Tinder fearmongering won’t erase the underlying problem of porn culture

An article in the September issue of Vanity Fair by Nancy Jo Sales painted a rather depressing picture of heterosexual dating in the Tinderage of Tinder. These bleak assessments of modern courting that glorify the days of yore before “hookup culture” killed romance seem to come along once a year, terrifying the coupled into staying coupled lest they be thrust into the loveless world of internet dating.

Now, speaking only from personal experience, I am not a fan of online dating. When I was single a couple of years ago, everyone was on OkCupid and told me I had to do it because that’s just how people dated nowadays. I tried it for maybe a month, found it super annoying and time-consuming, realized there was no way in hell I was going to go on a date with some stranger from the internet, and went back to my regular life meeting men through friends of friends, at parties, bars, and in my neighbourhood, and lived to tell the tale. Why date strangers when you can date people you already know and like and/or feel some kind of attraction to? Why expend that much energy going on dates with people who are likely to be douchey? Why put on pants when you could stay at home, pants-free?

I am fully aware that lots of folks have found love or lust online and that’s fine and good, it’s just not for me. I also know from personal experience that it’s not your only option if you’re single and ready to mingle. All that said, there is something to the argument that online dating — especially through apps like Tinder — forces superficiality. I mean, you quite literally choose who to date and who not to date based on a photo alone. Nonetheless, I do not believe either that “hookup culture” is new, directly connected to online dating, or that it has caused The Young People to eschew commitment and relationships completely.

In fact, I think all the hookup culture fearmongering is part of the problem, in that it convinces women they will be SINGLE FOREVER DUN DUN DUNNNN because today’s modern man just wants to fuck and has no interest in committed relationships. Hookup culture has been alive and kicking since I started having sex with men back in, like, 1997. And I didn’t even have a Hotmail account then. Hooking up was just what you did on the weekend and, quite honestly, as a young woman, I really didn’t care about being in a relationship. It wasn’t a priority for me at all. I’ve been both single and in relationships, on and off, for all of my adult life and there is very little that has changed since I was 17. People meet potential partners online far more frequently than ever before but “hookup culture” has been around for years and people are still managing to find love and marriage (if that is something they desire) despite it.

Like many think pieces that came before it, the Vanity Fair article focuses on the way in which “hookup culture,” enabled by apps like Tinder, favours men. At the end of the day, they still hold the power to decide whether a woman is “girlfriend material” or just “hookup material.”

“It seems like the girls don’t have any control over the situation,” one of the women interviewed in the piece says.

Well yeah. What’s new.

Since the dawn of patriarchy, women have not had control in the “dating scene.” A century ago, they did not get to choose if and who they married and today, they still don’t have the upper hand in heterosexual dealings. We still romanticize marriage in a way that ensures women view it as their primary goal in life and as the thing that defines whether or not they are valuable human beings. We glorify the engagement process and continue to let men control the whole thing, proposing to women as though they are offering up a gift or favour. Like, oh gee will you please lock me into some contract that I’ll have to pay a lawyer thousands of dollars to get out of once you turn out to be a shitbag? Thank you so much.

A sociology professor named Elizabeth Armstrong is quoted in the article, saying, “We need to puzzle out why women have made more strides in the public arena than in the private arena,” like there’s some big mystery. But we gave women birth control and jobs and the vote — what gives?

Hot tip:

Liberal feminists refuse to address the root of patriarchy or porn culture as a key problem, skirting around the issues and pretending that things like “choice” will magically upend deeply entrenched systems of power. But it won’t. And you’re looking at the proof.

We still live in a culture that treats women as things that exist for men. Liberals are baffled that women continue to hold little power in the dating scene because they’ve refused to address systems of power or objectification as a problem at all. Giving women jobs and an education and political power helps and is absolutely necessary, but it isn’t enough. You can’t give a woman a job and tell her that she still has to perform to the male gaze in order to matter in this world and expect things to change. You can’t tell men they are entitled to access women through the maintenance and normalization of a global sex industry and expect women to have real sexual power when it comes to their dalliances with men. You can’t make a woman’s worth about getting married and becoming a mother but simultaneously expect the root dynamics of heterosexual relationships to change. You can’t tell women they are on an equal playing field but continue to subject them to sexual harassment, then flit around wondering what could possibly have led men to believe they are entitled to yell misogynistic comments at women on the street.

Liberal feminism doesn’t work. It isn’t enough. And that’s why women can still have access to (some) power in the public sphere but are still not able to escape sexism.

“Agh, look at this,” one of the young women interviewed says, looking at her OkCupid messages in a bar. “I want to have you on all fours,” a man she’s never met before writes, propositioning her by describing a graphic sexual scene.

“They start out with ‘Send me nudes,’” says another woman.

“Hi,” a woman named Amy reads. “I’m looking for a cute girl like you that has a bit of a kinky side, so I’m curious if you fantasize about rough sex. Do you think you would like to get choke-fucked, tied up, slapped, throat-fucked and cummed on? I think we could have a wild afternoon together but I am happy just to share brunch with you.” This is yet another introductory OkCupid message.

Now, where on earth do you think a man might get the idea that proposing a graphic sexual scene to a woman he’s never met before is an acceptable and normal thing to do?

The men Sales speaks to don’t want relationships. They see them as troublesome. Too much work. And men, of course, have learned from porn (and the sex industry, more generally) that relationships with women shouldn’t be work. Rather, they should be about getting instant gratification from a person who is not a full human being, who doesn’t ask for anything and doesn’t challenge them, but gives a man exactly what he wants, when he wants it.

That’s not a problem Tinder created.

The young women Sales interviews complain that a lot of guys lose their erections during sexual encounters. Confused, she writes, “It’s a curious medical phenomenon, the increased erectile dysfunction in young males, which has been attributed to everything from chemicals in processed foods to the lack of intimacy in hookup sex.” She doesn’t mention the way in which excessive porn use impacts men’s ability to have sex with actual real women, in real life, even though some of the women tell her how little they enjoy the rough sex imposed on them, something they recognize men learn through porn.

Sales doesn’t seem to want to make these connections outright. In the end, she comes back to “monogamy,” wondering if men simply have too many “easily accessible options” and asking, “Will people ever be satisfied with a sexual or even emotional commitment to one person?” She still wants to paint Tinder as the problem, implying that women and men alike objectify one another and have, together, created a culture that doesn’t value committed relationships in the same way we used to.

