You want to say Hi to the cute girl on the subway. How will she react? Fortunately, I can tell you with some certainty, because she’s already sending messages to you. Looking out the window, reading a book, working on a computer, arms folded across chest, body away from you = do not disturb. So, y’know, don’t disturb her. Really. Even to say that you like her hair, shoes, or book. A compliment is not always a reason for women to smile and say thank you. You are a threat, remember? You are Schrödinger’s Rapist. Don’t assume that whatever you have to say will win her over with charm or flattery. Believe what she’s signaling, and back off.

If you speak, and she responds in a monosyllabic way without looking at you, she’s saying, “I don’t want to be rude, but please leave me alone.” You don’t know why. It could be “Please leave me alone because I am trying to memorize Beowulf.” It could be “Please leave me alone because you are a scary, scary man with breath like a water buffalo.” It could be “Please leave me alone because I am planning my assassination of a major geopolitical figure and I will have to kill you if you are able to recognize me and blow my cover.”

On the other hand, if she is turned towards you, making eye contact, and she responds in a friendly and talkative manner when you speak to her, you are getting a green light. You can continue the conversation until you start getting signals to back off.

The fourth point: If you fail to respect what women say, you label yourself a problem.

There’s a man with whom I went out on a single date—afternoon coffee, for one hour by the clock—on July 25th. In the two days after the date, he sent me about fifteen e-mails, scolding me for non-responsiveness. I e-mailed him back, saying, “Look, this is a disproportionate response to a single date. You are making me uncomfortable. Do not contact me again.” It is now October 7th. Does he still e-mail?

Yeah. He does. About every two weeks.

This man scores higher on the threat level scale than Man with the Cockroach Tattoos. (Who, after all, is guilty of nothing more than terrifying bad taste.) You see, Mr. E-mail has made it clear that he ignores what I say when he wants something from me. Now, I don’t know if he is an actual rapist, and I sincerely hope he’s not. But he is certainly Schrödinger’s Rapist, and this particular Schrödinger’s Rapist has a probability ratio greater than one in sixty. Because a man who ignores a woman’s NO in a non-sexual setting is more likely to ignore NO in a sexual setting, as well.

So if you speak to a woman who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone. If you pursue a conversation when she’s tried to cut it off, you send a message. It is that your desire to speak trumps her right to be left alone. And each of those messages indicates that you believe your desires are a legitimate reason to override her rights.

For women, who are watching you very closely to determine how much of a threat you are, this is an important piece of data.

A very VERY in-depth analysis of the "Schrödinger's Rapist" article.

Right, so this has been on my mind for most of today, and I need the practice with writing long things. I know that this article has already been thoroughly debunked, but I wanted to add my own set of debunking, partly because I haven’t actually made any major contributions to discussion on this website yet, partly because I’ve seen very few analyses that go through the article word-by word.

But mostly because this article makes me very, very angry. Which is why this rant is going to be very, very long.

If you feel like reading the Schrödinger’s Rapist article for whatever reason, you can do so here.

Keep reading

Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced

“Why are you afraid of women?” I asked a group of men.

“We’re afraid they’ll laugh at us,” replied the men.

“Why are you afraid of men?” I asked a group of women.

“We’re afraid they’ll kill us,” replied the woman. - Margaret Atwood

Okay serious. If you are a man, go read this. If you’re a woman, go read this. If you can read, go read this. It’s slightly extreme for my tendencies, but fuck if it isn’t true.

Women have been trying to explain to men how this fear and discomfort works for a while now in the form of the “Schrodinger’s Rapist” argument. Many men have resisted this explanation relentlessly because they get stuck in WAIT SO YOU’RE TRYING TO SAY THAT YOU JUST ASSUME I MIGHT BE A RAPIST I AM A GOOD PERSON HOW DARE YOU mode.

They miss the part that basically explains this: if you send me the signal that you don’t care about my preferences and boundaries, then I’m going to assume that you don’t care about my preferences and boundaries.

There is no great mystery to this. If you make sexual comments to women you don’t know or persistently pester a female coworker to go on a date with you, those women are going to assume that you’re treating them like an object to be fucked and not like a human being, and they’re going to have opinions of you and your behavior in accordance with that. Sometimes people misinterpret innocent behavior as malicious, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re “irrational” or “wrong” in doing so.

