Own Troll

by John Holbo on April 29, 2018

Robin Hanson is catching it for this post. There is something so … elegant about such developments.

It was supposed to be a simple troll. If you think goods redistribution is a good idea (inequality = bad), you must be in favor of a bit of the old forced sexual redistribution. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.) Also: it’s gotta be just envy. “Their purpose seems to be to induce envy, to induce political action to increase redistribution.” “Two Kinds of Envy”. That’s the title. (This envy bit is going to be key. See below.)

Forced redistribution of sex out of envy sounds pretty rape-y, as you may notice. Of course it’s a bad argument. It’s easy to explain how and why one might favor redistribution but not rape. But in politics, if you’re explaining you’re losing. Having to argue for a ‘no rape included’ on your social welfare proposal kind of puts you on the rhetorical back-foot. I’m sure that was Hanson’s plan.

But then it backfired.

Even though Hanson is not himself proposing forced sexual redistribution – he’s merely making a bad argument that leftists should – folks on Twitter are reading him, straight up, as advocating ‘sexual redistribution’, which they take to be something rape-y. (Since he kind of went out of his way to make it sound rape-y.)

Hanson tries a leftier-than-thou head-fake. “A tweet on this post induced a lot of discussion on twitter, much of which accuses me of advocating enslaving and raping women. Apparently many people can’t imagine any other way to reduce or moderate sex inequality.”

Oh, why aren’t people more imaginative about creative social welfare solutions to inequality problems!

This seems like a great point for Hanson to double-down! Take critics to task! He could school ‘em by introducing these fools to the ideas of, oh say, Charles Fourier, who proposed a ‘sexual minimum’. (Oh, the shame. To be lectured by a George Mason economist about the woke wisdom of Charles Fourier!) Hell, Hanson could read ‘em Dan Savage’s excellent column. Proposing ‘redistribution of sex’ doesn’t have to mean rape! It doesn’t have to mean trying to pay some sex workers enough to be heroic first responders to potentially deadly levels of masculine resentment and anger. Suppose – just suppose! – we tackled the very real (!) problem of sexual inequality and suffering by 1) trying to detoxify the culture in various ways; 2) valuing and respecting sex work, and sex workers. (What Savage said, but maybe the government kicks in with support.)

Tragically, it’s at this point – when by rights the troll ought to roll! – that Hanson is hobbled, unfairly, by his own ‘envy’ premise (which he pretty clearly only intended to trip other people, unfairly, not himself.)

He’s assuming this social justice thing is basically envy on the verge of eruption into outright violence. He says any push for this sort of thing “strengthens an implicit threat of violence.” If, by hypothesis, the sexually deprived won’t be motivated by a desire for equality and respect, they just want to tear down those they resent for being above them, then, yes, ‘sexual redistribution’ can only mean asking a bunch of women to volunteer for a beat-down (so others won’t be outright killed by violent men.)

Hanson assumes it in his first paragraph. Why shouldn’t others assume he assumes it?

I think the larger moral of the story is that Hanson needs to face up to the elephant in the room. The tricky problem of non-hidden motivations in everyday life. Maybe he should give them a look.

At this point Belle says to me: hey, you know what this Hanson guy wrote way back? This!

And I’m like: ah, crap. I’m making this too complicated. (There I was, just trying to troll a guy about how it’s his own damn fault that he’s getting trolled for being in favor of rape, because he was just trying to troll leftists for how they should be in favor of rape. And it turns out? This? This? People are messed up, man.)

{ 509 comments }

1

LFC 04.29.18 at 3:11 pm

Don’t have sufficient time or interest to follow the links here. But sounds like this Hanson person should do some reading (e.g., maybe start w Rawls’s discussion of envy in TOJ and go from there) and then, having done that, shut the f— up. Problem solved.

2

Michael 04.29.18 at 3:12 pm

In an idle way, I’m curious about what’s going on in that guy’s head. What could lead someone to argue in such a twisted way? I find it hard to discover, at least among the well-lit corridors of the human psyche. Any ideas, John?

3

Glen Tomkins 04.29.18 at 3:16 pm

Hanson didn’t know that there’s an entire rightwing subculture of self-decribed incels (the involuntarily celibate) who make the argument quite solemnly that they have a right to the attention of women, and if that attention is denied, the right to take it by force?

This is incompetent journalism, or infotainment, or sociopolitical advocacy, or whatever Hanson thinks he’s doing. Know your audience!

4

Holden Pattern 04.29.18 at 3:29 pm

Seems to me that he was trying to use the ridiculous argument of “by libtard standards, wimmins ought to take one for the team by redistributing sex before the incels get violent” to discredit the fairly standard notion of the redistribution of wealth as part of the modern state. Given that he’s part of the anarchocapitalist wingnut welfare brigade, that would be the typical model.

The problem of course, is that the distribution of sex is pretty much nothing like the distribution of money — even a confiscatory level of taxation for people for whom the marginal value of each additional dollar is zero doesn’t look anything like forcing women to have sex with angry and potentially violent misogynists.

Also, too, he’s a misogynist idiot who doesn’t understand humans. Which is unsurprising in a George Mason economist.

5

Donald Johnson 04.29.18 at 4:32 pm

Many free market loving economists seem prone to this kind of “counterintuitive so clever it is actually stupid and offensive” type of argument. No, I don’t have a list of specific examples— it is just an impression I have gotten starting with reading as a college kid how minimum wage laws hurt the poor, seeing Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose, learning how tax cuts for the rich help the poor and hearing secondhand about the book Freakonomics. I could be wrong.

6

Robin Hanson 04.29.18 at 4:34 pm

“He’s assuming this social justice thing is basically envy on the verge of eruption into outright violence.” I’m not assuming that at all! But people who seek social justice do in fact try to induce envy and they do like to remind people of the possibility of violence.

7

Carol 04.29.18 at 5:36 pm

He is basically arguing for sexual slavery for women to satiate a bunch of nasty men. The implications of the arguments make my head spin but it is obvious he is a misogynist who thinks women are only fodder for male self-satisfaction, and their humanity is on the level of some sort of amorphous jelly to be totally disregarded. Women, in fact, are really only valuable in so far as they provide men with goods and services.

8

steven t johnson 04.29.18 at 6:18 pm

Robin Hanson is a Serious Thinker. We know this because he’s an Evolutionary Psychologist. EP must have something to it, because brains evolved, right? Only cranks and doctrinaire ideologues call it pseudoscience!

See http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2018/01/read-simler-hansons-elephant-brain/ for philosophy’s stamp of approval.

Next up: Bryan Case shows how education is almost nothing but virtue signalling!

9

oldster 04.29.18 at 7:19 pm

It’s just typical George Mason work. Propertarians and misogynists.

10

JRLRC 04.29.18 at 7:35 pm

Oh, I see Ian Maitland is spreading wisdom (huge penis!) over there too…
Talking about messed up men and messed up State visions: https://www.reddit.com/r/badeconomics/comments/8fbdka/sexual_market_value_in_the_planned_economy_of/

11

nastywoman 04.29.18 at 7:56 pm

@3
”Hanson didn’t know that there’s an entire rightwing subculture of self-decribed incels (the involuntarily celibate) who make the argument quite solemnly that they have a right to the attention of women, and if that attention is denied, the right to take it by force?”

– and as the above doesn’t – or didn’t work – the right to force F…face von Clownstick on US!

12

bob mcmanus 04.29.18 at 7:58 pm

More interesting than bashing boring Republicans is the actual long history of left-wing and radical programs of free love and communal sex.

E Goldman:“If love does not know how to give and take without restrictions, it is not love, but a transaction that never fails to lay stress on a plus and a minus.”

Huxley:Lenina shook her head. ‘Somehow,’ she mused, ‘I hadn’t been feeling very keen on promiscuity lately. There are times when one doesn’t. Haven’t you found that too, Fanny?’

Fanny nodded her sympathy and understanding. ‘But one’s got to make the effort,’ she said sententiously, ‘one’s got to play the game. After all, every one belongs to every one else.’

‘Yes, every one belongs to every one else.’ Lenina repeated slowly and, sighing, was silent for a moment; then, taking Fanny’s hand, gave it a little squeeze. ‘You’re quite right, Fanny. As usual. I’ll make the effort.’

Hanson’s mistake was basing his argument on distributive justice rather than on equality and fairness. The incel argument, right-wing misogynists as they are, is that mating norms and practices show approved practices of discrimination that are deliberately obfuscated and denied, if not outright celebrated. We can’t refuse to serve breakfast to somebody with a different skin color or body shape, but we can refuse sex?
We need to revisit bodies-as-common versus neoliberal possessive individualism. The body as personal property to dispose of freely according to contract law in the meat market in service of status and competitive advantage…I can’t go on. The body as legal marketable property is probably the foundation of capitalism.

13

Gareth Wilson 04.29.18 at 8:09 pm

We did redistribute sex, centuries ago, when we outlawed polygamy. That’s about as far as we can go.

14

Donald A. Coffin 04.29.18 at 8:09 pm

(My comment on this over at Lawyers Guns and Money)

Leaving aside the moral repugnance of Hanson’s argument, I just want to point out that Hanson is wrong about the underlying (Pareto) theory.

My assumption is that if women were asked to agree to living in a society in which Hanson’s “gentle, harmless” rape is legal, they would not consent. Then forcing them knowingly to live in such a society cannot be a Pareto-improving outcome.

Alternatively, assume that men know that such “gentle, harmless” rape is legal, but women have been denied the knowledge of this fact. Then that also cannot be a Pareto-improving outcome, because lack of knowledge of the kind of society one lives in has to reduce one’s utility.

So Hanson gets the theory wrong *on his own terms.* He has become a troll, and a not-very-bright troll. So any trolling he gets in return is a Pareto-improving outcome.

15

engels 04.29.18 at 8:43 pm

His points don’t seem that far from Cohen’s, Dworkin’s, et al’s arguments that the ‘currency’ of egalitarian distribution shouldn’t be income but access to important human goods (which might indeed include access to social esteem, intimate relationships and family life). His point about distributive egalitarianism being motivated by envy doesn’t seem that far from Elizabeth Anderson’s arguments in ‘What Is The Point of Equality’. He may be a troll but ime the contemptuous reactions to trolls are often more embarrassing than the troll itself (I thought the violence point was comparing ‘incel’ terrorism to left-wing terrorism, which I personally find tasteless and wrong but not obviously crazy.)

16

anon/portly 04.29.18 at 9:30 pm

I don’t see where Hanson is bringing up the idea of rape or “forced” redistribution. When he uses the term “violence,” I assume he means the same forms of violence supposedly held out as a threat by those who favor income redistribution. As with the Toronto killer. I think he means to maintain his parallel.

Is it here? Sex could be directly redistributed… This is certainly the part that I don’t get – how could sex be directly redistributed? It can’t be….

Okay, in the second paragraph Hanson suggests that some who favor policies to decrease use an argument along the lines of “i

17

anon/portly 04.29.18 at 9:32 pm

In my previous comment, the third paragraph was retained in error, sorry.

18

engels 04.29.18 at 9:49 pm

Okay, I just read the last link: troll is an understatement

19

Matt 04.29.18 at 10:31 pm

It’s actually possible to discuss these matters with insight, intelligence, and sensitivity. See, for example the excellent article by Amia Srinivasan in the LRB, here: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n06/amia-srinivasan/does-anyone-have-the-right-to-sex

Robin Hanson, of course, doesn’t manage this, but that’s no surprise to those who know him.
On “incels”, it seems like a great example (along with pro-suicide and pro-bulimia groups) of people made worse off from by the internet. They would have either been lone losers, or, perhaps, gotten over it after a while, but finding a “support group” has made them all the worse off.

20

John Holbo 04.29.18 at 10:53 pm

Robin Hanson: ““He’s assuming this social justice thing is basically envy on the verge of eruption into outright violence.” I’m not assuming that at all! But people who seek social justice do in fact try to induce envy and they do like to remind people of the possibility of violence.”

The problem with this is that … well, imagine that we redescribe the recent Golden State Killer case thusly. “The police were seeking a hate object on which the people could vent their ressentiment for acts committed decades ago.” It’s true! But to put it that way is to route around justice to an undue degree. Why not say they were seeking justice?

21

engels 04.29.18 at 11:24 pm

Gotta say I think one problem with this whole discussion, from the ‘incels’ themselves to Savage to Srinivasan, has been a tendency to treat ‘sexual poverty’ as a discrete problem requiring a solution on its own level (misogynistic violence for the incels, sex work for Savage, voluntary attitude change for Srinuvasan) rather than something bound up with the deeper and wider economics and culture of US-style winner-takes-all hyper-capitalism.

22

sorry I couldn't help it 04.29.18 at 11:26 pm

And your wife didn’t remember this? So apropos
Scott Aaronson was an incel
http://crookedtimber.org/2015/02/15/male-nerds-and-feminism/

23

engels 04.29.18 at 11:49 pm

how could sex be directly redistributed? It can’t be

To the extent that it has been commodified it can be, à la Savage (I think this general approach is somewhat misguided as I said)

24

engels 04.30.18 at 12:08 am

Depressing piece on the origins of the term ‘incel’ in North American radical gender theory:
https://www.elle.com/culture/news/amp34512/woman-who-started-incel-movement/

25

BruceJ 04.30.18 at 12:12 am

I’d kind of tended to the Bad Swiftian Satire About Taxation version of Hanson’s post…until I read the one Belle sent you.

“Biologically, cuckoldry is a bigger reproductive harm than rape, so we should expect a similar intensity of inherited emotions about it.”

I don’t think I’ve ever read a clearer statement that women are merely property in my life. Now I do believe that despite his objections to redistributing wealth, he is actually in favor of redistributive rape.

26

JRLRC 04.30.18 at 12:39 am

The “gentle, silent rape” post is one of the most disgusting, flawed and idiotic posts I have ever read.
A woman´s take: http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/04/no-particular-order

27

Alan White 04.30.18 at 12:52 am

‘“Biologically, cuckoldry is a bigger reproductive harm than rape, so we should expect a similar intensity of inherited emotions about it.”

I don’t think I’ve ever read a clearer statement that women are merely property in my life.’

My god have the standards for clarity sunk to the depth of all depths!

28

Faustusnotes 04.30.18 at 1:02 am

John instead of crawling the internet looking for posts about these weird fantasies why not just read the Gor chronicles? I think they’d be better written and more tasteful!

I am going to hazard a guess that this Hanson dude is a regular and perfect Ecole of gelmans law. Coincidence? I think not.

29

J-D 04.30.18 at 1:43 am

He opens

I’ve long puzzled over the fact that …

When scientists observe that the way things happen differs from the way they expected them to happen, what they are supposed to do is not to ask how to make the things happen the way they expected them to happen, but to recognise that something is going on that they do not yet understand and that therefore they need to work at finding out more.

30

Ronan(rf) 04.30.18 at 2:04 am

I understand it’s a losing battle to wonder is it not time to stop paying so much attention to the GMU moron brigade?

31

KC 04.30.18 at 2:11 am

I learnt from Amartya Sen that every ethical principle entails equality in something. The question is which space? Is it equal liberty? Is it equal health? Equal wealth? Equal education? Equal opportunities? Equal sex?

Sen would argue for equality in “capability” to live lives, and oursue goals and commitments that we each have reason to value. Equal income per se does not guarantee equal capability if one takes into account physical disabilities, mental disadvantage, social disadvantage, etc. Neither does equal liberties.

We need to first agree on which space is the relevant space in which to achieve equality!

32

KC 04.30.18 at 2:24 am

PS. If Hanson is simply arguing that we ought not appeal to envy to argue for equality, that seems correct. We should be able to draw attention to equality without appealing to envy.

On the other hand, it would not be fair to accuse a person of envy because that person is complaining about inequality. We ought to have (and be able to have) a reasoned (even if passionate) discussion about inequality without such discussions being motivated by envy nor being silenced by allegations of envy. Envy, its absence or presence, seems irrelevant to inequality.

33

Anarcissie 04.30.18 at 2:35 am

Back in the bad old days of Usenet, similar arguments were made, and one person pointed out in response that almost anyone except paraplegics had the natural capacity to enjoy as much sex as they wanted.

34

Dr. Hilarius 04.30.18 at 2:45 am

Faustusnotes@ 28: I never imagined the Gor books being mentioned on CT. (I have been told, but never verified, that the author was some sort of humanities prof in the mid-West (USA)). In the past I worked as a book scout and sold Gor books to collectors. I always felt dirty buying them, wanting to tell the seller that I had no intention of reading them, only resale.

35

Jerry Vinokurov 04.30.18 at 2:55 am

Wow, a George Mason professor with a bad take on gender relations? How entirely unexpected!

36

Tineola 04.30.18 at 2:59 am

Hanson’s argument is nuts, yes. But let’s not pretend that this is a problem that progressives take seriously. On the contrary, progressive opinions on sexual inequality are marked by open contempt, which really is different from the progressive take on economic inequality: if you’re poor, there’s at least a possibility that it’s due to bad luck or outright oppression, but if you’re a romantic failure, it’s because you’re a cripple and/or a horrible person. Apart from advising men to stop feeling entitled to women— i.e., “accept your lot in life”— progressives don’t even have anything to say about the phenomenon that doesn’t concern the treatment of women.

For the record, I’ve only been in one romantic relationship, and that was fifteen years ago. I haven’t had sex in a decade. I’m pretty sure this state of affairs isn’t going to change. But my height and weight are both average, I have no physical deformities beyond mild near-sightedness, I don’t suffer from social anxiety (not more than normal, anyway), I’m not on the autistic spectrum, I don’t subscribe to any incel beliefs, and I hold a Master’s degree. (And I’m working on a PhD, and my advisor is one of the most prominent names in my field.)

However much I subscribe to leftist beliefs generally, these discussions always serve as an uncomfortable reminder that I’m not really welcome within the liberal community.

37

John Holbo 04.30.18 at 4:06 am

In my post I griped. In this looooong comment I’ll try to draw some more or less positive lessons. (I’m making it a comment, not a fresh post, because I think I’m pretty much talking to myself here. But anyone who wants to listen in is welcome. I’m just trying to think stuff through.)

Hanson trolls on two levels and, relatedly, commits two fallacies. Trolling is not so interesting – it’s just the internet – but the fallacies are a bit interesting.

But first, the two troll levels. For clarity.

First, there is the level everyone is up in arms about. Hanson presupposes it’s reasonable to treat women as goods. The problem is that no liberal or progressive should accept that premise. I’m sure Hanson knows perfectly well all the perfectly valid objections that will be raised. He’s like the old lawyer joke: “I know he’s not guilty, I just want to hear him say he didn’t have sex with three dead girls and a frog.”

In the event, the attempted troll backfired in an amusing way. Hanson was counting on the jury not thinking logically, but Twitter had even poorer listening and comprehension skills than he was counting on. He was hardly able to get his fallacy off the ground before people were, as it were, bashing that poor lawyer over the head for having sex with three dead girls and a frog. (When all he wanted to do was get them to unfairly bash the defendant for that!) Poetic justice as fairness.

I’m sure Hanson will object that he didn’t strictly say women are goods. Which is true! But also: who are we kidding? “But whatever it is the package that people want, we can and should ask how we might get more of it to them.” The package is: women packaged. (So pull the other one. It’s got bells on.)

Right! The second level of the troll concerns envy. Here it gets a bit interesting.

Hanson’s post concerns two types of distributive justice claim: 1) that wealth should be equalized; 2) that sex should be equalized.

Hanson’s post title is ‘two types of envy’. So he is presupposing a fairly strong equation. Q: What is a distributive justice claim? A: It is an expression of envy/an implicit threat of violence against others.

(So if someone says, for example, what’s up with these social democrats/Rawlsians, you might reply: oh, they are like incels, but about money. They sit in their holes and rage. Sometimes they emerge and do harm to those who have not harmed them.)

From the post: “Their purpose seems to be to induce envy, to induce political action to increase redistribution.” And: “The purpose here seems to be to encourage support for redistribution by reminding everyone of the possibility of violent revolution. They remind the poor that they could consider revolting, and remind everyone else that a revolt might happen. This strengthens an implicit threat of violence should redistribution be insufficient.”

What is ‘the purpose’? Who are ‘they’? They are those who make claims about distributive justice. The purpose is to increase the level of envy and thereby foment violence.

Basically, he’s the anti-Thrasymachus. Rather than saying justice is the advantage or interest of the strong, Hanson is saying it is the advantage or interest of the weak – the envious. And, significantly, it looks like he proceeds to get into exactly the same trouble that Thrasymachus gets into. (So if proof were needed that Book 1 of “Republic” is evergreen, this is it.)

Hanson fails to consider that you might consider distributive justice claims at the level of normative theory, rather than at the level of psychological motive. Moral philosophy doesn’t need to be purely diagnostic, psychologically. It could be dialectical – an attempt to work out what is right and best. Maybe we can think about what makes sense, where justice is concerned. (Hey, crazier things have been tried.)

He also fails to consider that, concerning motive, you might look to the level of non-hidden motive, not just the level of hidden motive. Maybe what attracts people to justice is that they are … attracted by justice? They see something. They believe it is just. They want justice. They form a desire for this thing. This belief+desire compound induces further belief formations, actions, etc. It doesn’t need to be all one or all the other. The point is: hidden motive isn’t necessarily doing all the pushing. Maybe non-hidden motive gets into the game.)

At this point Hanson will object, as he does upthread, that it’s unfair of me to simplify his views this way. Why don’t I give him credit for perhaps having a more nuanced view? Why flatten it all out into crude Thrasymachianism? Sure, the post title is ‘two types of envy’ but why not more charitably assume he knows there’s probably more to it than a crude justice-as-enviousness caricature? (He’s probably read Rawls at some point.)

This is, if I may say so, the most adorably Thrasymachian move of all. It’s like when Thrasymachus complains that Socrates is ‘trying to get hold of his claims in such a way as to do the most damage’. Five seconds after having argued that you should always go for the jugular, Thrasymachus is whining the Socrates is not boxing according to the Queensberry Rules. Boo-hoo. Seriously: if we have some duty to be minimally intellectually scrupulous and charitable to each other’s positions, then that is just another decisive argument against Hanson’s own post. On the other hand, if it’s ok for him to imply justice is envy – even if he perfectly well knows that’s a misleading thing to say; then it’s ok for me to say his post is trolling – even if I think it’s more than that, in its author’s eyes. Sauce. goose. gander.

But, fair enough, two wrongs don’t make a right. Turnabout is fair play, not a valid argument form. So let me move to the anti-Meno point, which I think is the most interesting level on which Hanson fails. Here I think his post may rise, briefly, to the level of honest confusion about how to think about hidden motives. That is, he may not be just trolling.

Let’s look at it this way. People disagree about justice. I say some Rawlsian thing. Hanson is more of a Nozick guy. (I’m guessing. I get that he’s libertarian-y. But I don’t know the exact flavor he officially favors. If not Nozick, then – fine, whatever.) We can, to some degree, agree to disagree. We can at least intellectually acknowledge that we disagree about what justice is. I say it’s X. He’s says it’s not-X. It’s Y. But what about at the level of motive? Do we think each other want justice? Here it’s a bit harder to be charitable, and it’s interesting to think why.

Remember that funny argument in Plato’s Meno? Meno says that lots of people want bad things. Socrates argues, to the contrary, that it must always be an intellectual error. Everyone surely wants only good things! If I am drinking arsenic, it can’t be that I want arsenic. No one wants that. I must have thought it was good, clean water. So everyone’s motives are always for the good. And that’s why ethics is so much a matter of acquiring correct knowledge of what is truly good.

If you are a normal person, you’ve always regarded that argument as highly suspect in its extreme emphasis on the value of knowledge. And yet I think we are tempted by an opposite argument that really ought to be equally doubtful. Namely, everyone who has a mistaken theory of justice wants what is bad.

When we see someone thinking wrong thoughts about justice, by our lights, we don’t think: well, he wants justice – the true stuff, the good stuff. He just happens to be sadly in error about what the true, good stuff in fact is. He’s drinking the awful poison of Rawls but he wants the pure clean water of justice, which I happen to know is actually Nozick. So all Rawlsians, since they want justice, are secretly Nozickians at the level of desire. They just don’t know it. Not a very plausible thought? But what, exactly, has slipped?

Let’s try it from the other side. Suppose, as seems to be the case, Hanson thinks the drive for distributive justice is, to a first approximation, an envious impulse to pull down, violently, anyone who has any more than I do of something I want. Rawlsianian expresses an impulse to distributive justice. So, in practice, this is what Rawls stands for – namely, an orgy of violent envy waiting to erupt. It’s what they are asking for, the Rawlsians. So it’s probably fair to say it’s what they want.

In some cases, it seems highly plausible to say that someone really wants a different justice than they are, apparently, asking for. In some cases, it’s highly implausible. What makes the difference? (We could roll out de dicto/de re, but let’s just talk through without such Latin tags.) The second case is easier. It seems clear that there can be theory-practice slippage. What Rawls wants is Rawls-in-theory. If it breaks down in practice, that’s an objection, but not very good evidence that it’s what Rawls really wanted the whole time. We accept that there is such a thing as an unintended consequence. Mostly people don’t want the unintended consequence.

But what about the first case? I think we have a cynical psychological instinct that all theory about matters like justice is, mostly, confabulatory. (I am only speaking for myself, but I expect you will agree. But you tell me.) That is, people don’t want to know what justice is – whatever it may be. They want to hear that the thing they want is just. If what it takes for them to hear that is to say it themselves, they will. They start with conclusions and work back to arguments. I like it. It must be just. Now, why is it just?

For example, I am more of a Rawls guy than a Nozick guy. When I look at Nozick’s ideal, I am inclined to say: he must be directly attracted to what I regard as inherently not-so-attractive. I am inclined to fault him for wanting the bad. Namely, a hierarchical sort of feudalism. Why do I see it this way? Because I assume Nozick started with his conclusions and then cobbled together plausible-sounding reasons for them, post facto. Because that’s how humans work. But, even if that’s true, I still ought to consider his arguments on the merits. Sometimes the post facto reasons people confabulate up turn out to be good, after all. If I accept Nozicks’ arguments, do the conclusions follow? Do I, in fact, see merit in his premises?

Also, in a psychological sense, it’s like I end up dismissing, out of hand, the possibility that Nozick wanted justice – and wanted to know what justice is – in the abstract. He wanted it, whatever it turns out to be. He wanted to know what it is, whatever it turns out to be. If it turns out to be some surprising thing, he wanted to know that, even if it meant having to change his mind about some things. I assume he was more or less devoid of intellectual curiosity or wonderment about this mystery. He was just out there propagandizing for his priors, like a sophist. By contrast, when I look at myself – when I try to assess my own intellectual impulses and motives – I am aware that I am often propagandizing for my priors, like any sophist. I am pretending to try to figure out what is right, so I can want it, when really I am just trying to find a plausible-sounding argument so that what I want comes out right. But sometimes – sometimes! – I’m actually being curious and open to new ideas! I shouldn’t just assume Nozick isn’t the same as me in that regard. Even if I think he’s wrong, even if I think he wants what’s wrong, I ought to do him the courtesy of granting that, on some level, he want’s what’s right, because he wants to want what’s right.

And this is what I think Hanson is not admitting, when he front-loads all this ‘envy’ stuff right in the first paragraph. He is literally shutting down the possibility of even considering that someone might arrive at redistributivist conclusions in any other way than by confabulating them up as post facto justifications for feelings of resentment, and inchoate impulses to violence. That’s nuts, when you look at it in the light. But to be fair, I do it, too, to the other side. Check yourself before you wreck yourself, and all that. This is probably enough for one comment.

38

John Quiggin 04.30.18 at 4:06 am

It really is time to ignore propertarians like Hanson. As I observed a while ago, just about everyone in the “libertarian” camp who is worth taking seriously has switched to the liberaltarianism of the Niskanen Center

https://niskanencenter.org/about/

39

John Holbo 04.30.18 at 4:18 am

Tineola: “Hanson’s argument is nuts, yes. But let’s not pretend that this is a problem that progressives take seriously. On the contrary, progressive opinions on sexual inequality are marked by open contempt, which really is different from the progressive take on economic inequality.”

I think this is an entirely fair critique, and your point about the level of suffering that is hereby glossed over is entirely just and you have my sincere sympathy, Tineola. It sucks and it’s the worst. I could say that if incels wouldn’t be such assholes, maybe progressives wouldn’t be callous back. That’s probably true. But it isn’t really an excuse.

40

J-D 04.30.18 at 5:08 am

Tineola

I haven’t had sex in a decade.

If by a decade you don’t mean any more than ten years, then at twelve years I’ve got you beat. And yet, unlike you, I don’t feel that progressives hold me in open contempt or think I’m a horrible person. So I feel impelled to ask where you’re getting that from.

You might take a look at the column by Dan Savage that was linked to above, in which you can read this:

I do, however, sympathize with the plight of people—men and women—who experience sexual deprivation and are miserable (but not hateful) as a result. Those of us in the advice racket offer lonely, inexperienced, and sexually deprived people support, pointers, and encouragement. But following the standard-issue advice doesn’t always alleviate their misery.

That’s not contempt.

41

Layman 04.30.18 at 5:48 am

Tineola: “But let’s not pretend that this is a problem that progressives take seriously.”

This may be entirely my own failure – truly! – but I confess I’m having a hard time picturing what it would look like for progressives to take the problem seriously. What would progressives say or do about it that would be, to you, convincingly concerned? What personal and social solutions would they prescribe?

If I said to you that I was lonely, I imagine there are lots of things you could do that fall short of having sexual relations with me but would lessen my loneliness. Progressives should be serious about the problem of loneliness. Everyone should be serious about it. But if say to you that the essence of my loneliness is the absence of sex, what can you do? What should I expect you to do?

42

Moz of Yarramulla 04.30.18 at 5:56 am

valuing and respecting sex work, and sex workers

Note that the US has just passed SESTA which is explicitly designed to do the opposite – it will make sex work more dangerous and likely lower paid, while also expanding the definition of sex work to include anything which supports or promotes sex work (the US definition already counts porn etc as sex work). The nasty kick is that this also applies to anyone anywhere in the world that uses US-based companies like Visa or Google, even when their activities are explicitly legal where they are taking place. That’s via the “promote or encourage” vicarious liability language, combined with criminal penalties and jail terms for company executives and owners (but not shareholders AFAIK)

43

roger gathmann 04.30.18 at 5:56 am

39 – I don’t think this is true at all. The critique of lookism, the criticism of the constant barrage of imagery denigrating all but a certain kind of body type – no fatties apply, etc. – is definitely an attack on how sexual attraction is administered by capitalism. This is, of course, quite different from saying that the administration of sexual attraction by capitalism is just fine, and now the boys want their cherry pie. Or they want to plow into a crowd of women and kill them – which is pretty much where the second argument leads to. I have a hard time believing that some professor who said Barbara Bush is a racist is on the verge of getting fired from her college, while a professor who defends rape and believes that “cuckolding” females are as guilty as rapists teaches at any university. Really, in the choice between being schooled at GMU and being homeschooled by the Manson family, the latter is your better option.

44

nastywoman 04.30.18 at 6:07 am

– or as a polite bouncer at a nightclub would say:

Sorry – but you can’t… what’s your name again? ”Hanson” – ahh – sorry you can’t get in Mr. Hanson.
(and hands him a printout of @37)

45

John Holbo 04.30.18 at 6:08 am

“This may be entirely my own failure – truly! – but I confess I’m having a hard time picturing what it would look like for progressives to take the problem seriously. What would progressives say or do about it that would be, to you, convincingly concerned? What personal and social solutions would they prescribe?”

I agree that there are no likely policy prescriptions but – I think this is Tineola’s point – one could at least sympathize and not mock, in rather callous fashion. Being on the left should mean not punching down, even just verbally. Leave that to the Republicans. And I agree that some of the mocking of the incels amounts to punching down, in cruel fashion. This is explained in part by how horrible some of these incel boards are. Truly, they get awful. But, without condoning violence – or suggesting something insane like forcing women to be therapeutic objects on which angry men can vent resentment – one ought to be able to extend some genuine sympathy. The Dan Savage column is spot-on, I think, about all this. Destigmatizing some stuff could help. It doesn’t have to be government-run brothels.

46

nastywoman 04.30.18 at 6:23 am

– and about
”Being on the left should mean not punching down, even just verbally. Leave that to the Republicans.”

but, but, but there are people who don’t get no sex -(or they do?) – all over the world -(even in some very ”romantic” countries like Italy and France) – but do we have to point to the fact – that it seems to be – that ”only in America” somebody goes out and kills people because of that?

47

Faustusnotes 04.30.18 at 6:26 am

Hanson’s idea that addressing income inequality is based on envy is an interesting one. The union doesn’t want you to get a fair days work for a fair days pay for any of these reasons: a) so you can eat / afford healthcare / send your kids to school; b) because the working class needs a certain amount of stored wealth to be able to battle for its political rights; C) because of justice and fairness.

Nah, they’re just jealous that they can’t have a yacht like their boss does.

48

bad Jim 04.30.18 at 6:27 am

I’m a bit perplexed by the complaints of the involuntarily celibate. I’ve been celibate for longer than I’m willing to admit, but it’s always been clear that I could change this with the necessary effort, which for whatever reason I’ve been unwilling or unmotivated to put forth.

Because it isn’t about sex, it’s about a sexual relationship with another person, which is for most of us a non-trivial proposition, entailing reciprocal obligations of affection. Giving another person control over one’s life is hazardous.

Perhaps the incel fantasy involves no-strings-attached sex, the casual hookups and one night stands that everyone else is supposed to be getting. I’m quite confident that these exist, but they’re not evenly distributed. Even there some effort and some expertise may be required.

For those unsatisfied by traditional DIY methods and daunted by the investment involved in a human relationship, technology offers a variety of increasingly attractive alternatives. Automation is rarely a fix for inequality of distribution, but it might neatly fit this niche.

49

John Holbo 04.30.18 at 6:28 am

“but do we have to point to the fact – that it seems to be – that ”only in America” somebody goes out and kills people because of that?”

Yeah, but a lot of lonely Americans never killed nobody and they deserve sincere sympathy for their very real misery. They deserve not to be told that it’s somehow their fault they’re alone, especially not that it’s their fault because some crazy guy killed people. Maybe it’s their fault or maybe it’s not. But it’s insulting to tell someone you don’t really know that their lonely misery is their own fault because of how they behaved. How would you know?

50

Layman 04.30.18 at 6:31 am

John Holbo: “But, without condoning violence – or suggesting something insane like forcing women to be therapeutic objects on which angry men can vent resentment – one ought to be able to extend some genuine sympathy.”

I’m not at all sure progressives as a group lack empathy for lonely people. Some may; people are a mean bunch, and capable of much cruelty, but that’s hardly a progressive monopoly. Everyone ought to be better than they are, me included.