But this isn’t about dating apps and it isn’t about “hookup culture.” The way the internet has connected visual media, accessibility, and porn plays a part, for sure, but compartmentalizing everything won’t help resolve the problem. Obsessing over dating apps without talking about larger contexts won’t bring about a resolution, just as talking about things like rape culture without talking about things like objectification won’t ever address the real issues and stop sexual assault.

The problem is patriarchy and the way women are seen and treated in a porn culture, not casual sex or Tinder or social media. I realize that’s an awfully boring response and not one that magazines are going to want to publish when they could, instead, publish spooky stories like, “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse,'” but it’s the truth.

There is no big mystery here. Men learn they are entitled to access women’s bodies on a whim and women learn that if they push back they will be called “pearl-clutching prudes.” This is enabled by the sex industry, men, and by liberal feminists who use anti-feminist terms to attack women who challenge male entitlement and the male gaze.

So long as we ignore the objectified female body — and not only ignore it, but glorify it and tell women they should feel empowered by it — we will continue to come up against the problem of male entitlement and we will continue to be mystified that women feel powerless when it comes to dating or sleeping with men.

Sales references Noami Wolf’s book, The Beauty Myth, wondering if the idea that, “as women achieved more social and political power, there was more pressure on them to be ‘beautiful’ as a means of undermining their empowerment” is true. I think Wolf is right, but it’s more than that. The increasing violent and degrading nature of pornography and the normalized objectification we see in pop culture through celebrities and pop stars like Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj is, arguably, connected to the fact that women are gaining more ground in public arenas. Still, the quickest and easiest way to put a woman in her place is to objectify her. It’s an ever-present reminder that, if a man chooses, he can violate us. We can be destroyed with words, pictures, or actions in a moment, regardless of whether we are the Prime Minister or a waitress.

Until we’re ready to really challenge male power head on and stop tiptoeing around the ideas, imagery, industries, and systems that support it, we’ll have to keep telling each other that The Kids These Days and their Computers and Sexting are destroying society as we know it.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • Bob

    Did I just read that women have no power in the dating scene?

    • catchyfeministurl

      If that statement of fact is what stood out most after reading the piece, you may have the wrong website bob.

      • Bob

        Well that’s the thing I actually fully disagreed with. No power is a bit of an extreme statement.

        • lizor

          Oh Christ – I smell a “women are the keepers of the holes we so want to stick our pee pees in and therefore have power” argument coming on.

          Please don’t.

          And FTR, nowhere does the article state “women have NO power in the dating scene”. Quit wasting space.

          • Rachel

            I know right?! And that ‘gatekeeper of the holes’ argument that they so love really just proves themselves wrong. They are basically just saying that sex is For men. Men want it more. Men are the sex fiends. Which they are, but not because they are supposed to be that way. But because the patriarchy has made it that way. Most women probably don’t want to be the gatekeeper, they want to enjoy sex as much as men…but they don’t get the opportunity to because their sex is defined by the patriarchy, which is pretty much just a performance for men. And once you make someone the ‘gatekeeper’ of something you want, you have by definition objectified them. They hold the ‘thing/ service’ you want. So men feel the need to manipulate women by means of money, coercion, dates, dinner, drinks in exchange for access to their holes. Gross. Men that think that way are just reducing women to objects with no desires of their own. But we all know it’s safer that way for them, keeps their ego protected thinking that women don’t want sex as much as them.

          • Actually men aren’t sex fiends. The guy who’s trying to concentrate on work, or his term paper, or the big game, or a camping trip with his buddies, or just about everything except sex, is a classic figure. And every woman who’s interested in sex with men has a thousand stories about how he was “too busy.”

            Men are status fiends. And the patriarchy has decided men can put more notches in their man cards if they “get” women. Not the same woman of course. You only get one per woman. If you can make her do gross stuff, you win bigger, and may have more notches bestowed. That’s why degradation is such a big deal. None of it is really about sex, which has exactly zero to do with violence or humiliation.

            They hunt sex for the status, not the other way around.

      • Rachel

        Spot on. Awesome piece.

        I actually feel an onslaught of evolutionary psych babble explanations coming on…not here, but In general. Some crap about how men are innately programmed to desire multiples of younger women, and now the intertweb is allowing them to do so through porn (you know, because it’s oh so natural and empowering), and now tinder. So women need to step up their game, they know this, and show this through a constant barrage of sexy pictures to attract a ‘mate’ and increase her chances of doing what women want most… Babies and marriage!!! So yep, the conclusion is…it’s the tinder! The tinder! Oh my god stop it in its tracks before we end up with more unhitched, childless women! I think I’ve read way too many of these evo psych ‘theories’ along my research path.

        It baffles me that people still don’t want to critique the porn industry and culture, and its effects on women and men in society. Are we really going to pretend men are just innately selfish, vile, violent and sexist? Especially people that clearly do want the best for women, such as lib fems. I guess it comes down to that internalised misogyny. I’ve said it before, but I always had ideas that were feminist. I always hated the double standard that existed, particularly in regards to sex rights, between men and women. Once I came across feminism (the liberal sort), things started to make more sense. I started to feel less alone and alienated in my thoughts that women shouldn’t be seen as objects. But yet, the whole lib fem ideas on porn just didn’t sit right with me. Most views about feminism made me feel safe, but the acceptance and encouragement of the porn culture just always left that sick feeling in my stomach. And I really felt I was ‘uncool’ and ‘stupid’ and ‘prudish’ etc. because I didn’t want cum in my eye, a pearl necklace or anal sex, or I was ‘insecure’ and ‘possessive’ over men, because boyfriends ogling women, making derogatory and sexy remarks about them, making crude comments about schoolgirls (children) and obviously watching porn filled me with distrust, and anger as opposed to the overwhelming delight that I was supposed to feel as a ‘cool chick’. So I imagine that’s what’s going on for the women who refuse to tear down the porn culture and stand up against the overwhelming force of it. I get it. But I don’t like it.

        It’s like standing alone, a tiny person, pushing back against this huge tidal wave, trying to save yourself and protect those like you, but as a tidal wave is water, it pushes past you from all directions and threatens to consume you and pull you down. Even if you manage to stay standing and not crumble and tumble under the pressure, you’re left there. Standing alone. Soaked and dripping. Exhausted. Deflated. And wiping the salty water from your eyes, ears and mouth, preparing yourself for the next monsoon to come. You just never know when, or where it’s going to come from. Porn culture is just like that, it seeps it’s way into every area of life, and like you say, unless people are willing to critique it and address it honestly, then nothing is going to change.

