INTERVIEW: Kathleen Richardson makes the case against sex robots

What’s the matter with so-called “sex robots” anyway? Surely they are nothing more than a harmless toy and a comfort to lonely men, right? Wrong.

“Harmony,” a humanoid created by Matt McMullen, CEO of Abyss Creations and RealDoll.

What’s the matter with so-called “sex robots” anyway? Surely they are nothing more than a harmless toy and a comfort to lonely men, right? Wrong. Kathleen Richardson, the director of the Campaign Against Sex Robots, sees sex robots as part of a larger culture of exploitation and objectification that reinforces rape culture and normalizes the sex trade.

In light of a recent report in The Guardian exploring “The race to build the world’s first sex robot,” the I spoke with her over the phone about the campaign and the reasons why “sex robots” are such a troubling idea.

MEGHAN: What’s the story behind sex robots?

KATHLEEN: I think the idea of having a robotic girlfriend or wife has been a feature of fiction for a very long time, hasn’t it? There’s a book called The Future Eve, which has a fictional Thomas Edison, who creates an artificial woman for his friend. So there’s always been a theme of artificial women that can be created by man. But actually, this idea that you can have relationships with machines didn’t first develop around sex robots, but in another area: robots for the elderly.

I began my research into robots around 2001. In 2003, I went to labs in MIT to do field work, because I’m an anthropologist. And there I found they were creating humanoids — not the kind you would imagine from the domestic work in the 1950s, these robots were called “social robots.” And the aim of these social robots was to be companions with human beings, to be their friends or their social others. And that’s been going on now for about the last 15 years — this idea that robots could play this role in the lives of the elderly. It’s now taken off in these other areas. So sex robots are being promoted now as an area in which robots could be beneficial. The argument there is that if there are lonely men in society, they can have a robot companion if they can’t meet a real human being.

M: What’s the status of the sex robot industry today? Are sex robots available for purchase? What are the sex robots they are working on like? What do they do? What is their function?

K: I think the sex industry and the sex toy market is pretty varied. Sex dolls have been around for a number of years. In the 1970s, there were plastic dolls, and they’ve come a long way since then. Now you can buy silicon dolls that look very lifelike and realistic. But in terms of adding hardware and software to machines, this is a recent development.

Sex robots aren’t really available for purchase at this point. One company in the United States, RealDoll, is saying they’re going to produce this $17,000 robot with artificial intelligence that people can buy. The artificial intelligence is kind of a voice program. It’s like interacting with the speech device on your mobile phone — it would have Siri-like capabilities. But that’s really as far as it goes. Some people have made prototypes like home hobby dolls, and put mechanical parts inside them, so they can move their head from side to side, etc., but there isn’t really a sex robot industry. What there really is is a discussion about whether this is a direction that investors want to go in. Do they want to put their money into this industry? That’s really the level of it at the moment.

M: You were interviewed for a report in The Guardian, “The race to build the world’s first sex robot,”  recently. Matt McMullen, the CEO of Abyss Creations — the company behind RealDoll — has created a sex robot that he is hoping to sell at some point. What I found interesting (and disturbing) about the robot he created was not only that it was simultaneously intended to be as lifelike as possible and also extremely pornified, but also that it was intended to be as subservient as possible. The purpose of its existence was to boost the ego of its owner and cater solely to his needs. To be clear, that robot’s not yet available for sale, is that correct?

K: No. I mean, there’s a lot of publicity around this particular doll — we were told that 2016 would be the year of the sex robot, and that McMullen’s sex robot would be released last year. Now we’re told it’s due to be released this year. But the thing is that making robots is actually incredibly difficult. If you want to make a robot that has one specific kind of function, for factory use, for example, robots are very good at doing that. But if you want to create a machine in the image of a human being, that’s incredibly complex. So, the reason why this prototype is still at this level is because it’s really difficult to create robots. I think what will happen to these “sex robots” is that they will become museum pieces. They will be bought by organizations who want them as novelty objects. They won’t really be useful, working sex robots that individuals have in their homes.

