Over on one of Crommunist’s posts that has nothing to do with the topic, some of the usual suspects are whining once again that Schroedinger’s Rapist is sexist against men. This time, they have the help of Reddit MRAs who were attracted by the actual content of the post.
The tactic has shifted ever so slightly now. There is less “You’re looking at all men and thinking, ‘Rapist!’” Now, courtesy of John D, we have the argument that women should be looked at the same way. He bases this on the fact that by NISVS definitions of rape (including being made to penetrate another), men and women faced nearly identical victimization rates in 2010.* Additionally, while women accounted for almost none of the rapists of women, they accounted for a large majority of the rapists of men. Given those numbers, women would account for about 40% of 2010 rapists under the NISVS definitions of rape.
That is something approaching parity. Does it mean that the Shroedinger’s Rapist post, and its use by other women in explaining their viewpoints, are sexist against men?
Let me repeat that: No.
The explanation of Schroedinger’s Rapist is specifically one person’s viewpoint, even though it has echoed strongly with many people since then. The person who wrote that post is a woman, Phaedra Starling. As a woman, she has almost nothing to fear from another woman. If she is raped, it will almost certainly be by a man. The NISVS numbers cited bear that out.
Additionally, it will almost certainly be by a man whose behavior matches the behavior she is warning other men away from in that post. People do remember what that post was for, right? They remember that it was a primer in differentiating one’s self from a rapist when approaching someone you might be interested in for strictly consensual fun times. The women who might approach her are already likely to be cautious and act less entitled, simply because they deal with a lot of crap if they don’t.
So, no, it was not sexist for Starling to offer a personal perspective that was directed at men. This is even more true when you consider that men actually ask for this advice. Maybe John D doesn’t–I don’t know–but plenty of men do. “How do I approach women without seeming creepy?” Not an unusual question.
What John D is doing by bringing up these figures is pointing out a disparity. Women will tell men how to avoid acting like sexual predators. Men don’t say the same to women. Therefore, the women are being sexist and should stop.
Let me repeat that: No.
Exactly the opposite should happen. Men should start speaking up if they find women acting like sexual predators and expecting that behavior to lead to those aforementioned fun times.
It does happen. I can’t tell you exactly what behavior led to responses from men leading to those counts in the NISVS. I can tell you, however, that I’ve talked to plenty of guys who have been approached by women in ways that did not indicate that these guys might have their own ideas about what they wanted to do with their bodies. I’ve talked to guys who have been stalked, guys who have been abused or derided for saying, “No.” It does happen.
Guys, you have my permission to say this is not acceptable.
Your body is your own every bit as much as mine belongs to me. You have every right to direct what happens to it, just as I have to direct mine. You have every right to name nonconsensual sex, whether forced or coerced, as rape. You have every right to avoid people who act as though they don’t respect your decisions and your bodily integrity. And you have every right to stand up and say that this is why you are avoiding these people.
You have every right to write a Schroedinger’s Rapist of your own, from your own perspective, using the genders relevant to you. Or to point to the original and say, “That. You know, with the genders reversed.” Either way.
What you don’t have, what you have never had and will never have, is a right to tell us we can’t speak up for ourselves just because we’re not talking about your perspective at the same time.
*This is not true for lifetime rates, which is a bit of an oddity in the survey, but not one that can’t be reasonably explained by changing awareness over time. Despite John D’s continual referral to force in his comments, these definitions include rape by coercion, including by the use of lies, which probably accounts for the higher numbers of male victims both in the short term versus long term in this survey and as compared to other victimization surveys. This also has implications for understanding a metaphor describing fear, but those are not discussed here.