Monday, November 5, 2012

Of Objectification, Solipsism, and Glass Slippers


I’m breaking my self-imposed blogging exile because a) I need a break and b) I got a bug up my butt.  I was following some interesting links around the Manosphere and got trapped in a site called Mommyish (now isn’t THAT a strong sign of commitment to the maternal instinct) in which a single mom who got married to a good man was sick and tired of people telling her how lucky she was. 

I wasn’t the only Manospheran following that link, and as is often the case, the Flying Monkeys were hammering the poster on the comments pretty badly.  Badly enough so that the comments became blogfodder.  That led to a whole bloggity post by another married formerly single mom about how everyone was being unfair to single moms who were sick and tired of being told how lucky they were for finding dudes to marry them and be fathers to their children, and that led to me revealing I work in porn which, as everyone knows, objectifies women.  And men.  But the women are, apparently, more important since they get paid more than the men.

ANYWAY, this led to a long internal examination of the typical objection to objectification in porn and the underlying psychological basis for that objection.  Could it be, I wondered, that there was a lurking psychological issue beyond the overt political issue?

Consider for a moment the whole idea of objectification.

We are objectified all the time.  Our employers and our insurers objectify us by turning us into statistics.  So does the Federal, State and Local government of your choice.  Our lives on Facebook and Google and all of their permutations across the internets objectify every keystroke and mouseclick we make.  Our lives are filled to the brim with objectification.  Celebrities are objectified as cultic objects to help establish a woman’s position within the Matrix, or sports celebrities are objectified through their stats and numbers until people are mere functions of a larger equation.  The glorification of winning and glamour by our respective genders objectifies the generators of that glory to the point where they cease being real people.

We are objectified in school from our first day of kindergarten.  Our performance is measured by arcane metrics of education upon which our teachers’ performance is judged.  Our hard-earned grades and personal effort become mere numbers on a grade sheet, then marks on our folder, then bits within the school system’s database, then statistics at the national level.  Our tastes and purchasing decisions are objectified by the vendors we use, and despite every attempt at friendly and personal corporate customer service, in the final analysis you’re still just a number to Food Lion.

So we’re objectified by our environment on a daily basis.  We've come to accept that as the price we pay to live within the sophisticated civilization we've developed, and it mostly doesn’t bother us because the entities involved are themselves objectified by law and composition.  It’s Google, Inc. who is spying on what kinds of kinky sex toys you’re buying, not Joe Google of Battle Creek, Michigan who’s leering at that ten-inch faux phallus that you just had delivered discreetly to your door.  That would be creepy.

But in the realm of dating and mating and love and sex, feminist object to female objectification in porn.  Of women.  Objectification is wrong, they say, as it deprives the performer of her personhood and dehumanizes her somehow.  In doing so, they themselves objectify pornstars into their preconceived notions about how pornstars must feel about the subject, despite frequent and vocal expressions of those performers’ personal, individual (and mostly positive) feelings on the subject.  In decrying objectification of women in porn, feminism objectifies the very performers they allegedly want to protect.

But that’s not why feminism really goes after porn.  (I’m excluding the “sex-positive feminists” here, and focusing on the anti-porn forces of the Third Wave and the intellectual stain they left on feminism – and even the sex-pos fems often object to “objectification”, usually meaning any porn they themselves don’t like.  But I digress)

Feminism goes after porn because it represents a threat to the sexual power women were able to gain for themselves in the Sexual Revolution.  That is, the freedom for women to have sex outside of wedlock . . . and the freedom for women within marriage to use sex as leverage in their interpersonal relationships with their soon-to-be ex-husbands. 

Porn threatens that power, because (as women discovered in the 1980s) if a dude has easy access to porn and the freedom to whack off, her ability to use sex as leverage in a marriage is damaged.  In those days a wife confronted with hubby’s collection of tapes in the basement saw them as the first sign of infidelity, a signal that her husband was dissatisfied with her, and a sneaking suspicion that she had somehow married a secret pervert.  Worse, it raised sexual expectations – women who were used to starfishing once-a-week as a reward for a well-mowed lawn or other Beta excitements were confronted by dudes who were suddenly using terms like “doggie” and “cowgirl” and “anal” in disturbingly enthusiastic ways. 