But you are right, the sex robot McMullen invented is entirely the outcome of a representation of a woman that is derived from the commercial prostitution trade.

M: What many people will say in defence of the idea of sex robots is that they aren’t real people, so they can’t be harmed. So what’s the problem? What’s wrong with the idea of creating and selling sex robots?

K: That is absolutely right. It’s a machine; it can’t be harmed. If you stick your penis in it, you might be harmed and get an electric shock. But you can’t harm the machine. The real concern is that we’re living in an era that wants to tell us there is no difference between a human and a machine. That you can have a machine in your life and can have a relationship with that machine, just like it’s another human being — like a friend or a girlfriend. So we’re not just having a conversation here about objects that people rub on their genitals. This is not what this is about.

Because I’m in the field of robotics and AI, I’m really concerned about the way these commercial objects are being put into our society and that a narrative is being created about them that they can be our significant others. Because of this narrative, we have to question where this idea comes from — it comes from this very instrumentalized view of relationships. That’s why McMullen’s doll — “Harmony” — looks this way, because the vision of the sex and relationships that it is derived from is a very instrumentalized, commercial view of a human woman in society. It is piggybacking off on those real lived experiences of real human women being dehumanized by the commercial sex trade.

So for me, that’s the issue: This is a commercial product that’s being peddled as a woman, that people can have as their girlfriends and future wives.

M: I recently wrote an article that was critical of the idea of sex robots…

K: Yeah, that was great.

M: Thanks. It was much more controversial than I would have anticipated. Both men and women (though primarily men) responded saying this is great — sex robots will prevent rape and abuse, because, the story goes, men will rape and abuse sex robots instead of human women. They also argued that sex robots could replace prostitution, thereby alleviating prostituted women from that form of male abuse. What do you think about those arguments?

K: I consider myself an abolitionist, and if I believed for one second that sex dolls and sex robots could abolish the commercial sex trade, I would absolutely support them. There would be no doubt about it. But those arguments are based on a fallacy about how the commercialization of human bodies and human relationships works in our society. So you can’t really get to a stage where people are imagining relationships with dolls, unless you’ve already created the space for dehumanization to occur. These dolls are created on the backs of women who already exist and an idea about women that already exists. You couldn’t buy into the idea of a doll being your girlfriend or future wife unless there was already an idea in wider society about women as objects. And that is a real, real problem.

In terms of whether will they reduce prostitution, well, first of all, there’s no evidence for this — it’s highly speculative philosophy. The reality is that it will just become a new niche market within the pornography industry and within the prostitution trade. If people buy into the idea that you can have these dolls as part of your sexual fetish, it will become another burden that actual living human beings will have to undergo in the commercial sex trade. Forty years ago, what prostituted people might have done sexually included primarily blowjobs or vaginal intercourse. But then when pornography came along and normalized anal sex, the demand for anal sex from prostituted women rocketed. It became more of a standard norm.

So now you have a new fetish object that you can enroll into an existing practice. You don’t eliminate the practice — these robots will just become enrolled in what already exists, and it will become even more disturbing and more dehumanizing for the living human beings whose bodies are traded and rented in the commercial prostitution trade. It’s actually already happening. I was speaking to someone recently, and they said they know a prostituted woman who was now being paid to engage with dolls as a sexual performance — that was one of her new activities as a prostituted person.

M: As you said, at this point, “sex robots” are really just a conversation. This is one reason why the extremely angry reaction to my article surprised me — because I was just speaking critically about sex robots. I am not literally taking sex robots away from men — they don’t even have sex robots that could be taken away from them in the first place, so I wasn’t exactly sure what they were so terrified about… I argued that I thought sex robots would further normalize misogyny and the objectification of women and the subservient status of women — the notion that the ideal woman is subservient. And I got thousands of tweets and thousands of comments every single day for about a week until I eventually just turned off the comments on the article. It was insane. What most of them were saying was that sex robots were the same as any other sex toy. They said, “If you’re going to take away sex robots, you also have to take away dildos and vibrators.” In other words, these men were claiming to not see a difference between sex robots and any other sex toy. I wonder if you’ve come across this argument?

