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In no particular order


Some random thoughts left over from yesterday’s post about incels and Robin Hanson.

A. From the Guardian article on the incels:

Their landscape is strewn with completely unsquarable contradiction: “They’ll say how terrible it is that the left has won the culture wars and we should return to traditional hierarchies, but then they’ll use terms like ‘banging sluts’, which doesn’t make any sense, right?” Nagle continues. “Because you have to pick one. They want sexual availability and yet, at the same time, they express this disgust at promiscuity.”

Agreed that it doesn’t make sense. However, the ability to demand women who know their place is in the home, and women who will do anything to anything, and whine about new-fangled ideas that ruined everything,  has been around for a few thousand years. It remains one of the perks of being a man in a patriarchal society. The incels are just shouting the parts normally spoken in conversational tones.

B. Because this society programs everyone to devalue women and their concerns and take complaints by men, especially white ones, very seriously, a lot of people seem to think the angry, violent misogynists who call themselves incels just need to have sex. The fact that this would put women in the closest of contact with an angry, violent misogynist is more, entirely superfluous evidence that women are devalued in this society. Just shove some woman under a raving asshole who fantasizes about rape and acid attacks, it’ll be fine!

However, incels are not angry, violent misogynists because they aren’t having sex any more than their brothers the pick up artist and the men’s rights activist are misogynists because they are having sex. Neither do incels need to: get out more; make some friends; take up a new hobby, or any of the other head-patty, he’s just a confused young man solutions that sound remarkably like comments people made about gamer-gaters. Incels are angry, violent misogynists for the same reason that white nationalists are angry, violent racists: because they want to be. As commentarion Mike Hoyer put it:

But in the present context, I don’t think “How do we help these guys be less lonely?” is the framing we need right now. “How do we prevent radicalization in young men?” and “How do we deal with those who are already violently radicalized?” are the more relevant framings.

As a bonus, this solution works for all sorts of radicalization, not just the peevish penis brigade.

B1. A Sex Worker Stipend is not a solution. First and foremost, there’s the violent misogyny thing. It’s also worth considering the number of sex workers who are assaulted or murdered by clients, or simply disappear every year. They’re already targets for these thugs, why does funding a violent thug’s access to sex workers seem like a good idea? Pretty much for the same reason most people don’t care when they hear a prostitute has been assaulted, I assume. Second, sex work is illegal in all but a few counties in one state, so unless the stipend would include transportation to Nevada, this is a cart 10 miles in front of the horse solution. Third, all sex workers can refuse any potential client. Cash isn’t the magic bullet that will solve the non-existent problem.
Finally, there’s no evidence that they can’t afford to visit sex workers. This was a question that came up after Elliot Rodger went on his killing spree. Here was a person with money and who lived one state over from Nevada if the future mass-murderer was worried about breaking the law. Why didn’t he visit a brothel? He didn’t want to. He wanted to be mad.

C. I’ve seen numerous statements to the effect that Robin Hanson, a 58-year old professor, author of two books and regular blogger isn’t a sexist creep, he just got excited and control of an analogy. Basically, Hanson accidentally sharted while he was giving a speech and we shouldn’t react to the sound or the stench. This is a common explanation for men’s word whoopsies, and it always sounds a bit strained. In this instance one is asked to believe he went on and on about making sure a bunch of violent misogynists have access to women to keep the violent misogynists from running amuck, and then he trebled down on that position, but it was really some … anti-tax crankery and so NBD.

This is not convincing on its own. But in addition, experience has taught me that if it has feathers, a rounded bill, webbed feet and goes Quack!, I don’t need to pull out my NAS Field Guide to Birds to make sure it a duck, and not a downy woodpecker or a cormorant. That’s why I was able to skip shock and go straight to horror after a few commenters shared some earlier examples of holy fuck what’s wrong with you? from this person.

Essentially Hanson wrote a series of posts arguing that a woman lying about the paternity of a child to the man who thinks he is the father is worse than rape, the third of which includes his description of a gentle, quiet rape.

A year ago I wrote two controversial posts (each 150 comments) that compared cuckoldry to rape. I was puzzling over why our law punishes rape far more than cuckoldry, arguing:

Biologically, cuckoldry is a bigger reproductive harm than rape, so we should expect a similar intensity of inherited emotions about it.

As an aside, I’m not sure what laws he think there are that punish cuckoldry, but maybe it is better if this maniac isn’t disabused of this notion.

At any rate, don’t worry. It gets worse.

I presented evidence that most men would rather be raped than cuckolded, and that even though men complain less, they gain and suffer more from marriage and divorce, and the birth and death of kids. Someone noted that many past societies did punish cuckoldry more than rape.

The evidence? Responses to a completely scientific survey by another blogger titled Cuckoldry vs. Butt Rape. Yes, there are detailed scenarios.

And then there’s the hypothetical that I assume was inspired by one of the regular cases of doctors who are accused of, or charged with and sometimes convicted of sexually assaulting sedated patients. Because I certainly wouldn’t want to suggest this is a confession.

It occurred to me recently that we can more clearly compare cuckoldry to gentle silent rape. Imagine a woman was drugged into unconsciousness and then gently raped, so that she suffered no noticeable physical harm nor any memory of the event, and the rapist tried to keep the event secret. Now drugging someone against their will is a crime, but the added rape would add greatly to the crime in the eyes of today’s law, and the added punishment for this addition would be far more than for cuckoldry.

Why does the law not treat married women who conceal the paternity of their child the same as it treats men who poison and sexually assault women? wonders Thinking Person and Amateur Analogy Wrangler R. Hanson.

He goes on, God help us. This time casually tossing in a suggestion that violating the 8th amendment is A-OK if it is to punish women who lie to men.

Now compare the two cases, cuckoldry and gentle silent rape. One remaining difference is that the rapist might be a stranger, while a cuckolding wife is not. But we could consider cases where the rapist isn’t a stranger. Another difference might be that punishing the cuckolding mother financially may punish her innocent kid. But we could specify the punishment to be non-financial, perhaps torture. Consider also that it tends to be easier to prove cuckoldry than rape, so if we avoid applying the law to hard-to-prove harms, that should favor punishing cuckoldry more than rape.

Not only should women be tortured, but they should be subjected to torture more than men who rape are subjected to prison. And of course there’ll be reverse sexism.

Even after all these attempts to make the cases comparable, however, I suspect most people will still say the law should punish rape far more than the cuckoldry. This even though most farming societies had the opposite attitude (I’m not sure on foragers). A colleague of mine suggests this is gender bias, pure and simple; women seem feminist, and men chivalrous, by railing against rape, but no one looks good complaining about cuckoldry.

Boy howdy that analogy got way out of hand.


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