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Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  AliRadicali on Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:45 am

Eowyn wrote:
AliRadicali wrote:... this particularly vile and divisive piece of dogma ... painting/treating half of humanity as terrible criminals ... hysterical and overreacting ... vile misandry ... require me to treat myself as a monster ... their paranoia and false sense of being at risk ... the most paranoid and emotionally unstable ... treating yourself like a criminal ... patently absurd.
I'd like to invite you to think(I know, I'm an optimist) about what you just did. Instead of addressing my post on its substance, you cherry pick the words that you feel reflect a biased tone. It goes to show how superficial your reasoning is here. I could use the most hateful words and it still wouldn't prove my argument invalid on substance.

Schrödinger's Bore: presents nothing new
E=MC^2 isn't new either; the fact that Einstein got there first doesn't make it any less valid.

Eowyn wrote:Schrödinger's Histrionic: ... and all of that in a shrill tone
Oh hypocrisy. When i call someone's actions or policies hysterical, it's misogynist, when you criticise my tone as "shrill" it's a valid argument?
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Just weighing in...

Post  Argyle on Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:31 am

OK, so let us set aside the whole issue of the title of the article, that's kind of trivial, and more has to do with a tendency to misunderstand the principle being talked about by association with Schrodinger's cat.

Quick few things (regardless of actual incidence rates):
1 - Does our society more often tell women or men that they are likely to be raped. (WOMEN)
2 - Does our society, by way of media and narrative fiction, reinforce the idea that women are at constant risk of being raped. (YES)
3 - Having established that does it not make sense to assume that women in society will feel at risk of being raped. (YES)
4 - Does the same go for men (NO)
5 - Is there any hope of correcting any and all misunderstanding of the risks in the near term throughout society (NO)
6 - Given all of this are women in society going to suffer emotional stress by being approached by unknown men, especially when alone, especially on unfamiliar grounds (HELLZ YES!)
---- And now the actual questions ----
7 - What is the appropriate response to these facts for a man to have to encountering a woman who is alone and in an unfamiliar place? What model might he use to mentally assess the situation? Should he not assume that the woman might be afraid of being a rape victim, and should he not assume that she has been taught by society to assume that he is a potential rapist?

I find that many if not all of the objections to schrodingers rapist seem to center around whether it is a rational to assume that men you meet on the street when you are alone whom you do not know might rape you. They tend to completely ignore that the whole point is that women are taught to fear being raped and that they will feel fear and emotional distress in such a situation regardless of what the statistics are and men should be aware of and account for that.

All the rest of the waffling about the statistical probabilities and the "I don't know women who feel that way" is just red-herring-itis.
Also, I think the term "Schrodinger's Rapist" while inaccurate, and possibly misleading, is tied to a well known enough meme that it makes the mental model easy to remember. EG: When you meet a woman who is socialized by our society and is alone, don't walk behind her down a dark alley, not because it would be rational for her to assume that there is some high probability that you will rape her, but rather because you acknowledge that the vast majority of women in society have been taught to use a "Schrodinger's Rapist" model when confronted by men, and it will make her feel unsafe, and it will terrify her, and hopefully you aren't an asshole enough to want to do that to another human being.

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  devilsadvocate on Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:53 am

So, basically you're saying that the Schrödinger's rapist blog post is part of the problem (instilling irrational fear in women)?

But, yeah, I agree that it's shitty behavior to terrify anyone, even if those fears are irrational(ish). Still, I'd rather we tackle root of the problem, so we don't have keep on treating the symptoms.

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  Skavau on Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:01 am

Argyle wrote:OK, so let us set aside the whole issue of the title of the article, that's kind of trivial, and more has to do with a tendency to misunderstand the principle being talked about by association with Schrodinger's cat.

Quick few things (regardless of actual incidence rates):
1 - Does our society more often tell women or men that they are likely to be raped. (WOMEN)
This is true, though ironically I should think you'd be against a society enforcing a narrative of fear.

2 - Does our society, by way of media and narrative fiction, reinforce the idea that women are at constant risk of being raped. (YES)
See, I think we're also all at "constant risk of being murdered" or "constant risk of being mugged" as well. You need to quantify how much urgency and anxiety you think women put on "constant" here.

3 - Having established that does it not make sense to assume that women in society will feel at risk of being raped. (YES)
Depends on the woman. Depends on where they are. I would suggest that many women feel no more risk of being raped than I do of being mugged.

