Sex dolls show us what men want from real women — we should pay attention

Image: Aura Dolls

News broke last week that a “sex doll brothel” was opening in Toronto. While bylaw issues stalled Aura Dolls from opening in its proposed location, the setback is likely temporary. Silicone sex dolls are the most recent product to enter the market for men to fulfill their porn fueled fantasies. Advertised by Aura Dolls, “each hole features different yet unique textures, ridges and tightness to give you intense sensations that are impossible to achieve even through real penetration.”

How lovely is that? Another dehumanizing step for women who are already considered merely receptacles to fulfill every man’s desires and fantasies. No doubt, they will soon be programmed to say “yes sir,” make coffee and sweep the floor.

Let’s be clear. There is nothing harmless about “sex dolls.” They represent the ultimate debasement of women. They represent yet another level of society’s detachment from its responsibility to value, respect, and protect women. “Sex dolls” are a manifestation of porn culture and the male dominant society’s belief that it needs to do whatever it can to make sure men can have sex when and however they want it no matter at what cost.

It isn’t a plastic doll lying underneath them. It’s every woman who has turned them down; every woman they can’t have; every women who has been more successful, more praised, and more desired than the man can ever dream of being… and now that man can do whatever he wants to that woman. Make no mistake, that isn’t a doll he’s doing, or maybe raping, choking, or hitting — it’s all those women he can’t measure up to.

Maybe one day it will be a real woman.

Men do not have a right to sex. Feminists have worked for centuries to free women from the objectification that stems from oppression. It’s a steep climb made even more difficult by the barriers thrown our way. Scantily dressed women and little girls dressed in bras and sheer stockings are used to “sex” up advertisements for almost any product — cars, beer, cigarettes, clothes, shoes, and lingerie. The more objectified the woman, the better the ad and the higher the revenues.

Pornography is freely available to all, including children, with a simple search on a phone. It’s violent, dehumanizing, and falls within the spectrum of torture. Its victims are women and girls. Thanks to porn culture, the word “consent” has lost all meaning. In pornography, women say “no” while tears stream down their faces. Their pain and fear is real. The message received by men is, “do it harder, do it longer and make her suffer more.” Children huddle in small groups on school playgrounds during recess or lunch, watching degrading porn on the screen of that one kid who is allowed to bring a phone to school.

While young children are being educated about consent in schools, they are simultaneously getting contradictory messages from pornography, and learning that women are disposable objects.

Porn culture teaches girls that their value comes from the attention men and boys give them. In order to receive that attention, they have to morph themselves into an object for male pleasure. Boys have learned from pornography that they have a right to use and abuse women and girls. Some boys and men have been so convinced of this that when told “no” by women, they become enraged and filled with hatred.

Adolescent girls and young women are more objectified today than at any other time in history. The toys they play with, the clothes they wear, the movies and television programs they watch, and the online and video games they play all present women and girls as disposable sex objects.

“Sex doll brothels” are a symptom of the larger problem of misogyny — the rights of men continue to supersede those of women. Until women’s human rights are respected, women will continue to be no more than disposable objects.

And what, after all, is more disposable than a silicone doll? When it is done being used by a man it’s cleaned up and moved along to another user. When it is broken down, torn, battered, and no longer useful, it is tossed out with the trash. Sounds like what life is like for many real women, doesn’t it?

Tell me again how silicone sex dolls are harmless male fantasies.

We shouldn’t be surprised we are here in 2018. What is surprising and should cause outrage is how so many people allowed us to get here.

Megan Walker is Executive Director of the London Abused Women’s Centre.

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