        On a side note – the 4 digit captcha code that I just had to enter is my work employee number. Hah! How freaky is that.

        • Sofia

          The same happened with me. I was a feminist before knowing the movement, and I felt happy when I found it (liberal feminism), but still, I didnt agree with their opinions of objectification, porn and so on. Every feminist blog, fb page or activist I came across was the liberal sort. I felt alone and misunderstood. So I searched people with the same opinion as me about porn, and that is how I found Gail Dines, and then, radical feminism.

    • Rich

      You read it.

      The fact is, most people have power in the dating scene. Most people have people they reject, people they pursue, people who the feel “meh” about. My wife had three people (including me, obviously) who wanted a long term, serious relationship with her.

      Women certainly don’t have to settle for these idiots who are quoted in this piece. I doubt that those guys are even serious. They are probably trying to be offensive on purpose.

      • Priscila

        Translation of your comment: “not all men”.

        • Rich

          “Translation of your comment: “not all men”.”

          Wrong. I won’t make the “not all men” comment because it is like saying “the Sun rises in the East.” Of course nothing one says about how men behave or think is going to be true for all. There is no need to say it.

          Women, like men, have control over who they date and don’t date. They don’t have to settle for immature idiots. Nor should they.

    • tinfoil hattie

      Comgratulations for the most brilliant, sexist comment today! Don’t tell me: Women have “sexual power” because we can rejext your boner, right? Ha ha ha ha ha ha my sides are aching.

      • Bob

        I love the hostility. It said women have no control over the dating scene. Being the ones who always receive requests implies they have some miniscule power. I’m confused as to how this is a troublesome idea.

        • Babs

          Women looking for het dating “always receive requests”? Even the ones who are over 30, disabled, “fat”, lack the means or desire to dress “attractively”, are racial minorities, etc?

          More importantly, though, what are they always receiving requests for? Mutually beneficial, non-degrading sex/potential relationships? Or are many men offering us a chance to be submissive and degraded during sex and be subservient and placating wives and girlfriends? Much of what passes for “vanilla” interactions is just a more socially acceptable manifestation of the sex hierarchy.

          • Bob

            It’s a the standard idea that women turn down men who aren’t cool or attractive or rich. We learn this in grade school. I am merely stating when the idea that when women refuse in numbers large enough to be a stereotype then they have some small power. This doesn’t change anything you argue! Small power vs no power.

          • Cobalt-Blue

            I believe you’re getting into the whole “good guy” who can’t get a date, vs. the “bad boy” who leaves a trail of broken women who after a while, have so much emotional baggage that the good guys no longer want them.

            This isn’t male or female thing. It’s a human thing. I’ve seen my share of women turn down good guys, in favor of the “dangerous guy”. This usually, in my experience, results in a woman with both physical and emotional scars that are difficult to get past for both her and a potential partner.

            At the same time, there are the guys who won’t go out with anything less than an “8”, when they’re somewhere around a “4” and can’t figure out why they can’t get a date. They only want the supermodel on their arm and don’t see the person under the skin.

            One of the best memes I’ve ever seen simply said, “No amount of physical attractiveness can make up for an ugly soul.”

            This is simply the human condition. The porn industry doesn’t help it because it sets standards too high for both men an women–straight and gay. Most women don’t look like porn stars, and most men aren’t endowed like porn stars or built like superheroes.

            If people would see each other as just that, people, it would work out a lot better. A long time ago, I realized that I don’t really see faces, or people. With a few notable exceptions of people I either know very well, or not at all, I see people as personalities. Race, and sex become submerged under the personality.

          • marv

            “Small power vs no power.”

            Cross reference. Laborers in capitalism don’t have control over the economic system. Capital does. Workers have to fit into the moulds created by those above them. Women too have to accommodate to men’s institutions e.g., courtship, marriage, economics, government….. Yes the underlings may receive a few benefits now and again in the guise of reforms.

            Obviously small power hasn’t changed the structural inequalities since patriarchy and capitalism are robust as ever. It’s elementary knowledge.

          • Bob

            Thank you for agreeing with me. I already said it doesn’t change the arguments. Just wanted to see how much you guys would resist an inconsequential point from someone who isn’t trolling you.

          • marv

            Rome is burning while Nero is fiddling with “an inconsequential point”. Privileged people can afford to play around with nuance and baiting while the oppressed languish because of them.

          • Priscila

            Exactly. Most “requests” I receive online could be better described as harassment.

      • Anonomega

        “Comgratulations for the most brilliant, sexist comment today! Don’t tell me: Women have “sexual power” because we can rejext your boner, right? Ha ha ha ha ha ha my sides are aching.”

        Actually, isnt that correct? This idea that women dont have any power in dating , in this day and age, is beyond ignorant. You are the ones with the supply and demand of sexuality in your favour. You pick and choose. you set the bar, and men bust their asses to meet it.

        But what can I expect when you can take a man offering a ring worth thousands and gets on one knee as being in control of the whole thing. You are deluded beyond belief.

        “oh gee will you please lock me into some contract that I’ll have to pay a lawyer thousands of dollars to get out of once you turn out to be a shitbag? Thank you so much.” …Thats what HE said.

        • Meghan Murphy

          Yeah because ‘female sexuality’ has LONG put us in a position of power in this world. See: prostitution, rape, street harassment, pregnancy, etc. Empowerful 4 eva!

  • I had to laugh when I saw the comparison with the ’90s. How about going back before the ’60s (birth control) or the ’50s (Playboy) for a better comparison?

    Right now I’m reading a novel from 16th century China in which the main character is a womanizer who is really into kinky sex. He’s as bad as any misogynist today – wealthy, with 6 wives, plenty of mistresses, and way too much privilege – and it’s really very depressing to read. (I’m researching something, otherwise I wouldn’t read it at all.)

    • unali

      My question for moderator is how long are me have to read concern trolling woman hating rant by this guy Rich? It is obvious that he is here only to mansplain, to attack women and to derail conversation. There is no one single thread in which he didn’t did that and in many cases he derailed conversation so much that it didn’t even had sense.

      • Rich

        I would be interested in seeing one example of something I have said on any thread, on this site or any other, that qualifies as a “women hating rant.”