K: I have come across the argument. And whoever says it always thinks they’re the first person who has ever thought of it. So I’ve been asked that question now hundreds of times, I’ve written an article about it, and I’ve tried to explain the difference, but keep getting asked the same question, so here we go: First of all, the vibrator was developed because physicians in the 19th century used to basically sexually assault women because they said the women suffered from hysteria. So they used to stimulate the vagina in order to bring them to orgasm, because orgasm was said to be a way for women to overcome their “hysteria” and their “neuroses.” But what would happen is the physicians’ fingers would get tired, and that’s where the vibrator came from. So its origin was as a medical implement used by these doctors for this dodgy idea about hysteria. But afterwards, it became marketed as a product and it was used in people’s private sexual experiences — they were no longer attached to the kinds of medical ideas as when it was first developed.

But in terms of the argument that vibrators objectify men, first of all men’s penises don’t vibrate. So you do have a physical shape that may or may not look similar to a penis, but that does something extra that a man’s penis doesn’t do. The other thing is that, just because an object mirrors or mimics the form of a human body, isn’t necessarily objectification. We have statues of naked men around us all the time, yet we don’t talk about objectification of the male penis.

Objects that stimulate genitalia are nothing new. It’s just that, now, an industry has come along and said, “Well, we’re going to sell you these objects that can vibrate and they can stimulate your genitalia in another way.” I don’t think that’s particularly extraordinary.

Even if there weren’t vibrators, people have been making use of objects in their homes, or fruits and vegetables, as masturbatory tools. What’s different about a sex doll and a sex robot is the idea that you can enter into a relationship with an inanimate object. Once we start to say that a human relationship is comparable to a doll or a machine, then we start to enter problems in terms of our understanding of what it means to be human. So, I’m not talking about things that you rub on your genitalia.

When this was left at the level of sex dolls — you know, sex dolls have been around for a number of years — it was tasteless. You looked at them and they were tasteless. But now they’ve become part of this wider narrative about how you as a human being don’t need to have another human being in your life. You can have an object instead — an actual physical object. And that object would do exactly what a human being used to do. That is not only a problem, but it’s not true. It’s a commercial idea — an instrumental vision of relationships and human bodies. And I would say it’s now the dominant way we are starting to view human relationships. And that is worrying.

M: Why do you think men get so worked up about this issue?

K: I think they get worked up about anything to do with sex, to be honest. All you have to do is question the right of a man to watch pornography and they will assault you with words. There are a number of narratives men use to diminish those who criticize pornography: you’re frigid, you’re a lesbian, it’s totally progressive, people in pornography want to do it, etc. We’ve got to understand that these industries are very well sourced. The people who use pornography can sometimes be academics and business people themselves, and they become part of producing the narratives about it, and those narratives then become more widespread in society.

Also, men have this idea that they’re entitled to whatever they want. So, they get concerned about anything that interrupts that narrative for them.

M: Totally. And finally, I wonder if you can tell me about the Campaign Against Sex Robots. What are the goals of the campaign and how can people support it or get involved?

K: I launched the campaign in order to have a different conversation in society about how far we’ve come in instrumentalizing sex and women’s bodies, and also to question the idea that sex means whatever a man thinks it is. I want to radically disconnect the idea of sex from rape. For me, sex is a co-experience that you have with another human being and rape is an act of violence against another human being. For the small minority who get sexual enjoyment out of the prostitution trade and pornography, I wouldn’t say that’s rape. But for the vast majority of women in the industry, I would say they’re experiencing paid rape. But because our ideas of sex are so bound up with rape, we have to start disentangling them, and say, “Hang on a minute, women are human beings.”