All mob violence – or the threat of such violence – has at its core some grievance, some root cause, that deserves our sympathy. Lynch mobs are motivated by fear of the other. Fear of the other is real fear, and surely we should have empathy for people who fear. But when a lynch mob is forming, is empathy for their fear the right response? How does one express that empathy while simultaneously opposing the lynching?

51

nastywoman 04.30.18 at 6:40 am

– and I thought about that a lot this weekend when some ”on the left” defended the punching down on Michelle Wolf because of her punching up at Mrs. Sanders.

And there were all these Republicans who said Michelle Wolf attacked Sanders -(or Conway) ”personally” – while I had very much hoped that finally somebody is ”punching up” as ”personally” as one of the sickest ”incels” (Trump) – who only got the sex he got because he always has to pay for it.

52

faustusnotes 04.30.18 at 6:55 am

Tineola, I hardly think contempt for people who can’t get laid is a “progressive” thing – incels, PUAs et al are constantly going on about how feminists can’t get laid because they’re fat and hairy, and that’s why they’re feminists. Some PUAs insist that real men shouldn’t fuck feminists, in order to punish them for ruining gender relations (ha! Some punishment!)

If there is a progressive scorn for people who can’t get laid, it probably arises (I would guess) from the awareness that everyone wants sex, and many people (especially in younger generations) want pretty casual, relatively condition-free sex. So if you can’t tap into that worldview and you really want to, it seems like you might be doing something wrong. I think this is complicated in America by the common view that there is something wrong with people who visit sex workers, so if for example you prefer to focus on your job or your hobbies, but just want occasional uncomplicated sex, you can’t use the obvious option (especially since it’s illegal!) and so you have to either set aside time you don’t have/won’t commit to a process you find tedious, or go without.

But having said that, I’ve never got a sense that contempt for the unlaid is a progressive trait. Perhaps some evidence would be in order?

Nastywoman and Engels make a strong point that there is a very transactional sense to American sexual mores. I have never dated in America, but I have seen enough comedy, drama, advice columns etc. to get the strong impression that in America dating involves the man paying for everything until the woman puts out. That’s not a very nice way to approach a supposedly mutual arrangement, and it’s not how the rest of the developed world works, as far as I can tell. This is a recurring theme in e.g. Big Bang Theory. And recently we have this whole thing going on about how daddy will shoot anyone who fucks his daughter, and it seems fairly obvious that there is a strong view in America that women are property, and that women are gatekeepers to sex rather than willing participants in sex. This is the entire basis of the PUA worldview (which incels hate but accept as truth) – that you have to trick or impress your way into a woman’s pants, because she isn’t gonna give it up just because she really wants/needs a fuck. Of course PUAs and other MRAs think this is all feminism’s fault, which presumably means that they think back before the first bra was burnt women paid for their own dates, and sex was freely available to any man who asked politely. They’re stupid and nasty, and their view of sex is entirely transactional. It’s also deeply influenced by the same evolutionary psychology bullshit that this GMU prof is an adherent of.

I guess until America fixes that broader pattern of transactional sex and misogynist, traditional views of women’s attitude towards sex, these men aren’t going to go away. But like every other part of right wing thought in America, you can be sure they will only get more conspiratorial and violent.

53

nastywoman 04.30.18 at 6:57 am

@
”But it’s insulting to tell someone you don’t really know that their lonely misery is their own fault because of how they behaved. How would you know?”

Agreed – but as ”lonely misery” -(not only referring to sex) – has – supposedly become such a widespread ”(anti?)social phenomena – there for sure is some… am I allowed to call it ”quality difference” between the ”lonely misery” of (anti?) social behavior in general and the (sick?)- focus of some ”sick” dudes who complain that they can’t get any sex. -(and thusly come up with all kind of rape fantasies) –

They HAVE to stopped – and as THEY seem to do a lot of ”punching” -(as you also documented with you post) – WE might need a lot more Michelle Wolfs to do ”gods” work.

54

John Holbo 04.30.18 at 7:00 am

“I’m not at all sure progressives as a group lack empathy for lonely people. Some may; people are a mean bunch, and capable of much cruelty, but that’s hardly a progressive monopoly. Everyone ought to be better than they are, me included.”

I agree with that. In the wake of all the recent horror – and just knowing the toxic stuff on some incel boards – it’s understandable for progressives to be a bit unempathetic. You see a bunch of Pepes. But it is still the wrong impulse, I think, if you can resist it. Miserable, lonely people deserve sympathy for their very real suffering. When you are miserable and lonely, you get mad and say stupid stuff. Try to let some of that slide. If your friend had a terrible week and is yelling about it, you let them yell (even if you think maybe your friend was not necessarily totally blameless in the whole affair. Even if they are yelling some amount of crazy stuff.) If someone hasn’t had sex in years – or ever – they are going to be going crazy about it inside. Understandably. But there are, of course, limits.

“But when a lynch mob is forming, is empathy for their fear the right response? How does one express that empathy while simultaneously opposing the lynching?”

When a lynch mob is forming you are definitely allowed to worry about other things! But, given that there aren’t actually incel mobs, thank God, I think Dan Savage is exactly right that the only approach to the actual problem is to detoxify certain aspects of the culture and destigmatize sex work. Probably only the latter proposal is really practical. It would help in a small way. Not because all that incels want is literally sex. They want to be wanted and respected for who they are. But if going to a sex worker were regarded as a more normal way to learn to do this thing – i.e. have a respectful relationship with the kind of person you would like to have a different sort of relationship with – then maybe some who are currently shut in could get out. And that would be great for everyone. Like a lot of people, I’ve lurked on a few incel boards in the aftermath of Toronto. It’s just damn sad. Guys are sad and hopeless. I feel very sorry for most of them. When they say what fills their days, I feel their pain. I really do. But they are angry at women. That’s just so wrong and makes everything so much worse and – most of all – more hopeless. It would be nice if they weren’t so often talking themselves into getting angrier, which isn’t going to make them or anyone else better off. I sure wouldn’t ask any woman to volunteer to be yelled at the way some guys talk on these boards. Not even if I thought it would help anyone if they did. Which it wouldn’t.

55

John Holbo 04.30.18 at 7:01 am

I guess I didn’t really answer your question, layman. I guess just: try to be sympathetic if it isn’t going to expose you to danger to be sympathetic.

56

John Holbo 04.30.18 at 7:08 am

“But having said that, I’ve never got a sense that contempt for the unlaid is a progressive trait. Perhaps some evidence would be in order?”

I wouldn’t say it’s especially progressive. I’ve seen a lot of commentary, after Toronto, that seems to lecture incels in a kind of ‘wipe the cheeto dust off your chest and go to the gym, young man,’ way. Which I regard as underestimating the depth of the difficulty some guys have, through no fault of their own. I do think I detect a certain ‘they must have done something to deserve it, or failed to take responsibility’ high-handedness. But I confess, I have not documented the phenomenon.

57

faustusnotes 04.30.18 at 7:17 am

It’s worth noting though just as an aside that some of these incels are very young. Rodgers was 22 when he filmed his screed about not being able to get laid. Sure in the modern world 22 is a little late to be splashing it about but hardly the end of the world. This is some serious impulse control if you get to 22 unfucked and need to go on a murder spree because you can’t handle the pressure.

Also that commentary about “brush of the cheetos and go to the gym” is standard PUA trash – it’s the first piece of advice they give to incels. Why assume it’s a uniquely progressive problem? Conservative culture is absolutely thick with this stuff about being a real man, owning guns, do you even lift, always being a gentleman, being a stud with women, etc. These same incels while deriding their own “low status” are admiring Trump for being able to have sex with any model he bribes/assaults/tricks. The idea that this is a progressive problem at all, let alone one that they show more often or more deeply, really demands some serious evidence.

58

John Holbo 04.30.18 at 7:35 am

I agree that it’s not uniquely progressive by any means, faustus – yes, it’s PUA-style talk. I expect incels get it from all sides. I don’t think there is any chance incels are going to be politically progressive any time soon. I don’t propose this as a major problem for progressives, or even a major problem that they should address. I am sure they mostly all vote Trump and shall continue to do so. I agree with Dan Savage that a big part of the problem is toxic masculinity. But I still feel sorry for guys as miserable as that – at least the non-violent ones. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to go out and write “Incel Elegy”! I’ll just feel bad, is all.)

59

faustusnotes 04.30.18 at 7:45 am

John I consider a week without sex to be a massive failure of life planning, so I really do sympathize with people who want sex and have been going without for a long time.

I do wonder how much of the incels’ (alleged – this is all internet talk after all) failure to get laid rests at least partly on the fact that they come across as clearly entitled and creepy, and when they go on dates with women they rapidly get rejected. e.g. looking at Rodgers’ final screed, he’s a scary guy and I doubt he can hide it when he’s on dates. I have known lots of men in my time who are routinely unsuccessful with women and unhappy about it – often they can get laid but can’t keep a woman’s attention, for example, or they get to the second or third date and then it all falls apart – and it’s often pretty clear that there is something in their approach or manner that women just don’t dig. I think it would be nice if we could be more honest with our friends about this – something as simple as “dude, you have bad breath” could really change someone’s life – but I don’t think our society has reached that point, for whatever reason. And reading incel hate stuff, it seems really hard to believe that they would take constructive criticism from anyone, let alone from a woman who rejected them.

60

nastywoman 04.30.18 at 8:09 am

@
‘wipe the cheeto dust off your chest and go to the gym, young man,’

– is/was the stereotypical ”old mans” advice – as some (younger) women’s advice -(concerning this discussion) could be:

Don’t f… try to politicize sex (too)

And your chances NOT to get laid grow disproportionally if on top of being a asocial a… hole you are also a asocial ”right-wing” a…hole” – and that’s what a lot of the so called ”incels” probably didn’t understand? – perhaps because of the complete misunderstanding about how their hero Trump got all this… ”sex”.

Well – he for sure in most cases just payed for it – and so – yes – there is need for empathy –
for a lot of empathy for the Poor -(who even can’t pay for sex – like Trump) – BUT somehow most inches don’t see it like that? – AND that has to be changed -(that they don’t see it like that) – and the only way to clear up the misunderstanding is to be brutally honest!

61

nastywoman 04.30.18 at 8:12 am

– and somehow my apple turned ”incels” into ”inches”?
-(how… ”empathetic”?)

62

dax 04.30.18 at 8:14 am

““But whatever it is the package that people want, we can and should ask how we might get more of it to them.” The package is: women packaged.”

I’m not going to read Hanson, but there is a leap from “sex should be redistributed” to “sex with women should be redistributed.” Somewhere in this reasoning there’s the assumption that, when sex is redistributed, it’s necessarily women being redistributed among men, and not also men being redistributed among women. In the quote I reproduced of Hanson, he clearly talks about people rather than men, so I presume it is someone else in Hanson. Can someone please confirm that it is Hanson who made this assumption?

63

bob mcmanus 04.30.18 at 8:19 am

I do wonder how much of the incels’ (alleged – this is all internet talk after all) failure to get laid rests at least partly on the fact that they come across as clearly entitled and creepy

Ok, let’s get clear here. Because of at least one generation of sex selection and poor treatment of women, the gender imbalance in East and South Asia is now around 20%.
That means there are at least a billion young men who will never have hetero life partners through no fault of their own. In addition, let’s call it a loss in relative male status and empowerment (and other reasons, outmarriage in Japan is radically gendered…J women marry Americans and emigrate, J men bring in Philippino wives)), there are probably another half billion men incelled by social change. That the mating world has become more brutally competitive for men (and no it is not symmetrical) is shown in part by what its called college educated men only marrying college educated women.

I was on the side of the Gamers, I visit that crowd a lot. The issue of origin was reducing depictions of violence against women in games, and the Gamers simply said don’t mess with the fantasies we use to survive, they’re fantasies. Incellism is also a kind of fantasy.
Next they’ll be lowering skirts on cute girl shows.

Your previous methods of countering male resentment have not been entirely successful, hello President Trump. The incels have numbers youth power time money solidarity and violence. Rethink your strategy.

Now I will go bask in the beauty of Kaname Chidori. Wanna laugh at my 2D waifu? Express contempt and disgust and fear at the old man on the bench eyeing with bad intent?

I am enjoying our interesting times more everyday, and thinking about watching my health so I can enjoy more popcorn watching the neoliberal feminist failures.

64

bob mcmanus 04.30.18 at 8:29 am

Note on above: Of course, the Japanese farmer importing a Philippino wife means that some young man in Luzon loses out because he is not as rich or born in the right country just as the Japanese man lost to the richer more liberated American who probably outperformed some loser in Bakersfield.

If women ain’t goods, why do they keep getting captured by the men with capital?

65

Layman 04.30.18 at 8:32 am

JH: “I guess I didn’t really answer your question, layman. I guess just: try to be sympathetic if it isn’t going to expose you to danger to be sympathetic.”

It’s easy to be sympathetic. I’m 57, and while I’m still interested in sex, it truly isn’t a big part of my life anymore. But I can certainly recall my loneliness as a teenager and young man, the deep depression and ensuing rage I felt at being alone and unloved, and the toxic sexual politics of my first marriage. I can also see that virtually everything I did to try and change my situation in the hope of having sex was exactly the wrong thing to do; that those things seem almost to have been calculated to court rejection. So empathy is easy. I can’t be alone in that.

66

Faustusnotes 04.30.18 at 8:43 am

Bob, why is everything you say on Asia and Japan always so wrong, and always presented with such forceful certainty that it’s right?

And why do you think sex selection in Asia is neoliberal feminisms fault?

67

John Holbo 04.30.18 at 8:46 am

“If women ain’t goods, why do they keep getting captured by the men with capital?”

Ooh, ohh I know this one! Because bad things happen!

68

Faustusnotes 04.30.18 at 8:46 am

Oh Bob. Your typical American “stealing” a Japanese woman is a low paid eikaiwa teacher, a reject from his own society who can only get laid I Japan (there’s a comic about this). And he doesn’t typically”take” the woman back to America but gets entangled in her family relationships and ends up stuck in Japan in a job he hates. I’m on my way to Shibuya now, I can say hi to a million of these dudes as soon as I get off the train. It’s not about capital at all, and there’s a very good chance the woman he “stole” is wealthier than him – better social connections, land to I herit, and a decent job with better future prospects than his dumb eikaiwa job.

Sheesh.

69

ccc 04.30.18 at 8:56 am

@6 Robin Hanson: “I’m not assuming that at all! But people who seek social justice do in fact try to induce envy and they do like to remind people of the possibility of violence.”

Nice try! What account of envy are you operating with here? If a libertarian claim that they have a “right not to be killed” is that on your account also a type of envy i.e. envy towards others who have already lived more years? If not, why not?

70

engels 04.30.18 at 9:38 am

Nice try! What account of envy are you operating with here?

Mebbe this?
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/economic-justice/#EquNoEnv

71

bob mcmanus 04.30.18 at 9:47 am

68: Are you so certain there is no net gender difference in educated emigration and exo-marriage from Japan?

Everybody can’t have freedom and bling (status goods. If you want to claim an obvious observed status good is not, or is not because it shouldn’t be, whatever). To the degree I have relatively more freedom and status goods than somebody else, I am exploiting them, aware of it and happy with it. My “kindness and tolerance” of those with less while retaining my privilege is just narcissism.

I am not Hanson in that I want to maximize freedom by eliminating bling. The difference with neoliberal feminism is that I think it’s a totality, that you can’t end woman-as-trophy without devaluing all other bling, so Obama and Clinton are utter nightmares. Some get freedom and bling and damn well deserve it, amirite.

Incels did/do nothing wrong. Their loneliness is caused entirely by others seeking relative status and bling, demonstrating class distinctions with discernment opportunity and especially freedom and choice. And smug moral superiority.

There was a great anime a while back only a few “got”, all is need is the loan of a title:”No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!”

Now pile on.

Reading: Charles Rosen, Martin Jay, Tally on Jameson, uhh, Marayuma Masao, Kato Shuichi, Yanabu Akira. Listening to Haydn.

72

engels 04.30.18 at 9:57 am

some (younger) women’s advice -(concerning this discussion) could be: Don’t f… try to politicize sex

Umm
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=the+personal+is+political

73

bob mcmanus 04.30.18 at 10:05 am

That’s supposed to be goodbye but

And why do you think sex selection in Asia is neoliberal feminisms fault?

I didn’t say it was, but it is interesting that that you take it that way.

Neoliberal feminism and incels are both…expressions…of late capitalism. Underpaid woman’s labour is still the overwhelming source of surplus and accumulation toward whatever we are moving to. There are costs and consequences to the full factor utilization of the educated creatives now necessary for profits. Women, as always, are the core of the proletariat, now no longer a proletariat because neoliberalism erases class.

Men (half, the other half are competing in a feminized postcapitalist workplace, that’s us here) are becoming the reserve army of the unemployed, the lumpenproletariat, the resentful antagonists of the luckier, the shock troops of fascism.

74

ph 04.30.18 at 10:20 am

Hi John,
Commenters speculating and generalizing about the sex lives of folks they’ve never met whilst boasting of their own prowess? I never quite believed we’d have anyone comparing nookie notches at CT, but given the discourse participants I suppose it had to happen sometime. I’ve wondered why some folks live in Japan and now we have the answer straight from the horse’s err, mouth.

Utterly revolting, frankly. Please, no more male commenters boasting about their sexual conquests and adolescent fantasies. There are real live human beings involved, many of them – you know, females. Just a thought.

75

nastywoman 04.30.18 at 10:42 am

@
”I am enjoying our interesting times more everyday, and thinking about watching my health so I can enjoy more popcorn watching the neoliberal feminist failures.”

– but I never enjoyed old dudes making fools of themselves – even that one time when I met the OberF…face.
I felt kind of sorry for him as he so obviously was a victim of my beautiful blond hair and my even more beautiful blue eyes – and I met Trump at a time when whole NYC was abuzz about all of my beautiful (Russian) sisters – (not one of them a ”neoliberal feminists failure) – taking old rich NYC Fools to ”the cleaner”.

And I just write all of this nonsense because we obviously – and finally – by reading: ”so I can enjoy more popcorn watching the neoliberal feminist failures” – are finally on (the funny part?) of 4chan?

And about – ”I was on the side of the Gamers, I visit that crowd a lot”.

Me Too – as I visit the Breitbart crowd a lot – perhaps out of… empathy?

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John Holbo 04.30.18 at 10:43 am

Are you talking about Bob McManus, ph? I admit Bob is being awful – he’s Bob! – but I think he only bragged about his 2D waifu?

I also don’t think it’s unreasonable to talk about sex selection – that is, gender imbalances in the population – in Asia. That’s a serious policy concern, not a ‘nookie notch’ one-up. Is there some confusion about the meaning of the term ‘sex selection’?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3168620/

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nastywoman 04.30.18 at 10:52 am

@
”Men (half, the other half are competing in a feminized postcapitalist workplace, that’s us here) are becoming the reserve army of the unemployed, the lumpenproletariat, the resentful antagonists of the luckier, the shock troops of fascism.”

Wow!? –
to that – we -(my Italian Men included) only can joke:
abbiamo bisogno di più cambiamenti di sesso!

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ph 04.30.18 at 11:06 am

Hi John, I’ve no intention of reviewing any of the comments in that exchange, thanks all the same.

I thought the OP a bit ordinary, dare I say it, and if you’re keen to invite a discussion that involves ridiculing people for their ability to reproduce L2 sounds (I’m sure you’re not), you’ll allow the comments to stand.

The fact is that what Bob finds amusing is often a source of acute embarrassment. Part of my job is involves helping people improve their pronunciation skills. I’m inclined to give practically everyone the benefit of the doubt, but from my experience no adults would find any part of that exchange remotely amusing, unless one enjoys laughing at people struggling to communicate in a second language. Again, I’m certain you’re not.

I do not find humor based on ethnic behavior, or stereo-typing, remotely funny. Not sorry.

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ph 04.30.18 at 11:12 am

My wife is Japanese, btw. She’s Asian. You know, one of those. I like to think of her as a human being deserving of, etc. Funny me.

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ph 04.30.18 at 11:31 am

And just so we’re clear about who’s laughing at whom: http://www.charismaman.com/
The magazine is produced by westerners who have a good laugh at the expense of ‘dumb’ Asian women. “Charisma Man first appeared in the February 1998 issue of the ‘The Alien’ magazine, and immediately catapulted into legendary-status among readers in Japan’s expat/Gaijin world. The creator of the strip, Larry Rodney, teamed up with a graphic designer friend, Glen Schroeder, both from Canada, to produce the first year of outstanding strips. The strips continued through 2002 with Neil Garscadden doing the writing and Wayne Wilson providing the art work. At the end of 2002, a book containing all the original strips was published and quick sales further documented its appeal. ‘Charisma Man’ has now become common vernacular among ex-pats in Japan and other countries. This website provides all the info you need to keep up to date with all the latest Charisma Man developments.”

There are other expat-produced pieces of racist trash, but it’s not like those Asian women really understand how to recognize a real, cool westerner, so what’s the big deal?

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ph 04.30.18 at 11:33 am

Barf. Thanks. Your own expertise in comics is a real benefit to us all.

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engels 04.30.18 at 11:34 am

Is it just me or us the number of Americans in Japan represented in CT comments remarkably high?

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Robin Hanson 04.30.18 at 11:38 am

You insist on attributing views to me that I did not say and have explicitly denied. That is not how scholarship works. Your evidence that I see women as objects is that I use the word “package”? Come on, that word is used quite often in an abstract sense, not regarding physical objects. You’d never stand for such weak evidence goods in a scholarly article, why traffic in them here?

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Joseph Brenner 04.30.18 at 11:54 am

Matt@19:

I liked that Srinivasan piece, but I can’t say it stuck me as “sensitive” it was a little more like “so ‘ambivalent’ you can’t tell what she’s saying”.

There’s a long introduction about a homicidal misogynist nut-job adopted by the “incels”, but it isn’t clear what role that’s supposed to play. This is an important subject because nut-jobs? Maybe: these nut-jobs are *representative* of a wider problem (but: are all nut-jobs representative? Or are they just nut-jobs?).

I *think* what’s going on is Srinivasan would like to say things that she’s too smart to actually say, so there are funny gaps in the exposition– the impulse is something like “If only we could ban porn then the nutjobs would go away”.

So instead we get an interesting exposition about MacKinnon vs Willis…

There’s a funny point that it seems like Srinivasan keeps getting hung up on, which is something like aspects of human behavior are *either* fluid and changeable, or they’re completely fixed and must be treated as givens beyond discussion or criticism. That strikes me as a bit of a false dilemma.

http://obsidianrook.com/doomfiles/BEYOND_THE_BLUE.html

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engels 04.30.18 at 12:04 pm

Nastywoman and Engels make a strong point that there is a very transactional sense to American sexual mores. I have never dated in America, but I have seen enough comedy, drama, advice columns etc. to get the strong impression that in America dating involves the man paying for everything until the woman puts out.

This may be true but isn’t really what I meant, and doesn’t fit my own experience of ‘dating’ (a weird word like ‘rest room’ which I can’t quite bring myself to say) in NY. I was referring more to extreme inequality and psychological if not material want, coupled with the individualism, materialism and competitiveness verging on psychopathy, and meritocratic moralising/victim-blaming that pervades 90% of American politics including the mainstream ‘left’.

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bianca steele 04.30.18 at 12:06 pm

engel @ 82

The number of Americans in Japan represented on the Internet has been remarkably high since 1998, that I’ve noticed.

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nastywoman 04.30.18 at 12:13 pm

@72
”Umm”

Did we really get… ”something” from the late 1960s as a response to

”some (younger) women’s advice -(concerning this discussion) could be: Don’t f… try to politicize sex”?

Yes we did:
”The personal is political
The personal is political, also termed The private is political, is a political argument used as a rallying slogan of student movement and second-wave feminism from the late 1960s”.
-(at least it wasn’t some… quote from Friedrich Engels time?)

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nastywoman 04.30.18 at 12:21 pm

– and it’s weird?
I have a lot of empathy with US workers – whose jobs were given away by idiots who didn’t realize that they wrecked these workers egos like that and turned a lot of them into ”pain killer consuming wrecks” but somehow I have no empathy at all for some… Hanson dudes who have empathy for ”people who seek social justice do in fact try to induce envy and they do like to remind people of the possibility of violence.”

It’s really… weird?

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ph 04.30.18 at 12:24 pm

@82 Cultural isolation plays a part, I’m sure, but you’re right. Here’s some actual news, before I go. Beautiful night here in Tokyo, btw near full moon low in the sky. I’ve written about the alternate universe before. Some comments get through, others don’t.

Identity politics is about all Democrats have and here’s the result: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-millennials/democrats-lose-ground-with-millennials-reuters-ipsos-poll-idUSKBN1I10YH

Read the article – the Trump stuff became white noise for everyone but nevertrumpers and dems too terrified to admit they got nothing. I watched Trump last night and he cut right through the crap with a simple: ‘I just want to get the job done.’ Perfect communication. Maureen Dowd has a column declaring Trump may be more deserving of the Nobel than Obama and Kissinger. The NYT titled the piece Cartoon Nobel, not realizing that they’re the one’s looking increasingly like the one’s wearing the big, floppy shoes. As Dowd asks, what will Dems do if Trump doesn’t self-destruct? The Kim Korea deal is at least as important as any down-thread comments, all respect due.

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Orange Watch 04.30.18 at 12:49 pm

@faustusnotes
But having said that, I’ve never got a sense that contempt for the unlaid is a progressive trait. Perhaps some evidence would be in order?

It’s actually probably mostly a reflection of how internet tribalism plays out in many forums. Progressives are people, and many people are cruel and petty to those they other. When incels get into flamewars, they do it with those they oppose politically or socially – and progressives fit on both counts. And when the participants in said flamewars refuse to debate on merits, or try to debate on merits but tire of talking to a wall, the flamewars revert to their default state: flaming ad hominems. Since we’re talking about people that are attacking other people they don’t know, that means attacking stereotypes. And with incels, or groups that typically present themselves as incel-supportive, that means calling them fat, pathetic, isolated, autistic virgins, because that’s what the prominent broad-brush personal stereotypes of those groups’ members tend to be. And if your only personal exposure to progressives is when they’re attacking you (or when your group is having a 2-minute hate over real or fabricated vitriol as a bonding exercise), you’re going to have a disproportionate proportion of evidence suggesting that progressives do in fact hold the (fairly mainstream) POV that virgins are contemptible as a core belief.

Ofc, as noted upthread, as a group they throw distaff variants of these same stereotypes back at the people they complain are treating them with cruel contempt, which really just underscores how deeply rooted some such stereotypes are across orthodox western society.

tl;dr: if you frequent forums where there is a sizeable incel presence*, especially if they’re at most a plurality and thus forced to engage with those they disagree with, it’s very understandable that incels have a sense that contempt for virgins is a progressive trait.

*I cannot understate the degree to which I don’t recommend doing so for its own sake – there’s generally a lot of truly vile toxicity even without a majority turning it into an echo chamber for their worldview.

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John Holbo 04.30.18 at 12:52 pm

First things first, enough of this nonsense from Bob McManus, who is causing some distress, to no good intellectual effect. Bob, no more of that. Not pertinent to the thread.

Now, serious matters. Robin Hanson has responded to my post again.

“You insist on attributing views to me that I did not say and have explicitly denied. That is not how scholarship works. Your evidence that I see women as objects is that I use the word “package”? Come on, that word is used quite often in an abstract sense, not regarding physical objects. You’d never stand for such weak evidence goods in a scholarly article, why traffic in them here?”

Robin Hanson, I maintain my reading of your post is reasonable. You write about two types of distributive justice claims – 1) concerning wealth; 2) concerning sex – which you characterize as envy-based in your first paragraph. Your post title is “Two Types of Envy”. Is it unreasonable of me to infer that you are inclined to regard your two types of distributive justice claims as these two types of envy? If not: what is the point of your first paragraph? why did you call your post “Two Types of Envy”? What is your title in reference to if not the evident substance of your post?

I found the word ‘package’ suggestive, yes, since it seems to me that you are, in effect, treating women as distributable goods – as packages, then. But I did not base my reading on that word. I based on it the fact that you seem to be proposing that women should be treated as distributable goods. I do not see you dealing with the most obvious concerns about how that move infringes individual autonomy in a much more alarming way than, say, having to pay taxes. Your way of putting all this is deliberately provocative yet you are maintaining a studied indefiniteness about implications. Is it surprising that you have provoked?

It is fine that you deny these interpretations of mine, but it would be finer still if you acknowledged that they are, facially, reasonable, given what you wrote. Finest of all would be if you substituted some alternative reading for my wrong one. Something that makes sense of the relevant pieces, if you please.

Let me say, briefly, what most baffles me and, frankly, seems engineered to offend – hence all the offense taken by me and others.

1) I understand why a libertarian would think that distributive justice is just some envy-based, violence-threatening racket, not a credible normative theory. Fine.

2) I can certainly imagine a leftist, like Fourier or Dan Savage, taking seriously that sexual inequality is a real problem, to be dealt with best as possible. Fine.

But I cannot imagine someone trying on 1) and 2) together, approvingly. Because forcible sexual ‘redistribution’, ex hypothesi motivated by envy and violence, is a nightmare. What can it mean except offering up women (voluntarily or involuntarily) to be beaten down in some allegedly therapeutic way by violent, angry men who feel deprived? Yet you seem to be going for 1 + 2. So: I read you as trolling.

If you want to give up 1, fine. Say it in so many words: 2 makes potential sense if what we have is -1. NOT two types of envy. Rather, we may hope for good-willed collective aspirations to equal and mutual respect between people. Social justice! Very good! Perhaps I will even be onboard with some bold proposal, although it does sound rather wild and utopian. But then at least admit that your title and first paragraph were highly misleading.

If you make me understand what you meant – or what you now think – I will amend my interpretive presentation of your position.

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bianca steele 04.30.18 at 1:07 pm

“it’s very understandable that incels have a sense that contempt for virgins is a progressive trait.”

I have about as much direct experience with “incels” (that I know of) as some here have with “American dating,” but the anti-feminist who doesn’t like modern dating practices and views himself as a conservative goes way back on the Internet. This fact—that they’re essentially conservatives, not some weird new kind of rebel—might suggest that looking too closely is a waste of time. Much less trying to develop their point of view publicly for them, whether for your benefit (to understand them, in some spectatorial or social-work kind of way) or for theirs (to help their support groups work better or somehting).

It would also explain why they’re convinced the big divide is between them and “progressives”,

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engels 04.30.18 at 1:10 pm

I thought he was offering an internal critique (aka concern trolling) of distributive egalitarianism: if you’re concerned about inequalities of material consumption than why shouldn’t you be concerned about (socially contingent) inequalities in (desired) sexual activity?

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bianca steele 04.30.18 at 1:11 pm

I finally have lost the battle with my curiosity, and would like to know whether this, from the beginning of the OP

If you think goods redistribution is a good idea (inequality = bad), you must be in favor of a bit of the old forced sexual redistribution. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)

is something the poster or an acquaintance of his has heard. I can’t guarantee I have, but it sounds like something a couple of my HS teachers might have thought was clever (I managed to avoid that type in college, fortunately).

95

Orange Watch 04.30.18 at 1:13 pm

@bianca steele:
I agree wholeheartedly that this POV is nothing new. What is new is that this POV is being treated as a distinct, core, unifying personal identity that motivates sociopolitical activism/slacktivism.

“Those people” are nothing new. “Those people” unifying as a bloc for the purposes of identity politics is.

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bob mcmanus 04.30.18 at 1:26 pm

have a sense that contempt for virgins is a progressive trait

that means calling them fat, pathetic, isolated, autistic virgins

The problem is not only considering the above to be personal flaws, but considering their negations, thin admirable gregarious social considerate and sexually active, to ever be virtues or achievements. They are thus commodified.

Bourdieu, the father of incel Kabyle studies, is haunting this thread. The distinctions that serve inequality and power are those that are competitive to the privileged, that subset which should be discernable in any micro-setting. Ignoring or attempting to co-opt the abject (or abjection) is a weapon in the opportunistic internal competition.

There are degrees of privilege.

In this new neoliberal diverse workplace, the exploited creative class needs an abject class to hate and fear, stereotypes to compare, to quell labor unrest, just as in the Jim Crow South. The old candidates are inconvenient and inefficient.

“White men” doesn’t make it for this globalist, and with the understanding that the abject are often labelled diseased, I will improve “toxic masculinity” to the “global abjectly masculine”

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Trader Joe 04.30.18 at 1:41 pm

Wait…I see the problem right here.

Hanson went all “redistribution” right off the bat – what he shoulda gone for was supply side economics.

See he’s assuming that the amount of sex in the world is finite and some people just aren’t getting their share. If instead there was some sort of incentive to “grow the pie” then everyone could get get more and some of the previously excluded could be included.

On the supply side there could be tax breaks for people who do it more…the 1%ers of fornication would obviously get the biggest breaks and then on down the line to the middle-class. That’s where the ‘earned-sex-tax-credit’ would come into play and lower income people who were having lots of sex, but not producing children, would get a tax credit equal to the day-care they didn’t have to pay for.

A sort of capital gains system could be established – those who have LT-partners would get a lower tax rate than those with ST-partners. Extra deductions would be allowed for ‘marital aids’ of various descriptions and HSA accounts could be used to purchase all manner of ‘theraputic’ goods.

Maybe R&D credits for trying new positions….we’ll leave it to the IRS to figure what sort of documentation they want, but my guess is the supply of tax accountants would go way up.

Wouldn’t a whole lot more lovin all around be something we can all get behind?

(tongue firmly in cheek – there could be a deduction for that)

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Faustusnotes 04.30.18 at 1:51 pm

Engels, neither pH nor I are American. I think I’ve told you I’m not American about fifty times now.

I think you are right about the other aspects of modern capitalism and it’s effects on the sexual behaviour of its subjects (?) But there are two big qualifiers: 1) only in North America do the alleged victims of this order murder women en masse (there is a famous University shooting in Canada that far predates the internet that had the same incel origins); and 2) those of us who can rise above our conservative Christian origins are genuinely sexually much freer now than we ever were in any other time in history, and this is 100% a good thing. It’s a wonderful thing and we should do all we can to preserve it. People like McManus who think this new order of free sex is some kind of capitalist commodification of our desires are so completely wrong it doesn’t bear consideration. We can fuck who we want when we want how we want without risk or consequences. Fucking great!

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bianca steele 04.30.18 at 1:52 pm

Orange Watch:

I didn’t mean to sound dismissive (though my experience being yelled at online for what seemed to be no reason, or suddenly realized I was being trolled or worse). I was trying to get at two questions: One, why are “progressives” viewed as the enemy? And two, what’s the role of the Internet in unifying groups—especially groups of people who feel “rebellious” and “essentially conservative” at one and the same time—in particular, new-seeming ways?

As to the second question, is there a role for a kind of “missionary,” or “social work,” role, for normies among what you call “those people”? Or are they too reactive for that to work? Are there too many sociopaths and true trolls hidden among them? Is the cost to people who might get yelled at, or worse, too high? My personal feeling is there’s too much of that already. You have the trolls who just want to make things worse. You have the conservatives who are happy to induce despair and suggest their way is the only true path. You have people who just don’t believe an unmarried man should be left alone to think his lifestyle is OK.

