds like PTSD.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:30 PM

24. Sounds more like snark

Completely opposite points being made in the same post, probable snark.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #24)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:56 PM

32. No snark involved

I see the danger and suggest it should be deal with as a potential danger and respected as such.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:53 PM

31. Yes, I do have PSTD, thanks for mentioning it

So should I and women in potential danger put ourselves out there for more of it to make other people feel more comfortable?

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Response to Hydra (Reply #31)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:48 AM

57. Absolutely not.

Just in case anyone wasn't sure of the answer.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #57)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:45 AM

67. Thank you for that~

I was being made to feel weird for putting safety first...wasn't sure what part of wonderland I'd stepped into or out of

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Response to Hydra (Reply #31)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:17 AM

64. PTSD means that your reactions are not necessarily to the present stimulus, but perhaps an earlier

experience.

So should I and women in potential danger put ourselves out there for more of it to make other people feel more comfortable?


That's the point. You are "protecting yourself" from a threat that isn't there. That's what makes it PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #64)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:56 AM

70. Just because you're paranoid and all that...

You say the person is protecting themselves from threats that aren't there--but you don't know who they are, where they live or what situations they're avoiding because they feel threatened. How do you know the threats don't exist? PTSD is caused BY a threat that DID exist. And just because it left the person extra on-guard doesn't mean that the threats don't exist.

You don't know, and so can't accuse this person of being paranoid rather than rightful vigilant.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #70)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:59 AM

71. He said he suffers from PTSD. That's what "PTSD" means. It's definitional.

You don't know, and so can't accuse this person of being paranoid rather than rightful vigilant.


Nobody is "accusing" anyone of anything. We are discussing the definition of "PTSD", which the poster says he suffers from.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #71)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:30 AM

86. I'm saying that you're taking his PTSD as evidence that everything he says he does...

...is delusional. PTSD means he is hyper-vigilant and ultra sensitive to things that startle him, but not knowing the extent of the PTSD means you don't know if he's having actual hallucinations. A PTSD soldier in a war zone, who is hyper-vigilant and startles easily (not having hallucinations) is no more delusional than the soldier next to him who doesn't have it. So where does this person live?

They may be aware of their PTSD during the day when they should be safe but don't feel safe. But that doesn't mean that their hyper-vigilance at night, in a bad neighborhood, is unwarranted or delusional--you seem to be saying that the PTSD makes them always delusional, no matter what the circumstances.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #86)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:34 AM

88. No. I am saying what is in my posts. I will not refute things I didn't say, like "delusional".

At any rate, there is no point in speculating. The author of the post I originally responded to might be shopping in a war zone, and encountering "people on bikes" who mean him harm, but I doubt it.


I'm a male and I don't talk to people in public unless I have to. The people I talk to are potential threats and are treated as such. It doesn't have to be rape- I'm often accosted by salespeople, people of questionable motive, people who aren't in control of their dogs, people on bikes who don't understand right of way, etc.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1921567

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Response to Romulox (Reply #88)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:11 PM

103. Oh, glad you finally got to the point

Would you prefer I talk about the people who pulled a gun on my friends and I when we were leaving the movies? Or perhaps the date rapist that was a friend of friends? Or maybe the thugs we ran into who were fishing at the creek within city limits who looked at my female relative like she was dinner?

It appears I just need the appropriate level of sexiness in the threat for you to approve of my stance. That's good to know.

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Response to Hydra (Reply #103)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:24 PM

105. YOU mentioned cyclists and salespeople as "threats" on a discussion about *rape*.

As I mentioned, I think fumesucker was correct.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #105)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:57 PM

108. Not my fault if you took what I said and decided to downplay/read into it

But if you really have no threats in your life, count your blessings and don't tell the rest of us to adjust our strategies to make you feel more comfortable.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #64)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:29 AM

85. PSTD is not much of a protection in my case

And doesn't really apply here. I've simply been in dangerous situations where you're supposed to be safe, and so I know you have to be the first line of defense for yourself, as do vulnerable women.

Unless you're trying to say that the world is perfectly safe(and I'd be happy to see that) I'm not sure what your objection is to doing active threat assessment when among people you don't know.

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Response to Hydra (Reply #85)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:45 AM

93. You've been attacked by people on bikes, and salespeople? That's who you mentioned as threats.

Hydra (9,329 posts)
10. You can extend this without it being insulting even

I'm a male and I don't talk to people in public unless I have to. The people I talk to are potential threats and are treated as such. It doesn't have to be rape- I'm often accosted by salespeople, people of questionable motive, people who aren't in control of their dogs, people on bikes who don't understand right of way, etc.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=19215679

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Response to Romulox (Reply #93)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:03 PM

100. Why should I go into the more ugly stuff

I simply pointed out things I see every day and have to avoid. One of those people biking on the trail I was walking on almost hit me because she took a risk and rode over a long patch of iced over snow. As she passed me, she looked shaken over the fact that she almost wiped out, not that she would have nailed me in the process. The salesman I was thinking of wanted to get into my house to "give me something free." He wouldn't even give me a flier when I asked him about his service but told him today wasn't a good day.

It's been a few months since someone pulled an actual weapon on me, but it was when I was accompanying a female relative and they(group of 4) had nothing good on their minds.

I'm sensing you're trying to downplay the normal risks of living in this less than lawful society. If so, you're not going to convince me because I've already been burned and am attempting not to be so more than necessary. I will also continue to support the cause of women who need to be vigilant and to take steps to protect themselves, because society isn't doing a good job doing that for them.

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Response to Hydra (Reply #100)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:06 PM

101. Honestly, I think fumesucker had it right. I should have listened. nt

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Response to Romulox (Reply #64)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:05 PM

193. PTSD doesn't make every perceived threat imaginary, as I'm sure you know.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #193)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 01:13 AM

194. He mentions cyclists and salespeople as "threats" in question. I doubt his sincerity. nt

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Response to Romulox (Reply #194)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:18 AM

195. No. I think I understand just what he means. If you can't understand it, consider yourself lucky.

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Response to Hydra (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:08 PM

197. Really? you think it's the same?

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #197)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:42 PM

198. I do, and I think it should be considered "due caution" rather than

Taken to mean that I or the cautious person believe that everyone is a rapist, thug or pickpocket.

The biggest pushback on this seems to be the idea that it's a form of profiling or that men are being unfairly discriminated against. I think if it's linked to the wider idea of safety vs a specific threat, then the only people arguing against it will be the people who have never been threatened/hurt or the perps.

If you're asking if I think one type of violence is as bad as another...that's a question I can say both yes and no to. All violence is bad, but sexual violence is particularly disgusting/damaging.

Make sense?

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Response to Hydra (Reply #198)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:49 PM

199. No not really

Going to leave this conversation because both of us are very set in our point of view and I want to avoid things getting heated. I'm sure we probably agree on 95% of other issues.

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #199)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:20 PM

200. Probably so

I have a system that I feel works in my daily life, and if I ever wonder if I'm missing something, I usually get a scary reminder to keep it safe and watch people. I can only imagine that women that choose to take the same tact find it to work.

I'm curious if you have an objection to that, or to the fact that I classify rape along with other threats of violence, or something else entirely? The other objection I got seems to have been based on the idea that people(men) should be given more consideration because they might not be dangerous, and I assume you have a different qualm? Feel free not to answer, but I didn't expect any objections so am somewhat surprised/wondering why there would be some.

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Response to Hydra (Reply #200)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:01 PM

203. The best way I can explain it is this:

All those things you list that you have to be wary of, women do to. We just have the added bonus of having to worry about sexual assault as well and that usually comes from a person who generally wouldn't raise your suspicions in any other way.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:47 PM

11. very well said

and it needed to be said. Thank you.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:53 PM

12. so well put, I am very appreciative you took the time to write this. n/t

 

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:06 PM

13. when a strange man, woman or child approaches me I have no idea whether they are

 

rapists, murderers, pickpockets, mad bombers, or deranged violent mental cases.

"Men actually turn out to be rapists at a far higher rate than parachute failure..."

that is the same statistical argument used to justify fear of minorities, muslims, etc.

slippery slope you're on there.



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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:47 PM

28. The slope is less slippery than you'd think.

White people are more likely to be victims of crime by white people than anything else. Women are more likely to be victimized by men than other women.

I'd say Schrodinger's Religious Fanatic would apply to a non-Muslim in a predominately Muslim country where they can be harmed by the dominant religion and little to nothing will be done. Same would go for a Muslim visiting an area where hatred against their religion is common. There are areas where I don't admit being an atheist or being half Native American because I can never tell who's going to become violently unhinged over it.