So I wrote a paper that argues that if you objectify a woman and use her like an instrument — like a sexual tool — then you dehumanize her. The first thing I wanted to do through the campaign was to say: This is not on. We are not objects to dehumanize.

People think I want to ban sex robots, but if I actually campaigned to ban sex robots, I don’t think it would make a blind bit of difference to the objectification of women. So I have a different tactic in my campaign, because I don’t see technology as existing outside culture — I don’t see technology as neutral. I see technology as driven by cultural forces; and the cultural forces driving this technology are the commercial prostitution trade. So my campaign is an abolitionist campaign. What I campaign for is to abolish the commercial sex trade. And if we can do that as a culture, it will have a number of effects. One of the effects will be that people will be less interested in masturbating with dolls. Another effect will be that men and women can enter into a different kind of relationship with each other that isn’t instrumental.

What I’d like to see for humanity is to build that co-existence together. And to abolish the practices where people are treated like tools and objects and instruments, when they are human beings.

This is a very male-dominated field. Did you get more comments from men than you normally do when you talked about sex robots?

M: Yeah, I got exponentially more comments [from men]. I’ve been writing about feminism for years now, and every once in a while, one particular post will attract a whole bunch of men who’ve never been to this site before, and are angry. They all leave the same comment over and over again, and they all think that they’ve said something original and that they’re blowing whatever argument it is to pieces. And in this case the comment I got over and over again was the dildo comment. They had clearly never engaged with the kinds of arguments that feminists make around sexual objectification, and didn’t even try to familiarize themselves with our analysis. So over and over, they said, ”Oh, I guess you’ll have to get rid of your closet full of dildos!” *laughs*

K: Yeah, even at a superficial level, looking at a disembodied shape versus a full-fledged humanoid figure — there’s something radically different, right? Even in the appearance of these objects. As I said, for me, this is not about what you rub your genitalia with. It’s a bigger question about objectification and where society is moving in terms of commercializing our relationships. We live in a culture where we’re using technology, but even if we’re not in the presence of another human being, we expect another human being to be at the end of the line. But what’s happening is, in a small area of Silicon Valley, they’re saying, “What if we could get rid of the person at the end of the line and replace them with a robot or an AI bot”? Even though it seems incidental and not very mainstream at the moment, I think within the next five years this could become a feature of our existence. And I think that is a real problem.

M: Yeah, it’s scary! Thank you so much for all your work on this issue. It’s super interesting and important, and I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me today.

K: Great!

Kathleen Richardson is a Senior Research Fellow in Ethics of Robotics at De Montfort University, Leicester, the author of An Anthropology of Robots and AI: Annihilation Anxiety and Machines, and the director of the Campaign Against Sex Robots. I spoke with her over the phone last month

This interview was transcribed by Priyanka Mehta and has been edited for clarity and readability.

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.

Like this article? Tip Feminist Current!

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $1

  • radwonka

    Very interesting interview!
    ” We’ve got to understand that these industries are very well sourced.
    The people who use pornography can sometimes be academics and business
    people themselves, and they become part of producing the narratives
    about it, and those narratives then become more widespread in society.”

    Very true. Many people who use pornography have power (economical and institutional power). And they use that power to promote what *they* like. They will act as if they are unbiased, neutral and self-critical, but the truth is that they subtly force their preferences on people. It’s quite similar to activists who hide behind others to push ideas: “I don’t support X thing but I support and “listen” to Y people, so X thing should always exist”. They choose what suits them and stigmatize others. And yet, most of these people will claim to be egalitarian, socialist, pro freedom of speech and whatnot.