4 - Does the same go for men (NO)
In terms of rape, no. I don't know statistics on violent crime though and wherever men are more likely to be a victim of that.

5 - Is there any hope of correcting any and all misunderstanding of the risks in the near term throughout society (NO)
6 - Given all of this are women in society going to suffer emotional stress by being approached by unknown men, especially when alone, especially on unfamiliar grounds (HELLZ YES!)
Some women in some unfamiliar grounds and in certain ways. Depends on context.

---- And now the actual questions ----
7 - What is the appropriate response to these facts for a man to have to encountering a woman who is alone and in an unfamiliar place? What model might he use to mentally assess the situation? Should he not assume that the woman might be afraid of being a rape victim, and should he not assume that she has been taught by society to assume that he is a potential rapist?
No.

Unless you're going to paint a ridiculous mental image of say a frightened woman in a dark alley approached by me wearing some kind of trench coat and generally looking sinister, no. You seem to be drawing into stereotypical rape situations when you talk about men encountering women or approaching women by themselves or in quiet areas.

I find that many if not all of the objections to schrodingers rapist seem to center around whether it is a rational to assume that men you meet on the street when you are alone whom you do not know might rape you. They tend to completely ignore that the whole point is that women are taught to fear being raped and that they will feel fear and emotional distress in such a situation regardless of what the statistics are and men should be aware of and account for that.
Some women. Unfortunately I do not believe that the bulk of the women on A+ represent women at large.

All the rest of the waffling about the statistical probabilities and the "I don't know women who feel that way" is just red-herring-itis.
No it isn't. You're insisting that people treat all women ever with an inordinate amount of walking on eggshells. If there's no reason to assume that all women have such an unhealthy paranoia then there's no good reason to do it. Worse it can also confirm and reinforce the anxiety and phobia that some women might have and continue to stunt their emotional growth long term.

Also, I think the term "Schrodinger's Rapist" while inaccurate, and possibly misleading, is tied to a well known enough meme that it makes the mental model easy to remember. EG: When you meet a woman who is socialized by our society and is alone, don't walk behind her down a dark alley, not because it would be rational for her to assume that there is some high probability that you will rape her, but rather because you acknowledge that the vast majority of women in society have been taught to use a "Schrodinger's Rapist" model when confronted by men, and it will make her feel unsafe, and it will terrify her, and hopefully you aren't an asshole enough to want to do that to another human being.
I'm sorry, but this is just an assertion. There's no reason to assume that most women will be terrified by a man walking behind her in a dark area. If they are that's just ridiculous. What do you propose that one even does if they find themselves inadvertently behind a woman in an unlit but narrow area? Stop and wait for them to get much further? Cut in front?

Comes across as absolutely ridiculous.
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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  Argyle on Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:14 am

Depends on the woman. Depends on where they are. I would suggest that many women feel no more risk of being raped than I do of being mugged.
And this pretty much says it all. If you don't think women are taught by society disproportionately to fear being raped or assaulted much more than men, then I can't help you. The entire concept SR is predicated on is based on this fact.

Also you seem to be somewhat arguing that because it is not always the case that a woman will be socialized that way, that you can disregard that they are likely to be.

Do I think that our society needs to step up the female empowerment and stop putting them in victim roles constantly in films, encourage them to be more physical and infantilize them less, etc etc.. sure, but that does not mean you are not a human being right now in the world where they are socialized by everything to think of themselves as eminently vulnerable, and at constant risk especially from males especially when they are alone.

You can deny that is the case until you are blue in the face, I have a feeling that denial won't make it a reality, but you are of course welcome to try. Razz

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  devilsadvocate on Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:27 am

Argyle wrote:
And this pretty much says it all. If you don't think women are taught by society disproportionately to fear being raped or assaulted much more than men, then I can't help you. The entire concept SR is predicated on is based on this fact.

I think there's lots of geographical variance on this issue. I'm pretty sure women here don't fear being raped nearly as much as it seems to be the case in the U.S. I hear stories of women asking men to escort them to the bus stop or to their car if it's dark and stuff like that. This is unheard of here, and makes me think U.S must be a dangerous place to live in.

Then again, kids of age 6 and 7 regularly walk to school unsupervised here. I know I did.

Is there anything to the notion I get from americans and media that there is bit of fear culture going on in there?

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  Atheist Dude on Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:53 am

devilsadvocate wrote:

Is there anything to the notion I get from americans and media that there is bit of fear culture going on in there?

