An open letter on the dangers of normalizing sex dolls & sex robots

We are a coalition of humanists, parents, women’s groups, survivors, academics, and activists campaigning against commercial objectification of human beings who are concerned with the normalization of “sex robots.” These technologies are developed and backed by academic and business robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) communities who have to date, the loudest voices shaping the policy direction about the benefits of sex robots while largely ignoring the potentially dangerous effects on women, men, and children.

The Campaign Against Sex Robots (CASR) was launched in 2015 to draw attention to the new ways in which the idea of forming “relationships” with machines is becoming increasingly normalized in today’s culture.  Sex robots are animatronic humanoid dolls with penetrable orifices where consumers are encouraged to look upon these dolls as substitutes for women (predominantly), and they are marketed as “companions,” “girlfriends,” or “wives.” At a time when pornography, prostitution, and child exploitation is facilitated and proliferated by digital technology turning it into a global profitable industry; these products further promote the objectification of the female body and as such constitute a further assault on human intimacy.

We are also concerned that childlike dolls and robots are being promoted as “therapeutic” for “non-offending pedophiles” and pedophiles. We reject the naturalization of pedophilia as a “sexual preference” and reject terms such as “pedosexual” or “minor attracted person” that serve to legitimize adult sexual violence against children. In 2017-2018, CASR supported a move to ban electronic and artificial representations of children for adult predators in the form of the CREEPER ACT that was successfully passed in the House of Representatives reading in the United States.

We also believe that sex dolls and sex robots in the female form add to the pervasive culture where sexual violence against women and girls is reiterated in new ways.

Despite female political equality, women and girls still face serious threats of sexual violence from domestic abuse and rape to up-skirting and revenge porn. Two women are murdered each week at the hands of former or existing male partners, and mass grooming gangs have targeted vulnerable young girls for decades.

Studies show that strong ties and relationships are good for people and society and that the weakening of our social ties is a major contributory factor in mental health distress, economic insecurity, and human isolation for women, men, and children. It is therefore in the best interests of society to cultivate a culture of mutual support and interdependence and put breaks on those social practices that reinforce a culture of isolation.

We believe robots and AI should be used for the good of humanity and should not be funded or produced in forms that increase human social problems.

Government ministers lag behind technological developments and often respond with constructive policies when it is too late and the damage to human society has been done.

We urge the European Union and the UK Parliament to conduct public consultations ahead of developing legislation in line with European and UK sex discrimination laws and the European Union’s commitment to the UN Rights of the Child.

Signed,

Organizations:

Campaign Against Sex Robots

Women Against Sexbots

Nordic Model Now!

FiLiA

nia

Critical Sisters

Object!

Not Buying It!

Collective Shout

Resist Porn Culture

Prostitution Research & Education

Ressources Prostitution

Victim Focus

CARE

Culture Reframed

Untameable Shrews

Standing Together Against Domestic Violence

Build a Girl Project

Centre for Women’s Justice

The World Youth Alliance

Zero Option for Sheffield

Freedom Programme

L’Agenda delle Donne

Radfem Italia

Please email [email protected] if you would like to add your organization to the petition.

Personal Names:

Professor Kathleen Richardson

Nika Mahnič

Kate Davis

Anna Fisher

Professor Katina Michael

Rachel Bell

Lisa-Marie Taylor

Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans

Caitlin Roper

Melinda Tankard Reist

Mie Oehlenschläger

Professor Kathleen Stock

Meghan Murphy

Dr Safia Barikzai

Sally Jackson

Jessica Eaton

Kate Hillman

Lise Bouvet

Enrique Benítez

Dr Gabriela Gallegos Garrido

Fiona Broadfoot

Suzzan Blac

Erin Mansell

Alabama Whitman

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  • FierceMild

    British women are leading the way again!

  • Sharpie

    Those women that go along do it as long as it doesn’t threaten their relationship or marriage. Porn consumption is one of the main reasons why women in Europe divorce their husbands. I assume it’s going to be the same with sex robots, if not worse.

