Note: “Schrödinger’s rapist:or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced” is reportedly written by a Phaedra Starling, who is said to be a Romance Novelist who also practices Jiu-Jitsu. Her essay has been fatuously praised and widely linked by “free thinking” bigots and others for the last few years and still enjoys a wide popularity. It is hard to find an essay more blatantly misandrist. But “Schrödinger’s Rapist” is also something else that rarely gets pointed out: it is woman abuse.
I’ll say it again so I’m absolutely clear: it is abuse of women. How so? Because it helps reinforce and ingrain an enculturated fear of men. In other words, even though all available evidence shows that men are as likely if not more likely to be the victims of violent assault, including sexual assault, and despite the mountain of data on women’s violence against men and boys, this essay sends a relentless message that women should live in fear. Directly, this essay hurts all men and boys who read it and take it seriously. Indirectly, it hurts every woman who reads it and takes it seriously or, worst of all, teaches its message to her sons or daughters. For a logical takedown of this pretentious, irrational, bigoted essay, you might enjoy the analysis of it on YouTube by Mr. Shadowfax (here’s Part 1 and here is Part 2). For a rightfully-mocking but complete reading, done perfectly in the style of typical Romance Novel melodrama, see this dramatic reading by The Critical G.
But personally speaking, I think nothing better illustrates this bit of bigoted bile than John The Other’s below essay, which he narrates in video form. We hope Critical G and maybe others will also read John’s essay. John is, after all, “The Other,” and therefore not fully human.–Dean Esmay
Hello, average looking, aging, perimenopausal female hipster. Yes, you with the horn rim glasses. Yes those frames which were chic-retro back in the 90’s – yes, you, the one drinking soy-milk latte and clutching a purse-sized single-use can of pepper spray in a white-knuckled grip behind your pant-leg. Yes, hello: I’m Schrodinger’s rapist.
Now I know you’re neurotic and probably taking mood stabilizing drugs, so you might be a little confused. I’m not an actual rapist–well, I might be–but what I mean to say is, I’m a man, and therefore, only a rapist in potential, since I haven’t – you know, raped anyone – that you know of.
And after all, I’m a rather bland looking fellow, even though on the daytime TV you’ve allowed to shape so much of your concept of reality, they always seem to have an average looking actor playing the sexual predator role don’t they? Your fear sells more nail polish, Paxil and granola bars than your confidence does.
Remember, I’m not a real man, I’m a probabilistic man. I’m a cloud of possibilities. So here’s another possibility to consider: I’m a peaceful, loving, compassionate human being, and I’m an adult. And despite being subjected to more than a decade of physical, emotional and sexual abuse as a child, I am now totally repulsed by the prospect of violence and abuse – even your hypothetical, probabilistic speculations of violence and abuse.
Remember, this is all just a cloud of probabilities. But maybe your obsession with your own imminent victimhood at the hands of a hypothetical rapist is not only uninteresting, it’s repulsive. And your endless beating of that particular bongo drum makes you a repugnant and unwelcome presence in public life.
Yes, you, Miss LonelyHearts, you who have declared yourself my humble instructor – and who have given to my kindness to children and animals, and to my donations to charity, your approval.
First though, what part of appointing yourself my instructor and judge lead to you also declare yourself humble? What combination of diazapam, seraquel, lorazapam, trazadone and the four Grey Goose martinis you had at lunch led you to imagine your approval or your disapproval was of even slight interest to anyone?
Now, obviously, I don’t dismiss out of hand your expressed concerns over the prospect of being the victim of a violent crime. As a man, even a mere “probabilistic” man, I’m sharply aware of the decades of collected statistical data on criminal victimization, and of just who is most likely to be be killed, beaten, stabbed, shot—or indeed, raped. And even you being in the least targeted demographic for every type of violent criminal victimization, I do understand your fear. I even recognize it being constantly fed to you by every single media channel you consume, because you spend more of everybody’s money when you’re stimulated to a state of high, permanent paranoia.
As a “hypothetical” man, I am a lot less frightened. But its not because I’m bulletproof or water resistant. It’s not because I know jiu-jitsu, I don’t. It’s because I’m also a “hypothetical” adult who has – probably – taken ownership and responsibility for my emotions, and who has chosen, “probably,” to not inflict my own stupid neuroses (of which I have many) onto every stranger I meet or pass in the lineup at Starbucks. You see, my instructor, you my judge, you my social arbiter of right and wrong, despite my statistical higher chance of becoming a victim of violence, my apparent lack of fear is my choice.
But enough about me. I am a mere cloud of possibilities to you. Let’s return to you – you who have apparently now become a plurality–and let us return to your Royal second point.
Quoting you: you (by which you mean I) must be aware of what probable signals [I] am sending by [my] apparent appearance and the likely environment. We (by which you mean you) are going to be paying close attention to [my] probable appearance and behaviour and matching those signs to the Royal Plural’s idea of a threat.
Aren’t you, by which I mean, Your Majesties… by the way aren’t we a little long in the tooth to be playing make-believe? I am an accommodating fellow, and honestly, who doesn’t enjoy a little fantasy role-play every now and then to spice up an otherwise dreary day? Anyway, Your Majesties, you’ve even said yourself that “fortunately, [I’m] a good guy.” At least, the Royal We seems to have already established that.
But now that I have been instructed that there’s a problem, “I” am going to go out of “my” way to fix it. It, of course being the problem of your self selected identity as perpetual victim. Well, there’s a possibility I might be willing to bend over backwards in accommodation of your choice to live in perpetual fear, and your choice to define every human being you meet into categories of “good, decent victims,” and “probable evil rapists.” But there’s another possibility:
The other possibility, is that as a statistically as-yet undefined male human being, I am entirely unwilling to entertain or to lend support to a fantasy making human beings into enemies, into “others,” into categories of “good people” and “bad people” based a facet of their biology.
It might be that a world of paranoia, fear, and hatred, with the arbiters of who is good and who is bad being childish, self-selected victims is not where I, even a hypothetical, statistically probable, possibility of a man – its not a world I want to entertain, or to indulge you in realizing.
It might be that your choice, to live in fear, is simply, your choice to live in fear, and that I will have to politely decline to come to that particular party.
Now, remembering I am no more than a mere possibility of a man, I’ve also only addressed only a part of my objection so far. But I have looked not only at the rhetoric, but at the actions of feminists, and I see a common theme between feminism and traditionalism. That theme is this:
Women define men.
And being an unrealized possibility of a man, your admonishment to me–a potential or probable man–what coalesces clearly is a hard line intention to define. Not just yourself as victim, but to define me as well.
Did you hear me? No.
Here, you have exceeded your rights. Obviously, as a merely possible man, my potential is open, my self undefined. But it is mine to chose, not yours. Who or what I am, when realized, when observed, when I transit from probability to reality, that is mine. I will decide, you will not. I may, when I’ve done so, tell you who and what I am. However, I also might not, that is my choice as well.
Do not presume to trespass on my identity. It is my own.
But all of this is just a possibility, of course.
Hello, I’m Schrodinger’s rapist.
The below is John’s video of his essay. And because every single word of John’s essay applies directly to me as well, I now also declare myself to be Schrödinger’s Rapist, and will do my own reading of this essay at some point, as I could have written every word of it myself if I were as talented as John. Those who wish to do their own recordings, with due credit to John the Other and without modifying its content, are encouraged to do so. –Dean Esmay