Most of the complaints against Schrodinger's Rapist require a complete reversal of power dynamics.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #28)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:52 PM

30. well, if white people are more likely to be victims of white people, there you go!

 

let the essentialism proceed!!

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:12 AM

76. Oh Jesus, poor oppressed men who whine because women have to live in fear of being raped.

Seriously, this need for men to be the real victims in every circumstance is downright pathological.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #76)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:42 PM

143. psst: i'm a woman

 

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:10 PM

14. Interesting.

I have never had the mindset that any and every strange man who approaches me is a potential rapist. Although, there have been times when I've immediately felt wary and on guard when approached by a stranger.

But as someone else had already pointed out, this is the kind of thinking that some people use to justify "All dark-skinned persons are potential thieves and murderers".

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:13 PM

15. There's a nugget of cognitive dissonance that just can't be overcome..

The same line of thinking, when applied to other physical characteristics would be racist, but making the determination based on whether a person's reproductive organs are on the inside or the outside? "Of course that's not sexist. "

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:40 PM

25. It isn't even difficult to overcome.

Comparing Schrodinger's rapist to racism requires a reversing of the oppressor and oppressed. The complaint isn't comparable to racism as much as it is "reverse racism": The idea that acting in response to threat or oppression is, in itself, a threat or oppression.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #25)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:48 PM

29. Umm.. wha huh?

Performing a risk assessment based on physical characteristics- in one case the characteristic is skin color; in the other, it's the presence or absence of dangly bits.

Personally, I think both are discrimination. Anything else is a rationalization (which is de rigeur with cognitive dissonance.)

eta: To clarify: You can then go on to make the case as to whether or not the discrimination is justifiable, but avoiding the acknowledgement does nobody any good.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #29)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:18 AM

82. Are you really that stupid as to suggest its immoral discrimination to view men as more

likely to rape a woman than women are to rape a woman?

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #82)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:47 AM

94. I make no value judgement either way.

Do try and keep your fingers out of my mouth. The words come out on their own without your help, thanks.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #94)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:48 AM

95. Well, you're acting like it's discrimination to acknowledge a fact known to every

sentient human who has ever lived--that the threat of rape to a woman is almost exclusively from men, not women.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #95)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:58 AM

99. By definition, it is discrimination- "Recognize a distinction; differentiate." n/t

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #99)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:09 PM

102. In the sense that hiring smart people to work at accounting firm

is discrimination against stupid people, I guess.

In this instance, you conflated a valid form of discrimination with an invalid one.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #102)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:55 PM

107. Arguing whether it's valid or invalid, justifiable or irrational- is another discussion.

But glad to see that you finally agree that it is discrimination.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #107)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:21 PM

111. It's good discrimination, based on facts. That makes the comparison to racial discrimination

a stupid one.

Treating men as more likely to rape than women is NOT SEXISM.

Treating black men as more likely to rape than white men IS RACISM.

If you do not understand this distinction, you do not understand the concepts of racism and sexism.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #111)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:30 PM

114. "Good Discrimination"? Hrmm, okay. If you say so. n/t

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #114)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:31 PM

115. Yes, because it's based not on prejudice but on actual operative facts.

The reason that 85 year olds don't play in the NBA or WNBA is not due to ageism or some kind of improper discrimination. It's based on physical reality.

You seem to be unable to process fact-based distinctions from those based on prejudice.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #115)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:36 PM

117. Again, you seem to want to attach moral judgement where none is intended.

But you have made me curious..

Would you agree that the statement, "Discrimination is always wrong" is untrue?

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #117)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:17 PM

121. You compared common sense distinctions between the sexes based on actual

physical and behavioral facts to racial discrimination based on racial prejudice.

That comparison was and is idiotic.

You claimed viewing men as more likely to rape than women was being 'sexist.'

That is nonsense.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #121)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:20 PM

122. Hint: Look up the definitions.

Discrimination based on sex is.. sexism. You agreed that it is discrimination ("good discrimination"), based on the gender of the person. The definition fits.



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Response to X_Digger (Reply #122)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:22 PM

123. Viewing men as more likely to rape than women is not prejudice against men.

It's the same as acknowleding that men are more likely to get testicular cancer.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #123)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:29 PM

124. Who mentioned prejudice?

Again, I think you're responding to something I didn't say.

It is discrimination, by your own admission. It is sexist, which is discrimination based on gender.

Prejudice? That encompasses legitimacy, which hasn't been discussed up to this point. I wouldn't say prejudice, no, because it is based on reason or experience.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #124)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:32 PM

125. So it's sexist to exclude women from testicular cancer screenings?

Congratulations, you've just watered down sexism to make it a completely meaningless term.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #125)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:37 PM

127. Sexist? Sure. (discrimination based on gender) Prejudiced? No, because it's based on reason.

You seem to want to attach moral judgements to definitions.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #127)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:40 PM

128. Oy, if you insist on making sexism a meaningless term, that's your choice.

But, it's a stupid choice.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #128)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:42 PM

130. I don't "make" the term anything.. it is what it is. n/t

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #130)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:37 PM

141. If you said excluding women from testicular cancer screenings was "sexism" in a room

full of intelligent adults, they would laugh at you.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #141)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 04:20 PM

154. Please continue to argue with a dictionary. I find it amusing. n/t

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #154)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 04:35 PM

157. You do realize that treating men as more likely to rape is not based on their

Y chromosome or sex/gender, but rather their actual ability and probability to engage in that behavior, right?

It's not because they're men, it's because they represent a probability of threat that a woman of child simply does not.

The 95 year old guy in a walker is not going to be treated as a threat. even though he's a man. It's because the facts render him less of a threat.

So, you are also factually incorrect--treating those who represent a greater threat differently because they represent a greater threat is not sexism or discrimination based on sex.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #157)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 04:45 PM

158. Restating your position doesn't change the conclusion.

You agreed that it's discrimination, "good discrimination" even. Sexism is discrimination based on gender.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #158)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 04:49 PM

159. No, it's discrimination based on probability of threat.

If the person can be guaranteed that the man is not a rapist, or is no more likely to rape her than another women, then the man would not be viewed as a threat.

It's about the threat to the woman, not the man's Y chromosome or gonads.

Sorry if this discussion is over your head.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #159)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 04:57 PM

160. Sorry that you seem to have worked yourself into a corner, and can't get out without insults. n/t

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #160)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:06 PM

163. I'll stick with my version of reality in which excluding women from testicular cancer

screenings is not an example of sexism.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #163)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:10 PM

164. Again, you seem to be arguing with a dictionary. Feel free. n/t

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #164)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:11 PM

165. No, because excluding women is done on the basis that they are not

at risk of getting testicular cancer and in fact cannot be screened for testicular cancer.

Ergo, not sexism.

I know it's a tough concept to get your head around.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #165)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:15 AM

208. Let it go. He is amusing himself by yanking your leash.

It is not possible to have rational discussion with someone using semantic quibbles to ignore reason.

He is doing the same thing that creationists do when they say evolution is just a "theory." He is conflating two different meanings of "discrimination" just as creationists conflate two different meanings of "theory."

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #157)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:01 PM

161. It's obvous X-digger is here to quibble

and indulge in meaningless sophistry, as a way to deflect this thread from any actual discussion of what the OP said and obviously intended.

There seem to be one or two specimens of this on any thread related to rape. Instead of talking about the realities of rape, and any possible responsibility progressive men might have to acknowledge, understand, and act to end the oppression, we get post after post arguing semantics in an effort to demonstrate how clever and witty the poster really is.

There comes a point where it's useless to engage such people.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:07 AM

52. in exactly what way are women harming men by being a little wary? a wee ego bruise?

if you think that's worth talking about, then you'll have to talk about how men look at women, LOL. I don't think you want to go there.

And neither do we.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:16 AM

80. Your argument is apples and oranges--or are you really going to tell me that a petite woman...

--in high heels and a skirt viewing a man twice her weight and size and able to move faster (not in high heels and a skirt), heading her way in a dark place is the same as George Zimmerman's (a largish white man with a gun) view of Trayvon Martin (a teen walking--even running away from him)?

A frail, elderly man is not a racist if he is wary of a young man in a dark alley no matter what color that young man is because that young man is strong and healthy and the elderly gent is not. There is no "racism" or sexism in fearing anyone in a situation who might do you harm because you are physically weaker than they are and they have the advantage. Or even fearing them because they might have friends, might have a weapon, might just be crazy.