Suppose that 90% of the time a man I don’t know has asked me what I’m reading, it has turned into him hitting on me or refusing to leave me alone when I was clearly sending “please leave me alone” signals or calling me names when I politely asked to be left alone so I could return to my reading. One day I’m sitting in Central Park reading a book and a guy comes up and asks me what I’m reading. I shoot him an angry look and ignore him. He walks off, confused and embarrassed. He had simply thought the cover looked like the cover of his favorite book about social psychology and wanted to know what I thought of it.

Maybe we could’ve had a great conversation. Maybe we could’ve made friends. But, unfortunately, his behavior just looked too much like the behavior of the men in 90% of these situations, who ruin a quiet and thoughtful moment by using my reading as an excuse to hit on me in public. And if he thinks about this, and reads this blog post or the Schrodinger’s Rapist one, he’ll realize that it makes complete sense that I reacted the way I did, given what I have to deal with 90% of the time. It was no mystery. It was unfortunate and disappointing, but at the same time, entirely rational**.

(If you think I should cheerfully engage all of these men and tolerate the 90% who are awful in order to “just give a chance” to the 10% who are not, you don’t understand cost-benefit analyses.)

what asshats think “schrödinger’s rapist” means: “all men are potential rapists, including you, therefore i must be on my guard at all times”

what it actually means: because we live in a rape culture that blames victims for their own assaults, because most “rape prevention” advice is aimed at potential victims (usually female), and because women—cis and trans—face exceptionally high rates of sexual violence, many of us are understandably defensive and suspicious around dudes

how 2 fix: stop whining when we follow frequently-dispensed (though misdirected) rape avoidance tips, and more importantly, stop being a victim-blaming asshole

i’m so glad we’ve got that straightened out

The term “creep shaming” refers to the shaming of women who dare to feel uncomfortable when a guy pursues them after she’s made it clear she’s not interested. Creep shaming shames women for not being public property. Creep shaming shames women who put their feeling of personal safety over a man’s fragile ego.

Creep shaming is misogynist bullshit.

Now where we have a problem is when I, a white woman, look at a white man on the street and assign him threat ratio 1:60, but look at a black man, identically dressed, on the same street, and assign him a threat level of 1:30. This is bad, bigoted and wrong, and if it happens, it comes from racism.

But assigning all men a 1:60, and modifying that number as actions show him less or more trustworthy–well, I think that’s okay.
And this is a completely different scenario than walking home and seeing a black man and being afraid because, you know, black! people! OMG! There’s a huge difference between reacting to a real threat (even an inadvertent one) and reacting to a threat *that exists only in your imagination because you are a bigot.*


Author of Schrodinger’s Rapist tries to explain how Schrodinger’s Black Guy is totes different.

It’s not the actions which are inherently bigoted, it’s when they’re directed at the wrong people!

Note how heavily she leaned on questionable “statistics” and her interpretation thereof in the main post. Note how at no point in either comment does she address the question of whether black men are actually statistically more likely to commit violent crimes than white men, because she can’t admit that “yes, they are” without destroying her entire argument.

I feel like these criticisms of “Schrödinger’s rapist” are missing the damn point.

No, it’s not statistically likely that a random dude I meet in a public space will assault me. I meet many dudes, and very few of them are actively predatory.Some are inappropriate, but the vast majority do not make me fear for my life. But comparing fear about rape to fear about, say, kidnapping, ignores how rape is actually handled, whether by individuals or by the criminal justice system.

If I get assaulted by a dude and talk about it, some people are going to blame me for it. My life and self-presentation will be scrutinized, as will everything I did in the moments leading up to, during, and after the assault. And I don’t forget this, right? It is always in the back of my head.

And while I can distance myself from these ideas in text, it doesn’t work that way in practice. When someone makes me uneasy, I think don’t be stupid. I think did that sound like flirting? I think shit, how can I get out of here without pissing him off?

That is Schrödinger’s rapist. It’s not simply an issue of “oh noes, every dude is a potential rapist”; it’s “I have no way of knowing whether this person is safe, and if I’m wrong it’ll be my fault because I’m so fucking stupid.”

(I’ll grant that there’s a little paranoia on my part, because I’ve actually been raped. But I wasn’t raped by a random guy, I was raped by someone I knew, so the situations were very different.)

Last week, when I was on a bus, I asked a guy what he was reading.

