Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

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Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby Ben_Blir » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:01 pm

By all means, I am NOT a rapist, but I am certainly willing to be called a potential rapist to ensure women feel safe around me. Be it women I know in real life or strangers, I'd like them to know that any time they feel unsafe with me, they can simply say to me that they don't want to be around me anymore because I might hurt or rape them. That hypothetical situation would probably only happen with women I just met, but I'd be willing to leave if any woman asked me to. Obviously, their feeling of safety trumps my desires to get to know them better, and I will respect whatever decision they make with regards to their safety.

I just started this thread to know if other men here are willing and prepared to be called potential rapists and whether they will respect a woman's decision when she calls you a potential rapist, even though, you may not be.

So, are you willing to be called a potential rapist?

I know I am.

If anyone doesn't know what I'm talking about here...then read this.

Thank you,

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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby Cipher » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:34 pm

That's very nice. Being willing to accept that people can say no and that they are allowed not to trust you is a really good thing. [Tangential story: That's actually how my best friend managed to start to scale the I Fear Strangers wall I'd put up after I got back from college; at the place where I met him, iirc, I had the option of either going home a little bit early or letting him, a young man whom I had just met, drive me home. I decided to go home early, and when one of the other people there started to express disappointment, he looked at me and then said without any judgment or unhappiness whatsoever, "No, it's okay. She just met me, and she doesn't trust me enough to be in the car with her alone." I nodded, he nodded, and we went on with our lives, with me very much appreciating that he understood and respected that boundary.]

A bit of nuance here: Generally, I'm not calling anyone in particular a potential rapist. (I mean, you know, except for the people who I think are potential rapists.) Generally, I am saying, "I possess no psychic powers. For all I know, you could be a rapist. All I have to go on is your behavior, and while that's a good way of knowing some things about a person, it doesn't provide perfect insight into your future actions either." It's sort of different from going "[Best friend], you are a potential rapist. You are the sort of person who might rape people."
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby quietmarc » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:40 pm

Put another way, I don't take offense at the idea of a woman (or anyone) feeling unsafe around me. I know that I'm a mostly harmless teddy bear, but I also know that at 6', 250lbs, with my bushy beard and occassional intensity, I can appear to be threatening.

If a woman (or anyone) is concerned that I might be a rapist, I have no problem with taking responsibility for not making her feel any less safe than she already might. If that means walking differently, hanging back on the elevator or waiting for the next one, or just backing off if she asks me to, that's fine.

It's not rocket science.
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby ellindsey » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:47 pm

I don't object to being called a 'potential rapist'. I am fairly certain that their are women who have viewed me that way. I endeavor to exceed these expectations by not raping anyone.
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby Flewellyn » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:00 pm

MOD NOTE: Moved this topic to the Information and Answers forum, as I felt it was more appropriate there.
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby Surgoshan » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:03 pm

Potential rapist, here. I don't mind. I just do my best not to be creepy and hope everyone has a nice day.
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby Norbet Dibble » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:14 pm

No, I'm not willing to be called a potential rapist.

If another person feels uncomfortable around me I will endeavour to be switched on to that and will take reasonable steps to alleviate it. However I am not willing to be publicly labelled as a potential rapist because i'm not a potential rapist.
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby Cipher » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:17 pm

Norbet Dibble wrote:No, I'm not willing to be called a potential rapist.

If another person feels uncomfortable around me I will endeavour to be switched on to that and will take reasonable steps to alleviate it. However I am not willing to be publicly labelled as a potential rapist because i'm not a potential rapist.

Out of curiosity, what do you think about the nuance I tried to introduce in the second paragraph of my post? Was that helpful for you at all?
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby ellindsey » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:41 pm

I also don't object if a store considers me to be a potential shoplifter, or if the airline security agents consider me to be a potential terrorist. Admittedly, being white and privileged makes those much less likely.
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby irkthepurists » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:31 pm

It's another easily misunderstood term, I guess. 'All men are potential rapists' doesn't mean all men have the potential to rape - it just means that...well, to paraphrse Cipher, women aren't mind-readers.
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby Subtract Hominem » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:17 am

My will has no bearing in whether anyone calls me a potential rapist, potential thief, potential jaywalker, potential poisoner, or anything else. Certain people in certain situations who don't know any better will see me as being those things whether I bring all my will to bear on doing none of those things for the rest of my life, or do all of them several times a day.