Several times in the past ten or so years, it seems, “we” have been on the verge of “those” people unifying into a brand-new, and political, movement, on one side or the other. If we pander to them enough they’re sure to mobilize for our side! Even if we don’t know the names of the ones we talk to, or who they really are.

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faustusnotes 04.30.18 at 2:34 pm

Trader Joe, I think you need to be careful about using trickle down theories in sex. That can go horribly wrong, just ask Trump.

I don’t get the impression that anyone has been bragging about their sexual “conquests” on here, but I’d like to point out the not-so-subtle subtext of ph’s complaints about this supposed belt notch bragging. He makes it pretty clear he thinks that if you have sex with lots of women you’re degrading them or treating them as not human. That is a common view of casual sex, but it’s a dirty and degraded view and it completely strips women of any agency. It’s also a core part of the MRA/incel worldview – that when you fuck a woman you degrade her, and thus by extension women who have had sex with lots of men are worthless. Hanson also clearly has that view – his post about cuckolding vs “gentle rape” (wtf) subscribes to the same idea incels and PUAs have that single mothers are the worst kind of woman. He’s an MRA.

Buried in among all of these complaints is the same idea that women should be the captive property of men and once they’re fucked they’re ruined. It’s disgusting, and somehow in America these ideas have become murderous.

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steven t johnson 04.30.18 at 2:52 pm

Since I have no more seen incels than I’ve seen sex-positive feminists, evidently I am unqualified to comment on most issues raised in the commentary. I can only repeat that Hanson (and his colleague Simler) are dedicated to following up on Mercier and Sperber. I do not think you can plausibly claim H&S are trolling M&S. M&S tell us that reason is rationalization, and H&S tell us that virtue is self-deception in the interest of successful virtue-signalling.

Hanson’s previous interest in the issue of why genetically driven notions of justice, which are masked even to the conscious self, do not force the perception that cuckoldry is worse than rape. Like most EPers, Hanson appears not to like the idea of consulting other cultures and the past, but cuckoldry has indeed been often been treated as a graver offense than rape. The word “rape” itself was once a broader term for any property taken away, similar to “pillage.” (Maybe pillage had more an implication of destruction of property in situ? Maybe not.) In EP, men and women, despite being parts of one family, somehow have different, hostile mating strategies. Cuckoldry is clearly against the genetic interest of the male. But it is not clear that rape is against the genetic interest of the female.

Hanson may be of the school that thinks norms descend from someplace else other than reality, and sees rising above mere nature by a quasi-supernatural act of Free Will is a fine and noble thing. Or maybe not. But the gentle rape nonsense was a thought experiment in the finest philosophical tradition, indulged as a way to confront an exception that proves the rule. I suppose this sort of thing is imagined to be part of a truly scientific analysis, a way of seeking refutation of the hypothesis. How does this illuminate the payoffs in the game of genes?

And this latest post is similar, I think. Notions of justice are self-deceptions for the game of virtue signalling. Thus, the disparity in notions of justice for redistribution of income and redistribution for sex are like different answers for Philippa Foot’s trolley problem. The issue wasn’t supposed to be the desire to have people murder someone, but to provoke the revelation of what they really think is moral.

Hanson explicitly denies the morality of forced redistribution of any kind. But, given that some properly limited redistribution, which apparently means not forcible, might be acceptable, then it should be acceptable for sex as well. Hanson’s interest in the motives for denying this objective truth is the revelation of the particular mechanism of self-deception in this virture signally.

Obviously that’s my take on it. What I can’t understand is how one can commit to Mercier and Sperber’s view of rationality as competition for dominance as good Evolutionary Psychology, then covertly deny that rationality nonetheless cannot involve self-deception. Indeed, on this explanation, it is hard to see how rationality could possibly avoid self-deception, hence Hanson and Simler. I think EP is pseudoscience driven by reaction, the New Scientific Racism (or New Social Darwinism, if you insist on pussyfooting,) So I think they’re all cranks. I suspect Hanson gets a lot of grim satisfaction over the open irrationality of so many of his critics, who accept, even exalt, his scientific principles, then reject simple questions (not conclusions even!) for…reasons.

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bianca steele 04.30.18 at 2:53 pm

fn @ 100

I think there is also an American type who, in an earlier time, would have remained a bachelor or might have found a woman through his church, who was raised (often by a mother who told him these things) to distrust women and to believe women, especially the “modern” type, are going to try to trick him in some way. To be clear, I’m speaking of Protestants. (Not making some jibe about celibate Catholic clergy, or Catholics pushing men supposedly to be celibate, in case someone thinks I’m obviously doing that.) Maybe that’s why it seems to be a specifically North American type, or maybe it’s the frontier heritage. That obviously creates some messed-up views about sex. The PUA attitude is pretty much guys doing to women what those men think “gold-diggers” are doing to men. What happens when you get them together, in the Internet-porn age, I don’t even.

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John Holbo 04.30.18 at 3:12 pm

“… to Mercier and Sperber’s view of rationality as competition for dominance”. I just read their book and I don’t think this is right. For them reason exists to allow persuasive argument, and persuasive argument is primarily a cooperative, communicative tool/function, not a field for rivalrous dominance plays. We all have an interest in persuading and being persuaded, in an informationally optimal way. Obviously there are sophistic shenanigans, but that sort of thing has to stay secondary. If everyone were using persuasion to angle for dominance, not usefully signal, eventually everyone would tune out the noise. I think that’s their view. Am I missing something?

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John Holbo 04.30.18 at 3:23 pm

“Notions of justice are self-deceptions for the game of virtue signalling. Thus, the disparity in notions of justice for redistribution of income and redistribution for sex are like different answers for Philippa Foot’s trolley problem.”

Ok I did not get that out of Hanson’s post at all. It strikes me as an extremely bad argument, in addition to being very obscurely presented, if this is it. The trolley case gives us two puzzling, seemingly equivalent cases: switch, fat man. Sex and wealth are not like that at all. There are lots of easy obvious reasons why these cases would be treated disanalously. So there is no puzzle. But again, if that post is secretly about Mercier and Sperber, I totally missed it. Despite having read M&S with some care and interest recently.

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engels 04.30.18 at 3:38 pm

Engels, neither pH nor I are American. I think I’ve told you I’m not American about fifty times now.

Okay, Anglosaxons in Japan

only in North America

Oh I agree, that’s why I said ‘American hyper-capitalism’

those of us who can rise above our conservative Christian origins are genuinely sexually much freer now than we ever were in any other time in history

I’m always wary of these generalisations. Clearly it isn’t many men’s experience, nor do stats* seems to bear it out; there’s also tremendous pressure on people (especially women but also men) to confirm to various norms, it’s just instead of coming from the church or village gossip it comes from advertising, Hollywood, porn, Facebook, etc

* eg recent data for Germany (I believe US us similar)

The great majority of men cohabiting with a partner in 2016 was sexually active and indicated sexual desire until 70 years of age; half did so at an older age. Across the age range, men living without a partner reported considerably less sexual activity and desire. Compared with 2005, fewer men reported living with a partner. The overall proportion of men reporting sexual activity deceased from 81% to 73% in 2016 and absent sexual desire increased from 8% to 13%.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S174360951830184X

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politicalfootball 04.30.18 at 3:46 pm

ph@89. That’s a spectacularly badly written article, so your failure to comprehend it is understandable. But if you look closely, you’ll see that Democrats are favored in the millennial sample by 46 to 28 percent.

fivethirtyeight.com does better with this. They’ve got the Dems favored overall by 8% – a substantial lead in a democracy, and even in the US, that might be enough to gain control of one house of one branch of government.

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Chip Daniels 04.30.18 at 3:55 pm

I’m happy to express empathy for men who are unable to find or form satisfying relationships, but I can’t help but point out how astoundingly common this is.

Consider, for example, the plight of middle aged women in the dating world. It is very common for women of this age who find themselves without a partner to not only have trouble finding a suitable mate, but in fact many of them will go on to spend the last few decades of life without a partner, without experiencing touch or affection.
Or I could point out the relationship travails of those who are handicapped, or are otherwise nonconforming to the romantic ideals of society.

And remarkably, very few of them go on mass killing sprees to avenge this offense.

It isn’t that we lack sympathy for these young men, its just that they seem to want to jump to the head of the Pity Party line and make their suffering superior to everyone else.

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Orange Watch 04.30.18 at 4:07 pm

@biance steele
As to the second question, is there a role for a kind of “missionary,” or “social work,” role, for normies among what you call “those people”? Or are they too reactive for that to work? Are there too many sociopaths and true trolls hidden among them?

I agree that outreach work seems like a futile – counterproductive, even – idea. There is a lot of it already, albeit mostly shallow and poorly executed. And the groups are generally resilient and resistant to it; they’ve seen it before, and they’ve coached themselves on how to counter or dismiss attempts to “reach” them. In my (peripheral) experience with these groups, there are bad faith actors who actively work to maintain a siege mentality in these communities – commissars or whips, if you will. This isn’t limited to these particular groups – you can see it in various online communities – but alt-right/MRA/PUA/incels/redpill/”cultural conservatism 2.0″ groups seem very consistent in this regard. If people want to get out of that groupthink, they need to do the initial work themselves, or they need individually and personally nudged out of it veeeeeeeery slowly (preferably offline, which the opt-out mentality of no small number of incels makes less likely). There’s enough defense mechanisms in place that this seems like a very good example of “you can’t be argued out of a position you weren’t argued into” – the only “outreach” that seems like it would be productive is to try to sabotage their evangelism and counter their pat narratives in mixed venues that they use for recruitment. This is something I do a bit of, because I happen to be a member of an online community that has come to act as such a breeding pool, and it frankly feels Sisyphean.

Your observation about this fitting into a specific Protestant mindset seems apt, btw. Not universal, ofc, but it feels like it’s a major thread within such groups.

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engels 04.30.18 at 4:20 pm

Iirc there’s a long tradition of libertarians using analogies with romantic love to argue against compensating ‘losers’ in the market, I think Nozick does it in Anarchy, State and Utopia…

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Michael 04.30.18 at 4:52 pm

Claimer or Disclaimer: I interacted with Robin many years ago on some ideas about quantum measurement. His idea wouldn’t work as formulated but it was original and has a family resemblance to a subsequent idea (by J. Mallah) that seems not quite as bad as all the other ones in this area.
Various semi-connected comments.

#13 is short but makes an extremely important point. It’s often been discussed (e.g. by Marvin Harris, IIRC) that the nominal outlawing of polygamy was the major historical instance of the use of force to try to make the distribution of sex less unequal.

#37 A reminder of why it’s worth slogging through this blog for an occasional nugget.

Although Robin’s latest post appears to be what John Holbo says it is, his older post about cuckoldry seems impossible to make sense of without the assumption that women don’t count for anything except use-value. Looking at it from an evolutionary viewpoint doesn’t begin to justify that moral assumption or provide a way to make sense of the argument without it. Looking at the range of attitudes in different cultures to both rape and (where this concept even applies, which is not everywhere) cuckoldry does not help Robin’s argument look any more sane or decent.

In fact, his whole abstract argument seems to ignore our long ancestry in hunter-gatherer groups that were highly egalitarian with regard to food and shelter and only moderately inegalitarian with regard to status and sex. Any attempt to recapture some of that feeling is just “envy”? And surely it’s only the lower classes who ever hint at the possibility of violence?

On the other hand, the arguments of some posters that unequal sex access is a particular artifact of some stage of capitalism seem like they could be refuted by a visit to almost any other primate group. The core claim that progressives are not immune to the gleeful mockery of sexual losers, just as the banker liberals are not immune to mocking economic losers, can easily be confirmed with a few minutes on any blog.

Despite the heroic efforts (#37) philosophy seems inadequate for addressing these basic questions about status, community, distribution of goods, etc. Sapolsky’s “Behave” might be good background to at least get the discussion focused on our peculiarly in-between species, moderately sexually dimorphic, unusually but not infinitely culturally adjustable, etc. We’re not close to being either “species beings” or autonomous homo economicus.

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nastywoman 04.30.18 at 4:55 pm

and then there is the case of ”Charismaman” referenced by – of all commenters – ph – and did anybody here look at these cartoons of Charismaman?

As this ”Charismaman” is –
”on his home planet of Canada” -” just and average guy” and some cute blond girls look at him and say: ”Geek”!
-(or should they have said: Incel?)
BUT then when this ”Geek” landed on ”planet Japan” he becomes ”Charismaman” and some (Japanese?) looking girls in the background say: ”Cute”! –
and the Cartoon ends with the question:
”But can our hero defend himself against his archenemy – WESTERN WOMAN?

And about this cartoon our commenter ph – (seriously?) writes:
And just so we’re clear about who’s laughing at whom… and he (really) blames the Cartoonists for ”having a good laugh at the expense of ‘dumb’ Asian women”.

And then he writes: There are other expat-produced pieces of racist trash, but it’s not like those Asian women really understand how to recognize a real, cool westerner, so what’s the big deal?”

And it made me remember that I once had to interview a bunch of Swiss Men who all went to Thailand ”to get themselves some nice Asian women” – and when I interviewed them I thought:
”Weird – not one of the some is very attractive – and I’m not talking about some ”superficial physical attractiveness” I’m talking more about ”the beautiful mind thing” which can be very, very sexy – and so… in order to get to ”the point” and to make a much longer story very short –

That actually might be our – and Mr. Hansons – and ph’s – real problem?

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bob mcmanus 04.30.18 at 6:05 pm

We can fuck who we want when we want how we want without risk or consequences.

To unpack just part of this horrible sentence, no “we” can’t, for a meaning of “we” that includes migrant workers who cross two continents for this lousy meatpacking job send their remittance and can be pretty much certain that they will never be able to afford a home and marriage that grants them relative honor in the origin town. Like I said, there may be a billion of them, more, and they are aware of the first world triumphalism, the celebration of empire financed and enobled on the backs of 3rd world transient labor. That you don’t even see them, or can pretend they don’t exist demonstrates their abjection.

I can’t imagine a woman ever making that statement, except in a kind of false bravado.

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PatinIowa 04.30.18 at 6:40 pm

I suspect that contempt for the unlaid is more properly depicted as a “masculine” trait than progressive. Not all progressives are unbrushed with toxic masculinity, as the response among (some) sixties/early seventies antiwar and civil rights activists when the nascent feminist movement began raising consciousness clearly indicates. The tradition is unbroken.

Note the response to the “Do I look like a guy who needs to pay for sex?” line from Trump. Although, I do think he looks like a guy who likes to pay for sex–or whatever suggests to him that he’s the one in charge.

We men often think what we like makes us attractive, including in politics. We also like to think that women who don’t agree are wrong. We should learn to listen better.

(Notice that I’m not addressing gay, lesbian or trans sex, because I know next to nothing about them. If any of my former lovers are on this site, waiting to make the obvious joke, go ahead, and I’ll send you a rimshot .gif.)

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engels 04.30.18 at 8:11 pm

He makes it pretty clear he thinks that if you have sex with lots of women you’re degrading them or treating them as not human. That is a common view of casual sex, but it’s a dirty and degraded view and it completely strips women of any agency.

I don’t believe this myself but I’ve heard it before and it’s not true that it entails either partner has no ‘agency’. The claim is that both are consenting agents who are using the other as an object for physical self-gratification rather than relating to them as a person.

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TM 04.30.18 at 8:28 pm

There’s a lot of bizarre nonsense in this thread. Apparently there is nothing that the left isn’t responsible for, including the sex lives of rightwingers. The notion that us leftists or progressives (or in AE liberals) have a habit of sexual bragging and looking down on people deprived of orgasms is beyond absurd. Why not talk about the repressive sexual morals that the right is still preaching – even in the age of Trump, and without even blushing? At the same time, ridiculing others, especially political opponents, as being unattractive and allegedly deprived of sex is unambiguously a masculinist and right-wing trope. It is unimaginable from self-respecting feminists and/or leftists.

Just the other day, a rightwing politician in Switzerland told a female politician (*) on snapchat that she probably hadn’t gotten laid in a long time (the original is worse:
“Bisch äuä scho lang nüm düre gnaglet worde? Stimmts oder isches so?” in case you want to google it). Variations of this mockery are ubiquitous online and they are clearly the domain of the Right.

(*) The parties involved are a bit amusing. The rightwinger belonged to the Young Liberals, which is the even harder right youth organization of a right wing party, the closest there is in Europe to US-style libertarianism. In French even better, they are called Jeunes libéraux-radicaux. The woman belongs to the Green Liberals, a centrist party.

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The Modesto Kid 04.30.18 at 8:30 pm

What can it mean except offering up women (voluntarily or involuntarily) to be beaten down in some allegedly therapeutic way by violent, angry men who feel deprived?

Why “beaten down” and “violent”? Dr. Hanson is already on record describing rape as a “gentle”, “silent” act.

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Donald A. Coffin 04.30.18 at 8:31 pm

Maybe it all works out in the end. Or at least these data from a Canadian survey suggest…

http://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile_canadian_initi/2018/04/some-basic-facts-about-the-distribution-of-sex.html

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Moz of Yarramulla 04.30.18 at 9:18 pm

Trader Joe@98

Hanson … assuming that the amount of sex in the world is finite and some people just aren’t getting their share.

IME one of the differences between the US and elsewhere is exactly that assumption. Down here in anglonesia it’s much more common for women to exercise their free will and independence by chasing sex in various ways. That doesn’t seem to be an option for women in the US, or at least not to the same extent.

If instead there was some sort of incentive to “grow the pie”

Also, outside the US money is not the only measure… and fierce competition not the only way to arrange public society. The zero-sum approach seems to pervade US public life and it’s nasty.

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bruce wilder 04.30.18 at 9:35 pm

disanalously — i suppose “disanalogously” was intended, but if disanalously was a word, what would it mean in this context? the mind boggles!

and if this is what spell-check on auto-pilot does to writing, remind me why we want cars driving themselves, please

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steven t johnson 04.30.18 at 10:33 pm

John Holbo@104 seems to imply Foot’s trolley problem is to be taken at face value. I think it is primarily meant to be a stumper for utilitarians, posing a moral problem utilitarianism can’t resolve. And I think Hanson’s little thought experiments are primarily meant to probe motivations in ethical arguments, not serious suggestions to solve real problems. If this seems far fetched, I can only point out Hanson himself says ” I do like to study what causes others to be so attracted” [to non-insurance based redistribution policies.]

John Holbo@103 rhetorically asks “Am I missing something?” after denying Mercier and Sperber mean what they say. (That is not quite the same as saying what they mean, to be sure.) Jonathan Haidt, who is respected here, says not: https://www.edge.org/conversation/hugo_mercier-the-argumentative-theory Mercier and Sperber do claim that confirmation bias, for instance, is an adaptive behavioral attribute, selected for by nature. It is not even clear that confirmation bias is useful in winning arguments, but if confirmation bias doesn’t lead—somehow—to more children (or children of close relatives,) then it is isn’t an evolutionary theory at all. It’s not clear at all how confirmation bias helps in anything but winning arguments. Nor is it clear at all how confirmation bias in individuals helps improve group reasoning, nor that group reasoning without confirmation bias wouldn’t be even more effective. To my eyes, it’s not even clear that System I and System II reasoning are truly different systems, rather than something like the difference between sight reading and phonics. Or between riding a bike after you’ve learned how, and actually learning.

Sophistic shenanigans like confirmation bias are primary, not secondary, which is why science needs the argumentative theory. It’s why human System II reasoning is so defective, except that it’s not defective in their theory. The best lawyers always find the truth in court by their logic, so groups use the best arguers to find the truth. And it’s people who misunderstand the nature of reason who are

Going to another short presentation, Mhttps://sites.google.com/site/hugomercier/theargumentativetheoryofreasoning, Mercier himself concedes ” Our evolutionary account is much more in touch with the prevailing view of the evolution of human cognition. According to this view—alternatively named the social brain hypothesis, or the Machiavellian intelligence hypothesis, among others—most of human cognition evolved to answer the demands of our social world,” i.e., getting one over. I think you are reading Mercier and Sperber as saying the power of group reasoning to find truth is adaptive.

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CDT 04.30.18 at 11:36 pm

@Robin Hanson: Rather than chastise people for misrepresenting what you meant, how about if you just tell us? For instance, I assume that you were trying to make a point about the intrusiveness of progressive taxation — “death taxes and higher marginal income taxes are tantamount to rape.” Or perhaps your point was that efforts to minimize income and wealth inequality are no more workable than the silly (if offensive) straw man argument that she should also be redistributed. Perhaps it was something else entirely; do tell.

With regard to the wealth envy issue, I think you have it exactly wrong. Americans accept without envy — much less threats of violence –dramatic and increasing disparities in income and wealth. One of the reasons for that is the pauper’s belief he can someday get rich, too. If anything, I think there is too little anger at the rich by the poor, and that the former are pushing their luck. If angry lower class white voters ever run out of minorities to hate, there will be hell to pay. And I say that as one whose head will be in a basket on the streets.

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Lee A. Arnold 04.30.18 at 11:37 pm

Associated Press just now reporting that George Mason University, “Virginia’s largest public university granted the conservative Charles Koch Foundation a say in the hiring and firing of professors in exchange for millions of dollars in donations, according to newly released documents. The release of donor agreements between George Mason University and the foundation follows years of denials by university administrators that Koch foundation donations inhibit academic freedom.”
https://apnews.com/0c87e4318bcc4eb9b8e69f9f54c7b889

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Lee A. Arnold 04.30.18 at 11:51 pm

UnKoch My Campus has a full page including details of Federalist Society influence on the GMU law school.

http://www.unkochmycampus.org/charles-koch-foundation-george-mason-mercatus-donor-influence-exposed#finding1

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floopmeister 04.30.18 at 11:55 pm

…eyeing with bad intent…

Keep the Tull out of this, Bob.

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Raven Onthill 05.01.18 at 12:15 am

John Holbo@54: “[…] there aren’t actually incel mobs […]”

Consider Gamergate. That lot has even sometimes made credible physical threats.

I would generally say that the poor person’s desire for a decent meal while rich people are discarding food is a form of envy, but I do not think it a reprehensible one. It is only people who believe that the wealthy’s right to their property outweighs the poor’s right to life who find it so.

From this cynical old bird’s viewpoint, I think that neither of you nor Prof. Hanson feel enough the reality of human malice and the love of death and destruction. There is neither Rawlsian nor Nozickian thought in this. Rather it is simple fear and animal desire at work; while Freudian theory is pretty well dead, the id lives on.

It is a privilege of academic life that one can, for the purpose of work at least, imagine oneself above it all and without human needs. The reality is that in a Hobbesian war of all against all, likely few of us would fare well.

As for me, ravens get above it all so they can seek out their next meal. And, you know, if Donald Trump and the Republicans have their way, we just may all get a chance to find out.

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engels 05.01.18 at 12:19 am

And remarkably, very few of them go on mass killing sprees to avenge this offense

This is always a terrible argument whether it’s made about terrorism, crime, rioting, juvenile delinquency or whatever else.

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engels 05.01.18 at 12:21 am

the arguments of some posters that unequal sex access is a particular artifact of some stage of capitalism seem like they could be refuted by a visit to almost any other primate group

I don’t think anyone said that.

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John Holbo 05.01.18 at 12:22 am

“And I think Hanson’s little thought experiments are primarily meant to probe motivations in ethical arguments, not serious suggestions to solve real problems.”

Yes, fine. But the problem is this. What we need, as in the trolley case, are two cases that are superficially similar, yet that call forth substantially divergent intuitions. Switch/fat man. What we have are two cases that are not superficially similar – wealth/sex – yet that call forth substantially divergent intuitions. It’s perfectly clear why the differences in the situations call forth these different intuitions. It isn’t puzzling why we would be ok with taxation but not with forced sexual slavery, for example. There isn’t any puzzle as to why standard versions of liberalism permit the former and forbid the latter. It’s a puzzle in search of any degree of actual puzzlement whatsoever.

“John Holbo@103 rhetorically asks “Am I missing something?” after denying Mercier and Sperber mean what they say.”

I’m saying that I don’t think you have Mercier and Sperber right. Either that or I don’t. If I’m mistaken, don’t just snark at me. Tell me what I’m missing. (I wasn’t being snarky to you.)

You said Mercier and Sperber think that ‘reason is for winning in a competition for dominance’. I said I think that’s not their view. Unless you mean it in a very bland sense. They think reason is an adaptive trait and adaptive traits are always for ‘winning in a competition for dominance’ in a sense. I take it you mean it in a more particular sense, right? That’s what I doubt.

There is a way of stating their thesis, briefly, that makes it sound like they are saying the adaptive function of reason is to make us sophists. It is a tool of bamboozlement of our fellow humans. But that isn’t what they are saying. At least not last time I checked. You quote Mercier saying human cogition is evolved to answer the demands of the social world but then you equate that with ‘getting one over’. That’s not it. It’s suppose to be a non-zero-sum win-win kind of thing.

“If reasoning does its job properly, communication has been improved: a true conclusion is more likely to be supported by good arguments, and therefore accepted, thereby making both the speaker—who managed to convince the listener—and the listener—who acquired a potentially valuable piece of information—better off. “

That’s a quote from the link you gave. This is what they think. It’s the Machiavellian intelligence view, as you say, but it isn’t so very Machiavellian as that name suggests in this case.

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Faustusnotes 05.01.18 at 12:23 am

I think most of Hanson’s proposed solutions to the sex inequality issue in both posts are actually wealth distribution and very nanny state at that. The most obvious example is the sex worker stipend. If the problem is that poor men can’t afford to get into the dating market, then why not just give them money? They can then choose to spend the money on a sex worker or on improving their hygiene or going to the gym or whatever. What if they don’t want unattached sex? Very inefficient welfare program! But in any case it’s wealth distribution not sex distribution, and Hanson claims he wrote this to point out the terribleness of wealth redistribution by analogy.

Yet the only analogous action is forced expropriation of sex and it’s disbursement down the sex ladder. Which is sexual slavery and human trafficking. If Hanson wants to say that taxation is rape then he should just do so. But now he’s backtracking and saying he didn’t intend to imply that. He’s an idiot or a terrible troll or a rapist.

Also in the era of SESTA he should be careful about how much he advocates for forced rape and sex trafficking on the internet.

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Matt 05.01.18 at 12:43 am

Because of at least one generation of sex selection and poor treatment of women, the gender imbalance in East and South Asia is now around 20%.
That means there are at least a billion young men who will never have hetero life partners through no fault of their own. In addition, let’s call it a loss in relative male status and empowerment (and other reasons, outmarriage in Japan is radically gendered…J women marry Americans and emigrate, J men bring in Philippino wives)), there are probably another half billion men incelled by social change.

China’s notorious bachelor-surplus is around 30 million men — 0.03 billion — in a population of nearly 1.4 billion people. You appear to be far overestimating inceldom fated by demography.

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_sex_ratio the only country in the world that has a male sex imbalance ≥ 1.20 at birth is Liechtenstein. For whole-population statistics, those countries ≥ 1.20 are Maldives, Qatar, UAE, and Kuwait. In the 15-24 age range Qatar, UAE, Maldives, Bahrain, Northern Mariana Islands, and Kuwait are ≥ 1.20. Add Palau and Saudi Arabia for ages 25-54.

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John Holbo 05.01.18 at 12:50 am

“I think most of Hanson’s proposed solutions to the sex inequality issue in both posts are actually wealth distribution and very nanny state at that. The most obvious example is the sex worker stipend. If the problem is that poor men can’t afford to get into the dating market, then why not just give them money?”

But what makes this troll-y, still, is the ‘most’. His studied indefinitness about what the implications are leaves us straddling the mildest sort of thing – maybe some kind of public health awareness/education campaign? – and the most outrageous sort of thing – forced sexual slavery? And in the middle is a cloudy bunch of more ambitious policies, many of which would not be offensive to our basic sense of justice, yet most of which are probably pretty stupid/ineffective. Hanson is not trying to explore this area, he’s trying to troll folks on the progressive side into thinking there’s some principled reason they should wander into this area. The original rhetorical ploy was to tar distributive justice with vague association with stuff that sounds bad, not to explore interesting, potential implications of distributive justice commitments.

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John Holbo 05.01.18 at 12:58 am

But if Hanson returns and tells me that he didn’t mean that, he meant something else, or at least that he has changed his mind and now wants to say something else – fine with me. My goal in life is not to accuse Hanson of trolling. Even if he was trolling, I am happy for him to be rehabilitated and engaging in a serious debate about distributive justice commitments. I think the case can be made that liberals should care about sexual inequality, as Hanson says. This is all in the Dan Savage column. Widespread sexual misery is a serious problem and public policy could, to some degree, address it. But not in a crazy way. Cut out all the wink-wink hints at stuff that is obviously vicious and atrocious, for reasons that are Liberalism 101-easy to articulate, and restrict yourself to things that have some plausibility.

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faustusnotes 05.01.18 at 1:09 am

I think that’s my point John, that it’s just poor trolling. Good trolling would be to make clear that the logic of taxation and redistribution applied to the sex inequality thing would demand sexual slavery haha gotcha libtards! But instead he throws in a bunch of halfway policies that are explicitly counter to his opposition to redistribution. The only way those extra policies are useful are that they now enable him to walk back from the forced sex thing and say he was only advocating a sex worker stipend, which is weak sauce and ends up basically supporting wealth redistribution (which it was his original intention to troll). In short he’s a fool.

Matt I didn’t want to go there but yes, Bob McManus’s figures are completely wrong. The report he himself cited states that there may be 115 million “missing” women across all of Asia, which suggests about 115 million men with no marriage prospects in a population of 2.5 billion. That’s sad for them but not quite the demographic crisis McManus predicts.

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Kiwanda 05.01.18 at 1:48 am

John Holbo:

There is a way of stating their thesis, briefly, that makes it sound like they are saying the adaptive function of reason is to make us sophists. It is a tool of bamboozlement of our fellow humans. But that isn’t what they are saying.

See also Henry , who thought Mercier and Sperber were

…providing a compelling case that reasoning did not evolve as a capacity to figure out the world, so much as an argumentative capacity to generate convincing rationales for why the reasoner is right, and others are wrong.

I disagreed with this interpretation.

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John Holbo 05.01.18 at 2:10 am

Kiwanda, I don’t think there’s a contradiction. Their idea is that the way communication is enhanced – for everyone’s benefit – is that people are all advocates for their own views.

Let’s give an example, to fix ideas. We’ll make it all hunter-gatherer, for EP atmosphere. Suppose I have been down by the river and I have seen evidence that another tribe of humans was there recently. I run back to camp and say ‘the so-and-so-tribe is very near, raise the alarm!’ Suppose the Bayesian priors of my fellow tribespeople rate this as highly unlikely. So I am suspected of being mistaken or the Boy Who Cries Wolf, or whatever. But, if I’m right, it would be valuable information. What to do? The theory is that I, the guy who believes the so-and-so tribe were down by the river, immediately come up with an argument to support my belief. My belief is just a thing I HAVE. But now I think why I have it. I cite evidence, reasons. I can access likely causal antecedents of my own belief formation. I am not, at this point, being self-critical. I’m not doubting myself. I already formed the belief. Now I’m trying to sell it to others – who are interested in buying, if it’s a good belief to buy. ‘I found THIS arrowhead, and it has a feather such as only the so-and-so-people use!’ The idea is that this reason-giving practice lubricates information flow. I, the seller, can package what I’m selling with plausible reasons to buy it. The buyer, by contrast, is equipped to examine those reasons with a skeptical eye. ‘Yeah, but that arrowhead could have been there for years!’ And I immediately come back with the best come-back I can. ‘But then the feather would have gone rotten before now. Look! This one is new!’ So we are likely to come to a more high-quality assessment of whether the so-and-so’s really were down by the river.

This seems like total common sense, but M&S add the slightly innovative idea that there is a kind of advocacy division of labor. I am the advocate for MY beliefs. You are the advocate for YOURS and you are quick to see problems with mine. The idea is that if everyone has a bit of bias like that, it’s overall efficient.

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bruce wilder 05.01.18 at 2:38 am

or, excessive salesmanship leaves most everyone worn out and ill-informed and that is obviously inefficient, but facilitates the dominance of a few who are willing to pay for it in order to secure said dominance.

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John Holbo 05.01.18 at 2:51 am

“or, excessive salesmanship leaves most everyone worn out and ill-informed and that is obviously inefficient, but facilitates the dominance of a few who are willing to pay for it in order to secure said dominance.”

Plausible – but not what M&S are saying. (That’s all I’m saying.)

I think a summary of M&S is that reason is a solution to the ‘important, if true’ problem. People are often bringing reports that are important … if true. It would be nice if there were some quick way to make a first cut of this pile, to get a sense of which of them are plausibly true, hence likely to be important. Reason evolved to make that first cut. It’s still social, because the reasons why ‘important, if true’ is so often not important are social. Error, deception. Imperfect information. But it’s not, primarily, Machiavellian, even though it quickly grows its own distinctive layer of Machiavellianism. I think I’ve said enough about M&S. I’m off for the day, unless Hanson returns to explain himself. If he does, great!

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steven t johnson 05.01.18 at 3:34 am

On a personal point of order, the snark was aimed at Mercier and Sperber.

As for explaining how you’re wrong, again, for a start: If there is no differential reproduction that fixes a trait in a population, then you’re not talking about evolution. Vapor about evolution is just jargon, pseudoscience. It’s all just made up stuff, designed to support their favorite version of things as they are as things as evolution (aka “God”) designed them. In this case, apparently, Mercier and Sperber are keen to see the essence of society epitomized as an academic debate. Well, that’s certainly nicer than some other visions of the good society. Hasn’t a damn thing to do with any sort of social science.

You’re wrong in how you read Mercier and Sperber because you miss that they are saying reasoning powers evolved to make arguments, and that’s why cognitive biases are adaptive. But they do so without explaining how the traits are fixed in the population; without demonstrating how that kind of trait is adaptive; with considering whether reasoning in the sense of argument is a cultural development of language, rather than a new mental faculty; without demonstrating that cognitive biases in individuals are not maladaptive to individuals; without asking whether it is even reasonable to assume that God aka Natural Selection even had the power to perfect reasoning powers over the lifetime of the human species.

Also, Mercier and Sperber really are saying that reason itself is about persuading people of the truth and that individual cognitive biases are adaptive because they improve the final outcomes in the group. The smartest lawyers in the courtroom are better lawyers because they are biased for their case, and this naturally leads to the truth being found. That is nuts, which I hope is why you cannot accept this is what they are saying. And instead you think they are saying something a little less nuts, that is your reading.

And by the way, the example you offered in @135 is I think erroneously fixed on the Mercier and Sperber debate model. The guy reporting doesn’t make arguments, he says, one of you come see while the rest get ready. And the skeptic says, if you’re screwing with me, I get a nice piece of meat from your next kill. Then somebody goes to see. Or some such. Perhaps you would consider this social reasoning?