That challenged the power of the married feminist.  A man was supposed to be faithful to a woman until she got tired of him, doting on her and supporting her in return for her grudging gift of sex.  These pretty, young, and thin pornstars were a direct challenge to that power, like having “the other woman” living in their house, tempting their docile hubbies into feminist-prohibited, female-degrading and demeaning sex like anal, male domination, or fellatio.  At the beginning of the porn revolution, in the VHS days, viewing porn could and was used as primary a basis for pursuing a divorce.  While that got to be less common as porn became ubiquitous, the official feminist “disgust” with the industry as a force of patriarchal evil corrupting the minds of the innocent and ruining the pursuit of a truly equal society hardened into stone. 

But feminists can’t wage a war against porn based on the loss of sexual leverage in a marriage.  That would be obviously un-equal, after all, from the female side – feminists views of marriage in general supported a female-led but ostensibly “equal pursuit of mutual pleasure” which usually mean equally-disappointing sex for both parties.   So feminism used the “objectification” meme against men watching bare boobies because you fellas just didn’t get to know those boobies as a person before you got to see them.  And those boobies were exploited and you should feel ashamed about any positive feelings you might harbor for them.  Objectification is WRONG when it comes to women.

The problem is, objectification is a vital and essential part of male sexuality.  Of all sexuality, actually, but since men are more visual creatures, it’s easier to point to porn and scream “objectification!” than it is to point to the stereotype of the young, handsome billionaire romantic lead with a tragically misunderstood past.  Sex objects are a lot easier to identify than “success objects”, and anyway, it’s not like women actually masturbate to the thought of a handsome billionaire with a huge dick.  Not to pictures.  Not of actual billionaires.  So it’s OK. 

But for dudes, we need a certain amount objectification in order to be fully-formed, sexually-mature men.  Unless we can objectively make decisions about our mating options, we lose the ability to select the highest-quality mates within the pool.  And that’s very poor mating strategy.  Since men value beauty and sexual adventure in their mates (usually – I don’t judge) then beautiful and sexually-adventurous women tend to – objectively speaking – be more attractive to them.  

The ability to objectify is utterly necessary for us to determine whether or not a woman is a better bet for casual non-reproductive sex or better for the development of high-quality offspring or – preferably – both.  Women have the same need for objectification, otherwise there wouldn’t be the flurry of pre-date internet investigation about every dude women meet to determine – objectively – whether or not he’s worth pursuing.

(Of course, they rationalize away this in-depth invasion of privacy as a “safety measure” – after all, they don’t want to get involved in a pre-conviction axe murderer [post-conviction axe-murderers are exciting and exotic, on the other hand, and deserving of huge amounts of attention].  But what a man’s credit rating, his socio-economic status and his resume have to do with his desire to hack a woman to pieces after an unsuccessful date is beyond me.  Are Audi owners more prone to decapitation, I wonder?  But I digress.)

Now, let’s also set-aside the intellectual dishonesty that allows feminists on the one hand to object to professional women being paid an exceptional wage for a demanding career naked and having sex on camera, yet support that same woman’s right to exhibit herself on camera with her lover at home as a fundamental sexual freedom.  Because, as most feminist don’t want you to know, the vast majority of porn on the internet is amateur fare made by consenting partners for their own enjoyment.  And yes, for a large number of such folks, sharing their videos is a major part of that enjoyment.  But women who get paid for it are being “exploited”, while Molly and Harry Sugarsack of Hackensack, NJ are just getting their feminist-approved vanilla kicks.  Let’s forget that for a moment, because there’s a deeper issue here.

That issue is the psychological foundation of feminist objection to objectification (of women) itself.  You see, objectification is the polar opposite of solipsism, and that’s where feminists fall off the swingset.
Female solipsism, as we have discussed and explored, is the observed tendency of a woman to put herself as the focus of the situation regardless of whether or not she belongs there.  It’s the “what about me?” or “how does this affect me?” meme.  That is, in any given case a woman is more likely to consider the entire situation based on how it will personally affect her life before she looks at it from any other perspective.  This isn’t an absolute, this isn’t a universal, there are plenty of exceptions to the rule, but in aggregate female solipsism is an observable trait that seems embedded in the feminine psyche.