More to the point, I am able to recognize that since people in general don't know that I am innocent of those things, and mean no harm towards them, they have no reason to let their guard down around me. With women who don't know me, this often takes the form of recognizing that as far as they know, I could indeed be a rapist. I'm not, but they don't know that, and they have to prioritize. If they choose not to find out, who am I to fault them for picking "not go near someone who might rape me, and thus save myself from a horrific ordeal" over "miss out on making a new friend"?
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby ceepolk » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:25 am

Norbet Dibble wrote:No, I'm not willing to be called a potential rapist.

If another person feels uncomfortable around me I will endeavour to be switched on to that and will take reasonable steps to alleviate it. However I am not willing to be publicly labelled as a potential rapist because i'm not a potential rapist.


I'm wondering about your distinction here, because it wasn't something that was originally said, so I don't know if you deliberately added it without explanation or if it's an expression of what you take "willing to be called a potential rapist."

and that's "I am not willing to be publicly labelled as a potential rapist"

do you mean, "I'm not willing to hear someone say, NORBET DIBBLE IS A POTENTIAL RAPIST, YES HIM! HIM SPECIFICALLY!"

or did you mean, "I'm not willing to do what other people in this thread have done and say that i'm willing to be "called" a potential rapist with the understanding that there is no way for a stranger or slight acquaintance to know or to decide that I'm not without me having a chance to prove that I'm safe?"

or did you mean something completely different, and if you did, can you explain?
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby Norbet Dibble » Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:52 pm

ceepolk wrote:
Norbet Dibble wrote:No, I'm not willing to be called a potential rapist.

If another person feels uncomfortable around me I will endeavour to be switched on to that and will take reasonable steps to alleviate it. However I am not willing to be publicly labelled as a potential rapist because i'm not a potential rapist.


I'm wondering about your distinction here, because it wasn't something that was originally said, so I don't know if you deliberately added it without explanation or if it's an expression of what you take "willing to be called a potential rapist."

and that's "I am not willing to be publicly labelled as a potential rapist"

do you mean, "I'm not willing to hear someone say, NORBET DIBBLE IS A POTENTIAL RAPIST, YES HIM! HIM SPECIFICALLY!"

or did you mean, "I'm not willing to do what other people in this thread have done and say that i'm willing to be "called" a potential rapist with the understanding that there is no way for a stranger or slight acquaintance to know or to decide that I'm not without me having a chance to prove that I'm safe?"

or did you mean something completely different, and if you did, can you explain?


There is definite distinction between being thought of as potential rapist and be being called a potential rapist. To be called a potential rapist is to be named, shamed and labelled as one and that is an attack on my character and something I will not allow anyone to get away with.

People can think whatever about me in the privacy of their own heads but the moment that those thoughts are voiced is the moment I am going to challenge them, legally if necessary.

As I said before I have no issue being selfaware and empathetic enough to moderate my behaviour in certain situations because other people may have a different perspective. But I will not willingly take on a label that is inaccurate, especially one that entails a serious crime.
Last edited by Norbet Dibble on Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby SubMor » Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:18 pm

Norbet Dibble wrote:To be called a potential rapist is to be named and shamed as one and that is something I will not allow anyone to get away with.

Would you mind elaborating on this? I'm having a hard time adopting this perspective. How is it naming and shaming?
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby Surgoshan » Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:22 pm

Particularly as I've never seen anyone talking about SR do anything at all like naming and shaming.
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby irkthepurists » Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:35 pm

I've never been able to get my head around Schrödinger's Cat, but Schrödinger's Rapist seems crystal-clear to me. 'Strangers don't know you from Adam, so try not to be creepy' - what's not to understand?
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby Norbet Dibble » Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:35 pm

SubMor wrote:
Norbet Dibble wrote:To be called a potential rapist is to be named and shamed as one and that is something I will not allow anyone to get away with.