I mean, we wouldn't wonder at a person scared at seeing a large, unleashed dog in an alley, right? We'd know they were scared because it's a strange animal and dogs can be dangerous. Well, people can be, too. So why is our natural "fight-or-flight" reaction to a scary place and strangers in the scary place sexism/racism? Why should we be reprimanded for what seems to be a very natural reaction?

As said in post #45, the difference between sexism, racism and this sort of situation is how the person reacts when the situation is not a potential trap, in a well-lighted, well-populated place. Not how they react when the situation is dark and potentially dangerous.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #80)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:52 AM

97. That's a bit of a straw man..

You're going pretty far afield from the original situation- treating someone differently based on a person's skin color or the presence/absence of a Y chromosome.

It is discrimination, by definition. Now, you can argue that it's justifiable or not, and I can see both sides of that discussion.

Who exactly brought up dark alleys?

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #97)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:26 PM

113. It's not based on a Y chromosome--it's based on the actual ability and likelihood of that

person being a rapist.

It's called reality.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:28 PM

21. How often do women get raped by women?

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:44 PM

26. Bingo.

 

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 11:30 PM

42. There are entire websites dedicated to this concept.

Granted, I do not know if most if not all subscribers are male. The sites only care about your money. But they wouldn't be in business if someone didn't believe it, or want to believe it.

I am only the messenger.



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Response to NashvilleLefty (Reply #42)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:16 AM

81. yes, it's porn for wannabe rapists who get off on seeing rape performed.

That doesn't mean it happens in real life. It just means that porn is often crafted to appeal to the worst society has to offer.

And, yes, it's the menz that buy that crap.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #14)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:13 AM

77. That wouldn't be an idiotic comparison if only dark-skinned persons were capable

of committing those crimes.

only men are capable of committing rape.

That's the difference people refuse to understand,

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #14)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:33 PM

126. Crimes by light-skinned people are not a statistical aberration

Rapes by females are a statistical aberration within the confines of rape, yes?

Crimes by "light-skinned "people are not a statistical aberration within the confines of crimes, yes?

"this is the kind of thinking that some people use to justify ..." Only by those foolish enough to draw the same conclusion from an aberration as from a norm.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:15 PM

17. This is illogical, since a rapist is likely to be a person one knows... nt

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Response to Romulox (Reply #17)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:24 PM

19. It's true that a rapist is likely to be someone a person knows,

but the OP is not illogical. The OP is responding directly to some of the male pearl-clutching that's crapped up this board in response to a post about teaching young men not to rape.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #17)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:29 PM

22. Totally logical -- many of us live it every day

Know how many places I can't go running because of this? Among other things.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:23 AM

48. No, logical - it's more common with acquaintances because women let their guard down more with them

That's why a LOT more education is needed- for both sexes.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #48)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:14 AM

63. Read what you posted again. It's not logical to focus on the minuscule threat

only to let one's guard down for the substantial threat.


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Response to Romulox (Reply #63)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:36 AM

91. Perceived threat

Even though it's not accurate, women are taught (explicitly by parents, indirectly through news, tv, etc) to avoid strange men. We get an unrealistic perception of the threat of stranger rape. So we learn to keep up our guard against men we don't know, especially in circumstances where we are at a particular disadvantage (alone, dark street, etc). Similar unbalanced media reporting has led parents to have an unrealistic impression of stranger danger - leading them to keep their kids on a short leash and not range very far from home to play and socialize like they could in previous generations.

Even knowing that women are more likely to be raped by someone they know, I am more on guard when I find myself alone with a man I don't know. I think it is just instinctive. I wonder if a man who found himself in a dark alley with a guy nearly twice his size would feel threatened?

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Response to A Little Weird (Reply #91)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:42 AM

92. Thanks for this post.

Even knowing that women are more likely to be raped by someone they know, I am more on guard when I find myself alone with a man I don't know. I think it is just instinctive. I wonder if a man who found himself in a dark alley with a guy nearly twice his size would feel threatened?


I think most experts would advise you to trust your gut in such circumstances. Most men would avoid that situation every bit as readily as most women.

However, when we come to a discussion board to discuss policy, we have to start breaking through some of these stereotypes and logical fallacies. This fear of strangers is pathological, imo, and, (more importantly) doesn't protect women (or children as you mentioned.)

What is particularly toxic is when anyone who tries to make an argument like the above is labeled "an apologist". Not to imply anyone is guilty of that here, just finishing my thought...

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Response to Romulox (Reply #92)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:25 PM

136. what is also toxic is when we SAY education for men ALSO, they HEAR we think they are all rapists...

Very few ask, Gee why do you think more education is needed? Instead you get a defensive and often disbelieving posture. Requests to soothe their ego, or admonishment that we're not explaining or dealing in a way that is pleasing to the guy. This is common. We've both seen this again and again here.


The irony is, a lot of women/ girls get themselves in a horrible position because they were afraid to hurt a manipulative rapists feelings.... then when they try and talk about it- Mr Nice Guy puts his feelings first too. This is why I'm pretty strident about things. If men refuse to talk to me because I don't put their feelings first, I'm not too kind about it, LOL. I don't need to bother with anyone who is that selfish.


I think guys are afraid to cope with is because they often think some action is required- kicking a guys ass or whatever.
And women need to cut through the crap and ask very directly for what sort of support they need, but the conversations don't even start because some immediately men become defensive and make it about them.

And jeeze, I'm tired of having to type "some" in front of men everytime I type it, because I know the MRA "stereotyping" police force will swoop down and attack me. LOL.



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Response to bettyellen (Reply #136)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:27 PM

137. I think ground rule #1 is that we all get to make *our own* arguments. I can't answer for others.

Your comments here are not responding to anything I wrote.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #137)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:39 PM

142. I was explaining where the dialog goes wrong. Couldn't tell what part of that post you thought would

be labeled "apologist" at all. Flew over my head, really.

Except for several seriously fucked up posts, I haven't seen a lot of apolpgists here- what I have seen is a lot of people very hostile to the idea of an honest conversation about it.

I am seeing a lot of men *not all* throwing up excuse after excuse to not have the conversation, unless we jump through their hoops and make sure their ego can handle the conversation. That is toxic. It makes DU, and life suck for more women than you;d ever guess.









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Response to bettyellen (Reply #142)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:51 PM

146. Let's have that conversation. It's needed. Let's allow room for EVERYONE to participate, though.

The stats we've been discussing tell us that the vast majority of men are a) not perpetrators, b) potential allies.

You act like it's a capitulation to impute goodwill to men here on DU, who we KNOW are statistically not likely to be rapists. It's not. It's the first step in communication is to find common ground. In this case, that common ground is a desire to make the world a safer place for women.

My point, above, is that this focus on "Shrodinger's Rapist" is not doing that, because in the vast majority of cases, rapists are people we know, not strangers.

As I mentioned above, that DOESN'T mean not trusting your instincts. But it means that when we discuss this issue, we can't begin with a false premise if we want to make any true progress. Particularly not when that premise seems to lash out indiscriminately at friend and foe alike.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #146)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 04:15 PM

152. It IS needed. The Shrodinger's rapist thing is not about the right strategy- it's about explaining

to some guys -who put their own personal offense *at being broadbrushed or looked at funny*out there as concern #1-
why they shouldn't be offended when women are wary to trust them. It's a baby step that only serves to put men at ease. Very unfortunate it is needed at all- don't you think?

But you should look through some threads at the nasty reaction you get when you suggest all young men (as well as women) need some education around here. These are the guys who need to understand the Shrodinger thingey. Too many are insisting it's too insulting to be looked at funny or akin to racism and use that as an excuse to not allow the conversation. Half of this crap is about men saying they know everything already (they don't, LOL) and half is accusing women of stereotyping... so the conversation doesn't get off the ground. That;s what I was trying to explain is toxic to me.

I'm glad in this case we talked. I'm really not the heartless shrew the MRA dudes claim I am. I'm just not able to waste any more time calming the many men here who do make their egos first their first concern. In my book, they need to rethink why they are making this entirely about themselves. Because that hurts all of us.

Take care now!



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Response to Romulox (Reply #63)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:08 PM

132. Yes!!! Exactly why I am saying more education is needed!!! Didn't say it's wisest strategy

to focus on stranger rape.

But this post is about getting guys to understand why some women are wary of guys on the street or new aquaintances. Not what strategies are wisest... You knew that though.

Because this is all about making men feel better about this... See how much time we waste doing that before we're even allowed to talk about the problem? Isn;t tha a bit fucked up that we're explaining nicely and STILLL get grief, arguments about what we are doing wrong- and semantics???

First, we have to make sure dudes understand we don't hate them, LOL.
Because otherwise they are just too pissed off to listen.

