Quantcast

«

»

Sep 15 2012

Too Ugly to Be Raped

So, as you can see from yesterday’s repost, three years ago, I participated in a blogswarm set up to raise money for rape victims of the war in Liberia. I tried to do a little more than just raise money, to talk about why rape is and should be an expected consequence of going to war.

So did Greg Laden. I don’t remember whether we both hit on similar ideas independently or whether looking at each other’s work at Quiche Moraine fed into approaching the same topic from different angles. We’ve certainly done that before.

Greg wrote a couple of posts trying to make sure that people understand that violent wartime rape isn’t something that happens to “those people” “over there”. He referred people to research on the topic. He put it in cultural context.

He also said this:

Men, by and large, have a rape switch. All men are capable of rape. Most men are enculturated in a way that reduces rape, and in some societies it is probably true that most violent rape is carried out by individuals who are reasonably labeled as pathological. In other societies, this is not so true. In post war societies such as those described in some of these links, or any society in a state of war, rape becomes routine. The rape switch is flipped to the on position as a matter of course.

Anyone who has ever in the history of the internet talked about Schroedinger’s Rapist knows what happened next. We didn’t. That post hadn’t been written yet.

The first thing people did, of course, was deny at length and with many attempts at diversion that we should be talking about rape at all. There were demands for statistics, demands for the sources of statistics (which had already been given), demands that we talk about women exactly the same way we talk about men despite no evidence that female soldiers do the same thing. Greg’s response to be told to shut up was what it usually is. He wrote another post.

That post contained these paragraphs:

In other words, when all the young men stay home, they are mostly not going to rape anyone. In contrast, when the same exact men go off to war, an alarming percentage of them rape. Switch off, switch on.

In the [genteel] society in which we imagine ourselves living (at least according to many of the comments on the above cited post) the switch is off, and stays off for most people’s lives. But there are circumstances in which most men’s switch is turned on. The switch being on does not mean that rape will happen. It simply means that the man (with the switch on) is now a rapist, whether he actually rapes or not (but he probably will), and when the switch is off, he is not (so he probably won’t). It is a bit of a metaphor, and a strained one (see comments by commenter Elizabeth) at that.

Among the readership was a former soldier. Well, he claimed to be a soldier. He lied about important things to a number of people, so this particular one may or may not be true.

Either way, he also claimed that Greg was “calling all soldiers in all places in all of history rapists.” And that Greg needed to apologize. And a whole bunch of other crap that was anything but discussing the problem of rape in wartime.

It was a great distraction. Since the idea of Schroedinger’s Rapist hadn’t been presented yet, we spent quite a bit of time trying to get that same idea across. I had a stab at trying to explain the difference between a legal or societal presumption of innocence and assuming that everyone you meet couldn’t possibly be a rapist:

As a potential victim in this situation, what do I gain from making that assumption of innocence?

There are a lot of benefits, to me, of treating that large increase in incidence of rape as a universal, particularly if my goal is to prevent my rape in a war situation or that of others in a potential war situation. If I avoid all male soldiers in war, I am much more likely to avoid being raped. If I can stop war from happening, I can keep many more women from being raped. If I assume that no man is a rapist, even in war, until it’s proven, there’s a very good chance I can’t do either.

Why am I bringing this up now? Because those people who are totally not unhealthily obsessed with FtB in general and me as one of many in particular are also talking about this three-year-old set of blog posts.

Justicar, who appears to have recently discovered that MRAs like to donate to the PayPal accounts of people who cater to their prejudices, dug up or was handed this information from somewhere. He made a video about it.

I can’t tell you what it says. I didn’t bother to watch it. I can tell you that Justicar has built a mini-career out of lying. About a year ago, it was about Rebecca Watson. Now, it’s largely about Atheism+. I can also tell you that only a tiny fraction of the people who liked Justicar’s video checked on his links. Funny that.

Less funny are the responses from other areas of the harassment brigade.

@ Stephanie Zvan : "All men want to rape me" || Stefy,get real.. #atheismplus #ftbullies#atheism #skepchicks http://t.co/V5lIqwE6
@AmetSpeaks
AtheistSatirist

Here’s that picture:

Top pick: Me with speech bubble, "If a [sic] treat all men as rapists, I stand a lot less chance of being raped." Bottom picture: Three cavemen with "Rape" speech bubbles.

Yeah, talking about the probability of rape in war is just like thinking I’m going to get raped–by stereotype cavemen–sitting on the banks of a lake in Glacier National Park. Last I checked, we weren’t at war with any cavemen.

He tweeted it again with a different message.

http://t.co/V5lIqwE6 - Check Stephanie Zvan semi naked picture & her unbelievable statement #Atheismplus #ftbullies #atheism @
@AmetSpeaks
AtheistSatirist

Hoggle, in his Other Atheists guise, joined the party.

The link goes to a video of a female comedian saying that it’s always the friend who is most afraid of rape who is least likely to be raped. Nothing like spreading misinformation in the service of cheap laughs. Nothing like using someone’s cheap laughs to try to bully someone else.

It looks like, with Jen suspending blogging indefinitely and Greta taking a break, it’s my turn again. What they think they’ll get out of this, I’m not sure. There was some nastiness three years ago, including from someone I’d thought was a friend. I cracked fairly hard. Maybe they discovered that.

It won’t do them any good. Three years ago, I discovered that I hadn’t done anything to deal with the fact that I’d been sexually assaulted. That, more than anything else that happened then, was what cracked me.

So I worked those through. If these people read anything back then, they should have understood that. They’ve never read anything of mine with the intent to understand it, though, only to try to punch holes in it. Just like they’re trying to do to me now.

It’s not going to work.

205 comments

4 pings

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Jason Thibeault

    I presume by the “ex soldier who lied about lots of things” you mean Rystefn, who also engaged in so-called performance art by buddying up to the commentariat at Skepchick for like a year then pretending to die of some long-standing disease? Same guy who also trolled me for two days then suggested to me via email that he was trolling to increase pageviews and thus hits and thus funds to the campaign, then denied same when I revealed that fact publicly (along with the fact that MY blog did not have advertisement funds to donate)?

  2. 2
    smhll

    May the universe bring you nothing but nice things (and an occasionally rainy day to break up the monotony). And may someone figure out how to redeploy “bug zapper” technology to vaporize incoming assininity and cruelty.

  3. 3
    julian

    I don’t even know what to say. They’re impervious to facts, reason and basic calls for decency.

    Such an important topic and potential conversation. This is something we should do our best to understand. Rape has been something soldiers engage in without much thought or concern during war time. Rape is something that happens daily even in the Western world.

    How can people that get so up in arms over child rape when it’s the Catholic Church suddenly become so callous and hateful when there’s no clear religious motive?

    I’m sorry these people exit. Thank you for your courage, Stephanie.

  4. 4
    Renee Hendricks

    “I can’t tell you what it says. I didn’t bother to watch it.” Then why did you add it to your blog?

  5. 5
    Stephanie Zvan

    I would tell you, Renee, but all you ever do is keep asking the same questions and making the same debunked points over and over. There’s no point.

  6. 6
    Jason Thibeault

    Because it pointed a lot of hateful people to things Stephanie said in a way that, I can verify, were actually misdirections and lies about what Stephanie said?

    FFS.

  7. 7
    Thopter

    But if she hadn’t watched it before adding it, how would she know its content? Sounds like she made an assumption. Whether founded or unfounded, I cannot say, but it seems to be pretty bad form to me.

  8. 8
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    Since when have any of Justicar’s lies re: the Rebeccapocalypse been worth reading, let alone listening to? Anyway, kudos Jason for taking one for the team. It can’t have been a pleasant experience to sit through that whining drivel. Thanks Stephanie for continuing to shine a light on this toxic behaviour by the slymers.

  9. 9
    Stephanie Zvan

    Ah, yes. You read this post and that’s the bad form.

    So, am I wrong?

  10. 10
    Jason Thibeault

    Xanthë: It was assuredly not pleasant in any respect. :/

  11. 11
    Thopter

    Interesting how this Justicar is not worth reading or listening to, but worth being used as an example without his content being known by the author.

  12. 12
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    I’m so sorry for all the stupid shit you’re getting, Stephanie.

  13. 13
    Stephanie Zvan

    Thopter, answer the question: Am I wrong?

  14. 14
    julian

    Oh my fucking god. People are mocking a rape survivor for discussing rape and how it relates to war. They’re belittling her as paranoid, as too ugly to rape.

    And you’re chastising her for a link to the video of the person who likely lead those people to her blog post. Why? Because she didn’t watch the video of someone who has in the past delighted in trying to trigger her?

    What the fuck is wrong with all of you?

  15. 15
    One Day Soon I Shall Invent A Funny Login

    Dunno if it’ll help, but take a second to check out Catherine Deveny, whom PZ just featured. A woman who has less than zero concern about “tone” and a high disregard for misogynists… might raise your spirits.

  16. 16
    Thopter

    Are you wrong? For including a video without knowing its content? For assuming its content is something you disagree with? In my opinion, yes. If you don’t know what it says, why use it?

  17. 17
    Stephanie Zvan

    julian, just so nobody tries to lie about what I said, because you know that will happen, it was sexual assault but not rape.

  18. 18
    Stephanie Zvan

    You have exactly one chance left, Thopter. Am I wrong about the content of the video?

  19. 19
    julian

    If you don’t know what it says, why use it?

    Why are you even on this? Out of that whole post you honestly think this is what needs to be discussed?

    And I’m supposedly the one with messed up priorities.

  20. 20
    Jason Thibeault

    Thopter: is she wrong about her prognostications about Justicar’s propensity for lying and elision? Absolutely not, empirically. Perhaps you should admit as much.

    Is she wrong for prognosticating? I posit not, because of pattern recognition. Especially since her prognostications were very obviously borne out. And since the corroborating evidence, the inbound traffic (of which I saw a small spike as well), tipped her (and me) off that it was exactly as she (rightly) predicted, what the living fuck are you actually complaining about? That she didn’t listen to his lies before pointing people to those lies to judge for themselves?

    Because if that’s your only complaint here, that’s pretty fucking weak tea.

  21. 21
    birdterrifier

    AmetSpeaks and TheOtherAtheist seem to be the main sources for the truly vile words and photos on the #AtheismPlus tag. Those two went nuts on the #FTBullies tag and turned that in to a real drag. Of course, they probably like this post.

  22. 22
    Stephanie Zvan

    So, Jason, what you’re telling me is that Thopter didn’t watch the video before deciding to try to use it against me? Go figure.

  23. 23
    Jason Thibeault

    I’m actually simultaneously complimenting you on your intellectual honesty in pointing people to his attack video yourself. But yes, it’s obvious either Thopter didn’t watch it, or doesn’t give a shit and thinks xe’s got you on a gotcha.

  24. 24
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    @Thropter You don’t have to listen to every minute of a William Lane Craig video to know that it’s going to be a bunch of philosophical bullshit circular arguments spiced with justification of biblical atrocities. You don’t have to listen to every Ken Ham video to know that it will be filled with lies and misrepresentations of evolution and other sciences. Even less is it necessary when someone you trust has watched this latest manifestation and confirmed it.

  25. 25
    julian

    @Stephanie Zvan #17

    Sorry.

  26. 26
    Thopter

    Ah, a properly formed question. Now I know what you’re asking, and can give you a relevant answer.

    “Am I wrong about the content of the video?”

    The only statement you made about the content of the video is, “I can’t tell you what it says. I didn’t bother to watch it.” I’ll have to take your word on that, so I cannot say you’re wrong about the content of the video.

  27. 27
    ilili

    When you can’t counter someone’s arguments rationally, you call them a liar and plug your ears.

    Funny how there are also rape victims on the other side telling you to get over yourself. I guess those people don’t fit into your worldview of eternal victimhood.

  28. 28
    Argle Bargle

    I watched the video. That’s 4 minutes 39 seconds of my life I’ll never get back. What an abhorrent, hateful, lying jerk Justicar is.

    Thopter, just so you know, Stephanie is truly psychic. She said what was in the video without watching it. Having watched it, I can attest her description was right on.

  29. 29
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    In Against our Will: Men, Women, and Rape, Susan Brownmiller has a most enlightening chapter about the Americans in Vietnam.

  30. 30
    Jason Thibeault

    Imagine ilili saying that in defense of Ken Ham. Then you’ll know why I’m laughing uproariously.

  31. 31
    julian

    Get over herself?

    I realize some people give less than 2 fucks about their fellow human beings but this was a post about rape in war time and war torn countries. How is this all about her? How is the reality of how common rape, how widely accepted it is all about her?

    What the fuck is wrong with you?

  32. 32
    Stephanie Zvan

    When you can’t counter someone’s arguments rationally, you [...] plug your ears.

    Well, you’re done doing it here.

  33. 33
    Xanthë, Amy of my threads

    Here’s some extra reading material for Renee, Thopter, and ilili, who don’t seem to be aware that the misogynist lying shitbag mentioned above already has ‘form’, so that those of us who are writing off his current diatribe without listening to it are in fact using a Bayesian calculation: given that one has been nauseated by many of his previous videos on similar topics to this one, which involved him repeatedly lying and straw-manning the views he ‘criticises’, what are the chances that the current video is another nauseating demonstration of lying? The answer is, very high, and fortunately Jason has confirmed that once again the best response to the video is not to bother watching it.

  34. 34
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    For all the pseudo-skeptics showing up here to show your asses in public, here’s a question for you: do you feel obligated to read every new book by Sylvia Browne before reaffirming that she’s a fraud? Do you go into every video from say Ray Comfort or other known apologists and think to yourself “Maybe THIS TIME he’ll have a really good argument!” When you see that Pat Robertson has weighed in on some issue, do you assume he’s going to make a good point until proven otherwise? Do you need to check a white supremacist website daily to make sure that they are still worthy of condemnation? Do you always erase someone’s history and start each moment with a clean slate and no preconceptions based on prior behavior?

    Or is it only when the topic is sexism, and the person in question is one of “your people” and their target is someone you dislike, that you throw away normal human behavior and pretend that someone cannot be judged by their history?

  35. 35
    Sgaile-beairt

    They are monsters. You are a heroine.

  36. 36
    A Lowly Apprentice

    Why add a video that you did not watch to your blog post?