      • Priscila

        As whiny, boring, mainsplainer, MRA-esque Rich is, he still hasn’t attacked anybody directly (as far as I know). He’s careful not to do so so that his comments can still be approved. I suggest we simply don’t give him too much attention.

        (Since we’re on it… is it me or the number of MRA-like men in the comments has increased significantly in the last weeks?)

        • Bob

          Not enough for my tastes. There is a distinct lack of representation of mras, mgtows, puas in this community. I am in no way shape or form suggesting it is due to systemic oppression by people on this site. Since we all know lack of perfectly reflected representation doesn’t mean discrimination. Right?

          • unali

            And here we have them both, advocating for hate group, and we have to sit and watch. And Eliot Rodger is MRA hero and he read MRA forum on reddit and RedPill, the monster who killed those women few years back in gym also was the supporter of MRAs. Oh well as long the moderator approves hate comments by hate group in radical feminism forum we don’t deserve anything better. Even in Jezebel women get really angry with them and call them MRA NAZIS as they are, but here nothing.

          • vagabondi

            Oh, we love mgtows here! Wish there were more of them. If you ask me, all of the men who hate women should leave us alone. Sadly, most men who hate women are still for some reason obsessed with fucking us. I’ve always found it strange that women who hate men become separatists, while men who hate women become “pick up artists.” Mgtows make much more sense to me.

          • EEU

            The problem with mgtows is that they don’t actually go away. They still obsess over women and do and say incredibly hateful things. I mean, the have forums and websites and meetings and everything. They’re just MRAs using different letters.

          • Bob

            Pick up artists don’t hate women! They love sex. They apparently have methods that work at getting it. You really shouldn’t say Group A is bad because this person said this or did this. That’s the exact same argument used on feminism and Islam. Go after unifying principles they share. Such as the patriarchy has treated women like chattle for thousands of years covers most feminist groups. The logical follow-up to that is that men are monsters who enslaved their mothers, caretakers, loves, sisters, nieces, daughters.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Loving sex doesn’t = loving women.

          • amongster

            OMG! That we even have to say that! There are really far far too many men out there who think loving sex makes them lovers of women and who believe they should be applauded for their deluded and misogynist thinking… No wonder the “pick up artists” (rather date bungler) scene exists.

          • Priscila

            Bob, you’re just embarrassing yourself. Sorry.

          • marv

            “Pick up artists don’t hate women!”

            To “pick up” a woman for sex is hatred. It is treating her like a thing: as in picking up a coffee or take out. You should say Group A is sexist because of the attitudes and methodologies they hold, based on the unifying principles they share.

            The logical follow-up to that is men who think pick up is love should stop spreading their contempt for women online. If they can’t it illustrates how they don’t have a gram of humanity left in them.

          • Sam

            I’m a guy, and to be a PUA, and look at women as they do, and act the way they act, you have to absolutely despise women, and want to do nothing but degrade, and manipulate them. It’s a completely bloodless activity. It’s vampirism. And it’s not “sex” that the PUA loves, it’s status, and nothing more. Having sex is a way of having status, and masking his own self hate. Don’t bullshit.

        • unali

          If you follow any feminist blog you will see that if you don’t moderate the comments MRAs and other scum will take over the comment section. I feel really icky about having to be polite and tolerate even here the MRAs, the hate group as they are. Some of their members already have few women killed( Eliot Rodger is their hero, but we still have to read their spew everywhere.
          Nobody would ask in black forum to tolerate the KKK members or in Jewish forum the Nazis but as we now we women don’t count.

          • Miguel

            Btw my personal favorites as a part time mra are karen straughan, milo yiannopoulos, christina hoff sommers, and janice fiamengo. As far as im aware Eliot rodger was not a mra hero. Probably less connected to them as the feminists who advocate for the murder of males are to you. If he is representative of mra’s then feminists apparently want to murder males en masse.

          • Priscila

            You might be right, unali. I was surprised myself with how easily they were ready to come and exemplify my comment. “Systemic oppression” really made me crack up. 😀

            Now seriously: sometimes I do wonder if Meghan receives too much abuse through the comments (death/rape threats and the like), because the general level of the threads on FC seems to me exceptionally high. Of course there are the usual spoiled brats, but in average the comments are so good that this is the only site whose comment section I still read regularly. I share your disgust with the MRAs who still manage to show up but, in the other hand, I think it does good to expose their ideas to public ridicule at times. To prevent sane, intelligent people to ever take them minimally seriously.

            I’m not really disagreeing with you, just throwing some questions for thought.

          • Priscila

            (I obviously meant “prevent from”. English can still be tricky for me at times.)

          • unali

            No problem, I am not a native English speaker as you can see by my posts, I try my best though! 😀
            I was on black rights forum and I noticed total lack of racist comments, I asked moderator in one thread do they have people coming to spew racist drivel and he said that he has to delete daily about 100 posts because every day he has brigade from Stormfront forum. He said that he never leaves any of their comment and that everybody agrees with that because everybody knows by now that they are hate group and by publishing their comments you are promoting them, you make commercial for them.
            I agree with him, MRA group has already killed women in attack that nobody wanted to call terrorist attack or hate crime because well they are women. In reddit you have compilations few nice people gathered in which they promote violence, not only they are rape apologist, they exchange advice how to rape women and brag about how they beat their wives. Just imagine if they had power like Nazis or ISIS, they would wipe out half of the female population from earth, and other half would be raped or beaten. They are dangerous terrorists, just read about any of their leaders and what they did to their wives/girlfriend(rape, domestic violence). They even set up a false domestic violence against women charity and stole that money for their women hating propaganda. If we allow them to grow and to gain power, we are done. As I said no black person would be asked to listen to drivel from KKK, Stormfront or racist drivels, and they refuse to do that. Why can’t we, does that mean our lives matter as a life of a cockroach?
            We are the biggest minority on this planet and still crimes against us are not hate crimes, crimes against any other minority are. When some famous person says or does something against blacks, gays or Jews their career is done and everybody judge them. When they say something sexist oh well they are just women. We are bottom of the barrel, when anything happens to men it is human rights violations, when anything happens to women it is cultural tradition. And we have to take sexist insults and to be nice to hate groups like no other minority group has to.

