Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I'm not normally active on the blogger or the twittospheretubes, I'm normally just an observer, however due to recent developments, I can't help but add to the growing commentary about a couple of ridiculous propositions put forth by the A+Theism community and it's proponents. Be aware this is long, but I will endeavour to make it coherent, structured and to the point.
Firstly I would like to address Greg "testosterone damages the brain and is not in any way a hormone necessary for muscle repair and is also present in women, no sir it is not" Laden and his "Rape Switch" assertion.
Your entire "argument" if we are to use the term loosely, is based entirely on your own deranged assertion, and does not come into contact with fact at any point. Although a known stalker who is on record threatening people with physical violence (know anyone who fits that description?) might possibly have such a switch, it is indicative of deep psychological problems, and is has no representation on the average man, any more then suggesting that because serial killers exist, we all have a "murder" switch. Please hand in your science card at the door, and don't let it hit you in the ass on the way out.
Now, onto the more popular and at first glance, more credible "Shrodinger's Rapist" argument. I've seen this thrown about a whole lot on twitter and the AtheismPlus forums, and before I dig into this particular cowpie, let me give you a little context.
As a part time job in addition to my main job as a personal trainer, I teach women's self defence classes. When you see TV shows with the big dude who puts on padding as has women smack up his vulnerable parts, that's me. It's a lot more complex then that, and there are several lessons and training sessions before I break out the pads and padding, but that's part of what I do, and from that perspective, I can tell you that not only is this argument complete horseshit, it's actually likely to increase your odds of rape.
Anyhow moving on to address the points presented. I will attempt to break this down bit by bit.
Addressing MissLonelyHearts' point regarding women facing a unique set of challenges when it comes to strangers, I call bullshit. When it comes to random violent crimes (including robbery, rape and murder), the victims are overwhelmingly men, now it is true that in domestic relationships, the vast majority of victims of women, and were this a conversation about domestic abuse, it would be pertinent, but since you are addressing specificity the man on the street, you are, simply straight up wrong here, and not just wrong, but Bill O'Rielly wrong.
While I cannot say whether or not women worry themselves more about it, the simple fact is, in the stereotypical dark alleyway, a man is statistically in considerable more danger than a woman. Now there is a little thing called "Situational Awareness" which I teach as part of my classes, it's a specific military term, but in this context, it basically means to have an awareness of your surroundings, including the people around you, and the location you are in, although it seems self explanitory, it obviously isn't or this post would not exist. A basic use of this tool can make sure you avoid places where you might encounter a violent situation, be it sexual assault or otherwise.
For example, knowing what parts of town to not walk around in after dark, keeping to well populated areas, not being alone if you can avoid it and so on are important lessons, and far more important then thinking "OMG A -MAN- he might rape me!" Inside your head every time a man approaches. I am 5'11, 230 lbs, hold a national Brazillian JiuJitsu chapionship and have had an active career in Muay Thai kickboxing, there are places I will avoid walking at night in large metropolitan areas, it's just the smart thing to to. (On a side note, statistically clothing has little to no impact on a woman's odds of being raped, so dress as you will, but be careful when and where you walk, regardless of your attire.)
How does this relate to MissLonelyHearts? Plain and simply that her first point is complete bullshit. It speaks of her paranoia, and not the legitimate danger to women. Not to discredit everything she says however, the habit of having a friend call you the next day after spending the night (and no, I am not implying anything other then the time itself being spent.), is a sound enough practise.
The second point, which is of the most import, is that she follows the misconception that most rapes occur by strangers, and in a public place. They do not.
According to Wikipedia which cites the Bureau of Justice Statistics website, only 26% of rapes are committed by a stranger, and although a quarter is still a hefty number, it blows the water out of this entire bullshit argument because by the same source, 56% of rapes are committed by someone who is either an acquaintance or an intimate acquaintance, meaning that the friend you left as am emergency contact is twice as likely to rape you as the person you're going out to see.
This is where situational awareness and common sense kick in. 61% of rapes occur when at least one person has been drinking, while only 3.6% occur outdoors, 31% occur in the perpetrator's house, and 26% occur in the victim's home. So what's the point of these statistics? Well simply put, getting drunk with or in an unsafe space is bad, and walking outside, not so much (as well as being excellent exercise in a nation with a growing obesity epidemic).