Mercier and Sperber really are saying that one of the villagers relying on their most recent experience of the other tribe, instead of their whole record, due to cognitive bias, to conclude they wouldn’t launch a sneak attack, isn’t suffering from defective reasoning powers. That instead, his commitment to a false position makes the debate more effective. Your version, even if I think it’s not quite wrong, is at least not nuts. It’s also not what Mercier and Sperber are arguing.

And then of course, there is reasoning about less objective matters. Arguments about the fairest division of the meat, about who is having sex with whom, about whether the shaman is capable of curing disease, about whether we should attack the other tribe first, about whether dreams tell us about life after death, or whether coming of age rights must be this way than that, or that this is good music and the other sounds aren’t, or that this is the way language is spoken and the other is some sort of childish error. It is not, not, not clear that Mercier and Sperber’s assumption that reasoning of their kind really is adaptive, for groups even, much less that individual cognitive biases make this kind of reasoning more effective. Which, after all, is exactly what they are saying.

Lastly, you are wrong because you accept uncritically Mercier and Sperber’s assumption that natural selection is all powerful and pervasive, and that therefore cognitive biases are adaptive.

139

John Holbo 05.01.18 at 3:57 am

“You’re wrong in how you read Mercier and Sperber because you miss that they are saying reasoning powers evolved to make arguments, and that’s why cognitive biases are adaptive. “

No. I have been maintaining that M&S are saying exactly what you say they say: reasoning powers evolved to make arguments and that’s why cognitive biases are adaptive. That is exactly what I have been saying. I think I have been saying it consistently. I am sorry if it was somehow not clear. I took you to be arguing, not the opposite, but that this state of affairs implies that reasoning evolved, primarily, to facilitate sophistry. Which is not their argument.

140

John Holbo 05.01.18 at 4:01 am

“Lastly, you are wrong because you accept uncritically Mercier and Sperber’s assumption that natural selection is all powerful and pervasive, and that therefore cognitive biases are adaptive.”

No. This is a confusion about reporting vs. asserting. I have been saying what M&S say. That’s all. I have not been saying whether, or to what extent, I believe what they say. So I certainly can’t be accused of accepting it uncritically. (For the record, I find it interesting and worth thinking about but I’m agnostic.)

141

Collin Street 05.01.18 at 4:03 am

Eh!

If deductive reasoning were adaptive we’d have evolved to use it. But we haven’t: to reason deductively we have to train ourselves for years, through techniques that were developed by known individuals: it’s technology, not biology.

The reasoning we are adapted for is inductive, prone to false positives: it’s useful, but it’s not academe and it’s not debate.

142

Collin Street 05.01.18 at 4:04 am

I mean, the villagers’ failure in the boy who cried wolf is precisely a failure of induction: no wolf yesterday means no wolf tomoorow.

143

John Holbo 05.01.18 at 4:08 am

“I mean, the villagers’ failure in the boy who cried wolf is precisely a failure of induction: no wolf yesterday means no wolf tomoorow.”

I think the villagers’ failure was bad luck. Sometimes small, good Bayesians are eaten by big, bad wolves!

144

Collin Street 05.01.18 at 4:16 am

A black swan event!

But if you’re getting eaten by swans you’ve probably made some bad life choices along the way.

(apropos of nothing, can I just say as an australian that “normal” white swans freak me out when I see them in real life)

145

Omega Centauri 05.01.18 at 4:22 am

Look we do have a problem that while the vast majority of incel types keep the suffering to themselves, not all of them manage to. If even only .1% go on to become mass murderers, we will have a huge problem, and women will be the primary victims. So it ought to be important to make our culture more sensitive. I imagine the incel’s probably have had a long history of girls saying eewe whenever they come near long before they are done with highschool. Thats gotta have a effect on one’s psyche. If we want to have a better, and safer society we have got to do better. Now, internet echo chambers seem likely to make the problem much worse. I hope it doesn’t become a critical problem.

146

Faustusnotes 05.01.18 at 4:38 am

Again omega Centauri, what you say obviously suggests the requirement for women to do some kind of emotional and/or physical labour because a group of men won’t do the social/physical/emotional labour required to get what they want. If the problem is the incels’ why should women do the hard yards? Don’t they have to do enough emotional labour already?

And how do you know they’re saying eew? You only have the incels’word for it, and have you seen what they write? They don’t seem particularly reliable. Also not every man who gets eewed turns into an incel, so again why is it the girls’fault for eewing?

147

CDT 05.01.18 at 4:38 am

I’m with TM. We’re starting to sound like a Sokal parody here.

148

John Holbo 05.01.18 at 5:30 am

“I’m with TM. We’re starting to sound like a Sokal parody here.”

TM assumes that if we are saying there is a problem that progressives should be concerned about, which some people are blaming progressives for causing, that we must be blaming progressives for causing it. Obviously you can separate those notions out. Conservatives blame everything on progressives. That’s a lot! If progressives refused to acknowledge, as real, any problems that conservatives blame (wrongly) on progressives, that would be a lot of real problems (and a lot of wholly unreal problems, yes) getting dismissed as unreal.

149

floopmeister 05.01.18 at 5:49 am

apropos of nothing, can I just say as an australian that “normal” white swans freak me out when I see them in real life)

Swans are white?

150

Moz of Yarramulla 05.01.18 at 5:53 am

Collin Street: “A black swan event! “

You mean something that occurs all the time and is completely unremarkable?

I would have thought that a daily cry of “the wolf, the wolf” with no wolf, followed by one day an actual wolf would be a white swan event – sure, they happen, but not round here. And only the queen is allowed to eat them :)

This obviously calls for a forced redistribution of proper swans shifted to the northern hemisphere and we get some white swans for a bit of variety. Black swans are stringy and tasteless.

151

Layman 05.01.18 at 6:12 am

John Holbo: “I think the case can be made that liberals should care about sexual inequality, as Hanson says.”

But it is precisely this formulation to which I objected in the first place. Imagine saying ‘I think the case can be made that liberals should care about hunger’. What is the purpose of that formulation except to imply that liberals, generally, as a group, do not care about the hunger of others? Yes, it is trivially true that one can make a case that liberals should care about it, but why bother asserting that unless you think liberals don’t care about it, or unless you want to make the accusation that they don’t?

152

J-D 05.01.18 at 6:35 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66SQKEf7UIs

(Yet another perspective on the boy who cried wolf.)

153

floopmeister 05.01.18 at 6:54 am

This obviously calls for a forced redistribution of proper swans shifted to the northern hemisphere and we get some white swans for a bit of variety. Black swans are stringy and tasteless.

Moz – this is simply a redistribution of risk, isn’t it? Sort of like a CDO for catastrophic avian events?

I think we should export some of our black swans – Albert Park is overrun with unforeseen Cygnus atratus catastrophes – let’s export them to the northern hemisphere!

154

roger gathmann 05.01.18 at 7:48 am

I think the universal opinion is that Hanson is a creep. But a more interesting question, to my mind, is why envy is the bad bad emotion and greed is the good bad emotion among libertarians and conservatives.
Right away, it seems that this makes little sense. If you dub envy “aspiration”, hey presto, it becomes a virtue. The Horatio Alger striver, realizing that capitalism is the best of all systems and the thing to do is to swim upstream and rescue the bankers daughter, is mucho applauded – while the woke Horatio Alger union organizer or (heavens) community organizer who aspires to a more equal society by, say, limiting the amount of wealth possessed by the wealthy, using the democratic tools at hand, are falling for the bad bad emotion of envy.
This is a curious twist. Even more curious, though, is the economists blindness, on a massive, ideological scale, to the economics of envy in capitalism. Because for the neo-classical economist, one thing is clear: advertising is an epiphenomena that has no effect on the market.
This ludicrous position comes out of a deep, structural ludicrousness about preferences and the sovereign consumer. Advertising messes up the gig.
In any case, in the real world, unfortunately, it is not envy of the expropriators that rules, but envy as a driver of, for instance, creating fan bases for parity products. Wipe out envy and where is the housing market going to be? And how are we gonna sell pepsi, or SUVs?
Whenever you see an economist who is quite comfortable with greed and the most egregious forms of human exploitation suddenly become all Ten Commandments about greed, you have caught a glimpse of the ideology of the beast. The apologists of capitalism can’t help themselves.

155

roger gathmann 05.01.18 at 8:00 am

I meant to say, “become all Ten Commandments about envy” in that last sentence. Sorry.

156

bad Jim 05.01.18 at 8:21 am

One wonders if, when Robin Hanson
wrote “gentle, silent rape”, he kept his pants on.
Many people are not able
To put food on the table.

157

ph 05.01.18 at 8:35 am

@106 So, I checked. The article is clear and even features graphs. You’re half-right, however. One of us can’t read. The decline is highest among the most active subset of this demographic. If we invert the change and state that support for Dems over Republicans for Congress actually increased by 9 percentage points, that would also mean nothing. Is that your claim?
“The online survey of more than 16,000 registered voters ages 18 to 34 shows their support for Democrats over Republicans for Congress slipped by about 9 percentage points over the past two years, to 46 percent overall. And they increasingly say the Republican Party is a better steward of the economy.”

My point, and Dowd’s, is that Trump is on track for re-election in 2020 because Dems still got nothing.

@111. I’m not sure you’re even aware of how much bigotry and racism is loaded into your comment. Asian woman is different to Western woman (the Arch-Enemy) exactly how? And after you get done educating us on the differences, please let us know where African woman fits into your hierarchy, and then perhaps a few comments on ‘Is the Jew really good with money?’

I’ve made my views crystal clear – I treat other human beings as other human beings – and refuse to indulge your racist, sexist, and ethnic stereotyping. However, you’re not content with mere racism. You explicitly connect my ‘problem’ (which is a 20-year plus marriage, wonderful children, and great family in Japan) to sex-tourism. Bye, like forever!

158

nastywoman 05.01.18 at 8:36 am

– and this:

“I think the case can be made that liberals should care about sexual inequality, as Hanson says.” –
doesn’t get out of my head – as I really don’t care about sexual inequality at all -(but a lot about all other kinds of inequality) – and I always suspected that I might not be ”a liberal” – and is – that I don’t care about sexual inequality – now – ”the proof of the pudding”?
-(or the straw which killed the camels back?)

And could there be this test – how to find out who’s a ”liberal” -(or not?) by asking her or him if she or he cares about sexual inequality?!

159

TM 05.01.18 at 8:55 am

Layman 151 exactly. Just to recapitulate: at 39, Holbo stated “I think this is an entirely fair critique” when it was alleged that “progressive opinions on sexual inequality are marked by open contempt”, a claim that he later at 56 admitted was made without any evidence. He then agreed that “I wouldn’t say it’s especially progressive” (the lecturing of incels). It’s still an inadequate choice of words. Try for example: “I wouldn’t say racism is especially progressive”. I pointed out, supplying evidence, that the sexual bragging discourse is precisely a domain of the masculinist right and to paint it as particularly or at least equally a problem of progressives is just wrong.

160

engels 05.01.18 at 10:12 am

I really don’t care about sexual inequality at all -(but a lot about all other kinds of inequality)

Why?

161

TM 05.01.18 at 10:24 am

fn 100: “He makes it pretty clear he thinks that if you have sex with lots of women you’re degrading them or treating them as not human. That is a common view of casual sex, but it’s a dirty and degraded view”

I would rather say that in the conservative puritanical view, the woman who sleeps with multiple partners degrades herself and is therefore considered dirty (and the same usually doesn’t hold for the male partner). Yes that’s a dirty and degraded view.

egnels 105: It’s unclear what those statistics are supposed to prove. 73% of German men up to age 93 were sexually active. Is that number high? Low? Compared to what? Btw the sample size ca. 1000 gives an uncertainty of 3% but since they sampled all age groups, I suspect the sample is too small to take the effect of age into account. In any case, why do you think a study about the sex life of men is particularly pertinent for this discussion? Why should we pay extra attention to that half of the population?

Another point: Pretty much everybody experiences dissatisfaction with their sex and/or relationship life at times. In most cases that is neither catastrophic nor pathological; it’s life.

162

John Holbo 05.01.18 at 10:35 am

TM: “a claim that he later at 56 admitted was made without any evidence.”

We make claims all the time, TM. I might say, for example, that I remember that I have a certain book in my office. I make the claim ‘without any evidence’, as you say. Is it so shocking to your sensibility that I could do such a thing?

But I will, at your behest address Layman.

“Imagine saying ‘I think the case can be made that liberals should care about hunger’. What is the purpose of that formulation except to imply that liberals, generally, as a group, do not care about the hunger of others? Yes, it is trivially true that one can make a case that liberals should care about it, but why bother asserting that unless you think liberals don’t care about it, or unless you want to make the accusation that they don’t?”

I think it would be indeed strange to hint-hint that liberals, as a group, don’t care about hunger. Because they really do quite a bit, as a group. But I think it wouldn’t be strange to hint-hint that liberals, as a group, don’t care about the sexual misery of incels because I don’t think they especially do, as a group.

At this point TM is going to freak out, maybe because I made a comment without providing evidence. But, honestly, I’m just giving my impression of how it is. Take it or leave it.

TM again: “I pointed out, supplying evidence, that the sexual bragging discourse is precisely a domain of the masculinist right and to paint it as particularly or at least equally a problem of progressives is just wrong.”

Obviously the toxic masculinity in the incel community comes from the right. No evidence needed. I’m not denying that. I’ve said it a few times upthread (go check if you want – or take my word for it, as you like.) But what does this mean, that you go on to say? the problems incels have are “equally a problem of progressives” – or not? No, the problems of incels are, obviously, the problems of incels. They are a problem FOR progressives, not in the sense that they must have caused them, or especially neglected them, just in the sense that they are A problem. Period. All I am saying is that it’s a problem. And that I don’t think liberals/progressives have been especially sympathetic to date. That’s it.

163

Nigel 05.01.18 at 10:46 am

‘Widespread sexual misery is a serious problem’

Then call it that rather than ‘sexual inequality.’ Sexual inequality as a term calls for redistribution as some kind of justice or fairness. Sexual misery implies that there needs to be help and support for people experiencing it in order to cope, to gain perspective, to feel less alone, and to examine their own behaviours and assumptions to make positive changes in their lives that might make them more likely to find sexual partners, and also to understand that people who have sex regularly also experience kinds of misery. In a better world they might seriously consider experimenting with homosexual relations with other willing members of their community, and a whole new world might open out before them, if it worked for them.

164

John Holbo 05.01.18 at 10:53 am

Nigel: ‘‘Widespread sexual misery is a serious problem’

Then call it that rather than ‘sexual inequality.’’

Sure, that seems reasonable.

165

John Holbo 05.01.18 at 10:54 am

sorry, that sounded sarcastic. I mean it. It sounds reasonable.

166

engels 05.01.18 at 11:07 am

there needs to be help and support for people experiencing it in order to cope, to gain perspective, to feel less alone, and to examine their own behaviours and assumptions to make positive changes in their lives that might make them more likely to find

You realise this exactly what right-wing Americans (and a lot of ‘liberals’) say about poverty

167

Nigel 05.01.18 at 11:08 am

I would never mock anyone for experiencing loneliness and frustration, but it’s distressing to watch the discussion around them being dominated by a movement that channels those feelings into misogyny and entitlement rather than make any effort whatsoever to offer real help and support. Even this call for sexual redistribution is simultaneously treating the genuine pain of lonely men as a joke to pwn the libs, but also, couched as it is in eternally deniable irony, it is also introducing it as a serious proposal into the discourse, an assertion of male entitlement and victimhood, and watching to see if it gains traction, until more and more lonely and frustrated men understand that this is an option which they are being denied and become more and more radicalised around the idea.

168

engels 05.01.18 at 11:10 am

It’s unclear what those statistics are supposed to prove. 73% of German men up to age 93 were sexually active. Is that number high? Low? Compared to what?

Try reading the rest of the paragraph I quoted (or preferably the link)

169

nastywoman 05.01.18 at 11:23 am

@160
Why I really don’t care about sexual inequality at all -(but a lot about all other kinds of inequality)

I guess what 164 and 163 says:
”Sexual inequality as a term calls for redistribution as some kind of justice or fairness. Sexual misery implies that there needs to be help and support for people experiencing it in order to cope, to gain perspective, to feel less alone, and to examine their own behaviours and assumptions to make positive changes in their lives”

And somehow I would like it – very much if some of these ”incels” would start ”to cope, to gain perspective, to feel less alone, and to examine their own behaviours and assumptions to make positive changes in their lives” –
while in all other forms of inequality – it seems to be more important ”to gain perspective, and to examine ”other” behaviours and assumptions to make positive changes?

170

nastywoman 05.01.18 at 11:44 am

@111.
”I’m not sure you’re even aware of how much bigotry and racism is loaded into your comment.”

I’m aware – as I’m aware that in the cartoons you referenced – we are supposed to laugh at
Canadian Geeks who suddenly think they are ”Charismaman” if they land in Asia – and only a very very twisted -(or ”Charismaman”) – can come to the conclusion that in the Cartoon the Cartoonists were laughing at some of my Asian sisters!

– and NO!
I didn’t ”explicitly connect my ‘problem’ (which is a 20-year plus marriage, wonderful children, and great family in Japan) to sex-tourism”.

I connected ”Charismaman” to some Swiss – who actually were no ‘sex tourists’ – as they ”seriously went to Thailand to find themselves ”wives” -(and most of them did) – and they realized – if they went to Thailand – their chances improved – not because Thai Women are ”dumb” or anything like that – but as the most overweighted -(and funniest) of the Swiss told me:

”In the Asian culture my stature is much more desirable than in Swiss culture” – which his wife -(I’m currently in contact with) – once laughingly confirmed when she told me:
”I always wanted to marry a Sumo Wrestler”.

171

mrmr 05.01.18 at 11:53 am

Contra Layman and TM at 151 and 159, I think that there is a variant of toxic masculinity which is particularly progressive, which comes in the form of the stereotypes that they use in out-group criticism (including of incels). They include, e.g., Trump getting criticized by public art representing him as having small genitals, guns constantly derisively described as penis surrogates along the same lines, the taunting assertion that homophobes are secret homosexuals themselves–dispute any given example, but you’re probably going to eventually get to one where liberals criticize the outgroup by trying to emasculate them. Even criticisms that are specifically supposed to be directed at the toxic masculinity of conservatives can, ironically, wind up toxicly masculine in this particular way: “Conservatives want to own women as property, because they can’t get them to fuck them any other way” (as opposed to the Real, Sexually Desirable Men!).

This is not to say that there aren’t smart left wingers who recognize and reject that stuff–Holbo, here, apparently is one. Good for him! Similarly, I think the main silly thing about the initial Hansen post was that the reductio just fails for the reason that there are smart liberals in good standing who ~are~ willing to think about sexual redistribution, within the (extremely restrictive, given the nature of the goods in this case) boundaries set by liberal freedoms.

In any case, this obnoxious behavior clearly doesn’t tell us anything about whether progressivism is a good ideology on the balance (it is), nor does it tell us whether toxic masculinity is ~more~ common among progressives than it is on the right (it isn’t). But not everything has to immediately made into a competition whose point is oh no, you’re not allowed to talk about that because really the conservatives were worse all along.

172

nastywoman 05.01.18 at 12:00 pm

– and sometimes I feel on here like Michelle Wolf must have felt after the Correspondence Dinner?

Aren’t I’m hired to induce some… comedy into ”the poor incels lives”?
And as these ”incels” -(and Mr. Hanson) are soooo funny themselves – shouldn’t they really get what they actually ask for – no – not sex – some type of… could we call it… ‘introspection’?

Or NOT?

173

TM 05.01.18 at 12:06 pm

John 162: “Is it so shocking to your sensibility that I could do such a thing?”

I might respond to that pseudo-question by pointing out that you have no reason to believe that your questionable claim is shocking to anybody’s sensibility so why are you asking?

Here’s a reminder that you are getting on thin ice again. You made a questionable claim, I (and others) pointed it out. You could accept this and move on, or if you were a philosopher you might even thank the commenters for pointing out your questionable claims. Instead you are falling back to poor debating behavior. It’s almost as if you can’t stand it to have your questionable claims pointed out.

174

TM 05.01.18 at 12:15 pm

engels 168, I don’t need to “try reading”, if I wish to read something I read it. And as you no doubt have noticed, since you have read my comment which you are responding to (you have read it haven’t you?), I did read the abstract of that study you referring and therefore I’m asking, what is it supposed to prove and why do you think it is pertinent to this discussion? You don’t have to answer that of course but if you think you have made a pertinent point by quoting that study, why not explain why you think so?

As a general point, if the issue is sexual “inequality” or sexual misery (a better term, I agree), why is it that almost all the debate revolves around the sexual dissatisfaction of men?

175

Nigel 05.01.18 at 12:30 pm

‘You realise this exactly what right-wing Americans (and a lot of ‘liberals’) say about poverty’

If Americans on the right were proposing to offer counselling and support to those experiencing poverty I would be pleasantly surprised, unfortunately I suspect this is either a bad or a bad-faith reading of what I wrote.

176

Layman 05.01.18 at 12:37 pm

JH: “But I think it wouldn’t be strange to hint-hint that liberals, as a group, don’t care about the sexual misery of incels because I don’t think they especially do, as a group.”

Perhaps, but that’s a different claim than the claim that liberals don’t care about sexual inequality. People care about people who care about them, and they lack care for people who don’t care about them. It’s human nature, which can be overcome, of course, but must be taken into account. If you mean to say ‘liberals don’t care about people who advocate violence against women out of sexual frustration’, then you may be right, because liberals don’t care, by and large, about anyone who advocates violence against women, regardless of the reason. If, on the other hand, you mean to say that, presented with a sad, lonely, nonviolent person struggling with the feelings of rejection and lack of worth that come from prolonged sexual rejection, most liberals won’t have any emphathy for that person, then I think that’s utter nonsense; and I imagine you actually think so, too.

177

nastywoman 05.01.18 at 12:51 pm

@
”why is it that almost all the debate revolves around the sexual dissatisfaction of men?”

BE-cause it seems to have – so often – such drastic consequences?
-(like incels killing people out of sexual frustration or – as there is this rumor that men even used to start whole wars because they couldn’t… well y’all know what?)

178

John Holbo 05.01.18 at 12:57 pm

“Here’s a reminder that you are getting on thin ice again.”

So let me get this straight. The thing that is bugging you – apparently for the last 100 comments or so – is that I had a kind of general impression that such-and-such is the case. So I said so. But I admitted freely that it was just my impression and I didn’t have any evidence?

This is what has got you wound so tight, TM?

“I might respond to that pseudo-question by pointing out that you have no reason to believe that your questionable claim is shocking to anybody’s sensibility so why are you asking?”

I will say that I DO have evidence for this much. Here you are, TM, and looking quite indignant.

179

engels 05.01.18 at 1:04 pm

TM writes:

what is it supposed to prove
It’s unclear what those statistics are supposed to prove.
Is that number high? Low? Compared to what?

Two sentences after the one TM quotes:

Compared with 2005, fewer men reported living with a partner. The overall proportion of men reporting sexual activity deceased from 81% to 73% in 2016 and absent sexual desire increased from 8% to 13%.

And this was cited in response to FaustusNotes’ claim:

those of us who can rise above our conservative Christian origins are genuinely sexually much freer now than we ever were in any other time in history

I trust that’s clear.

180

bianca steele 05.01.18 at 1:05 pm

Nigel @ 167

I agree, and would add that the framing in the post suggests it’s an entirely reasonable expectation, one up solely to the willingness of individual women, who should decide whether they might choose to suffer more so that others suffer less.

This seems quite frequently to happen when goods are discussed as commodities that can be passed around without concern for the details, the well-being and overall life chances of the people involved. Distinguishing taxes and cash payments from freely-chosen individual sacrifice seems to be felt as irrelevant.

The only slightly good argument I’ve seen that takes this into account is the argument that some of these men are so violent no prostitute would cater to them at any price.

181

ph 05.01.18 at 1:05 pm

“And it made me remember that I once had to interview a bunch of Swiss Men who all went to Thailand ”to get themselves some nice Asian women” – and when I interviewed them…”

Gee, that doesn’t sound at all like sex tourism. And now that you add the clarification, I feel so much better, Thai wives for Swiss men, and me! There’s actually been a study of the phenomenon and your friends fit right in: http://www.thailovelines.com/Frontinfo/thai-wife-switzerland.html

You write that you’re not interested in sexual equality. No shit.

And now comes the really hard part for racists like you, the fact is that modern Thai culture has fuck all to do with modern Japanese culture despite the ‘slanted’ eyes and ‘yellow’ skin of people in both communities. The differences are ethnic, cultural, historic, linguistic, and economic. Not all Asian people are the same! Get it?

Poverty and social immobility are powerful incentives for poor women. Good thing your ‘friends’ are willing to step up and help out. I sincerely wish the women concerned well.

As for Charisma man, I linked to a magazine cited by FN, so folks could see just how racist and sexist the ‘expat’ community in Japan and Asia can be. I identified the racist trash as such. You’re an ignorant, racist bigot as your comments about Asian women confirm. Please F-off.

182

John Holbo 05.01.18 at 1:06 pm

“People care about people who care about them, and they lack care for people who don’t care about them. It’s human nature, which can be overcome, of course, but must be taken into account.”

I’m not blaming liberals for misbehavior. I don’t think it’s shocking that the plight of the incels hasn’t captured everyone attenion. As I said, it’s a bit hard for progressives to sympathize with a bunch of Trump trolls and all their Pepes. I just think – since we are on the subject, this being the thread for it – that it’s true, what Dan Savage said, about sexual misery. Just that. No blame. No policy prescriptions either. I guess maybe Tineola overstated things a bit so when I agreed with him, I could have made a point of shaving it down a bit. Here’s what I said way upthread. “I agree that there are no likely policy prescriptions but – I think this is Tineola’s point – one could at least sympathize and not mock, in rather callous fashion.” If progressives have sometimes mocked, then they shouldn’t. If they haven’t, and my impression to the contrary is mistaken, then I’m wrong.

183

John Holbo 05.01.18 at 1:15 pm

Well, I’m off to bed. Be kind to each other, if possible.

184

Faustusnotes 05.01.18 at 1:18 pm

Ph, your outrage is connected. Nasty woman is giving her impression of the only part of the charismaman comic available online, and its 100% correct – that part is taking the piss out of white losers who come to japan and are suddenly popular,but white when know immediately that they aren’t. Whether or not it’s a piss take of Japanese women, it’s certainly true, and cuttingly so. Could it be that your outrage comes from another source. A white Canadian rocking up on Japanese shores to be an Eikaiwa teacher is suddenly super successful with the girls? Hmmm, cutting too close to the bone?

The comic is wrong, but not about the unwarranted popularity of the subjects. It’s wrong to assume the women they date are dumb rather than predatorial – they know these guys are losers and they’re looking for a man they can control, just as some men look for weak women. I once overheard an ex nova student tell her friend “if you want an easy man go to nova.” Just tonight I was discussing eikaiwa with a Chinese woman who worked as staff at a Chinese eikaiwa company and she was well aware that the teachers are losers who become princes when they land in China. But just like the comic, these dudes think they’re getting one over on the Japanese girls they date. I was here when nova collapsed and all the teachers were suddenly thrown onto the mercy of their Japanese partners, and it became very clear to everyone who was the boss. I can appreciate that the realities of this sexual politics offends some, but that doesn’t make it less true.

TM, Ph has made very clear in multiple comments that he thinks fucking casually is not treating people like human beings. It’s not women dirtying themselves that he is implying, but men degrading them by fucking them. That’s a strong and very misogynistic sexual politics.

If these dudes were genuinely concerned about sexual inequality there are other options that they could consider beyond forced redistribution or sex work. For example, polyamory where they become one of several men in the orbit of one strong woman. Unlike wealth inequality, sex inequality can genuinely be fixed by sharing, and everyone gets more of the thing at issue. Yet they don’t seem to like that idea. I wonder why…?

185

Faustusnotes 05.01.18 at 1:20 pm

Ph, it was you who complained about the comic talking about dumb “Asian” women. A little rich now to demand that others specify the difference between Thai and Japanese women when you were the one who lumped them all together.

186

politicalfootball 05.01.18 at 1:27 pm

ph@157: The Reuters’ articles data show Democrats are vastly preferred among the particular subset of the electorate that you cite. Other data show that Democrats are preferred among the population at large. So there are two types of data that rebut you: The data that you cite, and the data that you don’t cite.

But okay, let’s enter your universe for awhile and say that good polling numbers are actually bad ones. What were the Democrats doing right two years ago that caused their polling numbers to be so much better back then?

187

bianca steele 05.01.18 at 1:29 pm

TM: “As a general point, if the issue is sexual “inequality” or sexual misery (a better term, I agree), why is it that almost all the debate revolves around the sexual dissatisfaction of men?”

Possibly because it aligns so nicely with the reactionary, and usually racist, argument that men can’t “belong” unless they have the standard “male” life-story, and that this story involves “having” a woman in a certain way. Just as the excessively poor and or people with different cultures don’t “belong,” men without wives feel they are “outsiders.” And that kind of reactionary thinks they *should* feel like outsiders!

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bob mcmanus 05.01.18 at 1:44 pm

who should decide whether they might choose to suffer more so that others suffer less.

Like I say, there is no outside of neoliberalism. Relegating this social obligation (if it is one) to the heroism of individual women, the devaluing of duty, honor, social claims on the individual is exactly the mess we are into. And the methodological individualism, the creating of heroes and villains, achievers and losers. I especially don’t want individual women sacrificing for the group.

My original Huxley quote was mostly to the point that calling Hanson out with rape and coercion is stupid and boring.

Like we haven’t paid any attention to the Facebook scandal.

You could, given the forces of gov’t and media, achieve indiscriminate sexual promiscuity by means of soft power, persuasion propaganda incentives peer pressure etc, in very short order. Then you have the incel standing naked at the edge of the orgy, and I have full confidence.

What else is boring? Handmaids Tale, that dour patriarchy. Whatever else, the foreseeable future will not be for ascetics. They get us with our virtues and affects, the dystopia will be a kind and generous block party.

189

Layman 05.01.18 at 1:45 pm

mrmr: “Contra Layman and TM at 151 and 159, I think that there is a variant of toxic masculinity which is particularly progressive…”

Sorry, but there is nothing ‘particularly progressive’ about it, unless you want to willfully ignore the exact same sort of taunts from conservatives, who opine that liberals are gay, or that liberal men are women, or wimps, or unmanly; or that Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama are really men, while their spouses are women; or that liberals should suck on the guns of conservatives, or on their actual genitals; or who habitually use references to sodomy as a metaphor; or who dismiss liberal women by pronouncing them sexually undesirable, or worse. And some of your examples are not really good examples – the references to Trump’s genitals are a reaction to things Trump said, or implied if you like, about his genitals; they didn’t emerge in a vacuum.

If you want to say ‘some liberals can be as toxic as some conservatives’, then say that. If you mean to say something more than that, you’re simply wrong.

190

Layman 05.01.18 at 1:50 pm

TM: “As a general point, if the issue is sexual “inequality” or sexual misery (a better term, I agree), why is it that almost all the debate revolves around the sexual dissatisfaction of men?”

Because 1) it is largely sexually dissatisfied men who are framing the debate, and 2) it is some of those sexually dissatisfied men who are threatening violence as a result of their frustration, and 3) it is some of those threatening violence who are committing actual violence. That sort of thing tends to use up all the air.

191

nastywoman 05.01.18 at 1:50 pm

@
”I identified the racist trash as such. You’re an ignorant, racist bigot as your comments about Asian women confirm. Please F-off.”

Well – what can I say?
Besides ”Be kind to each other, if possible” – as Mr. Holbo so friendly suggested – and let me be try to be very, very kind.

You pointed in your comments to ”Charismaman” – the caricature of a stereotypical ”Western Geek” (”incel”) who travels to Japan to BE-come ”Charismaman” – and you told us that such a caricature is ”racist” against my Asian sisters?!

And – I#m truly sorry – I thought – using your type of logic – it was one of these complains some Trumpists lately like so much – that this ”Charismaman” was kind of a ”racist Cartoon” against ”White Canadians” who travel to Japan to become ”Charismaman”?

And no reason to get your… how goes the sayen? – to get your knickers into a twist -(you are ”British” – right?) – I just thought you were one of these crazy (twisted) racists?

But now – that you are told me – that I am the racist – don’t worry anymore – All good or as Mr. Holbo would say:

”Be kind to each other, if possible”

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bianca steele 05.01.18 at 2:00 pm

bob,

You misread my comment. The problem is that people know “neoliberalism is bad” but also feel “unfairness is bad,” and moreover feel “normal politics is useless (and probably neoliberal),” and are left only with personal morality. And personal morality isn’t exactly a neoliberal invention. Your idea that personal sacrifice is a modern, individualistic invention is weird and very wrong.

I think you misread the Huxley, too. Obviously you never heard my mother telling teenage me why I have to wear “sufficient” makeup to a family gathering.

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bob mcmanus 05.01.18 at 2:01 pm

I forgot my Maupassant allusion.

To boil down the incel complaint, isn’t it something like

“Sexual desire and practice has been socially constructed to our disfavor, while the privileged claim a) that desire is not socially constructed (roles and performances are) and b) the misfitting to the constructed desiring machine is our fault.”

The first step is admitting that sexual desire and activity are entirely socially constructed and materially determined, including the tools to mystify and rationalize this social fact.

194

ph 05.01.18 at 2:02 pm

FN Unlike you I don’t classify folks as ‘winners’ and ‘losers.’ I’ve met a great many wonderful, successful people who travel the world working as English teachers. Some stay, many move on. You’re clearly hostile to a great many people I consider friends and quite willing to cast them in the worst possible light. My own friends are happily married, own homes, and have wonderful families in many cases. You travel in the fantasy world of kick-boxing, video games, and ‘never going a week’ without sex, so it’s pretty clear we’re living in entirely different worlds – you the glamorous ex-pat bon vivant, and me and my ‘loser’ friends and our families. You like to talk about your erections and what you do with them. I find such discussions infantile, at best.

You don’t strike me as a fool – just as a kind of overgrown, angry child who gets off punching and kicking things. I prefer ikebana and kimono. I very much hope you can find a good life partner and raise a family of your own. There’s a lot of good in you, I’m sure.

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nastywoman 05.01.18 at 2:08 pm

@193
To boil down the incel complaint, isn’t it something like

“Sexual desire and practice has been socially constructed to our disfavor, while the privileged claim a) that desire is not socially constructed (roles and performances are) and b) the misfitting to the constructed desiring machine is our fault.”

Not really – as really boiling it down is:

Why do so few women have sex with a… holes?

196

Michael Sullivan 05.01.18 at 2:10 pm

JH@162: “I think it would be indeed strange to hint-hint that liberals, as a group, don’t care about hunger. Because they really do quite a bit, as a group. But I think it wouldn’t be strange to hint-hint that liberals, as a group, don’t care about the sexual misery of incels because I don’t think they especially do, as a group.”