A lot of people make this conversation harder than it needs to be. Why do you think that is?

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #132)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:21 PM

135. But if this strategy is neither protecting people NOR emotionally satisfying NOR practical...

as a way of marshaling support, what is gained by focusing on the alleged "threat" unknown men pose?

That's the point I am trying to make.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #135)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:31 PM

138. It's marshaling support because we're put in a position of begging some men for forgiveness

for and explaining our behaviour to BEFORE they are willing to discuss the issue at all.
And then it gets derailed by men who get one concept then say- well you're doing it wrong. (as you are doing)
Our culture, yes is doing it wrong. Many of us know that better than you do- we;ve just explained it to you, LOL.

There's a lot of hoops some guys would like us to jump through before they BEGIN to listen. And there's a lot of fault finding directed at women that make communication harder. It's pretty fucked up.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #138)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:36 PM

140. Honestly, I don't understand your argument. I don't think we are going to have a

productive exchange unless we discuss the thoughts and ideas each of us have expressed. I can't answer for, or excuse, the actions or words of "some men".

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Response to Romulox (Reply #140)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:52 PM

147. I'm talking about how difficult it is to have this conversation with a lot of guys here, not about

you specifically. It's probably something you don't think about or notice because no one's trying to get you to jump through hoops before you can have a simple conversation. But it's as true in real life as it in in DU, and it sucks worse in real life.
Bye now Romu!

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #147)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:56 PM

150. I am trying, though. It's *way* easier/safer not to comment.

Bye for now, bettyellen. I don't know how to say this without sounding corny, but... peace.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #150)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 04:16 PM

153. ha ha, Your trying is noted and appreciated.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:21 PM

18. So sensible and what a relief

I hope every person at DU who has expressed the feeling of being attacked by the mere mention of rape or rape statistics will read your post and realize that they, personally, were never accused of being rapists. Thank you so much for such a well thought out and very logical post concerning a particular aspect of such a sensitive and painful subject.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:27 PM

20. k & r -- excellent post

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:30 PM

23. Here is where this originated (I think)

This link might be of value to some because I believe it's where the idea started. If it actually started somewhere else with the same name and idea, I'm sure someone will correct me.

http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger%E2%80%99s-rapist-or-a-guy%E2%80%99s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #23)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:58 PM

33. Quite an illuminating

 

post. I don't see how a man could find anything wrong with this advice, but then the world is filled with all sorts of people.

And thanks to JoeyT for a great OP.

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Response to femrap (Reply #33)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:02 PM

34. I don't see anything wrong with it

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #23)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:15 AM

59. Thanks for that great link. nt

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #23)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:25 PM

112. Thanks for the link.

Excellent piece. Lots of good common sense advice to men there.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:45 PM

27. Very well said

 

DURec

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:11 PM

35. Outstanding. And those last two paragraphs...



K&R ... And bookmarked!

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:46 PM

37. Wow. Thank you.

Just thank you for understanding. I'm not even a knock out and I've had numerous experiences in my life where I've been in danger of being raped (or worse) simply for being nice to a guy or saying "yes" when he asked me out. I've been stalked and one guy I went out with locked his door and wondered how I would feel about him strangling me. Granted, many people would say I probably had poor judgement in men, but the truth is, the, "you need to be nice and polite" meme took over the "OMG, I sort of have the heebee jeebees about this guy" instinct.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:52 PM

38. Thank you so much

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:19 PM

39. Even if the potential of rape wasn't the main concern

For what reason would a woman want to entertain the advances of a strange man? The only thing he knows about her is what she looks like, and that is what he based his decision to approach on. If there is a mutual attraction and she decides to pursue that, more power to her. But if she feels objectified because a man who knows nothing about her wants to strike up a conversation, who can blame her for preferring to keep a distance?

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Response to shawn703 (Reply #39)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:33 AM

50. rapists are more often acquaintances, and use social pressure or manipulation to get an "in"

but strangers too, rely on girls/ women to go along to get along.

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Response to shawn703 (Reply #39)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:04 AM

53. E.g.

 

giving the man chance to give her her wallet/gloves/etc. that she had dropped. Happens a lot, woman fears a rapist as the man is approaching only to give her a thing she dropped.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:51 PM

40. Every older male could be a child molester

The rape discussions remind me of the danger I, a man in his sixties, pose to children in public places. And more so the threat I seem to their parents.

I now only intervene when the child's life is in immediate danger, and even that carries a risk. After saving a child from being thrown over an upper floor railing by what seemed an older sibling, I probably avoided arrest only because it was on the mall security cameras. The younger child was crawling on the wooden top of the railing while the older child was trying to push the younger one over. After I pulled the child back to safety, the mother attacked me.

Most men are not child molesters. Most men are not potential rapists. I have fought off two men who did assault women.

I feel under attack by many on DU just for being a man, much the same as being attacked by that mother. Sad.

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Response to unc70 (Reply #40)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:28 AM

49. instead of feeling sorry for yourself, how about some empathy for women?

You don't think being concerned about people being scared of you is WORSE than living with that fear on a frequent basis, do you?

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #49)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:08 AM

54. MY HURT IS BIGGER THAN YOUR HURT

 

demands empathy but does not give room for it.

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Response to tama (Reply #54)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:22 AM

66. Similar to the "empathy deficit" thread, in which the OP told half of DU that their feeling don't

matter.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #49)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:21 AM

65. This pathological culture is not helping women. That's what you fail to see. NOBODY IS PROTECTED

by this paranoia.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #49)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:56 AM

69. Thank you for telling me how I should feel

I wasn't making a comparison about what is "WORSE", only noting the impacts it has on many, possibly most men. Please don't go presuming what I might feel, or how much empathy I might or might not have.

You seem to have really missed the small point I was attempting to make. I wasn't sad for myself, but because of the mother who had attacked me when I had just saved her child's life, who saw me still as a threat.

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Response to unc70 (Reply #69)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:44 PM

144. if I read you wrong I apologize. but the impact on men isn't our #1 concern, and it's a selfish

expectation that is SHOULD be.

But look around here, so many men only want to talk about themselves....
And that's pretty selfish, given the context- don;t you think?
Half of the posts are women bending over backwards trying not to hurt men;s feelings- does;t that bother you at all?

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #144)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 04:31 PM

156. Must have missed that half

Bending over backwards not to hurt men's feelings? Half the posts? Really?

Don't do it on my account. And don't assume most men don't understand. Have you ever considered that most men are "careful" in their own way. While most of us aren't as afraid of rape, almost every man is aware of dangerous situations leading to serious violence. We learn early on the playground.

We know how quickly things can escalate, how easy to wind up with a cracked rib, a busted face, a possible ruptured spleen, maybe far worse. It only takes saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person. Worse, it can happen when someone else, usually a woman you don't even know, says that "wrong" thing, often in what seems a deliberate ploy to start a fight over her "honor".

The men who are violent towards women are also the ones violent towards other men.

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Response to unc70 (Reply #156)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:18 PM

167. oh good lord yes, sooo many posts insisting unless you get the wording *perfect* and make sure

you don't say this or that.... you're hurting, stereotyping, trying to deprive them of civil rights or calling them idiots for promoting education.

The list of demands on HOW we talk about it is so great, you realize *some of them* are not going to ever allow the conversation to happen. I have never in my life seen so many anti- education, anti awareness and anti-activist posts in my life. It seems incredibly threatening for men to talk about the subject at all. They seem to equate requests for help with blame. It's troubling. But it starts with picking apart our words and being hyper critical instead of listening. Some men need it explained we're not blaming them ALL. We're not man hating monolithic feminazis any more than they are all rape apologists.

But one on one this happens too, a lot of women have difficulty sharing their experiences with loved ones because talking about acquaintance rape is rocking the boat, causing drama, causing doubts (because it;s not violent stranger rape- which guys find easier to handle/ believe) we're telling you something AWFUL about someone who is likely an acquaintance, friend or family member. Men forget it was IMPOSSIBLE for us to believe that guy would do something like that too- before it happened. This is why (the rarer) stranger rape is more frequently reported. People are less likely to blame you, and much more likely to believe you and help you. With the majority of rape, the pressure to keep your mouth shut comes from all sides.


I think sometimes guys get the idea that beating the crap out of someone is what we want, or what "real men" would do. But most women don;t want to "cause more trouble" and again, they don't tell men because they fear more fallout.
So, altogether there is way too much bending over back wards. It would be helpful if men knew we want them to listen and support. Many need to learn to listen without putting their own ego first. Even progressive guys can find it a stumbling block.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #167)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:08 PM

182. The more I read this, the less I think you understand

You call out many men on DU, then complain that they (probably including me) get defensive and make it all about them, those self-centered men, those potential rapists.

