Guest post: Indicative of how we got here

Originally a comment by Der Durchwanderer on You don’t get to.

The idea of Schrödinger’s Rapist is a funny old one, at least in its implications for logical consistency. The premises are undoubtedly true, as far as it goes — other things equal, asking a vulnerable person to treat the unknown as benign is asking for them to become a victim of some kind of predator. That is likely the very reason fear evolved in animals in the first place, possibly even in single-celled organisms, for an organism that feels no fear is an organism that will be eaten before its fearful brethren.

One of the things I find interesting about some of those who initially championed the concept of Schrödinger’s Rapist, such as Reverend Myers, is how they condemned Sam Harris’ (yes, yes, Sam Harris, boo, hiss; let’s take the eye-rolling on either side at the mere mention or reaction to the mention of his name as read and move on) musings over profiling during airport security screenings as rank bigotry. I recall the two phenomena occurring relatively closely in time, and though I didn’t really connect the issues then, it occurs to me now that one might refer to unattached young men as Schrödinger’s Terrorist, and profiling after the Harris method as a way of collapsing that uncertainty without pretending that it doesn’t exist.

Though I do not wish to drag us back to 2011 and recapitulate that particular argument, it is indicative, I believe, of how we got here. Reverend Myers and Brother Dillahnunty would likely still give a full-throated defence of Schrödinger’s Rapist as an instructional concept, even as they scaffold the entire concept of gender with gobbledygook and moral pieties that allow them to dismiss the entire conceptual framework which led to the articulation of Schrödinger’s Rapist in the first place. This articulation, in fact, contains within it a fundamental pillar of gender critical thought; it is not a wonder that the priests and the laymen of the trans church have done away with it in all but name.

It is quite likely that Rebecca Watson would make similar noises; she might well throw out a bunch of rapid-fire nonsense out about how it only applies to cis men, and how cis men would never invade a woman’s space under the guise of being a trans woman, and how trans women are supposedly always and everywhere the victims of the worst kinds of violence and bigotry imaginable.

And, in the end, they will have all talked themselves into the abolition of sex-segregated spaces while still claiming to uphold the notion of Schrödinger’s Rapist, all the while.

Some sophisticated theology, that.

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