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irony alert memes MRA rape rape culture

Memeday: Hey, MRAs — We Actually Do Teach Cars Not To Run People Over

Hitting pedestrians: Generally frowned upon
Hitting pedestrians: Generally frowned upon

I‘ve written before about what I called The MRA Meme That Would Not Die — that is, the notion that teaching men not to rape is like teaching drivers not to run people over. That it is, in other words, a silly and pointless exercise.

MRAs apparently think this is a devastating argument, and I’ve seen it return again and again, with slight variations, in memes floating around on Facebook and Twitter. Like this one:

feministlogic

What MRAs somehow seem to have forgotten is that we DO in fact teach drivers not to run people over.

That’s what drivers’ ed is for. And that’s why we make wannabe drivers pass a driving test before giving them their licence. If you run over even one pedestrian during such a test, much less plow into a crowd of people waiting for a bus, you will fail this test.

That kind of makes sense to me. As does teaching men not to rape. (Which also works, by the way.)

Well, now I’ve found a new variation on the Meme That Would Not Die, focusing not on drivers but on the cars themselves:

teachcars

 

Sorry to ruin your memes again, MRAs, but WE DO THIS ALREADY TOO. Well, not so much teach them as program them to not hit people. That’s what collision avoidance systems are all about.

If you want to know more, Toyota has prepared a helpful video.

Meanwhile, assorted carmakers — and Google — are working on self-driving cars; Business Insider estimates there will be ten million of them on the road by 2020, each of every one of them programmed not to hit people.

Except this one, of course:

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guy
guy
4 years ago

Sharper curves, non-standard intersections (where more than 4 roads meet at a time, or where roads meet at non-right angles, or both), and reducing visibility for car traffic all work to improve safety by making drivers feel like they are in hazardous conditions.

Just so long as they don’t go overboard and make it actually impossible to see oncoming traffic until it’s closer than the stopping distance when rounding a corner.

Hate that intersection.

bluecat
bluecat
4 years ago

If I can find a logic it seems to be:

“I (the meme-master) think of myself and people like me as automata. I have no moral compass, no conscience, and do my best not to have empathy. I just have drive, and do nothing about directing it.

If I see someone I want to hurt, I’ll just do it.

It’s their own fault, because entering my field of awareness or existing in the world contiguous to me is exactly the same as running out into traffic.”

It seems a curious thing to tell people about oneself.

I’d like to think these guys are being unduly pessimistic about themselves. Instead it looks like they are seeking approval and validation – and getting it.

Oy.

But at least they are letting us know. I propose we believe them.

msexceptiontotherule
msexceptiontotherule
4 years ago

@Alan Robertshaw

I don’t know why they call them speed bumps either, but if they keep adding more of them within the gated community I live in which only has one oval-shaped main roadway in it, people are going to form a mob and go protest at the HOA board meeting. There aren’t even that many kids to worry about running over, those who do live here full time mainly play on the inside common areas here because their parents don’t want to have to be out there watching them as per the new rule for minors out in the parking and roadway requires. But there are a ridiculous number of speed bumps here, so I’m assuming there are all kinds of rotten drivers using the loop as their practice course for racing during the hours I don’t go out there, or the board being all senior citizens has something to do with it…like the board president doesn’t speed through to get to her parking garage all of 2 seconds sooner that blue haired hellion in a Lexus.

Bina
4 years ago

Wait. What’s Mr Bean shaving his tongue in front of a pair of undies have to do with either rape culture or cars?

I found myself wondering the exact same thing. Then I realized it was probably the meme-maker’s ironic attempt at a self-portrait.

Also, I love this song to death:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ldyx3KHOFXw

…and also, nowhere in it does he assume a right to just drive right through people.

tricyclist
tricyclist
4 years ago

Re: self drive cars. I believe that in the fairly near future (say next 50 years) it will be illegal to manually drive a vehicle on the normal roads.

There will be recreational tracks where people who want to do so can.

