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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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Tulse
Tulse
4 years ago

MRA LOGIC:
Men have as much free will as cars.

Catgalaxy
Catgalaxy
4 years ago

@ Tulse Because women are sluts who have the temerity to walk down streets…or something!

Damian
Damian
4 years ago

Thing is, the main issue involved with avoiding car accidents is simple physics (momentum, conservation of energy, etc). By making this analogy, these MRA geniuses are claiming that men’s behavior works the same way, and that, you know, sentient choice has no bearing on it. Men raping women is just an automatic physical process like gravity acting on a dropped object, and the only way to avoid it is to get out of its way. Describing men in the worst possible terms and then defending them for it is just par for the course for these guys.

Titianblue
Titianblue
4 years ago

MRAs do understand that cars have brakes and steering wheels, right? And that, when driving, people are supposed to try to avoid running down pedestrians? Rather tha, you know, choosing to keep right on driving over anyone unfortunate enough to be in the street at the time?

Tyra Lith
Tyra Lith
4 years ago

@Catgalaxy:
But… i thought women are houses with unlocked doors.
I guess my ladybrain can’t grasp the mrape-logic(TM) behind all of this 🙁

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
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?

occasional reader
occasional reader
4 years ago

Hello.

Next in MRA logic :
– why learning to shoot ? It is your duty not to stand in front of my gun !
– why learning to not be violent ? Just learn to be ultra submissive to me !
– why learning to be tolerant ? First learn to tolerate my intolerance !

It is without a end. They can pretty find a meme for anything they are accused of. I suppose reverse accusation is way easier than introspection…

Have a nice week-end.

Mathieu Tremblay
Mathieu Tremblay
4 years ago

@SFHC: I asked myself the same question, but I guess making a lick of sense is misandry. As was recently discussed on another post, freedom and self-improvement is *all* about lifting weights, nothing else. 😛

Supernova
Supernova
4 years ago

I’ve actually seen posters pointing out that the majority of people who die in car crashes are pedestrians. The poster read something like “watch where you’re going”, “remember to slow down”, etc… So basically, a campaing LITERALLY reminding people to be safe on the roads, so yes, we DO teach people not to run over pedestrians

Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

Brit Mamotheers may remember the ads with the spooky ghost girl “If you hit me at 30mph I’ll die…”

Highly effective

*shudders at memory*

ETA: I suppose actually the message wasn’t so much don’t run people over but rather, drive slower so you’ll cause less damage if you do; but the point stands

magnesium
magnesium
4 years ago

More and more I’m convinced that no MRA should be allowed to have a driver’s licence.

Leda Atomica
Leda Atomica
4 years ago

I’ve actually seen posters pointing out that the majority of people who die in car crashes are pedestrians. The poster read something like “watch where you’re going”, “remember to slow down”, etc…

Yes I’ve read the news about angry drivers ripping those posters up and starting their own “Don’t be that pedestrian” campaign.
Oh, wait, I might be thinking about another group of people.

ScarlettAthena
ScarlettAthena
4 years ago

I am troubled by the framing of the issue as an accident. That rape is something that just happens instead of an assault.

The pedestrian getting hit could be the result of either the pedestrian or driver or both being inattentive, misjudging speed and distance, or whatever.

Rape is not just some person “falling” into or “misjudging” personal space.

But in addition to some “ha ha gotcha, femtard!” bs and recasting women as responsible for sexual assault, these memes also allow these douchemonkeys to imagine violence on women in the form of vehicular assault.

(And of course, in addition to failing to note that all kinds of women are raped, these memes fail to take into consideration that men can be victims of rape or that women can be assailants…)

Dodom
Dodom
4 years ago

A better rape analogy would be driving a car on the sidewalk. It doesn’t belong there, it’s putting people in danger by its own driver’s fault alone. Pedestrians jumping out of the way is a more or less effective way to control the damage, but the solution is to arrest that asshole and make it clear that driving on the sidewalk won’t be tolerated.

MRA driving:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2138/2261635102_10da548f53.jpg

Button
Button
4 years ago

“So, you know the ‘Don’t teach pedestrians when to cross the street, teach drivers not to hit people’ meme we’ve been meming?”

“Yeah, that one’s great!”

“Well, feminists have been twisting it. Putting the focus on the driver, instead of on the pedestrian where it belongs. Saying that we do teach drivers not to hit people, in drivers’ ed.”

“Completely leaving aside the fact that we also teach pedestrians when to cross the street, I assume?”