It’s also understandable, from an evolutionary perspective.  As the guardians of genetic purity, women have a vested interest in ensuring their personal survival and the survival of their offspring.  Therefore, what happens to her, personally, is of great importance to the genetic cargo she’s carrying.  Putting “women and children first”, and herself at the head of the line, might seem selfish, but it’s just her body and her subconscious trying to maximize her sexual capital into the best deal she can get. 

Men, on the other hand, use objectification for much the same purpose, evolutionarily speaking.  Since men are the guardians of genetic diversity, then their interest lies in selecting the best possible future mothers of their children.  That has nothing to do with True Love or Fate or Kismet or Karma or anything else other than what makes their dicks hard.  And, generally speaking, that’s not a great personality or good earning potential, it’s big juicy boobs, a pretty face, a sexy smile and a bouncy booty you’d follow for blocks.  While he might have more in common with a woman on an intellectual and emotional level, his evolutionarily-proscribed task is not to bond with a single woman, it’s to spread his seed to maximize the genetic diversity he’s guarding to as many places as possible.

Solipsism puts the individual woman first, and all women ahead of everything else.  Or, more accurately, solipsism puts the woman’s perspective first in consideration.  It demands taking a “personal approach” to every problem.  And when you put that proposition into play in the dating-and-mating world, that means that it’s in a woman’s best interest to dissuade a dude from sowing wild oats in other fields and supporting her, because she’s a special little snowflake whose genetic material, exemplified in her warm personality and not her cottage-cheese thighs, which is just naturally better and more attractive than—HEY!  QUIT STARING AT HER BOOBS!

Feminists object to objectification NOT because they’re concerned with how they and their fellow women are perceived by men (and each other) at large, but because objectification denies solipsism.  When women are objectified, they lose the ability to place themselves at the center of their universe, and must concede that they are merely one snowflake in a snowbank.  That’s a painful admission for feminists who have been raised on the red meat of grrl empowerment.  It’s also painful for the non-feminist or not-particularly-feminist woman to acknowledge that they are not quite as special as they’d been led to believe by their self-esteem-inducing curriculum.

Objectification denies the solipsism that women need in order to form a lasting relationship with a man.  If a woman knows that the man she's selected is looking at other women, then it feels like she's somehow failed in her genetic mission to captivate his attention . . . if he's not exclusively focused on her as much as possible, then she feels that his willingness to commit to her, personally, is jeopardized   Therefore other women, real or digital, are a threat to her exclusive claim to him.  Feminism, in its fight for imagined "equality" in the interpersonal sphere, tried to demonize male objectification while glorifying female solipsism within the bounds of a relationship.  It was part of the failed feminist mating strategy.  

The problem is, as stated, men need to objectify women.  It's what makes our penises work.  It's also our greatest weapon against the ever-present rejection that even men in LTRs can feel.  When a dude gets turned down for sex, his first instinct is to objectify and distance himself from that failure like dropping a hot match.  That might sound unreasonable to women, but that's the biological fact.  While we can bond to one woman for a lifetime, we cannot do so without knowing and loving all women somewhat.  We need to know what we like and what we don't as thoroughly as any woman does . . . our criteria are just different.  Female solipsism says that "the One" is out there for everyone and anyone, because every snowflake has a match somewhere. In True Love, Fate will bring them together.  In feminism, if you ride the carousel for long enough "The One" is supposed to appear, inexorably (and inexplicably) attracted to your spunkiness, independence, and strength.  

Either way, the whole idea of "The One" is the cultural expression of female solipsism writ large.  Under either system, the perfect man is drawn to a particular woman because of her personality, her nature, and her unique perspective on life, with an emphasis on "fun" and "fearless".  Female solipsism fights against the objectification of women (but not men) under the guise of feminism in fighting against porn and under the guise of romance as snowflakiness.  Women deserve to have great relationships under both mating strategies simply by virtue of being women.  Of course, what actually happens is usually much more brutal.