  37. 37
    Jon

    I don’t think most of the criticism about the original post are valid, and definitely not the childish insults/threats.

    That said, on the subject of the orginal topic, I wonder something.

    I would hope everyone can admit there ARE male rape victims out there as well… I further wonder, how female victims would feel if they were told, every day, by a community, that they ARE THE SAME as their attacker? That, it is only RATIONAL to assume the victim of a horrific crime is a perp waiting to happen, and that it is only LOGICAL to treat them as such until they can PROVE they are not?

  38. 38
    Stephanie Zvan

    Why add a video that you did not watch to your blog post?

    Obviously because it’s so good at differentiating the people with an interest in the post from the assholes with an interest in gotcha questions. My banned commenter list was feeling lonely.

  39. 39
    The twelfth vote

    I just watched Justicar’s video so that you all don’t have to. The reason why Stephanie didn’t have to watch it to know basically what it was about is because he’s so sadly predictable in his intellectual dishonesty.

    My conclusion? Her assessment was almost 100% correct. The only part she missed by not seeing it was his complete misunderstanding of Schrödinger’s Rapist, but I think it’s safe to say that she has an inkling that his comprehension level is substandard, at best.

  40. 40
    Stephanie Zvan

    Jon, given that most male rape victims were also raped by men, I imagine it already sucks to feel they have anything in common with their attackers. They already know this just as well as women do.

  41. 41
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Stephanie, this has me in tears. I can only imagine how it feels to you. Gah, I wish I could do something more than rage.

  42. 42
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Some pissant wrote:

    Why add a video that you did not watch to your blog post?

    Why add a comment to a blog post and subsequent comments you haven’t read?

  43. 43
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    “Why add a video that you did not watch to your blog post?”

    Why echo an already answered and debunked talking point? Do you think it makes you look smart?

  44. 44
    rowanvt

    @36

    A lowly apprentice you are indeed to have repeated something that has been directly countered many times before in this currently short thread of comments. Surely you can do better than that.

    @37-

    Good job. “But what about TEH MENZ???”

    Of course there are male rape victims, and what has happened to them is horrific. However, this post is not about that. It’s about the disproportionate number of women who are raped, and especially the increase that happens during war.

    As a woman, are you honestly telling me that just because there is a *small* chance that a man who is following me at night has been the victim of rape that I should not be cautious due to the fact that there is a man following me at night?

    Should I have asked my stalker if he had been abused rather than calling the cops when he tried to break into my house?

    Should I have asked the guy who DID follow me through downtown despite me making several loops if he was actually a nice fellow instead of trying to get myself to a safe location?

    Are you honestly telling me that I should not try to keep myself safe because it might hurt the feelings of someone I don’t know and who may be scaring me?

    I sincerely hope not. My answer either way is “Tough shit. I have no desire to be raped and I’ve had several close calls so I’m going to be cautious as hell around any male I have not known for some time.” Because what’s the worst that can happen to *them* due to my caution versus the worst that can happen to *me* if I’m not cautious?

    If a man who has been raped wants to be cautious of me, or other men, because of what happened that is fine. It doesn’t bother me, and I understand the sentiment entirely.

  45. 45
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    If a man who has been raped wants to be cautious of me, or other men, because of what happened that is fine. It doesn’t bother me, and I understand the sentiment entirely.

    That’s because you’re a human being with a sense of empathy. Though they’re not actually, clinically so, these people are walking cases of selective functional sociopathy.

  46. 46
    Jon

    @Steph — yes, we know it.. but being told im a potential rapist, every day, by a community I’ve dedicated most of my life to fucking hurts. and despite the hurtful things said in post #44, I still plan to dedicate the rest of my life to feminist philosophy.

    #44 — Thank you for being so dismissive and angry, I truly appreciate the sincere thought you put into your reply before dismissing it as “what about the men?” posts. As a survivor of rape, it fills me with a great amount of pride to know the women of the feminist movement care about all rape victims, and not just those with vaginas.

    No one said anything about a stalker. I said men. Believe it or not, I both have a penis, and no intention of stalking you, or anyone else. Men make up about 48% of the population.. most are not stalkers… but the post does not say “stalkers”, it says “males”… Would you care to explain why *I*, generic male who knows nothing about you but a screen name on a blog, am an assumed rapist in waiting? Or possibly why I, as a victim of rape, shouldn’t feel the least bit offended that, without ever doing ANYTHING to indicate I am even capable of such an act, it is the “right” assumption to make?

  47. 47
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Thank you for being so dismissive and angry,

    Oh no you didn’t.

  48. 48
    Stephanie Zvan

    Jon, it’s an ugly position to be put in. However, it isn’t the other people who are targeted who are at fault. This is the fault of the predators, not of the prey.

  49. 49
    Jon

    @Josh,

    You’re right, I shouldn’t have said that. I apologize. I tend to get a little hot under the collar when people completely change what I said, and argue against that….

    My post was essentially “what about Chocolate?” while the reply was “But Hemlock is deadly, so are you saying I shouldn’t avoid Hemlock?”

  50. 50
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Jon, if you haven’t, please, please, please read Schrodinger’s Rapist.

    Please take a step back, stop assuming you’re being called a rapist, and try to understand the reality that women face.

    You know what? To me walking on the street alone, especially at night, every man is a potential fag basher. That’s not unreasonable, it’s self-preservation. Women face the same thing with rape. Stop turning it into your hurt feelings and for goodness’ sake try to understand that vulnerable people do the best they can to stay safe.

  51. 51
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    Jon @ 46

    [...] but being told im a potential rapist, every day, by a community I’ve dedicated most of my life to fucking hurts.

    Jon, I hear you. But your (and my) emotional hurt doesn’t compare to the crippling anxiety and fear that so many women have. When we are told that as men we are “potential rapists”, I don’t think we’re being told “You Jon, and you Silo, are potential rapists.” By virtue of a Y-chromosome and the entire history of the world, we belong to the gender that is considered most likely, by several orders of magnitude, to rape girls and women. I take it to mean that we’re being told that we belong to that group, simply because we belong to that gender.

    I’m reasonably tall and fairly strong and I know that the odds are good that I could physically overpower an average woman – a common scenario for most men, I would say. So the potential exists for me to hurt/rape a woman. I take it upon myself by virtue of my actions to convince the women who know me that I am safe, respectful, and a man who would never, ever hurt them. The thing is, I have to do this every time I meet a new woman. I’m okay with that. They’re the ones who are at greater risk. I never take the “potential rapist” moniker personally.

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Stephanie Zvan

    silomowbray, trying to tell anyone what does or doesn’t compare isn’t really helpful. You can’t actually know.

  54. 54
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    Stephanie: Hmm. Yes, you’re right, so I’ll retract that.

  55. 55
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Stephanie, thank you for cleaning up my mess:)

  56. 56
    Jon

    @Josh — of course, because I have no fear going out now? I couldn’t possibly understand? This is my whole point. You know nothing about me but my gender, and you are ready to make massive assumptions about my knowledge/experience/state of mind on a day to day basis, based on what genitals I possess. This doesn’t strike you as offensive at all?

    What if I told you it took me 3 years to leave my house afterwards? That until I was 26, I couldn’t even do my own grocery shopping, and that to this day, I work from home to avoid going out for more than 2 hours a week (something it has taken YEARS of therapy to work up to?)

    @Silo, but if we are basing our prejudices off of statistics, the odds are I will be mugged by a black male… does this mean I should assume all black males are muggers if I see them? Is this rational? Hell, is this in any way OK? No, its racist as hell. Everyone has the potential to be a criminal. A 3′ albino midget could shoot someone… The person who stuck a knife in me was half my size… but fighting back is kinda impossible with a knife in you…

  57. 57
    Stephanie Zvan

    Jon, I already said this once. Don’t ignore it a second time. It’s an ugly position to be put in. However, it isn’t the other people who are targeted who are at fault. This is the fault of the predators, not of the prey.

  58. 58
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    There aren’t enough palms or faces in the world to satisfy what needs to be done.

  59. 59
    Jon

    @Steph, sorry, I wasn’t trying to ignore your point. And well I agree, it is those who attacked that are at fault for my attack. However, they are not the ones saying I *AM* just like them. And that too is an attack, be it in a different way.

    You said here you are a victim of sexual assault. For that no one but you attacker is to blame. But if people began telling you that, because you’re a woman, we must assume you are not only a victim, but a PERPETRATOR waiting to happen, that would be a different kind of insult/attack… for which, those who said such vicious things are to blame.

  60. 60
    Stephanie Zvan

    Jon, nobody here has said that. Nobody in the posts I linked said that. Nobody in the comments of the posts I linked said that. Nobody said that at the link Josh provided.

    You have plenty to be upset about. Don’t borrow more. Certainly don’t do it here.

  61. 61
    rowanvt

    Jon, the reason you got my response was because the actual post here is about Stephanie, and her post about rape during war time, and now the “joke” threats about her being too ugly to rape, or getting raped by cavemen.

    You then posted “what about male rape victims?”

    That’s as much as derail as “chocolate” and “but what about hemlock?”

    Because of that disjoint between this post and your first reply, it looked very honestly like the classic “Yes but…” derail, coupled with “The MENZ”.

    I didn’t even know I had a stalker until mom put 2 and 2 together of the odd late night phone calls and the attempted break in. I truly was followed through downtown at 1 am and the only reason the guy stopped following me was because I had one of those stupid ornamental daggers with me. I had an emotionally unstable man become obsessed with me and try to destroy my engagement and come close to physically assaulting me. That last guy managed to do that because I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Big mistake.

    Three close calls within a 2 year period has made it so that, frankly, men who are strangers scare me. I don’t make male friends easily anymore. It’s usually close to a year of frequent contact with a guy before I will be alone in a room with him. It takes about 2 years before I’ll get in a car alone with him.

    Why am I not allowed to be cautious and afraid, but you are? How is it damaging to *you* that I choose to stay with crowds? Or not get into an elevator if there’s only men there. Or get nervous if I’m in the elevator and a guy walk in? Or if I don’t go places with men I don’t know well? How does this hurt *you*, my attempting to keep myself safe?

  62. 62
    Jon

    @Steph —

    Josh said: “To me walking on the street alone, especially at night, [B]every man is a potential fag basher.[/b] That’s not unreasonable, it’s self-preservation. [B]Women face the same thing with rape.[/b]”

    (Important Bit is in bold)

    Silo Said:

    “I take it to mean that we’re being told that we belong to that group, simply because we belong to that gender.”

    So, at least two people have said all men are “potential rapists”, in their own unique ways… so its not really no one.

    That said, I’m off to bed. If anyone replies, Ill check back tomorrow. Thank you everyone for the (mostly) civil discussion.

  63. 63
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Thank you everyone for the (mostly) civil discussion.

    Drop the passive-aggressive silliness.

  64. 64
    Stephanie Zvan

    Jon, there is all the difference in the world between “I don’t know who or what you are” and “You’re a perpetrator waiting to happen”. Start seeing it.

  65. 65
    Jason Thibeault

    And all men are potential astronauts, and potential Dohvakin. What’s controversial about the assertion that one might not know what measure a man before getting to know them, and that most rapists (of both men and women) are men?

  66. 66
    Stephanie Zvan

    What is controversial, Jason, is that we’re talking about rape out loud. Just like it was three years ago.

    Lovely meeting you then, by the way. :)

  67. 67
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Jon,

    Have you ever heard of “defensive driving”? It is driving that focuses not only on basic proficiency in handling your vehicle, but also keeping an eye out for dangerous situations and anticipating the actions of other drivers who might NOT be a conscientious and alert as they should be. It assumes that anyone else on the road could be drunk, or distracted, or just really bad at driving, and that in order to keep yourself safe you can’t just assume that the other drivers aren’t going to do something dangerous.

    Is it offensive to the other drivers that I don’t automatically assume that they are going to look out for my safety and not accidentally hit me? Am I saying that every driver is drunk or impaired at all times? How does it hurt anyone else if I leave a little extra distance between me and the other cars, or that I don’t assume someone is going to stop just because the light turns red? Saying that any man is a potential rapist is sort of similar to saying that any driver could be impaired or distracted. What harm does it do to a man if a woman looks out for herself? And how does that potential harm possibly compare to the harm she faces if she ignores potentially dangerous situations and doesn’t anticipate the possible actions of other people?

    It isn’t an insult or an attack on men or on drivers, it is simply good sensible precautions for self-preservation in both cases, based on a reasonable weighing of risks and benefits.

  68. 68
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    Stephanie @ 64: Or another way to put it is that “all men are potential rapists” is NOT the same as “all men are likely to be rapists”.

    Is that perhaps what Jon isn’t seeing?

  69. 69
    hugh man

    I didn’t actually read the post, but Stephine svan has made a career out of being a professional victim.

  70. 70
    Jason Thibeault

    Lovely meeting you then, by the way. :)

    And you, Stephanie. :D

    I didn’t actually read the post

    No shit!

    but Stephine svan

    Who?

  71. 71
    Stephanie Zvan

    Actually, I’ve made a career out of doing math, but I realize that these things are difficult for you to understand as an illiterate.

  72. 72
    Stephanie Zvan

    silomowbray, as far as I can tell, what Jon isn’t seeing is that there are other people in the world just as important as he is.

  73. 73
    Jason Thibeault

    Now Stephanie, don’t be elitist, some of us are not privileged with the level of education to learn that other human beings exist and are in possession of self-direction.

  74. 74
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Honestly, after the patience I see y’all having shown him, I think it’s willful missing the point at this point.

  75. 75
    callistacat

    @Jon

    I understand why you would feel that way and I’m sorry that it happened to you. I think ‘potential’ doesn’t mean you are capable of it, just that women don’t know and can’t know who is and isn’t trustworthy.

    I don’t agree with Greg Laden’s “rape switch” nonsense though, sorry. I do think that is insulting to men.

    But the analogy you gave is not a good or accurate one. If you were mugged and then your family, the police, your friends tell you it was actually your fault, not the muggers, that you *deserved* to be mugged, that you probably gave the person some cash then regreted it, that mugging victims are known to be liars, you are reminded that mugging victims always have their past financial history brought up and their names dragged through the mud if they try to prosecute, you’re told that you were leading the mugger on by smiling at him when he walked up to you…then that analogy might hold.