I’m pretty much on team TM here, been reading this on my phone for a while waiting to have time to wade in and hope it’s not too late.

I think we need to tease out some things very carefully here. The first thing I want to do is draw a very hard distinction between people who experience sexual misery/deficit (not nearly enough of the kind of sex or affection they desire), who could be described by the (lower case) phrase “involuntarily celibate”, and the people who have adopted the term “Incel” for themselves, who might also be considered “InvoluntarilyCelibate[tm]”

The former include a huge number of *women*, for starters, include large numbers of trans people, people with radical disfigurement, or disabled with loss of certain sexual function but not drive, none of whom, AFAICT are represented in more than a token way or at all, let alone widely, in the self-described “Incel” community.

I spent a good deal of my time in the 90s and early 00s on usenet as a regular in groups that often brushed with people that would come to form the MRA/PUA/Incel/redpill axis, though I never heard the terms Incel or redpill (as identity group markers) at the time, it seems to be new since I left. In many cases these were giant crosspost threads with large groups of these people. soc.men, soc.women and alt.feminism all had large groups of MRA/proto-MRA/PUA as regulars or regular trolls. My home group in this space, probably because of the somewhat misleading name — soc.singles — attracted mostly proto-PUAs as trolls though they were using the term “speed seduction” back then.

What we also saw in abundance were “nice guys”. Guys who were mostly white cis het middle class with all of the privileges therein who had trouble getting laid by who they wanted to get laid by, and noticed that at least some of the objects of their affection would befriend them (because they were NICE) and then lament to them about the ways their “jerk” boyfriends done them wrong.

Now, these “nice guys” could tend to be sorted into two main groups based on how they responded to both their reality and the subsequent conversation in the group around it. One of the classic paths was that of the “NiceGuy[tm]” for which the term was invented. I probably pulled it from an unconscious memory, but my recollection is that the first time I typed that back around 1993, I thought I was coining the term and was surprised to see it come into common usage thereafter. It’s more likely that I was simply an early adopter riding the wave without even realizing the seed had been planted, but there it is. Until someone shows me an earlier usage, I will assume that I should get the credit. :)

The “NiceGuy[tm]” is the clear prototype for the modern Incel. He — it really was always “he” — nice girls with trouble getting laid existed and engaged as well but rarely followed the analogous path, we’ll see why — would show clearly and soon in response to real engagement that his worldview was full of misogyny and hatred of women. That the main problem with the “jerks” in question is that they were more attractive for reasons the “NiceGuy[tm]” didn’t understand, and that the main driver of their desire was *not* love or genuine attraction/affection, but the desire to conquer, to notch the bedpost, to have something pretty on their arm. In short, for their own social status to rise by who gave them affection. Which is exactly why paying sex workers would not work for them, nor masturbation, nor many other potential partial remedies. The problem with lowering standards *wasn’t* that they couldn’t feel sexual desire for less conventionally attractive women than their goal-objects, but that anything less than relatively conventionally attractive young gender-conforming women did not meet their *social status* needs.

The hatred for women quickly surfaced when women engaged them seriously. They (and men also) would ask what they thought their friends found attractive in the jerks. We suggested they observe the “jerk’s” behaviors to see if some of them actually demonstrated more interest in the woman’s pleasure or person than the nice guy’s. We wondered aloud whether some of the “jerky” behaviors were simply typical cases of partner failure that Nice Guy and other perfectly reasonable people would probably do their SOs at some point in their lives for any of the various reasons (anger, blindness, depression, baggage) that we rarely treat people we like and love as consistently well as we would prefer to.
We questioned in some cases, whether NG had the very same kind of selection failure that the women he wanted did. “Yes, you’re right, keeping in mind we only have your side of the story, these particular women seem to be attracted to something that is correlated with really lousy behavior that is making them miserable. I know people like that, but they aren’t everybody. Could it be that you are suffering from a similar problem? Something about what attracts you to certain women is correlated with their having exactly this kind of selection problem?” And lots of other creative engagement designed to help them examine their lives and possibly improve their situation.

Why did we do this? Because most of us had been in their position at some point, or loved people who were, and we wanted to help! And also because of the second, much larger group of *actual* nice guys who had trouble with romance.

And a large number of people seemed amenable to this help, it made a difference and some of them ended up joining the group (raises hand). It was also not uncommon to meet partners on the group (including me and my spouse). In lots of other cases no progress seemed to be made, and they left and I have no idea whether some of them gained anything from the interaction.

Just this past weekend, I was at a gathering of people who but one were of this crew and we were reminiscing a bit and all remember Kenn Barry’s quip (he may have been quoting) “It takes a certain type of person to be sure at the age of 25 that no one will ever be love them.

But in some cases (the NiceGuy[tm]s), they became trolls. The misogyny showed up hard. The second any of their female identified interlocutors said things they didn’t like or agree with, hackles were raised, and soon actual hateful things were said. The NiceGuy[tm] label got applied, because the key feature of a [tm] NiceGuy as opposed to a regular one was the misogyny — the willingness to *blame* women for not being attracted to him, or for not taking the initiative to ask *them* out or make a pass at *them*. Note that one huge problem with many nice guys (tm or no) was a massive fear of rejection combined with a lack of understanding of how to escalate flirting gracefully until you effectively had your answer before ever having to ask directly. In the [tm] variant, often there was also a kind of massive sense of entitlement that experienced any failure to respond to flirting as a hurtful rejection.

I remember being struck that some of these “nice guys who couldn’t get laid” had plenty of stories about … wait for it … *getting laid*. I mean, I have experience here. I was a nice guy who couldn’t get laid for a while, and my memory of that did not include ever having sex with anyone else! Or even kissing or cuddling romantically. No conscious and consensual non-platonic/familial affection whatsoever. *Nothing* until I was in my early 20s, despite my first two college years being at a college with 65% women, some of whom I am still friends with, had huge crushes on and now know that they would absolutely have been interested. Yet somehow these guys who’d had multiple girlfriends and casual hookups thought of themselves as people who “couldn’t get laid” because it was only the *wrong people* who were attracted to them, or who they were brave enough to ask out.

But again, the crucial feature of the NiceGuy[tm] was putting *all* the blame for his problem on the women he wanted to fuck. And when one of these [tm] guys showed up, it was like a script. The women talking to him and the women in their lives soon enough became “bitches” and “whores” and other offensive caricatures. Pretty soon they were gone, leaving only their discussion descending into a flame-war, eventually capped by a long exit rant, generally including the obvious “No wonder you’re all still single.” The general response was some version of “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out”.

It’s absolutely true that NiceGuy[tm]s (who often returned later as MRA/PUA trolls) did get mocked by us, once their general hatred of women and absolute unwillingness to consider their own behavior as part of their problem became clear. And being people, sometimes we jumped the gun and made assumptions too early.

And MRA trolls often got mocked as well, and it did sometimes happen that we mocked them as trolls living in their mom’s basement who couldn’t get laid, etc.

That said, while this group was essentially progressive, this form of mocking was clearly NOT. We used it, either intentionally or unconsciously, because it was culturally powerful, because it was going after these people (the MRAs and misogynist PUAs) on their own terms.

In fact, we often discussed the fact that one of the big problems for men of all sorts is this exact framework, where our self-worth as men is determined by who we fsck, and our social status determined by who were are seen/believed to be fscking. Not having the right sort of woman on your arm is a social status problem, and this is an essentially patriarchal worldview. So part of my own progression out of nice guy hell (I was past the worst by the time I found usenet, but not all the way out) involved *deconstructing* this very framework, with the help of some of the good progressive and feminist peoples of usenet and elsewhere.

Mocking men for not getting laid is an essentially patriarchal, right-winger thing to do. PUAs do it all the time! I first heard the term “Incel” when I blundered into the red pill universe a few years ago. I had NO IDEA at the time that it was a term anyone would use to self-identify. I thought it was a PUA/RP descriptor of guys who hadn’t learned the “right” strategies but simply accepted their ignominous fate.

I’ve been mocked for not getting laid, and it for sure wasn’t by progressives or feminists. In my observation, progressives and feminists largely restrict mocking of that sort to people who have already demonstrated active and willful misogyny. Misogynists, dude-bros, douchebags and other forms of primarily male and right-wing asshole use it willy-nilly. Sometimes in dozens-style bonding rituals with friends, frequently if not constantly to out-group people of perceived lower social status. When I was at a summer session for high schoolers at a local college, some asshole wrote “Virgin” across my dorm door. I don’t think they were being progressive. During my time as a nice guy who couldn’t get laid, I experienced a fair bit of mocking of my pitiful state, and NONE of it came from people who would identify as progressive or feminist.

So yes, I’m arguing hard with this bullshit that mocking people for sexual misery is somehow a thing that progressives do. Yes, of course we do it sometimes, because everybody does. The culture is saturated with this stuff — that framework is the whole reason that even a moderate sexual deficit feels like a life-threatening problem to otherwise relatively privileged young men like me at 19. Progressives and feminists do this mocking much less than other people, in my experience. The idea that this is a feature of progressives or feminists is a lie told by these self-identified Incels designed to place blame outside themselves.

Or in some cases it’s a self-selected experience: If you wander into a group of feminists or progressives and spout a bunch of misogynist nonsense, you are going to be mocked and progressives and feminists not generally being perfect avatars of their philosophy, sometimes that mocking will use patriarchal frameworks despite our overall best effort to smash the patriarchy. Internalized oppression is a thing. Using the tools of your enemy is also a thing. Things that get talked about in social justice movements sometimes. Occasionally.

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nastywoman 05.01.18 at 2:11 pm

@
”Why do so few women have sex with a… holes”?

Correction!

”Why do so few women WANT TO have sex with a… holes”?

198

TM 05.01.18 at 2:26 pm

John 178: The ice was thin and now you have wet feet. Be more careful next time.

mrmr 171: Representing Trump as having small genitals to mock him is questionable as political satire precisely because the artist lowers himself to the level of schoolboy bragging. Otoh nobody has accused Trump of not having an active and fairly diverse sex life.

engels 179: So you think the study disproves the claim that “those of us who can rise above our conservative Christian origins are genuinely sexually much freer now than we ever were in any other time in history”. I think the claim in that generality is almost certainly wrong; but – come on, a study that compares a small sample of German men at a temporal distance of 11 years and found a small drop in sexual activity is supposed to prove something profound about human history? Btw it doesn’t even say anything about the life satisfaction and sexual freedom of these men. Your apparent assumption that men not having sex are sexually unfree bears questioning.

How do you measure sexual freedom, anyway? I hope we can agree that freedom in the domain of human relations must NOT be modeled on the freedom to choose of consumer capitalism. We are free to court the affection, the love or the sex of other (adult) people but they are equally free to reject that courtship. Yet you seem to argue that sexual freedom equals access to partners.

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nastywoman 05.01.18 at 2:37 pm

@194
”I prefer ikebana and kimono”.

Now see – there we are – as I got this beautiful wedding kimono from a Japanese friend – and I intend to wear it if and when I finally get married – we have sooo much in common – (besides this ”racism-thing”) – and I always knew you were one of these straightforward ”family men” especially when you posted about this… this woman you knew – who preferred to get ”pregnant” instead of ”working” and how much you love work – as I do –
and I even love ”families” and”work” much, mucho more than you do – I love all of this so much that I’m totally… ”racist” against anybody who thinks I don’t love work as much as somebody who can’t even think about a life without ”work”… and ”sex” – and
YES!! –
tell them:
”glamorous ex-pat bon vivant, who like to talk about erections and what they do with them that they are just ”a kind of overgrown, angry child who gets off punching and kicking things”. – and THEN –
don’t forget:

”Be kind to each other, if possible”…

200

Faustusnotes 05.01.18 at 2:41 pm

pH you have spent your entire time on this blog defining winners and losers, and now you claim innocence? You really are a piece of work. But it’s nice to see you admit the reasons for your confected outrage at the comic.

201

bianca steele 05.01.18 at 2:44 pm

Michael Sullivan:

Thanks for going to the effort to post that. I always think we don’t know enough about where other people are coming from and what their experiences are. It’s easy on the Internet to assume we know more than we do. And speaking for myself, I wasn’t online between about 1992 and about 1999 so missed all that.

On a similar point, it might be worthwhile for John H. to consider what he means by “liberals.” Are we talking about my husband, or are we talking about Harvard’s English department? Are we saying I would be harsh to my husband’s friends who don’t have wives or girlfriends and would prefer to, or are we suggesting a 70 year old college professor is a little dismissive of a 19 year old who hasn’t had a lot of sex partners and resents the fact?

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Orange Watch 05.01.18 at 2:52 pm

Pack up, we’re done. Michael Sullivan@196 won the thread.

203

bob mcmanus 05.01.18 at 2:56 pm

Why do so few women have sex with a… holes?

I have been trying, with whatever success, to keep my comments ungendered and not heteronormative, understanding that sexual frustration and lack of access is likely more common among the marginal and queer than otherwise. Incels come in every preference.

Maybe I see more assholes than you, I am short, but the more interesting question is why so many people have sex with assholes.

204

John Holbo 05.01.18 at 3:01 pm

OK, Michael Sullivan’s long contribution has drawn me out.

“I think we need to tease out some things very carefully here. The first thing I want to do is draw a very hard distinction between people who experience sexual misery/deficit (not nearly enough of the kind of sex or affection they desire), who could be described by the (lower case) phrase “involuntarily celibate”, and the people who have adopted the term “Incel” for themselves, who might also be considered “InvoluntarilyCelibate[tm]”

The former include a huge number of *women*, for starters, include large numbers of trans people, people with radical disfigurement, or disabled with loss of certain sexual function but not drive, none of whom, AFAICT are represented in more than a token way or at all, let alone widely, in the self-described “Incel” community.”

Good point, yes!

I’ve been using ‘incel’ but maybe the term is just too toxic now. And, as many people have been saying in the thread – as Dan Savage emphasizes in that fine column – it isn’t just lonely guys who feel ugly (or whatever the problem is) and rejected. I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that, just because some guys are running over people with vans sometimes, guys deserve all the concern and attention. It’s probably a real danger that the toxic incels are making the situation worse even for the other groups you rightly mention.

“That the main problem with the “jerks” in question is that they were more attractive for reasons the “NiceGuy[tm]” didn’t understand, and that the main driver of their desire was *not* love or genuine attraction/affection, but the desire to conquer, to notch the bedpost, to have something pretty on their arm. In short, for their own social status to rise by who gave them affection.”

This is, again, interesting, and I claim no first-hand knowledge of online culture around all this, although if you’d asked me to guess, I think I would have guessed pretty close. But I would be a bit more tolerant of (a bit less hopeless about) the burning desire for status than you seem to be. Guy want to stand tall and have a woman, who is his girlfriend, who respects and admires him for who he is. It’s a dream. We can pretty easily slip past this point into something inherently nightmarish, but I would push for the possibility that pride and status-anxiety, if not ideal, is consistent with the good stuff: love and genuine attraction and respect. I get it why they can be fucked up. But no more than this Eels song, which is a pretty nice song. (I agree it’s no one’s model of perfect mental health.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNtlGwYJCUQ

“The problem with lowering standards *wasn’t* that they couldn’t feel sexual desire for less conventionally attractive women than their goal-objects, but that anything less than relatively conventionally attractive young gender-conforming women did not meet their *social status* needs.”

That’s a bad sign, admittedly.

Look, how about I stipulate to your report of your experience – which is pretty interesting, and we move on down the post?

“So yes, I’m arguing hard with this bullshit that mocking people for sexual misery is somehow a thing that progressives do. Yes, of course we do it sometimes, because everybody does.”

Sorry for any confusion that I was pushing the contrary line, but this is more or less what I meant to say, honestly. Not that progressives ALWAYS do this thing but that they do it SOMETIMES when they probably shouldn’t … because, as you say, everyone does. My only reason for targeting progressives with the critique is that they ought to know better, whereas I wouldn’t necessarily expect better of the other side.

“If you wander into a group of feminists or progressives and spout a bunch of misogynist nonsense, you are going to be mocked and progressives and feminists not generally being perfect avatars of their philosophy, sometimes that mocking will use patriarchal frameworks despite our overall best effort to smash the patriarchy. “

I’m certainly not preaching patience and forebearance towards people who are crapping all over you at that very minute. Go ahead and tell them they are being asshole monsters and mock them, with my blessings.

“The idea that this is a feature of progressives or feminists is a lie told by these self-identified Incels designed to place blame outside themselves.”

I agree that the insanity about what the feminists are doing to them knows no bounds in these environments. I don’t know that there is so much complaining about being mocked by progressives, but they do like to feel sorry for themselves and play the victim endlessly. It’s awful and it’s only making it worse for them. I quite agree. But even someone with an insane persecution complex may, from time to time, be genuinely persecuted by someone – or at least someone could be needlessly unsympathetic.

The thing I thought was best about the Savage column – which I really did think was one of his best – is the importance of trying to get a more sympathetic frame around the problem of sexual misery, and what might be done to alleviate it by changing social norms, without giving assholes any more room to harm people. Which they are, of course, entitled to not an inch of.

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Faustusnotes 05.01.18 at 3:01 pm

Also note the tone of the last part of ph’s comment, sneering at me for his assumption that I don’t have a wife and family like him. This is exactly the problem that incels suffer from and it’s entirely a right wing scorn. pH thinks you’re degrading a woman if you fuck her, and you’re a loser if you aren’t married with kids. This is the murky violent misogynist atmosphere in which incels brood and learn to hate.

206

bianca steele 05.01.18 at 3:01 pm

As for my own personal experience, the spread of people who would probably later form alt-right and MRA circles, MUCH MORE BROADLY than groups discussing gender issues, or politics, or whatever, was striking. I don’t know of any group in 1999* that didn’t have at least one designated spouter of proto-alt nonsense (often literally nonsense, in good proto-troll form), and often that person had his own apparently designated good-cop foil, so that the “dialectic” was maintained at a constant pace regardless of what else was happening in the newsgroup. Both those people were always men, of course.

* other than science and math groups that had a clear purpose and an easy way to weed them out

Whether they were coordinated in any way at all, they often liked to suggest they were, and it’s impossible to say whether they were trolling with that suggestion too.

207

John Holbo 05.01.18 at 3:05 pm

“John 178: The ice was thin and now you have wet feet. Be more careful next time.”

TM, you are a mystery to me.

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John Holbo 05.01.18 at 3:08 pm

“On a similar point, it might be worthwhile for John H. to consider what he means by “liberals.” Are we talking about my husband, or are we talking about Harvard’s English department?”

I dunno. Is your husband a liberal?

For the record, I have spent some time puzzled by the word ‘liberal’, in my mouth and others. I think it’s a mistake to think we can put a neat box around it, if that’s what you are suggesting, bianca.

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bob mcmanus 05.01.18 at 3:10 pm

196: All that psychologizing. And personal narrative. And the usual trap of “how it should be (no trophy women) it is how it is, and Incels need to adapt to our desired utopia, not actual conditions.”

I also cop to Nice-Guyism, summed up as not wanting women to get hurt, and not completely respecting their agency and ability to protect themselves. Most women voted for Trump or Clinton, fer gaw’s sake, am I supposed to not attempt persuasion and counter-hegemony out of respect?

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bianca steele 05.01.18 at 3:13 pm

And even in the math or engineering groups, there was often enough a guy who kept posting, for example, factually incorrect nonsense about postfix-increment and the ternary “?:” operator in C++, and another guy who engaged him, line by line by line, every single time.

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bianca steele 05.01.18 at 3:15 pm

John,

I’m suggesting that rhetorically, “liberals don’t care about the involuntary celibate” is going to be heard as “lack of concern over life’s less sexually fortunate is a liberal trait,” and maybe that could be true of the liberals you know (I’m just guessing here but it seems plausible) but doesn’t seem helpful here unless your goal is to reinforce MRA belief that liberals are hostile to them.

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John Holbo 05.01.18 at 3:16 pm

“All that psychologizing”

When life gives you psychology, bob, make psychologizing? Seems reasonable to me.

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nastywoman 05.01.18 at 3:23 pm

@211
you supposed to be in bed – and I supposed to ”handle the sitwation”.

Guys! – wh0 tried to keep their comments ”ungendered” – you never ever will se one of my sisters going out there – killing people BE-cause of being an ”incel”!

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bob mcmanus 05.01.18 at 3:25 pm

As far as “misogyny” goes, after 2016 and being called misogynist for supporting Sanders (and his millions of young black women supporters) the word is irretrievably devalued and discredited, along with those who use it.

It’s always been defined instrumentally and conveniently anyway, and doesn’t make sense to me in a non-essential feminism, anymore than “atheism” is a meaningful concept.

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John Holbo 05.01.18 at 3:26 pm

“I’m suggesting that rhetorically, “liberals don’t care about the involuntary celibate” is going to be heard as “lack of concern over life’s less sexually fortunate is a liberal trait,””

Believe me, bianca, by this point in the thread I get that! I have been trying to peel off that (very unintended!) implication for over a hundred comments now. So clearly I should have framed it different.

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John Holbo 05.01.18 at 3:27 pm

I am indeed supposed to be in bed.

217

bianca steele 05.01.18 at 3:34 pm

JH @ 215

I guess I’m also trying to suggest that if you want to base “liberals are like this” on your personal experience of liberals in your circle, I’m not sure that’s absolutely illegitimate—but it’s also an odd stance toward truth for a teacher and discussion leader to take for publication.

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Layman 05.01.18 at 3:42 pm

Good night, John Holbo!

219

John Holbo 05.01.18 at 3:45 pm

“if you want to base “liberals are like this” on your personal experience of liberals in your circle, I’m not sure that’s absolutely illegitimate – but …”

I’ll do you one better, bianca. It’s illegitimate. Because there is just no way that my personal experience of liberals in my circle constitutes a valid sample. It’s flatly impossible. Period.

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John Holbo 05.01.18 at 3:55 pm

But, to be clear, I wasn’t trying to base a ‘liberals are like this’ generalization on some invalid sample taken just within my circle. I wasn’t making a ‘liberals are like this’ claim. Saying that you have the impression that you’ve seen some progressives online doing something that struck you as wrong and kind of mean is not to say ‘all progressives are x’. I guess you could have a policy of never reporting your personal impressions of things – not even in a comment box – because it’s too unrigorous and liable to error. (Maybe that’s what TM is upset about.) But it seems to me that if you just report your personal impression AS a personal impression, then it is what it is, and it’s labeled as what it is. Of course, people can say you are wrong! And maybe they are right.

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John Holbo 05.01.18 at 3:56 pm

“Good night, John Holbo!”

Layman is correct.

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bianca steele 05.01.18 at 4:01 pm

John :

Okay, if “liberals in your/my circle” (or even “the definition of liberal I’ve formed by induction over experience”) isn’t legitimate, how about “liberals defined top-down, so that elderly college professors and other professionals are held to be the paradigm case of the category, and everyone else either confirms to their expectations and demands, or fails somehow to be properly liberal”? Or you can replace the category with a different paradigm case if you want.

But if you have good reason to think maybe what you saw wasn’t “liberals liberaling”, why keep saying “liberals do this”? Unless you’re committed to some metaphysical definition of liberalism, or an equally metaphysical but post-linguistic commitment to using words as rigid designators?

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engels 05.01.18 at 4:25 pm

Guys! – wh0 tried to keep their comments ”ungendered” – you never ever will se one of my sisters going out there – killing people BE-cause of being an ”incel”!

I’m I right in thinking that noone outside of North America has ever done it?

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Raven Onthill 05.01.18 at 4:45 pm

It turns out that Talmudic sages discussed this some 1500 years ago and said that, no, women have no obligation to incels. Over to @drnelk on Twitter: The Talmud my students are studying addressed this topic of incels and experts demanding redistribution of sex, around 1500 years ago https://t.co/qVGjoVGnLd. (Sorry, Tweet contains an image; can’t just quote the text.) Also @drnelk comments that the belief that men could die of “lovesickness” was widespread in the ancient world: https://twitter.com/drnelk/status/991335030600470529.

It appears this is a very old and dark debate.

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engels 05.01.18 at 4:57 pm

I don’t think anyone in my extended family ever did this btw:
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2007/02/06/us/06cnd-astronaut.html
Or this:

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engels 05.01.18 at 5:05 pm

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Michael Sullivan 05.01.18 at 5:07 pm

JH @215 and 220:

I accept your capitulation, but at risk of beating a dead horse, I’d like to offer a possible explanation of why it took so long for people (including me) to be clear you were trying to walk back your statements.

The explanation can be found in your post at 39, where you respond directly to the person who brought this idea into the thread (that progressives mock the lower-case involuntarily celibate).

Tineola: “Hanson’s argument is nuts, yes. But let’s not pretend that this is a problem that progressives take seriously. On the contrary, progressive opinions on sexual inequality are marked by open contempt, which really is different from the progressive take on economic inequality.”

JH: “I think this is an entirely fair critique, and your point about the level of suffering that is hereby glossed over is entirely just and you have my sincere sympathy, Tineola. It sucks and it’s the worst. I could say that if incels wouldn’t be such assholes, maybe progressives wouldn’t be callous back. That’s probably true. But it isn’t really an excuse.”

My point is precisely that this is an entirely unfair critique. I understand it, perhaps, coming from someone who I will take as given probably has been a recipient of unfair mocking, some of it coming from self-identified progressives.

But the critique is entirely unfair because this mocking comes from a patriarchal place. It is absolute not a *feature* of progressive or feminist culture. It is a *feature* of patriarchal culture, which, any good feminist will remind you *is* the wider culture, not a subculture, or there would be no need for feminism. It is something that feminists can fall into, just as they can fall into victim blaming and other forms of patriarchal bullshit, because *we are all of us steeped in a culture in which these things are pervasive*.

Assuming with goodwill that Tineola is not basically a misogynist troll who spend all his time telling feminists that they are stupid bitches and whores, I will bet dollars to donuts that he has been mocked far more often and far more mercilessly (about this) by people in various pro-patriarchy cultures, than he ever has been by progressives or feminists.

So when you start by saying this characterization is essentially fair, because you’ve seen a few personal examples of people using the tools of the master and/or displaying internalized oppression, you have a lot of walking back to do. I can see that you’ve been trying, and I think we are landing in a similar place.

One caveat, you keep mentioning Dan Savage. I haven’t read the article in question beyond what’s quoted here which I think is potentially reasonable (though, in this particular context, seems to imply that progressives or feminists have more responsibility for this mocking than the mere failure to completely purge themselves of toxic masculine culture), but Dan Savage has written some pretty grossly misogynist rants. He’s all there against homophobia, or at least gay-phobia, but has a long history of objectifying, minimizing or just completely ignoring women and their problems, and reacting badly when called on it. So he’s a fairly dangerous ally from a progressive standpoint.

Given his history, I’m more inclined to believe that negative implication in my parenthetical from him than from you. So again, be careful who you get close to, stuff you don’t want can rub off on you. I know you do what may be the Lord’s work of engaging propertarians on their own philosophical plane, and I thank you for it, but I worry about your soul. It may be but for Belle that you’ve never been tempted too far towards the dark side. :)

Tangential comment. After reading this thread, my wife added something I think is hugely important, and might have included in my magnum opus had I thought of it myself. one of the reasons sexual deficit seems more salient among otherwise privileged young men vs. women has everything to do with gender norms and what young girls and boys are socialized to pay attention to. Girls are socialized to pay attention to feelings and emotions, and body language in a way that boys are not. Yes many boys pick up on these things, and there’s a huge individual variance — but in general, a typical girl/woman pays a fair bit of attention to these things, because she was likely punished for a failure to do so when growing up while typical boys/men pay much less attention because they never were. It’s no surprise that women who are of, say, average-ish attractiveness have an easier time finding romantic or sexual partners than similar men — because they have been taught or forced to figure out skills that most men haven’t, which turn out to be really useful for this purpose. Also, girls are sometimes penalized for ambition and rewarded for satisficing, while the opposite is true is for boys. While I’m sure there are girls/women who resonate with “You know what you call the person who comes in second? A loser!” I’m also pretty sure there are a LOT more boys and men who do.

And this last related to my experience of these Incels/NiceGuys[tm] as people who actually *can* get laid, often as much as they want, just not by the right people. Women don’t say they can’t get laid because the local equivalents of Brad Pitt won’t fsck them. They bemoan not being able to find Mr. Right, or a real emotional connection, but they don’t have the audacity to say they can’t get laid when they *can*. But to the Incel/NG[tm] the women they are *able* to sleep with don’t *count*. They aren’t actually *people*, they are notches on the bedpost, and if you aren’t high status enough, you don’t rate a notch, so as far as they are concerned, you don’t qualify for “laid” status.

And some of the women who have trouble finding satisfying companions are satisficing by having casual encounters with *these guys*. My sympathies are with them.

Both of these things, as well as the framework that leads young men to experience a lack of the right kind of sex as a life-threatening status hit are functions of patriarchy. Feminists are trying to break this crap down. We mess up, we fail, but our *goal* is to get rid of *all* of this. Including teaching boys the socialization skills necessary to find love, so we/they don’t end up nerdy and unsatisfied and forced to learn all this social skills stuff like a non-native language at age 18+ or never. This is at the *core* of feminism.

anyway long rant, not all of which is aimed at you John, and I hope we can agree to agree.I am on team Aumann: I don’t ever agree to disagree with anyone I respect.

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Michael Sullivan 05.01.18 at 5:09 pm

BTW, I know I didn’t post here for like forever, but I think it used to be I was on the whitelist at CT. I don’t recall ever posting anything that drew a mod warning, so I’m hoping I can get back on so my stuff doesn’t get stuck in the queue like happened when I posted in an older thread a couple weeks ago. Or maybe there is no whitelist anymore?

229

engels 05.01.18 at 5:44 pm

Looks like the problem’s been solved now
https://mobile.twitter.com/AFP/status/991369355593207808

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bob mcmanus 05.01.18 at 5:45 pm

Of course liberals diss celibates.

The key to understanding a hegemony is to not dwell on coercion, discipline, violence but to examine carefully the mechanisms of positive reinforcement. When we have a party for our fellow marrieds-with-children (not me, volcel and childless by choice), the single woman feels excluded, and inviting her does not solve the problem. The party is the problem.

The way to determine if celibates are justified in feeling offended or abjected is to examine the society and ask if there are institutions and practices (or personal behavior) that favor and celebrate current form relationships, marriage, child raising and claim they are in some way “natural.”

This should be as obvious as a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest.

A hegemony only exists to the degree it benefits, in some way. Capitalism and Patriarchy persist partly, I think in the larger part, in providing goodies to those it oppresses, such they can legitimately imagine that revolution would cost them more than some fantasied reform, while they get to kvetch. Co-optation, cooperation, and complicity are the main subject of praxis (Marxists are famous for splitting and infighting to the point of violence, as were Black Nationalists, and I long for such seriousness in feminism) , and that American feminists have avoided and deny complicity shows that the program is entirely opportunist.

This call for blamers of course does not apply to American Racism, cause blacks don’t have a majority of the population, wealth, advanced degrees and an army of frightened male supporters.

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Michael Sullivan 05.01.18 at 5:45 pm

bobm@209:

I’m not sure which utopia you think I’m in favor of Incels acceding to the rules of. Is it the one where they don’t advocate violence against women, up to and including actual murderous rampages, because the right people^H^H^H^H^H^Hwomen* didn’t have sex with them?

Silly me, I thought that the actual laws of our actual society *actually* covered murder and incitement to violence.

I’d sure prefer them to keep their whining and trolling to themselves as well, but I don’t seriously expect that to go away. The probably feel similarly about my lolcuckfeminist opinions as well and they can stop reading those, well, in fact, all they really have to do to not read those is leave the groups and blogs I frequent, so farewell guys!

*’cause we all know women aren’t really *people*, amirite?

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Michael Sullivan 05.01.18 at 5:53 pm

Also too for bobm, need to dispute a few factual claims.

1. More women did not vote for Trump or Clinton (I see what you did there) than not. a majority of eligible women did not vote at all.

2. Ok this isn’t a factual claim I can truly dispute. It is just *possible* that you, BobM were called a misogynist by someone *merely* for your support of Bernie Sanders as a candidate. But it does strain credulity. As you note, many Sanders supporters were women. I have seen many people refer to some Sanders supporters as misogynist. That’s because there were some Sanders supporters who said a lot of misogynist things! About Clinton, about her supporters, about women in general. Who defended/derailed when Sanders stepped in it a few times and got called on it by people in his own coalition (and sometimes walked it back!). I can *well* imagine based on your comments here that you were one of these people, and probably got accused of misogynist statements, or even, GASP!, called *a* misogynist, as if they could see into your very soul and define your identity! It beggars belief that the only reason they had to do any of this is that you were a Sanders supporter.

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TM 05.01.18 at 6:20 pm

John Holbo has been criticized. Watch how he brings out every bit of rhetorical brilliance he can muster to the battle:

“TM assumes …”
“Is it so shocking to your sensibility that I could do such a thing?”
“At this point TM is going to freak out …”
“The thing that is bugging you – apparently for the last 100 comments or so …”
“This is what has got you wound so tight, TM?”
“I will say that I DO have evidence for this much. Here you are, TM, and looking quite indignant.”
“TM, you are a mystery to me.”
“Maybe that’s what TM is upset about.”

There’s this fitting quote about philosophers. Isn’t there always? But this one is really good because it’s true, maybe the only true statement about philosophers there is:
Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses.

PS Thanks CDT 147, Michael Sullivan 196 and others. I’ll join team bed time now!

234

JRLRC 05.01.18 at 7:37 pm

Refocusing on Robin Hanson, the “gentle, silent rape” shit reveals it all: he´s not a serious scholar, nor a profound thinker -he shouldn´t be treated as such.
It´s important to keep in mind the implications of that terrible post: Hanson “thinks” that cuckoldry is worse than rape because he believes that women are inferior beings and should be treated as goods; thus, (in his confused mind) rape is a very diminished type of property vandalism (minor damage, if any, of private property, public male property or potential and future private property), but adultery/cuckoldry is in fact a form of major theft… That´s not bold Thinking. It´s not scientific. It´s not analytical. It´s shit. A particular combination of sexism, “men´s rights” and a form of libertarianism -with a touch of arrogance to the extreme.

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The Modesto Kid 05.01.18 at 7:44 pm

Talmudic source cited here — https://twitter.com/drnelk/status/991005177971990528 to the effect that a woman is not required to have sex with a man who’s horny for her, even if it means he will sicken and die.

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engels 05.01.18 at 10:31 pm

Maybe it’s the beer talking but the more I read threads like this the more I am convinced that America is a uniquely screwed up country in almost every conceivable dimension and the rest of the world would do well to think twice before taking any aspect of its politics as a model for their own.

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John Holbo 05.01.18 at 10:34 pm

Sorry for slowness of turn-on. I actually went to bed!