“Yeah. But they’re twisting the fact that drivers’ ed exists into the idea that men need to be taught not to rape. Maybe we can tweak the meme?”

“We’d need something that drives home how ridiculous it is that feminists push back against the idea of educating people about how to avoid becoming victims, and how insulting it is to expect to prevent malicious attacks by educating normal people.”

“Maybe we could take the driver out of the picture, to put the focus of the meme where we want it to be: on the responsibility of the pedestrian to not put themselves in harm’s way.”

“Yeah! If there’s no driver, just a car, then the accident is 100% the victim’s fault. There are certainly no unfortunate implications in comparing a rapist to a car without a driver, which is therefore not capable of preventing itself from harming other people, and morally, legally, and ethically incapable of wrongdoing!”

Lorcan Nagle
Lorcan Nagle
4 years ago

In Ireland at least, pedestrians have the right of way – if a driver hits one, they’re responsible. So yeah, analogy fail.

Falconer
Falconer
4 years ago

I have seen that OP meme before, but it only just occurred to me to wonder why it’s staged out in the countryside. I’d gently chide the pedestrian for jaywalking but under the current context that gets too close to She Was Asking For It for my comfort.

So I was wondering about that pretty hard, and then I hit the picture of Mr. Bean shaving the underside of his tongue in front of some pants and I had a whole new set of questions.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

It’s weird to think that there may come a time when the notion of a “driver” is obsolete. I can easily imagine that once self-drive technology becomes workable, insurance premiums are going to be very high for anyone who still wants to use mammalian reflexes and a monkeybrain to guide their tonne of metal. I could even see that being regarded as negligence if one is in a situation where an accident happens that would have been averted by self-drive.

The MRAs would probably be very sad: not only are they not legally allowed to rape people, but they wouldn’t be allowed to run people over either. Misandry!

Andrea
4 years ago

Would you just love to see their driving records?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

I cross the street all the time. Like, multiple times a day. And it’s in a busy downtown with lots of traffic. I have yet to be hit by a car, because mysteriously all the drivers are not that keen to have a collision, and we work together to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Additionally, I also drive, and I am sometimes that driver who doesn’t want to have a collision with a pedestrian in the road. If I see someone in the road (yes, even outside a crosswalk) it is simplicity to just slow down a bit to give the person time to get out of the roadway before I get there.

This is not going to come as any kind of massive revelation to anyone here, but it seems like MRAs are completely unaware of how actual people interact on roadways.

Additionally, it is an extremely modern idea that roads are made for cars. Roads were always made for pedestrians. The notion that only cars and other motor vehicles belong on roads was pushed onto American society by the auto industry (this is well-documented, not a conspiracy theory) because they wanted people to be able to drive fast, and thereby make cars both very utilitarian and enjoyable to own. This spread along with car culture to other countries. Those “backwards” countries where the roads are narrow and choked with people and sometimes also animals, and cars can barely get by … that is the normal, natural condition of a road. It is 153.5% the drivers’ responsibility to ensure that nobody dies on those roads, and that extends to on all other roads.

Therefore, if you carry this analogy with rape out to its termination, you will have to conclude that sex free of the threat of rape is the normal, natural condition, and that expecting people to evade rapists is a modern problem that goes counter to our evolved state.

snork maiden
4 years ago

Here’s my not so subtle response to this:

http://depressedfeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/anti-feminist-dissonance-3-fun-with.html

Regrettably I still can’t figure out how to transplant the image direct to this thread. When I clicked link, it posted blank.

dlouwe
dlouwe
4 years ago

Okay, let’s roll with this analogy and pretend that it’s not on its face a pile of complete nonsense. If the driver/car = men, and a car hitting a pedestrian = rape, then what the hell is “walking into traffic” supposed to represent? What conscious choice can a woman make to virtually eliminate the chance of being raped? “Don’t exist in the same space as men?”

Also, where does consensual sex fit in? Is that getting a ride in a car? But we’ve already learned that women are busses, so couldn’t they just give themselves a ride??

