Schrodingers Rapist

By , January 14, 2011 10:14 pm

Way back in December, when a post of mine on consent was linked to by a mens rights site, I linked to a post called Schrodinger’s Rapist. Very briefly:

When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist. You may or may not be a man who would commit rape. I won’t know for sure unless you start sexually assaulting me. I can’t see inside your head, and I don’t know your intentions. If you expect me to trust you—to accept you at face value as a nice sort of guy—you are not only failing to respect my reasonable caution, you are being cavalier about my personal safety.

And a response on the mens rights site:

I want you to do me a favor and go re-read that link you posted, but when you read it, I’d like you to imagine it’s a police officer explaining to a black man why they get hassled a lot, or that it’s a TSA agent explaining to a Muslim why they get pulled out of line and searched a lot.

Imagine that instead of the title of the article being “Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced” it was “Schrödinger’s Felon: or a black male’s guide to walking down the street without being questioned by the police” or instead was “Schrödinger’s Terrorist: or a Muslim’s guide to going through airport security without getting strip searched”. Would those be articles you’d be proud to circulate?

Is there something morally OK with gender profiling that is not OK with racial profiling?

Since then I’ve been thinking about just that: is gender profiling of men fundamentally different than racial or religious profiling?

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