Re: Roads are for people. Lots of anecdata (possibly also actual research – but I’ve not looked) that giving the roads to cars has destroyed community, and interesting projects to reclaim roads for people. Such as the roadwitch trial…
http://roadwitch.blogspot.co.uk/p/welcome-to-roadwitch-trial.html

CCD
CCD
4 years ago

The logical failings of the meme should be obvious to anyone with the intelligence of the average bear:

In the scenario given with the cars, the cars actually have been given a road and the legal right of way to drive on them. The pedestrians do not have the right of way if they’re jaywalking, and come out of nowhere. When it come to places where pedestrians DO have the right of way, we teach drivers to stop and watch for pedestrians, and respect their rights.

When it comes to rape, as far as the law is concerned, rapists aren’t granted special avenues where they are allowed to rape, and if a potential rape victim wanders through, it’s just considered an accident if something happens to them. We as a species are expected to be reasonable enough to understand consent, again, at least as far as the law is concerned. Unlike with driving, rape is not a legally sanctioned and practical aspect of functioning in modern society. We don’t offer Raping School lessons, or issue licenses to rape. Rape victims aren’t jaywalking into situations where they are not permitted, legally; they’re existing under the conditions of their basic human rights, generally enshrined in a charter or constitution, on a federal level.

Furthermore, there is the matter of intent. When a pedestrian jaywalks, and a car hits them accidentally, it’s an accident: the car did not intend to hit them. In the case of rape, rapists have the intent to violate the basic human rights of their victims.

These situations are totally fucking different. These asshats need to create better memes. Their arguments are nonsensical shit.

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
4 years ago

So many excellent take-downs of that would-be gotcha.
And I learned a new word, ta! OT, but imagine that being applied to corporations running plant that poisons people’s water and air … even where it couldn’t feasibly be re-purposed, it could at least be shut down by its new owners.
::wanders off muttering “deodand”::

guest
guest
4 years ago

@Alan–thanks for that. Intriguing, but to me without the moral/philosophical base underlying the concept of deodand that law too much resembles this kind of police fundraising activity:

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/08/05/2411801/five-egregious-ways-police-are-seizing-property-from-those-never-accused-of-a-crime/

@opposablethumbs Deodand is particularly interesting when considered in connection with technological change. I once tried to find out how the concept was used in industrial accidents during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but never managed to accumulate enough evidence to put together an argument. It was often used in transport accidents, and was an indirect measure of the culpability the juries assigned to the perpetrator and the victim (e.g. if a cart hit and killed a pedestrian, juries indirectly determined the extent to which the driver or pedestrian was at fault by whether the wheel, the wheel and cart, the wheel, cart and horses, or the wheel, cart, horses and cargo were declared deodand).

As you might expect, deodand law was repealed at about the time the railway network became extensive–at least one locomotive was declared deodand for killing someone, but you can imagine how inconvenient it would have been for railway companies if that had become common practice. At about the same time laws were passed to protect passenger safety on the railways…but nothing equivalent to protect employee safety.

Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ guest

Industrialisation, and especially the growth of the railways was responsible for a few major changes in the way the law was applied.

Liability for omissions (as opposed to acts) was one. This arose out of a signalman *failing* to do something and the consequent accident that arose. This lead to the first real health and safety legislation and concepts like corporate manslaughter.

As for the use of civil confiscation procedures being used for fundraising, well it is a criticism here of the Asset Recovery Agency that they somehow manage to run at a loss!

If you want to turn the tables here’s a nice trick. Get a load of legitimate money in the form of cash and stick it in a hold all. Go to a port or airport and try to look suspicious enough that they stop you and open the hold all. When they ask about the money just panic and dry up. Hopefully they’ll then seize it. You now have two years to show the money is legit, otherwise it’s forfeit.

Just before the period is up, produce the paperwork that shows the money is legit. They’ll return it. They also pay interest and the rate they use is higher than the standard bank rate.

guest
guest
4 years ago

@Alan haha thanks for the financial advice! Next time I have extra money to ‘invest’ I’ll try it (have now moved to a much more expensive part of the country, so I’m not sure when that will be).

Just in case you haven’t run into it, here’s the (as far as I know) only book on the subject:

https://global.oup.com/academic/product/law-and-english-railway-capitalism-1825-1875-9780198265672?cc=gb&lang=en&

There’s stuff in here about deodands. I’m using the cases he refers to in his chapter on the small freight wars in my own work, but unfortunately as he doesn’t actually know much about the carrying business the chapter itself isn’t much help.

Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ guest

Hadn’t seen that. Just a tip for if you ever need law books. There’s a place called Wildys in Lincoln’s Inn. They have a great department where they have both second hand books and things like test pressings or ones where the cover didn’t print right. You can be some real bargains. And they’re all lovely book nerd people there anyway; they can really help you find stuff.

+++++++++++

The fact that the court rate of interest is much higher than the bank rate worked to my advantage the other week. We were trying to vary a judgement to pay it a bit later. The other side (a finance company) objected until the judge pointed out that, with the interest, the judgment suddenly became a better investment than they could get on the financial markets.

guest
guest
4 years ago

@Alan–thanks for that, it sounds like a fun place to drop in and have a look around. But I have discovered (after more than one library/archive visit) that I can get all the law books I need for what I’m writing about free online through Internet Archive. Convenient! (I’m reading one right now.)

Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ guest

Yeah, the internet does make research much easier. I do miss though spending hours in libraries; especially the specialist ones. It’s one of my favourite experiences.

Inner Temple library is wonderful. Until you get to know it, it’s easy to get lost in there. It’s like the one in “Name of the Rose” (but with fewer homicidal monks).

ETA: there’s a really good law library in the RCJ. It’s open to the public but they don’t advertise that fact.

guest
guest
4 years ago

@alan–cool! I’ll check that out too….

I’m old and lazy now, but used to enjoy working in libraries and archives. The first big one I ever spent time in was the Doe Library at Berkeley, which had Secret Spiral Staircases! in the stacks. The two best ones I’ve been to relatively recently are the John Rylands Library in Manchester (where people seem to be doing lots of mysterious things) and the Lit and Phil in Newcastle (where the lovely and charming librarians cheerfully brought me stacks and stacks of records without even bothering to find out who I was or where I was from).

The basement of the Institution of Civil Engineers on Great George Street is the archive; not much to look at but the archivist is…well, the first time I went down there I spent the entire day talking with her about ferrets instead of actually doing whatever it was I’d gone down there to do.

Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ guest

Oh, I love me a secret staircase!

It is weird how accommodating people can be. I spent a bit of time pestering the library staff at the National History Museum when I was researching for a rubbish sci fi story I wanted to write.

In the end they just gave me a swipe card. I could go anywhere with that. There’s even a secret lounge (with a kettle, yey) with ancient sofas and various amazing exhibits just knocking around as ornaments. Spent a lot of time skiving there.

guest
guest
4 years ago

@Alan I am just now reminded of my visit to the Quaker Library on Euston Road…I didn’t even know there was such a thing as grumpy and unhelpful Quakers until I went there.

Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ guest

Well, that’s an oat based diet for you.

London does have some great little libraries and museums tucked away though. The Soane’s Museum is well worth checking out as is the Freemason’ Museum at the grand lodge on Great Queen Street.

guest
guest
4 years ago

🙂 yes, both are fantastic–I take friends to Soane House once in a while, but haven’t been to the Freemasons museum in a while. There is apparently one in my new place of residence, but I haven’t had the chance to visit yet.

This is the place I most like to take friends to in London:

http://www.dennissevershouse.co.uk/

epitome of incomprehensibility

@Paradoxical Intention – loved that “Alan Ruins Everything” video. Thanks for posting it!

About the “meme”: from what I’ve read on this blog, some people DO think it’s possible to rape by accident. I think it was just two weeks ago that some featured MRAs were whining about feminists “expanding” the definition of rape… such that it now includes having sex with people that don’t want it or aren’t capable of consenting. So much humanity.

…As for driving, I’m 27 and I haven’t learned how to operate a vehicle that isn’t a bike or a shopping cart. Driving lessons cost money and the idea of driving a car scares me: I’m afraid I wouldn’t be good at it and I don’t want to risk hurting other people or myself. Part of that is just insecurity, but lately I’ve been trying to think more systematically and make a list of the pros and cons.

Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

Oh wow, can’t believe I never knew about that; I used to live a couple of minutes walk away (Norton Folgate was an alias I sometimes used to use).

Did you ever go to the Geffreye Museum when you were in that area? Nice place for coffee and cake even if you’re not into interior design.

Paradoxical Intention
4 years ago

epitome of incomprehensibility | January 23, 2016 at 3:09 pm
@Paradoxical Intention – loved that “Alan Ruins Everything” video. Thanks for posting it!

It’s from a TV series called Adam Ruins Everything, and there’s even an episode where a woman explains vaginas to the host (Adam)!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ikXim4wevc&ab_channel=truTV

(P.S. I know Alan ruins everything with his male privilege [/joke], but slight correction. 😉 )

guest
guest
4 years ago

@Alan–oh fantastic, I’m glad I posted the link. The place is mesmerising, go when you have the opportunity. It seems most people like it best after dark, but I personally prefer it during the day.

Yes, I’ve been to the Geffrye, on the recommendation of a colleague, and it is great, though a bit out of the way. I still remember a painting I saw there which I’d love to have a link to/copy of, an (I think) early 18th c portrait of some well-off dude posing at his desk, and a couple of feet away is a cat sleeping on a chair. I’m just thinking of the conversation between the subject and the sitter–‘yes I want you to paint a formal portrait of me, but don’t forget to include the cat.’

Oh and speaking of cats, always relevant to this blog, there is a cat in residence at Severs House–the first time I went she wouldn’t interact with me, but now she’s happy to sit on a bed or chair and let me pet her. I can remember once seeing someone else pet her, and the look on her face was like ‘ok this is my job, I’ll sit still and be polite.’ She’s a real trouper.

Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ guest

How do you know the cat didn’t commission the picture “Oh, and I suppose you’d better stick my human in there”

@ paradoxy

Straight white privilege too! It’s great being a straight white male; it’s like being a Dungeons and Dragon character where you’re given maximum ability scores in every category and you get to use loaded dice.

guest
guest
4 years ago

LOL thank you Alan, that was brilliant….

epitome of incomprehensibility

@Paradoxical – Oops, yes, I was wrong about the name. Thanks!

Sorry, @Alan Robertshaw, I didn’t mean you! …though I’m a bit jealous now, with all those interesting museums/libraries around where you live. Montreal seems much less imaginative about these things. The main library downtown is literally called The Big Library (La Grande Bibliotheque).

On the other hand, if you’re visiting the city, the free Redpath Museum in McGill is worth a visit – it’s a wonderful hodgepodge of displays, mostly old-school Natural History style. For instance, there’s still an old section of a tree trunk on a stair landing, with the major tree rings marked with dates. Plus there are dioramas with stuffed birds, display cases with odd-looking shells and rocks, and a few dinosaur skeletons (you can’t have a science museum without dinosaur skeletons, now, can you?) 🙂

Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ epitome

There’s a museum in Cornwall (at Zennor) that is literally stuff people found in their sheds.

The lawnmowers exhibit is actually really good.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

Completely OT, but Alan, I saw this and thought of you:

Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

Ha, POM, thank you!

The weird thing is, the BBC guy who covers all our elections is called Jon Snow. He’s a bit ‘eccentric’ shall we say; and his usual ways of illustrating our elections make that worm thing look like ESPN!

http://www.shortlist.com/news/the-real-jon-snow-explains-the-election-through-game-of-thrones

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

The worm thing was just hilarious. The GoT thing was also fantastic.

Tessa
Tessa
4 years ago

I completely missed this article! But jeesh, now they’re comparing men to inanimate objects with no free will. Self driving cars/auto-emergency braking cars aside, the cars the maker of the stupid meme had in mind couldn’t do anything at all without a driver, much less hit somebody crossing the street. So who do they think is in control of men to make the mindless objects rape other people? Their hateful view of men just gets more and more frightening.

GenJones
GenJones
4 years ago

Analogy Fixed-

Women be like “Hey, someone needs to do something about these maniacs going out of their way to target and mow down pedestrians!”

MRA logic- “Sorry, but it’s just too difficult to convict a hit-and-run. Wouldn’t it just be easier to avoid injury by staying inside all the time?”