This shall be the first of Yoda only knows how many installments I am compelled to write because of a huge argument going on within the Skeptic community. While I had hoped to wrap everything up in one tidy blog post, researching the information has made me realize that the scope of this issue is vastly larger than I had imagined. The primary focus of this particular piece is to highlight the stupidity of one sides arguments that are based on a 2009 piece titled Schrodinger's Rapist which this side is continually throwing around for justification of their issues and dismissing any objections from the other side with a blanket criticism of "You're not getting it! Read Schrödinger’s Rapist again!".
Well, I've read it several times, and through this parody hope to point out several of its problems while simultaneously exposing some little known facts that discredit quite a few of the arguments of one side. So far I have remained silent on the skeptic sites, but I suspect that I am about to change that.
And while it will doubtless earn me the accusation of 'mansplaining', it is necessary to explain why the name Schrödinger is being used both in the original and in this parody. Schrödinger was a physicist that showed how some very unusual behavior could be predicted in quantum physics. One of the hypothetical experiments involved a cat placed in a tube or box. Also inside the box is a small amount of radioactive material, a Geiger counter, a vial of toxic gas, and a mechanism to break the glass. If one of the atoms decays, the Geiger counter senses the burst and causes the mechanism to break the glass, releasing the gas and thus killing the cat. Basically, thanks to certain mechanics at the quantum level, the hypothetical cat is both alive and dead until an observer looks in. Therefore, the original story regurgitates the vicious feminist notion that all men are potential rapists.
Ladies. Thank you for reading.
Let me start out by assuring you that I understand you are a good sort of person. You are kind to children and animals. You respect the elderly. You donate to charity. You tell jokes without laughing at your own punchlines. You respect men. You like men. In fact, you would really like to have a mutually respectful and loving sexual relationship with a man. Unfortunately, you don’t yet know that man—he isn’t working with you, nor have you been introduced through mutual friends or drawn to the same activities. So you must look further afield to encounter him.
So far, so good. Mr. Egalitarian, your humble instructor, approves. Human connection, love, romance, simple common human interaction: there is nothing wrong with these yearnings.
Now, you want to become acquainted with a man you see in public. The first thing you need to understand is that men are dealing with a set of challenges and concerns that are strange to you, a woman. To begin with, we would rather not be killed or otherwise violently assaulted, have our wallets plundered, have our future children abducted while being forced to continue paying child support on them, or be forced to pay child support on children that have been proven to not even be our own. We don't want to have our future children murdered by someone claiming postpartum depression, be falsely accused of rape, or be blackmailed. We don't want to be unjustly profiled as the major perpetrators of domestic violence even though literally hundreds of studies indicate that women are equal antagonists in domestic violence.
“But wait! I don’t want that, either!”
Well, no. But do you think about it all the time? Is preventing all of the above part of your daily routine, rather than merely something you do when you venture into elevators? Because, for men, it isn't, but it really should be. But because most men are not emotionally crippled misogynists that speak out of both sides of our mouths, on one side insisting that we are equals while simultaneously whining about being delicate flowers in need of special care, we seldom even bring these points up. Nor do we use it to justify any extra levels of precaution. When I go on a date, I don't bother leaving the woman’s full name and contact information written next to my computer monitor so the cops can find my body if I go missing. My best friend will not call or e-mail me the next morning. If my friends don’t hear from me by three or so, they will not call the police, and will likely think that I got really lucky. My activities after dark are not curtailed. Even if I am in a sparsely-occupied, poorly lit space, I will go out alone. This is because I have been falsely lead to believe that sexual dimorphism in humans is so pronounced as to give me a distinct advantage against females just as I have been falsely lead to believe that men are the primary instigators of domestic violence and that women almost never falsely accuse men of rape. And men in general are taught (usually by their mothers) that it is unmanly to be afraid. Do you suffer from false notions like these?
So when you, a strange woman, approach me, I should be asking myself: Will this woman completely wreck my life? But since I choose not to let bad experiences or wild speculative imaginings rule my life, I seldom bother. Every once in a while it does cross my mind though.