    Women are constantly told that the burden is on us to prevent being raped, and if it does happen, it’s because we weren’t careful enough or again, did something that justified getting raped.

  76. 76
    callistacat

    Funny how the idiot tweeter thinks it’s noteworthy that you’re “semi naked” in the photo.

  77. 77
    rowanvt

    My arms are bare. Does that mean I’m “semi-naked” toooo?

  78. 78
    callistacat

    Whore!

    (just kidding)

  79. 79
    PG

    Josh the Spokesgay is being a horrible person, as usual. A foul-mouthed chatterbox who’s been accepted into the fold, despite the fact that more than half of what he says is vitriol and derisive commentary. And Jason “Lousy Canuck” Thibeault is still demonstrating his love for sycophancy and towing that party line.

    Jon, a rape survivor, versus Stephanie, a victim of sexual assault, is being marginalised and told to think how women feel. Jon, a rape survivor, is being told his situation is bad, but! Women have it worse! You are actually piling on a rape survivor and trivialising his experience because he’s not a woman. Wow. Even when he clearly divulged he was a rape survivor, you still had the audacity to use the “what about the menz?” strawman on him, as thought that was what his argument was about? What is wrong with you people?

    By the way, Steph, are you ever going to apologise to Richard Dawkins for your letter, considering he, too, was a victim of sexual abuse?

  80. 80
    PG

    No, yet again, the irony of the “Dear Muslima” argument being used here is not lost on me.

    Particularly when it’s against a rape survivor. You pathetic excuses of human waste.

  81. 81
    rowanvt

    You clearly didn’t read far enough.

    He brought up male rape victims to say that women being cautious around men is wrong. His initial presentation was classic “yes but what about the men”. I explained this in one of my responses, and went on to continue though that, yes he had a horrible and horrific experience no one should have, that does not mean that women should automatically give all men the complete benefit of the doubt.

    That you cannot grasp that shows your reading comprehension is lacking.

  82. 82
    Stephanie Zvan

    Jon, a rape survivor, is being told his situation is bad, but! Women have it worse!

    The one person who said anything like that took it back, but it was a lovely try on your part.

    By the way, Steph, are you ever going to apologise to Richard Dawkins for your letter, considering he, too, was a victim of sexual abuse?

    So, what, someone who was sexually abused gets a permanent license to make other people’s lives worse? You’re not very good at this whole logic thing. Come back when you’ve figured out how it works.

  83. 83
    rowanvt

    Yeesh Stephanie, they really are crawling out the woodworks at you aren’t they?

  84. 84
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    towing that party line.

    It’s “toeing.”

  85. 85
    Stephanie Zvan

    They are, rowanvt. In fact, I think I’ll shut comments off on this post for the night, since it’s my bedtime. If they really want to mess the place up, they can come back in the morning and give me more of those pageviews they think I’m so desperate for.

  86. 86
    Jon

    Firstly, I am sorry if I came off as argumentative or disruptive yesterday, as that was not my intent.

    Also, @PG, I cannot speak for Stephanie, but for my part is wasn’t a “verses” thing. It was a group of adults having a conversation. A conversation on an incredibly touchy, and sensitive topic. Not everyone added to the discourse, but I certainly did not feel “attacked.” At worst, I felt a little dismissed… but that was corrected, and I see no reason to hold a single post against anyone.

    Now, I feel I didn’t do a very good job of articulating my point, and will make one final effort here now. Should I fail, I will not continue to pester.

    I want to be clear, I am NOT saying people shouldn’t be careful. I am not saying to ignore stalkers, or assume the best in EVERY SINGLE situation.

    and I am most certainly not saying no one is as important as I am. In fact, if I felt that way, I would probably have no issue with assigning motives to an entire group for my own benefit.

    What I am saying is this:

    Be careful. As part of my therapy, I was told to make a list of behaviour that sets me on edge. Things to pay attention for. So I did. That list is things like “someone following me for more than 2 blocks” and “someone staring at me without saying hello”

    However, despite my own situation, that list does NOT include things like “Has a Penis” or “Black Guy.” Why? Because I am NOT the only person on the earth. Because most african/american/people of colour/whatever are awesome people who are NOT about to harm me. Neither are most people with Penises.

    I do not understand why everyone seems to think its some kind of dichotomy where we are either completely ignoring warning signs, or gender profiling everyone we pass on the street. We can base being careful off of behaviour (a much more accurate way), and it keeps our eyes OPEN. If part of what you watch for is gender/race/height…. it means you can become focused on something that ISN’T sign someone is out to harm you, and miss the person who actually is.

    Finally, I would just like to say, I am not “missing” your points. I am disagreeing with some of your points. It really is the height of arrogance to assume someone who doesn’t agree must just “not get it” or else they would CLEARLY agree.

  87. 87
    khms

    Yes, the Schrödinger’s-Rapist concept does hurt men – those of us who are decent (or at least think we are), in that it (entirely correctly) reminds us of how those of us who aren’t create so much shit for the other half of the population, and how we should really find ways to at least reduce the problem; and also, because it reminds us how bad the other half actually has it.

    None of which is the fault of the women in question. Duh!

    As for male rape survivors, in the common case where the perp was another man, I’d guess they’re in a rather similar situation. And you don’t deserve it, either.

    (As for those men and women who’ve been raped by a woman, or the cases where one or both are more complicated sexual identities, I’m sorry, but I don’t have even remotely enough insight into those situations (not that I have all that much in the former ones) to do more than suspect it’s even worse than a mixture of these cases, even where the details of your problems don’t match – there’s far too much I don’t know. What I do know is that, again, you didn’t deserve it.)

    That said, I strongly suspect that the “rape switch” thing is – at best – rather bad science. I suspect the truth is that, for some reason, high stress, combined with a lot of us-vs.-them rhetoric typical of war times, is among the primary reasons that make rape more likely in war times – but I certainly haven’t read any studies. I will say, however, that I’ll be highly surprised if this doesn’t turn out to be a gradual, rather than a binary, thing, and that – as with pretty much everything else – the level at which people start exhibiting any particular symptoms can differ quite a lot between different individuums. Nothing of which changes the deplorable results.

  88. 88
    Tom Foss

    I like dogs a lot. Dogs are great. Pretty much every dog I’ve ever spent time with was friendly and lovable.

    But when I walk down the street and see a strange dog–especially one that isn’t apparently fenced in or chained up, I have my guard up. When I hear a dog nearby barking at me before I see it, I can feel my body tense up and my fight-or-flight response kick in. It’s probably not fair to think that every dog is potentially an attack dog, potentially a violent dog, potentially a biter. Most of those dogs are almost certainly good dogs. But I can’t know, just by looking, which dogs are good dogs and which dogs aren’t. I don’t know when I’m out for a walk if the dog coming toward me is looking to make a new friend or trying to protect its territory. Most of the time, I’m sure it’s the former. I’m sure I’m in no real danger. But I can’t afford to take that chance. The risk might be small, but the result of a false negative might be me trying to fight off a strong, angry dog, or lying injured along the road in my small town, unable to get help. It’s not fair to the good dogs to assume that they might be biters, but as long as they’ve got teeth in those jaws, they’re capable of biting, and I need to be prepared for that.

    I still love dogs. I’ll still play with dogs all day long. I’d like to get a dog of my own soon, now that I’m finally in a house instead of an apartment. But I’ll probably never stop treating all strange dogs like they might be dangerous. I love dogs, but I love intact skin more.

    More specifically to Jon: I don’t think you’ll find that “Schrödinger’s Rapist” is blind to differences between men. Most women making the risk analysis of “is this person violent” are going to take into account things like size, like age, etc. I doubt that most women are going to feel threatened by an eight-year-old boy just because he “has a penis.” I probably wouldn’t cross the street over a lhasa apso either. But it’s not unreasonable for them to think that a man is more likely to be dangerous than a woman. Woman-to-woman sexual assault is considerably rarer than cases where men are the instigators. Even beyond rape, there’s this curious social convention that seems to make men feel entitled to a woman’s time and attention. And as the second link there shows, even if it doesn’t result in rape, it can result in a scary damn situation. There’s no knowing what might set someone off, or where an apparently friendly small-talk conversation might be going. You start worrying when the guy’s been following you for two blocks; good for you. Based on what I’ve read, a woman who lets a guy follow her for two blocks without worrying a little is being naïve or careless. And I suspect that she’d be told as much if it did go bad.

    To get angry at women for being overly guarded around you, for thinking that you might not be a good dog, is the wrong response. It’s not their fault that they’re in a society that makes their concerns justified. If every dog were a friendly mutt that wouldn’t harm a fly, if there weren’t attack dogs and abused dogs and rabid dogs and defensive territorial dogs in the world, I wouldn’t cross the street to avoid an un-leashed strange dog. Bad dogs ruined it for all dogs. Similarly, if there weren’t rapists and violent misogynists and creepers in the world, women would likely be a lot more open to the notion of conversations with strange men. You should be angry at the people who made these women so fearful, who made these fears justified. They’re the ones who ruined it for you. Getting angry at the people they’ve targeted only makes the problem worse. Get angry at the bigots, the criminals, the rapists. Make it so they’re the ones who see society as hostile and weighted against them. Make them a memory, help make a world where they don’t exist. That’s when everybody, regardless of gender, will be able to view strangers as just friends they haven’t met yet.

  89. 89
    skeptifem

    I remember those posts. Since then I’ve read Against Our Will by susan brownmiller, its a history book specifically about rape throughout the ages (with a lot of focus on wartime rape because it was considered a spoil of war, and all that).

    @87 jon

    Be careful. As part of my therapy, I was told to make a list of behaviour that sets me on edge. Things to pay attention for. So I did. That list is things like “someone following me for more than 2 blocks” and “someone staring at me without saying hello”

    However, despite my own situation, that list does NOT include things like “Has a Penis” or “Black Guy.” Why? Because I am NOT the only person on the earth. Because most african/american/people of colour/whatever are awesome people who are NOT about to harm me. Neither are most people with Penises.

    you could make the case that most people who follow you or stare at you aren’t going to harm you either. The claim that the way people assess threats is to calculate the risk of actual harm (it is almost always very low) does not seem accurate to me. Most people feel uneasy for whatever reason and avoid a person accordingly. We all do it to each other.

    I find it really distasteful that you are comparing a racial phobia with being wary of men in general. You are comparing a white person confronting their inner racism with a marginalized group trying to cope with bullshit heaped on them by those who are privileged by female oppression. As much as you want that to be the same thing it simply is not, and there is not any good option for women regarding how much or often to engage with men. If you are a woman who is raped by a man you’ll be interrogated about why you didn’t treat that man as a potential rapist. How is a woman supposed to win exactly? Should we ignore feeling uneasy around a man if we don’t have a specific reason? I don’t think I need a reason unless strangers have some kind of right to my person, and they don’t.

    It seems to me that you have some personal issues about feeling likened to the person who hurt you, and that is totally understandable. It is probably something best worked through at your therapists office or offline. People are going to see your focus on that issue in this specific thread as being off topic and eventually get irritated.

  90. 90
    Bjarte Foshaug

    Luckily I haven’t personally experienced sexual abuse of any kind, but I have indeed encountered Schrödinger’s Rapist. As I have previously commented elsewhere, this is something that happened to me about ten years ago while studying abroad: A middle-aged Russian man halted me on the street under the pretense of asking me for the time. After I told him, he started following me around while talking as if we were already the best of friends and ignoring my (not very) subtle hints that I only wanted to be left alone. During our whole encounter I was under the distinct impression that he was trying to lure me away from the crowd, and I was not eager to find out why. After several attempts to lead me into a deserted back alley on some bogus excuse, he invited me to his home to show me, not his etchings exactly, but his Buddha statues! I finally had to tell him in the bluntest possible terms that I most definitely was not interested before turning my back and walking away.

    So, what lessons do I take home from this?

    1. There is no way my story would ever stand up to the kind of hyper-skepticism that women are routinely subjected to when talking about similar (or worse!) experiences. At no point during our encounter did my stalker say or do anything that could not be defended by some as “normal behavior”, and I most certainly would not be able to make a case that would stand up in a court of law. But the truth remains that I felt immediately threatened, and I have never once regretted passing up on the opportunity to learn whether or not the Buddha statues were even real.
    2. Even if that guy honestly just wanted to show me his Buddha statues, he had no right to expect me to assume that that’s all he wanted as long as his behavior was indistinguishable from that of a sexual predator seeking to rape and kill me.
    3. By the same token, I have no right to expect a woman to just assume that my intentions are pure when she has no way of knowing in advance. There is no criterion a woman could use to decide that I deserve the benefit of the doubt that wouldn’t also require her to give the benefit of the doubt to some men who really are rapist, thus increasing her own risk of actually getting raped. No woman has any duty to put herself at such a risk in order to spare the feelings of infinitely disgusting male excrements who would be far more valuable as worm-food, and if you think the slight injustice that you suffer as a result is the real problem (or a problem at all) here, you are almost certainly one of said excrements (Boy, am I beginning to loathe my own gender…).
    4. One of the things that strike me when writing about my own experience, is the utter futility of trying to convey the creepiness of the situation through words. By the same token, just because a purely descriptive account of a certain elevator-incident doesn’t sound like a big deal to you (as if saying “Guys, don’t do that” was somehow making a big deal), doesn’t mean the person actually having the experience didn’t have legitimate reasons for concern given the knowledge available to her at the time.

  91. 91
    coyotenose

    Just the fact that they try to equate wearing shorts and two shirts to being “semi naked” (as if that were a bad thing anyway) in order to have a talking point shows how desperate they are. They know they’ve got nothing, which is why they’re lashing out so hard. It’s like how a small child – perfect analogy, that – screams louder when wrong than when right.

  92. 92
    julian

    We can base being careful off of behaviour (a much more accurate way), and it keeps our eyes OPEN. If part of what you watch for is gender/race/height…. it means you can become focused on something that ISN’T sign someone is out to harm you, and miss the person who actually is.

    I haven’t much to add but I wanted to point out two things.

    1)Behavior, especially split second estimations, isn’t going to be less problematic than profiling by gender. From what little I understand there’s no “rapist” walk. There are certain situations you can look out for (for example, man carrying inebriated person away from others) the way someone carries themselves is going to be every bit as rife with biases as looking out for race or height or accent.