It’s only now that I realize I was Schrodinger’s Rapist, asking him about the book was probably terrifying for him, and I am contributing to rape culture.

Oh wait, nevermind! I’m a she and he’s a he.

i’m so upset.

so today i went out with emily, just to chill and walk around and talk. so we drove around the city for a while, settled on the town center, got some froyo, wandered through a few shops. we finally went to go sit on the grass and relax for a while and just talk.

a few minutes in, a guy walks past. he tries to catch my eye and then keeps on going. a minute later and he’s back, and he walks in a circle around us while we’re talking and then plants himself maybe 20 yards away, looking at his phone.

after a while he wanders over, making conversation about the statues we’re sitting near, saying he’s not from the area. and suddenly he’s asking questions, asking what we like to do, what i was drawing, whether we’re in school, where we live, whether we live together, what our plans are for the day, whether we’ve been to any of the restaurants in the area, whether we know about the bar he was invited to check out tonight. he said his name was richard and when emily said her name was katie it confirmed that we were on the same page with regard to being totally freaked out

so after like ten increasingly uncomfortable minutes of us being polite and distant and giving a lot of false, vague information (where do you go to school? oh, it’s a long, complicated transfer story! do you two live together? just you? how’s that going? oh we’ve known each other for a long time) and not wanting to be rude because who the fuck even is this guy he came out of nowhere and has a lot of potential to be scary, we finally got away by saying we had to get back to the car before the meter ran out and that we were supposed to meet friends to get dinner.

then we skipped off, waited until we were in the car and out of sight and out of earshot and both of us started yelling about what a scary experience it was.

then we took the long way out of the town square and we were both really upset and went to get burritos. the entire time we were eating we were both just uncomfortable and kind of angry about how passive we’d instinctively been and about how entitled this guy richard felt to our time and words and lives. 

once we finished dinner we were both significantly calmer. we planned our next adventure, emily dropped me off at home, went to get gas, and texted me ten minutes later to say that she had been further harassed by the attendant at the gas station and that it had ruined her day and i’m just so ANGRY

because strange men do NOT have any right to my time. the entire time we were sitting there (us sitting in the grass, him standing up - an additional weird power dynamic), all i could think was that we were directly engaged with schrodinger’s rapist and that i wished i could hand him a pamphlet with that written on it.

i’m so sick of hearing that my friends have been approached by men they don’t know. today my other emily told me she was catcalled three times along one street. a few days ago, traci texted me to say that some random dude shouted “love those thighs!” at her over and over, and that some other guy yelled at her to put on some pants. last week when i was at lunch with some friends, they mentioned being uncomfortably criticized by guys they went to school with. when i was out with my dad and two men i hadn’t met before, they kept asking to see my drawings and making comments about the way i was dressed.

I am SICK to DEATH of male entitlement. i am SICK to DEATH of passivity. i am SICK of being gaslighted and accused of hysteria, i am SICK of not being taken seriously, and i am SICK of having to be polite to every asshole who thinks taking up my time is his god given RIGHT.

i’d love to say that the next time this happens, because there will be a next time, because there’s always a next time, that i won’t take it. but not being willing to put up with random men means being called a crazy bitch, means i’m overreacting, means my emotions are invalid. i’d like to punch the next guy who approaches me with no precedent in the jaw, but i’d also like to stay alive and not take any unnecessary risks.

we exist in a culture of fear and shame. i’m done with it. i’m so done.

OK, but honestly?

Getting back to the term “Schrodinger’s Rapist” that so many people are taking offense to…

When one out of six women in the US will be raped by men at some point in their lives (yes, that’s not the only type of rape that happens, but it’s the absolute most common), how are WOMEN the sexist ones because we’re constantly on edge because of that very good possibility that we may be raped at some point? Or that we have been raped already? Do women who’ve been raped also need psychological help for being afraid of creepy men? Are they the problem here because they’re scared? Are you sure the problem isn’t rapists and creepy men who act like rapists, whether they’ve actually raped anyone or not?

Oh, and apparently some people need a quick lesson about Schrödinger’s cat, because the quote did not say, anywhere, that all men who approach women are rapists. It said that all men who approach women and don’t read their signals to see if this is okay MAY be rapists. MAY. But the problem, as the woman being approached? We don’t know. So we have to rely on queues, such as someone invading our space and demanding our time without permission, to determine if that man is threatening.