I see the American politicians playing the fear card constantly. They play up the violence and then propose new laws, more jails, longer sentences so they can look like a hero. The government has to play the fear card to justify all the military spending, "because without all that spending they can't protect America from terrorism." The NRA plays on the fears of the average American, telling them they need a gun to protect themselves from all the criminals. Fear is a big business in the US.

People react to fear, not love. They don't teach that in Sunday school, but it's true.
—Richard M. Nixon


Last edited by Atheist Dude on Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:30 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added Quote)
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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  Westprog on Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:31 am

devilsadvocate wrote:
Argyle wrote:
And this pretty much says it all. If you don't think women are taught by society disproportionately to fear being raped or assaulted much more than men, then I can't help you. The entire concept SR is predicated on is based on this fact.

I think there's lots of geographical variance on this issue. I'm pretty sure women here don't fear being raped nearly as much as it seems to be the case in the U.S. I hear stories of women asking men to escort them to the bus stop or to their car if it's dark and stuff like that. This is unheard of here, and makes me think U.S must be a dangerous place to live in.

Then again, kids of age 6 and 7 regularly walk to school unsupervised here. I know I did.

Is there anything to the notion I get from americans and media that there is bit of fear culture going on in there?

I recently saw an ad on American TV which showed a woman alone at a bus stop. It was clearly meant to tell women that catching a bus puts you at risk of being raped, and hence she should get a car. There's a lot of that kind of thing around. SR as a marketing tool.

Personally, the more dangerous the area and the more genuine risk there is, the less likely I would be to leave a woman alone. I know whether I'm a rapist or not, and I know whether she'd be safer in my presence or out of it.

Not encroaching into someone's space beyond a point at which they are comfortable is simple good manners. Of course, different cultures have different preferred proximity, which can cause issues.

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  Diogenes on Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:58 am

Argyle wrote:...
Also, I think the term "Schrodinger's Rapist" while inaccurate, and possibly misleading, is tied to a well known enough meme that it makes the mental model easy to remember...

The term exists beyond a particular philosophical subculture? We should accept it despite how it is wrong and has inappropriately hijacked Schrödinger?

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  uncrystal on Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:23 am

If you don't think women are taught by society disproportionately to fear being raped or assaulted much more than men, then I can't help you. The entire concept SR is predicated on is based on this fact.

I won't interject terribly much in the conversation as most of what I would say has already been said but..

For the record, I would answer yes to your first four questions.

I'm relieved that you (seemingly) acknowledge that many of the statistics being touted around about rape and sexual assault against women are bullshit, not all on the "real" a+ forum do.

My question is what group/s do you think are largely responsible for perpetuating these lies and myths in order to make women and girls fearful?

I'll save you the anticipation of my answer to this question.. feminists (feel free to tack whatever adjective you find most appropriate to the beginning radical, second wave etc).

Wouldn't the best course of action be to shout the truth at these lies and educate women to the facts? and NOT to say to men "Well, the brainwashed women buy into this BS so.. you know cross the street when you see a woman in public."?

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  mood2 on Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:57 am

Nothing to do with being brain-washed by feminists as far as I'm concerned.

The reason I might appreciate it if I'm out on a quiet dark street alone and I hear footsteps behind me is ... I'm out on a quiet dark street alone. It's a context in which if the person behind me is a threat (whatever the odds are) I'm in a vulnerable situation. I start checking houses I could run to, I put my keys in my hand, if the streetlight shows shadows in front of me, I check those, and I feel nervous. If the person crosses the street I go phew.

And if I'm walking behind a woman I cross the street too, because I assume that I'm probably making her nervous, even tho I know I'm not a threat.

I'm not a naturally paranoid type, and maybe there's a subconscious element with darkness, dunno. But whatever the reason, this is extremely common with women, and it's worth people who wouldn't otherwise be aware of it knowing.

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  uncrystal on Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:48 am

To be clear, the last part of my previous post was a bit sarcastic. The reason that someone holds irrational fears or beliefs is ultimately unimportant.

I have no interest in telling any individual man or woman how they should feel in any given situation. If a woman says she's terrified of being alone with men in public I accept that, but (because of the statistics and low likelihood that a man will harm her sexually or otherwise) that fear is irrational. What I object to is normalizing of irrational fears. I wouldn't go out of my way to make anyone fearful or uncomfortable, but when we acquiesce to irrational fears we're giving them creditability.

