I know what I'm talking about!

Mar 19 | Posted by: Fighter #1 | Tags: Crackpot Theories to save the world

Having not posted anything to my blog for the last two weeks, I figure the best way to make up for it is to do my best to ensure that no one ever misses my blog posts again!

So here it goes! Trigger alert!

Yeah, that’s definitely a good start! If the phrase “trigger alert” has special meaning to you, then you may want to stop reading because as an over-privileged male, my thoughts on this topic are unlikely to be helpful. If you don’t know what the phrase means, well then you’re in for at best a mildly unpleasant surprise!

This is a thought I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about for a while, and I figured this week’s fiasco with the Steubenville verdict (or, more specifically, the media’s general inability to report on it in not terrible ways) was as good an excuse as any.

So one of the rallying cries that is often levied against rape culture is the idea that less effort needs to be spent teaching girls* how not to get raped, and more should be spent teaching boys* not to rape. While this is quite true and makes instant sense if you think about it for a second (it's better for people to not commit crimes than it is for people to know how to react to crimes), it doesn’t seem to be something that society intuitively accepts. We don’t think to teach people not to rape, while we have tons of resources available to teach people how not to be raped.

Why is this? My personal crackpot theory is that we don’t identify with rapists. We don’t think of ourselves or our children as potential rapists. We know it’s a horrible crime, and we think of ourselves as good people (tm). Good people (tm) don’t do that!

Us, the group of good people (tm) that we belong to don’t do terrible things, but we’re in danger of terrible things being done to us by them, the bad guys. Thus, it doesn’t seem intuitively necessary to teach ourselves. We’re good people (tm); good people (tm) already know not to rape; therefore, we don’t need to teach ourselves or members of our group not to do it.

Now obviously, this isn’t working because everybody thinks of themselves as good people (tm), yet people still do terrible things to each other. So what’s the solution? I have no idea. Once again, as a privileged male (tm), I really have no idea what I’m talking about. However, being able to spot gaps in our own reasoning and figure out when we’re thinking about things in the wrong way is a good first step. I’ll cede the second step to someone else.

So there you go, next time you find yourself getting upset that I haven’t posted in a bit, just think to yourself: “he could have posted something like this.”

* Obviously, the specific genders here are just simplification based on the statistical probabilities and not to say that either role can’t be changed.

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