    There is no rapist tell based solely on body language, speech habits or the like. People are often more careful because certain behavior alarms them but there isn’t anything resembling a distinct look or walk or anything that’ll signal “rapist.”

    And that’s not even going int autistics and others with issues understanding “how” to generally behave in public

    2)Really the only thing we can go off is gender. By all estimates rape against women is almost uniquely perpetuated by men. The last estimate I remember put it at almost 97% for life time measurements. That doesn’t mean all men are rapists. That doesn’t mean be terrified of every man you meet. But it is a distinguishing characteristic. If you are a woman the risk of being raped by another woman is almost negligible (although obviously not nonexistent.)

    It isn’t perfect, it isn’t a good solution. But there is no good solution. Not here. There’s ways to mitigate the danger you face and select against the most probable threats and that’s it. A good solution that doesn’t risk people’s biases, that selects against people’s preconceived notions about others, doesn’t exist.

    Life doesn’t have good fixes.

    Anyway, I hope you’re doing well, Jon, and I’m sorry if this conversation made you go places you didn’t want to.

  93. 93
    Jon

    Just one thing… my comparing racial and gender profiling is “wrong”, but the person writing an entire post comparing males and dogs isnt?

    I understand both are analogies, but hell, at least I didn’t use a NON HUMAN example for why its ok to stereotype.

    That said, I agree with one thing. I’ve made my point, people will agree or disagree, and if I continue, it will just be derailing and annoying.

    Thank you Steph for the time you’ve given me on this.

  94. 94
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Jon, you’re being willfully stupid and obnoxious. I don’t believe that you don’t comprehend how analogies work. Instead, I think you’ve decided to double down and defend your misplaced, solypsistic interpretation of the conversation. You need to learn it’s not all about you.

  95. 95
    Jon

    Oh, I know how analogies work. I’m just wondering why MY analogy between racial and gender profiling was “offensive”, but the Man and dog analogy wasnt.

    @julian,

    Thanks for the concern. Overall, I guess its a Correlation/Causation issue to me. While a vast majority of rapists are men, not a vast majority of men are rapists. This would be like saying because all bananas are fruit, all fruits are bananas.

  96. 96
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Um, maybe because your analogy unfairly slurs people of color while the dog analogy. . . merely describes a reasonable caution about dogs?

  97. 97
    julian

    @Jon

    I know. It’s easy to slip into thinking that because most rapes are committed by men most men are rapists. Being a man certainly doesn’t make you a rapist and being a woman certainly doesn’t make you incapable of raping someone however many rapes are committed by men and however few are committed by women.

  98. 98
    hypatiasdaughter

    Has anyone ever written about Schrödinger’s Thief?
    You know how we treat all stranger’s as “potential” thieves?
    If you went into a bar with a group of your co-workers that you don’t know personally, would you leave your wallet on the table when you went to the rest room?
    Do you leave your wallet on your desk top when you leave the room for an extended meeting?
    My husband works at a place surrounded by a 10′ chain link fence; an electronic gate only opened by a pass card; and a security guard on duty during shift changes. He still locks his car. I guess it is because he thinks ALL his co-workers are “potential” thieves.
    No. Wait. he doesn’t think ALL his co-workers are “potential” thieves – he thinks it is possible one or two MIGHT be a thief, and since he cannot tell them from the honest ones, he takes precautions.
    People understand this because they know they might be victims of theft.
    Why don’t some people get this in regards to rape? Ah, well, if they think that there is a slim to none chance of being a victim of rape, then they don’t need to get it.
    Besides, having someone steal your WALLET is, like, so much more harmful than being assaulted, doncha’ know?

  99. 99
    Pro_bonobo

    I’ve been mostly just a reader until now, but I’m popping my head up out of the lurker-swamp to say that this behavior is just off-the-charts hateful. I am saddened beyond belief that all these people cannot argue with you in a way that isn’t so batshit crazy. Of course, I don’t always agree with your ideas(I never agree with anyone 100% of the time), but I thought it was important to add one more voice of support against these haters.

  100. 100
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Happiestsadist:

    I’m so sorry for all the stupid shit you’re getting, Stephanie.

    Seconded. I really admire your persistence against all these idiots.

    Ilili, your argument makes about as much sense as claiming that Phyllis Schafly gets to speak for all women because she is one, or that Clarence Thomas gets to speak for all African-Americans because he is one.

    Jon, feminists have been talking about male rape victims for years now, much more than MRAs have been talking about it — or, at least, in a way designated to try to find the root of the problem rather than merely use male victims as propaganda. If you’re not familiar with those conversations, try Googling instead of trying to derail the conversation.

    Oh, and by the way, “women” and “individuals with vaginas” are not the one and the same. And injecting racism into the discussion isn’t helping your case. Black men are disproportionately arrested, convicted, and given long sentences for violent crimes; that does not mean they disproportionately commit violent crimes. This disparity begins in the schools; Google “school-to-prison pipeline” if you wish to learn more.

    I’d worry more about the comparison of men to dogs if men were, you know, categorically and institutionally oppressed, the way women are. No, that’s not a “double standard”; that’s an acknowledgment that, as demographics, men and women occupy very different rungs on the social ladder. Analogously, I’m white, and I certainly don’t think “cracker” or “honky” carry anywhere near the weight that anti-black slurs do.

    Sorry, Stephanie, I don’t categorically agree with your #53. Male victims of sexual assault are one thing, but, in general, Silomowbray is correct. Men’s fee-fees over not being given the automatic benefit of the doubt <<<<<< women's fear of being raped, then being blamed for it and never obtaining justice.

    Callistacat:

    I don’t agree with Greg Laden’s “rape switch” nonsense though, sorry. I do think that is insulting to men.

    I agree with you entirely. Lots of men never rape. Some are never even tempted to rape. It has to do with enculturation and socialization, not with biology. Claiming otherwise is evolutionary psychology, which is garbage.

    A note to the trolls in general: Perhaps the rules of everyday conversation are beyond your ken, but if you were to start arguing IRL over petty bullshit with someone who’d just revealed that they had been (a) called “too ugly to be raped” and also (b) sexually assaulted, decent human beings — versus MRAs, dudebros, fratholes, JAQer-offers, and other misogynist detritus — would give you the stink-eye. At the very least.

  101. 101
    Nowhere Man

    I think some of the problem people are having with the Schrödinger’s-Rapist idea is the Schrödinger’s part.

    I am walking alone at night, thinking about playing World of Warcraft. I am an overweight man over 6 feet tall, and unless I am concentrating on it, my face falls into a glower at the whole world. There is a young woman walking alone, having just gotten out of a taxi ahead of me.

    She casts a nervous glance at me, clutches her purse tighter, and walks faster.

    Should I feel offended here?

    I am not a villain. I am not dangerous. But she treated me like a threat! Should I be insulted?

    The answer is of course not – she acted in the appropriate fashion given the information reasonably available in the situation.

  102. 102
    callitrichid

    delurking for a sec:

    Jon,

    I understand your perspective regarding why being categorized as a potential rapist hurts your feelings when you are in fact a victim of rape. These are valid feelings. You’re being told to blame the predator and not the prey, and what you’re saying is that you are in the horrible position of being told you are a potential predator when you more closely associate with the prey. Keep in mind, though, that no one is talking about you personally being potentially dangerous, but are rather referring to strangers in public. Seeing as how you leave your house for only 2 hours a week, you (Jon) are most definitely not being put in this category very often, if at all. I think if you can see this distinction, you can depersonalize it. That said, I do hope that you have a forum in which your feelings associated with being a rape victim are better understood and empathized with than what I’ve observed here.

    Now, the difference between your post and the dog post is that thomasfoss took some time/space to thoughtfully describe why he would respond differently to a stray dog vs. a pet, and he further described that other factors are considered in this categorization (such that he might not categorize a stray lhasa apsa, for example, as “potentially dangerous.”) He validated his categorization of dogs as “safe” vs “potentially dangerous” with thoughtful reasoning and clarity in his description.

    Conversely, you just matter-of-factly categorized “Black Guy” as potentially dangerous with no precedence in the current conversation, and with no thoughtful description of why “Black” should fall into the “potentially dangerous” category (and for some reason “black guy” and “has a penis” are mutually exclusive, which doesn’t make sense either). And you probably shouldn’t try to reason that one through here. I don’t think any of us would be interested to read it. Maybe you should go ahead and do it as a thought experiment (but please keep it to yourself). I predict that if you try to write this out you will understand why people are offended that you so carelessly brought race into the conversation.

  103. 103
    iknklast

    “Because what’s the worst that can happen to *them* due to my caution versus the worst that can happen to *me* if I’m not cautious?”

    Jon – this is not piling on. I’m just curious. You never actually answerd this question.

  104. 104
    Tom Foss

    There’s nothing inherent about a person’s skin color that makes them generally more capable of certain kinds of crime than other people.

    There is something inherent about a person’s genital configuration that makes them generally more capable of certain kinds of crime than other people.

    I’m sorry my analogy offended you, Jon, though I wish you were able to look past that to the point. I’ve never been subject to sexual assault, to being followed or harassed or accosted in the ways that lead women to make the Schrödinger’s Rapist determination. In order to connect it to my experience, I have to draw analogies. The dog situation is one I experience on a regular basis, where I have to make a similar kind of quick mental calculus that women do regarding strange men. I’m not saying “men are like dogs.” I’m saying “these situations are similar.” I’m trying very hard to not see your proclamations offense as a concerted effort to miss the point.

    Either way, Hypatia’sdaughter makes the same point without animals. Hopefully you’ll get the point from her.

  105. 105
    callitrichid

    Also, Stephanie: I am sorry that you are now the focus of the MRA bullying. It’s all so disgusting and incomprehensible to me. Hang in there.

  106. 106
    jose

    The criticisms to Schrodinegr’s rapist sound to me like saying train companies are paranoid by having an inspector asking you for your ticket. The accusations could be translated like this:

    - The company is assuming I would sneak in without paying, that’s insulting.
    - Not everybody would to sneak in, most people would buy the ticket.
    - Train company: “everybody wants to sneak in.”
    - etc.

  107. 107
    A Hermit

    Went back and read the 2009 post, watched the video…I can safely conclude that Justicar is either a liar, or he has the IQ of a Rhododendren, or is so blinded by hatred of all things FtB that he’s just incapable of understanding what he reads.

    I’m a guy. A nice guy, I like to think. I’ve even taught women’s self defence classes. And I don’t get insulted when a woman, especially a woman who doesn’t know me, takes a step back when I come into the room, or crosses the street as I’m walking towards her, or keeps a cautious on me on a bus or a subway. I get it; we all have to be aware of potential dangers in our environment and for women the presence of a man whom she doesn’t know is part of the calculation that arises from that awareness.

    The proper response from men in that kind of situation is to back off and give that woman her space, not to get huffy and upset because she’s unfairly being suspicious of you. You can’t be harmed by her caution, but she can be harmed, maybe not by you personally but quite possibly by some other man, if she isn’t cautious.

  108. 108
    julian

    Has anyone ever written about Schrödinger’s Thief?
    You know how we treat all stranger’s as “potential” thieves?

    I’ve brought this up before. Usually get ignored and laughed at. Why I don’t even bother at this point usually. A token effort is takes more energy than what I’ve got.

  109. 109
    LeftSidePositive

    @A Hermit, 108: please don’t insult rhododendrons like that. They’re perfectly lovely flowers who’d never hurt anybody–why must they suffer an association with Justicar?!

    And I’m sure they’re smarter than he is. He can only aspire to the intellectual capacity of vegetation at this point.

  110. 110
    rowanvt

    @ LeftSide 110:

    It’s also obvious that comparing him to minerals is not going to work, because many rocks have contributed much that was good to the world.

    Clearly he must become his own descriptor for intelligence. He is only as intelligent as a Justicar. And that should be one of the worst intelligence insults around.

  111. 111
    julian

    Lawful Stupid sums it up about right. He has no room in his mind for nuance and is so committed to a set of ideas being evil and wrong he resorts to bullying, harassment and deliberately degrading speech towards those who hold them.

    More or less, he’s exactly what he’s been denouncing in people like Zvan for a year now.

  112. 112
    Jason Thibeault

    I love how this entire thread shows just how much some people care about their feelings when they get incorrectly pigeonholed as potential rapists by people who have everything to lose if they’re wrong, instead of being about the nasty terrible things being said to sexual assault victims who argue that women have everything to lose if they’re wrong.

    Stop talking about real hatred aimed at a woman, presented with examples, everyone! It’s far more important that those women don’t incorrectly avoid perfectly harmless men because THAT HURTS THOSE MEN’S FEELINGS!

    *sigh*

  113. 113
    rickymooose

    Hi

    I think this is ridiculous.

    First of all, Dawkins didn’t say sexual abuse was o.k. He said the elevator incident didn’t qualify as harrassment.

    It may have indicated a lack of emotional intelligence but that is another issue.

    Asking a person out, unless its persistant, isn’t harassment. Sometimes it may be inappropriate.

    Nobody has said that all the horrible e-mails Rebecca Watson received were “ok” or that is was acceptable to say she was “too ugly” to be raped.

    Men and women sexualize each other. We are sexual beings. Sometimes when this goes over board, I’ll agree its a problem.

  114. 114
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Is Metro Goldwyn Mayer sending over stock characters?

  115. 115
    Jason Thibeault

    Dawkins’ first mention was by PG who demanded that Stephanie apologize to him. The horrible emails/tweets/images in this post aren’t to Rebecca Watson. Do try to alter your copypasta based on what’s actually going on where you post, rickymooose.

  116. 116
    BCat70

    Stephanie -

    “It’s not going to work.”

    I certainly hope not, we’ve lost to much and too many to this douchebaggery already.

    Stay strong, and please get a support system in place if you need it.

  117. 117
    Jason Thibeault

    regex revision of @113: “s/instead of being about/but don’t give a shit about/”

    My point was, men’s feelings about being avoided by women who don’t know them are apparently far more important to some people than women’s feelings about being mistreated by misogynist assholes. FORGET WOMEN FEELS. WHAT ABOUT MEN FEELS!?

  118. 118
    Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts

    Stephanie, I am sorry that you are now the focus of the shithead troll-bregade. Thank you for putting up with it*.