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Response to unc70 (Reply #182)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:28 AM

184. i call out the self centered ones who are most concerned about their hurt feelings

and need to be coddled before they let women speak. I think to myself, Fuck that manipulative bullshit. Grow up.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 11:06 PM

41. Thank you for that. K&R

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 11:35 PM

43. You nailed it!

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 11:56 PM

44. I'm not an expert on game theory, but expecting a good outcome, i.e., unknown male is not a rapist

would be the advantageous choice, right?

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Response to TransitJohn (Reply #44)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:17 AM

45. It depends on the person.

The percentage of risk isn't terribly high for any individual man being a rapist, but the consequences of being wrong even once are dire. How the reward weighs against the risk depends largely on how much the woman values conversations with strangers, or at least her perception of how much she might value the conversation with the stranger that's trying to approach her.

Edited to add: For many it also depends on the situation. Assuming the best of intentions from a person walking quickly toward you down a dark alley is a recipe for disaster no matter who you are. It's far safer to assume the best of intentions from someone in a well lit, highly populated area, though even that carries some risk. (He could be a stalker.)

A lot of the time when this comes up it's because a guy was terribly offended when he approached a woman in a place where she couldn't get help and couldn't get away, then became outraged because he thought she acted as though he was a rapist. In reality, she probably didn't think he was a rapist, he'd just approached her in a situation where the risk became unacceptable. The same woman is far more likely to talk to us at a well lit party where she knows lots of people than she is when we're the only two people in a subway car or elevator.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #45)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:18 AM

60. Great post. The situation has everything to do with this topic. nt

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #45)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:51 AM

68. Excellent point!

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #45)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:52 PM

106. You're right in the weight

The reward is pretty small vs the potential risk(no matter how how small a percentage), so I don't know why there's even a discussion about this.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #45)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:20 PM

134. Very well put

Perfect explanation.

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Response to TransitJohn (Reply #44)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:14 AM

78. If you run that scenario every time you're around a man, eventually it will prove

catastrophic.

Just like you wouldn't trust strangers with your money.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:38 AM

46. Thank you.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:16 AM

47. we're expected to be courteous to every single person that tries to threadjack or disrupt, too!

boy are they pissed when we don't keep sweet for them.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:39 AM

51. Well Said, Sir!

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:39 AM

55. I had hoped you'd repost an earlier comment on this subject as an OP. You have done even better.

Thank you.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:06 AM

58. Amen! Especially your last paragraph. nt

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:28 AM

61. Of course teaching everyone to be afraid of everyone else is rational.

 


Women committ murder, therefore every woman is a potential murderer as is every man. Therefore we must treat each-other as possible murderers at all times and learn to be more suspicious and paranoid.



What a load of horseshit.

Hey, I have an idea. Instead of scaring the living hell out of young women by telling them that every man is a potential rapist and having them grow up paranoid and suspicious of men, we teach them instead how to recognize situations that make them vulnerable and avoid them. Also, we assume that they are intelligent human beings that can and far more often than not do have good judgement about who they can trust.

Then, we can continue to teach boys and young men that touching someone intimately without their permission is wrong, and raping makes them stupid animals.

So let's raise a generation of gentlemen and secure women instead of animals and scizophrenic women.

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Response to The Doctor. (Reply #61)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:46 AM

62. Situations that make them vunerable?

Such as being in our apartments alone, walking from our workplace to our cars? Young girls at their uncle's/father's/brother's/cousin's/priest's/neighbor's mercy?

I don't generally walk around looking at men, considering their potential for being rapists. I'm not paranoid or irrational in my caution. I think most women can tell when a guy seems sketchy or just a jerk (though some rapists don't give off those vibes and some women wake up with their husbands on top of them--you don't necessarily know when or where it's coming from). Several years ago I was mugged by two young men at gun point... my first thought wasn't "I hope I don't get shot," it was "I hope they don't decide to rape me." Because for women, there are some things worse than being shot or beaten. Again, it has nothing to do with paranoia or rationality but everything to do with control. No one, male or female, wants to lose control of the situation they're in. And being raped is the ultimate loss of control.

So, it's intelligent for women and girls to be aware that men (and some women) can be potential rapists. Because as so many have stated in these threads of late, telling a rapist not to rape isn't going to work. That doesn't mean we shouldn't educate young men and boys that getting a woman drunk at a frat party (or elsewhere) or slipping something into her drink to make her more "pliable" is nothing more than raping her. Even if a drunk woman consents, men should still be cautioned that legally she cannot give that consent and therefore, she could wake in the morning and accuse the partner of rape.

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Response to The Doctor. (Reply #61)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:59 AM

72. This entire discussion was started in response to an image

that called into question the balance of 'education' at a college that emphasized 'how not to get raped' over 'don't rape'.

The idea being that we should spend more time on teaching people about things like consent, explicit versus implied, and the risks and such of both. An enormous proportion of men convicted of rape maintain they didn't rape anyone because they probably genuinely don't understand. Obviously that's no excuse, it's just justification to assess how we spread this message.

Also suggests where we need to redefine peer pressure, from the 'what was she wearing' argument on down to 'what is the purpose of a party in college'.



If the 'how not to get raped' education is effective, at best, all you are doing is raising the lowest common denominator of people most vulnerable to rape. You haven't done anything at all to the population of rapists.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #72)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:13 PM

104. Perhaps, but the idea behind Schrödinger’s Rapist is not the same

Even if some people use that idea to support their assertions regarding that image.

The idea behind Schrödinger’s Rapist has to do more with the idea of privilege. Believe it or not there's quite a few atheist crusaders who are down with this idea because they can draw comparisons to Christian privilege and use this principle to demonstrate to other disinterested parties what they are going through.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #104)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:58 PM

119. Unfortunately it's also (at least in that poster's context) an exhibition of 'stranger danger'.

Most rape victims are acquainted with their rapist well before the attack.

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Response to The Doctor. (Reply #61)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:23 AM

84. "recognize situations that make them vulnerable" means being alone with a man

they don't know.

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Response to The Doctor. (Reply #61)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:52 AM

96. You might be right

However even if you are(and I'm not convinced you are), I think you're missing a few important pieces of this. There are lots of women (and men) out there who are indeed victims of sexual assault of one type or another. Put yourself in their position for a moment and then tell me if you would still feel the same. If the answer is yes, I would suggest that your ability to put yourself in the shoes of someone else is possibly lacking. I can't even imagine what a victim of rape would feel, but I'm pretty sure it would be something they are going to carry around with them for the rest of their life. We don't let the victims of a crime sit on the jury which judges the accused, so there is something behind the idea of not allowing people who have very strong emotional interest dictate policy. However, I just don't think you can completely ignore their POV either, just because you have labeled it irrational.

The other piece is that while the actual risk may be lower than some would suggest, the impact is incredibly high. The way I look at risk is to look at both the probability and the impact. If I consider an activity that has a 1% chance of killing me, I'm probably going to avoid that activity because even while the risk may be low, the consequences are quite high. The example you give of murder just doesn't work too well because the incidence of murder is considerably lower than the incidence of rape, and this is particularly true of women.

I don't really see this as teaching women to be irrational. I see this as a reflection of what a lot of women feel, and whether or not you agree with that, you should still be able to find value in that POV or at the very least respect it.

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Response to The Doctor. (Reply #61)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:51 PM

174. that's why >>>NO ONE EVER SAID THAT <<<

Gentlemen don't bullshit their fellow DUers.
fearing any random guy is a reality for some women in some situations where they are vulnerable
it is explained to men so their precious feelings don't get hurt if we look at you funny in a dark alley.
no one claimed it's an education strategy, that's a bizarre leap. Goodness, it's sad how flawed this thinking is.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #174)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:02 PM

181. He's dead, Jim

Just sayin'

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #181)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:25 AM

183. HA. Tks!

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Response to The Doctor. (Reply #61)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:38 PM

189. That guy is a "doctor" like I'm Mary Queen of Scots.

Good riddance, troll!

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:00 AM

73. joeyt... so simple. so excellent. thank you. nt

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:07 AM

74. Excellent OP!

Thanks for posting this, it is much appreciated.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:15 AM

79. This.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:18 AM

83. Excellent analysis and a compassionate understanding.

Thanks for taking the time to share this.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:34 AM

89. Should I assume (or at least consider) that a concealed gun *could* be pointed at me...

...by every human, male or female, who approaches me?