Moocow
Moocow
4 years ago

@PoM

I learned about that in one of my design classes. It’s actually kind of fascinating how many aspects of our lives are influenced by the infrastructure we live in. One book specifically delved into this topic, explaining how the speed limit in suburban neighborhoods results in people becoming more isolated.

dlouwe
dlouwe
4 years ago

@PoM

I also read about that! The auto manufacturers would even write press releases about collisions with pedestrians to frame the pedestrian as at fault. The term “jay” was used to refer to ignorant or inexperienced people, so they termed pedestrians on the road as “jay walkers”; people who didn’t understand proper road conduct. This makes the MRA’s usage of the car/pedestrian analogy even more hilarious; the parallels in victim blaming are so strong that it’s hard to believe it’s a coincidence.

sevenofmine
sevenofmine
4 years ago

My favorite of these kind of memes is the one that uses an image of a group of children being helped across a street by a crossing guard. It’s literally a picture of a person telling drivers not to hit pedestrians.

guest
guest
4 years ago

‘Additionally, it is an extremely modern idea that roads are made for cars. Roads were always made for pedestrians. The notion that only cars and other motor vehicles belong on roads was pushed onto American society by the auto industry (this is well-documented, not a conspiracy theory)’

A colleague of mine used to do a fantastic presentation tracing the history of road use in cities–the most striking part of it was photos of major road intersections in large cities at different times over the past 100 or so years, showing how people were literally removed from the landscape–some of the photos, by the time we get to the ’60s or ’70s, have no people in them at all. She also talked about how pedestrians had to be trained to be subservient to drivers:

https://archive.org/details/pedestrian_crossing_TNA

Oh and a note for Alan–I occasionally try to explain to people that if we hadn’t got rid of deodand law we wouldn’t have this problem!

Mexican Hot Chocolate
Mexican Hot Chocolate
4 years ago

Both the meme that wouldn’t die and son of the meme that wouldn’t die make men look bad. Either men are like reckless idiots who ignore the law and common courtesy or they are like totally berserk machines with no self control. Either way, the originator of the meme didn’t think it through.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

@Moocow

Are you familiar with the concept of risk homeostasis?

Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ guest

You might find this interesting

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/6/section/143

It was successfully used to seize a car in a driving whilst disqualified case and there’s no reason it couldn’t be used in relation to road traffic offences generally.

The Act also allows for the proceeds of sale from any seizure to be given to a victim as compensation. It’s not quite deodand; but it can have a very similar effect.

msexceptiontotherule
msexceptiontotherule
4 years ago

As I was once *that kid* who completely and totally ignored the potential for harm of running out into the street without looking, very nearly getting hit by a car – and would have if not for the eagle-eyed neighbor grabbing me at the last second then letting my mom yell at me for doing such a thing…the universe has made a thing of repeatedly setting up situations where *I* am the neighbor and have to randomly run out to grab a child before they get hit by a truck, car, or furniture on a mover with wheels (too big for a dolly so whatever it is I’m too lazy to look up the term for it!). The parent in each situation has turned out to not always be as grateful as my mom, yelling at me for keeping her child from being hit by a vehicle when I’m certain that if I had let that happen I would be yelled at by more than an angry parent who was focused on arguing with her own parent.

Ridiculousness. But those memes…ugh.

littleknown
littleknown
4 years ago

I really like Dodom’s analogy:

Don’t teach men not to drive on the sidewalk; teach women to be on constant alert for a car driving on the sidewalk!

And definitely don’t wear anything that would make a man think that you want him to drive his car on the sidewalk.

I mean, come on, this is just common sense.

Arctic Ape
Arctic Ape
4 years ago

Scarlettathena:

The pedestrian getting hit could be the result of either the pedestrian or driver or both being inattentive, misjudging speed and distance, or whatever.

I figure this is why pedestrians actually do bear some responsibility on traffic safety, unlike rape victims. Collisions easily happen by accident (indeed, deliberate crashing is relatively rare) while rape doesn’t. Traffic safety is focused on avoiding accidents rather than enforcing laws against vehicular homicide.

Drivers bear more responsibility because a collision between driver and pedestrian is much more dangerous for the latter. Of course drivers might also collide with other drivers, which is highly dangerous on both sides.

ramen
ramen
4 years ago

I live in a suburb don’t have a car, so I commute and run errands on foot or by bicycle. This is just about the only part of my life where I experience a lack of privilege, complete with motorists-explaining-things-to-me and media portrayals of pedestrians and cyclists as, variously, stupid or belligerent or self-important.