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  Atheist Dude on Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:00 pm

uncrystal wrote:To be clear, the last part of my previous post was a bit sarcastic. The reason that someone holds irrational fears or beliefs is ultimately unimportant.

I have no interest in telling any individual man or woman how they should feel in any given situation. If a woman says she's terrified of being alone with men in public I accept that, but (because of the statistics and low likelihood that a man will harm her sexually or otherwise) that fear is irrational. What I object to is normalizing of irrational fears. I wouldn't go out of my way to make anyone fearful or uncomfortable, but when we acquiesce to irrational fears we're giving them creditability.

Society shouldn't enact laws or norms of behavior based on the most fearful among us. Imagine what the world would look like in a 100 years if we did.
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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  mood2 on Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:41 pm

uncrystal wrote:To be clear, the last part of my previous post was a bit sarcastic. The reason that someone holds irrational fears or beliefs is ultimately unimportant.

I have no interest in telling any individual man or woman how they should feel in any given situation. If a woman says she's terrified of being alone with men in public I accept that, but (because of the statistics and low likelihood that a man will harm her sexually or otherwise) that fear is irrational. What I object to is normalizing of irrational fears. I wouldn't go out of my way to make anyone fearful or uncomfortable, but when we acquiesce to irrational fears we're giving them creditability.

That's true. And irrational fear can be crippling, it's both dumb and harmful.

Tho I doubt many women are -

'terrified of being alone with a man in public'

But that's a rather different statement to -

'nervous out alone on a quiet dark street with footsteps behind you'.

That's irrational if you think of it in terms of odds. (And odds are going to be skewed a bit because many women avoid being out alone late when they can help it). But it's rational in the sense that in that specific situation if it did turn nasty, you're in a very vulnerable spot.

I don't think enough attention is given to the situational (can't think of a better word) aspect of why and when rape occurs. There's lots of talk of dress, being drunk, flirting, etc. But the one over-riding significant factor is whether the rapist thinks they can get away with it. An empty dark street isn't a bad bet in those terms. Where-as I can be at a crowded bar, skimpily dressed, drunk and flirting my socks off (skimpily dressed plus socks!) and in virtually no danger, because we're surrounded by people. Roofies aside I suppose, and the purpose of roofies is to get the victim to a quiet place where the rapist is more likely to get away with it.


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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  Skavau on Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:26 pm

Argyle wrote:And this pretty much says it all. If you don't think women are taught by society disproportionately to fear being raped or assaulted much more than men, then I can't help you. The entire concept SR is predicated on is based on this *fact.
*Assertion

That's all I can say to that. I'll grant you that women are more likely to be raped than men and more women fear being raped than men but regarding violence itself, I'm not sure.

Also you seem to be somewhat arguing that because it is not always the case that a woman will be socialized that way, that you can disregard that they are likely to be.
I also, when out in public disregard that people I interact with or walk near to don't have extreme social anxiety.

Do I think that our society needs to step up the female empowerment and stop putting them in victim roles constantly in films, encourage them to be more physical and infantilize them less, etc etc.. sure, but that does not mean you are not a human being right now in the world where they are socialized by everything to think of themselves as eminently vulnerable, and at constant risk especially from males especially when they are alone.
Again, you are just asserting that all women think this all the time.

You can deny that is the case until you are blue in the face, I have a feeling that denial won't make it a reality, but you are of course welcome to try. Razz
Back at you.
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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  Skep tickle on Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:22 pm

The vigilance toward personal safety described in the original "Schrodinger's Rapist" article IS widespread among women (ok, perhaps only or mostly Norteamericanas). I can vouch for that personally.

But I would draw the line at offering that observation for men to be aware of, in case they're interested or might find it useful to know.

I cannot understand telling men they OUGHT to act differently because many women feel this way.

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  anima on Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:19 pm

Skep tickle wrote:The vigilance toward personal safety described in the original "Schrodinger's Rapist" article IS widespread among women (ok, perhaps only or mostly Norteamericanas). I can vouch for that personally.

But I would draw the line at offering that observation for men to be aware of, in case they're interested or might find it useful to know.

I cannot understand telling men they OUGHT to act differently because many women feel this way.

But why?. I mean, why is it widespread among northamerican women? Do you think that is it a part of a culture of fear? Or because of the feminists? Or because the patriarchy?

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  KaineDamo on Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:26 pm

I suspect that it is heavily related to media, but I don't have the data to back that up.