          • Sofia

            “When some famous person says or does something against blacks, gays or Jews their career is done and everybody judge them. When they say something sexist oh well they are just women.”
            This is SO true. Take for example Eminem: every fucking song of him is extremely hateful towards woman, but when he wrote a racist song with the n word, he was sent in court/judged by a judge (english is not my native language…)
            Im not saying that racism is a less important problem. Im just saying that while racism is still alive,the vast majority of people can recognise something racist when they hear it, and condemn it. But misoginy? Hell no.

          • Sofia

            I think a reason for sexism being acceptable while racism,homophobia and antisemitism not, is that beig against sexism means changing your way of thinking, your habits and all that stuff, while being again the other things is just stop being and asshole for treating people different than you in a bad way. Its much easier and comfortable. If we talk about sexism in all his forms, people get umcomfortable, because they recognise a lot of their actitudes being sexist. (Sorry for the poor writing, I guess you will understand what I mean)

          • Bob

            Didn’t Adria Richards get two men fired for a joke she overheard not intended for her? Songs, games, videos, jokes do not normalize real sexism or racism. Nearly all crimes have been going down over the decades. Didn’t the president of Harvard have to resign largely due to pointing to a study that said there are more male geniuses and idiots? Don’t get all jack Thompson and Anita sarkessian on culture here.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Bye Bob.

        • Rich

          “MRA-esque Rich is, he still hasn’t attacked anybody directly (as far as I know). He’s careful not to do so so that his comments can still be approved.”

          I resent the “MRA-esque” comment. I am a 56 year old, pretty traditional male. I am no activist of any type. Nor do I consider myself in any way akin to MRAs, which, if I understand it correctly, tend to be younger and much more liberal, a very different worldview than where I am coming from. In my view, masculinity does not involve going around and whining about things, which is my impression of what MRAs are all about.

          And I have no desire to “attack” anyone, directly or otherwise. Why would I? People disagree about things. That is just a fact of life. Discussion forums are for discussing things. I comment on several forums, each dedicated to different topics. The tone of my comments on all of them is exactly the same.

  • Rich

    IMO, a major problem, at least for the college educated classes, is the extended adolescence that we have these days. Some of it is unavoidable, as you are not done with school and starting out in your real job until your late twenties and beyone. This puts off adulthood for too long. You end up with a lot of men and women who are not children anymore, but definitely not living like adults. These “men” who are quoted in this article have a lot of growing up to do, IMO.

    • Who is ‘we’?

      If you’re a girl/woman with an ultra-high IQ who has unemployed, socially conservative Christian fundamentalist parents (neither of whom finished high school) that fear feminism, science and medicine and who live out in the middle of nowhere, who gets her first job (illegally, and grossly underpaid) at the age of 13 to help pay her own bills, and then goes on to University, not having enough time to study because she has to work her way through….and goes into science and faces sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination (because only men can be more than competent at science, let alone brilliant), things can look a lot different than what you describe.

      Adult-like responsibilities start relatively young for some college-educated people, and even with high ability and hard work, the benefits of a college education may not add up to much for someone who doesn’t come from a middle-class (or even more affluent) background, and is female in a traditionally male discipline.

      There’s not much about being a poor yet intelligent girl/woman that is conducive to an extended adolescence, college education or no.

      • Rich

        “There’s not much about being a poor yet intelligent girl/woman that is conducive to an extended adolescence, college education or no.”

        True. And there are many men as well who do not fit the extended adolescent type. But the fact remains that most college educated people put off for a long time what always has been considered the hallmark of adult lives. It has an effect on how they act, men and women.

    • It depends on how you define adulthood. They may not be taking on the same adult social role earlier generations did at their age, but they’re probably more sophisticated (cognitive/social/moral development-wise) than their grandparents. Just not quite there yet. (Increases in sophistication often require embarrassing detours along the way – you can’t learn without mistakes.)

      None of that has anything to do with the problems caused by porn, though. Porn messed plenty of people in earlier generations up, too, even when they were respectably married and working at a respectably early age.

      • Rich

        None of that has anything to do with the problems caused by porn, though. Porn messed plenty of people in earlier generations up, too, even when they were respectably married and working at a respectably early age.

        I think the validity of the second sentence does not mean the first is true. I think deferring the traditional milestones of adulthood by several years or more has a large impact on relations between the sexes in general. And a man who is married but consumes porn still lives every day with a woman. He is much less likely to have a fantasy view of women than someone who is single. Fantasies are like soap bubbles. They disappear when exposed to real life.

  • Ellesar

    Great article. Liberal feminism is certainly not enough.

  • I like angry women

    Great piece, Meghan! I’ve binge-reading your blog for a few weeks now and I really admire your writing.
    “I realize that’s an awfully boring response and not one that magazines are going to want to publish..”
    It’s not only a problem with magazines, it’s something we encounter not only all over the media but also on a personal, day-to-day level. I’m grappling with the issue of engaging men and women (‘Oh I’m just uncomfortable with the word ‘feminist’..) in meaningful discussion, beyond the tired cliches you pointed out, whenever such a subject comes up. I’m curious whether you found some ways that work, or is it just a lost cause with some people.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I find you have to work with those willing to learn, rather than those who are too stubborn to open their minds… It’s just crazy making in that case and a waste of energy that could be spent elsewhere. I’m not sure if that’s helpful… Thanks for reading!

  • Cobalt-Blue

    Gee, and to think I was doing all wrong when I was on dating sites. I kept asking my potential partners what they liked to read, if they enjoyed tabletop roleplaying games, and if they’d read Heinlein. I should have been asking them for nudes? Oh well, I’m happily married to my best friend, so it all worked out in the end.

    • Babs

      …and?

      • Cobalt-Blue

        And what? Evidently I was doing it wrong because I was interested in what was inside, not in a hook up. To be honest, I was on the dating scene for about seven or eight years after my divorce. I knew what I was looking for and kept getting people who wanted a sexual encounter, not someone who shared my interests. (And trust me, although I’m now friends with my first wife, a lack of shared interests did not help the marriage.)

        Finally, one day, I found myself on a date, and wishing it would be over. I was sick of not being able to talk about shared interests, or finding someone with those interests. My current wife had been my best friend for 15 years at that point, and I realized that I missed her company, our shared interests, and our rapport. So, out of the blue, I tried calling her to ask her to marry me. Couldn’t get through. (She was in a movie at the time.) Finally, I sent her a text message.
        The first message she sent me back was “Are you drunk?” (Which by this time I was at my Dad’s house watching the ballgame and actually was a bit drunk.)
        I told her yes, but I wasn’t when I sent the message.
        She moved down the next week. We married in a civil ceremony (for tax reasons) in December, but stood before our gods and friends and took our religious vows on April 30th. Been married now for ten years. Best thing I ever did.