    Ive never understood why people, especially journalists who claim to be neutral (like the woman who was happy that the internet made the sex industry more powerful and didn’t bother explaining why it was a good, nor did she talk about feminists and survivors who criticize this phenomenon), act as if there is no link between economical power and dominant ideologies (ie who has the power to control the media). Maybe it’s just dishonesty. But no one can’t deny that the way the academia promotes objectification is not only biased, but also all of their arguments sound like advertising slogans, they all sound like a PR team, as if academics themselves were selling women (I caricature a little, but their arguments can be summarized as: “its just a service! good for the economy! good for the health! the best way to be free! don’t ask yourself why! just buy! Excellent stuff! Buy now or you are missing something!”). Which confirms their relationship with the market (and also shows that the market is not a neutral space at all, people buy things only if it is linked an internalized habit/norm, and vice versa, we don’t buy stuff that we have never internalized, which is why the market is the most stereotyped area on earth). In other words, most academics are neither critical or sociologists (since they now think, or want people to think, that criticizing norms is like literally erasing people’s “agency”… lol. Can we really call people who refuse to analyze norms “sociologists”?).

    “So you can’t really get to a stage where people are imagining
    relationships with dolls, unless you’ve already created the space for
    dehumanization to occur. These dolls are created on the backs of women
    who already exist and an idea about women that already exists. You
    couldn’t buy into the idea of a doll being your girlfriend or future
    wife unless there was already an idea in wider society about women as
    objects.”

    Exactly. People can’t buy or promote something if it was not already linked to ideas we have internalized. (because considering that only a few people are self critical, a product that isn’t linked to actual norms would just flop…)

  • DeColonise

    Another highly interesting interview.
    Really found the part of “commercializing relationships” interesting. Never thought about that but it’s so true what she says.

    Thank you!

  • Meghan Murphy

    You do understand that you are on a feminist site and that we don’t want anything to do with you, yes? If don’t don’t need us, what are you even doing here? Shouldn’t you be off living and loving with your sex doll, not even worrying about what human women are saying and thinking?

  • OldPolarBear

    (Sex) Robots are Un American:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSxt0xXWkfA

  • Tired feminist

    You didn’t understand the point of the criticism if you think we’re afraid bots will replace us…

  • Tired feminist

    Me, I suggest that instead of thinking you’re blowing our minds with a super original point, you read this article, then take a good look at the comments below it, and try not to make any of the same reading comprehension mistakes those guys made: http://www.feministcurrent.com/2017/04/27/sex-robots-epitomize-patriarchy-offer-men-solution-threat-female-independence/

  • Meghan Murphy

    We write/talk about men because they are the people who oppress us, abuse us, rape us, objectify us, molest us, harass us, and beat us. Not because we are desperate for you to like us.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Go back to your cave, brah.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “You’re mistake is thinking that men and women are ‘equals’ (or that women are even superior), which is all feminist wishful thinking. Men are physically and intellectually superior to women. Even if a lot of men today don’t want to admit it because they feel sorry for women.”

    You disprove own your argument with your existence, sir.

  • will

    The word you are looking for is misogynistic and don’t put it in quotes. That makes it look like you think the existence of misogyny is questionable or invented.

    The scholar is speaking about sex robots in the context of her criticism of the sex industry. I suggest you read the interview again, slowly, and with a dictionary. English is not your first language, is it? And you are very new to feminism too?

    • Mmmeee

      Yes, you are right I think I have to read the article again, which is very long. And yes, english is not my first language and I am very new to feminism.

  • Hekate Jayne
  • lk

    “My point is that since the only things women have contributed to humanity (so far, anyway) are sex, breeding, and nagging, they can be easily replaced by robots.”

    This comment is beyond demeaning to women.

    To suggest that women’s only contribution to the human race is procreation is to ignore the labor that billions of women all over the world have and continue to participate in.

  • Mmmeee

    I just wanted to say that women have more urgent problems to fight with. ( I hope you understand me this way)

    • Wren

      Thank you for telling us what to think. Unfortunately, one of our biggest problems is that men try to tell us what to think. I, therefore, *think* you may have overstayed your welcome.

      • Mmmeee

        Ok.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I have thought for a while that males insert themselves into things that they have no business being in, like reproduction.