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  KaineDamo on Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:27 pm

I have to say, this has been a fascinating and fruitful discussion, and the world didn't end. I don't understand why the original a+ group is afraid of having this discussion.

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  uncrystal on Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:24 pm


Society shouldn't enact laws or norms of behavior based on the most fearful among us. Imagine what the world would look like in a 100 years if we did.

Suffice it to say I wouldn't want to be a man in 100 years if proper feminist etiquette became the prevailing social norm ha.


But that's a rather different statement to -

'nervous out alone on a quiet dark street with footsteps behind you'.

That's irrational if you think of it in terms of odds. (And odds are going to be skewed a bit because many women avoid being out alone late when they can help it). But it's rational in the sense that in that specific situation if it did turn nasty, you're in a very vulnerable spot.

Again, I have no interest in telling anyone how to feel in that situation and I wouldn't even argue that most women especially would be afraid, but that fear is STILL irrational.

A woman is afraid because there is an (mostly likely) innocent man walking behind her on the street, okay. The question then becomes "So what?" How exactly would the man know how the woman is feeling? Should/does that man have legal or moral obligation to make her feel more safe? SR and SR apologists go beyond just saying "women are frightened of unknown men in public" and state that "good" men have a responsibility to "fix" the problem (ie *I* have the responsibility to fix what is going on inside *your* head).

What if we change the scenario and say there are two men walking down a dark street? If one man is considerably bigger/taller than the other man does he have a responsibility to cross the street or remove himself from the street to make the smaller man feel safer?

What if there is a black and white person on the street? If the white person has an irrational fear of black people does the black person have a responsibility to cross the street or remove him/herself from the street to make the white person feel safer?

I realize these aren't new arguments, but they are still legitimate arguments.

If I were faced with a man who wanted to rape me I think my chances of avoiding rape would be better on a dark open street than in an enclosed room/on a couch/in a bed etc. Although, that is pure speculation.

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  AliRadicali on Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:54 am

Argyle wrote:OK, so let us set aside the whole issue of the title of the article, that's kind of trivial, and more has to do with a tendency to misunderstand the principle being talked about by association with Schrodinger's cat.

Quick few things (regardless of actual incidence rates):
1 - Does our society more often tell women or men that they are likely to be raped. (WOMEN)
2 - Does our society, by way of media and narrative fiction, reinforce the idea that women are at constant risk of being raped. (YES)
I have lived in the US in the past, but I've spent most of my life living in the netherlands. Been to a bunch of other countries too. No westernised country I know of has such a pervasive fear culture. US citizens, boys and girls alike, are being constantly told to be afraid, be very afraid.

Whether it's stranger danger or people putting glass in halloween candy or running with scissors or eating after swimming, americans put a ridiculous amount of emphasis on "risks" that really aren't relevant statistically. It's hard to deal with actual problems when people are obsessively scared of fictional threats.
Argyle wrote:3 - Having established that does it not make sense to assume that women in society will feel at risk of being raped. (YES)
Let's turn this argument around: Fundamentalist christians are told they are the descendants of adam and eve. Having established that, it makes sense not to talk to these people about evolution because it migth offend them.
Argyle wrote:4 - Does the same go for men (NO)
No, because the plight of male victims of (sexual) abuse and misc violence is underreported and dealt with in a very different manner. The idea that men could be victims isn't prevalent in society because it just doesn't fit the existing narrative that sexual violence is (almost) exclusively the domain of men, and the victims almost exclusively women.

Argyle wrote:5 - Is there any hope of correcting any and all misunderstanding of the risks in the near term throughout society (NO)
Well you're certainly not helping by perpetuating these misconceptions. Treating irrational media-induced phobias like legitimate concerns is a great way to lend credence to these wrongheaded ideas. If men are "trained" to be more sensitive to women's fear of rape, it only reinforces the idea that being afraid to get raped is a legitimate concern.
Argyle wrote:6 - Given all of this are women in society going to suffer emotional stress by being approached by unknown men, especially when alone, especially on unfamiliar grounds (HELLZ YES!)
HYPOTHETICAL:
Let's say we have a woman who has been sufficiently terrorised by media stories and such that she's genuinely afraid to be in the vicinity of unknown men. I think we both agree that this is not a helpful state of mind for her to be in, being detrimental to her functioning in society and nonreflexive of actual threat levels.
Now, what, in your estimation, would be more harmful:
Option A)
You (unwittingly) scare the bejeezus out of her by walking behind her on the abandoned road, incidentally leaving the bar when she does, happening to get into the same empty train car, or whatever other inconspicious action might set off her alarms. Nothing actually happens to her, so at the end of it all, she has a data point of having been terrified for no good reason.
Or
Option B
You notice the woman as you turn the corner/leave the bar/ enter the station, and instead of just going about your business normally, you make an effort to cross the road or get on a different car. Now the woman might notice and understand that you're trying to demonstrate yourself to be a nonrapist, in which case you're still reminding her of all the other men who don't exhibit this behaviour and thus mmight be rapists. or you might just freak her out because she mistakes your erratic efforts to be inconspicious as suspicious, stalkerey moves.