Now, Michael Sullivan. I’ll try to be brief:

“My point is precisely that this is an entirely unfair critique. I understand it, perhaps, coming from someone who I will take as given probably has been a recipient of unfair mocking, some of it coming from self-identified progressives.

But the critique is entirely unfair because this mocking comes from a patriarchal place. It is absolute not a *feature* of progressive or feminist culture. It is a *feature* of patriarchal culture, which, any good feminist will remind you *is* the wider culture, not a subculture, or there would be no need for feminism. It is something that feminists can fall into, just as they can fall into victim blaming and other forms of patriarchal bullshit, because *we are all of us steeped in a culture in which these things are pervasive*.”

My point is just that this is basically consistent with what I was saying. It can be true that 1) some progressives express open contempt for the involuntarily celibate, especially if they suspect they are a bunch of Pepe posting trumpsters. 2) the form of the contempt is, basically, a mirror of patriarchal bullshit.

Basically, I saw some progressives being jerks about it, while I was clicking around, reading about this stuff, so when Timeola left that comment I was primed to agree. That’s it. No doubt I should have hemmed my agreement around with a lot of clarificatory caveats to avoid all the subsequent fuss. Speaking of which:

Bianca is wondering why I use the word ‘liberal’ if I’m not better able to back it up with metaphysics. The answer is: I do that because, like everyone else, I don’t have a working metaphysics. We all use lots of general terms – liberal conservative trumpist feminist – without being able to back all our claims, in an absolute, evidentiary sense, or to completely explicate the concepts involved. That’s how it goes, I’m afraid. There’s always an implied ‘some’ when you use a word like ‘liberal’ and then things get vague. And vague things are dubious. You just have to negotiate it as you go.

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Faustusnotes 05.02.18 at 12:27 am

After 220 comments debating whether progressives mock the unlaid, maybe some evidence would be nice? I read wehuntedthemamoth which is surely the place this is most likely to happen and while it mocks incels it is typically sensitive to the plight of the unlaid. If it isn’t happening there where is it happening? And do we have a comparative analysis with conservative “thought”? No, so perhaps we can forget this bullshit and move on?

239

John Holbo 05.02.18 at 12:27 am

One more response to TM. TM is always mad at me. I’m always teasing TM at the way he is always mad at me. It isn’t profitable, since my teasing has no tendency to make TM less mad, and him getting more mad has no tendency to stop me from teasing him.

In all seriousness, TM, why are you so consistently angered by what I say? Not just in this post but in, apparently, every single post of mine you comment on. Perhaps you could just say it once (and perhaps be done, or at least get it off your chest): this is the thing about Holbo! I’m a neoliberal tool? (How so, exactly?) You think I’m secretly a conservative pretending to be a progressive? What is it? It seems to be something very bad and, I swear to you, I honestly don’t know it is. Perhaps it would be genuinely therapeutic for you to state, as clearly as you can, ‘the thing that always seems to me so intellectually or spiritually wrong about Holbo is x.’ Just say it (don’t spray it!) What IS it?

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John Holbo 05.02.18 at 12:33 am

“After 220 comments debating whether progressives mock the unlaid, maybe some evidence would be nice?”

Honestly, Faustus, if I remembered where I was reading the stuff that struck me at the time as wrong I would tell you. But at the time I just got a strong negative impression, shrugged and moved on. That’s all I got.

241

John Holbo 05.02.18 at 12:37 am

I apologize to TM for snarking at him in the very act of asking him to drop all the anger and snark for a moment and just SAY it. TM, I’m sorry for teasing you consistently. It’s rude and doesn’t make things better. But I swear to you I don’t know what I’ve done – besides tease you when you’re mad – to make you so mad. I invite you to offer a general critique of Holbo-ness, but please try to be clear about it. What is it? We keep going round and round and I just don’t know where you are coming from.

242

ph 05.02.18 at 12:50 am

FN I’ve never employed the distinction ‘winners and losers’ here, or elsewhere. The only possible scenario I can imagine in doing so would be in a discussion of randomness, as in nature’s/life’s ‘winners and losers.’ Re: what you know about people with children, the answer is that you’re like a virgin trying to imagine what sexual intercourse might be like, only the gulf is far vaster. It’s more like me trying to imagine what it’s like for a woman/female conceiving a child, carrying the child to term, and then giving birth. If I claimed to ‘understand’ that, the only thing I’d be accomplishing is confirming that I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. So, no you’re not remotely qualified on marriage and procreation.

Contra your imaginings, as other have noted, sexual dysfunction is normal within marriages at various times. Marriage does not, contra your beliefs, equal monogamy and never has except in some extremely strict religious sects.

Speaking for myself, I do not consider my wife to be any obligation to me whatsoever. She’s entirely free to do with her body exactly as she pleases. As is our daughter. There are, of course, health concerns associated with sexual behavior and that’s what sex is for us a health issue. The frequency of sexual partners by either gender increases the chances of STDs, which I hope you understand considering your boasts about your erections and lack of a steady partner. I came of age during the 70s-80s and know a number who died too young from AIDS. STDs are rife in Japan, if you didn’t know that already. But that’s really all moot.

Anyone who has had a child in hospital for any length of time understands that sex is the least important part of a marriage (even for stitches can be a crisis). And on the other end, we live with one of my wife’s parents who requires assistance, which families ordinarily provide. So, we have a multi-generational family unit in which the question of sex rightly recedes before far more important concerns – such as the growth, success, happiness, and health of all. It’s an ‘us’ environment in which the need for collective gain and benefit normally outweighs the preferences of any individual.

The notion that species long-term partnering is a function of some right-wing plot rather than evolution is utterly ridiculous. Pointing that out is not sneering at you as an individual. However, if you choose to declare that gravity is some kind of plot designed to humiliate you cause you keep falling flat on your face, don’t be too surprised if some question your ability to understand the most basic facts of life.

A long-term former colleague recently became a father for the first time at the age of 50 plus. Quote ‘the birth of my daughter gave me a new reason to want to live.” I have plenty of friends/family unmarried and married. It’s a matter of choice. The vast majority openly express the desire to be in a long-term committed relationship, gay or straight.

We’re designed to breed and succeed. Best of luck. I mean it.

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Sebastian H 05.02.18 at 1:14 am

“But the critique is entirely unfair because this mocking comes from a patriarchal place. It is absolute not a *feature* of progressive or feminist culture. It is a *feature* of patriarchal culture, which, any good feminist will remind you *is* the wider culture, not a subculture, or there would be no need for feminism. It is something that feminists can fall into, just as they can fall into victim blaming and other forms of patriarchal bullshit, because *we are all of us steeped in a culture in which these things are pervasive*.””

I’m mulling this but I don’t know if I buy it. The problem I’m having is that you are using “patriarchal culture” in a feminist analysis frame, so it is super easy to set it up in a patriarchy—bad/feminism—good frame as if feminism were a worldwide system. But feminism, like libertarianism, or properly understood Marxism, doesn’t function well as a system. It functions well as a critique of a system. So the complaint is something like “your critique doesn’t care about us” but it also means that certain bad things done in the name of feminism might be just human bad things, not patriarchal bad things.

Progressivism is in a weird straddle spot. I think it aspires to be a system, but currently is more of a critique.

244

Some sob 05.02.18 at 1:33 am

Holbo, it’s because you think you are too clever by half, since you tend to be fairly clever. So, whenever you post something not quite as clever as you first thought, you have a very, very, very hard time admitting that you posted something hasty and unconsidered at best, outright wrong at worst. Then you try to nudge it towards correctness by saying along the lines of, oh fine, if it would make the commentariat of CT happy, I suppose I should have hedged this, qualified that, had these caveats, etc etc, but you should just assume I already thought of that and actually it’s you who are being unclever by not seeing that my seemingly wrong statement is, in fact, entirely consistent with your completely unnecessary criticisms, as you can see.

Or something like that.

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Orange Watch 05.02.18 at 1:52 am

Michael Sullivan@232
It is just *possible* that you, BobM were called a misogynist by someone *merely* for your support of Bernie Sanders as a candidate. But it does strain credulity.

It really doesn’t strain credulity, though, for the same reasons that we’ve been discussing in re: characterizing progressives as cruel to the celibate. Clinton supporters experienced misogyny from some Sanders supporters, and because people are people, some of those Clinton supporters naturally generalized limited experience into sweeping characterization, and then proceeded to treat all Sanders supporters as misogynists by default. Indeed, given how nasty and vitriolic the infighting was around the election, I’m somewhat surprised this needs pointed out.

It’s also worth remembering that both the intra- and inter-ideological fighting we’re discussing is not just about ideology but also tribalism. Not everyone who is “in” the liberal, progressive, conservative, etc. camp is there because they’re strong adherents of the ideology; they may well be there for more social reasons, and they may behave in a manner more in line with the overarching culture than with true believers of the subculture whose borders they lurk within*. This of course is made worse should the outlier’s peers come to their defense when they behave appallingly, so long as their victim was an acceptable target… which all too often is precisely what happens, on the left as on the right. And so it goes.

*This is obviously amplified by online communities whose members frequently orchestrate false flag propaganda, which applies all too often in re: the groups referenced in OP.

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Lobsterman 05.02.18 at 2:10 am

So the incel theory is that Dan Savage isn’t a lefty. Anyways.

Here’s this lefty’s response to Tineola:

There are good therapists out there, and one of them can definitely help you. You’re right that if you’re average looking and reasonably socially adroit and you can’t get even mediocre sex, you’re doing something very wrong. It’s probably deep. Not every therapist is going to be right for you, so keep trying until you get one that is, and when things get better, they’ll get a lot better. You’ve tried feeling bad and not fixing things, and that doesn’t work, so it’s time to try doing the things that do work.

#SinglePayerNow #ButWithMentalHealth

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Lobsterman 05.02.18 at 2:12 am

I’ve been called a misogynist for supporting Sanders. It’s a thing some people do. I don’t take it as anything other than establishment lib virtue signaling; the kinds of people who do that have no idea how HRC shanked Zephy Teachout in the primary. Unserious people do unserious things. Establishment Dems are about as fundamentally indefensible as Establishment Repubs, because Neoliberalism.

248

J-D 05.02.18 at 2:46 am

When you wrote this

Well, I’m off to bed. Be kind to each other, if possible.

it occurred to me that in the context of this particular discussion a double entendre was suggested, but I restrained the impulse to draw attention to it. But then you followed up with this

Sorry for slowness of turn-on. I actually went to bed!

and my self-control has cracked.

249

John Holbo 05.02.18 at 3:41 am

“Holbo, it’s because you think you are too clever by half, since you tend to be fairly clever. So, whenever you post something not quite as clever as you first thought, you have a very, very, very hard time admitting that you posted something hasty and unconsidered at best, outright wrong at worst.”

Well, I suppose that’s probably it. I am sorry to needle TM, I truly am, I really shouldn’t do it. It’s just that every single post I write seems to call forth from him exactly the same five-alarm level of outrage and I’m always, like … for real? But maybe it’s just that every post is infernally smug. There’s also toxic build-up of smugness sludge over time. Probably so.

As to having a hard time admitting I’m wrong: guilty as charged. But, in my defense, my defensiveness here was somewhat due to irritation at the implication that hitting ‘publish’ on a comment in haste is, or should be, a hanging offense – at least one that cannot be adequately expiated simply by going on to say what you meant to say, trying to qualify what you did say, all that usual stuff. Who among us hasn’t hit ‘publish’ on a comment in haste? Comments are kind of an off-the-cuff thing. If everyone is, like, why didn’t you peer-review that BEFORE publishing, we’ll never get anywhere. If I pick on someone for something they said and they say, oh I meant this other thing, I try not to hang onto the first thing like grim death.

And, on that note, I propose we get on with it. My final statement on the whole ‘Holbo’s comment about Tineola’s comment controversy’ reads, in full, as follows.

1) when I responded favorably to Tineola’s comment, I did so because I had, recently, independently, noticed something similar and been struck by it; so I fired off a quick ‘I agree’ comment.

2) I didn’t provide any evidence whatsoever and hadn’t done due diligence as a researcher. I was just reported an impression I had, and said so. (Not worth a lot, I know.)

3) As I say above, I agree with what Michael Sullivan has written, against my comment, but I actually regard what I meant to say as consistent with what he says. For the reasons given.

4) Judicious use of words like ‘some’, on my part, could have forestalled this. In future I shall try to be more pro-active in my deployment of existential quantification, lest someone think I intend a universe-wide scope for claims I cannot know, in a universal sense.

250

John Holbo 05.02.18 at 3:44 am

I am glad to have provided J-D with a rather juvenile source of amusement, quite unintentionally.

251

Moz of Yarramulla 05.02.18 at 4:22 am

It’s probably better than my response which I had previously not posted…

John@237:

Sorry for slowness of turn-on. I actually went to bed!

But John, someone is wrong on the internet! How can you sleep knowing that?

252

J-D 05.02.18 at 6:48 am

Lobsterman

There are good therapists out there, and one of them can definitely help you.

On the face of it, that seems implausible to me. Do you have any evidence that this is actually one of the things that therapists do?

253

nastywoman 05.02.18 at 6:58 am

@227
You:
”But the critique is entirely unfair because this mocking comes from a patriarchal place”.

Not… really? – as referring to Tineola: “Hanson’s argument is nuts, yes. But let’s not pretend that this is a problem that progressives take seriously. On the contrary, progressive opinions on sexual inequality are marked by open contempt, which really is different from the progressive take on economic inequality.”

And as I (ME) perhaps and probably ”could be considered one progressive opinion on sexual inequality – marked by open contempt, which really is different from the progressive take on economic inequality” – as I even wrote that I care about all kind of ”inequalities” BUT not about some ”incels”… problems with… me! (Moi!)

and again – you:
”It is absolute not a *feature* of progressive or feminist culture. It is a *feature* of patriarchal culture.”

Really? –
or perhaps yes? – as this ph-dude writes stuff like:
”We’re designed to breed and succeed. Best of luck. I mean it.”

– and again you:
”which, any good feminist will remind you *is* the wider culture, not a subculture, or there would be no need for feminism.

Would that mean I’m a ”bad” feminists or no ”feminists” at all?

– as you:
”It is something that feminists can fall into, just as they can fall into victim blaming and other forms of patriarchal bullshit, because *we are all of us steeped in a culture in which these things are pervasive*.

But, but, but I’m ”blond” -(and supposedly a ”racist”) – and I’m not from any ”culture in which any of these ”things” are pervasive” – as I had ”a good anti-authoritarian education”
by (bad?) feminists – and I read your first long explanation of ”US dating hell” like an ”Engels” who writes:
”the more I read threads like this the more I am convinced that America is a uniquely screwed up country in almost every conceivable dimension…”

– and so I basically – and because I have this very, very beautiful – partly ”American” friend -who always had tremendous problems with dating in America BE-cause some completely screwed up dudes -(or ”incels”?) didn’t dare to ask her out because she was… ”too pretty”?
and all of this has been said without any peer-review BEFORE publishing – and thusly I very much agree with my funny friend Mr. Holbo!

P.S.
I have this German Aunt Hilda -(who is dead now) and who sometimes came for ”Kaffee und Kuchen” on sundays and always said:
”We’re designed to breed and succeed. Best of luck. I mean it.”

254

Chet Murthy 05.02.18 at 7:13 am

I think Robin Hanson is exactly right. If we can redistribute people’s money, why not their organs? Robin has two perfectly working kidneys, and, heck, his liver is in fine shape. I only need half his liver, and I’m sure I can find somebody who needs one of his kidneys. WHO IS HE to deprive us of these organs we need to live? It’s MUCH, MUCH more compelling a case, than incels, who merely lack for good sex with women they want to sleep with. We need Robin’s organs to LIVE. It is *immoral* for him to hoard these organs, when he really only needs a single kidney, and heck, his liver will regrow (well, maybe he’ll die during the operation, and heck, maybe he’ll catch a hospital-acquired illness, and heck, maybe his other kidney will fail, but those are as *nothing* compared to my need for his liver!)

I am not a crank. And you -can- subscribe to my newsletter.

255

Collin Street 05.02.18 at 8:19 am

Read on facebook the suggestion that someone should go onto some of these incel forums claiming to be a gay man who hasn’t been getting the sex they feel entitled to.

[you can use my thesis to make predictions of the responses you get; I’ve put a lot of effort into keeping it testable.]

256

Faustusnotes 05.02.18 at 8:32 am

I don’t know what’s going on with you ph but I didn’t say anything about your child rearing practices, the stage of your sex life or the nature of your family arrangements. So why the multi paragraph attack on me for saying all those things? I also haven’t said anything about my own sex life or partner numbers so why the unhealthy obsession with my “erections” (your words not mine)? You’re having an argument with someone in your head because literally nothing you wrote in your detailed rebuttal directly addressed at me has anything to do with anything I have said on here. Are you okay?

257

nastywoman 05.02.18 at 8:37 am

@254
”I think Robin Hanson is exactly right.”

and I think you are exactly right – this Hanson-dude wrote what he wrote just as ”a joke” -(not unlike Von Clownstick who says everything he says and does it just ”a joke” – at least if somebody tries to quote him) – and I’m really serious this time – as I think this is the real problem here – like the problem of a 4chaner who elects another 4chaner as president just ”for the Lulz” – and then wants to start some ”Non-Lulz” discussion about why – if he as ”a proud incel” hits on somebody from the opposite -(or the same?) – sex doesn’t take him seriously (progressive or not) and ”the Geek” -(or ”incel”) – get’s told that some old pick-up-lines from f… book like:
”Hi – I’m this sorry ”Geek” or ”incel” -(not unlike ”the Zuck”) – who is in desperate need of sex -(”exotic” or ”blond” preferred)
– just don’t fly anymore!

And so sorry ”no mercy” for ANY dudes who are (still) working with this… ”shtick” –
as we all know by now – that our suspicion from ”The Social Network” – that some of these (cuddly?) ”Geeks” -(or ‘incels’) – are really ”a…holes” – as it finally has been proven – beyond any doubt – by ”the (progressive?) boss” himself.

And that’s ”the thing” – the real thing which ”jokers” like Hanson just don’t understand:
”Sex is a real serious thing”!

258

Nigel 05.02.18 at 9:00 am

Do you have any evidence that this is actually one of the things that therapists do?’

‘I am lonely, isolated and filled with sexual frustration leading to outbursts of potentially violent anger and resentment. Please help me find a way to deal with these feelings and move on to a point where I can start to form casual and/or serious relationships.’ Seems covered by the therapy remit to me.

259

Peter T 05.02.18 at 9:38 am

Leaving Hanson aside, how very liberal to immediately think of therapy for these troubled people. It may do some good, but I doubt it. This is an identity these people have slipped into, in the same way other people become tradies or academics or career criminals. There is a formative period from the mid-teens to late 20s when this is happens. After that, it’s very hard (not impossible, but hard) to change. So one useful question might be – how might we best use a bunch of angry resentful males? Monasteries? The navy?

260

engels 05.02.18 at 9:54 am

But the critique is entirely unfair because this mocking comes from a patriarchal place

Why would that make it unfair? Like “it’s unfair to criticise our revolutionary leadership for venality because that venality ‘comes from a capitalist place’” doesn’t sound terribly convincing to me…

261

engels 05.02.18 at 9:59 am

#GalaxyBrain American liberal feminism is complicit in patriarchy in much the same way that American liberal-leftism is complicit in capitalism and empire (massive material self-interest is a helluva drug…)

262

Bill Benzon 05.02.18 at 11:15 am

FWIW, Ross Douthat on Hanson (& Amia Srinivasan, “Does Anyone Have the Right To Sex?”):

A number of the critics I saw engaging with Srinivasan’s essay tended to respond the way a normal center-left writer like Weissman engaged with Hanson’s thought experiment — by commenting on its weirdness or ideological extremity rather than engaging fully with its substance. But to me, reading Hanson and Srinivasan together offers a good case study in how intellectual eccentrics — like socialists and populists in politics — can surface issues and problems that lurk beneath the surface of more mainstream debates.

By this I mean that as offensive or utopian the redistribution of sex might sound, the idea is entirely responsive to the logic of late-modern sexual life, and its pursuit would be entirely characteristic of a recurring pattern in liberal societies.

263

engels 05.02.18 at 11:35 am

Or, to give his full name, Ross “I will do anything for life but I won’t” Douthat

264

J-D 05.02.18 at 11:43 am

Nigel

Yes, that is covered by the therapy remit, but that is not this. You have described somebody who has feelings of loneliness and isolation with the potential for outbursts of violent anger and resentment (and that’s somebody whose problems absolutely from part of the therapy remit, because those problems are the person’s feelings), but none of that is part of Tineola’s self-description. The problem described in Tineola’s words isn’t Tineola’s feelings, it’s just this: ‘I haven’t had sex in a decade. I’m pretty sure this state of affairs isn’t going to change.’ If you presented to a therapist with that description of your problem, do you think the therapist would think the problem, as described, falls within the therapy remit? I repeat, it seems implausible to me, on the face of it, that a therapist would consider it part of the therapy remit to get you laid. Yet if that’s not the meaning of Lobsterman’s response (again I quote exact words: ‘There are good therapists out there, and one of them can definitely help you. You’re right that if you’re average looking and reasonably socially adroit and you can’t get even mediocre sex, you’re doing something very wrong.’), then how is the meaning of Lobsterman’s response different from that?

265

nastywoman 05.02.18 at 11:55 am

@
”so why the unhealthy obsession with my “erections”

It’s all my fault because each time I type ”election” my apple changes it into ”erection” – and sometimes I caught it -(like ph family guys fantasies) and sometimes it slipped through like a lifelong prescription for fighting baldness!

266

Z 05.02.18 at 11:55 am

[P]rogressive opinions on sexual inequality are marked by open contempt, which really is different from the progressive take on economic inequality.

Others have already discussed the truth of the “marked by open contempt” part, but I want to add an obvious point about the second part (the “really different from economic equality” part). Perhaps it is too obvious for anyone to have remarked on it, but the inequalities left-oriented policies deal with tend to be either social in nature in that they require the existence of a fully fledged society to make sense to begin with (inequalities of wealth, income or political power would be paradigmatic in that respect) or, barring that, to be at least incidentally social in the sense that they are pertinent either to a characteristic we consider a pre-condition for a given social life (public education in a democracy for instance) or to a public good with huge externalities (health, law enforcement…) and usually both.

Inequalities that are inherently personal (or even intra-personal), like the amount of love you received from your siblings or the relative skills of your left and right hand, and which relate to something with no obvious externalities either negative or positive do not fit in this framework, so it is not surprising that they are not treated in the same way (or at all) by the socialist movement or the left broadly construed. The amount of affection and sexual satisfaction a given individual receives seems to me exactly of that personal-with-no-obvious-externality kind.

Sebastian H So the complaint is something like “your critique doesn’t care about us”

Just to clarify, do you think that this point of view is legitimate, or are you just reporting it? Because the psychologically or socially normal reaction to a critique that doesn’t apply to you is indifference, not resentment, and certainly not homicidal rage (the evolutionist critique of creationist thought doesn’t care about arithmetic geometry, and yet you don’t see me writing that evolutionary biologists have open contempt towards arithmetic geometers). That such a resentment is already quite discernible even in the saner part of their intellectual universe (both Scott A.’s blogs back in the days, for instance) is strange, to say the least, and leads to the suspicion that what they are really angry at is the critique, not the fact that it doesn’t apply to their suffering.

267

Layman 05.02.18 at 12:25 pm

Peter T: “So one useful question might be – how might we best use a bunch of angry resentful males?”

Tasty green crackers?

268

Collin Street 05.02.18 at 12:25 pm

And you -can- subscribe to my newsletter.

The people’s newsletter, comrade!

269

engels 05.02.18 at 12:40 pm

So one useful question might be – how might we best use a bunch of angry resentful males? Monasteries? The navy?

Er, I didn’t think America was a centralised authoritarian state…yet

270

Orange Watch 05.02.18 at 12:56 pm

Lobsterman@242:
Well, yes. If we’re not trying to be generous to a diplomatic fault, the only thing that should be needed to dispel the notion that Clinton supporters freely attacked Sanders supporters as misogynists without just cause would be a passing mention of the ubiquitous “Bernie Bro” trope, which more than a few centerist liberal Clinton fans are still tarring any presumed male with should the subject of 2016 arise (yes, even as they ignore the female supporters’ very existence). This is hardly surprising, as gender was both sword and shield to Clinton in that election, many centerist liberals are primarily identitarian in their political style (which ofc leads to the virtue signalling you note), and centerist liberals also have a long history of treating leftists as outgroup acceptable targets just as much as any radical rightwinger would be. Michael Sullivan is falling into a comfortable mental trap by assuming that any Clinton supporters must necessarily have been fair and impartial in their criticisms, even as he further assumes that any Sanders supporters must have at some time been engaged in misogyny meriting their mistreatment. It’s category errors just as much as the incel accusation of progressive cruelty, and worse, it mistakes political jockeying and factional infighting for selfless character assessment.

271

nastywoman 05.02.18 at 1:58 pm

@266
”Inequalities that are inherently personal (or even intra-personal), like the amount of love you received from your siblings or the relative skills of your left and right hand, and which relate to something with no obvious externalities either negative or positive do not fit in this framework, so it is not surprising that they are not treated in the same way (or at all) by the socialist movement or the left broadly construed. The amount of affection and sexual satisfaction a given individual receives seems to me exactly of that personal-with-no-obvious-externality kind.”

”don’t politicize sex” – still… feels more ”pertinent” – as may I say ”pertinent”? – as I like – ”pertinent” – but what you wrote make a lot of sense too and if you would have posted your comment at the beginning of this thread we could have discussed why somebody like Hanson gives some truly sick and terrible dudes any type of excuse?

272

nastywoman 05.02.18 at 3:15 pm

@ lets never ever forget about –
FaceMash – a software set up as a type of “hot or not”.
The website allowed visitors to compare two female student pictures side-by-side and let them decide who was hot or not.

And while writing the software, Mark Zuckerberg wrote the following blog entries:

I’m a little intoxicated, not gonna lie. So what if it’s not even 10 pm and it’s a Tuesday night? What? The Kirkland dormitory facebook is open on my desktop and some of these people have pretty horrendiedous facebook pics. I almost want to put some of these faces next to pictures of some farm animals and have people vote on which is more attractive.”

– and sooo – in order to let this ”incel’s” –
as isn’t he ”the most famous ”incel” of them all –
(wet?) dream come true – let’s have f…book do what f… book initially was set up for – put some of these (incel’s) faces next to pictures of some farm animals and have people vote on which is more attractive.”?

Or wait? –
Please NOT – that really, really would be cruel and NOT really ”human”?

273

nastywoman 05.02.18 at 3:47 pm

– and this from David Futrelle:

”At this point, it should be clear: The entire manosphere ― from the faux-respectable Men’s Rights Activists to the anonymous Twitter trolls who threaten and harass any woman who dares express an opinion they don’t like ― is irredeemably toxic. The incels are the most hateful of them all. We need to start regarding them with the same revulsion and disdain that most decent people feel for those who inhabit the resurgent fascist movement known euphemistically as the “alt-right,” to whom misogyny is almost as central as white supremacy.

The time for 101 explainers has long since passed. Misogyny kills, quite literally, and we need to shut it down. Incels, we’re coming for you.”

274

Lobsterman 05.02.18 at 3:50 pm

@J-D:

“I’m pretty sure this state of affairs isn’t going to change.” OP believes that he or she is incapable of change that will allow him or her to successfully pursue his or her goals. OP has not tried change supported by the best tools, or OP would not believe this, because, at the end of the day, it’s just very possible to get access to passable sex with people of roughly equal attractiveness to you.

275

JanieM 05.02.18 at 4:25 pm

Chet Murthy @254, Colllin Street @255 — Yes. I’ve been trying to figure out how to say something like that (notionally to Robin Hanson), along the lines of:

“If you think someone should have sex with these people, then you do it. Oh wait, you mean you and/or they don’t want to have sex with each other? You mean people should get to choose their partners? ….. Then what about….. Oh, I forgot. Women aren’t people.”

276

TM 05.02.18 at 4:32 pm

Holbo 239: I would be much more sympathetic, and would gladly accept your apology, if you could for once just refrain from wanting to have the last word. Si tacuisses philosophus mansisses is not a joke. I find it amazing that somebody with a professorship in philosophy (1) doesn’t realize when it’s better to be silent, and (2) pretends to not understand why making public claims about the unknowable inner life of other people is both rude and epistemologically impermissible. The sad spectacle you are offering here doesn’t affect me in the sense you self-importantly imagine; it just makes you appear pitiable. So why not just stop?

277

TM 05.02.18 at 4:39 pm

Z 266: “The amount of affection and sexual satisfaction a given individual receives seems to me exactly of that personal-with-no-obvious-externality kind.”

Further to that, this “amount” is not meaningfully measurable. That is one obvious reason why the term “sexual inequality” is so appalling. One cannot conceive of sex as something “unequally distributed” without likening it to economic exchange (*), or ultimately the exchange of money.

(*) The Latin term “commercium” is ambiguous btw.

278

Sebastian H 05.02.18 at 4:49 pm

Z-

“Because the psychologically or socially normal reaction to a critique that doesn’t apply to you is indifference, not resentment, and certainly not homicidal rage”

For the record I’m just reporting not agreeing with it. But I feel like you’ve changed topics in your rewording. I said “your critique doesn’t care about us” which you changed to “doesn’t apply to us”. Those aren’t equivalent statements at all. I think the incel complaint is that it SHOULD care about us but DOESN’T. You are interpreting it as “doesn’t have anything to do with us”.

Again I’m trying to put myself in their shoes, so I might be failing to describe it properly. But the sense I’m getting is something along the lines of “feminism wants to rewrite the rules about sexual relations, and in doing so writes us out of their story”.

The non-incel but still Scott A, involuntarily celibate, side isn’t so much defending patriarchy (which also writes them off) as pointing out that the brand new world that feminism claims to want to create writes them off.

So “your critique doesn’t care about us” is VERY different from “your critique is orthogonal to us”.

279

Sebastian H 05.02.18 at 4:55 pm

Z–I wanted to break up my response in the two topics that you raised.

You write

“Perhaps it is too obvious for anyone to have remarked on it, but the inequalities left-oriented policies deal with tend to be either social in nature in that they require the existence of a fully fledged society to make sense to begin with (inequalities of wealth, income or political power would be paradigmatic in that respect) or, barring that, to be at least incidentally social in the sense that they are pertinent either to a characteristic we consider a pre-condition for a given social life (public education in a democracy for instance) or to a public good with huge externalities (health, law enforcement…) and usually both.”

This isn’t right at all. A huge part of the progressive program is noticing that some people got lucky with things like wealth, IQ, or well connected parents, and that a just society may involve redistributing away some of those gains especially in areas that are physically or psychologically damaging to those who didn’t luck out.

If you type in the following search string in google you can find about 15 posts on the topic on this very website.

luck inequality site:crookedtimber.org

280

Nigel 05.02.18 at 5:23 pm

‘Yes, that is covered by the therapy remit, but that is not this’

Oh. Fair enough. I must have lost the thread of the comments there. Sorry.

281

bianca steele 05.02.18 at 5:56 pm

JH: “Bianca is wondering why I use the word ‘liberal’ if I’m not better able to back it up with metaphysics. The answer is: I do that because, like everyone else, I don’t have a working metaphysics. ”

No, that’s the opposite of what I meant to ask. That comment was badly worded, though, and I withdraw it.

282

bekabot 05.02.18 at 6:23 pm

Hanson didn’t know that there’s an entire rightwing subculture of self-decribed incels (the involuntarily celibate) who make the argument quite solemnly that they have a right to the attention of women, and if that attention is denied, the right to take it by force?

Of course he knows it. Why do you think he’s bothering with all this?

Know your audience!

He does.

283

bekabot 05.02.18 at 6:26 pm

But people who seek social justice do in fact try to induce envy and they do like to remind people of the possibility of violence.

Examples, please.

284

Kiwanda 05.02.18 at 6:33 pm

Glen Tomkins:

Hanson didn’t know that there’s an entire rightwing subculture of self-decribed incels (the involuntarily celibate) who make the argument quite solemnly that they have a right to the attention of women, and if that attention is denied, the right to take it by force?

Quite likely many do think that way, however, according to at least one incel, “…for him and many others, to be an incel is to seek the camaraderie of a group of male peers who provide an outlet where, for once, they can honestly talk about the increasing fragmentation, disconnection, alienation and ostracization they feel in an always-online world in which, as far as they can see, they are not welcome or wanted.” I don’t know if only this one Incel is not such a bad guy, and all the rest are horrible misogynists, or if all but a very few are, or what. I suspect nobody else commenting here does either.

Michael Sullivan:

I remember being struck that some of these “nice guys who couldn’t get laid” had plenty of stories about … wait for it … *getting laid*.

As the same article points out, that guy (“Jack Peterson”) was nearly frozen out of the Incels because somebody thought he was out of line in mentioning his one (awful) sexual experience.

Michael Sullivan:

But the critique is entirely unfair because this mocking comes from a patriarchal place. It is absolute not a *feature* of progressive or feminist culture.

Not everyone gets that the hilarity of bathing in or drinking male tears, or killing all men, is you know, totally ironic. Plus, the only possible explanation for male nerd sexual problems is too much of a sense of entitlement, as noted by many feminist commentators discussed here.

But what about the women:

Chip Daniels: “Consider, for example, the plight of middle aged women in the dating world…And remarkably, very few of them go on mass killing sprees to avenge this offense.” Michael Sullivan: “The former include a huge number of *women*, for starters, include large numbers of trans people, people with radical disfigurement, or disabled with loss of certain sexual function but not drive, none of whom, AFAICT are represented in more than a token way or at all, let alone widely, in the self-described “Incel” community.” nastywoman: “Not really – as really boiling it down is: Why do so few women have sex with a… holes?” TM: “As a general point, if the issue is sexual “inequality” or sexual misery (a better term, I agree), why is it that almost all the debate revolves around the sexual dissatisfaction of men?”

While the number of spree killers claiming sexual resentment as a motivation is unfortunately more than zero, it’s not exactly a large number. Do you blame all Muslims for jihadi terror attacks? Wasn’t there just wide agreement on the horrible bigotry of Sam Harris et al for criticizing Islam as an ideology?

It’s hard to get a handle on whether really “almost all the debate…revolves around the sexual dissatisfaction of men”, but search engine results are one sort of indicator of what’s regarded as the most interesting to the most people, and in duckduckgo’s results for “sexual satisfaction”, the top twenty results seem to be mostly gender-neutral, with four clearly about women’s satisfaction, and one about men’s. So society’s focus in this area, at least on that limited evidence, is not exactly zeroed in on men.

(Possibly related: according to one study, “A woman’s sexual satisfaction does not require high levels of sexual desire–and in fact, does not require sexual activity at all…”)

So these guys’ problems are discountable because, what about the women. (Or by analogy with the common dismissal in the other direction, What about the wimmenz?) And anyway, they’re all entitled assholes. The symmetry is pleasing: practically the defining complaint of this group is that they feel that the world thinks they don’t matter, and now along come a few members of the world to wholeheartedly confirm that they don’t.