    *This could be interpreted as a passive-aggressive jab at other bloggers who are taking breaks as a result of the constant stream of vile harassment. I just want to make it clear that it is not what I meant. Jen, and Greta, (and Natalie too), I thank you all also, and wish you well.

    ***

    How DARE you jerks think of me as a potential thief? How DARE you refuse my offer to hold your wallet while you run to take a piss? If you think that a stranger who offers to hold your wallet could potentially steal it, you must think that ALL people would steal your wallet! That really fucking hurts that you don’t trust me, someone whom you’ve just now met standing outside the bathroom, to hold your wallet for you.

    ***

    Jon, I am sorry to hear about the abuse that you have suffered. I just want to be clear that I am mocking your understanding of Schroedinger’s Rapist, and your understanding of what it means to be viewed, in some circumstances, as a potential rapist. I am not trying to dismiss your experiences. In my view, you are being dismissive of the completely reasonable concerns and precautions that many women have/are forced to take in order to ensure their safety and peace of mind.

    Overall, I guess its a Correlation/Causation issue to me. While a vast majority of rapists are men, not a vast majority of men are rapists. This would be like saying because all bananas are fruit, all fruits are bananas.

    As far as I can tell, all Schroedinger’s Rapist is saying is that 1) there is correlation, 2) the heightened risk makes caution reasonable, and 3) you cannot tell if the seemingly polite, or flirty, or stalkery-ish stranger is benign or dangerous. The risk of assault, rape, or just verbal harassment is non-negligible (to put it EXRTREMELY FUCKING MILDLY), and the effect of those potentialities so horrific, that it makes complete sense to be cautious and dubious of strangers.

    Don’t jump from this simple concept to argue against points that are not being made (i.e. that ALL men are rapists or that behavior and other context would be disregarded in the threat analysis). And, if you don’t like that you, a complete stranger, can’t just be trusted on faith to not be one of the non-negligible number of bad eggs*, then join us in repudiating the culture that supports the violent, misogynist assholes who are responsible for the real-risk that people are reasonable to be cautious over.

    *Again, a complete fucking understatement. Go read that first link posted by thomasfoss at #89.

  119. 119
    julian

    @rickymooose

    What are you replying to?

  120. 120
    matthewread

    Stephanie, you are awesome and you make me want to roar with your power and passion.

    Just thought I’d interject that thought.

    Most of the rest of you are pretty damn cool too.

  121. 121
    dsmccoy

    The defensiveness of some people arguing against the “trigger” concept is really uninformed. People are talking as if this is some outlier concept not connected to the general understanding of human psychology. Sure, rape is an extreme behavior with a particular sexual dynamic, but the idea of people’s behavior being affected by the social context is pretty standard modern social psychology.
    Justicar in the video mischaracterizes the trigger concept as if it’s saying that a soldier’s training makes him prone to rape, which is ludicrous. The “trigger” is being in a war zone where many of the social moral standards are suspended. A fellow who would never rape someone back in his home town finds himself halfway around the world surrounded by people from an unfamiliar culture and people are shooting each other and being blown up by bombs all around him. Mr wholesome-at-home might find a different side of his nature coming out, maybe getting a bit brutal, quicker to kill, maybe even rape.
    But there are plenty of other examples of surprising behavior coming out of people in different contexts. The 2011 London riots found some people looting from stores who wouldn’t be considered “the usual suspects”, including women as well as men.
    So this is just an aspect of human nature. Our moral social behavior is an interplay between our internal wiring and the social context around us. Every individual differs in the strength of that inner wiring. It’s very hard to predict how much social context a given individual needs to keep them on an even moral keel. The only way to find out is to see how an individual acts when some of the social context is taken away.
    Sometimes the differences can be small things, for example the research showing people are more likely to put money into the “honor system” money jar at a workplace coffee pot if there is a picture of a pair of eyes taped above the jar than if there is a picture of flowers above the jar.
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn9424-big-brother-eyes-make-us-act-more-honestly.html

    A woman can’t know how strong a strange man’s inner moral character is. If she finds herself with a strange man, she can’t know: would he rape in a war zone? or would it only take being alone in a place with a low probability of being caught?
    Similarly, it’s hard to tell who needs a picture of eyes to make them put money in the coffee jar and who would do it anyway.
    We don’t talk as much about the coffee jar because the consequences are relatively small. The consequences of a woman’s overconfidence in a strange man’s moral character are too extreme to take the judgement lightly.

  122. 122
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Stephanie
    Don’t know if youR’e in for virtual hugs. I’ll just leave a pile of them lying for you if you want to.
    Jon
    First of all, I’m really sorry about what happened to you.
    may I elaborate on your own list?

    Be careful. As part of my therapy, I was told to make a list of behaviour that sets me on edge. Things to pay attention for. So I did. That list is things like “someone following me for more than 2 blocks” and “someone staring at me without saying hello”

    However, despite my own situation, that list does NOT include things like “Has a Penis” or “Black Guy.”

    Do you get uneasy if the person following you is an old lady walking her pug? If the person staring at you is a little girl with piggy-tails? Or a 10 yo boy? If not, there’s an additional criterion you add to your calculation and I would suppose that this has something to do with the person’s sex and physical strength.
    No, women don’t get jumpy about every man they meet. Like you, they have a list of situations that make them uneasy, when they’re alone, vulnerable. When something starts getting fishy.
    I’m fucking uneasy when I’m alone in the dark outside. Every person who suddenly appears makes me jumpy. If that person turns out to be a little old lady with a pug, I become more relaxed. If that person turns out to be an able-bodied guy, my caution gets up. If he then acts in a way that might threaten me, I get fucking uneasy. Still, he might just be on his way and will vanish within 30 seconds, but during those 30 seconds I need to be really careful. I guess that might not be very different from your reactions, too.

    skeptifem
    I think the “black guy” referred to Jon’s actual rapist.

    callistacat

    I don’t agree with Greg Laden’s “rape switch” nonsense though, sorry. I do think that is insulting to men.

    Well, i think the term is very simplistic, but I alsi think there’s more than a kernel of truth.
    I’m German. 70 years ago Germans proved that totally normal people, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, wives and husbands, fathers and mothers became bloody mass-murderers, while still being totally normal people outside of the Concentration Camps and who became totally normal people again after the war.
    Quite close to where I live there’s an army base where it became known after probably decades that the young recruts would have dried fruit shoved up their anuses, were onanated onto. And the people who did it were just normal guys with totally normal lives. They were not monsters, different from everybody else. Just ordinaryguys who were suddenly in a situation where they thought it OK to rape their fellow soldiers.

  123. 123
    see_the_galaxy

    SZ: you’re doing good work and you’ve got a lot more support than you might think. A lot of us can see right thru Justican and his ilk.

  124. 124
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    skeptifem
    Just ignore what I wrote above, I thought I’d refreshed.

    +++
    Yeah, Schrödinger’s vicious dog, Schrödinger’s reckless driver, Schrödinger’s chief, Schrödinger’s fraud at the ATM, Schrödinger’s dishonest chek-out person.
    Everybody engages in them all the time every day.
    Only when women talk about Schrödinger’s rapist that’s sooo unfaiiiiiiiiir.

  125. 125
    Bjarte Foshaug

    I think Jason is right on the mark as usual. In the light of everything that has happened in the last year or so, if you think the problem most in need of addressing is anything other than the insanely immoral and sociopathic hate-campaigns directed at Stephanie, Rebecca, Amy, Jen, Greta, Ophelia and every other woman who have dared to bring up issues of sexism and misogyny in the atheist/skeptical movement, then please do the world a favor and cease to exist.

  126. 126
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    rickymoose:

    First of all, Dawkins didn’t say sexual abuse was o.k. He said the elevator incident didn’t qualify as harrassment.

    It may have indicated a lack of emotional intelligence but that is another issue.

    Asking a person out, unless its persistant, isn’t harassment. Sometimes it may be inappropriate.

    Nobody has said that all the horrible e-mails Rebecca Watson received were “ok” or that is was acceptable to say she was “too ugly” to be raped.

    Men and women sexualize each other. We are sexual beings. Sometimes when this goes over board, I’ll agree its a problem.

    1- What does Richard Dawkins have to do with the discussion
    2- What does Rebecca Watson have to do with this discussion
    3- The sexualization of women by men is a far more prevalent problem and is indicative of a culture of rape and oppression that women have to constantly navigate-whether they are aware of that culture or not. The objectification of men is not a component of a large oppressive culture of anti-men.
    4- Do educate yourself on matters of misogyny and sexism before you handwave the significant problem simply because you know nothing of it.
    You can start here:

    Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.
    http://www.marshall.edu/wpmu/wcenter/sexual-assault/rape-culture/

    or here:

    Kilbourne (2002) pointed out that advertising is a 100 billion dollar a year industry. Each day we are exposed to more than 2000 ads. Advertising can be one of the most powerful sources of education in our society. Many women feel pressured to conform to the beauty standards of our culture and are willing to go to great lengths to manipulate and change their faces and bodies. Kilbourne suggests that women are conditioned to view their faces as masks and their bodies as objects. Through the mass media, women discover that their bodies and faces are in need of alteration, augmentation, and disguise. In addition, women are taught to internalize an observer’s perspective of their own bodies. This phenomenon is called objectification (Fredrickson & Noll, 1997). Advertisements are loaded with objectified women, and only recently have the effects of objectification been explored. However, the effects of the dismemberment of women in advertising have been neglected. Dismemberment advertisements highlight one part of a woman’s body while ignoring all the other parts of her body. Dismemberment ads portray women with missing appendages or substitute appendages. Of course the ads are only symbolic of dismemberment, but the symbolic imagery creates nearly the same effect. This study highlights the nature and implications of objectification and requests a similar exploration of the nature and implications of dismemberment advertisements. It is important to note that advertisements are not the cause of the problems, per se, but they contribute to them by fostering an environment in which the selling of women’s bodies is seen as acceptable.
    http://www.kon.org/urc/v5/greening.html

  127. 127
    Ida Know

    I’m a chronic lurker who will probably go right back to lurking after this, so I don’t know if this is worth much at all, but I want to let Stephanie, Jen, Greta, Rebecca, and every other woman (as well as their various male supporters) who has been targeted by this vicious barrage of harassment and threats, that I appreciate them and am grateful for their efforts and courage.

  128. 128
    jenniferphillips

    Ida Know @129
    I just logged in to leave essentially the same message.

    This unrelenting and horrifying hate festival being visited on female skeptics and their allies routinely makes me feel so helpless with rage that I don’t know what to do except walk away from the computer and try to compartmentalize the knowledge that self-proclaimed rational people can be this unrelentingly nasty.

    The thing that keeps me reading and occasionally commenting is the recognition that Stephanie, Ophelia, Rebecca, Amy, Jen, Jason, PZ, and many others don’t have that luxury.

    I laud them for staying the course, and offer my profound thanks and support for continuing to resist efforts to shut them up.

  129. 129
    Jason Thibeault

    jenniferphillips: they’ll probably not ever drag me down, but that’s because the best they have to offer against ME is calling me mangina. Or “Justin Bieber”.

    Seriously.

  130. 130
    chakolate

    Hang tough, Stefanie. You have more strength in your little finger than all the haters do all together.

    The only trouble with FtB is that there’s no way to killfile someone.

  131. 131
    callistacat

    There are so many example out there of women and girls being held responsible for getting raped, here’s one:

    http://www.broadstreetreview.com/index.php/main/article/male_sex_abuse_and_female_naivete/

    An exerpt:

    “Women today are technically free to do all sorts of things that were forbidden to their grandmothers, which is all well and good. But in practice, rape and the notion of sexual conquest persist for the same reason that warfare persists: because the human animal— especially the male animal— craves drama as much as food, shelter and clothing. Conquering an unwilling sex partner is about as much drama as a man can find without shooting a gun— and, of course, guns haven’t disappeared either.

    “Earth to liberated women: When you display legs, thighs or cleavage, some liberated men will see it as a sign that you feel good about yourself and your sexuality. But most men will see it as a sign that you want to get laid.”

    He wrote this in response to a female reporter being gang raped while on assignment in Cairo. He said “having stumbled across a CBS publicity photo for Lara Logan, I can’t help thinking that women also need to take sensible precautions before they’re victimized.

    “For example: Don’t trust your male friends. Don’t go to a man’s home at night unless you’re prepared to have sex with him. Don’t disrobe in front of a male masseur. If you take a job as a masseuse, don’t be shocked if your male customers think you’re a prostitute. And if you want to be taken seriously as a journalist, don’t pose for pictures that emphasize your cleavage.” He thought a dress she wore once to an awards dinner showed too much cleavage. Therefore, I don’t know, it gave the message to men in Cairo that they should gang rape her.

    The author eventually apologized sort of I guess. But his publication decided to post responses both for and against his article. *Yes, they posted the pro-it’s women’s fault they get raped letters as if they were equally valid.* Now tell me where you’ve ever seen “pro-you deserved to be mugged” articles or letters to the editor, anywhere, let alone them being given equal time with the pro-stealing is illegal and morally and ethically wrong letters?

    Oh, and then there’s this apply titled? “Pegs and Holes” blog post (see what he did there!) by Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert cartoons.

    “If a lion and a zebra show up at the same watering hole, and the lion kills the zebra, whose fault is that? Maybe you say the lion is at fault for doing the killing. Maybe you say the zebra should have chosen a safer watering hole. But in the end, you probably conclude that both animals acted according to their natures, so no one is to blame. However, if this is your local zoo, you might have some questions about who put the lions with the zebras in the same habitat….”

    “The part that interests me is that society is organized in such a way that the natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal while the natural instincts of women are mostly legal and acceptable. In other words, men are born as round pegs in a society full of square holes. Whose fault is that? Do you blame the baby who didn’t ask to be born male? Or do you blame the society that brought him into the world, all round-pegged and turgid, and said, “Here’s your square hole”?”

    And:

    “The way society is organized at the moment, we have no choice but to blame men for bad behavior. If we allowed men to act like unrestrained horny animals, all hell would break loose. All I’m saying is that society has evolved to keep males in a state of continuous unfulfilled urges, more commonly known as unhappiness. No one planned it that way. Things just drifted in that direction.”