---- And now the actual questions ----
7 - What is the appropriate response to these facts for a man to have to encountering a woman who is alone and in an unfamiliar place? What model might he use to mentally assess the situation? Should he not assume that the woman might be afraid of being a rape victim, and should he not assume that she has been taught by society to assume that he is a potential rapist?
Go about your goddamn business as though she wasn't there (or as though she were another man). Hope she picks up on the fact that you're just a guy trying to get from A to B and there's really nothing to worry about.

I find that many if not all of the objections to schrodingers rapist seem to center around whether it is a rational to assume that men you meet on the street when you are alone whom you do not know might rape you. They tend to completely ignore that the whole point is that women are taught to fear being raped and that they will feel fear and emotional distress in such a situation regardless of what the statistics are and men should be aware of and account for that.
Well yeah, we're skeptics. We focus on what is rational, not the irrational beliefs that permiate society. The whole point of skepticism is to disprove these ideas, not pander to them.


All the rest of the waffling about the statistical probabilities and the "I don't know women who feel that way" is just red-herring-itis.
It most certainly is not. The data are highly relevant, because they show what WOULD be an acceptable level of threat assessment. For instance, for all the grief about rape threats and sexism at atheist conventions, the number of reported instances of actual sexual abuse/rape are, to the best of my knowledge, 0. Thus, the women who are now saying they are afraid to go to these conventions because of the threat of rape have a bad reason.

Also, I think the term "Schrodinger's Rapist" while inaccurate, and possibly misleading, is tied to a well known enough meme that it makes the mental model easy to remember. EG: When you meet a woman who is socialized by our society and is alone, don't walk behind her down a dark alley, not because it would be rational for her to assume that there is some high probability that you will rape her, but rather because you acknowledge that the vast majority of women in society have been taught to use a "Schrodinger's Rapist" model when confronted by men, and it will make her feel unsafe, and it will terrify her, and hopefully you aren't an asshole enough to want to do that to another human being.
"the vast majority of women in society have been taught to use a "Schrodinger's Rapist" model"
No.
I doubt this is even as prevalent within the US as you are making it out to be, but "treat every man like a rapist" is NOT the predominant way women are brought up in the rest western society, it is an extreme hyperbole of the common practice of telling kids to be wary of strangers. There are common sense measures that can and should be undertaken to reduce the risk of rape (going out with a friend, avoiding creepy, run down areas, sensible shoes, self defense training off some sort) and there is living in a constant state of paranoia. It's possible to take some amount of these preventive measures, maybe even subconsciously, and then go out and party without spending another thought on the threat of rape.
To give a bad (but illustrative) analogy:
If you travel by bike, it's sensible to check your tires before departure and to have a pump/repair set so you don't get stuck with a flat tire. It makes sense to avoid shards of glass and other sharp objects if you see them lying on the road. It doesn't make sense to spend every minute of the bike ride contemplating your possibly imminent flat tire, and doing so anyway will probably distract you from more pressing dangers, like other traffic.



Argyle wrote:
Depends on the woman. Depends on where they are. I would suggest that many women feel no more risk of being raped than I do of being mugged.
And this pretty much says it all. If you don't think women are taught by society disproportionately to fear being raped or assaulted much more than men, then I can't help you. The entire concept SR is predicated on is based on this fact.
So it's a US problem. Which you could fix by addressing the misconceptions about rape and violence existant in your society.

Also you seem to be somewhat arguing that because it is not always the case that a woman will be socialized that way, that you can disregard that they are likely to be.
Well no, the actual problem is the fact that society misinforms these women.
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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  rEvolutionist on Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:37 am

KaineDamo wrote:Merged as is essentially the same thread - Cuduggan2K2
Yes, that's right - its dangerous to promote such a flawed concept to women, it promotes misconceptions about the danger of public places and misconceptions about strangers.