Would you mind elaborating on this? I'm having a hard time adopting this perspective. How is it naming and shaming?


Because it would entail me being called a potential rapist.

To be called something is to be named/described as something.

And "rapist" is definitely and rightly a label that carries a significant amount of shame.
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby irkthepurists » Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:37 pm

Was the OP talking about being literally 'called' a rapist, though?
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby Norbet Dibble » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:05 pm

irkthepurists wrote:Was the OP talking about being literally 'called' a rapist, though?


No, he was talking being called a potential rapist, as in directly called, out loud to your face.

My answer is no, I am not willing to be called a potential rapist, out loud to my face.

If some one were to do that to me I would view that as an attack and challenge them.
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby TimC » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:08 pm

What does willing have to do with it? Other people can use whatever labels they want for you in their own head, and there is nothing you can do about it. Even if they say them, what are you going to do.. sue them for libel? I think the term is slightly loaded, and would prefer an alternative expressing the same concept, but it's not my choice so whatever.
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby irkthepurists » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:19 pm

Ben_Blir wrote:Be it women I know in real life or strangers, I'd like them to know that any time they feel unsafe with me, they can simply say to me that they don't want to be around me anymore because I might hurt or rape them.


If a woman said those exact words to me, I'd be offended...but it's a bit of a pointless hypothetical because nobody ever would say those exact words.

If a woman gets into a tube carriage and I'm the only other person present, she'll probably sit at the opposite end of the carriage to me. This is fair enough, and I'd do the exact same thing if the roles were reversed. Simple manners really, with both of us acknowledging that SR (even if we don't know the term) is in play.
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby Norbet Dibble » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:19 pm

TimC wrote:What does willing have to do with it? Other people can use whatever labels they want for you in their own head, and there is nothing you can do about it. Even if they say them, what are you going to do.. sue them for libel? I think the term is slightly loaded, and would prefer an alternative expressing the same concept, but it's not my choice so whatever.


I Interpreted "willing" to mean "accept". As in would I accept being called a potential rapist?
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby SubMor » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:29 pm

But... you are a potential rapist. So am I. So is anyone. Sure, it might take a radical alteration of brain state before that would happen, and we might not be comfortable thinking of the resultant person as still being "us," but it's not impossible. You can't possibly maintain a position that a stroke couldn't change your personality radically enough to make becoming a rapist impossible.

And from the woman's perspective, she doesn't know that we're not rapists. How can she know without getting to know us first? I don't mean just casually "oh hi it's nice to meet you" getting to know us, either, but becoming actually well acquainted with one another. Until that happens (and maybe not even then), she can't know for certain that we're not going to rape her. But hell, she'll never know that for certain because you can't know anything for certain. (Well, almost anything.)

ETA: I'm not saying this to argue with you, but rather to walk you through my thought process. Somewhere in there, your thinking differs from mine. I don't see where.
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby Ben_Blir » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:28 pm

Norbet Dibble wrote:
irkthepurists wrote:Was the OP talking about being literally 'called' a rapist, though?


No, he was talking being called a potential rapist, as in directly called, out loud to your face.

My answer is no, I am not willing to be called a potential rapist, out loud to my face.

If some one were to do that to me I would view that as an attack and challenge them.


Well, you know you aren't..well maybe not, anyone can snap..I've heard in that regard. But it's not about you. It's about accepting how other people might label you, even though it may not necessarily be true. Understand? Is your image or reputation so important to you that you're willing to risk other people's feelings for their safety in order to safeguard it?
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Re: Men: Are You Willing To Be Called A Potential Rapist?

Postby captainmjs » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:20 pm

Perhaps I am just in denial but I refuse to believe that SR is about labelling men as potential rapists. The very nature of the essay is that this woman has not made up their mind. If anything they are labelling them as "unknown" and due to the fear that society has instilled in them coupled with the behavior of men and possible past experience has created they will behave accordingly and take appropriate precautions. This is a very disheartening discussion for me because one of the things anti-feminists decry the most is that feminists call all men potential rapists. There is no reason to embrace the false assumptions that bigots make about you.
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