    While I agree with you that sex robots might happen anyways, many countries here are becoming more conservative in their policies and that might affect their decisions on banning them. In France there’s a new wave of women who are pushing back against liberal feminism so there’s some hope in that. Poland and Hungary are embracing conservatism and so is Russia. While I’m not too thrilled about conservatism taking over, if it ends up banning porn and sex robots I’ll be happy.

  • Jani

    It doesn’t bear thinking about. It’s bad enough that women are having plastic surgery to resemble pornographic Barbie dolls and having “vaginal rejuvenation” procedures. I don’t think there’s anything else a woman can do to herself for whatever bizarre goal she is seeking when she goes through all these procedures. The next step is the Stepford Wife as a sex doll. What a dystopian nightmare.

  • Jani

    A robot with “free speech”??!!!! Hahahahaha!!!!! How ridiculous!

  • Jani

    These libfems are in for a rude awakening once they hit 40 and age out of their “fuckability” years, by which time they’ll probably have and young kids, and finding themselves married to some lifelong pornsick dude who is appalled by breastfeeding and can’t deal with a post partum body.

  • Robert Gonzalez

    Right? “It’s kink-shaming! They aren’t hurting anyone!”

    • Jani

      You’re kink-shaming again!!! Check your vanilla privilege!!!! 😉

  • Yu Hu

    OK, I think you’re being too alarmist about the possibility of sex robots. After all, they’re just inanimate objects. They’re not real people. The people who would use sex robots wouldn’t be hurting anyone by doing so. People should have the freedom to indulge in their sexual thoughts and fantasies when they’re by themselves in privacy.

    I think a nuanced approach should be taken when dealing with the possibility of sex robots. You can certainly be critical of them, but it would be wrong to denounce them entirely.

    And anyway, the technology isn’t currently available to create completely life-like sex robots. They are in the future, not the present. You’re discussing something that still doesn’t exist yet.

    • Wren

      It is not wrong to denounce sex dolls and robots. We are feminists and we are completely against the objectification of women and girls. The dolls and robots represent objectification to the most extreme. Women are tired of being treated like inanimate objects to rape and violate so we fight back against all means of normalizing our subjugation.

    • Melanie

      As someone said so succinctly in another post, everything men do to sex dolls is what they want to do to actual women. It’s so deeply disturbing to know that that’s what men think of women and even girls. These men are so depraved. It’s not alarmist to point that out. By the way if I hear the word ‘nuanced’ one more time… Whenever I hear that word it’s usually something to do with men trying to justify treating women like shit.

      • radwonka

        Yeah “nuanced” is always used to victimize the most violent dudes.

        “let’s try to understand that rapist a little more, a girl stole his ice cream when he was 4 years old, he’s just hurt deep down”

        I caricature, but you would be surprised to know what people say about johns… smh

    • radwonka

      Not that f*cking boring “nuanced” approach again.
      It was the same “approach” people used to promote porn and now look where we at…

      • Jani

        Nuanced? Hahahahaha!!! As if it’s actually normal to have sex with doll! What planet are these people on?

        • radwonka

          Lmao IKR? They talk as if objectifying women was some kind of deep and complex mystery or something. But it is only men who are too complex to be understood, feminists on the other hand dont get the same privilege to be above criticism. So much “nuance”.

          Srsly I dont know what these people are smoking but the sh*t must be really good lmao

    • FierceMild

      “…it would be wrong to denounce them entirely.”

      But it’s not wrong to brutally rape women in effigy?

  • Wren

    Sign me up!

  • Wren

    Actually some progressive (not “deeply” religious in relation to other denominations) churches are completely against porn and prostitution, such as the ELCA and most branches of the Episcopalian church. Also, so many abolition groups have grown from church movements. I do think that churches can have a role in this abolition movement much like they did in the abolition of slavery and the civil rights movement. Then again, maybe I’m being too optimistic.

  • calabasa

    Can anyone imagine if they opened a sex-doll brothel for pedophiles, with sex dolls designed to look like children?

    Would anyone be okay with that?

    Frankly, I am sick and tired of the rape of women being seen as old-hat, and as “nothing” compared to pedophilia. Many women who are raped *were* first raped in childhood, and men who seek to prey on vulnerable adult victims are as bad as pedophiles in my mind. If they were more flexible in their orientation they would be pedophiles, since it’s harder for them to hunt adults; the only reason they are not is because they are not attracted to children, period, not because adult rapists are better people than child molesters, which seems to be the consensus. They’re not.

