Sexbots aren’t the answer to misogynist incel rage

Sexbots It’s not because they’re lonely. It’s not because they can’t get laid. It’s the misogyny, stupid.

The last several days have brought a renewed rise in questions about incels — people who identify as “involuntary celibates” — after Alek Minassian, the suspect in a deadly April van attack in Toronto, was linked to the community. On the day of the attack, he posted on Facebook, “Wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan…. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! … All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!” That was a reference to the shooter who killed six people in Isla Vista, California in 2014.

In a YouTube video before the carnage,

Rodger had stated, “I’ve been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires all because girls have never been attracted to me. Girls gave their affection, and sex and love to other men but never to me.”

Ask any female to talk about an experience she’s with male entitlement, Sexbots and likely pressed to name just one. It manifests in that guy who goes from catcalling you to calling you an ugly bitch in the span of three sidewalk steps. It’s the repulsive dudes who fancy themselves pick up artists, and believe in creeds like “Diss Fatties Bang Hotties.” It’s the manager at work who says you should smile more. And on the grand scale, it’s the men so enraged that women may not choose to sex with them that they kill them. So no, Ross Douthat, I don’t think your fanciful case for sex robots is the answer here.

Loath as I ever am to invoke Douthat’s brand of singular not-getting-itness, his New York Times column this week — followed by a doozy of a tweet-splain thread — merited special eye rolling. In his Wednesday plea for “The Redistribution of Sex,” Douthat made a weary proposal for “sex robots” and asked, “If we are concerned about the just distribution of property and money, why do we assume that the desire for some sort of sexual redistribution is inherently ridiculous?” Because it is.

Grotesquely, the inspiration for this dystopian vision was

“the recent terrorist violence in Toronto, in which a self-identified ‘incel’ — that is, involuntary celibate — man sought retribution against women and society for denying him the fornication he felt that he deserved.” First of all, I feel like maybe Douthat doesn’t fully understand the meaning of fornication in this context. Second, whaaaaaat?

He went on to cite Amia Srinivasan’s recent London Review of Books essay that asked, “Does anyone have the right to Sexbots ?” and noted her discussion of “groups with whom The London Review’s left-leaning and feminist readers would have more natural sympathy — the overweight and disabled, minority groups treated as unattractive by the majority, trans women unable to find partners and other victims, in her narrative, of a society that still makes us prisoners of patriarchal and also racist-sexist-homophobic rules of sexual desire.”

It’s really something the way Douthat can barely

hold his nose to mention the monstrous “left leaning and feminist” among us, but it’s outstanding that he can then go on to leap from “the overweight and disabled” to internet trolls.

You want to have a conversation about sexual agency for marginalized groups, I am there for it. Surrogacy, self-pleasure, community: awesome. We are all entitled to healthy, safe, consensual sexual expression. But (grudgingly hoists megaphone): YEAH, THESE GUYS DON’T WANT THAT.

This isn’t rocket science. Men who idolize mass murderers do so because they hate women. They feel they have a right to their bodies. It enrages them when women do not behave in a sexually conciliatory way toward them. It enrages them that other men can obtain what they cannot. Because they don’t see sex as a mutually pleasurable experience but as a reward they deprived of. They see themselves apart from the “Chads and Stacies” and “normies”. Their version of the popular kids — and take comfort in posting memes about evil females and their precious man spaces. Oh, no, you’ve got us all wrong, they argue, I just want a nice girlfriend, and why can’t these ungrateful bitches understand that?

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