I won't get into exact numbers, as The Justicar did an excellent video on the topic, the simply put, the odds of you being raped outside, by the random man walking down the street are negligible. You're considerably more likely to be involved in a serious or deadly auto accident then to be raped by the man passing you on the street. ("Shrodinger's At Fault Driver" anyone?).
Moving on, the whole "when you approach me in public, you may or may not be Shrodinger's Rapist" part, is utter nonsense, especially out of context. If you don't like being hit on, fine, but if you are afraid that someone who hits on you a library is a potential rape threat, then you are simply paranoid to the point of needing serious professional help, I couldn't find a statistic on "behind the bookshelves at the local library rape" or "in the Wal-Mart changing room rape" but I would suspect it is even smaller then the odds of being raped outside, which are already practically nil. (Doing some simple math reveals you are more likely to be struck and killed by a car at random walking down the street then raped outside anywhere at all.).
Now that the paranoia has been dispelled, let's move on to a few of the points of advice MissLonelyBecauseIamInsecureandParamoidHearts has for us. The whole bit about some men never approaching a women in public is plain and simply stupid, she tosses out a few things she doesn't like about a man (tatoos, cleanliness etc.), and without any context, goes on to suggest that they make you more likely to rape someone. Newsflash to MissShallowHearts your personal preferences in a man, have nothing to do with his likelihood to rape you, you paranoid bitch.
Giving credit where credit is due, a dark alleyway is a poor choice of place to hit on a woman, however if said woman is practising her situational awareness, or just has a brain in her head, she won't go waking down a dark alleyway if she can avoid it in the first place.
Now this next line is the one that gets my goat, because it makes no sense at all, at least not in this universe. (Though in another one, possibly one where goats shoot laser beams from their asses, it might make perfect sense).
"Ask yourself, "“If I were dangerous, would this woman be safe in this space with me?”" If the answer is no, then it isn't appropriate to approach her."
This is utter, abject and complete stupidity, by definition, if you are dangerous, the woman isn't safe. Also, the most dangerous place for a woman to be in this context (In the potential to be raped.) Is IN THE HOME OF SOMEONE SHE TRUSTS ENOUGH TO ENTER WILLINGLY. Allow me to repeat that, the most dangerous place, in terms of rape, in the home of someone she trusts, the second most dangerous place? HER OWN HOME. Allow me to repeat that, the second most dangerous place, the second mostly likely place for a woman to be raped is in her own home. Pause here, and consider this.
This advice, when taken to heart by a man, makes it literally impossible for him to ever approach a woman, and the is the worst part, makes it more likely for women who take this post to heart, to be raped. Yes ladies and gentlemen, if you listen to MissParanoidHearts not only will it mean you never go on a date but that you are actually going to increase the likelihood of being raped by having your guard up at the wrong times. This is straight up sickening, and extremely sad that people follow this advice.
Now that that's sunk in, lets move on, shall we?
Her bits about listening to a woman and reading her signals are about the only parts that actually relate to the title line of good guys not being maced. They are good advice, follow them.
The part at the end about not raping and committing violent crime? Sure, good advice, although I would doubt that if an actual rapist were reading your ridiculous advice column, he would listen.
Now that I'm done dissecting this odious heap of verbal vomit, I'll add in my own personal thoughts.
I understand, if, on a night out by yourself, in the dark or even the light, that you (meaning any woman who reads this) don't want to take your eyes off of me until I'm well clear of you, or walk to the other side of the street. Just don't miss what's going on in front of you while you're watching me, if it makes you feel safer, gt for it, just don't sacrifice your actual safety to do so.
On the other hand, if you treat every man who shows interest as a rapist, you are spitting in the face of statistics, you are shitting on every woman who lives in a part of the world where random rape is a reality, and possibly endorsed by the law. By spreading this info, you are making it more likely for your fellow woman to be raped, and contributing to baseless scaremongering, I can no more support this then I could support the aptly pointed out "Schrodinger's mugger" and treat every black man like a mugger. You are not part of the solution, you are, by your wilful and abject ignorance, a part of the problem.
No, I don't sympathise with you and your incorrect information, no I do not empathise with your baseless paranoia. No I will not put myself in a position to pander to the special snowflakes. What I will do is teach you what I know about how to defend yourself, inspire you to empower yourself and encourage you to go out and live a free and happy life.
You have every right to think of me as a rapist, and I have every right to be insulted by this opinion and call out for for being the ill-informed paranoiamonger that you are.
Have a nice day,
-Shadow of a Doubt