    Yep, there’s no such thing as rape culture…

  132. 132
    callistacat

    Stephanie, I just want to let you know that you are an awesome writer and an awesome woman and the fact that you feel pushed out of this community is a tragedy. And the people contributing to this, actively and passive-aggressively, are a complete embarrassment to the atheist community, and who I’d like to thank for proving it isn’t just religion that poisons everything.

  133. 133
    Pteryxx

    The only trouble with FtB is that there’s no way to killfile someone.

    Actually there is, for Firefox and probably Chrome. Firefox needs a script manager plugin called Greasemonkey, which can then utilize a custom killfile script made by Pharyngula regulars.

    Greasemonkey:

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/greasemonkey/

    FTB killfile script is the first one on this page: (link edited to avoid spamfilter)

    pharyngula. wikia. com/wiki/Greasemonkey

    There’s a plugin for the Chrome browser called Tampermonkey that should be able to utilize the exact same script.

  134. 134
    David Marjanović

    On the rape switch…

    I’m sure a large factor is when soldiers have been brought up in a culture that is patriarchal enough to consider it logical to damage enemies by “spoiling” their women and their other possessions. That would explain why “rape and pillage” is a thing; it would also neatly explain why rape in war isn’t limited to young & nubile women but extends to 80-year-olds and in the other direction as well.

    Of course, another factor is the sheer banality of evil. See comment 124.

    Josh the Spokesgay is being a horrible person, as usual. A foul-mouthed chatterbox who’s been accepted into the fold, despite the fact that more than half of what he says is vitriol and derisive commentary.

    His vitriol and his derision are right on the mark. Stop tone-trolling.

    I don’t really know (I haven’t met him) if he’s a horrible person, but he’s clearly not a horrible scientist.* When he calls something a spade, chances are good it actually is one.

    * Though, Josh, wouldn’t you like to be Dr. Horrible sometimes? :-)

    Just one thing… my comparing racial and gender profiling is “wrong”, but the person writing an entire post comparing males and dogs isnt?

    I understand both are analogies, but hell, at least I didn’t use a NON HUMAN example for why its ok to stereotype.

    *eyeroll*

    Is it insulting to be compared to “man’s best friend”?

    “[...] But in practice, rape and the notion of sexual conquest persist for the same reason that warfare persists: because the human animal— especially the male animal— craves drama as much as food, shelter and clothing. Conquering an unwilling sex partner is about as much drama as a man can find without shooting a gun— and, of course, guns haven’t disappeared either. [...]“

    …Yeah, well, that’s the point where I’d like to tell the author (and Scott Adams) to speak for himself.

  135. 135
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Julian, I’ve always considered “Lawful Stupid” as describing the sorts of people who fetishize the literal law at the expense of human beings. Usually the “law & order” type of conservative.

  136. 136
    HJ Hornbeck

    While people are offering support, I’d like to do the same and ante up a little. Since this latest controversy caught fire, I’ve not only de-lurked, I’ve also started engaging some of the critics. Not only do you have my support, I’m also helping lighten your load!

  137. 137
    callistacat

    @David Marjanović

    “I’m sure a large factor is when soldiers have been brought up in a culture that is patriarchal enough to consider it logical to damage enemies by “spoiling” their women and their other possessions.”

    I agree completely. It’s to shame the enemy by “damaging” their women. I’m sure many laws against rape started out as a crime against the father or male relative’s property (see The Old Testament and Quran)and not out of concern for the actual victim of rape. Rape is something a man who doesn’t own you does, a wife can’t be raped because she’s property. Many countries still do not even recognize marital rape. Some states in the U.S. started to make it illegal in the 70′s and 80′s, but it wasn’t until 1993 that it became illegal in all states.

    I’ve always suspected that a lot of misogyny is encouraged by those in power to teach boys early on how to “other” people (that and giving them toy guns and violent video games) so they grow up to be ‘ideal’ soldiers. And to associate kindness and empathy as exclusively female, making it easier to devalue those qualities. The presence of women in the military kind of gets in the way of that indoctrination I think, so it’s not surprising that sexual assault is so prevalent in the military and is rarely punished.

  138. 138
    Daniel Boulet

    Hang in there. You have important things to say that need saying whereas your lunatic fringe critics do not have anything worth saying at all.

  139. 139
    Greg Laden

    I started to write a comment, but it became a blog post:

    he Rape Switch, Again

  140. 140
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    re: the rape switch
    Call it people do horrible things switch if you want. Remember the pictures of that nice young woman (and I never heard any reports about her having been a horrible nasty person in highschool or such) torturing men in Abu Ghraib?
    All that nice young woman needed to become a horrible monster was to be in a culture that emphasizes obedience, conformity and power. Traditionally war has been the domain of men and women were spoil of the war. There might be a few people who have morals and character strong enough to resist, who will rather die themselves, or at least to get themselves into serious trouble than doing something horrible, but I’m afraid most people aren’t.
    Going back to the example of Germany: It’s amazing that if you ask people who didn’t live through those times, the Weiße Rose would have been a mass organisation. As if the generation before them were totally different…

  141. 141
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @2.smhll wrote :

    May the universe bring you nothing but nice things (and an occasionally rainy day to break up the monotony). And may someone figure out how to redeploy “bug zapper” technology to vaporize incoming assininity and cruelty.

    Nicely put! Quoted for solidarity and seconded by me. :-)

    @ Stephanie Zvan : you have my respect, my support & my admiration. :-)

    Keep up the good fight and don’t let the turkey’s get you down. :-)

  142. 142
    callistacat

    The similarities between the Stanford prison experiment, conducted by psychology professor Philip Zimbardo, and Abu Ghraib abuse:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment

    “When the Abu Ghraib military prisoner torture and abuse scandal was publicized in March of 2004, many observers were immediately struck by its many similarities to the Stanford Prison experiment. Chief among them was Zimbardo himself, who paid close attention to the details of the story. He was dismayed by official military and government representatives’ shifting the blame for the torture and abuses in the Abu Ghraib American military prison on to “a few bad apples” rather than acknowledging it as possibly systemic problems of a formally established military incarceration system.

    “Eventually, Zimbardo became involved with the defense team of lawyers representing one of the Abu Ghraib prison guards, Staff Sergeant Ivan “Chip” Frederick. He was granted full access to all investigation and background reports, and testified as an expert witness in SSGT Frederick’s court martial, which resulted in an eight-year prison sentence for Frederick in October 2004.
    Zimbardo drew from his participation in the Frederick case to write the book The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, published by Random House in 2007, which deals with the striking similarities between his own Stanford Prison Experiment and the Abu Ghraib abuses.”

  143. 143
    F.nord

    This is probably the dumbest thing I have ever read not written by a creationist:

    “It simply means that the man (with the switch on) is now a rapist, whether he actually rapes or not…”

    Eh?! A rapist, even if he hasn’t raped anyone?? The dictionary gives this definition for ‘rapist’:

    rapist [ˈreɪpɪst]
    n
    (Law) a person who commits rape

    Now, I know you didn’t write it, but you did repost it without pointing out how completely ridiculous that statement is. It’s akin to calling someone a ‘murderer’ when they haven’t killed anyone, or a ‘plagiarist’ when they have only ever written their own material…

  144. 144
    latsot

    One of the reasons people shouldn’t be ashamed to see men as potential rapists is that a large proportion of rapes are committed by men known to their victims, rather than by strangers. This includes friends, boyfriends and husbands as well as casual acquaintances and dates.

    I think this shows that looking for rapey cues is at best unreliable and probably that the propensity of men to rape can change dramatically with quite subtle changes in situation.

    Take a look at a room full of people. Who is more likely to rape you: a woman you don’t know or a man you consider a friend? A woman who is staring at you or a man who is chatting amiably to you?

  145. 145
    Don Quijote

    For the life of me, I can’t understand why so many people (men) get so upset, angry and nasty over the “potential rapist” thing.
    It’s blindingly obvious how in certain circumstances a potential victim (a woman) would concider another person (a man) a threat.

    Gloria Stephanie.

  146. 146
    Ben Zvan

    I have a friend who is allergic to bananas. If something is labeled “fruit” you can be damn sure he’s going to make sure that fruit is not banana before eating it. And if the information is not available, you can be damn sure he’s going to seer clear. Basically, he assumes all fruit is a banana until proven otherwise.

  147. 147
    bradfeaker

    After reading the post and all the related links and comments, the only thing I have any issue with is Greg Ladens’s remark that:

    “Men, by and large, have a rape switch. All men are capable of rape.”

    I did not find the context in which this remark was made, so if someone has a link to the post – I would really like to read it.

    However, if that is a blanket statement, I must really disagree. I am not capable of rape. Period. And anyone who say I am hasn’t a clue what they are talking about.

    Please tell me there is context for that statement. I truly hope I am misinterpreting this.

  148. 148
    Ben Zvan

    The context is in a link provided to you prior to the blockquote containing the statement.

  149. 149
    Stephanie Zvan

    There is also a good bit of context in the paragraph here, but here is the link from which that paragraph came: http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2009/06/01/a-rape-in-progress/#

    I’d also recommend reading the link Greg posted in comment #142.

  150. 150
    Greg Laden

    bradfeaker, I feel the same way you do about myself. I would assume that most men do.

  151. 151
    bradfeaker

    @Ben Zvan

    Thanks Ben – I need to read a little closer. But having re-read Greg’s post, I am still disturbed by the blanket statement that ‘All men are capable of rape’. It did not say ‘most men’ or ‘some men’, it make a sweeping, all-inclusive statement.

    I can only speak for myself and I will say it again. I am not capable of rape. I find the very idea of rape disgusting. And I DO understand the point of the post and understand why women must be cautious and view strangers as a potential threat. I get that. But that particular statement is a blanket generalization and stereotypes all men.

    Once again – I am not capable of rape. Never have been and never will be.

  152. 152
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    bradfeaker – Laden is incorrect in that it’s not just men, it’s everyone. EVERYONE is capable of doing X, Y, Z. If you’re a human being, you’re capable of doing what any other human being can do.

    I’d like to say I’m incapable of murder, but given the right circumstances, like threatening my fathre’s life for example, who knows.

    And, say what you will about not generalizing about humans, but I’ll bet you stand back from the edge of the subway platform, just in case.

    That’s what Schroedinger’s Rapist is. Risk assessment and mittigation.

  153. 153
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    However, if that is a blanket statement, I must really disagree. I am not capable of rape. Period. And anyone who say I am hasn’t a clue what they are talking about.

    This begs the question though – which type of rape? Most people say they’d never commit rape. For most people it’s entirely true IF we’re talking about violent stranger rape.

    But coercion? “Miscommunication”, etc? That can happen to anyone. Which is why understanding and being concerned with consent is so vital.

  154. 154
    bradfeaker

    @Illuminata,

    If by ‘capable’ you mean I have the means to do so, then I agree. If it means there is some circumstance that would make me commit rape – then no…a thousand time no.

    And rape is any sexual contact with another human being without their EXPLICIT consent. Or, at least, that is MY definition.

    And I have absolutely no issues with the main thrust of this post. Let me make that clear. Men need to understand and be educated about these things. I am just making the statement that there is no circumstance, ever, that could make me commit rape. I would rather die first. And please don’t present me with some wild million to one scenario that will almost certainly never happen outside of a bad movie.

    Rape is one of the vilest acts that can be perpetrated upon another human being – sometimes (IMHO) worse than murder. No has always meant no to me – it has never been an issue. I do not even understand how someone even wants to have sex with someone who doesn’t return the feeling (I am speaking about coercion, taking advantage of intoxication, etc…I know about rape and power).

    Hope I explained myself a little better.

    Cheers…

  155. 155
    bradfeaker

    @Illuminata,

    And as to the subway – never ride ‘em. I prefer insane cab drivers any day :)

  156. 156
    Ben Zvan

    If by ‘capable’ you mean I have the means to do so, then I agree.

    I think we have a winner.

  157. 157
    bradfeaker

    @Ben Zvan

    Would that then make the following statement true in your eyes?

    ‘All women are capable of being prostitutes’.

    Sounds a little different now, doesn’t it? And before the wild accusations fly, the above statement is utter nonsense.

    My point being, yes – all men (barring injury and so forth) have a penis and are therefore ‘capable’ of rape. Not all men are mentally capable of rape (myself included) so a blanket generalization is uncalled for. And that is not the context in which Greg’s statement was made.

    I am physically capable of doing a lot of things I would never do and so are you. You are being disingenuous.

  158. 158
    bradfeaker

    And a smart ass.

  159. 159
    bradfeaker

    Sorry Ben – I apologize for the ad hominem. That was uncalled for.

  160. 160
    Stephanie Zvan

    bradfeaker, you continue to ignore the context of Greg’s statement, particularly the part about enculturation. Stop doing that.

  161. 161
    bradfeaker

    No Stephanie, I did not ignore it. He does say that ‘Most men are enculturated in a way that reduces rape’ but nowhere does he qualify the statement that ‘All men are capable of rape’.

    Had the statement been ‘Most men are capable of rape’ or ‘A lot of men are capable of rape’ I would have had zero issue with it. I disagree with the blanket generalization engendered by ‘all’.

  162. 162
    Stephanie Zvan

    bradfeaker, you are using your perceived inability to commit rape to say that Greg is wrong. That means that either you deny being enculturated to not rape (you have some kind of special genes that encode behavior that specific), or you are ignoring that Greg’s theory already accounts for your perceived inability.

    And oh, boy, did he qualify that statement up, down, and sideways. You’re just too offended to read, apparently.

  163. 163
    Greg Laden

    Only bradfeaker knows for sure: Willful misunderstanding or ignorance?

    I suppose there is a third possibility but I don’t know what it could be.

  164. 164
    bradfeaker

    Stephanie,

    Ignoring the personal insults, here is a little bit about how I was ‘enculturated’.

    I was taught that women were second class citizens. That women should know their ‘place’ and not interfere in the affairs of their ‘betters’. That a man was the head over a woman. That if a man wanted sex (even though strictly within the confines of marriage) it was a woman’s duty to give it to him.

    Rape, sexual assault and domestic violence were never openly discussed. These things were hushed up and covered up.

    I formed my opinions on my own – breaking from religion, educating myself on current issues and came to my position that any form of sexual harassment or oppression is flat out wrong. And I did this despite being ‘enculturated’ in exactly the opposite fashion.