Schrodinger's Mugger? Schrodinger's Terrorist? Schrodinger's Psychopath?

I can't, after all, tell by sight alone that someone isn't a mugger or a terrorist or a psychopath.

Reducing a situation to is/is not, could be/couldn't be carries the risk of encouraging a flaw in the way many people evaluate risks, which is to treat anything with two possible outcomes as 50/50, as if the two outcomes are equally likely simply because there are two of them. A lottery ticket may or may not win you the jackpot, but that doesn't make it a 50/50 chance you'll win just because you can cast the situation as having two and only two outcomes.

Isn't the real question what the odds are, real and imagined, that a stranger is a rapist or mugger or terrorist or psychopath? How much worry and how much preparation to make in light of those odds, and how much empathetic leeway we should grant for levels of fear which may or may not go beyond real risks?

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #89)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:08 PM

109. That's not how I evaluate risks

And I spend most of my time at work evaluating risks. My company has even spent a considerable amount of money training me in that regard as well.

The way you evaluate risk is to consider both the probability and the possible consequences. You can't make an objective decision without both. Most people understand this intuitively whether they realize it or not. You wouldn't hop in your car and drive to work if you knew there was a 49% chance of being killed along the way. Even if the odds are greatly in your favor you can't ignore the possible consequences.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #109)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:35 PM

116. If you're talking about risk/cost analysis...

...nothing I said went against that idea. In fact, I'd say the need for better risk/cost thinking was strongly implied, so I don't know what it is from my post that you're denying that you do.

Most people do a terrible intuitive job of risk/cost assessment. Fear of flying vs. fear of driving is a prime example. Familiarity and the illusion of being in control make people feel far safer when they drive their own car than when they ride on a plane, even though it's the driving which is riskier. People buy guns to fend off imagined home invaders, inviting a greater risk of homicide or suicide by someone who lives in their home than they likely face from potential intruders.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #116)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:45 PM

118. So are they

You just have a different idea of what each actually is.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #118)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:12 PM

120. So are they what?

I have a different idea of what each what is?

Could you try using a few more words and a few fewer unclear antecedents? I could guess what you mean and answer based on that, but I'd rather not.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #120)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:03 PM

131. I assumed you would

In your previous posts you alluded to knowledge on the subjects and I assumed you could assume the right answer, but this may be a bad assumption. If you want to know more about what I mean, set your google to risk analysis and there's plenty you can find on the subject. It would take an inordinate amount of time to explain it and I just don't see the benefit even if I was interested in the job and had a hope of being successful.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #131)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:19 PM

133. So you want me to do an open-ended search on "risk analysis"....

...until such time as I feel I have become worthy of your effort to impart your great wisdom unto me?

Get over yourself.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #133)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:50 PM

145. OK, I'll impart some wisdom on you then

Just remember you asked for it.

I don't think you know the first thing about risk analysis, even as you appeal to that authority. Maybe you do. I haven't seen it. Had you bothered to even follow the most popular choices on your google, you would have probably arrived here or something very much like this:

Risk in a PRA is defined as a feasible detrimental outcome of an activity or action. In a PRA, risk is characterized by two quantities:

1. the magnitude (severity) of the possible adverse consequence(s), and
2. the likelihood (probability) of occurrence of each consequence.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_risk_analysis

This is risk analysis 101. It doesn't get any more simple. There are two factors which are needed to run through that equation which are severity and probability. All you want to discuss is one of those while ignoring the other even though both are needed to determine rationality. Even if you do choose to discuss both, the outcome depends on what magnitude you place for each. The values you assign to each may not be the values someone else would assign. Furthermore before you go assigning values to each, you may want to take note that while #2 is a point of fact, #1 is at least somewhat subjective.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #145)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:12 PM

166. Yeah... so?

You have told me nothing that surprises me, nothing that was not taken into account in what I have written. Downside cost of getting raped is high. It's also high for being murdered. "Stranger danger", whether for rape or murder, is low.

Downside cost of mugging is lower than rape or murder (not that it can't be very traumatic, especially armed robbery), incidence of mugging is higher.

Downside risk of dying in a car crash or dying in a plane crash is equal -- dying is pretty much dying. Emotional reactions to the risk of dying in a plane crash is (often) higher than for a car crash, but the actual risk (either per trip or per mile travelled) is lower.

So... your point? What's the oh-so-special way you evaluate these things that escapes me?

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #166)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:39 PM

170. Here's the point

When you get done with figuring out how much fear women are allowed to have before they are considered irrational, you are still left with the undeniable conclusion that level is higher for women than men. Then suddenly you realize that's where the privilege lies (or you don't). That's what I get out of Schrödinger’s Rapist. YMMV.

Cheers!

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #170)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:00 PM

176. So "Schrödinger’s Rapist" isn't about mere uncertainty...

...but a kind of fear inducing uncertainty that I must assume is far beyond anything my limited, privileged male imagination can conceive, and thus it is utterly wrong to approach the discussion with anything but cheering the insightfulness of the OP? Any technical objections to the Schrödinger analogy must be set aside for either silence or the ritual outpouring of emotion and agreement, otherwise I clearly "don't get it"?

Oh, and then there's the fact that your new "here's the point" shows your initial pompousness about schooling me on risk/cost was totally misplaced, not the I expect you to acknowledge that.

People are "allowed" to experience however much fear they experience. I personally don't think, however, that understanding people's fears should become reinforcing those fears, which is what silence on real risks does. Too much of the wrong kind of empathy can become reinforcement for irrational levels of fear.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #176)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:26 PM

179. Read into it whatever you want

I've already told you what I got out of it, and before you go down the road of assuming I'm some kind of unreasonable meninist (not a real word), you might want to go have a look at the shit list over at HoF as evidently I'm one of the turds. I don't think I ever so much as claimed you were wrong and didn't really make too many unfounded assumptions about you at all, other than the prediction that all of this was going to be a colossal waste of my time, and it turns out that was true. So rather than compounding the error of not taking my own advice and giving you further opportunities to defame me, I'm going to leave you with your own thoughts. Feel free to continue, but you're going to have to do it without me.

Cheers!



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Response to Silent3 (Reply #176)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:33 AM

185. OH FUCK THIS IS HILARIOUS. "ritual outpouring of emotion and agreement" HA HA HA

I d agree he's got a "limited, privileged male imagination" because this appears to be yet another cut and paste.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #185)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:26 AM

187. Here's what else I get out of this as a man

Last edited Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:42 AM - Edit history (1)

On first look, I thought Schrödinger’s Rapist seemed to be an affront to all men, but it really isn't. It's an affront to creeps. Those who want to quote statistics and claim this is making women irrational don't realize that women do indeed get hit on by creeps and it absolutely does freak them out. I've seen it happen. I'm a manager and I've fired people for it, even after repeated warnings. There are men who hit on strange women all the time. And while I'm sure there's a respectful way to do this, I see it mostly as the behavior of creeps. I just do. While all creeps aren't rapists, I'm pretty sure all rapists are creeps, so that alone changes the equation. Also I just don't see too many women standing up and calling bullshit on this one and it's been out there for a few years. That alone should be telling, because who really stands to loose the most if what the nays are saying is true? Women who fall prey to what the naysayers claim is irrational fear and creeps. I'm just not going to carry the creepy guys water for them. I don't see the up side for me on this one and I'm not going to be the guy quoting statistics and telling women what they should be feeling. I'm not going to carry that water either, because it just seems creepy to me.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #187)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:55 PM

190. And creepy is how it feels when otherwise good men

Completely refuse to give a woman the benefit of the doubt about this. They get hung up and refuse to respect what women are explaining as a common experience.