In general, the rhetorical scheme used by the woke continues to be: pick the most awful thing some member of a group has done, or the worst statement made by any member, or the worst possible motivation or attitude, and ascribe it to all members of the group. Hence, all Bernie supporters are “BernieBros”. Hence, that elaborately constructed strawmonster, the “NiceGuy(tm)”, so easy to spot in the wild, because the “sense of entitlement” that defines him requires no external evidence, only imputation. Hence, gamergate, the amorphous twitter hashtag reified as elaborate conspiracy. And once a group comprises only monsters, shitting on them is just fine: define “up” as you please, and then punch up. And apparently all Incels are “up”.

285

Kiwanda 05.02.18 at 6:36 pm

Fixing some links (which I know would be missed):

Not everyone gets that the hilarity of bathing in or drinking male tears, or killing all men, is you know, totally ironic. Plus, the only possible explanation for male nerd sexual problems is too much of a sense of entitlement, as noted by many feminist commentators discussed here.

286

Z 05.02.18 at 7:16 pm

Sebastian H, tanks for your careful reading, answers and explanation (as always) For the record I’m just reporting not agreeing with it.

OK.

“feminism wants to rewrite the rules about sexual relations, and in doing so writes us out of their story” […] So “your critique doesn’t care about us” is VERY different from “your critique is orthogonal to us”..

Feminism presumably wants to advance the cause of women. The question of involuntarily celibate men seems indeed quite orthogonal to that aim. So I think I understand what you say they believe but if they do indeed believe that, they appear to be wrong, and when I see many people all wrong in the same direction, I start wondering if something else couldn’t be at play. When all these wrong people appear to share many identical social characteristic (starting with their geographical location) that should be uncorrelated to the mistake, I go beyond starting to wonder.

About the other topic

This isn’t right at all. A huge part of the progressive program is noticing that some people got lucky with things like wealth, IQ, or well connected parents, and that a just society may involve redistributing away some of those gains

Getting lucky with wealth and connected parents is meaningless except within a larger social context. I don’t think any political movement proposes to redistribute IQ points (indeed, I have a hard time even imagining what this could mean). Redistributing the gains a higher IQ may provide, as you write, is indeed a conceivable social program, but these gains again presuppose a larger social context. So I don’t see where you disagree with my main point (recall that I made this point only to express my opinion that Tineola’s observation that sexual inequality is not considered in the same way as economic inequality is perhaps not so surprising) , which is that social movements* on the left tend to deal with inequalities that are deeply embedded within a specific social context (and which are thus amenable to social programs). Some of the root causes of structural involuntary celibacy (or loneliness) might be so embedded, some of the consequences of involuntary celibacy or loneliness might be so embedded, but the fact of involuntary celibacy or loneliness in itself doesn’t strike me to be so in our currently existing society. At least not anymore that the inequality in the amount of love people receive from their siblings, and that is also not the object of any left social movement I know of. To the surprise of no one, I think.

*One may reason philosophically about it, of course, but that is a different thing, and not what Tineola said, it seems to me.

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JanieM 05.02.18 at 8:00 pm

The comment below was disappeared by moderation. Or, since it hardly seems out of bounds in the context of this discussion, maybe by gremlins?

JanieM 05.02.18 at 4:25 pm

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Chet Murthy @254, Colllin Street @255 — Yes. I’ve been trying to figure out how to say something like that (notionally to Robin Hanson), along the lines of:

“If you think someone should have sex with these people, then you do it. Oh wait, you mean you and/or they don’t want to have sex with each other? You mean people should get to choose their partners? ….. Then what about….. Oh, I forgot. Women aren’t people.”

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Raven Onthill 05.02.18 at 8:06 pm

Hanson’s argument, I think, points up a huge failing of libertarian reasoning in areas of identity. There is all this talk of “free choice” and “market decision making.” But in the end, one ends up putting a person’s ability to buy another yacht on the same level as their ability to feed their family or, simply, remain unmolested.

It is perhaps worth observing that this is largely the argument of privileged white men, who have never gone hungry a day in their life, and one can argue the morality of this until the cows come home, hopefully unraped, but it is also perhaps worth observing that this is a failure of economic theory as well as a denial of human individuality. Libertarian economists claim that monetary rewards are sufficient to all human needs and that an unmanaged economy will suffice to satisfy all human needs, yet one needs only to observe Melania Trump interacting with her husband to see that this is not so at the personal level, and the vast numbers of people starving in our world, to realize that it is not so at the macroeconomic level.

There are basic mathematical flaws in the linear equilibrium models that libertarian economists advocate. First, they fall apart when dealing with needs that sustain life and personal integrity; no useful matrix of weights can be constructed when some of the elements of the matrix are infinite or undefined. Second, once one grants mathematics that accommodates infinities and undefined values, equilibrium no longer reliably emerges from the models.

I would say this was worked out during the Enlightenment, and libertarians are desperately desperately trying to ignore many of those conclusions.

In discussing the actuality of sexual intercourse as commodity, consider polyandrous cultures, which do shut many cis heterosexual young men away from any sexual intercourse beyond that of the hiring of prostitutes, if even that.

Finally, on the left, liberation from patriarchal sexual mores has long been supported both as a way to liberate women and improve the sex lives of all. If we are to judge by the experience of the past 50 years, this is a partial success, but there has been a price. First, this liberation has also provided a rationale for many sorts of abusers. Second, this makes unaccustomed demands on men, some of whom (incels being extreme examples) resent this very much. (“What? You mean I have to treat women decently? No way, man!”)

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bekabot 05.02.18 at 8:22 pm

When we see someone thinking wrong thoughts about justice, by our lights, we don’t think: well, he wants justice – the true stuff, the good stuff. He just happens to be sadly in error about what the true, good stuff in fact is.

Why on earth do you assume that manospherians/incels are after ‘justice?’ If you ask them what they want, they’ll tell you at great length and in considerable detail, and what they describe isn’t ‘justice’. You may want justice, but that doesn’t mean the incels want it too — in fact, they don’t want it, as they’ll freely confess.

It’s shortsighted to attribute one’s own desires to other people. Not everybody’s obligated to want the same thing, and not everybody’s going to want the same thing, obligated or not.

(Hanson may not officially be a denizen of the manosphere, but in this instance he’s so clearly writing in their vein and on their behalf that I don’t think it’s unfair to assign him to their team.)

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engels 05.02.18 at 8:23 pm

A huge part of the progressive program is noticing that some people got lucky with things like wealth, IQ, or well connected parents, and that a just society may involve redistributing away some of those gains

Sebastian is correct. See 3.4ff here
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/equality/

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Raven Onthill 05.02.18 at 8:45 pm

I am bemused to find that CS Lewis had something (unsympathetic) to say about incels and libertarians:

We teach them not to notice the different senses of the possessive pronoun-the finely graded differences that run from “my boots” through “my dog”, “my servant”, “my wife”, “my father”, “my master” and “my country”, to “my God”. They can be taught to reduce all these senses to that of “my boots”, the “my” of ownership. […] And all the time the joke is that the word “Mine” in its fully possessive sense cannot be uttered by a human being about anything. – Screwtape

Prof. Holbo, did he get this from Plato?

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Collin Street 05.02.18 at 8:55 pm

Why on earth do you assume that manospherians/incels are after ‘justice?’

They think they are, certainly. The question, “is what I want ‘just’?” is almost impossible not to beg, for reasons I’ve talked about at fair length.

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Michael Sullivan 05.02.18 at 9:19 pm

Orange@270: I don’t actually assume that Clinton supporters would generally be fair and impartial. It’s pretty clear from my own experience that many were not. It’s really my prior for “Did BobM say something misogynist to a fair number of Clinton supporters?” that’s doing most of the work here.

So, I should walk back my precise original statement. It doesn’t really beggar belief. But given the information “some Clinton supporter called BobM a misogynist” I’m willing to lay some odds that “Sanders support” wasn’t actually the only reason even though he claims it was.

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nastywoman 05.02.18 at 10:13 pm

– and in conclusion – I also think it’s a… trick – exactly the type of trick John Holbo described:

”There I was, just trying to troll a guy about how it’s his own damn fault that he’s getting trolled for being in favor of rape, because he was just trying to troll leftists for how they should be in favor of rape”.

– and even some women (”progressives”?) – are falling for it like some ”Maggie Habermann” of the NYT who suddenly looks like she is in favor of liars because she was trolling somebody who was just trolling the worst liars about their lies.

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F. Foundling 05.02.18 at 10:33 pm

First, contrary to Hanson’s assumption, redistribution is motivated by empathy, justice and the levelling of power hierarchies, not by ‘envy’. For reasons of empathy, I do believe as a general principle that, as far as this is practicable, people in trouble should be helped and people should be prevented from getting in that trouble in the first place; insofar as that help requires resources from other people and decreases the difference in well-being between individuals, one might, perhaps, call it ‘redistribution’. ‘People in trouble’ does include humans with behavioural and mental problems, and that does, in turn, include romantic/erotic failures, and even obviously bad people like the 4chan/reddit ‘incels’. Assuming all romantic/erotic failures to be bad people or idiots who deserve their problems and should be subjected to ridicule as ‘pathetic losers’ or to political reeducation as probable sexists is not consistent with a leftist or humane attitude; the same applies to viewing even undeniably bad people and idiots as the product solely of their own personal failure and not, also, simultaneously, of a failure of the society that brought them up and shaped them. And this inconsistency certainly does occur; the proverbial ‘bleeding heart’ perspective is no longer predominant, and many prefer to self-righteously condemn, mock and dehumanise the sinner or loser (cf. the note on underf***ed ‘brogrammers’ here: http://crookedtimber.org/2017/05/02/just-meat-following-rules/). On the other hand, unfortunately, helping humans with behavioural and mental problems or preventing humans from getting such problems is not something we really know how to do very well at this point.

That’s different from decreasing economic inequality, which has been done before and isn’t all that mysterious a task, hence the focus on it. We can feed, clothe, treat and educate a person, but once these minimal requirements are met, they are mostly on their own and the task of achieving happiness is mostly theirs. Still, that doesn’t mean that it is not a good idea to try to do something about behavioural and mental problems, too.

So how can such people be helped? Now, *if* their problem really were the lack of the sexual act per se, one conceivable direct solution could have been, indeed, prostitution. The ‘rabid misogyny’ of some, but not all, celibates shouldn’t be a problem; it is made ‘rabid’ precisely by their frustration, and they are presumably capable of behaving, or else they will be denied the service, provided that the sex work is truly voluntary as it should be and not physically or economically forced. That could also be a way to provide timid people with sexual experience and confidence. However, that is mostly a moot discussion, since basically everybody already does have access to prostitution anyway; certainly, one could make sex workers regular state employees, perhaps with increased safety, regulation, control, affordability and a decrease of stigmatisation for both themselves and their customers, but that still wouldn’t be a big part of the solution to this particular problem. The thing is that what a person unhappy about their celibacy really misses is not the physical sexual act per se, but rather the feeling of being liked, appreciated, chosen and thus ‘validated’ by another person as a desirable romantic/erotic partner, in the short term or in the long term. By definition, this can only be voluntary, and it can only be ‘paid-for’ in the same ‘currency’ of appreciation, intimacy and affection. And likeability cannot be ‘redistributed’ directly. One can only be assisted in part through various types of expert advice pertaining to social skills / human interactions; this may be achieved through universal free mental care, education, coaching and similar, however questionable their soundness and efficacy may sometimes be (the fact that someone like Jordan Peterson originates from that field does little to inspire confidence).

As for those obsessed with having as high-status romantic/erotic partners as possible, or as many romantic/erotic partners as possible, for the sake of maximal self-affirmation, I’d say that, like other forms of status obsession, these ambitions are morbid and result from deeply warped value systems, thus of wrong upbringing and wrong ideology. Likewise, the overwhelming emphasis on sex and erotic love as an obligatory part of normal life and as a measure of the worth of a person is unjustified and harmful. It should be clear that one can be a worthwhile human being without that and that there are many other ways to be useful to one’s fellow humans, as well as to enjoy life.

The judgmental social attitude that romantic/erotic failures are pathetic ‘losers’, worthy of contempt and ridicule, is exactly what engenders the toxic 4chan/reddit-style ‘incels’: they internalise it as profound, desperate self-contempt, and such self-contempt, as is commonly the case, is then taken out on others through its transformation into hatred and malevolence with more or less absurd rationalisations. It is, of course, normal to want to be liked and appreciated, and preferably a lot, too, but that doesn’t have to be sexual and shouldn’t be one’s sole focus and source of self-confidence; one should have the capacity to appreciate oneself independently of what others like, think or say.

Concerning the issue of ‘male entitlement to women’s bodies’ – I don’t think that this is the explanation. Regardless of gender, people normally grow up with a seemingly reasonable, but actually misleading assumption of entitlement to *happiness*, in the sense that if they aren’t extremely ‘low-quality’ human beings, they should also be somewhat happy, which should include, in their interaction with other humans, a degree of social acceptance, appreciation, friendship and sexual relationships. When some of that doesn’t happen and they fail to solve the problem, it is natural that they would rather not attribute that to their being, in fact, extremely ‘low-quality’ human beings; they would rather attribute it to the other humans’ unjustly failing to recognise their true ‘quality’. There are complex-ridden, insecure and bitter people of both genders who take out their problems on others; if the very few who don’t just stop at being bitter and malevolent but actually commit mass murder tend to be men, the main reason is probably that the capacity for violence is culturally associated specifically with masculine ‘quality’ (the latter being what they would like to prove to themselves and others, after all).

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Nigel 05.02.18 at 10:49 pm

‘Hence, gamergate, the amorphous twitter hashtag reified as elaborate conspiracy.’

Is Gamergate being rewritten as something that was not utterly monstrous now, while suddenly we’re talking about the redistribution if sex as if it weren’t rape? How the hell does this crap keep slithering out if its shit-smeared holes? Is it because concerned people are concerned that the ‘woke’ are being unfair to Gamergate and Incels?

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ph 05.02.18 at 11:49 pm

Hi John, we’re far enough down-thread for some news (I hope!). Knowing your love of two sides of a discussion and preferences regarding sourcing, here’s Mark Penn’s latest from the Hill. (Penn, lifelong Dem pollster and Clinton insider)

http://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/385646-how-about-a-few-questions-for-robert-mueller

If Penn, permanent PBS vsp and relentless Trump critic, is asking these questions now, we can be sure the more sober-minded are also doing so, and that many others will be asking them later. Many liberals, of course, remain ardent fan-girls and boys of America’s top FBI – CIA officials and the intelligence community – Brennan, Comey, and Clapper – our new heroes – “A Higher Loyalty” – you betcha!

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Dr. Hilarius 05.03.18 at 1:25 am

I just took a look at Robin Hanson’s page and the comments. Wow. Much debate by men about whether they’d rather be raped or be a cuckold. Not seeing any discussion about his post being a metaphor for taxation. Worth a look if you have a strong stomach.

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politicalfootball 05.03.18 at 1:30 am

Faustusnotes@256: There is a tremendous power in ph’s epistemic approach. When you maintain a connection with reality, you are sometimes forced to acknowledge facts merely because they are true. Ph is not encumbered this way. He can make whatever argument he pleases.

When pursuing any line of inquiry, ph is guaranteed at the outset to reach a congenial conclusion and — this is really the genius part — his approach doesn’t require any work at all unless he wants to do it. What advantage would ph get if, before commenting on your posts, he read them?

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bekabot 05.03.18 at 1:40 am

I’m going to explain why I’m being such a jerk. It’s because Hanson is trying to pull a stunt, and because it looks to me as if he might succeed.

Since he couches his argument, or set of demands, in the same terms people tend to use when they’re talking about justice, you think he’s talking about justice, but he’s not. He’s using justice-talk to introduce a vein of thinking totally unconnected with justice. Consequently, nobody who keeps talking about justice, or addressing the question of justice, is going to come out ahead in this discussion, because it’s a discussion about things which have nothing to do with justice. (Mr. Hanson knows that very well, IMO.)

Suppose you’re talking hobbies with some guy who’s devoted to bottle caps, while your own thing is matchbox cars. You may know everything there is to know about matchbox cars, you may be encyclopedic on the subject, you may have the best collection of matchbox cars ever, and you may have reams of information about your matchbox cars at your fingers’ ends. All of this will avail you nothing against your opponent, the bottle-cap fancier, as long he allows you to believe you’re participating in a conversation about matchbox cars while he makes sure the actual discussion stays focussed on bottle caps. As long as the discussion is focussed on bottle caps, he’s going to prevail, because he knows more about bottle caps than you do. You may make great point after great point about matchbox cars, and still lose, because matchbox cars aren’t what the two of you are discussing. You may wonder why you keep getting worsted; if you do, it’s because you’re mistaken about which topic is being addressed. You think it’s matchbox cars, and your opponent, for reasons of his own, permits you to believe so, but all the while you’re actually talking about bottle caps, the topic on which he’s the expert.

(Forgive me if all this is evident to everybody here, except me.)

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bekabot 05.03.18 at 1:48 am

If women ain’t goods, why do they keep getting captured by the men with capital?

{pre-Civil War}

“If blacks aren’t slaves, how come they always end up on the auction block?”

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bekabot 05.03.18 at 1:56 am

You’d never stand for such weak evidence goods in a scholarly article, why traffic in them here?

I reiterate the question I’ve already implicitly asked, which is: is this truly a scholarly discussion?

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John Holbo 05.03.18 at 2:02 am

“Hi John, we’re far enough down-thread for some news (I hope!). Knowing your love of two sides of a discussion and preferences regarding sourcing, here’s Mark Penn’s latest from the Hill. (Penn, lifelong Dem pollster and Clinton insider)”

ph, I’m turning this on but, please, no more threadjacking to discuss Mueller stuff. I will say: I could not disagree more. First, what Penn says is implausible because the content of the Penn piece is objectively dumb – and that’s always something to watch out for, when decided whether to buy! Second, Penn has been at this for a while. He’s not a canary in a coalmine. He’s a canary who likes to retreat to the fainting couch, to get attention. As I saw someone saying just the other day ‘Mark Penn is the George Costanza of politics.’

You write: “If Penn, permanent PBS vsp and relentless Trump critic, is asking these questions now, we can be sure the more sober-minded are also doing so.”

No, the truth is the exact opposite. If Penn is asking these questions, we can assign a very high credences to the proposition that the more sober-minded are NOT doing so. Because they are, ex hypothesi, sober-minded.

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John Holbo 05.03.18 at 2:07 am

“Since he couches his argument, or set of demands, in the same terms people tend to use when they’re talking about justice, you think he’s talking about justice, but he’s not. He’s using justice-talk to introduce a vein of thinking totally unconnected with justice. …

(Forgive me if all this is evident to everybody here, except me.)”

It was the point of my post to bring this out. He is doing a bait-and-switch of envy-and-violence for justice. And, he’s hoping, when the switch is eventually discovered, that progressives will get the blame. Perhaps I was unclear.

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ph 05.03.18 at 2:12 am

Hi John, I suppose we’ve exposed a divide in which two groups both imagine themselves to be sober-minded.

You remarked post-2016 on the costs of bubble-thinking and cognitive dissonance. Did you read Penn’s piece before replying to my comment? I suspect you did.

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marcel proust 05.03.18 at 2:12 am

At this point in the thread, I think what is called for is some old fashioned, off-the-point, pedantry!

Raven Onthill @288 wrote:

In discussing the actuality of sexual intercourse as commodity, consider polyandrous polygynous [FTFY] cultures, which do shut many cis heterosexual young men away from any sexual intercourse beyond that of the hiring of prostitutes, if even that.

From that always reliable online resource, wikipedia:

Polyandry (/ˈpɒliˌændri, ˌpɒliˈæn-/; from Greek: πολυ- poly-, “many” and ἀνήρ anēr, “man”) is a form of polygamy in which a woman takes two or more husbands at the same time.

Polygyny (/pəˈlɪdʒɪniː/; from Neoclassical Greek πολυγυνία from πολύ- poly- “many”, and γυνή gyne “woman” or “wife”[1]) is the most common and accepted form of polygamy, entailing the marriage of a man with several women.

My only other comment on this thread is “My god, what a car wreck, and like an actual one, I have been unable not to watch.” JH, are you in competition with BW for provoking the longest, angriest comment thread on Crooked Timber? At this point, you’ve outpaced her here but not here (Confession: I haven’t reread these to check them for anger, but I recall one a few years back that went way off the rails, and suspect it was at least one of these two).

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John Holbo 05.03.18 at 2:22 am

TM: “The sad spectacle you are offering here doesn’t affect me in the sense you self-importantly imagine; it just makes you appear pitiable. So why not just stop?”

They have an app for that, TM. Namely, DON’T use whatever app you are using to read my posts to read my posts. Think of it as “Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses.” But for other people. If you had turned down the volume, I wouldn’t be ringing in your ears, non-philosophically.

It seems a bit much for you to ask me to be quiet, on my site, just because you don’t like the sound of my voice. Right?

You say you hate it when must have the last word. Very well, I shall be gracious. You shall have the last word – if you care to take it – and I promise to hold my tongue in response.

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bekabot 05.03.18 at 2:48 am

The question, ‘is what I want ‘just’?’ is almost impossible not to beg, for reasons I’ve talked about at fair length.

I spent years lurking in these guys’ forums. It’s only been about maybe 18 months or so since I definitively quit. In my experience, ‘is what I want just’ would be a super-hard question for manospherians of any stripe to beg, since it’s a question they almost never ask.

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John Holbo 05.03.18 at 3:01 am

“Did you read Penn’s piece before replying to my comment? I suspect you did.”

I read it before you posted it. Folks are kind of shaking their heads at it, bemused by this latest phase. Penn’s gotta Penn.

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John Holbo 05.03.18 at 3:05 am

“My only other comment on this thread is “My god, what a car wreck, and like an actual one, I have been unable not to watch.” JH, are you in competition with BW for provoking the longest, angriest comment thread on Crooked Timber?”

Nah, but I’m married to her, so I want her to think I’m cool. So this is how I roll.

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Faustusnotes 05.03.18 at 3:52 am

I like sebastian_h’s ideas about luck,and I wonder if slaveholders used them? “It is just luck whether you are born black or white, yet these abolitionists want to redistribute this luck! As well redistribute IQ, or good looks!”

Works a charm!

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nastywoman 05.03.18 at 3:54 am

– and now to something completely different
(exclusively for my friend ph)

De makers wilden met deze introductie tot hun beste werk oorspronkelijk de buitenlandse markt veroveren, vooral de Verenigde Staten, maar vanwege een verkeerde marketingstrategie sloeg de film niet aan. In Engeland, waar de liefhebbers de sketches in feite al kenden van op de televisie, werd de film wel een succes. Toch is de film altijd de minst bekende en bijgevolg ook de minst populaire Pythonfilm gebleven. Voor de liefhebbers, die de beste sketches meestal al kennen uit de tv-serie, voegt And Now for Something Completely Different weinig toe, behalve als een stuk curiosa. Er zijn maar zeer minimale variaties en slechts enkele nieuwe grappen.

And Now for Something Completely Different is pas sinds de jaren negentig enkele keren op de Nederlandse televisie vertoond (met vertalende ondertitels van dichter Hans Kloos).

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Tineola 05.03.18 at 4:42 am

My perspective on this stuff is formed primarily from a clinical-level internet addiction (if no outside force stops it, it seems to occupy somewhere between 40-60 hours a week). I don’t read MRA or PUA or incel stuff because I can’t stand it, with one arguable exception. I am fairly sure that I’ve seen the contempt I described at Boing Boing, Feministing, Pandagon, here, and possibly Slate Star Codex. I could dredge that stuff up, but I don’t hate myself enough that much. Two instances that stand out: a Pandagon thread devoted to the idea that men who used prostitutes were assholes (not a paraphrase), in which the commenters ripped into a contrite guy who admitted to employing a prostitute because he was a 30-year-old virgin, and a CT comment on the Scott Aaronson affair to the effect that it seemed to have worked out well enough for him, given that he was married and all. (“Well, not always,” I thought.)

It’s worth noting that nearly all of this is one-way; I virtually never comment on anything, and of course I don’t have any sort of blog, or Facebook page, or any online-expression thing. (I do have a Pinterest account, and once something I’d pinned got repinned by a Belle Waring— possibly the Belle Waring! It was very exciting.) I believe this is the fifth or sixth blog comment I have written, in total. I’m actually far more shy on the internet than I am IRL

I had no intention of characterizing this sort of thing as an exclusively liberal attribute, or contrasting it with right-wing attitudes towards… “sexual misery,” or whatever term we’ll have to invent for it. What bothered me was the apparent claim that progressives possess some sort of enlightened view of it, and, more importantly, gave a damn. I have the very strong impression that you don’t. The vast majority of what I’ve read really does cast the broadly-construed “sexually miserable” as cheeto-stained losers, and discussion of the involuntarily celibate is largely limited to the virulently misogynistic. Maybe that’s a mistaken impression, or maybe I’m thin-skinned, I don’t know.

I am pretty sure that I’ve seen more garden-variety “that sucks, dude” sympathy for the sexually miserable on 4chan than I have anywhere else. (Why do I read stuff on 4chan? Because blogs don’t update frequently enough to feed the addition. I don’t read the boards that are devoted to proto-fascism and misogyny— like I said, I can’t stand that stuff— although it does bleed over into the hobby boards fairly frequently.)

I feel like “There isn’t any way to address this problem without some ghastly abrogation of human rights” is a reasonable position. So is “We can’t do everything, and loads of people are suffering more than you are” and “That’s just not what we’re about, in terms of political philosophy.” But “Oh, we totally care about this!” is just wrong. Six months from now, the topic will be dead and gone and nobody in the left-wing world will remember it, unless there’s some new atrocity.

Michael @196:

Intriguingly, your experience is completely different from mine. Nobody ever mocked me for anything. My basic problem is that I am unable to regard being attracted to people as ethical. I can’t talk about it. Even getting a statement as anodyne as “I think X is attractive” out of me would require something akin to a police interrogation (“Confess! CONFESS!”). It doesn’t matter whether this makes sense or not: I can’t disobey the Robocop-like directives in my head. Obviously, this precludes joining any kind of anything. (Writing this post is tremendously difficult and I am sort of hoping that discussion will close before I post it.) And a “sexual deficit” would have… is?… the requisite doublethink makes this difficult to describe… felt like proper virtuous suffering, sort of.

One funny consequence of this is that I can easily assert that I have never, in verbal or written form, mocked anyone for sexual misery. I can state this without any equivocation whatsoever; there is no “to the best of my memory” clause, and you can stretch “mock” and “sexual misery” as far as you like. So it’s not at all something that everyone does. I don’t quite understand why you’d let yourself off the hook for it.

Miscellaneous things:

—I can only remember two accounts of this type of romantic trouble from women, one on Slate Star Codex and another on Pharyngula. I keep wondering where they are, and why they never say anything. Where IS the female Wizardchan?
—I once broke down and tried to find some academic material on this subject. It’s possible that I’m no good with the social science literature, and maybe I didn’t put forth enough effort, but I couldn’t turn up much; there were studies on the elderly, I think, and some dubious-sounding work on the “love-shy,” but I couldn’t find anything on the topic of “young, straight people who aren’t suffering from any particular condition but don’t experience sex or emotional intimacy, even though they’d like to.” I was annoyed by the fact that the incels appeared to be the authorities on the subject.

I was going to write something longer and more detailed, but it turns out I really hate doing this.

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John Holbo 05.03.18 at 5:35 am

“I do have a Pinterest account, and once something I’d pinned got repinned by a Belle Waring— possibly the Belle Waring! It was very exciting.”

This is perfectly possible.

Thanks for your comment, Tineola.

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F. Foundling 05.03.18 at 5:50 am

Speaking of trolling, the level has got so low that it’s depressing. Hanson is making a lame attempt at a Modest Proposal shtick, basically making the ‘brilliant’ point that to tax rich people is to rape them. Then a whole crowd of woke ladies and blokes, also some here at CT, take his argument at face value, panic and assume that the insane bleeding-heart men huggers are about to legally force them to have sex with smelly neckbeards any minute now. They respond by saying: ‘If you’re so sorry for the neckbeards, why don’t *you* have sex with them?’ Thereby playing into Hanson’s hands as much as that is possible at all given the lameness of his argument, since he can immediately ask why they then mind the typical right-wing objection to taxation: ‘If you’re so sorry for the poors, how about *you* give them your money?’

Hanson himself seems to be suffering from advanced evopsychotic syndrome. Hence he not only buys into the notion that the smelly neckbeards need the biological sex act itself regardless of the agency and social significance behind it, but he also argues that cuckolding is even worse than rape, because it is even more damaging to a human being’s supreme interest, human right and purpose in life, namely increasing the presence of their alleles in the gene pool (agency and social significance not being relevant again). Here, too, we get people here suggesting that it is our supreme duty to breed because we were ‘designed’ (intelligently?) to do so, or else we are losers; this claim is used as an objection to highly woke jocks who demonstrate that they are no neckbeard losers by bragging about their own sexual rampages. Still others argue that stuff like this isn’t a legitimate target of criticism, since only the privileged are *inherently* and *naturally* pricks, so when the *woke* are pricks, that doesn’t really count, because they must have contracted it from the privileged (a No True Prick argument, wokeness’ new and sophisticated response to the No True Scotsman argument, which actually manages to make the latter look like the pinnacle of intellectual rigour).

Overall, the landscape looks quite Boschian, and, assuming that it is roughly representative of the ‘sexual marketplace’ of prospective erotic partners, it constitutes in itself a powerful argument for celibacy. :) The incels should read it and console themselves that they aren’t really missing out on anything; this might actually be a rare case of an internet debate that successfully solves, once and for all, the original problem that provoked it.

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nastywoman 05.03.18 at 7:16 am

@315
”Then a whole crowd of woke ladies and blokes, also some here at CT, take his argument at face value, panic and assume that the insane bleeding-heart men huggers are about to legally force them to have sex with smelly neckbeards any minute now.”

a few corrections:

1. I am NOT a ”woke lady’
2. I haven’t read a single comment form ”a woke lady” on CT
3. I wrote that I don’t take Hansons argument at face value and that I thought it was a ”joke”
4. I never ”panic” – and I know very well that nobody – NOBODY can force me to have sex with ”Zuck”.

and no to the the ”funny” part:
”Overall, the landscape looks quite Boschian”

Not really – as we have found out that only somewhere – far far away on an island called America – incels are out to kill people – and so that ”is roughly NOT representative of the ‘sexual marketplace’ of prospective erotic partners –
and doesn’t at all
”constitutes in itself a powerful argument for celibacy. :)

and Right! –

The incels should read it and CHANGE and NOT ”console themselves that they aren’t really missing out on anything;”
as – how true – how true – if they don’t –
”this might actually be NOT a rare case of an internet debate that successfully solves, once and for all, the original problem that provoked it”.

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nastywoman 05.03.18 at 11:14 am

– but on the other hand I loved the reference to ”good ole Hieronymous” as what’s really ”Boschian” for some of US – who spend more of our time outside of the ”far, far away Island America” is this… ”thing” – that right now – when such an obvious issue comes up – of somebody like this Hanson- dude being obviously and undeniable practicing a… holery – there always seems to be this ”Boschian” effort by our ”Homelanders” to –
how did a funny art critic ones phrase it:

”Playing music on some dudes butt”
-(referring to a scene in the ”Garden of Earthly Delights”)
– and I did it too – as a member of the ”orchestra” on this thread – we played (until now) 316 pieces of music -(comments) on the Hanson-dudes butt!

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Orange Watch 05.03.18 at 12:38 pm

bekabot@308:
I spent years lurking in these guys’ forums. It’s only been about maybe 18 months or so since I definitively quit. In my experience, ‘is what I want just’ would be a super-hard question for manospherians of any stripe to beg, since it’s a question they almost never ask.

I’ve never had the least interest in lurking on a forum in the manosphere proper; I’ve only seen colonies, enclaves, and embassies in venues with mixed demographics. In these places, they frequently refer to equality and fairness (though still not justice, except as formulaic contempt for SJWs). I’m not 100% convinced it’s sincere interest rather than rhetorical framing, though.

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bianca steele 05.03.18 at 1:43 pm

Orange Watch @ 318

As we can see here in this thread, the entire Internet is basically the manosphere, isn’t it? Some men want to turn the discussion to their pet interests no matter why the rest of us have come by. They’re loud. They seem to outnumber “us normies.” They deserve a place too. They can make trouble. So people who don’t want the trouble, are tired of the trouble, are cowardly, are victimized by the trouble, or who don’t see the reason they came by in the first place anymore, go away. QED. It’s a “man’s space.” This IS the manosphere.

There seems to be a rule that all Internet spaces converge on the same point. The puny acts of the moderators can’t hold it back. Progressive political activity (like women going all feminist and expecting to be allowed a say without pretending to be androgynous) can’t hold it back.

John doesn’t like satire or anger, so I expect he’ll reply to this by pretending he thinks I’m posting this in bad faith.

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Belle Waring 05.03.18 at 2:12 pm

Hi Tineola! That was totally me, no question. There aren’t very many Belle Warings at all (there was one who was a poet, but she died, and I have never encountered another), and even fewer with 9,000+ pins on Pinterest. Must be like 11,000 now. I wanted to say that your situation sounds awful and I feel a great deal of sympathy; I’m sorry. I can only imagine I would be extremely unhappy and would not want to be told, say, to go to the gym when lack of such was so clearly not the problem. I think progressives as individuals tend to be sympathetic to individuals but not to sexually deprived and miserable people broadly conceived. This is because in so far as there’s any organized group of people claiming to be sexually deprived and miserable en masse it’s incels, and as you know, there’s a curdled hatred for women there that makes people in this position seem very unsympathetic if you are a feminist who checks it out. So if this means there’s no real, ongoing sympathy I wouldn’t be surprised, and you’re probably correct. I still think the flak coming from the right is way worse. I torture myself with PUA/MRA blogs, so.

My basic problem is that I am unable to regard being attracted to people as ethical. I can’t talk about it. Even getting a statement as anodyne as “I think X is attractive” out of me would require something akin to a police interrogation (“Confess! CONFESS!”).

Therapy, though a frequent, is not always a good recommendation, but this is an issue on which I think therapy might actually help. Because you must know at some level it’s ethical to be attracted to other people, even as you feel strongly on another, gut level that it’s not. You don’t, I imagine, judge people in happy relationships because they are attracted to one another. There’s no shame in the mental-health game; I am a mentally ill person and have been in the actual psych ward before several times. It’s not really my fault so I don’t need to feel embarrassed about it (although I guess I do anyway, somewhat, but I’m telling you so you know this isn’t bullshit). So I’m not just blithely casting recommendations about. Sometimes you just need help. Baci!

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John Holbo 05.03.18 at 2:16 pm

“John doesn’t like satire”

Me?

I like satire. Sure as hell easier than metaphysics.