    And I never stated that I was offended, merely that I disagreed with the statement. It seems to me that you are offended that I did not agree with something you did not even say.

    Is it your policy to throw out personal insults at anyone who dares disagree with anything you ever post – whether your words or another’s? Even when they agree with the main point you are trying to make?

    And my last point Stephanie is this:

    My ability to not commit rape is not perceived, it is a fact. And anyone who knows me at all (which you definitely do not) would verify this in a heartbeat. You seem to treat a simple disagreement with a single statement as a personal affront. I did not bash Greg for the comment, I simply do not agree with it. I also do not agree with Greg about Ubuntu Linux and a number of other things. That doesn’t mean I de-value what he has to say.

    Good day…

  165. 165
    bradfeaker

    @Greg

    #167

    Cheers…

  166. 166
    bradfeaker

    And Greg,

    I agree with your post on the subject, just disagree with that 1 statement.

    Gotta’ run…work calls.

  167. 167
    Stephanie Zvan

    Actually, bradfeaker, what you’re doing is disagreeing with a quotemine of Greg. You are telling me that it wasn’t qualified when, in fact, it was.

    You also seem to have a rather strange understanding of the word “enculturated”. Are you telling me that these thoughts that women might just be equal to men and not fuck toys sprang from your own head without having been encountered anywhere else? Were they embedded in your genes, only waiting to rise to the surface when you blew away the dust of religion? Where do you think those beliefs came from, if not the larger culture?

  168. 168
    John Phillips, FCD

    stay strong Stephanie.

  169. 169
    Ben Zvan

    educating myself on current issues

    Self-guided enculturation = enculturation.

  170. 170
    Greg Laden

    Aha. There is a difference between this: “My ability to not commit rape is not perceived, it is a fact. ” and what you said earlier.

    Abilities, of course, can be challenged. How much time have you spent, say, in combat as a Marine grunt in Viet Nam in 1967? I’m sure you would not have been one of those who raped enemy women, but you would have been likely challenged. Remember, you would have been 17 or 18 years of age at the time.

  171. 171
    slignot

    Yesterday my spouse put his finger on exactly why it is that so many of those objecting to Schrödinger’s Rapist think that their hurt feelings are so damned important in this conversation.

    It’s because deep down, there is a feeling they are entitled to a woman’s time and polite, friendly attention.

    Schrödinger’s Rapist has fuck all to do with men. It exclusively attempts to give an explanation for why women behave and feel the way they do in a social climate drenched in sexist bullshit (rape culture). Schrödinger’s-Rapist doesn’t describe the mindset or ideas of any men whatsoever because it’s not intended to and women are not goddamned mind readers.

    But it makes men feel bad (“the Schrödinger’s-Rapist concept does hurt men – those of us who are decent” as @khms showed clearly at 88) because they don’t want to be reminded that rapes happen often to all kinds of women and are rapists are very seldom punished.

    It makes men feel bad because a woman in a culture like ours may not always be the nice, friendly face that these NICE GUYS want.

    You know what, I don’t care if it makes you feel bad that a woman doesn’t know if she can trust you.

    I don’t care if a woman is gruff and mean and rebuffs you in a way that doesn’t fit the way you think she’s supposed to.

    You are not entitled to my time or attention. If you find that a troubling concept and still think you’re a nice guy, maybe you should stop and do some self examination.

  172. 172
    Greg Laden

    I don’t care if a woman is gruff and mean and rebuffs you in a way that doesn’t fit the way you think she’s supposed to.

    You are not entitled to my time or attention. If you find that a troubling concept and still think you’re a nice guy, maybe you should stop and do some self examination.

    There are two things I encounter on a regular basis (as a feminist guy who occasionally listens to what other people have to say).

    1) Something like “Every time I take the bus/go to a certain place/whatever whatever I have at least one instance of unwanted sexual attention” (that is said by a woman); and

    2) When someone hears what someone said (1) above, “No way, that’s absurd, it’s an exaggeration, can’t be” (that is said by a man, typically one who would self describe as feminist or non-sexist, because I don’t really hang out with other sorts of men much).

  173. 173
    slignot

    @Greg, I’m really not surprised. Part of the trouble is that we’ve all internalized so much shit by the time we hit adulthood, it’s incredibly difficult to recognize.

    I can completely understand a man thinking that he’s not pressing himself on a woman who doesn’t want to talk to him, because he feels like he’s just being friendly and offering conversation. It’s so hard to unlearn those base social assumptions.

    But I feel like once you change the conversation to questioning exactly why you feel so upset and bad about being “pre-judged” or rejected, we might be able to encourage people to be a little more introspective and honest with themselves.

  174. 174
    Ben Zvan

    Of course rape culture hurts guys. I’m definitely hurt by rape culture and I don’t appreciate being viewed as a potential rapist when if I follow a woman into a dark alley in the middle of the night. But who’s fault is that? It’s not mine, it’s not Stephanie’s, it’s not Greg’s, it’s the fault of rapists and rape culture apologists and denialists. Lets concentrate on ending rape culture instead of how our feelings are hurt that we don’t get to do everything we want to when we want to and sometimes people fear the worst of us because of where we’re standing and when rather than who we are.

  175. 175
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    bradfeaker

    Once again – I am not capable of rape. Never have been and never will be.

    Congratulations!
    You are the member of the Weiße Rose (look it up if you don’t know them).
    You’re the guy who dies in friendly fire because you didn’t think that raping the young Afghan girl was right.
    You’re the outstanding hero we all aspire to be who doesn’t betray the values of humanity under any circumstances.
    Only I don’t believe you.
    I wouldn’t believe me on that question either. Because I have not been there so I cannot know.
    We love these stories because they are what keeps us from despairing. We hear about a world full of horror and then we hear about a very, very small number of people who stand out and they give us the possibility to think that we would be like them and not like those hundreds and thousands and millions who became monsters. Only that of course logic and probability tells us that not all of us could be the heroes.

    And what’s that “all women are potential prostitutes” bullshit supposed to be?
    Do you actually think that you can hurt us by suggesting we could be prostitutes?*
    Here’s news for you: Being a prostitute, unlike being a rapist, is not a bad thing. You say you escaped from hardliner christianity. You still have a lot of work to do, I’m afraid. But if you lie to yourself and think you’re already the moral being who would stand out against a wave of evil, you take your possibility to grow.
    *Yes, I could absolutely be a prostitute. I have children to care for, I would not let them starve, easy answer.

  176. 176
    jose

    Since I have no idea what war is like, I can’t say what kind of person I would become. I know the stories of neighbors who betrayed each other during our spanish civil war. Circumstances can do terrible things to people.

  177. 177
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Hey, bradfeaker, my abuser, my RAPIST, certainly thought the same way, there was “no way” he was “capable of doing that.” And yet he did… repeatedly. He just didn’t think what he was doing was abuse or rape.

    Sit down, STFU, and LISTEN TO WHAT WOMEN ARE SAYING, plzkthx.

  178. 178
    latsot

    Hey, bradfeaker, my abuser, my RAPIST, certainly thought the same way, there was “no way” he was “capable of doing that.” And yet he did… repeatedly. He just didn’t think what he was doing was abuse or rape.

    Sit down, STFU, and LISTEN TO WHAT WOMEN ARE SAYING, plzkthx.

    That, that, that, that and – let’s see – yes, that.

    I know husbands who have raped their wives and defined it away. It’s not rape, they say, because in one way or another, they feel they are entitled to demand sex.

    I know men who have got to the end of a date and decided that they *deserved* sex because they spent money on a meal, so they took it or tried to take it. They felt entitled to sex.

    I suspect these men thought they could never commit rape. I suspect they still feel that what they did wasn’t rape. But it obviously was.

  179. 179
    JDG

    So, argument I’m hearing here, so I’ll add an anecdote. (Not evidence, of course.)
    Male rape survivors being told they’re the same as their rapists (or could be).

    I’m a survivor, it took me a long to come to terms with it. (Getting over it is out of the question. I don’t like being alone with men or women I don’t know, and I never, ever leave drinks unattended.)
    If a woman doesn’t know me, or even if she does, she still has EVERY FUCKING RIGHT to assume I could be a rapist.
    Because we live in a society that puts ALL of the onus to not be raped on her, rather than on Rapists NOT TO RAPE.
    We all like to think we’d never do something so vile to another human being. But we don’t know. Greg Laden’s point is valid, and I hope the nightmares that post gives me help keep my switch OFF for my entire life.

    Short version: Screw my feelings. Be safe.

  180. 180
    razzby

    Delurking for another offering of gratitude. Thank you, Stephanie, for what you do to educate and make the world better.

    Also:

    “Hey, bradfeaker, my abuser, my RAPIST, certainly thought the same way, there was “no way” he was “capable of doing that.” And yet he did… repeatedly. He just didn’t think what he was doing was abuse or rape.”

    All of this. ALL OF IT.

    This could be triggering – apologies – but context, dangit, and enough of this, “But this is painting men unfairly!” meme.

    Which one was I not supposed to trust? My grandfather, who raped me at four? My uncle who tried something similar when I was twelve? My father’s best friend who grabbed my breasts when he was driving me home from babysitting his kids when I was 14? My husband, who thought it was okay to wait until I was asleep and then try to hold me down and penetrate wherever he felt inclined to?

    Every single one was someone I was supposed to be able to trust. Every single one were men who were liked, respected, and who “would never be one of THOSE men.” Not a single one of them lurked in dark alleys, cackling with dark glee and feverish intent.

    The funny thing I’ve realized after watching the type of mentality that allows a person to treat people around them that way is that, yep, it truly was nothing personal in regards to ME.

    They had a need. They felt that need was paramount to everything else. I was a place holder, a tool, a TOY.

    Was I in the wrong place? Was I doing something wrong? No. I was just there. Are any of those men in prison? Nope. It was just a “misunderstanding” or they were “troubled with things about their lives” and picked a less perfect way of dealing with it. How often do we still hear those explanations for atrocities?

    This is what we’re talking about. This is rape culture.

  181. 181
    callistacat

    “Are you telling me that these thoughts that women might just be equal to men and not fuck toys sprang from your own head without having been encountered anywhere else?”

    What? Bradfeaker would have thought this was true if he never encoutered the idea of women’s humanity somewhere else? Seriously?
    Because the default male is one who thinks of women as subhuman fucktoys?

    This is what Greg wrote: “All men are capable of rape. Most men are enculturated in a way that reduces rape, and in some societies it is probably true that most violent rape is carried out by individuals who are reasonably labeled as pathological.”

    Most men are rapists unless culture teaches them NOT to be?

    I understand that survivors of rape who were assaulted by someone they should have been able to trust would be wary of someone saying I’m a nice guy, I wouldn’t do that. But to say that because “normal” men assault the ones closest to them, bradfeaker is wrong or lying when he says he would never assault someone is completely ridiculous.

  182. 182
    Stephanie Zvan

    callistacat, the idea that our culture only contains messages that women are fucktoys is ridiculous. Don’t assume that pointing that out means I’m making some other positive assertion.

    The fact is, we don’t know what would be default in the absence of culture. We have no way to know. The way we normally get a sense of these things, by looking at our closest living relatives, gives us wildly contradictory answers–both shaped by culture.

    Also, no one has said bradfeaker is lying. He’s been told he’s making assertions he doesn’t have the basis to legitimately make about the effects of culture on who he is.

  183. 183
    callistacat

    @Stephanie

    I disagree. I know myself, I know who and what has influenced me. I grew up around some pretty racist people and never picked up their beliefs. I know why I didn’t. Because I’m not an asshole. Because I have a conscience.

    “He’s been told he’s making assertions he doesn’t have the basis to legitimately make about the effects of culture on who he is.”

    Maybe it’s because he knows he’s not an asshole either?

    But why aren’t people addressing what Greg Laden actually said? “Most men are enculturated in a way that reduces rape…”

    Isn’t Greg making assertions here that he doesn’t have the basis to legitimately make? Why the double standard?

  184. 184
    Stephanie Zvan

    callistacat, was absolutely everyone you grew up around, watched on TV, read about, etc. “pretty racist”? Not being an asshole is a great thing, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot in culture that is shaping you. If you hadn’t had less racist influences, you’d have had to be more than just “not an asshole”. You’d have had to be a pretty extraordinary person to even see the background racism, much less come to the conclusion that it was wrong.

    I think you did not face that kind of monoculture.

    Why is Greg’s statement a problem? Some ways of enculturation produce more rape. Some produce less. Are you disagreeing with this? Do you really think the difference between chimps and bonobos is a rape gene that hasn’t been discovered yet?

  185. 185
    razzby

    Just to be clear, I wasn’t saying bradfeaker is lying.

    I was saying that to make an absolute statement next to ample evidence that shows contrary experiences is a bit leading with the chin. Also contrast that with the content of this post – Stephanie getting hounded by avatars of victim-blaming-sexual-harassment-trolls – and it seems even more so.

    I hope he’s absolutely correct in his assertion that he isn’t capable of anything like what we see in such huge percentages.

  186. 186
    callistacat

    “You’d have had to be a pretty extraordinary person to even see the background racism, much less come to the conclusion that it was wrong.”

    Really? That’s incredibly cynical.

    My parents are immigrants and for the majority of my childhood I was completely surrounded by people of the same culture. My parents where very wary of letting us have American friends because they thought they were a bad influence.

    When I was in the second grade I understood why racism was bad. That doesn’t make me extraordinary, kids generally have good bullshit detectors. The second grade was the first time I went to a school that actually had a black student in it, she sat next to me in class. Because whenever we moved to a new neighborhood, if my parents saw any black people in the area the’d say we needed to look somewhere else. I was a nice kid, so I didn’t see any reason to agree with my parents’ and relatives’ views. I didn’t suddenly come to that concusion in the second grade, it was just the first time I had a classmate who was black, so it stands out in my mind. I think in the U.S. kids are usually seven years old in the second grade.

    Greg said “Most men are enculturated in a way that reduces rape…”
    He’s saying it’s culture that reduces rape. That implies without encultration most men would rape.

    “Do you really think the difference between chimps and bonobos is a rape gene that hasn’t been discovered yet?”

    I don’t recall saying anything remotely like that.