    And I have just learned, via that link, that they insert themselves into literally everything. And they are not needed for anything. But the histrionics and hysterics that they perform is a distraction from their uselessness, lol.

    That info will be wasted on males, though. The dudes here think that we have closets full of dildos and that we are trying to ban sexbots, lol. It doesn’t matter that no one has ever said that. Their tiny male brains can’t handle rational discourse.

  • Hanakai

    You misogynistic uneducated delusional subhuman.

    Men did not build “civilization” by dint of their intelligence and industriousness. Men built civilization by creating hierarchical societies in which upper class men enslaved women, children, workers and lower-class men — and civilization was built by the slaves and the women.

    And by the way, women are not impressed with what men have built and call civilization, as what men think of as progress is sick, insane and inimical to life: nuclear weaponry enough to destroy the planet 5,000 times over, a world of brutal economics where 20,000 children die daily of starvation, a world where women are raped and denigrated and abused and enslaved and burqaed, a world where male industry is destroying the planet, the habitat, the wildlife. So, no, we are not impressed and if women were designing the world and civilization, we would be living in a peaceful paradise. A female-led civilization would raise decent nonviolent men; if necessary, we would drug the violence out of men.

    Now, as to your bragging about male contributions to culture, the reality is that women invented agriculture, ceramics, weaving, cooking, art, writing, music and science. Patriarchal men took the credit, but women were the inventors and originators.

    The reality is that the only thing men have contributed to civilization and the world are rape, rape culture, rape and molestation of children, trans-insanity, murder, violence, wars, demonic women-hating religions, genocide, slavery, weaponry, global warming, the Sixth Great Extinction, nuclear weapons, a world of perpetual warfare. The reality is that the elimination of men would give us a happier, more peaceful and sustainable world.

    You should take your dicky ideas, berth, and your small brain to a MGTOW website where you and the other loser men who are so disgusting no woman will have you can have a high old time indulging in your vile and sophomoric misogyny. You are not wanted here.

  • Wren

    They know it will get us worked up and get our attention and that gives them a boner. Typical.

  • M. Zoidberg

    Wolfgang had a sister — Maria Anna Mozart. By all accounts, she was as talented, if not more talented than her brother.

    But of course she became of marriage age, had to stop touring because she needed to settle down and crank out children. Wonder what she could have accomplished had she any say in the matter?

    Happens all throughout history — mommy-tracking. But women geniuses and innovators have prevailed in spite of men/laws/society: Ada Lovelace, Dorothy Hodgkin, Barbara McClintock, Maria Geoppert-Mayer, Rosalind Franklin, Gertrude Elion, Irene Joliot-Curie, Jane Goodall, just to name a few.

    Get off the redpill forum, hon. It has turned your brain to mush.

    And if I were in your shoes, I’d be super embarrassed, even to a bunch of strangers on the internet, to type things that are so IMMENSELY ignorant about women. Embarrassed also because an ignorant asshole on the internet, is an ignorant asshole irl. Good luck with that!

  • Hanakai

    Even it’s screen name screams male: Me, it is all about me, mmmeee! I, me, mine, me male.

    • Mmmeee

      Yes, good point for you, I just realized this too now…. I’m sorry but I can’t change it anymore I guess.

  • Tired feminist

    Oh, lookie, a brand new Disqus account specifically created to tell feminists to be nicer to men! How innovative!

  • Tired feminist

    Didn’t you say you were going to shut up?

    • Mmmeee

      Yes, on this topic.

      • Tired feminist

        You’re not very good at it, then.

  • Blazing Fire

    That was refreshing, Yisheng. Though felt it is too good to really happen:) May be we females are so used to hurdles, disappointments, oppression & getting hijacked that we don’t have the capacity to believe that something favorable for us can really happen.. Let’s hope anyways:)

  • Tired feminist

    It’s the third time (or so) you barge into Feminist Current with an embarrassingly ignorant, uninformed comment. Why? What do you want here? Do you really expect to convince anyone of the crap you’re saying?