Do you think I’m overreacting? Seventy Five percent of women say that they will marry for money. I bet you don’t think you know any gold diggers, but consider the sheer number of gold digging that must occur. This gold digging is not all committed by Anna Nicole Smith, Heather Mills, or other members of the Sisterhood of Parasitic Leeches. While you may assume that none of the women you know are gold diggers, I can assure you that at least three out of four are. Consider: if all one hundred and five million gold diggers in the United States(a horrifying number, isn’t it?) takes ten men for a financial ride, then every man in America has been taken advantage of an average of three times. That means three of every four women in the grocery aisle are gold diggers. 3/4 of the females in my graduating class in high school. Most of my coworkers. Dozens in the subway car at rush hour. Eighty who work out at my gym.
In addition to this, a 2006 article (written by a women's rights activist female no less!) indicates that an amazing percentage of rape accusations are false. We aren't talking the 2% false accusation myth perpetuated by feminists. How does over 40% strike you? Even a more modest figure of 25% is frightening, and completely skews feminist claims of 1 in 6 women being rape victims sometime in their life. 80% of women will be awarded primary custody of children, and of those few that do not and are ordered to pay child support, percentage-wise more women than men are negligent in child support payment despite the term 'deadbeat dad' being thrown around like confetti. Women are also three times as likely to murder their children than are men. If domestic violence erupts, the man is almost certainly going to jail even if he did not instigate the violence, because police, women, and the community in general have been falsely lead to believe that men are the primary perpetrators of domestic violence, even though literally hundreds of studies demonstrate that women are as often the perpetrators as they are the abused. How do I know that you, the nice girl who wants nothing more than companionship and True Love, are not this money grubbing, abusive, child murdering, perjuring bitch? How do I know that you are not a false rape accusation just waiting to happen?
When you approach me anywhere, at any time, for any reason, you are Schrödinger’s Psycho Bitch. You may or may not be a woman who would plunder my bank account. I won’t know for sure until you are pilfering my wallet. You may or not be trying a blackmail scheme. I can’t see inside your head, and I don’t know your intentions. If you expect me to trust you—to accept you at face value as a nice sort of girl—you are not only failing to respect my reasonable caution, you are being cavalier about my personal and financial security.
Nor do I know that you aren't going to set me up for false charges of rape-at some estimates as high as 50% of rape charges are false-and even if you are proven to be a liar you will still not face as harsh of a sentence for your crime as I would have. Or maybe you will marry me and have children only to later strangle or drown them, or be crazy enough to fling objects at me, shoot, or stab me when we argue only to later have me arrested for domestic violence even though you were the sole perpetrator. After all, women are far more likely to use weapons in domestic violence cases than are men. Or you may force me to pay child support on a child that may not even be mine and that only you, not I, have the privilege of deciding whether or not to abort.
Fortunately, you’re a good girl. We’ve already established that. Now that you’re aware that there’s a problem, you are going to go out of your way to fix it, and to make the men with whom you interact feel as safe as possible, right? I mean, you do demand that we conform to your comfort level, so if we are really going to be equals, this has to be a two way street. And you really do want equality, and not just more rights in your favor, don't you?
To begin with, you must accept that I have the right to set my own risk tolerance, even though males are not taught from childhood that some women are venomous and therefore we probably won't even think to do so. Therefore when you approach me, I probably won't even begin to evaluate the possibility you will do me harm, even though that possibility is never 0%. For some few men, particularly men who have been victimized repeatedly by women, any level of risk is unacceptable. Those men do not want to be approached, no matter how nice you are or how much you’d like to date them, or even just ask them for assistance. Okay? That’s their right. Don’t get pissy about it. Don't get spiteful and malicious just because you have learned that a woman can be as verbally abusive as she wants and have it called 'speaking her mind'. Men are under no obligation to hear the sales pitch before deciding they are not in the market to buy, any more than you are.
The second if rather trivial point: you need not worry about being aware of what signals you are sending by your appearance and the environment. Guys probably won't to be paying close attention to your appearance and behavior unless one or both are extremely noteworthy. Neither will we be matching those signs to our idea of a threat.
This is because, unlike women, men are not supposed to make judgements about women due to how they choose to dress and where they choose to wear it. If the man dresses oddly or is covered in tattoos, women consider this a 'red flag', but a woman can wear a pair of band-aids and a G-string in a biker bar in the worst part of town and expect not to be judged for this. No double standard to be seen here. Move along people, move along.