From the male perspective, objectification of women is vital to Game as a mating strategy, especially in a Dating 2.0 world.  Indeed, Game requires objectification of women before you do anything else -- if you aren't willing to generalize about the observable characteristics of female mating behavior or their mating strategies, you're just as much in a True Love fog as the ditziest romance-reading cat lady.  Objectification requires placing all women on the same line, holding them to the same standards, and assessing them against those standards in a cool and calculated way.  Being persuaded away from objectifying women, such as our poor Blue Pill Beta brothers have done, denies a woman's fungibility and by default makes her the most important element in the relationship.  They have been forced to acknowledge that their sexuality only exists through the subjective perspective of their wives, and are denied the ability to consider other options even in the privacy of their own heads.

Romantic solipsistic women want to feel like Cinderella -- where Prince Charming will show himself by having the perfectly-fitting glass slipper that is hers alone.  The relationship works ONLY because of her unique character and individual perspective -- because it's her special little foot in the slipper.   The problem is that there are plenty of women with her shoe size, she just doesn't want to admit that . . . or how many shoes she's tried on while looking.  

Feminist solipsism says that the Prince Charming and his slipper will not only fit her, but because Prince Charming is there in the first place because he's attracted to her intelligence, wisdom, and personality (which has nothing whatsoever to do with how she fills out a ball gown).  That slipper will fit perfectly at first, and if it starts pinching her feet later on the feminist solipsist feels comfortable with the idea that she can upgrade to a better quality of glass slipper because she's not happy with them at any time in the future.  

Game says that you are Prince Charming, dude, and you started out with your own glass-slipper design.  It isn't intended for any one girl's foot . . . but the one it fits will be the one most likely to fulfill your criteria for a good partner.  It's not that you're looking for a particular princess, understand . . . you just want one whose foot fits within the objective parameters you've established.  Yet every woman who can manage to squeeze her piggies into it is absolutely certain that you are "The One", ready to sweep her off her feet and set her up in a magical land of luxury, love, and perpetual security and excitement, just because she can cram her toes inside.  

So consider objectification and solipsism as you plot your own mating strategies, Gents.  Understand the role they play in sexuality, and why feminism politicized it.  It's about power, no more, no less.  After all, if feminists were all that concerned with the plight of women in general, then why are they continuously freaking out about the thousands of women who work in porn instead of the millions of women who work in the textile industry, where they are regularly subjected to sub-par working conditions and on-the-job rape just so that they can keep their low-paying jobs and continuously supply their First World sisters with a dazzling array of stylish-yet-affordable fashions.  No, feminism's anti-porn perspective is born far more out of a crippling desire to dominate their personal relationships without the threat of another sexual outlet in contention, an extension of their solipsistic tendencies to consider their own interests and issues before any other.

Your best bet?  Build a really strong "glass slipper", long before you start trying to jam some chick's foot into it, and then don't accept any foot that can't fit into it comfortably.  Your commitment is your prize, Gentlemen, and if you want to get the most value for that prize, then build your slipper as smooth as silk and as strong as steel, and refuse to accept anything less before you offer a chick your kingdom.

Okay, break over.  Back to the book.



18 comments:

  1. Great piece! "When women are objectified, they lose the ability to place themselves at the center of their universe, and must concede that they are merely one snowflake in a snowbank."

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  2. So pretty much - this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gaid72fqzNE

    "If I didn't have you
    I would have somebody else"

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  3. Another exceptional post. I have always thought the objection to porn flowed from female "insecurity" of some type, but I could not pin it down with precision. You did a great job placing the "insecurity" within the framework of this great ongoing "red pill" discussion. Thanks.

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  4. The fems wouldn't have to worry about being objectified if enough men find out how awesome Fleshlights are - which don't nag, talk back, or get headaches. :)

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  5. Great re-framing you've been up to here, Ian. For much of my life as a 28 year old dude, I've imagined that I had to live up the the lady's expectations, and I hoped, hoped, hoped, that they'd like me enough to let me me into their life.

    What you're saying is: no, as a good dude, and gatekeeper to commitment, I can be discriminate. Brutally so, even. My commitment and quality is not worth wasting on whosoever happens to like me. I get to do the choosing when scouting for a long-term partner. In the shot-term, women hold the key to sex (enter Game!), but what they want, on the aggregate, is a committed dude, and I have all the reason in the world to make sure it's worth my while.

