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Jan 17 2012

Schroedinger’s Black Man

You know that the must-read post for this week (and it’s only Tuesday!) is Crommunist’s Shuffling feet: a black man’s view on Schroedinger’s Rapist. Who would have thought a black person might resent getting used to excuse sexism?

(By the way, I heard a rumor that Ian will be at the Imagine No Religion conference in May — another reason for you to attend. There will be sensible Canadians there!)

32 comments

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  1. 1
    Thomas Lawson

    “There will be sensible Canadians there!”

    -

    As well as a few sensible, closeted Americans.

  2. 2
    robertbaden

    “Who would have thought a black person might resent getting used to excuse sexism?”

    This is the sort of thing all white people have to be careful about.

  3. 3
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    I don’t know why it took me so long to start reading The Crommunist Manifesto, but damn, I’m glad I saw this post. Excellent!

  4. 4
    Anthony K

    This is the sort of thing all white people have to be careful about.

    Great. Now you’ve done it. Asking a white person (especially a hetero male one) to be considerate or thoughtful in any way is like stabbing freedom right in the eye and forcing reason to have sex with its sister.

  5. 5
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Warning: Mallorie Nasrallah is hoggling all over the comments.

  6. 6
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Kamloops? They’ve got to stop holding conferences in the Middle-of-Nowhere, Canada. It’s such a big country (and very, very expensive to travel across) and naturally everything should be held in Toronto, the Centre of Canada, where I just so happen to live.

    Also, I hope Mallorie Nasrallah is so disheartened by the lack of attention paid to the hoggling that xe stops posting long enough to think.

  7. 7
    Anthony K

    Warning: Mallorie Nasrallah is hoggling all over the comments.

    Goddamn her. She’s such a fucking halfwit.

    Toronto, the Centre of Canada

    Only the centre of Canada?

    My word, I think I’ve just met a humble Torontonian.

  8. 8
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Well, Brownian, I had thought to put in the Universe, but there are Americans here. I hate to break the spell.

  9. 9
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Has any Torontonian ever drawn something like this famous map?

  10. 10
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    That map is incredible. I’m having a difficult time imagining what a similar map of Toronto would look like; Toronto doesn’t have a natural barrier like a river separating it from the rest of Canada. I can’t think of Toronto as being analogous to New York as in that map. Still, it would be worth a try, if only for the humour.

  11. 11
    Jonas

    That was a damn good article. I have to admit that a troubling corrollary between treating all strange men as potential rapists and treating all strange black men as potential thugs was indeed the FIRST thing that I imagined when I read the “Schroeinger’s Rapist” article the first time. It was refreshing to hear the actual perspective of a black man who put the discussion into a more realistic context.

  12. 12
    carlie

    I have to admit that a troubling corrollary between treating all strange men as potential rapists and treating all strange black men as potential thugs was indeed the FIRST thing that I imagined when I read the “Schroeinger’s Rapist” article the first time.

    It was listed in the comments over at the Crommunist, but the easy retort to that statement (if you hear anyone else make it) is “Ok, when all muggings of white people are by black people, then you might have a point of comparison”.

  13. 13
    don1

    I must admit I’m finding it difficult to grasp why why this is contentious in skeptical circles (I can understand it from a MRA/PUA/drunk frat boy perspective.).

    It seems so bloody obvious. If you find yourself in a situation where another person might have reason to be nervous of you then you modify your behaviour to minimise that. Unless you enjoy intimidating people, in which case you are a wanker. You shouldn’t have to be told.

    As a man you do not get to tell a woman to ‘get over’ her fears. You just don’t, surely that’s obvious?

    And yet people who have in the past seemed to be like-minded compadres are constructing baroque rationalisations for continuing crassness and disregard for the life-experience of others.

  14. 14
    Anthony K

    As a man you do not get to tell a woman to ‘get over’ her fears. You just don’t, surely that’s obvious?

    What? More limits on what a skeptical male can do at any time, any place? What if he’s autistic or socially awkward?

    Why do you hate freedom?

  15. 15
    Eric O

    I’ve never read any of Crommunist’s stuff before he came to FTB – I had seen the name on blog rolls but never really checked it out – but now I never want to miss his posts. He always has something interesting and thoughtful to write about.

  16. 16
    Moggie

    carlie:

    It was listed in the comments over at the Crommunist, but the easy retort to that statement (if you hear anyone else make it) is “Ok, when all muggings of white people are by black people, then you might have a point of comparison”.