Are you wearing a tee-shirt with the captions "Rape Me!"? PERFECT CHOICE- unlike your male counterpart, it would be sexist profiling to make any assumptions whatsoever based on your choice of attire.
But please do pay attention to the environment. Look around. Are you anywhere at all? Then using your own logic, you probably ought not approach a man and try to strike up a conversation, because Schrödinger’s Psycho Bitch can be anywhere at any time. There is absolutely no safe place short of an exclusive male club or a remote Buddhist retreat where a man can ever be absolutely safe from Schrödinger’s Psycho Bitch. And even those few retreats the Psycho Bitch tries to take away from us. Male only clubs are sexist, though female only clubs somehow are not. I wonder why that is? But remember, Schrödinger’s Psycho Bitch can be anywhere, literally. Grocery store, parking lot, in the back seat of your mothers best friends car, elevators, buses, parties, everywhere!
And yet most men are not so emotionally crippled as to let this influence their lives to the point that they try to force all women to conform to their standards of behavior in order to make them feel more secure of a threat that is always there. Then again, men don't have a giant propaganda machine that constantly points out these very real dangers to them. And they certainly don't have a giant propaganda machine that distorts the truth and spreads malicious falsehoods in order to gain more privileges for themselves while eroding the rights of others. This makes their danger all the more terrifying, as for the most part they are absolutely unaware of the danger at all.
The third point: Men are not communicating all the time. If our brains were telephones, you would quite often find no dial tone. So unless you wish to concede some female privilege, don't expect us to always pick up on your cues. Try seeing if we are paying attention to anything in particular before jumping to the conclusion that we are constantly observing everything, or much of anything for that matter, in our environment. We may walk past you and mutter a hello, but please don't assume that we are any more interested in you than we are in the guy we say the same thing to as we continue ambling past. So try not to be so vain as to flatter yourself by thinking otherwise.
You want us to not say Hi to you on the subway? Put up a "do not disturb" sign. There is no law, and no implied threat, in saying hello. In fact it is called being polite. "How will she react?", men ask. Hopefully in an equally civil manner. If not then we should start thinking Schrödinger’s Psycho Bitch. While your dear author has studied body language, most guys haven't.
Now it should be obvious to most people that it is not polite to disturb someone under some circumstances. Is the person looking out the window, reading a book, working on a computer, arms folded across chest, body away from you? If so, it really isn't polite to disturb them. But even then, it isn't illegal and should only result in civil profiling, not sexual profiling.
After all, how often will a woman ignore all of those signs if her car has broken down or she otherwise needs help and automatically assumes that all males are proficient mechanics and that her condition of being a woman deserves some special privilege that requires the male to assist? So, y’know, don’t disturb them. Really.
Even to say that your car has broken down; unless of course you are just rude, or if you wish to invoke some special privilege that no one has yet conceded to identify, or if you acknowledge that the world does not exist entirely for the benefit of your and only your comfort level, or if you admit that people are sometimes simply oblivious with no hidden evil agenda. A request for assistance is not always a reason for women to approach a guy. You are a threat, remember? You are Schrödinger’s Psycho Bitch. Don’t assume that whatever you have to say will win him over with charm or flattery, even though charm and flattery are tools used by you so often and effectively that some might even consider them to be female privileges you refuse to recognize. Believe what he’s signaling, and back off. Otherwise, don't expect him to grant you any special privilege of not being disturbed if he should decide to strike up a conversation with you.
If you speak, and he responds in a monosyllabic way without looking at you, he’s saying, “I don’t want to be rude, but please leave me alone.” You don’t know why. It could be “Please leave me alone because I am trying to memorize Beowulf.” It could be “Please leave me alone because you are a scary, scary woman with breath like a water buffalo.” It could be “Please leave me alone because I am planning my assassination of a major geopolitical figure and I will have to kill you if you are able to recognize me and blow my cover.”.
On the other hand, if he is turned towards you, making eye contact, and he responds in a friendly and talkative manner when you speak to him, you are getting a green light. You can continue the conversation until you start getting signals to back off.
The fourth point: If you fail to respect what men say, you label yourself a problem, and Schrödinger’s Psycho Bitch.