I'm really pleased to hear you get it.
Great post.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #190)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 02:17 PM

191. I've spoken to my wife about it

She's never been raped, but she says been in situations where she's been hit on aggressively by men and she just wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. I may not be able to fully understand what that experience is like, but I can get an idea. My wife also works where I work and many years ago a manager sexually harassed her to the point of him getting fired. One day he's making 6 figures, the next he's selling used cars. I have no sympathy for creeps. Things like that just aren't reflected on statistics and you realize that many, if not most women will go through that experience at some point in their life yet I am relatively free from it. So yes, I can see the privilege, acknowledge it, and at least understand it in part. That doesn't mean women aren't privileged in certain ways as well, but I can't very well expect them to see my perspective if I refuse to see theirs.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #191)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:04 PM

196. True, there's a lot of other bad behavior that ain't part of the statistics

I regret not going to the police a few times just to do incident reports. I had the scary meth head crew leader of my cleaning service trying to talk his way into my apartment one Saturday night for a fake reason. I think he only didn't force his way in because I was on the phone with someone and IDd him and explained the creepy situation as it was going on and made sure he heard me say something was wrong here. He knew 911 would be called and my friend had his name. My friend stayed on the phone till he was out of the building. The company admitted he had no reason to be seeking entry. They lied and told me they fired him. I changed my locks, but damn I regret not making a report.
I was fired for not screwing my boss, who had a wife and a mistress already. Had Exs stalk me. And I can't even count - maybe 5-6 times where things went past pushy and you end up having to fight off a guy- all just slight acquaintances, like the guy from the cleaning service. Or someone you dance with and follows you out of the club. The concierge in the hotel who sneaks behind you as your going back to your room.
You notice that pretty much all these guys have just enough of an " in"with or knowledge you to make a claim that there's a relationship with you of some sort if they get busted. It's about exploiting your good will and setting up a scenario where the waters can look really muddy to outsiders.
I've very rarely worried about walking the streets, it's never been a thing for me.
But it takes a while to spot the creeps, and many are so manipulative it's not so easy. I think you get girls get targeted because they haven't developed their creepdar yet. Thank god my niece has here, LOL because you need it if you go clubbing in NYC.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #196)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:45 PM

202. I think sexual harassment is a solvable problem

You can't stamp it out entirely, but I think most companies can do a lot better. Around the same time that my wife was sexually harassed, my company was making major changes to their civil rights policies because the problem had gotten out of control. I volunteered for a part time position in HR to address that problem along with other civil rights issues and I've been there ever since. It takes up about 10% of my time. It's a very worthwhile effort. It was pretty interesting what we found initially. Several people in high level positions got there because they were serial harassers. They would get caught and rather than deal with the problem they would get transferred to other areas. It was shocking to say the least. Some built impressive resumes doing this and managed to get themselves promoted. We implemented a policy whereby if a supervisor didn't upwardly report sexual harassment allegations, they themselves would be subject to discipline. That one change alone made a huge difference. We purged several supervisors and employees who were finally held responsible for their actions and behavior.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #202)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:39 PM

205. Great to hear this! The prick who harassed me was an owner... it was a small and very dysfunctional

place. I was happy to be out of there, but it was shocking still how blatant he was. But the fashion industry can be ugly like that. I'm with a corporate retailer now, and having a functioning HR department makes a huge difference. It's probably the biggest reason I'm still there after 6 years.

Something just occurred to me about our conversation here. You probably now have a fuller picture the negative impact that sexism and misogyny have had in my life than pretty much every guy I know. Occasionally you trade war stories- share the historical highlights with other women, and when more dramatic events happen you might tell the men currently in your life friend or SO- but then again, you might not if you're afraid of their reaction. Men generally don't know what to do with this kind of information, LOL. I think they want to find some rational explanation for it - and in doing so accidentally make us feeing blamed. Or they want to take action or something, when really, what can they do for us except accept it and support? I think ultimately if I even gave them an abbreviated laundry list as I did for you, many would freak out and expect that I should hate men. (But some of my best friends are men!!!) But of course I realize it's a only small fraction of them who are incredibly awful human beings. Those guys are so friggin awful though, the fear that I would stereotype other guys and hang that crap on them is truly insane.



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Response to bettyellen (Reply #205)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 10:19 PM

206. I freely admit I didn't worry about it much until it happened to my wife

Then the reality of it hits you. It was a very ugly incident. I was right in the middle of it because there was just a wall separating my office from his. So during the time between the complaint and his removal, neither my wife or I wanted to go to work. My wife absolutely did not deserve it. The best way I can describe the guy was he was a predator. He was hitting on my wife, who was his subordinate, with me working in the same building even after she asked him to stop, which was extremely difficult for her to do in the first place. He continued anyway. That's how brazen he was. When it's all over you realize though these men are in the minority among men they are absolutely out there and they are evil. The silver lining was it changed my outlook on life and I've tried to turn that into something positive ever since. 9 men who I really do think were misogynists have my signature on their walking papers. I'm proud of that. There are far more women at least with my company that no longer have to deal with them and there are more creeps who were sent a message.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #206)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:45 AM

207. you should be proud! what blows my mind is this kind of thing was run of the mill forty years ago

It kills me that so many guys don't get the cultural thing- but we can see shifting standards in different places and eras and it's been getting better in a lot of ways. And people like you are the reason.
Thank you from every woman I know!!
We have to realize that men who "don't take no for an answer" shouldn't be celebrated. That stalkerish persistence should be a big red flag and not the romantic ideal it's often shown as in chick flicks. That people who leverage their power to exploit others' weaknesses or lower rank can often be very dangerous. It's not just a few extreme socio paths we can't do anything about. They're screwed up creeps who game the current system. We can help lessen what are essentially crimes of opportunity. You have proved a lot of people here- many men who said there's nothing one can do about it- completely wrong.
Thanks for the chat, I'm really glad I got a chance to know you a bit.











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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #187)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:07 AM

210. Thank you. BTW, my post above was not meant to

suggest that I disagreed with your points. I just wanted to clarify the issue about the confusing pronoun references. I still have not been able to figure out what "they" and "each" refer to in that post.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #131)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:59 AM

209. MN, you wrote "So are they,"

and then made a reference to "each." I also could not figure out what "they" or "each" was intended to refer to in the preceding post. As a college English instructor I am always asking my students to get out of their own heads and try to understand that their readers are not MIND readers.

You know what you were referring to, but we really do not. He was not asking what "risk analysis" is or how to properly perform it. He ( and I) just wanted to know what "they" and "each" referred to so we could make sense of your brief, cryptic post.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #209)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 10:26 AM

211. By "they" I mean those who are arguing on behalf of Schrödinger’s Rapist

Risk analysis is relevant to the overall conversation. The basics of risk analysis simply means you consider the probability of an event occurring AND the severity of the consequenses if it does. Both must be weighed against each other and both are equally relevant. Every time you get in your car, there is a chance you will die of an auto accident. So the worst thing that can happen is death or serious injury, but the probability of that is low. Who is to say it's irrational if someone never wants to get in a car? It's up to them to decide if they want to accept that risk and arguing for safer roadways is not a bad idea either. The comparison of flying is not a great one, because people will typically pick a different mode of transportation which inevitably carries more risk. That would be irrational. The alternative to women walking the streets alone just doesn't seem workable. Those are just my thoughts on the subject. Someone else may have a different idea and that's fine.

I understand what you are saying about language. The thought in my head may not be the same once it gets in yours. I try to be a precise as I can with language for that reason. I'm not always fullly successful.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #89)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:55 PM

148. If 25% of all men were gunshot victims, you'd have a point there. In the South Bronx it IS a valid

fear. YMMV.

But you pity men making this into a "pity us men" thread and I'm embarrassed for you.





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Response to Silent3 (Reply #89)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 04:26 PM

155. the point of the OP is to increase understanding and empathy for women by explaining a reality

many men are unfamiliar with. The point is too soothe mens egos, not to claim it;s the best strategy.
But some guys, you feed them a little info, and instead of thinking about what it means- jump straight to "fixing it for you".

We did not ask you to fix anything, we were explaining how many women think.
So... you've kind of shown us a fuck ton more education is needed, which is a good thing. Thanks!



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Response to bettyellen (Reply #155)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:27 PM

168. If "education" means that empathy is not only needed...

...but that empathy must supplant all other concerns in all contexts, that there's no room for dispassionate, objective discourse, that comments can't be made on the subject of rape if there's the slightest chance those comments don't simply add to the cause of empathy, then that's an "education" that should be rejected.

If someone says, "The odds of a woman being raped are 99.8%, and 75% of men have or will commit rape" my response is NOT going to be, "Well, I know that's inaccurate, but I'm sure some women feel that it's that bad, and to show my empathy I'm going to keep quiet and allow the emotional release of these wildly inaccurate claims to go by unhindered, chalk if off to a coping mechanism or a healing process, maybe even play along and join in on jumping on the fool who does question those crazy statistics, certain of the fact that any attempt to correct the statistics must actually be an attempt to justify rape and perpetuate male dominance over women."

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #168)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:43 PM

172. What bullshit! NO ONE SAID THAT.


Saying empathy for men's feelings should NOT be concern #1, does't mean that empathy for women will make people accept and believe any old bullshit. That's a ridiculous leap you just took. NO ONE SAID THAT. Stop making up crap.

And this is me, rejecting your bullshit.


Promoting education, activism and awareness has nothing to do with the nonsense you posted.