  • will

    In a diatribe of intellectual crud, this stands out as the most offensive: “in a hard world where being a cripple, [or] deformed […] is a life sentence to no love…”

    Go away, bigot.

  • Sabine

    Such a special snowflake! 😉

  • Tired feminist

    Oh, fuck right off. You’re not entitled to women’s time and attention. You should read Feminist Current more often – and more attentively – if you REALLY want to know why your comments are embarrassingly ignorant and uninformed.

    But you don’t want to. You just want to be an annoying little fuck.

  • Tired feminist

    This site is much more than the comments, in case you didn’t notice.

  • Morag999

    Well, listen to you. Waxing lyrical over how prostituted women selflessly provide the sex to which all males are entitled, contented and fulfilled by their role as men’s sexual servants. Such uncomplicated creatures these women are, their recipe for happiness is simple: sharing their bodies, including any and every orifice, risking their dignity, physical and mental health, and their very lives, to make the world a better place for men. And especially for the poor “cripples.” Some women are just made for this purpose. Nature and all that. We mustn’t stand in the way of their destiny.

    What a thoroughly essentialized and romanticized vision of female sexual servitude to men. Fan-fucking-tastic. Male fantasies are so infantile, so precious.

  • marv

    This paternalistic liberalism is sexist and ableist, exposed “by real world evidence.”

    http://www.feministcurrent.com/2014/11/11/the-notion-that-its-ok-for-disabled-men-to-pay-for-sex-is-rooted-in-misogyny-and-ableism/

    http://www.feministcurrent.com/2014/04/23/nobodys-entitled-to-sex-including-disabled-people/

    “People who have never showed any interest in campaigning against disability benefit cuts or fighting for accessible premises are suddenly preoccupied by our “right” to sex? It’s disingenuous, and it hides a not-so-subtle disablism behind the rhetoric.”

  • marv

    This paternalistic liberalism is sexist and ableist, exposed “by real world evidence.”

    http://www.feministcurrent.com/2014/11/11/the-notion-that-its-ok-for-disabled-men-to-pay-for-sex-is-rooted-in-misogyny-and-ableism/

    “When I hear non-disabled people frame the use of women in prostitution by disabled men as a human rights or sexual expression issue, my blood boils. There are three false statements implicit in this argument. The first is that disabled people are so sexually unappealing that no one would have non-paid sex with them. The second is that sexual preferences are a human right. The third is that the sexual appetite of disabled men should take precedence over the advancement of women’s equality. Let’s address these in order. Shall we?”

    http://www.feministcurrent.com/2014/04/23/nobodys-entitled-to-sex-including-disabled-people/

    “People who have never showed any interest in campaigning against disability benefit cuts or fighting for accessible premises are suddenly preoccupied by our “right” to sex? It’s disingenuous, and it hides a not-so-subtle disablism behind the rhetoric.”

  • FierceMild

    You are a revolting human being.

  • FierceMild

    Being deformed doesn’t give you the right to fuck impoverished women. Our bodies are NOT MEN’S CONSOLATION PRIZES for having a tough life. You are a despicable woman-hater.

  • Unreal

    The problem with your argument? Prostitution has been around forever and it hasn’t stopped men from pursuing sex, relationships and marriage with women.

    But I’m sure it makes your MGTOW fee fees all warm and gooey to fantasize about sticking it to all those bitches who wouldn’t please your boner when they find out you got a sexbot! Na-ne-na-ne-nah-nah!!!!!

    Except we don’t give a shit. We weren’t paying attention to you anyway.

  • Unreal

    Lol they already are. What the fuck do you think a computer is? They’re doing everything you listed and more. Predictions are that it’s likely your job will be done by a robot within 20 years.

    But, ooh yeah, give me more of that superior male intelligence, you stud!!!!