    Well done, sir- great counterbalancing message.

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  6. It's funny you should mention. On the way to work this morning I was (after seeing the 4th American Apparel billboard) pondering how women object to objectification, and immediately proceed to objectify the hell out of themselves individually, other women, and men as a group.

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  7. I love porn. Analyze it all you want, rationalize it all you can. The fact is it keeps the losers of the world tethered to their computers and out of circulation.

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  8. The other thing tripping up the anti-prOn types is the emergence of sex workers as a force in the women's movement. And they don't take kindly to being dissed as inferiors. Yeah they may work in porn but, as they loudly say, they take care of themselves and THEIR families too, and that stops the third-wavers cold since they then must fess up and OWN THEIR PRIVILEGE of being condescending to other hard-working women of whose jobs they "disapprove."

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  9. I believe you hit the nail on the head in the end, when you say "It's about power, no more, no less." Feminism and solipsism are tools in the service of women amassing one-sided relationship power. This power allows women to be in control and have their choice of mates, get provisioning, do as they please without accountability, etc.

    Having said that, however, I think the manosphere can get too caught up in terms such as solipsism and objectification. Those terms tend to distract men and obfuscate the important power dynamics at the heart of the issue. So, I encourage men to understand those terms, but not get hung up on them. The real take-home message is that there are various strategies that women use to manipulate men, shame them, take their power, and control relationship outcomes for their one-sided, selfish, benefit. Thus, it is important for men to learn "game" and other measures, to maintain power and leadership in their relationships, and also create truly fair and balanced outcomes that satisfy both their own needs and their partner's needs too.

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  10. Watching those women try and debate you was like watching a chimpanzee trying to fly an airplane: lots of dumbfounded screeching followed by a disastrous crash.

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  11. Maybe women won't fuck you because you incessantly whine like a bitch. But, no, it must be something wrong with them...

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    Replies
    1. Actually, I get righteously fucked on a regular basis. Probably more than you. I have a wife. I work in porn.

      And "whine like a bitch"? Really, Cupcake. If you haven't realized that something is wrong with American women these days, then ask yourself why American men are choosing not to marry them.

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  12. XXX vids porn freesexwatchvid movie. Free porn movie xhamsterhd videos. High porn videos lovpornhub porn.

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  13. Hi! Great article!
    This is perhaps slightly unrelated to the topic of feminists being anti-porn because of the power-loss. But I'm curious as to your thoughts of porn use within the context of a marriage where the wife does *not* use sex as a tool, and is always willing and enthusiastic. Do you think it's still fair for a man to be using porn in that scenario, rather than directing his sexual desires towards his wife?

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    Replies
    1. I think it's perfectly acceptable for a man -- a couple -- to use porn in a happily functioning marriage. Once you understand the nature of human (and especially male) sexuality, you realize that a LTR really does need sexual variety to keep both parties stimulated. Porn is one way to do that without recourse to swinging or cuckoldry or other extremes. It provides visual stimulation for the dude, and contextual stimulation (if you get the right stuff) for the woman, and that can provide helpful novelty to keep your infatuation levels healthy.

      Masturbation should be understood to be a healthy part of an adult male or female sexuality. Even couples with wildly sexual partnerships need the solitary indulgence of occasional masturbation in order to keep their sexuality in tune. If you can't have sex with yourself, after all, it's hard to be able to do justice to someone else. It certainly doesn't indicate a desire to end or alter the relationship, and it shouldn't even be cause for concern unless it starts to get out of hand.

      Hope that helps!

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    2. I'm still not so sure.. I do respect your point of view. It's just that this is something I really struggle with.

      If a man masturbates to porn and consequentially isn't up for having sex with his wife, isn't that the equivalent of a woman "withholding" sex. Why is that ok? I think the most basic, core sexual need for a woman is to feel DESIRED by their man..

      And what about when the couple starts to really age. Will the man EVER want sex with his wife at all when he has been conditioned his whole life to orgasm to porn/visuals?

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