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Response to bettyellen (Reply #172)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:41 PM

175. Who said anything about empathy for men's feelings?

I didn't. You're reading a pre-determined agenda into my words, one that's probably pointless to argue against since any argument against that will also go through the same filter, so sure you are of what I must mean and must be about, no matter what I say.

Unless I join the cheering squad for the OP, I MUST be all about male privilege, deliberately or through unforgivable thoughtlessness and selfishness defending misogyny, I must be wallowing in overly sensitive personal feelings that I'm selfishly putting ahead of more important concerns, yadda, yadda.

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #175)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:24 PM

177. I did, and you did too. LOL. Are you okay? Cause you seem to be hearing things that NO ONE SAID

and it's BULLSHIT.
Tiresome bullshit. You're arguing with preconceived notions in your head and not anyone here.
Get that wax out of your ears or move on.
That is all.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #177)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:47 PM

178. Please point out where I refer to "men's feelings".

Last edited Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:46 PM - Edit history (1)

Point it out. Other than, of course, where I talk about you saying that I talked about that.

Here's every word I had previously posted in this thread, conveniently gathered together, up until before where you chimed in about my posts:

Should I assume (or at least consider) that a concealed gun *could* be pointed at me...

..by every human, male or female, who approaches me?

Schrodinger's Mugger? Schrodinger's Terrorist? Schrodinger's Psychopath?

I can't, after all, tell by sight alone that someone isn't a mugger or a terrorist or a psychopath.

Reducing a situation to is/is not, could be/couldn't be carries the risk of encouraging a flaw in the way many people evaluate risks, which is to treat anything with two possible outcomes as 50/50, as if the two outcomes are equally likely simply because there are two of them. A lottery ticket may or may not win you the jackpot, but that doesn't make it a 50/50 chance you'll win just because you can cast the situation as having two and only two outcomes.

Isn't the real question what the odds are, real and imagined, that a stranger is a rapist or mugger or terrorist or psychopath? How much worry and how much preparation to make in light of those odds, and how much empathetic leeway we should grant for levels of fear which may or may not go beyond real risks?

If you're talking about risk/cost analysis...

...nothing I said went against that idea. In fact, I'd say the need for better risk/cost thinking was strongly implied, so I don't know what it is from my post that you're denying that you do.

Most people do a terrible intuitive job of risk/cost assessment. Fear of flying vs. fear of driving is a prime example. Familiarity and the illusion of being in control make people feel far safer when they drive their own car than when they ride on a plane, even though it's the driving which is riskier. People buy guns to fend off imagined home invaders, inviting a greater risk of homicide or suicide by someone who lives in their home than they likely face from potential intruders.

So are they what?

I have a different idea of what each what is?

Could you try using a few more words and a few fewer unclear antecedents? I could guess what you mean and answer based on that, but I'd rather not.

So you want me to do an open-ended search on "risk analysis"....

...until such time as I feel I have become worthy of your effort to impart your great wisdom unto me?

Get over yourself.

Yeah... so?

You have told me nothing that surprises me, nothing that was not taken into account in what I have written. Downside cost of getting raped is high. It's also high for being murdered. "Stranger danger", whether for rape or murder, is low.

Downside cost of mugging is lower than rape or murder (not that it can't be very traumatic, especially armed robbery), incidence of mugging is higher.

Downside risk of dying in a car crash or dying in a plane crash is equal -- dying is pretty much dying. Emotional reactions to the risk of dying in a plane crash is (often) higher than for a car crash, but the actual risk (either per trip or per mile travelled) is lower.

So... your point? What's the oh-so-special way you evaluate these things that escapes me?

If "education" means that empathy is not only needed...

...but that empathy must supplant all other concerns in all contexts, that there's no room for dispassionate, objective discourse, that comments can't be made on the subject of rape if there's the slightest chance those comments don't simply add to the cause of empathy, then that's an "education" that should be rejected.

If someone says, "The odds of a woman being raped are 99.8%, and 75% of men have or will commit rape" my response is NOT going to be, "Well, I know that's inaccurate, but I'm sure some women feel that it's that bad, and to show my empathy I'm going to keep quiet and allow the emotional release of these wildly inaccurate claims to go by unhindered, chalk if off to a coping mechanism or a healing process, maybe even play along and join in on jumping on the fool who does question those crazy statistics, certain of the fact that any attempt to correct the statistics must actually be an attempt to justify rape and perpetuate male dominance over women."


You responded to the post above talking by about "men's feelings", and ONLY THEN, in responding to you, did I use those words, and only talking about you using those words to say that I DIDN'T talk about "men's feelings", nor anything even close to that.

"Tiresome bullshit", indeed.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:21 PM

110. Hands down the best and least contentious post

on on this entire subject. Rational, non-judgmental and utterly without the between-the-lines insinuations of collective male guilt that have hung, miasma-like, over so many posts on this subject. Countless trillions of electrons could have been saved had this been said at the outset.

Extremely well said and argued. Bravo!

I hope this truly excellent post calms things down a bit.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:42 PM

129. I think this is correct in our time...

...and in the present time as well.

There are a lot of men like that in this world. It seems like everyone has to be wary about something?

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:33 PM

139. kick

for discussion

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:56 PM

149. Aren't 90% of rapists known to their victims?

Seems like the biggest threat comes not from strangers, but from friends, family, and acquaintances (which makes it all the worse, IMO).

Doesn't change the truth of the OP, obviously, I'm just sayin.

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Response to Nevernose (Reply #149)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 04:11 PM

192. It's not used to explain strategy - just the common mindset.....

Because the mindset can upset some men and this makes some shut down.
Some people will pick stuff apart in order to shut down conversations they don't want to have. It's happened a lot here- but a lot of men find it very eye opening. It's useful cheifly in that regard.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 04:02 PM

151. Thank you for this thoughtful essay. K&R

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:05 PM

162. Excellent post.

The last paragraph especially is superlative.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:33 PM

169. ..

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:50 PM

171. You know, like most DU threads this has been both enlightening and disturbing to read

Since I was trying to make a separate point further up, I'm going to throw in there that somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/3 of women by the age of 18 have been sexually assaulted. A fair number of people have pointed out that most of those cases are not by strangers, but that's not a deflection of stranger danger and also needs to be addressed as a risk.

Another scary statistic: 1/20 or more men are rapists. That means you probably see one or more every day.

Add that to cultural bias against women/victims, and it's a recipe for disaster.

"Society cannot demand women be responsible for their own protection, then insist what they decide is necessary to protect themselves is unreasonable."

This is the essence, and the core truth. Women shouldn't be demanded to be the sole providers of their own protection, but they are. Then to have people say the equivalent of "I'm not a bank robber, so you shouldn't subject everyone to scrutiny at the bank!"

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Response to Hydra (Reply #171)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:45 PM

173. Disturbing to see so many here angered by the idea of more education and advocacy. WTF, DU, WTFF!?!?

Loved your post, thanks!

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Response to Hydra (Reply #171)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:32 PM

180. I'm not so sure men are your biggest obstacle in this

It seems to me one of the most effective ways of preventing sexual assult it to teach adolescents what consent really means during sex education classes in public schools, but we can't even have that conversation because you have a very vocal religious minority who make it a non-starter. It seems that teachers are forbiden to teach all forms of idiocy, save those which are based in certain sects of organized religion.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #180)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:40 AM

186. Great point- I think progressive men should take more of an interest in public education

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #180)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:35 PM

188. I tried to show my point of view further up and got jumped on

I don't consider rape to be a sexual issue. It's primarily a violence issue- it just happens to be violence that's sexual in nature. I think if we treated it as such it would be more neutral and easier to find solutions for...but considering domestic violence is considered by many to be a 2 person at fault crime, I'm probably in error.

The closer we get to real equality among humans, the more likely it is we can identify and eliminate the underlying factors. As you say, one of them is the fact that the churches preach a kind of rape culture with their unequal gender roles, shaming of victims and sexual repression.

We can hope, right?

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:27 PM

201. Thank you. If men object to being Schrodinger's Rapist

every time they approach a woman they don't know well, perhaps they might start taking responsibility for the problem instead of dumping it all onto the shoulders of women.

Relationships between men and women would be very different if women weren't taught to be afraid of men from infancy on because too many of them think it's perfectly fine to think of women as prey, legitimate targets for harm.

JoeyT, you get it. I wish more did.

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Response to JoeyT (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:06 PM

204. It's true but it is an unecessarily incendiary way to phrase it.

It is quite insensitive to phrase it that way, but it is effective if your goal is to frighten women into vigilance and, at the same time, isolate some men from the cause.

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