Seriously though, fuck off with all of this, “But it’s sexist for women to be afraid of strange men!” nonsense.

And for fuck’s sake, can people please learn to read critically instead of seeing one word and going, “Feminists think all men are rapists!” Because that’s just flat-out not the truth, and it’s certainly not what that quote said.

anonymous asked:

Sorry guys, i know you're busy but i have a question: I feel like i'm ace or grey ace but something's been bugging me. Basically i'm really scared of guys and everytime i see one (irl or online etc.) i get nervous. I don't want to do anything sexual with them or anything, but i'm kinda worried this invalidates my asexuality since you're not meant to feel things when you look at people. Idk i don't want to use the label and be a fraud that's all.

Being asexual does not and never has meant “feels nothing towards anyone ever.” It means “does not feel sexual attraction.”

Are you, perhaps, female or non-binary? If so, your fear of male-identifying folks is actually a totally rational response to the wonderful things we call misogyny and the patriarchy. Fact is, even the nicest, most decent males out there benefit from the patriarchy, which is oppressing women and non-binary folks, and even if an individual male is not a misogynist, we have no way of knowing that. I mean, if we all had some way of knowing a misogynist before they got too close to us or said anything to us, we’d be in much better shape.

But instead, we have to play Schrodinger’s Rapist all the time. That is, every time we encounter a male, we question if he means us harm or not. Because not all guys do, but since some do, all of them are potentially dangerous. So really, a fear/distrust of men is just a preemptive response to that conundrum. 

You feel you’re asexual, so you are.


Schrodinger's Rapist Question Made Rebloggable by Request


I have a question regarding Schrodinger’s Rapist. I know calling men rapists is bad and whatnot, but isn’t taking careful steps when in public a good thing? I mean when I drive I keep note of pedestrians and bicyclists in the hopes of not hitting and possibly killing one of them. I Schrodinger’s Rapist communicating the same idea that if women aren’t careful they could get hurt?


Yeah, but it teaches that women should be fearful of all men because ALL men could be potential rapists. It makes no mention of women; yet, women can and do rape!

Bam! Schrodinger’s rapist makes no sense, because if you assume all men can rape, then you’d have to assume that all women can rape: which leads to the conclusion that you should be fearful of all people because all people have the potential to rape, and all people—from all backgrounds, genders, races, etc—can and do rape.

So, by that logic, shouldn’t we fear absolutely everyone? And, by that logic, shouldn’t we then condemn the very notion of Schrodinger’s rapist, as it promotes the ideals of living in perpetual fear that at any moment someone can, and may, rape you? What about schrodinger’s arsonist, theif, murderer, etc? What about them? Shouldn’t we fear absolutely anyone

because anyone is capable of committing any number of crimes?

Schrodinger’s rapist is one of the stupidest motherfucking theories to ever come out of their mouths. It’s just another way for them to avoid blame and responsibility. It’s easier to assume all men are rapists, and therefore you should be weary of all men, than to fucking say that PEOPLE are dangerous and therefore you should maybe take a fucking self-defense class and not do stupid things so you can protect yourself logically and more adequately from anyone.

But, they can’t handle the notion of responsibility anymore than any of us can fathom living in perpetual fear due to an inane concept like fucking Schrodinger’s rapist.


  1. You’re about to have sex with a new partner. That partner asks you to get tested for STIs beforehand. You respond with, “What the hell? Not everyone has an STI, you know!”
  2. You get bitten by a wild animal. Your friend suggests you get rabies shots just to be safe. You respond with, “What the fuck? Not all wild animals have rabies, you know!”
  3. Your friend advises you to wear a seatbelt. You respond with, “What the shit? It’s not like you’re going to get in a crash every time you drive, you know!”
  4. You want to have sex with a new partner, they want birth control to be used. You respond with, “Seriously, do you think women get pregnant every time they have sex?!”
  5. Your friend suggests you get a flu shot. You respond with, “Jesus, do you think everyone gets the flu every year?!”

Read this whole thing. If you can’t, this is one of the most important parts of it that I pulled.

Schrodinger's Rapist’s-rapist-or-a-guy’s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/

Please read this article!! It is a perfect explanation about why you must be careful when approaching strange women with good intentions. Women will ALWAYS see strange men as at least a small threat to them. Well, I can’t really explain it, so go read the article! It’s perfect.