This analogy—with women as pedestrians and men as motorists (or cars)—only works for MRAs because this is exactly where they’re coming from: motorists are just regular hard-working folks minding their business and trying to get somewhere, and peds and cyclists are just out to meddle and make regular folks’ lives harder. In my experience, the analogy is more apt than they think: motorists can very easily slip in and out of being thoughtless bullies, at little risk to themselves; they can’t easily take the perspective of people on the outside of their cars; and they really, really don’t like being called out on their bad behavior.

bluecat
bluecat
4 years ago

@ Policy of Madness

Good article on it here:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/when-pedestrians-ruled-streets-180953396/?utm_campaign=11202014&no-ist

In the UK the death toll from vehicles was absolutely astonishing in the 1920s when there were very few cars per head of population – but also there were no driving tests, very few safety features on cars (and a lot of anti-safety features, such as hood ornaments apparently designed to impale pedestrians), no road markings…

While car ownership has increased massively in absolute numbers and as a percent of population, fatalities have been falling steadily since the 30s. Some of that’s down to better design of cars and street but a hell of a lot is to do with education and public awareness.

I don’t suppose we could redesign rapists to make rape less likely (there would be human rights issues: and when it’s been tried results have not been promising) but education *works*.

Cerberus
Cerberus
4 years ago

Also, making their argument worthless? Running over people is a crime and one we very strictly enforce. You go to jail when you run over someone and you get hit with manslaughter even if your victim is say, a kid being stupid in the road or you totally had a really important reason to not be paying attention to your surroundings or didn’t mean to run someone over or were impaired in some way.

To treat rape like cars hitting pedestrians would be to treat it more seriously, institute stricter education for men (like, we don’t let people even drive legally until they pass some tests or have supervision, so like the equivalent would be not being allowed to have sex unless you can demonstrate flawless understanding of consent) and much stronger penalties to those that rape as well as completely knocking off a lot of our victim-blaming (we don’t usually tell a hit-and-run victim that we can’t investigate their crime, because they really were asking for it wearing that “please run me over” outfit).

Like, in their zeal to have a gotcha moment, they paint a picture of a much more serious and impactful way of envisioning rape and rape culture, treating it like a genuine social ill and instituting official legal frameworks to eliminate its likelihood as much as humanly possible.

Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ bluecat

I don’t suppose we could redesign rapists to make rape less likely

Well, before cars are allowed on the road they undergo extensive tests that involve dropping large weights on them….

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his, she/her pronouns)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his, she/her pronouns)
4 years ago

In Ireland at least, pedestrians have the right of way – if a driver hits one, they’re responsible. So yeah, analogy fail.

Same in the US.

Paradoxical Intention
4 years ago

dlouwe | January 22, 2016 at 11:54 am
@PoM

I also read about that! The auto manufacturers would even write press releases about collisions with pedestrians to frame the pedestrian as at fault. The term “jay” was used to refer to ignorant or inexperienced people, so they termed pedestrians on the road as “jay walkers”; people who didn’t understand proper road conduct. This makes the MRA’s usage of the car/pedestrian analogy even more hilarious; the parallels in victim blaming are so strong that it’s hard to believe it’s a coincidence.

I saw a video on that as well!

And speaking of videos, this whole thread reminded me of this one crash I saw a while back. (short video)

Edit: Uh, so apparently videos don’t embed if they’re not the end of a post. David? Can you fix this?

tedthefed
tedthefed
4 years ago

Interesting thing about self-driving cars: It’s a terrible conundrum about whether we really SHOULD teach them to avoid hitting people, because that often puts the passenger of the car in more danger. The idea is both that the car has more of a “responsibility” to its passengers than to anyone else…. and the practical problem that no one will choose to ride self-driving cars if they don’t prioritize passengers at the expense of pedestrians.
Meanwhile, no one supports the idea of there being self-driving cars on the road if they don’t prioritize pedestrians over passengers. So it’s a paradox.

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
4 years ago

Logic is misandry to these MRAs isn’t it? I mean rapists don’t accendently rape people when people suddenly cross their paths and the rapists suddenly can’t control themselves, rapists chose to rape they plan it.

Are MRAs suggesting that men need to be trained and to have a license to date, be out in society, etc? Should we not allow men to drive because they’re easily distracted/can’t control themselves?

Mary Contrary
Mary Contrary
4 years ago

In short, MRAs think we live (or wish we lived) in GrandTheftAutoland.

That explains SO much.

Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ David

Funnily enough we’ve had some experiments over here where all road signage and road markings have been removed in a few towns.

Perhaps counter intuitively, it has reduced accidents. It seems drivers are more careful when they actually have to think for themselves.

dlouwe
dlouwe
4 years ago

@Alan,

Yeah, I remember reading something a while back that found that the number of accidents in an area (might have been specifically collisions with pedestrians) tends to go up as the number of stoplights increases. Roundabouts tend to solve the issue.