Shrodinger's Rapist in a nutshell is the idea that a woman cannot know whether or not any man she meets is not a rapist without any substantial information about that man. That's based on a description at the original a+ forum.

The description is very simple, and even has a nugget of truth - you can't know if a man is not a rapist. It's also true that a man cannot know if any man he meets is not a potential mugger. You can interchange the identity and the crime with any number of variables, and the basic concept remains equally true. I don't know if the black man I've just met could stab me or steal my car. I don't know if the woman I've just met could falsely accuse me of rape. I don't know if the Muslim I've just met could be a terrorist. And on, and on, and on, and any bigot could pick and choose statistics to justify the paranoia at the core of the concept.

The opposite of SR is also equally true. The person I've only just met could be totally awesome.

What practical use is Shrodinger's Rapist? The idea extends to adjusting behavior to make people feel safer or more comfortable. If you are in a dark street and it is just a man and a woman walking down it, the man should cross the street to make the woman feel safer. Interchange the identities again - a black man should cross the street to make a white man feel safer. That is of course incredibly racist. Shrodinger's Rapist is a sexist concept. This might be the point at which someone may say its not the same thing 'cause privilege. And to those people I'd say, bullshit. A white middle class woman has more privilege than a black man, and statistically men are much more at danger of random violent crimes than women, but SR still says the man should cross the street. Privilege as a term is very loaded and is deserving of closer examination, perhaps in a different thread. In short, as I see it, privilege can be a valid term, but is overused, and is used to dismiss the views of others, and is used to justify discriminatory beliefs and behaviors (such as SR).

SR demands that a woman looks at herself as a victim, or a victim-to-be, or a potential victim, and I don't see women that way at all. There is a problem at the original a+ and the proponents of a+, an unhealthy attitude of perpetually owning a victim-hood status. I am saddened by this because it doesn't make room for self-empowerment, or the ability to take charge of yourself. In fact, things that can be empowering, such as situational awareness, knowing which parts of town are dangerous, knowing self-defense, I have seen at the original a+ labelled as 'victim blaming'. But that may be going off into a different and equally complex topic that again could be its own thread.

I've yet to get to the meat of the issue. Why have I stated that the promotion of Shrodinger's Rapist is dangerous? Could holding the philosophy of SR actually increase your chances of being raped?

Shrodinger's Rapist promotes misconceptions. A woman is much more likely to be raped by someone she knows than by a stranger. The Bureau of Justice Statistics says that 26% of rapes are committed by a stranger, 56% of rapes are committed by someone who is either an acquaintance or an intimate acquaintance. 61% of rapes occur when at least one person has been drinking (which is why situational awareness is so important, but the a+ people think that would be victim blaming), while only 3.6% occur outdoors, 31% occur in the perpetrator's house, and 26% occur in the victim's home. You are significantly, MASSIVELY, less likely to be raped in a street than you are in your own home.

When you treat a stranger as Shrodinger's Rapist in a public place? In the street, in the library, in the grocery store, in the elevator, your paranoia is not justified. The potential threat is negligible. You are more likely to be struck by a car in public than raped. The man's appearance also doesn't make a bit of difference.

The most dangerous place statistically for a woman to be raped, is in the home of a man she already trust enough to enter. The second most likely place is her own home. Shrodinger's Rapist is flat out BAD advice, and it isn't based in reality, its not based on facts. It's not only impractical, and teaches you to put your guard up at the wrong times, its demeaning to men to place them within this SR box.



(Thanks to a blogger known as Shadow of a Doubt for first making me aware of the statistics I've cited here).

I like this post! I haven't yet read on after it to see what any rebuttals to it might be. But it does comport with my limited understanding of the SR concept. Essentially it as negative fear driven emotional overreaction. No different to a host of other irrational fears different groups of people hold. It's not healthy for the individual and it's not healthy for a society. Ok, I'll read on further now.

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  rEvolutionist on Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:15 am

Argyle wrote:OK, so let us set aside the whole issue of the title of the article, that's kind of trivial, and more has to do with a tendency to misunderstand the principle being talked about by association with Schrodinger's cat.

Quick few things (regardless of actual incidence rates):
1 - Does our society more often tell women or men that they are likely to be raped. (WOMEN)
2 - Does our society, by way of media and narrative fiction, reinforce the idea that women are at constant risk of being raped. (YES)

"Constant risk". Are you serious? This is just hyperbole.

