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You want to say Hi to the cute girl on the subway. How will she react? Fortunately, I can tell you with some certainty, because she’s already sending messages to you. Looking out the window, reading a book, working on a computer, arms folded across chest, body away from you = do not disturb. So, y’know, don’t disturb her. Really. Even to say that you like her hair, shoes, or book. A compliment is not always a reason for women to smile and say thank you. You are a threat, remember? You are Schrödinger’s Rapist. Don’t assume that whatever you have to say will win her over with charm or flattery. Believe what she’s signaling, and back off.

If you speak, and she responds in a monosyllabic way without looking at you, she’s saying, “I don’t want to be rude, but please leave me alone.” You don’t know why. It could be “Please leave me alone because I am trying to memorize Beowulf.” It could be “Please leave me alone because you are a scary, scary man with breath like a water buffalo.” It could be “Please leave me alone because I am planning my assassination of a major geopolitical figure and I will have to kill you if you are able to recognize me and blow my cover.”

On the other hand, if she is turned towards you, making eye contact, and she responds in a friendly and talkative manner when you speak to her, you are getting a green light. You can continue the conversation until you start getting signals to back off.

The fourth point: If you fail to respect what women say, you label yourself a problem.

There’s a man with whom I went out on a single date—afternoon coffee, for one hour by the clock—on July 25th. In the two days after the date, he sent me about fifteen e-mails, scolding me for non-responsiveness. I e-mailed him back, saying, “Look, this is a disproportionate response to a single date. You are making me uncomfortable. Do not contact me again.” It is now October 7th. Does he still e-mail?

Yeah. He does. About every two weeks.

This man scores higher on the threat level scale than Man with the Cockroach Tattoos. (Who, after all, is guilty of nothing more than terrifying bad taste.) You see, Mr. E-mail has made it clear that he ignores what I say when he wants something from me. Now, I don’t know if he is an actual rapist, and I sincerely hope he’s not. But he is certainly Schrödinger’s Rapist, and this particular Schrödinger’s Rapist has a probability ratio greater than one in sixty. Because a man who ignores a woman’s NO in a non-sexual setting is more likely to ignore NO in a sexual setting, as well.

So if you speak to a woman who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone. If you pursue a conversation when she’s tried to cut it off, you send a message. It is that your desire to speak trumps her right to be left alone. And each of those messages indicates that you believe your desires are a legitimate reason to override her rights.

For women, who are watching you very closely to determine how much of a threat you are, this is an important piece of data.

an excerpt from Phaedra Starling’s “Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced” (via lostgrrrls)

HOLY FUCK THE TRUTH.

Can every one of my male followers read this? And please, before you get defensive (“I would never rape anyone!”) keep in mind, women being afraid of Shrodinger’s Rapists (oh my god i still can’t get over the encompassing brilliance of this phrase) is a conditioned, learned response from being immersed in rape culture and the evolution of sexism and sexual violence in our society from the day we’re born. And unfortunately, it’s very difficult to unlearn without the efforts of all genders to dismantle it. Which is where you come in.

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It’s also just rude and disrespectful to patently ignore what someone has told you regarding their personal space, body, and time. Get a clue.

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I will always reblog this. Always.

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So if you speak to a woman who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone.

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stfumadison:

A woman on the subway, New York City, 1970’s

human-s0uls:

mom driving her kid to warped tour

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littleediebeale:

"One can stand alone to a certain point only – and I am self-sufficient to a great degree – but underneath there is a loneliness that is very human – but sometimes mine feels very great because I am so much more within myself than the average person. I feel an overpowering need for another person who will understand all. Sometimes a whole lifetime is spent in that search. It is not a need that can be filled easily by any attractive personality on hand – I have tried that but found it to be only a temporary measure and if indulged in too often mars the original objective. In other words – do not let the signposts on the way obscure the ultimate goal. So after twenty-four years of idle existence there is a void, which even a self-sufficient introspective introvert like myself recognizes as the ancient need for another. It has boiled down to that.”

-Edie Beale, 1941.

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ilovecharts:

Mitosis Explained Through Donuts

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newsweek:

Five months ago, in the wake of a breakup, I adopted a 6-week-old stray kitten. I named him Cat Stevens, bought him a cat tepee and began posting pictures of him on Instagram.

The move alarmed some friends, who reflexively feared I was resigning myself, at 26, to a life of loneliness. But I had some glamorous company.

On an episode of HBO’s “Girls” this season, an also newly single Marnie, played by Allison Williams, calls Hannah with some news: She got a kitten.

The pop star Taylor Swift tweeted in January, “It is a daily struggle for me to not buy more cats.” Days later Ms. Swift was photographed wearing a T-shirt that read, “The Great Catsby.”

Elle’s deputy web editor, Ruthie Friedlander, detailed earlier this year how adopting a cat named Gracie got her through a painful breakup.

Emily Gould, a blogger whose novel “Friendship” is to be published this summer, has extensively chronicled the life and death of her cat, Raffles. And the perhaps aptly named Miu Miu is featuring cat prints prominently in its spring 2014 collections.

I’m a Cat Lady? Thank You