    LMFAO

  • Mmmeee

    Thank you.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The agency of prostituted women is not stripped by those who criticize the sex trade, it is stripped by the men who buy and sell them, and by capitalist patriarchy more broadly.

  • marv

    Agency does not function apart from social context. Male institutional power is the ground in which choice develops. Male liberal and conservative social sexual propaganda drives the thinking, beliefs and desires of our culture. The oppressor and oppressed come to see their outlooks as their own free choice, unaware of the underlying social forces shaping their mindsets. Women come to identify with the terms, conditions and values of their male colonizers – except for those who awaken.

    You won’t accept the truth because it doesn’t fit your self-serving misogynist worldview. It would result in an identity crisis if you did. Better to stay in blissful ignorance.

  • Meghan Murphy

    It doesn’t matter whether they personally believe patriarchy/the sex trade has ‘taken their agency away.’ The system works based on the fact that the more powerful are able to exploit the oppressed. How one personally feels about that dynamic doesn’t change it.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Do you understand that patriarchy is, in large part, about men controlling women’s bodies and men treating men as less than human? If so, that should answer your question about what you call ‘agency.’

  • marv

    These are rotten questions. Here are the ones you should be asking yourself. How, concretely, can you tell that agency is present? How are they not oppressed for being prostitutes? Men paying women to be fuck holes empowers women? Is there a deeper formation to choosing, your liberal mind can’t grasp? Why use a ludicrous magical trope to make an argument for women’s agency when they are socially led and or pushed into oppression disguised as freedom?

    Captain cock is the zap gun that demands prostitution. Would you use yours as well to keep her down even if she asked you to use it?

  • Meghan Murphy

    This is systemic, not a ‘specific case’ where women ‘had their agency taken.’

    Women generally enter into prostitution because they have no other choice. Men have more power and privilege in this society, and believe they are entitled to access women’s bodies at will. Therefore, they prey on vulnerable women who need money.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Women choosing what to do when to do it and where to do it and on the conditions they choose.”

    Please stop with this garbage. Women aren’t in prostitution because it’s so liberating.

    “Also it occurs to me that you calling them fuckholes for doing what they chose to do is very disrespectful. Not only do you degrade them as individuals by using the term. You’re also taking away their agency by deciding for them what’s right or wrong for them.”

    It is very clear that Marv does not believe women are ‘fuck holes,’ and that, rather, he is criticizing the way johns treat and speak about prostituted women.

    You are being manipulative and trolling. Stop.

  • marv

    Myriads of men who use prostituted women have a wife, partner or girl friend. And these men’s adoption of porn has not diminished their johnness or disregard for their lovers. In fact porn is a form of prostitution in itself. Therefore, why would a sex robot reduce men’s exploitaion of women? The robots not only reflect the deep misogynist views men have about women; they reinforce them.

    Your skewed opinions seem to be talking points to make sexist doll promotion more palatable to society.

  • marv

    You sound as if you are a john or a pimp defending woman hating self-interest. The power of patriarchal phantasm is strong within you. Reminds me of capitalists who trumpet workers’ choice to labor for businesses as a sign of employee freedom. The powerful ‘man’ufacture the system and the subordinates think it’s normal, and sometimes fulfilling.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You are manipulative and have continued to pretend to not understand how patriarchy works. This is a waste of everyone’s time. Please move on.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You keep insisting on talking about a few women’s individual ‘choices.’ This is not what feminism is about, nor is it how patriarchy/class oppression works. Whether or not a few women ‘choose’ prostitution does not make prostitution, as a whole, as a system, good for women. Prostitution exists for men and supports male power and entitlement. Does this help clarify our frustration with your approach?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Why don’t you stop talking about what women want and start looking at and thinking about what johns think, want, and say about prostituted women? What does it mean that a man thinks he should be able to buy a woman’s body/buy access to a woman’s body?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Do you need an abortion, Bill?

    • Morag999

      Snort!