    The new Canadian establishment is specifically designed for men to “exorcise” their rape fantasies on these dolls, while really all they are doing is exercising them so they grow stronger.

    It is as hideous to have a rape doll brothel as it would be to have a pedo brothel, period. I am so sick and tired of the normalization of rape in this culture. The same people who think it’s fine to have a rape doll brothel are the people who argue we need a class of raped women in prostitution to keep men from raping the “good” women and they’re the same people who argue that BDSM is just fine and dandy because “consent.”

    All across the board the rape of women is normalized. #Metoo was dead in the water because of liberal feminism, which is to say, young women with massive cognitive dissonance. I think it’s no coincidence #metoo was started and then spread recently by older women, because it seems to take half a lifetime for women to wake up in this culture of hate, and rape.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I don’t believe it will… Pornography has not decreased demand for prostitution…

  • radwonka

    Best reply so far 🙂

  • radwonka

    Men are not smart. They will be brutal with the “dolls”/robots because robots can’t complain or have any kind of emotion like pain. And once they will meet real girls, it will obviously worse.

  • radwonka

    Women are hurt. Men are literally training to be abusive, just like porn teaches them how to be violent.

    Thinking that it comes from nowhere and has no impact, aka no causes and consequences, is nonsense.

  • radwonka

    The left can only say “ya’ll are catholic prudes”, so nothing from them can be expected…

  • radwonka

    Even marxists/anarchists have some misogynistic positions.

  • Sharpie

    Yes, I can agree with that. I’m also a centrist, meaning that I’d vote for candidates with centrist positions in lack of anything better, not that I actually identify with centrism. I am a radical when it comes to issues that I believe the current society is uncapable of solving, but I’m not a radical for every issue.

    “Society’s hatred for women is astonishing. Nobody prepared me for this growing up, and I wish they had.”

    I can relate and I know so many other women that are angry at society for being fed bullshit about men. The media deceive women in so many ways, it’s hard to detox from all those fake messages we receive. Before mass media existed women knew exactly what they were dealing with. No one could bullshit them, they knew how men operated. Nowadays women are more brainwashed than ever and people willingly participate in the process. Parents think that raising their daughters watching Disney princesses finding a Prince Charming and living happily ever after is cute but it’s not. It’s actually very important to give them a realistic view of relationships to make sure they know what they’re dealing with from a young age.

    I’m sorry to hear about your rape and PTSD and I hope you eventually heal from it and find some serenity. It’s so scary how little you can trust men. I found myself crying about it in the past few months, because I realized how awful men are in so many ways. The blinders came off completely and I found myself with no hope for them. At the same time I’m very relieved though; now that I know their true nature I know what I can expect from them and how to protect myself from them. It’s worse but it’s better.

  • FierceMild

    If giving violent men something to violate sated their thirst for destruction, war and genocide would lead to permanent peace.

    • Jani

      Yes. And violent video games would prevent wars!!!

      What stupid logic. It’s just as dumb as saying that prostituted women save “nice” women from being raped. Or that porn depicting rape keeps rapists “off the streets”. It’s all BS.

  • Wren

    “When men do love women it is despite, not because of, society.”
    This is the truth.

  • Jani

    Do you think it’s actually healthy to use some doll to ejaculate into after 20 other punters doing the same thing earlier in the day? It’s fucking weird.

  • Jani

    I’m not in the US. I don’t buy into this definition of “free speech”. It’s not speech and it’s certainly not free

  • Jani

    I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read a third-wavey liberal feminist blogger saying that anorexics benefit from “thin privilege”.

  • ptittle

    You know, I can’t for the life of me imagine what’s going on inside the minds of each of those two men; I picture a cartoon bubble above each one’s head and — simply do NOT know what to put in it! WTF are these guys thinking? The looks on their faces, their hands, that robot — ??

  • Yisheng Qingwa

    BUT DILDOS!!! Ahahah yeah uh huh.