Dear Dudes,

Advice for men meeting women from the Internet.

Preamble A: This absurdist post comes out of (1) my conviction that rape shouldn’t be discussed — primarily — from the point of defence (as happens most often), since this perpetuates a culture of victim blaming (ie. if I don’t follow these rules and I am raped, then it’s my fault); (2) an overwhelming frustration that rape prevention is still our primary discourse; and (3) my disgust at the multitude of ways we hold the victim (instead of the perpetrator) accountable for rape. This post is written as satire, and structured as an inversion of the multitudes of serious and “well meaning” pieces of advice for women / victims of rape.

Preamble B: All kinds of people are raped and are rapists — all genders, age groups, races, and demographics. This post targets male perpetrators for the following reasons: (1) statistics; and (2) my capacity to speak as a white, heterosexual woman.

Preamble C: Engineering dudes — since you appear to enjoy devising a multitude of for-profit anti-rape solutions, targeted at women, I’ve also compiled a list of design ideas you can now develop that are targeted at rapists (you have both my encouragement and my blessing). I made great effort to design alternatives that would be unattractive for use against a potential victim, but please let me know, in the comments, if there’s something I haven’t considered).

One of many comments on a thread from the Huffington Post article, The Night It Happened.

Dear Dudes,

This list may sound a bit paranoid to you if you’ve recently joined the digital dating scene. But, trust me when I tell you: You are Dangerous. Yes. You. The male chunk of our species.

Why are you so dangerous? Our society has determined that you can’t control yourself; that you are weak-willed and easily manipulated by your xy-chromosome, your penis, the presence of other genders, and/or your need to dominate others. If you can’t control yourself, we can’t trust — you can’t trust you. This makes you a loaded bullet (this is not my metaphor, but I am rolling with it).

Your bullet status is the starting point for this satirical monologue.

The following recommendations are not an invitation to argue how you are not a bullet; about how bullets are actually what keeps society / women safe; or about how, yes, some bullets will kill you, but you are not one of those bad ones.

I wrote this list to help you prevent yourself from acting in your god, evolution, or society-given nature (your excuse, your choice) and becoming a rapist.

  1. When you are about to meet a woman in any situation, any time, assume that you are dangerous. Don’t listen to your mom, or your partner, or your kids if they tell you that you’re a decent and beautiful human being. They are lying to you — remember, YOU ARE A BULLET! However, if your mom or your partner or your kids tell you that you are a bullet, then definitely listen to them, and perhaps avoid meeting people all together.
    PRODUCT IDEAS: erection shock collar; chastity belt on the outside of your clothes (double points for its extreme visibility and discomfort).
  2. Provide accurate and up-to-date information. Since you’re about to meet another human being as a bullet, consider providing them with your photo, a licence plate number, your home phone number, and your real name. Make sure that you’re being completely honest about all of it. Check that they’ve checked that you haven’t lied. 
    PRODUCT IDEAS: a device that records all your verbal interactions with other human beings, conducts on-going data analysis of the contents and either (a) sends the report to your mother, if you’re being a douche, or (b) to the police, if you’re being threatening.
  3. Insist that you meet in a well-lit, open-concept location. Meet during the day, preferably in coffee shops. Cops often frequent coffee shops. If you see some upon arrival at your meeting, walk over and tell them about your potential bullet status. Tell them you’re meeting another human being for the first time and ask them to keep an eye on your behaviour.
    PRODUCT IDEAS: glowing pants that activate upon arousal. These can also be self-activated if you sense yourself experiencing rape urges.
  4. NEVER GIVE ANYONE A RIDE! Bullets are particularly dangerous when in tight spaces. Even more so while moving. The urge to fire might strike at any minute, so insist that the human you’re about to meet (you’re still determined to meet them, aren’t you, even though you are a bullet?) arranges for their own ride. If you feel the urge to fire, err, abduct or harm, get into your own car or take a cab and don’t look back! 
    PRODUCT IDEAS: self or arousal-activated car alarm.
  5. Arrange for a safe call. This is critical! Choose someone who knows you well and, preferably, can arrive at little notice to over power you in case the urge to assault or abduct becomes too overwhelming. An ex police officer or a member of the military might be a good choice. Arrange a “green light” word and a “red light” word. These are words you can use in a phone conversation to alert your safe call as to whether things are going well, or you are becoming dangerous. If you use the green light, all is well, and you will call again at the agreed upon time. If you use the red light, the safe call should send the police to your meeting place immediately! If there is no person who would trust you not to assault them if they became your safe call, just call the police if you feel yourself getting out of control.
    PRODUCT IDEAS: a danger meter that can be worn on your lapel (large to be clearly visible to others). It’s colour-coded from red to green. This can also be WIFI connected to 911.
  6. Do NOT touch the woman on your first meeting. I understand that you’ve been waiting for this for a long time, but it is far more likely that you will not consider the human you’re meeting as a real person when you’ve just met them, then if you’ve known them for a while. Actually, this isn’t true. In reality your urge to become a bullet can happen at any time: whether you’ve just met someone, or have known them for years. Whether you say you love them, or are dating them casually. Whether they are your mom, your kids, or a potential partner. Thus, if you know you have bullet-like tendencies, better just remove yourself from any and all human contact. Play on computers. Without internet.
    PRODUCT IDEAS: a long coat or suit with spines (like a hedgehog) that self-activate or activate upon arousal. The spines pop-up both on the outside (for visibility and to make it more difficult to get a hold of another person) and, simultaneously, on the inside.
  7. If possible, bring along a chaperone. See point 5 and make that someone who can easily overpower you. If the person you are meeting is curious about your sitter, calmly say, “See that person over there? They are my chaperone just in case I decide to abduct or assault you. They will intervene and call the police.”
  8. If you’ve had to struggle with thoughts of abduction or assault during the meeting, DO NOT MEET THIS PERSON AGAIN! Actually, consider not meeting anyone again until you’ve received some professional help.
    PRODUCT IDEAS: teflon spray you administer to yourself and your clothing before your meeting. This should make your body slippery and make it difficult to grab a hold of another person. Scent repellent (like a skunk; signals danger to those around you). Self-drugging nail polish (causes intense and immediate diarrhea).

For non sarcastic and carefully thought out information, please visit 10 things men can do to stop rape.

There have been some powerful legislative efforts as well (California Passes First-Ever Bill to Define Sexual Consent on College Campuses).

I honor and appreciate those fighting for change.

Thankfully, there is a growing trend in putting the responsibility for stopping rape and assault where it actually belongs: ON THE PERPETRATORS (see here: […]).

Thanks to my dear friend, John Max Inglis, for both his engineering and his dude expertise in imagining potential design solutions ❤.