I deleted my first attempt at this post, and I’m not sorry. I’m sure there were some decent thoughts that I’ll get back to at some point, but I’m not saving what I had written. It was self-indulgent and feel-y and didn’t address why I felt that way, so let’s get into ONE of the several thousand reasons I’m feeling testy on this beautiful Tuesday.
The Aziz Ansari scandal broke a couple of days ago and I haven’t weighed in on social media, aside from liking the posts I agree with and not responding to the posts I don’t agree with. I haven’t expressed an opinion, partly because I’m not sure I have a clear one yet. A lot of people are making some great points and other people are not. Some of the articles about it are good, some are stupid, and most of them barely, if at all, address the real problem.
The real problem is, how do we get women and other marginalized groups to be treated as actual human beings, not sexual fetishes? Here’s my answer: there is a super realistic sex doll coming onto the market. She looks real-ish, and she can even hold a pleasant conversation with her man. I think that people look down on sex dolls, but I am totally behind them. If a man wants a thing to have sex with and say nice things to him, but not really challenge him, which would force him to grow as a person, let him have a sex doll. Get him the most realistic one possible. Build even MORE realistic ones.
I wouldn’t even say that the dolls should be left at home. Let the guys bring their Girlfriendz (TM) to the party, right? (He can even buy two dolls; one to take out and impress his friends, and one at home that actually fits his own aesthetic preferences.) Then we will know who is taken and who is emotionally incapable of having a real relationship. I also think that if a guy has a doll as a girlfriend, he’ll be able to tell the difference between a sex object and an actual human.
For one thing, a sex doll is not self-cleaning, a real woman is. Second, a sex doll’s conversational skills are programmed, whereas real women’s conversations will be organic. So a sex doll will laugh at all of her man’s jokes, and a real woman will only laugh at the ones that are funny. Sex dolls can be programmed with facts, but real women come with ideas, originality, innovation — if you closed your eyes, they almost might pass as men!
And sex dolls aren’t just for men! (Even though, technically, most of them will be.) The coolest thing is that men who aren’t satisfied with the one-sided relationship a sex doll can provide will go out looking for a woman that he can share mutual pleasure with. That’s right, sex will get a lot more consensual and pleasurable for women! I know that we’re first-and-foremost worried about the safety and security of men, but it won’t hurt that the sex dolls will make lives better for women, too, right?
The only real problem that I can see is that the world’s oldest profession of propping up fragile and flaccid egos will be outsourced to these dolls and leave a lot of real women jobless. But this might be a blessing in disguise because these intelligent, funny, resourceful women are actually good for more than just pleasing men. I know! We forget, because society is like a camera, it makes everyone look flat and one-dimensional. So if a woman looks like and is treated as a sex doll, that must be all she is, right?
By objectifying objects instead of people, maybe fewer girls will grow up feeling as though their only purposes and talents are to make sure the men in their lives are okay. Maybe they can look inward and focus on their own pleasure. People often complain that women never invent anything, but with the legendarily insatiable appetites for sex and emotional validation of men taken care of, women will be free to invent more things. Why, with the widespread use of contraceptives over the past few decades, women have already been making such inroads.
I guess it’s time for the disclaimer: of course, I in no way want to suggest that all or even most men are emotionally incapable of viewing and treating women as actual human beings. I actually think that if most men actually thought that women were only walking pleasure holes, that equality wouldn’t even be a part of the conversation, uncomfortable a conversation as it is. That said, women have been treated as Other for a long time, and it’s difficult to talk about how long overdue equality is without getting a little testy.
I also don’t want to suggest that sex workers are mindless products of the patriarchy. I think they’re mindful products of the patriarchy. They know what the system is and they use it to their advantage. I have a lot of admiration for women who take control of their sexuality and would not ever suggest that a woman who works as a sex worker does not deserve the same respect as a woman who doesn’t. I also believe that most women are often diminished, dismissed, and reduced to their sexuality, in any field they’re in, whether it’s the arts, the sciences, or sex work.
If ever the day comes in which women are treated 100% like people, humanity will flourish further than we could ever have imagined. Look at how far we’ve come in the past 98 years since women got the vote, the first step in equality. Look at how quickly technology has shot forward in the past several decades since more women and people of color have been incorporated into every field. Allowing women into fields other than “mother” or “mistress” has resulted in spectacular advances in science and medicine.
Being treated like something less than human your whole life affects everything, including your perception of your own abilities. Imagine what you’d be capable of if nobody had ever told you that you couldn’t do something based on a physical trait that you have no control over. And yes, adversity encourages development, but we have enough adversity just with the challenges of being human and surviving. We don’t need to create or celebrate bigotry in the name of innovation. We are at our most innovative when we feel encouraged, supported, and heard.