        • Sherry

          If you want a cookie for acting like a decent human being, you’ve come to the wrong place.

          • Cobalt-Blue

            Nah, I’ll pass. I’m diabetic. Just making a point you missed entirely.

          • Priscila

            Jeez… this thread seems to be particularly full of trolls. The menz get really uncomfortable when we try to talk about gender roles’ dynamics, hm?

            To the subject: I’ve never been on Tinder but I was on OkCupid for a while. I remember the so-called “matching questions” to be extremely male-centered and misogynistic. “Do you prefer hard- or softcore porn?” “Do you consider yourself to be sexually open-minded?” [you can imagine what they meant by that…] “Would you perform a rape fantasy if your partner asked you to?”… WTF???

            Needless to say, their software classified me as remarkably “less confident” and “less friendly to strangers” (HAHAHAHAHA) than straight women my age. Y’know, a pearl-clutching, man-hating prude. 😀

          • Priscila

            Whoops, I didn’t mean my comment to be a particular reply to anyone. My bad.

          • lizor

            Wow. That’s really fucked up. You’re reduced to an instrument before you even get in the door…

          • julian ambrosiano

            I can see that, as well as in other dating sites mentioned. However, I’m not quite sure how Tinder is biased towards men when women are given equal opportunity to “swing” (is that what it’s called?) left or right based on looks and decide if someone is worthy of a hookup or being boyfriend or girlfriend material.

            I am, however, open to being convinced.

        • lizor

          Oh look everyone! A poster with the handle “Cobalt Blue” has explained that he’s a Really Nice Guy™ and he’s even a bit miffed that we’re not dropping the topic to talk about his exceptionalism! (Yeah, I got what you’re saying even with that clever “I’ve been doing it wrong” thing you did.)

          Based on this new compelling evidence and the enlightenment it brings us, it looks like we should drop the entire discussion, doesn’t it? Do you have any more light to shed on the idea of rape culture, Cobalt? Something to further reassure us that the whole thing is just a figment of our tiny feminine imaginations?

    • S.Law

      I think my problem with men (regardless of sexual orientation) and heterosexual women is that both groups engage in magical thinking re: men’s happiness, in that both think that women are responsible for ensuring (creating and maintaining) men’s happiness. Whether it is mothers telling their daughters that dad had a tough childhood so he is ‘entitled’ to be a bully, abusive and just plain mean-spirited, or certain women (including certain self-described feminists) suggesting (though not directly arguing) that certain groups of women and children will have to be sacrificed to prostitution because men have needs and men’s unhappiness is ultimately the fault of women, somehow. Just look at all the effort that has been expended on wondering why boys perform so poorly in school (this has been going on for decades, I remember this claim being made in late 1990s in a grad class in education), why men have higher suicide success rates (not attempt rates), why men are failing to pursue post-secondary education, why, why, why? No doubt, it’s their mommies fault, or their sister’s fault (this is my brother’s mantra), or their female teacher’s fault, or their wife’s fault, or the fault of womankind in general.

      I always understood that my unhappiness was my problem, for me to solve (not my mantra, but my family’s and my mother’s in particular). That I could choose to react or not react to people and circumstances. I don’t wholly agree with that position, I am just saying that that is how I was indoctrinated as a child. Very convenient really, for men, to have women take responsibility for their own happiness and that of any men in their sphere.

      I really see the prostitution legalization discussion in the light of this drive to ensure men are happy. Why do men need to be happy (or appeased)? Is everyone afraid they will start shooting people in public places? Why all this concern? I don’t seem the same fixation on female happiness. Only blame directed at women for not being happy enough (need plastic surgery to rid yourself of resting b*tch face?), or happy at all. Probably because ‘society’ has intuited that women who are happy (or appear to be happy, or ‘together’) are better equipped to help out unhappy men (sympathize with, pander to, service (in terms of hooking them up with mental health professionals, or providing them with healthy meals and right amount of ‘nagging’ re: health issues).

      I really don’t see it as my job to prop up unhappy men. Aren’t enough women already in the ‘men must be happy’ brigade. I think this drive to appease unhappy men is really just abject fear or misplaced compassion. Men really don’t obsess about the happiness of women. They are more my mother’s school of thought on this – people are responsible for their own happiness, well unless you are talking about their happiness. You know, their home is their castle, and as king of that castle he is ruler, all others are subjects. As good an explanation as any for the mentality.

  • Dogtowner

    Totally on a personal level — and not on the societal level Meghan writes about, which is the most important — I don’t know how any woman manages a heterosexual relationship UNLESS 1) the man is totally crazy about her, which helps to spread the power, and 2) the woman is strong-minded and independent, ready to exit at any time if the man pulls any shit. And what do you know, after 45 years he’s still madly in love with me.

  • I just have one question to ask in relation to this piece. I have no intention to attempt to hijack the thread with my own agenda. I would be very interested though in some honest replies as I find attitudes towards porn very interesting and I would genuinely like to understand better what motivates people’s moral beliefs in this area.

    My question is this: Do any of those who would call for a porn-free world, either through legislation or by any other means, also find pornography highly arousing themselves?

    I’m interested in “no”s as much as “yes”es

    And also those for whom the inverse is true but whom I doubt would be on this forum: Is there anyone who is not interested in porn personally but would be against censorship anyway?

    Its not a trick question and I’m not trolling.

    • Meghan Murphy

      It doesn’t matter. That’s not the point. Speaking for myself, no. I find it degrading, offensive, and repulsive. But just because a person is aroused by porn doesn’t make it ok. People are aroused by plenty of things that are unethical, thanks to socialization and media. In fact, I’d argue most of us are ‘aroused’ by inequality, gendered power relations, and objectification, on various levels.

    • Babs

      I don’t find porn hot, partially because I cannot/refuse to separate it from the realities of its creation and use. I’m unsure, but I think I might be opposed to pursuing across-the-board censorship (as in, making illegal to create commercially or consume) of porn as a way to diminish the size and influence of the industry.

      BUT, I am opposed to pornography in any form. I want social change. I want to see demand disappear and desperate women have better options. I’m not convinced an endless legal struggle over things like hosting homemade porn, simulated adult porn, what types of porn are “okay”, etc., is the answer. There are aspects of the industry/culture that can and should be somewhat effectively attacked via legal systems, but against many aspects it’s futile and a waste of feminist resources.