There’s a woman with whom I went out on a single date—afternoon coffee (yes, this really did happen, just outside of Fort Worth a few years ago. I've mentioned it off and on in several forums over the years.), for about three hours we chatted, fed the ducks in a pond, and sipped coffee. In the hour and a half it took me to drive home she had e-mailed me multiple times and left two voice mails. I was tired and went to bed before responding. The next morning she had sent me about fifty e-mails and had left ten phone messages, several of them scolding me for non-responsiveness. I e-mailed her back, saying, “Look, you are kind of spooking me with the multiple messages. I didn't even have time to get home before they started pouring in, and you know I had a long drive both ways. Please back off a little while I compose my thoughts, ok?". An immediate flurry of responses, some of them thinly disguised threats, followed. I promptly called her and stated in no uncertain terms "You are creeping me the hell out. Leave me alone!". This resulted in several hundred more e-mails and dozens of phone calls over the next few days, most bearing less thinly veiled threats. I changed my phone number and grudgingly created a new primary e-mail account. So what did the Psycho Bitch do? She packed up and moved to my home town! It took the concerted efforts of myself, a married couple, and a female friend from East Texas to finally convince the Psycho Bitch to leave me alone.
This woman scores higher on the threat level scale than Woman with Rape Me Tee shirt. (Who, after all, is guilty of nothing whatsoever because she is a female and to judge her for her clothing is sexist.) You see, Miss Psycho Bitch made it clear that she ignores what I say when she wants something from me. Now, I can state with some certainty due to her actions that she is an actual Psycho Bitch, and yet I don't claim to live in a state of constant terror. But this particular Psycho Bitch has a probability ratio greater than three in four. Because a person who ignores someones NO in a this kind of setting is probably more than a little unstable.
So if you speak to a man who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message that he probably is not going to waste his time getting all bent out of shape over. It is that your desire to interact trumps his desire to be left alone. And since there really is no law stating that you cannot do this, you really shouldn't be judged too harshly for it. After all, unless the person is mute, they can simply say "Please leave me alone". Should you pursue beyond that point, you are being exceptionally and intentionally rude and should not expect a civil discourse. If you pursue a conversation when he’s tried to cut it off, you send a message. It is that your desire to speak trumps his desire to be left alone. And each of those messages indicates that you believe your desires are a legitimate reason to override his desire to be left alone.
Notice that I say DESIRE in place of RIGHT, because as you are in public, you do not have the RIGHT to be left alone. If you want that RIGHT, stay in a private arena or have public privacy laws passed. Until then, tough luck. We in the States have this little thing called the Constitution that actually does give us the RIGHT to interact in public. No similar amendment gives anyone the RIGHT to demand that others respect their comfort level in public conversation. Many other countries have laws similar to ours in effect. I know, I know. It sucks not being able to force your will upon others, but since you really want to be equals, this is one of the prices you have to pay.
But it really doesn't matter if you need roadside assistance, would like directions somewhere, or just think he is cute and want to chat him up. His desires are as valid as yours, and the polite response to NO would be "I'm sorry to have disturbed you, then. Have a nice day" and walk away.
For men, who usually fail completely at observing for Schrödinger’s Psycho Bitches, but who would sincerely like to see men, women, minorities, and everyone treated EQUALLY this is an important piece of data. Of course for people that don't give one whit about equal rights, but merely wish to have their personal tastes and desires trump and trample the rights of others, the point here is almost certainly missed.
The fifth and last point: Don’t falsely accuse someone of rape. Nor should you commit these less severe offenses: Don’t assault. Don’t gold dig. Don’t constrain. Don’t brandish. Don’t expose yourself. Don't stalk. Don’t threaten with physical violence. Don’t threaten with falsified criminal charges. Don't scream privilege of one party while denying privilege in your own party. Don't verbally abuse others while hiding behind the guise of speaking your mind. Don't dismiss the arguments of one side as sexist just because that side does not agree with you. And last but not least, don't claim 'rights' that don't really exist and only serve the whims of a select few.
Shouldn’t this go without saying? Of course it should. Sadly, that’s not the world I live in. You may be beginning to realize that it’s not the world you live in, either.