And besides, just change "men" to "Muslims" and "rape" to "terrorism" and you are in bigotry central. Or just change "women" to "men" and "rape" to "assault" and then you realise that this alleged problem isn't going to be unique to women anyway.

6 - Given all of this are women in society going to suffer emotional stress by being approached by unknown men, especially when alone, especially on unfamiliar grounds (HELLZ YES!)

And I say HELLZ YES to fearing muslims and black people! Those inconsiderate groups need to change their ways to make me feel less irrationally ruled by fear.

---- And now the actual questions ----
7 - What is the appropriate response to these facts for a man to have to encountering a woman who is alone and in an unfamiliar place? What model might he use to mentally assess the situation? Should he not assume that the woman might be afraid of being a rape victim, and should he not assume that she has been taught by society to assume that he is a potential rapist?

I find that many if not all of the objections to schrodingers rapist seem to center around whether it is a rational to assume that men you meet on the street when you are alone whom you do not know might rape you. They tend to completely ignore that the whole point is that women are taught to fear being raped and that they will feel fear and emotional distress in such a situation regardless of what the statistics are and men should be aware of and account for that.

What about this for a counter strategy? - Men don't substantially change their behaviours (unless they are actually a leer or a sleaze), and show those women who are fearful that their fears are irrational. It seems to me that that is the best way to overcome an irrational fear. Being exposed to the situation and receiving positive reinforcement that the vast majority of men aren't rapists.


All the rest of the waffling about the statistical probabilities and the "I don't know women who feel that way" is just red-herring-itis.
Also, I think the term "Schrodinger's Rapist" while inaccurate, and possibly misleading, is tied to a well known enough meme that it makes the mental model easy to remember. EG: When you meet a woman who is socialized by our society and is alone, don't walk behind her down a dark alley, not because it would be rational for her to assume that there is some high probability that you will rape her, but rather because you acknowledge that the vast majority of women in society have been taught to use a "Schrodinger's Rapist" model when confronted by men, and it will make her feel unsafe, and it will terrify her, and hopefully you aren't an asshole enough to want to do that to another human being.

I want to ask a question relating to my point about overcoming fears through positive experiences.... Put yourself in that situation you describe here, and relate to me what you feel after such an encounter that turns out to be totally benign and no rape occurred?

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  rEvolutionist on Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:26 am

Argyle wrote:
Depends on the woman. Depends on where they are. I would suggest that many women feel no more risk of being raped than I do of being mugged.
And this pretty much says it all. If you don't think women are taught by society disproportionately to fear being raped or assaulted much more than men, then I can't help you.

How are women taught this? This is a genuine question. I can't think how this happens other than some infrequent public campaigns about women's safety.

You can deny that is the case until you are blue in the face, I have a feeling that denial won't make it a reality, but you are of course welcome to try. Razz

See, this is the type of unhelpful and irrational debating technique that dominates at that other place. "Your wrong! I don't have to present any evidence or rational argument". That clearly passes muster over there, but I'd hope that this shit gets called here (and I can tell so far from my browsings that it will). In any case, I'm going to make it my mission to call this sort of crap out. I know i'm new here, but i'm going to give you the same sort of condescending spiel many of us got over there - If you don't like being called out on crap debating technique and irrationalism, then this forum probably isn't for you. :p

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

Post  rEvolutionist on Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:33 am

uncrystal wrote:
If you don't think women are taught by society disproportionately to fear being raped or assaulted much more than men, then I can't help you. The entire concept SR is predicated on is based on this fact.

I won't interject terribly much in the conversation as most of what I would say has already been said but..

For the record, I would answer yes to your first four questions.

I'm relieved that you (seemingly) acknowledge that many of the statistics being touted around about rape and sexual assault against women are bullshit, not all on the "real" a+ forum do.

My question is what group/s do you think are largely responsible for perpetuating these lies and myths in order to make women and girls fearful?

I'll save you the anticipation of my answer to this question.. feminists (feel free to tack whatever adjective you find most appropriate to the beginning radical, second wave etc).

Wouldn't the best course of action be to shout the truth at these lies and educate women to the facts? and NOT to say to men "Well, the brainwashed women buy into this BS so.. you know cross the street when you see a woman in public."?

:this:

That would be the most rational thing to do, as it addresses the root cause of the problem. But this removes some of the victimhood from women, and in some circles of the feminist movement, that is clearly not what they want to happen.

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Re: Schrödinger Rapist, once again.

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