      I guess I’m your mythical anti-porn, “anti-censorship” reader. Sorry I’m not what you expected.

    • P.G. Wodehouse describes my feeling exactly (although he’s talking about something else). It feels like wandering into the wrong bedroom is a house where you’re a guest. A squicked out feeling of intruding where you have no business being, and of backing out of there pronto.

      Not that there’s any problem with what people are doing in their bedroom, or what I’m doing in mine. It’s being out of place that’s the problem.

      (Of course, I’m talking about stuff that wouldn’t even be called porn at this point. Erotica, I guess. What passes for porn would have me calling the cops.)

    • will

      What difference does it make? If images of burning children stimulate the flow of blood to peoples genitals, does that mean we have to seriously consider the distribution of such images. Why does sexual arousal trump human rights?

      Oh right, it’s only women’s rights…

  • Derrington

    On line dating seems to have been turned into pornography and another medium to abuse women. Cant list the amount of porn abuse i received when profiled as a single mother looking for a long term relationship. It was soul destroying being approached as a prostitute and being asked what positions i would do before even being asked my name.

  • This is an accidental essay! Feel free to read or not.

    I’ve been continuing to think about this issue of late (as it pertains to something I’m working on, so is inescapable). I had sort of arrived at the conclusion that there is no such thing as empowered female sexuality under patriarchy. That a woman’s embrace of “casual” sex will always be turned against her as throngs of men come out of the woodwork looking for an angle to exploit. Similarly, if she finds refuge in marriage she has accepted the reality of the protection racket (maybe she doesn’t actually want monogamy, not really, but has found a partner who loves her and treats her like a human being, which is rare, and preferable to the dating scene). It seems to me, thinking this way, that men don’t actually care about sex with women so much as controlling how that sex will happen. If they truly cared about sex with women, wouldn’t they try to do anything to make it as pleasant for us as possible, by say, being good lovers, showing concern for our physical well-being (covering it up) and treating us with respect? Does grooming women from a young age to please men really make us more sexually available than treating us well? (I think not; most women wise up pretty fast, and some know better than to start).

    Recently, though, I had a conversation with a young friend. Let’s call her Laura. Laura explained to me that she loves sex, and has sex with lots of men and boys, but tells them upfront it’s not serious, as she doesn’t want a relationship right now. She says she gets tired of them after about 2 months and goes on to someone new. She says some of them get clingy, even though she’s honest up front, or get hurt. I asked her if in her habit of casual sex (including one-night stands) she had ever encountered violence, and she had not. I asked her about bad lovers, and she told me she only picked good lovers. I asked her how she could separate love from sex, as this has always been a “problem” for me (not really a problem at all—love is not a problem—but an issue). I was only able to separate love and sex if sleeping with someone who I was not intensely attracted to. If sleeping with someone I was pretty attracted to, who treated me with some modicum of gentleness (even if he was in every other way undeserving or an inappropriate boyfriend), I would have some feelings for him, and usually vice versa. Sex, for me, was a connection, and was something special; and often resulted in hurt feelings, if not handled with care. In my experience the only satisfying one-night stand or fling sex I’d ever had had been with people passing through, or when I was passing through; otherwise why wouldn’t the relationship continue (and then ultimately dissolve, with hurt feelings, as all relationships based purely on the physical, without a foundation of shared common interests, inevitably do)? I hated hurting men I slept with—it was almost worse than being hurt myself, and certainly a reaction to being hurt myself. I wondered how she did it.

    She told me that after a 6-year relationship starting at age 14, which had ended in heartbreak, she “put up a wall” and told herself going into it she wasn’t going to get emotionally involved, which precluded love. She said sometimes she hurt people, and didn’t like to, but was always honest. She liked sex and didn’t like going from a relationship, where she had a lot of sex, to nothing overnight, and saw casual sex and short-term flings as a reasonable alternative.

    I thought later about the differences in our experience. Some of this, I thought, had to be attributable to the physical. Laura is not ugly, at all, but not pretty either. She’s short, a bit plump, with a tangle of black hair above a round, cheerful face. She wears thick glasses as well braces, and has a bit of acne. She wears no make-up.
    She told me she identifies the young men she wants to sleep with and makes the first move. Hearing her speak, it seems she has had little to no experience of the harassment I experienced growing up (and still experience, though with less frequency)—men constantly pressuring me for sex and quite often assaulting me.
    The fact that she doesn’t outwardly conform to the pressures of pretty—that she doesn’t wear make-up or dresses or high heels, performing for the male gaze—and that she is not conventionally attractive no doubt have shielded her from some measure of male abuse. The fact that I did—do—those things—still feel the need to please men, and demonstrate that through wearing make-up and sometimes dressing up—the fact that I was sexy and thought I was ugly, constantly insecure about my body, certainly has something to do with our difference in experience. I was a magnet for predators, and I didn’t go after boys the way she did, thinking them uninterested although maybe they were just too shy to talk to me. And if I’m being honest, in my more self-destructive phases, when I used sex as a weapon against myself—and against men for whom I had a profound loathing—I passed over the good men who were interested and who would have loved to be my boyfriends, in favor of the abusive, who saw me and treated me as an object. My self-loathing, which stemmed from a childhood trauma that had triggered a mental illness, made me vulnerable, and extremely attractive to predators.

    However it also has to do with the dynamic of male-female relations. If men do all the approaching, and must constantly weather rejection, what women end up with—especially “pretty” women, who the nice men who want to avoid objectifying women or who are shy around women might not approach—are the most aggressive men, willing to invade a stranger’s space to romantically or sexually proposition them. Perhaps less “pretty” women won’t receive the same level of attention and will have to approach men themselves, getting to know them through friends and going after them (which, in Laura’s case, seemed to work out for her regardless of looks; the real truth is that women who desire sex or even relationships CAN get them more easily than a man can, and looks beyond the average are superfluous for women; keeping women obsessed with beauty ideals is just another way of controlling us and entirely unnecessary to boot—in most other species, it is the males who decorate themselves for the comparatively plainer females, in order to compete for their attention). So women who are approached by men and take no agency in approaching them might by default end up with someone rather patriarchal in attitude, a bad boy or a pick-up artist. Not always of course, but it makes sense that if men are doing most of the approaching, and must develop a thick skin to do it (oftentimes developing a misogynistic attitude at the same time as aforementioned skin; see Pick Up Artist Roosh V’s story, for an example), women who are approached more often might just succumb to one of them, falling for their line of bullshit. And maybe women who are approached less often and MUST, if they have a strong libido, take a proactive stance when it comes to their sex lives, and also women who have thought it over and made the conscious decision to be the pursuer rather than the pursued (regardless of their looks), have more luck in finding better partners and in avoiding becoming targets of predators as they are truly empowered.