Similarly, cyclists that don’t wear helmets get fewer injuries (but in that case, the ones they do get are more serious).

weirwoodtreehugger
4 years ago

Alan,
That kind of makes sense. I’ve noticed when there’s a power outage, drivers are really careful going through intersections where there’s usually a stoplight. People also seem to think that when the light is going from yellow to red it means gun it and run the red light when the yellow light is supposed to be a warning that it’s time to start braking.

I’ve actually always felt safer jaywalking than I do walking in the crosswalk at a green light. I only jaywalk when there’s no cars coming and it’s safe to cross. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been legally crossing on a green light and almost been struck because someone’s decided to run a red light or turn right on a red light without checking for pedestrians first. The people who’ve almost hit me, even though they are unambiguously in the wrong will often jam their horns at me as if I was the one erring. A couple of months ago, a man nearly ran me over and decided the appropriate response was to yell “bitch!” at me out his window.

Maybe the presence of stop signs and red lights create a situation where the driver wants to get away with as much as they can. There’s a thrill in flouting the rules because the man is trying to hold them back from getting to their destination as fast as possible. Fewer signs and lights could change the focus from “how can I avoid getting stopped at a light” to “how do I get from point a to point b efficiently yet safely.” It wouldn’t be feasible everywhere, but there are definitely places in my area I could see this working.

Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ Dlouwe & WWTH

It appears the idea has caught on here and we now have a Government ‘task force’ to try to get rid of as many signs as possible.

Transport Secretary Patrick Mcloughlin said:

Useless traffic signs blight our landscape, waste taxpayers’ cash and can be a dangerous distraction to drivers.

We are restoring common sense to Britain’s roads while ensuring drivers have the information they need to get about safely. We have already made much progress but Sir Alan Duncan’s new taskforce is an important step towards striking the right balance.

We don’t have jaywalking here, but one fact you might love is that most men who injured as pedestrians are run over within 50 metres of, but not actually on, a proper crossing point. Walking a short distance to be safe being misandry of course.

ETA: I don’t want to come across as a gender essentialist, but you can account for a lot of male behaviour by remembering that fundamentally, we are idiots.

msexceptiontotherule
msexceptiontotherule
4 years ago

“You know, I think we need more speed bumps, dips, traffic signals, and stop signs.”
-Said no driver in Southern California EVER.

We can’t even seem to get potholes fixed here.

Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

I don’t understand why they’re called speed bumps. If anything they slow you down.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

Perhaps counter intuitively, it has reduced accidents. It seems drivers are more careful when they actually have to think for themselves.

That’s risk homeostasis at work. People feel that a certain level of risk is acceptable, and when a road feels safe they will drive faster, gaining the benefits of a shorter travel time, until the level of risk reaches the point where they no longer feel the trade-off is worth it. Since an accident at high speed is far more lethal than the same accident at low speed, the net result is more injuries, more serious injuries, and more deaths.

For a long time, at least in the United States, traffic engineers have worked to make roads, even the ones intended to be traveled at low speeds, feel extremely safe. The curves have an extremely large radius, the intersections are huge, and verges are made flat. Famously, the Virginia Department of Transportation once classified street trees as “fixed and hazardous objects” and removed them whenever possible, so as to give drivers who veered off the road a higher margin of safety to recover before they struck anything. What actually happens is that people drive at highway speeds when they feel they are on a road that is highway safe. The same number of accidents occur, but they take place at higher speeds and kill more frequently.

Traffic calming via making the road feel less safe is a current trend in urban design. Just narrowing the roadway slightly and erasing the lane lines slows traffic, and there are a lot of other methods that can be used. Roundabouts instead of lights are one, but those are mostly studied because they improve the traffic flow. Parallel street parking slows traffic a lot, and has the advantage of creating a physical shield for pedestrians on the sidewalk. Sharper curves, non-standard intersections (where more than 4 roads meet, 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.

ramen
ramen
4 years ago

The interpretation of “jaywalking” I learned growing up was “crossing the road mid-block instead of at an intersection.” But this was always, and obviously, a motorist’s idea of correct pedestrian behavior: those squirrels should have to stop at intersections and wait for a signal, just like me! But from a ped perspective, crossing mid-block limits the number of directions you can get hit from.

Also, sometimes those intersections aren’t convenient. 50 meters on foot isn’t like 50 meters in a car. Especially if you have to walk it back up again on the other side. For motorists who want to take me to task for my concern with convenience…ooh, check your privilege, buddy.