    I had a conversation with an evolutionary athropologist once and I asked him if all chimps rape or if, like humans, there are some that do and many that don’t. He said: “Yes, there is a range of variation in behavior of all species. The researchers I cite show that rape is not an adaptation in primates.”

    I told him that I hear people using chimps as an example that rape is natural for human males. He told me “You can tell them it’s definitely not natural for primates to rape and that an evolutionary anthropologist told you so. :-)”

  187. 187
    Stephanie Zvan

    Now, callistacat, you ignored the bit where I talked about TV and books. Then you decided that something causing a reduction in the rate means that the rate would be 100% in the absence of that something–just before you go on to quote an anthropologist saying the opposite. And then you ignored the fact that the difference between bonobos and chimps in their relative rates of rape has to be due to culture.

    You’re arguing very badly here, and fairly dishonestly. That’s not usually something you do. Your motivated reasoning appears to be showing.

  188. 188
    callistacat

    I don’t recall reading any anti-racist books before age 7. English wasn’t even the first language I learned to read and write. Maybe it was rerun of The Jeffersons that swayed me to defy my parents and aunts and uncles and cousin’s racist views.

    “Then you decided that something causing a reduction in the rate means that the rate would be 100% in the absence of that something–

    [I didn't say that, GREG is saying that.]

    just before you go on to quote an anthropologist saying the opposite.”

    Yes he’s saying the opposite of what GREG is saying. There in no rape-switch. Rape isn’t something natural that needs the influence of culture to curb. Primates and other animals, just like humans (yes I know we’re primates), have members who are decent and ones who are assholes. Why that is who the hell knows.

    “motivated reasoning”?
    whatever.

    Yeah I suck at making a point. I’ll shut up now.

  189. 189
    Stephanie Zvan

    “Then you decided that something causing a reduction in the rate means that the rate would be 100% in the absence of that something–

    [I didn't say that, GREG is saying that.]

    Really?

    Greg said “Most men are enculturated in a way that reduces rape…”
    He’s saying it’s culture that reduces rape. That implies without encultration most men would rape.

    Nope. Turns out that was your addition.

  190. 190
    callitrichid

    Callisticat:

    “When I was in the second grade I understood why racism was bad. That doesn’t make me extraordinary, kids generally have good bullshit detectors. The second grade was the first time I went to a school that actually had a black student in it, she sat next to me in class. Because whenever we moved to a new neighborhood, if my parents saw any black people in the area the’d say we needed to look somewhere else. I was a nice kid, so I didn’t see any reason to agree with my parents’ and relatives’ views. I didn’t suddenly come to that concusion in the second grade, it was just the first time I had a classmate who was black, so it stands out in my mind. I think in the U.S. kids are usually seven years old in the second grade.”

    How is this *not* an example of encultration? Before desegregation you would have never had a black student in your class, and the likelihood of you keeping with the racist teachings at home would have been much higher.

  191. 191
    callistacat

    @Stephanie

    Well then what on earth is he saying? Maybe I’m too dense to get it. I quoted him directly. “Most men are enculturated in a way that reduces rape.” And his view that men who haven’t raped can still be regarded as rapists? And most men have a rape switch. Please explain to me what fuck that means.

    I just can’t wrap my head around the idea some of you have that the ONLY way bradfeake would have come to the conclusion that raping people is wrong is learning it’s wrong from someone or something else, and the only way I could understand that racism is wrong from childhood is I must have heard it on TV or read it in a book. That I couldn’t have *possibly* figured that out all my my stupid little self. And where did the people who indoctrinated us without our knowledge magically learn that racism and rape are horrible things?

  192. 192
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Yes, callistacat, everybody in the history of mankind until very recently and even now only a selected few were just born assholes. Little Roman boys who bossed adult male and female slaves around were just assholes. It really had nothing to do with the fact that they were born into rich families in slave-holder societies.
    Really, do you actually believe that?
    I don’t think I’m an asshole, but I’m realistic enough not to declare that I’d do X in situation why when Y is a fucking extreme I have never encountered.
    Why? Because history has shown us time after time again that decent non-asshole people in normal life just commited horrible attrocities in extreme situations.

  193. 193
    dsmccoy

    It’s weird how people get all focused on strangely literal interpretations of the particular language Laden used in saying that guys have a rape switch. People try to turn it into all sorts of things it’s not.

    We all have a lot of switches in our heads, they’re called neurons. That part shouldn’t be controversial.

    The way the human mind works is NOT INTUITIVE. Your intuitive sense of the way your mind works is your mind confabulating a picture of itself to make it easier for you to get through the day, but your intuitive sense of the way your mind works is useless for actual understanding.
    For crying out loud read something about the way the human mind works from someone who has actually studied it, like Bruce Hood:

    http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-illusion-of-the-self2

    or Timothy Wilson:

    http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674013827

  194. 194
    callistacat

    “Yes, callistacat, everybody in the history of mankind until very recently and even now only a selected few were just born assholes. Little Roman boys who bossed adult male and female slaves around were just assholes. It really had nothing to do with the fact that they were born into rich families in slave-holder societies.
    Really, do you actually believe that?”

    Yeah, that’s EXACTLY what I said.
    No, I don’t believe your strawman argument.

    I’m talking about the idea that it’s impossible to come to a conclusion something is bad all on your own. I MUST have seen it on TV or something! Otherwise I would have been a raving bigot at age seven.

    Do you believe no one in the history of mankind has been able all by their little selves to figure out cruelty and bigotry are wrong, despite their culture. I’m not saying nobody is influenced by culture or their upbringing. Power does tend to corrupt, but not always. If you’re hung up on the fact that I used the word “asshole” how about sociopath or malignant narcissist? One in 25 people are sociopaths. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFVrvoYTGu0
    The one thing that can get otherwise normal people to behave like a sociopath is to convince them a person or group of people are evil or subhuman. Which might explain why otherwise nice, normal people can do evil things and not lose any sleep at night.

  195. 195
    callistacat

    @dsmccoy

    I’m not interested in the “nonreligious” buddhist dogma masquerading as science that Sam Harris tries to promote.

  196. 196
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    callistacat

    Do you believe no one in the history of mankind has been able all by their little selves to figure out cruelty and bigotry are wrong, despite their culture.

    Actually, yes.
    Because that’s what’s supported by evidence.
    Yes, there were always people who were “above the background morality”, so to speak. And those people and their ideas drove moral development from worse to better.
    But what I see in history is that people take one fucking step at a time.
    If we read the first documents about freedom and democracy and whatyouhave we tend to forget that those were actually not about “people” as we understand the term now. Still those who wrote them had figured some important things out. Unless you’Re much older than you appear you didn’t grow up during US slavery.
    Anyway, that has nothing to do with the very naive idea that you just know what you would do in an extreme situation which you have not experienced yet.
    Let’s turn the table around so this might be easier to understand:
    I’m not a survivor. Fortunately so far I didn’t have to find out what I would do if a rapist laid his actual hands on me.
    If I now told you that I would fight the guy tooth and claw and scream like mad and not give in because I’m a fighter, would you think I was making a reasonable prediction?
    Would you find it credible?
    If not you understand why I find the statement “I could never ever rape” not credible.

  197. 197
    callistacat

    No I wouldn’t find it credible. Fighting back in self defense is in no way similar to doing something cruel and malicious like committing rape. One requires little to no conscience, the other is out of self-preservation.

    Me: Do you believe no one in the history of mankind has been able all by their little selves to figure out cruelty and bigotry are wrong, despite their culture.

    Giliell: Actually, yes.

    Wow.

    Not sure what planet you’re living on. Where did people get these ideas that cruelty and bigotry are wrong? Society is compose of people, right? If it’s not inborn and natural, then where did it come from? Some supernatural force? A spirit guide?

    Are we all born in original sin, just a secular version? I don’t buy it AT ALL.

    I think I’m done here. It’s been real. Thanks.

  198. 198
    susanlee

    I don’t know if this pencil-neck douche has ever been in the service, but everyone who is trained in hand-to-hand combat nowadays is taught to channel their protective instincts, not their blind hatred for the “other.”
    This is because this makes them more effective, and less likely to engage in violent misconduct. Imagine that, they’re trying to make it more difficult to throw the “rape switch.”

  199. 199
    dsmccoy

    @calisticat 198

    I’m not interested in the “nonreligious” buddhist dogma masquerading as science that Sam Harris tries to promote.

    Ok, fine with me if you don’t like Harris, skip the Harris interview. Not a huge Harris fan myself, I was only pointing to it because of who he interviews. I should have pointed directly at the book. I thought an interview might give a better handle on why one might want to read it. I prefer the Jonah Lehrer interview of Bruce Hood, but Lehrer has been getting his own bad press lately and I didn’t want to get distracted by that, instead we got distracted by Harris.

    You likely didn’t look at the other link pointing to a book by Timothy Wilson.
    Timothy Wilson is not touting “nonreligious buddhist dogma, he and Hood are both social psychologists. Judging from your response about Harris, Wilson would be the better place to start, since Hood’s book title would probably put you off from the start, (even though it’s not what you think it is).

    “Strangers to Ourselves”, Timothy Wilson
    http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674013827

    If you have doubts about the rigor of the research in the field of social psychology, frankly, so does Wilson and he rips into the sloppy stuff pretty harshly in a chapter in his more recent book, “Redirect”. He relies on research with with tight enough methodology that the results mean something. “Strangers to Ourselves” is much more to the point I am talking about, than “Redirect” though.

    Seriously, reading it would greatly inform you about why people act the way they do. It’s painful to see people talking about human behavior who haven’t read about the way the human mind works.

    We all use a very simplified intuitive model of what a person is to talk about people, because it just makes it a lot easier to communicate the simple stuff, but it breaks down when you try to talk about human behavior in detail. The intuitive model is embodied in the language we use and everything. Daniel Dennett is also good on some of this but he comes at if from a more abstract angle which can make it hard to apply to human behavior. Wilson studies human behavior directly, so it’s easier to see how it applies. (Bruce Hood also lines up well with Dennett.)

    I like to use analogy from physics to illustrate the problem with our intuitive model of human behavior. You get a long way in physics assuming that objects are a mass concentrated at a point. You can calculate a lot about the motion of a planet and getting a rocket to it using mass-at-a-point calculations, but if you want to actually land on the planet you better start gathering a lot more detailed information, radius, terrain, surface composition. Much of our intuitive understanding of other people and even ourselves is the psychological equivalent of mass-at-a-point physics.

    Listening to people discussing human behavior without having read the best of current social psychology is like watching people plan a mars mission when they don’t know its radius or where its mountains are.

  200. 200
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    callistacat

    Not sure what planet you’re living on. Where did people get these ideas that cruelty and bigotry are wrong? Society is compose of people, right? If it’s not inborn and natural, then where did it come from? Some supernatural force? A spirit guide?

    Jumping Jesus on a pogostick, did you actually read what I wrote? I said that people figured out things ONE STEP AT A TIME. They figured out that it’s wrong to own people in the literal sense in the middle ages. Still they didn’t liberate women, or went from classical Greek democracy to modern democracy all in one because somebody just thought up the idea all in a vacuum. They went to feudalism. The fact that they figured out that one kind of cruelty and bigotry is wrong didn’t mean that they figured out that bigotry and cruelty is wrong in a general sense. That’s what actually happened in the history of planet earth.

    So, you think you can’t reliably tell what one would do in an extreme situation of self-defense, but sure what one would do in an extreme situation of combat, group pressure and a rigid structure of command and obedience.
    Naive, as I said.

  201. 201
    Pteryxx

    I don’t know if this pencil-neck douche has ever been in the service, but everyone who is trained in hand-to-hand combat nowadays is taught to channel their protective instincts, not their blind hatred for the “other.”
    This is because this makes them more effective, and less likely to engage in violent misconduct. Imagine that, they’re trying to make it more difficult to throw the “rape switch.”

    Those are the recruiting ads, not the reality.

    “US military scandal: A culture of rape?”

    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestoryamericas/2012/08/201284114116811951.html

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/14/culture-coverup-rape-ranks-us-military

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/21/opinion/speier-military-rape/index.html

  202. 202
    susanlee

    @Pteryxx
    You’re not wrong that there’s a problem with violent behavior in the military; you are wrong that this change is just for recruitment or isn’t used at all.

  203. 203
    Venom

    Hello,

    “I can also tell you that only a tiny fraction of the people who liked Justicar’s video checked on his links.”

    I just did. I must be part of the tiny fraction you’re talking about. Or that tiny fraction is not as tiny as you think it is, but anyway we all know it’s just a cheap way to insult people who reads your stuff but also likes to listen to your contradictors.

    Take care,

  204. 204
    Forbidden Snowflake

    Venom, I think Stephanie can tell how much incoming traffic she gets from the video, and is able to compare those numbers to the numbers of the video’s views and upvotes. So I would guess that her claim is more than a cheap insult.
    Not to mention the fact that it’s unclear how “people who act like you are few” is an insult, and that “I did it, so that must mean that a high percentage of people does it” is atrociously bad logic.

  205. 205
    Avren Rye

    Seems like a sensible precaution to treat a stranger as a risk, and not just for the crime of rape. A stranger approaching under many circumstances may be an armed robber.

  1. 206
    Around FtB | Pharyngula

    [...] same asshats seem to now have taken on the job of driving Stephanie Zvan away from blogging. It’s the usual tactic: make comments so ugly and demeaning that she loses all optimism for [...]

  2. 207
    “Too ugly to be raped”? Whatever! Let’s talk about MY feels! | Lousy Canuck

    [...] the commenters do their damnedest to erode any faith in humanity I’ve ever had by diverting the topic of discussion to their own feels instead. Get over there and fix that, please. I was involved in that blogswarm too, by the way — [...]

  3. 208
    The scope of the problem, and the availability heuristic | Lousy Canuck

    [...] down those vital women like Jen McCreight, Greta Christina, Ophelia Benson, Rebecca Watson, and Stephanie Zvan; of vital advocates for underprivileged groups like the trans community like Natalie Reed, and [...]

  4. 209
    A Platform for Reasonable Dialog » Almost Diamonds

    [...] that this isn’t. Or this. And that it isn’t obvious that the people so targeted are not responding tit-for-tat in [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite="" class=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>