    And it helps men too—not to have to approach women all the time and risk being labeled creeps or perverts (and worse, risk turning into them, in their efforts to get women to sleep with them); it puts some of the onus on women to do the asking, which takes the burden off them. It seems like a win-win.

    However, although realizing this has made me resolve to ignore men who hit on me and pursue men I’m interesting in (for relationships), in terms of whether casual sex can actually be casual I think it largely depends on whether one CAN separate sex from feelings. And I realized I can’t ever do what Laura does, because I can’t. That’s not a judgment of those who can (who might tend to skew more male), except to say that one must be careful with one’s partner. Be careful about sex, not to hurt anyone if you can avoid it (just saying “I’m not available” is not always enough, if your partner really likes you; it’s not fair to them if it’s imbalanced like that, and you’re using them knowing that under the spell of love they can’t give full consent to being used). Conversely, I think casual sex can be extremely negative and traumatizing to do those who don’t want it, who are doing it to please (usually women to please men), for attention, for validation, or to self-destruct rather than out of love of sex. For those who truly feel sex is something special—and that love is a part of that, whether it lasts or not—but are having casual sex either out of economic necessity (prostitution) or psychological issues, or a hook-up culture that glorifies casual sex and pressures young women (and men)into it, I think it can be scarring, yes. I think this might be a huge reason by prostitution is so scarring, apart from all the physical and sexual violence experienced in it; the dehumanization of sex for someone who sees it as very human as opposed to only animal (as emotional as well as physical).

    And again, that is not to put down all casual sex or those who prefer to regard sex as mostly physical. Just that it’s important we examine our own feelings (to make sure they are our real feelings) and have care with our sexual partners.

    I don’t know how I would feel about sex if I hadn’t had the experiences of domestic violence, sexual assault and rape that I’ve had. Maybe I would be able to do what Laura does; maybe not. I hate hurting someone else and as such would make a bad femme fatale. I don’t think monogamy is the only option when it comes to love but within our society I think it is the only model that will meet my needs, as incredibly conflicted as I feel about marriage as a long-held patriarchal institution for controlling women.
    And though I think, if casual relationships are really possible for you then more power to you!, I also think we need to start addressing why we privilege sex and sexual access (prostitution, pornography) so much more than love in this world. Would men even feel able to have sex with unhappy prostitutes if they were educated in how to love and allowed to feel their emotions and not trained out of it as children? I don’t think so. We need more love in the world, not just more sex.

    As for online dating, when it comes to men sending graphic propositions to literal virtual strangers, good. At least they weed themselves out. The ones who present as nice before foisting their violent sexual fetishes on some unsuspecting woman are the ones we should worry about.

    The one time I signed up for a dating website—Match.com—I was told I was among the twenty percent who could not be matched (this was years ago, thus saving me from a life of internet dating—ugh!). My best friend Amie suggested I start a rival website called “TheTwentyPercent.com” and invite everyone rejected by Match.com to sign up for it.

    As an addendum to this TL;DR (which I refuse to recap), my friend Laura is a young Mexican woman from a small town in the south of Mexico, so I would venture that—-machismo of the culture here aside (which is not worse, just more open and less challenged than in the US, where I’m from)–the young men she sleeps with are less exposed to pornography as teenagers than they are in the developed world. Although once they grow up and leave home most will have internet connections (and smartphones they can’t afford—like so many of us), these are not luxuries your average kid here gets to have. So this might also be a part of the difference in our experiences.

  • S.Law

    I thought I would revisit some of the lectures in the Yale MOOC entitled “Global Problems of Population Growth” (lecturer Robert Wyman). He talks about sex-selective abortion in some lectures, the origins (as he sees them as a population biologist, evolutionary scientist) of human violence, in particular sexual violence. AOnce again I am struck by how absolutely god awful people are and have been.

    His first lecture entitled “Evolution of sex and reproductive strategies” features comments like the following.

    “Human sexual behaviour has extremely deep emotional roots. Not driven by rationale calculation. … From the biological point of view this abuse of females is extremely weird … In humans we find that its very general that females are treated atrociously and it just doesn’t make sense … that human males should keep many of their females hungry, sick and abused … it’s a biological disaster how human males treat females.” He impugns both males and females (in terms of human antecedents, non-human primates and hominins) in terms of the root causes of such violence. He goes into incredible detail into sexual violence (rape) in human and non-human species. And guess what humans along with elephant seals and orangutans have high levels of rape compared to other mammals. My take home – humans are awful, more awful in prehistory but still capable of horrific behaviour (e.g. Yugoslavia and mass sexual violence there).

    As someone trained as a biologist and primatologist this information is not new to me. I am afraid to include the detail (in all its goriness) for fear of being booted from this forum. Suffice to say, some primates (specifically orangutans, humans, howler monkeys, gorillas and chimps) are a very rapey lot. There is no justification of any of this (e.g. Social Darwinists tend to justify to lend credence to their ideology) just an exploration of study after study (in humans, non-human primates, large and small scale societies). If we really want to deserve the label ‘paragon of animals’ we really need to transform ourselves. I am very much in favour of working against your programming (e.g. gender) and your biological inheritance (because it is just plain bloody). Right now, we are on the same level as the elephant seals in terms of sexual violence.

  • Meave

    I was struck by an article in The Age newspaper (Australia) this morning which seemed very similar to your piece. http://www.theage.com.au/comment/vanity-fairs-tinder-piece-shows-how-feminism-sold-women-out-20150820-gj4brk.html
    It’s a shame/infuriating when journos wont attribute their sources correctly!

  • Anna Crawford

    Given that is quite popular to be a “liberal feminist” yet quite unpopular to be a “radical feminist” I would say the former is doing something that is working. A little is better than nothing. You’ll never convince society to ban porn so most liberal feminists look at it as a pointless fight. Liberal feminists such as Rashida Jones made strides by simply educating about why it should be scrutinized. But even Rashida has said she doesn’t think it should be banned or that it is all bad.