    Also, when white people never attack black people.

  17. 17
    frog

    Ms. Daisy, Thomathy:

    Speaking as a third-generation New Yorker, I must confess that map is shockingly accurate (except it leaves out Florida, which, as Jerry Seinfeld once pointed out, is where NYers are required to go when they turn 65).

  18. 18
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    *Heading over to Crommunist*

    Why yes, we _are_ the centre of Canada!

  19. 19
    'Tis Himself

    Why yes, we _are_ the centre of Canada!

    You live in Edmonton? Do you know Brownian?

  20. 20
    Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts

    Oh, haha, ‘Tis Himself, OM.

  21. 21
    mikmik

    Actually, that map missed a chance to kill two birds with one stone. Where it says Canada, it should say Toronto.

  22. 22
    mikmik

    More Edmontonians? Fek U, Toranta!

  23. 23
    Dhorvath, OM

    Mikelaing,
    No, no, no. That won’t do at all. It’s Tronna, no t at the end and often enough just two syllables too boot. At least for this west ender, Peel, that was how it generally ended up.

  24. 24
    rrhain

    Actually, as a rationalist, I do get to tell anybody to fuck off if their irrational fears are interfering with my life.

    But note the important words there: “Interfering with my life.”

    There is a difference between accommodating other people in order to be polite and doing so out of some deference to their bigotry. The gay community has heard this phrase all too long: “I don’t mind gay people so long as they don’t flaunt it.” Well, no. Gay people are going to do everything straight people do and they are under no obligation to “accommodate” the fears of the straight people. It is precisely that whine about how gays need to “conform” that is the problem.

    If you are not being rude, if you are not being inappropriate, then you are under no obligation to pander to the irrational behaviour of others and it is not bigoted in any way to call someone out for it…assuming that it is affecting you.

    For the example given of the woman who panicked and ran across the street as the man approached her, there is no point in confronting her about it. Similarly with the people he was trying to get to sign on who didn’t want to have anything to do with him, well, what good could possibly come of it?

    But change that to driving-while-black, and it becomes a problem. Change that to being tailed by security in a store because you’re male/not-white/whatever, and it becomes a problem. When the larger society tries to tell a person that they need to “accommodate” the irrational behaviour of others, then we must fight back.

    That’s part of what being a rationalist meant, I had thought.

  25. 25
    fistikins

    @ Carlie:
    Perhaps I’m misunderstanding what you wrote. But are you (or more accurately the person who first said what you are quoting) saying that men cannot be raped by women?

  26. 26
    lawmom

    This reminds me of a discussion I had with a fellow law student 20 years ago. Our school was located in a seedy part of town several blocks from a major bus route. My friend was unhappy that as a black man, he felt he could not walk alone after dark without seeming suspect and possibly getting arrested for no reason. I responded that as a woman, I wouldn’t dream of going out alone at night in that neighborhood. It wasn’t an option. I scheduled my classes to avoid getting out late; he didn’t.

  27. 27
    RobertL

    Hmm – tried to post over there (having computer issues) but this is what I said:

    I’m a large, bulky white guy who lives in Australia. I was probably a teenager when I first noticed that my presence on the street scares some people.

    So I too shuffle my feet or clear my throat or (my favourite) whistle while I walk along.

    I probably used to resent the fact that people were scared of me for no particular reason. Now that I am a bit wiser, I no longer resent it, but it still saddens me a bit.

  28. 28
    Jadehawk

    Perhaps I’m misunderstanding what you wrote. But are you (or more accurately the person who first said what you are quoting) saying that men cannot be raped by women?

    no; the analogous situation she was referring to is the fact that raped women are almost always raped by men, not women

    or did you mean to address moggie?

  29. 29
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    It was listed in the comments over at the Crommunist, but the easy retort to that statement (if you hear anyone else make it) is “Ok, when all muggings of white people are by black people, then you might have a point of comparison”.

    Well, 99.9%.

  30. 30
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Also, when white people never attack black people.

    …okay, now this comparison is simply contrafactual.

  31. 31
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Also:

    What if he’s autistic or socially awkward?

    Some way needs to be found to make this scapegoating painful for the idiots who (non-sarcastically) commit it.

    no; the analogous situation she was referring to is the fact that raped women are almost always raped by men, not women

    You didn’t say “almost all.”

    (Unless one defines rape as solely penile penetration, then…yeah, I guess it’s true by definition.)

  32. 32
    Jadehawk

    i, not being carlie, didn’t say anything actually

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