The Redistribution of Sex
(Remember, kids. they can't refute your argument if they're distracted by boobies!)
One lesson to be drawn from recent Western history might be this: Sometimes the extremists and radicals and weirdos see the world more clearly than the respectable and moderate and sane.
Okay, sure. Sometimes the radicals and weirdos are Nazis, or Stalinists, or al Queda, or Scientologists, but sure. It never hurts to hear them out.
All kinds of phenomena, starting as far back as the Iraq War. . .
Woah, woah, slow down there!You're going ALL THE WAY BACK to the Iraq War? We didn't all major in ancient history, you know!
(editor's note: Hmm, maybe little Douche-Hat was a little to young to be made an op-ed columnist. Maybe we should have gotten someone wirth a bit more perspective on things like Davis Broo - -oh, right. Never mind.)
All kinds of phenomena, starting as far back as the Iraq War and the crisis of the euro but accelerating in the age of populism, have made more sense in the light of analysis by reactionaries and radicals than as portrayed in the organs of establishment opinion.
Or, in simpler language, the hippy liberals have always been right but never been listened to. And the spewers of "establishment opinion" are never penalized for having been wrong. Every cheerleader for Bush's ill-conceived, ill-planned, ill-advised, illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq is still being invited on the Sunday talk shows and the 24-hour news networks as if they have some rare and valuable acumen that simply must be shared with the general public while when's the last time you've seen Micheal Moore or Janeane Garofalo on Meet the Press?
For those more curious than martial, one useful path through this thicket is to look at areas where extremists and eccentrics from very different worlds are talking about the same subject. Such overlap is no guarantee of wisdom, but it’s often a sign that there’s something interesting going on .
Which brings me to the sex robots.
Okay, now you've got my attention!
Well, actually, first it brings me to the case of Robin Hanson, a George Mason economist, libertarian and noted brilliant weirdo.
Oh come on!
**Sigh** Fine. Let's talk about Hanson. I'm sure that will be just as interesting as "sex robots."
Commenting on the recent terrorist violence in Toronto, in which a self-identified “incel” — that is, involuntary celibate — man sought retribution against women and society for denying him the fornication he felt that he deserved, Hanson offered this provocation: If we are concerned about the just distribution of property and money, why do we assume that the desire for some sort of sexual redistribution is inherently ridiculous?
This argument was not well received by people closer to the mainstream than Professor Hanson, to put it mildly.
But Hanson’s post made me immediately think of a recent essay in The London Review of Books by Amia Srinivasan, “Does Anyone Have the Right To Sex?” Srinivasan, an Oxford philosophy professor, covered similar ground (starting with an earlier “incel” killer) but expanded the argument well beyond the realm of male chauvinists to consider groups with whom The London Review’s left-leaning and feminist readers would have more natural sympathy — the overweight and disabled, minority groups treated as unattractive by the majority, trans women unable to find partners and other victims, in her narrative, of a society that still makes us prisoners of patriarchal and also racist-sexist-homophobic rules of sexual desire.
STOP IT! Stop trying to make it seem as if there is some basis for compelling any person to have sex with any other person. You're not gettin' any because you're overweight or you're a minority person trying to score with racists? I feel for you. That sucks. But you know what? It also sucks that I wasn't tall enough to play in the NBA. And it also sucks that I never had the manual dexterity to be a musician. Life is unfair. But no one is trying to suggest that the Warriors be forced to make room on their roster for me or that Bob Weir should be forced to jam with me. That's not how it works. Some unfairnesses can be fixed, others can't. And it is not a good idea to humor those who lash out with violence when they feel that life is too unfair.
Now can we PLEASE talk about sex robots?
. . . By this I mean that as offensive or utopian the redistribution of sex might sound, the idea is entirely responsive to the logic of late-modern sexual life, and its pursuit would be entirely characteristic of a recurring pattern in liberal societies.
NO IT WOULDN'T!
Because sex is not a commodity. You can't just go down to the sex orchard and pic a bushel of sex and hand it out to the sex-deprived. Redistributing sex would require forcing women to have sex against their will or, at best, a massive prostitute-hiring WPA-type program that just seems really impractical.
First, because like other forms of neoliberal deregulation the sexual revolution created new winners and losers, new hierarchies to replace the old ones, privileging the beautiful and rich and socially adept in new ways and relegating others to new forms of loneliness and frustration.
Second, because in this new landscape, and amid other economic and technological transformations, the sexes seem to be struggling generally to relate to one another, with social and political chasms opening between them
Right, and prior to this dismal modern era, men and women understood each other perfectly and always got along famously!
(I know you're maybe too young to remember the golden times of male-female harmony, may I suggest you Google "Lysistrata?")
When do we get to the sex robots?
In the case of sexual liberation and its discontents, that’s unlikely to mean the kind of thoroughgoingly utopian reimagining of sexual desire that writers like Srinivasan think we should aspire toward, or anything quite so formal as the pro-redistribution political lobby of Hanson’s thought experiment.But I expect the logic of commerce and technology will be consciously harnessed, as already in pornography, to address the unhappiness of incels, be they angry and dangerous or simply depressed and despairing. The left’s increasing zeal to transform prostitution into legalized and regulated “sex work” will have this end implicitly in mind
No, no no! The "left's" zeal to legalize sex work is not aimed at appeasing potentially violent MRA's by helping to get them laid. The point of legalizing sex work is to make it less dangerous FOR THE SEX WORKER. Do you really not understand this? I don't know how to explain this, but not everything is about you. Not everything is done with an eye toward making pathetic men feel undeservedly better about themselves. Sorry to have to be the one to break it to you.
. . . the libertarian (and general male) fascination with virtual-reality porn and sex robots will increase as those technologies improve — and at a certain point, without anyone formally debating the idea of a right to sex, right-thinking people will simply come to agree that some such right exists, and that it makes sense to look to some combination of changed laws, new technologies and evolved mores to fulfill it.
No we won't. We "right-thinking" people will not come to that conclusion. Our position will be then what it is now. You have the right to have sex with anyone who is willing and is an adult. You have the right to watch virtual-reality porn or regular two-dimensional porn as long as everyone involved in making it did so voluntarily. And you absolutely have the right to spend your money on a sex robot.That's it. You don't have any claim on another person's body. And you never will. And by promoting the fiction that someday such a right will be recognized, you are only feeding in to the pathology of these "incels" increasing their belief that they are "owed" sex and making it more likely that they will act out in violent ways when this proves again to not be the case.
Stop humoring these people.
I know you don't actually believe in any right to sex. You believe that everyone should have to live their lives by the dogma of the Catholic Church. If it were up to you, there would be no sex outside of reproduction. You're only humoring these man-boys because your misogyny is outweighing your aversion to human sexuality. You need to stop. This won't end well.