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AcademicLurker 05.03.18 at 2:34 pm

I like satire. Sure as hell easier than metaphysics.

Is there much work out there on the metaphysics of satire? Might be a professional opportunity.

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John Holbo 05.03.18 at 3:07 pm

John Donne? Kierkegaard?

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JanieM 05.03.18 at 3:36 pm

bianca steele @ 319: that reminds me that I meant to thank you and nastywoman for staying with it so persistently.

Among other barriers, I’ve never taken a philosophy course, and though I always enjoy JH’s threads, they tend to get away from anything that I have time/patience to follow. I’ve had some medical appointments this week, so I tried copying the thread into a Word document so I could read it in waiting rooms. In the tiniest font I could tolerate, with half-inch margins all around, it was 50+ pages. And that was on Tuesday morning.

While I’m doing appreciation, a thank-you also to Z for @266.

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bekabot 05.03.18 at 3:37 pm

I’m not 100% convinced it’s sincere interest rather than rhetorical framing, though.

It’s not exactly rhetoric: their cry is “Treat me fairly!” rather than “I want justice!” (Once in a while an MRA says “I want justice!” but what he means is: “I’m involved in some kind of legal dispute with some woman in my life and I want the system to find against her.” If you investigate you’ll find that this is true.) When manospherians cry “Treat me fairly!” they don’t mean “treat me fairly and I’ll reciprocate” — they mean “Present me with the deference I know I’m due and I’ll accept your homage. I don’t believe in ‘equality’, and if I did I’d reserve it for my real equals, of whom you are not one. Don’t get mad; thousands of years of history and civilization bear me out.” (IOW, briefly stated, manospherians tend to give a woman no incentive whatsoever to do as they say.)

The opinions attributed to manospherians above have been pruned and condensed and edited for clarity. I know I’m asking you to take them on faith here, but if you hang out at their sites you’ll find that I’ve transcribed what they say there fairly accurately, and have in fact considerably soft-pedaled it. Once more, if you look into it you’ll find that I’m right.

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Sebastian H 05.03.18 at 4:30 pm

Hooray. I apparently invented luck inequality. Where are my scholarly citations?

Why doesn’t Chris Bertram ever cite me?

Luck egalitarians have argued that people should be rendered equal with respect to their unchosen circumstances but that inequalities that result from choices people freely are ok. All of these are arguments within the egalitarian camp.
So it is frustrating to read a paper in Nature, written by some psychologists from the Pinker/Haidt school of public pontificating that claims that people don’t care about equality but about “fairness”, where the inequalities that people tolerate turn out to be (a) inequalities in money and (b) inequalities that result from choices people make. Nobody working in poltical philosophy thinks that inequalities in money matter fundamentally, and lots of people think that the value of equality, properly understood, not only allows but requires differences in outcome that result from choice.

Crooked Timber Link from 2017

Or maybe Harry, Crooked Timber Link from 2004

Or a bunch of people in the comments, Crooked Timber Link from 2009.

Or Chris Bertam on GA Cohen (who also should be citing me) Another Crooked Timber Link from 2009

Or Chris again here in a really well thought out piece from 2006.

It is almost like I correctly identified a major strain of thought in the progressive debate about inequality. But hey, it is Sebastian so it is probably safe to mock him about it.

I apologize for thinking that a major topic of discussion nearly every year for the entire history of this website might be important.

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engels 05.03.18 at 6:46 pm

the entire Internet is basically the manosphere, isn’t it

Twitter seems better than blogs in that regard, though worse in others

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engels 05.03.18 at 6:52 pm

I usually agree with Foundling but have to strongly draftee with this:

We can feed, clothe, treat and educate a person, but once these minimal requirements are met, they are mostly on their own and the task of achieving happiness is mostly theirs.

Not only is it hard to defend in principle imo (see the philosophers I liked above) but it’s not an accurate description of left-wing policy or campaigning on eg gender equality or disability rights.

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engels 05.03.18 at 7:30 pm

what a person unhappy about their celibacy really misses is not the physical sexual act per se, but rather the feeling of being liked, appreciated, chosen and thus ‘validated’ by another person as a desirable romantic/erotic partner, in the short term or in the long term. By definition, this can only be voluntary, and it can only be ‘paid-for’ in the same ‘currency’ of appreciation, intimacy and affection. And likeability cannot be ‘redistributed’ directly

Would the concept predistribution be helpful here? Alternatively: compensation.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predistribution

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John Holbo 05.03.18 at 9:21 pm

Sebastian is correct.

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Tineola 05.03.18 at 9:33 pm

Belle @ 320:

Oh wow! You are pretty cool, you know that? You probably did; it’s hard to miss.

Don’t worry about me too much. The medication I’m on works fairly well and I’m in a scientific field I love. There’s also a real sense in which you can’t miss what you’ve never had; for me, non-platonic stuff is almost in the “it’d be nice to have a yacht” category of desires, and the only time period in which I’ve been in love with someone was pure, relentless torture far worse than anything I deal with now.

I’m also not especially bothered by the fact that progressives aren’t concerned with my particular problems. Loads of people have it worse than I do, and it’s fine to focus on them. Moreover, the progressive animus towards (misogynistic) incels is understandable. Yes, I’m more or less collateral damage from the kind of mockery that Michael describes, and yes, discussions on this topic usually serve as an uncomfortable reminder that some people I like kinda hate me by implication, but I can live with that. What I found deeply, deeply galling was the apparent claim that progressives are sympathetic to the sexually miserable when, as far as I can tell, they’re not.

Regarding the “flak” part:

As far as I know from 4chan, there isn’t much love lost between incels and PUAs, or, perhaps, the more conventional right-wing world. However, incels don’t seem to hate each other. The solidarity that bob refers to is, as far as I can tell, real; without that, you’d have a hard time explaining why incels are so solidly right-wing. Of course, we’re getting different ends of the same phenomenon: PUA/MRA blogs likely hold much more extreme views than (notionally) apolitical boards on 4chan.

One interesting difference between conservative scorn and progressive scorn is that the former treat a lack of sexual success as a character defect in and of itself, while the latter place more weight on the idea that a lack of sexual success is a consequence of character defects.

On the therapy suggestion:

Honestly, I doubt that therapy would help me at all. I can’t imagine a therapist giving me advice that I’d actually follow, and they’re not accustomed to adversarial patients.

On evolutionary psychology:

I think it’s somewhat difficult to understand why evo psych is the way it is without knowing where biology was at in the 1970s or so, when game theory was all the rage in evolutionary biology and behaviorism was popular in ethology. In many cases, evolutionary psychologists seem to regard the conscious or cultural aspect of human behavior as a minor fillip adorning a deeper, more primal structure which is the true determinant of human affairs. In a way, the “problem of unhidden motivations” is a serious issue for this type of theorizing.

Of course, the minor fillip thing turned out to be substantially mistaken, which is why more recent work uses phrases like “gene-culture interaction” a lot. In retrospect, this seems kind of obvious: you have to wonder how a zoophile can power up those hip-to-waist-ratio detector modules and throw them at a horse.

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Orange Watch 05.03.18 at 9:41 pm

bianca steele@319:
Mmph. I understand your point, obviously, but the manosphere as the term is used is distinct enough that it warrants special mention. These are places where women aren’t merely patronized or ignored; they’re flat-out unwelcome as anything but agency-free objects (e.g. the popular rallying cry “tits or GTFO”) or dead-horse strawfeminazis to beat into abject, abased submission. Well, unless they’re cut from the same cloth as the One True Feminist, Christina Hoff Sommers. These are places where the standard subject of discussion is man’s unequivocal oppression at the hands of the controlling feminazi/cuck matriarchy, and how to fight back against it. These are places where misogyny doesn’t merely invariably intrude; it instead echoes in an endless, unchallenged, all-consuming cacophony. So I do think it’s worth making a distinction.

bekabot@325:
I probably should have used the term rhetorical cudgel instead of rhetorical framing. Fairness or equality as a concept is IME typically introduced as a means of delegitimizing efforts at such by ideological enemies – e.g. “you can’t really be interested in gender equality, because you don’t prioritize men’s problems to the same degree as you do women’s problems – and if you DO give them equal footing… well, you should be giving them more because we are really oppressed while women live lives of unacknowledged privilege…” Et cetera ad nauseam. So yes, I unfortunately know exactly the sort of thing you’re talking about without going through the unpleasantness of verifying in the manosphere proper.

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ph 05.03.18 at 10:57 pm

Hi John, thanks for the reply. Can’t say I’m a bit surprised. Penn going to Penn. OK. On the same theme, have you read this?: http://time.com/5264153/the-fbi-is-in-crisis-and-america-is-paying-the-price/ That part of America that still reads Time: older Americans who vote get a much more rounded view of FBI practices. Fusion appears nowhere beyond a single sentence “The bureau also sat on the disputed “dossier” prepared by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.”

The ground is now seeded for a Mueller firing. Significant subsections of the populace will cry ‘coup.’ But that same subsection has been crying ‘coup’ for a year. What’s changed is that all the evidence to date of Russian collusion now points to the Democrats and the media. It was the Democrats who paid Russians for unverified accounts of Trump paying prostitutes to piss on the bed the Obamas used in Moscow. And it was this dossier that was used for the FISA warrant, and it was the piss account alone that Comey described to Trump – while omitting to inform him that the DNC paid to produce the ‘account’, and that the FBI did not disclose to the FISA court that the DNC paid for the dossier.

Unhappy people on the left already understand how the DNC, Obama, and Hillary colluded to steal the nomination, although the principle known threat then was Biden. The resignation of DWS the head of the DNC during the ‘flawless’ Democratic convention signaled just how deeply distrusted the DNC is by many Democrats. A few neutrals and a large number of Trump supporters believe that the behavior of senior Obama officials at Justice, the FBI, and the CIA, all Clinton supporters have/are conspiring with media colleagues to overturn the results of the 2016 election. There’s a great deal more hard evidence of that, than there is of any Trump/Russia collusion. And for that reason I expect the Dems can’t wait for Trump to fire Mueller, and that’s why he hasn’t to date.

That’s it from me. Sayonara!

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Faustusnotes 05.03.18 at 11:45 pm

Sebastian, it wasn’t luck that saw me born poor. It was a systematic process over many years designed to make sure my parents stayed poor. My partner wasn’t unlucky to be born a woman and paid less than a man. She was born a woman, and when she tried to negotiate her salary she was flatly refused and given less than the lower qualified man who started at the same time as her. It’s not luck that makes my friend experience greater housing discrimination than me: it’s because Japanese landlords discriminate against his nationality more than mine.

Inequality is not about luck, it’s about social choices made by rich people with power. Which is why it’s bullshit to compare it to something that is actually luck, like whether you have a pretty face. Especially since all the things that incels and Robin Hanson think are holding them back from getting laid – their supposed ugliness, their alleged lack of money – are not a barrier for those of us who treat women with respect and speak to them like human beings. And even more so since unlike education places at the top schools and jobs at the top banks and luxury yachts, sex is not a scarce resource or something you need to compete with others to steal from them. That hot girl you want can choose to have sex with you as well as someone else, if she wants, and choosing to fuck you wont deny him anything. We can all grow the pie by a mere act of desire. Sex is a post scarcity economy already and has been a long time, and anyone can participate in it if they want to and if they treat the other participants with respect and dignity.

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JanieM 05.04.18 at 12:42 am

Tineola: I can’t imagine a therapist giving me advice that I’d actually follow, and they’re not accustomed to adversarial patients.

Therapy surely isn’t for everyone, and even for someone who wants to try it, it can be hard to find someone with whom you work well. But therapists come in lots of shapes and sizes. I’ve seen several in my life, a couple of them for long periods, and for all practical purposes they never gave me any advice at all; that’s not what they do, at least the ones I worked well with. The ones I saw and stuck with made a space in which certain things (internal to me, above all) might/could happen, things that improved my life a lot, and that almost surely would never have happened without someone making that space for me to work in.

As for therapists not being accustomed to adversarial patients — How do you know? (Rhetorical question.)

I don’t mean to be impertinent (on the internet? who ever heard of such a thing!); the only reason I’m commenting it is that your impression of what a therapist is/does/is capable of doesn’t bear a lot of resemblance to my own experience. FWIW.

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John Holbo 05.04.18 at 1:04 am

‘”Present me with the deference I know I’m due and I’ll accept your homage. I don’t believe in ‘equality’, and if I did I’d reserve it for my real equals, of whom you are not one. Don’t get mad; thousands of years of history and civilization bear me out.'”

I quite agree that this sums up the manosphere. But I would note that it really is a theory of justice, even if they don’t call it that, and even though it’s a really, really, really, really bad theory of justice.

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John Holbo 05.04.18 at 1:26 am

“Sebastian, it wasn’t luck that saw me born poor. It was a systematic process over many years designed to make sure my parents stayed poor. My partner wasn’t unlucky to be born a woman and paid less than a man. She was born a woman, and when she tried to negotiate her salary she was flatly refused and given less than the lower qualified man who started at the same time as her. It’s not luck that makes my friend experience greater housing discrimination than me: it’s because Japanese landlords discriminate against his nationality more than mine.

Inequality is not about luck”

This is purely terminological, Faustus. All those things you mention precisely are ‘luck’ in the sense that the term is used in these ‘luck egalitarianism’ debates. Luck is anything that makes a difference that you aren’t responsible for. Obviously in one sense it’s not luck if an oppressive system backs you into a corner. But, in another sense, it is. It wasn’t your fault that this happened to you. Sometimes people say ‘responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism’ instead of ‘luck egalitarianism’. If you don’t like the latter, and don’t mind the extra syllables attendant on use of the former, it means the same.

You may worry that calling it ‘luck’ implies blindness (possibly willful) to the fact that there are oppressive structures in society It didn’t just happen. It was done. I guess it could. But since I associate the term with thinkers who are especially sensitive to the very thing you are worried will be missed – e.g. G.A. Cohen – I honestly don’t think it’s an actual problem.

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John Holbo 05.04.18 at 1:34 am

From Jesse Walker, on Twitter:

“It’s great that people are now using the same word to mean both “members of a very specific rage-filled subculture, one of whom appears to have just committed mass murder” and “any frustrated virgin.” That is sure to produce clear, mutually comprehensible conversations.”

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John Holbo 05.04.18 at 1:41 am

Someone else on Twitter:

“If we start calling people without money “inpoors” will conservatives write articles about how we should redistribute wealth against the will of rich people, I’m looking for an upside here”

I believe the accepted usage is: insolvs.

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Ben 05.04.18 at 2:16 am

+1 to JanieM’s therapy comments, which reflect my own experience

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faustusnotes 05.04.18 at 2:17 am

Well that’s just a bullshit definition of luck isn’t it, John? It’s trivially true but also meaningless. When we redistribute wealth or pass equal pay laws or make it illegal to discriminate in housing we aren’t redistributing luck, we’re changing conscious or unconscious choices and actions, or we’re modifying social structures that have direct and definable outcomes for individuals. It has nothing to do with changing the luck of those individuals.

Anyway this is an irrelevant side track. Even if you’re born “unlucky” in love, no one has to redistribute your bad luck because there is no limit to the supply of love, a simple fact which I think at some point every single parent tells their children. Just because a stacy fucks a chad, that doesn’t mean she can’t grow the supply of sex by fucking you too. It’s not a zero sum game. But incels want it to be a zero sum game – they want to stop Stacy from fucking Chad, and make her fuck them instead. A recent post on wehuntedthemammoth includes a link to an incel diagram that makes this explicit. These dudes’ problem isn’t just that they’re (allegedly) getting 0 units of sex, it’s that chad is (allegedly) getting >1 unit of sex, which he should be forced to give to them instead. What they refuse to accept is the possibility that if they learnt to wipe their arses[1] and treat women with respect, then they could also get >1 unit of sex at no cost to chad, and with greater benefit to stacy (who is now getting even more sex). They don’t just want to participate in the sex “market”, they want to change how it operates and limit its total size.

fn1: This is a PUA in-joke, based on the fact that one of their leading lights once bemoaned the fact that he has to keep his arse clean if he wants to get laid.

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John Holbo 05.04.18 at 2:23 am

“Well that’s just a bullshit definition of luck isn’t it, John? It’s trivially true but also meaningless. “

No, it’s not meaningless. Not to me, anyway. It seems eminently reasonable to distinguish between the things that people are personally responsible for and the things they are not personally responsible for. Do you actually disagree with that, Faustus? If so: I’m surprised.

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John Holbo 05.04.18 at 2:23 am

Agreed, of course about the Stacy-Chad nonsense.

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Faustusnotes 05.04.18 at 3:15 am

I don’t disagree with that distinction john but I don’t think that’s luck. Luck is things that happen by chance. Discrimination is things that happen by other people’s decisions. We use “lucky” in the sense that we weren’t discriminated against (“I was lucky to find a landlord who didn’t discriminate against me”) to mean that we are happy we found someone who doesn’t discriminate, that from our perspective it’s a chance game. But that doesn’t mean that the discrimination is actually occurring by chance. We aren’t preventing chance events when we pass laws to prevent discrimination. We aren’t increasing my luck (“wow! I’m so lucky I have never been discriminated against!”) Were stopping people from acting where otherwise they would act. So there’s no luck involved.

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Faustusnotes 05.04.18 at 3:16 am

It’s the same misleading phrase that leads some Christians to say science is also a faith because society has faith in the scientific method. Different use of the same word, and we shouldn’t pretend that using it one way validates its use the other way

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John Holbo 05.04.18 at 4:11 am

I don’t see that the usage is misleading or too much of a departure from ordinary ways of talking.

Suppose someone said ‘I had the lousy luck to be trying to get to work right when that 10-car pile-up happened on the highway.’ Would you take that to imply, strictly, that no one can have been at fault for causing the accident, or that no institutional action could have been taken, in advance, to prevent it? It seems to me totally normal to use ‘luck’ to describe bad things that happen, that aren’t my fault, but are someone else’s fault.

Those debating ‘luck egalitarianism’ mark this line: things I am responsible for/things I’m not. You are saying that they are wrong not to be marking a different line instead (which you regard as more morally crucial?): things I’m not responsible for and no one else is either/things I’m not responsible but someone else is responsible. But surely both are fine to talk about, and both are, in a sense, luck, and if someone is clear what they mean, that’s ok?

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J-D 05.04.18 at 4:12 am

Faustusnotes

Sex is a post scarcity economy already and has been a long time, and anyone can participate in it if they want to and if they treat the other participants with respect and dignity.

In effect, you are asserting that anybody who wants to have sex but is not having sex must be at fault in not treating other people with respect and dignity; at least, I can’t figure out any other way to interpret what you have written. This is an unjustifiably harsh and dismissive judgement of a large number of people, and tends to contribute to justifying what Tineola has written about lack of sympathy from progressives.

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Belle Waring 05.04.18 at 4:59 am

My experience with therapists has been otherwise. And varied. I mean, I actually did Freudian analysis for a year, three hours a week, which was baller. I lay on a couch and couldn’t see her as she sat at the head of it, just like a New Yorker cartoon. She was not very free with the advice or commentary (obviously) but did offer helpful insights, and even suggestions at times. But that was a weird thing to do and not common. A good CBT therapist will a) be able to deal with resistant patients b) offer genuinely helpful advice on how to deal with thought structures that are hurting you. They often use exposure therapy to reduce the emotional salience of harmful thoughts, and it actually does work. Maybe the first person you find isn’t great, but it’s worth trying again. I have one guy right now who’s awesome.

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Z 05.04.18 at 7:59 am

Sebastian H Hooray. I apparently invented luck inequality. […] But hey, it is Sebastian so it is probably safe to mock him about it

I understand that the “mocking him” part probably wasn’t directed to me, but just in case, my point was not to dispute that there are luck (non responsibility-sensitive) inequalities, nor was it to dispute the possibility to philosophize about it, my point was to mention that left social movements deal with unequal outcomes that are primarily social in nature, either because they presuppose a society to begin with or because of their externality properties. That’s what make them social movement, and arguably that what makes them left too. So going to left social movements in order to seek mitigation of the personal sufferings incurring as consequences of involuntary celibacy, an inherently and fundamentally interpersonal thing, looks to me like a category error (within the context of our current society; it goes without saying that if there were social forces preventing certain people to enter in relationships, it would be well within the normal aims of left social movements to remove them).

Ditto for celibate men going to feminism for solutions, or color-blind people to impressionist painters. I don’t deny their suffering. It’s just that if they indeed they are looking there, I don’t think they are looking in the right place. And if they get conspicuously angry afterwards – and repeatedly so -, I start suspecting that them looking in the wrong place was perhaps an integral part of their psyche all along.

But about that last point, sometimes one must be more concrete: if there isn’t something like a deliberate, repeated will to look for blame in the wrong place, how does one even begin to make sense of the fact that the incel/manosphere/MRA/PUA galaxy is such a markedly anglo-american phenomenon?

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Faustusnotes 05.04.18 at 9:48 am

True JD but I don’t know how else to say it. I’ve been around nerds and kickboxers my whole life and in three countries it’s been rare to find people who can’t get laid if they try. Usually the reason they aren’t getting laid is they don’t want to. I hink these incels are a really exceptional group and we a) shouldn’t take them at their word about their problems (as Michael Sullivan says above, chances are they can get laid but refuse tot ake the chance with the girls who are offering) and b) if they are telling the truth should think there really is a reason and it’s a good one.

I’ve met quite a few men who aren’t into casual sex or just aren’t that into sex. But admitting so is difficult. I’ve never met anyone who really cared about sex who couldn’t get it. In my experience nerds were just as likely to get laid as kickboxers, who are orders of magnitude better looking and usually much more socially relaxed. I won’t comment on tineolas situation because to do so about a stranger on the internet is pointless and weird, but that’s my experience of life and I think my experience is diverse enough and long enough to listen to. Of course there are exceptions to every generalisation but that’s my experience.

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engels 05.04.18 at 9:51 am

Anyway this is an irrelevant side track. Even if you’re born “unlucky” in love, no one has to redistribute your bad luck because there is no limit to the supply of love, a simple fact which I think at some point every single parent tells their children.

Maybe, but it isn’t true. People are mostly monogamous and the number of people of one’s preferred sex is finite. And even in polyamorous subcultures people have limited time and libido, and jealousy tends to be a thing (I believe).

I agree with J-D that claiming that anyone who find can’t find a romantic partner must be a misogynist or misandrist is a ludicrous piece of unevidenced victim-blaming which proves the point about liberal contempt for ‘incels’ you have been denying.

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Faustusnotes 05.04.18 at 9:55 am

John I don’t know how to say this on a way that is clear but I’ll try. If you are born into a poor working family in my father’s generation then growing up poor is not “luck” it’s basically guaranteed, as is being born poor if you’re his children (i.e. me). It is not luck any more than the sun rising is luck. When people like Sebastian talk about it as if it’s luck they do so because they want us to suspend action, or they want to make it seem like taking money from the rich just to address bad luck is mean or unfair. It’s not. Rich people made my family poor and did everything they could to make sure I would be poor too. The Australian government did it’s best to make sure my situation didn’t affect my future but that wasn’t luck either.

Being born poor is “sux to be you” bad luck, not the bad luck of a car crash. I sincerely doubt any theorists of “luck inequality” were born poor and so I doubt they understand this.

We don’t act against inequality to redistribute luck. We act against inequality to stop rich people fucking poor people’s lives up.

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engels 05.04.18 at 10:00 am

left social movements deal with unequal outcomes that are primarily social in nature, either because they presuppose a society to begin with or because of their externality properties

They also have a long history of establishing that inequalities that conservatives claim are individual, natural and inevitable are in fact social and remediable (eg the fact the certain groups of people aren’t at good maths or lead shorter lives…)

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engels 05.04.18 at 10:22 am

Really have a hard time understanding why anyone would claim sex, or lack of sex, isn’t ‘social in nature’ btw…

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Orange Watch 05.04.18 at 11:49 am

J-D@347:
In effect, you are asserting that anybody who wants to have sex but is not having sex must be at fault in not treating other people with respect and dignity; at least, I can’t figure out any other way to interpret what you have written. This is an unjustifiably harsh and dismissive judgement of a large number of people, and tends to contribute to justifying what Tineola has written about lack of sympathy from progressives.

This is FN we’re talking about, so callousness to acceptable targets and a bully’s tone is SOP. In addition to dismissive statements like this, we have the easy repetition of PUA insults, smooth adoption of Stacy/Chad labels, demands that someone give them proof that progressives were callous when no one else was viewing it as controversial, and my personal favorite, oblique-yet-transparent boasts about their personal access to sex followed up with righteous indignation that someone had the sheer effrontery to claim they’d brought up their sex life anywhere in the thread.

Observing this sort of petty, accusatory tone makes it easy to see why it’s important that “luck” not be associated with any of this, and that responsibility must rest entirely on the moral faults of the celibate. It’s the same sort of logic that faults the poor for their poverty; social, structural, and personal factors that may or may not be immutable come into play at birth and throughout the person’s life in both cases which channel people towards certain outcomes; an easy assertion that individuals must actively choose not to “rise above their circumstances” requires that we reduce these matters to being entirely within individual control and ignore the influence of their interactions with and place in society. If you’re poor, you are lazy and lack the ambition to make your fortune for yourself in spite of your circumstances instead of whining about your lot and demanding public assistance; likewise if you’re involuntarily celibate. QED.

Luck is a reasonable description of what is at work here. Our society favors certain appearances, and some genetic backgrounds are predisposed to them. It favors some sets of social skills, and some childhood environments make it more or less likely an individual will master them. Different outlooks and mindsets will influence outcomes as well, and different social environments will increase the likelihood that an individual will learn and internalize not just these mindsets but that the mindsets are important. It favors familial wealth over poverty, education over ignorance, and examples of success over failure; I shouldn’t need to comment on how those don’t perforce derive from a person’s “moral actions”. All of these can be cast as circumstances of social structures that one falls into from birth, all of these can be cast as circumstances or obstacles the individual chose not to overcome, and all of these can apply to social or financial “success”.

I’d add my own opinion that mixing an idea of luck into a discussion of morality is fraught; the person who doesn’t fix their brakes but never happens to be driving where a pedestrian darts from between parked cars is lucky, while the one who doesn’t fix their brakes and hits a darting pedestrian is unlucky, but both are guilty of the same negligence and it was only a circumstance beyond their control (yet still under the control of another) that did or did not bring about an avoidable bad outcome based on their prior decisions. This is less of an issue if you’re given to consequentialism or deontology, ofc, but that doesn’t afford you quite as much of an opportunity to be judgemental.

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politicalfootball 05.04.18 at 12:55 pm

If you are born into a poor working family in my father’s generation then growing up poor is not “luck” it’s basically guaranteed, as is being born poor if you’re his children (i.e. me).

You are begging the question. Once you remove the variable of the circumstances of your birth — “If you are born into a poor working family …” — then yes, that variable is no longer being examined and cannot be attributed to luck. It’s assumed in your formulation.

You anticipate my objection by trying to distinguish two types of bad luck:

Being born poor is “sux to be you” bad luck, not the bad luck of a car crash.

But that doesn’t work. It is socially determined that some people are going to be hit by cars, just as it is socially determined that some people will be born poor. But the circumstances of your birth are entirely a matter of luck.

(I mean, unless you behaved badly in a past life. Then it’s your fault.)

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John Holbo 05.04.18 at 12:56 pm

Faustus, you are just mistaken on this one. You’ve sized up Sebastian, made a guess about ‘luck’ – which could have worked out, but your luck was bad. Sebastian, back in comment 279, was referencing a well-known school of pretty far left academic ethical and political theory: so-called ‘luck egalitarianism.’ Here is Sebastian again – but, for context I will first requote Z, to whom he is responding.

Z: “Perhaps it is too obvious for anyone to have remarked on it, but the inequalities left-oriented policies deal with tend to be either social in nature in that they require the existence of a fully fledged society to make sense to begin with (inequalities of wealth, income or political power would be paradigmatic in that respect) or, barring that, to be at least incidentally social in the sense that they are pertinent either to a characteristic we consider a pre-condition for a given social life (public education in a democracy for instance) or to a public good with huge externalities (health, law enforcement…) and usually both.”

Sebastian’s response seems to me completely on point:

“This isn’t right at all. A huge part of the progressive program is noticing that some people got lucky with things like wealth, IQ, or well connected parents, and that a just society may involve redistributing away some of those gains especially in areas that are physically or psychologically damaging to those who didn’t luck out.”

Sebastian clearly intends (and goes on to say he intends) ‘luck’ to be a nod to a bunch of fairly well-known ethical and political theorists who are, in fact, pretty far out on the progressive-to-post-Marxist left end the spectrum. It’s not just that they aren’t Horatio Alger. They are too far left for Rawls. They are trying to pull the mere liberals to the left, in terms of redistributive demands of justice.

You may say you know where Sebastian is coming from. But Sebastian isn’t describing his own view here. He’s correcting Z by pointing out that lots of people on the left – not Sebastian himself! – think differently than Z assumes. Sebastian’s idea, relative to the post, is that these ‘luck egalitarians’ might potentially be driven by their commitments to the view that the luckless lonely are entitled to some redress, in some way. That’s actually completely correct, although one would still have to fill in the details. (It isn’t just that the luck egalitarians are a bunch of mindless “Harrison Bergeron” types about this stuff.)

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engels 05.04.18 at 1:40 pm

I had various issues with Amia Srinivasan’s essay but it’s miles ahead of the level of discussion in this thread. Everybody should read it.

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nastywoman 05.04.18 at 1:53 pm

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b9n10nt 05.04.18 at 2:06 pm

I would say, perhaps contra-Z, that the left’s prioritization of “meta”-personal inequality and injustice (economic poverty, pollution, etc…) is pragmatic, not doctrinaire.

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Z 05.04.18 at 2:44 pm

I would like to point out (once more) that I in turn was writing in response to Tineola @36 who contrasted “progressive opinions on sexual inequality” with “the progressive take on economic inequality”, and I took the choice of determiner and the generic plural to indicate a reference to widely held positions and beliefs. So I disagree on the fact that Sebastian H corrected me. In fact, I don’t even see he disagreed with me.

I never disputed that some “fairly well-known ethical and political theorists” might have a moral philosophy that could lead them “to the view that the luckless lonely are entitled to some redress” (an existence statement). On the contrary, I explicitly mentioned this possibility in my comment 286.

But I don’t think that’s this group of theorists what was Tineola meant (he or she can correct me of course). I think Tineola meant progressive movements generally speaking. And I pointed out that left-oriented policies and social movements (generally speaking) do indeed typically distinguish between poverty and loneliness, to the surprise of no one*, and for excellent reasons (a generic statement).

*Well, engels does seem surprised Really have a hard time understanding why anyone would claim sex, or lack of sex, isn’t ‘social in nature’ btw… so…

Honestly, I dislike this kind of word game, and I think anyone mature enough should understand how they work by age 16, but since I already went through two iterations on CT already, why not a third time: obviously sex (like hats, theorems, pie recipes, slavery, acuity of vision and inheritance laws) is social in nature. Such absolute statements are meaningless and are evidently recognized at such, including in normal speech. So of course when I make a distinction based on social nature between say unequal access between Blacks and Whites to vote under Jim Crow, unequal access to sex between me at 18 and my maid of honor at 18 and unequal acuity between my left and right eye, I mean this distinction to be a relative one. A distinction of degree. One is relatively more social, the other relatively more interpersonal, the latter relatively more personal.

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Z 05.04.18 at 2:59 pm

To take an analogy, I think that Tineola has written something like “I have remarked that professional athletes have a very different take on injuries and on winning Olympic medals” and I would say “well, yes, because there are huge differences between the two that athletes tend to consider quite significant and that I feel a bit ashamed to be spelling out, so they tend to dislike the former and like the latter” and Sebastian H and John Holbo would be writing “This isn’t right at all. Fairly well-known athletes won medals in 1968 and they looked quite sad, and it ruined their career.” Well, yes.

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bekabot 05.04.18 at 4:16 pm

you can’t really be interested in gender equality, because you don’t prioritize men’s problems to the same degree as you do women’s problems

Orange Watch, you’ve got a good ear: this is something which has in fact been said to me just about word-for-word — except that it wasn’t said on a manosphere site but in the comments section (since scuttled) of the Atlantic. Oh well.

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Matt 05.04.18 at 6:16 pm

The depressed, the anxious, the formerly-bullied, and the NEET seem to be significantly over-represented among the involuntarily celibate. A lot of those problems appear to be overlapping, according to my anthropological field studies in forum-lurking.

In my early 20s I had a friend and roommate who had been bullied from ages 11 to 17. He could not form romantic relationships. He was extremely shy, and he discounted positive signals as probably just being a setup to humiliate him again. “It’s just in your head,” “confidence is attractive” — advice both true and useless. He wasn’t physically ugly or bad at personal hygiene. If he could have his body piloted around by a confident and socially adept person for a month, the remotely piloted body could get dates and erotic encounters. But he couldn’t.

I’ve confessed here before that I was an elementary school bully (verbal/social, not physical) and that it took me years after to understand and regret my own behavior. I saw someone who was excluded and I had fun making it worse. What a horrible little shit I was to to her.

To riff on FN, this isn’t just luck. Fellow students see someone they can bully and do it because it is fun for them. Adults who should stop it let it happen for years. These things snowball. A kid says or does something to mark themselves as different and vulnerable, someone confidently cruel takes advantage of it, and if adults don’t intervene it becomes that much easier for it to happen repeatedly. The effects don’t stop as soon as the ill treatment does.

Have you ever met a person with a chronic medical problem who turns to nonsense like homeopathic medicine because they still feel miserable after years of attempted interventions from certified doctors? That comes to mind when I see capital-I Incels turn to nonsense manospheric cures for their misery. I think that a lot of those miserable adulthoods were preventable, had the circumstances of their earlier lives promoted social flourishing. People who are comfortable in body don’t gravitate to homeopathic cures. There’s nothing to cure in the first place. People who are comfortable socially and romantically don’t join incel forums.

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nastywoman 05.04.18 at 7:57 pm

or perhaps first this one?
http://youtu.be/lq5oUOKh368?a

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Faustusnotes 05.05.18 at 12:23 am

Actually when I wrote “if you treat people with respect and dignity “ it did occur to me that lots of men can get laid without that condition – the denomination “fuckboi” was developed to describe them – and I thought I was adding a qualifier to appease the uptight Americans who think casual sex is terrible, but apparently I was misread as making a moral judgment. My Bad! So let’s put aside even that level of basic moral conditioning. The stats tell us that most people can get laid and form monogamous partnerships. In my experience most people can get laid with more than one person in their life and if they don’t it’s because they don’t want to. This isn’t a callous statement (per orange watch) or a moral judgement- as far as I can see it’s as close to a statement of fact as you can hope to get. And I think you have two choices here: you can accept that incels are unusual and have turned real problems in a basic social process into a source of hate and terror; or you can pretend there’s nothing wrong with them and we shouldn’t think they’re making any mistakes, in which case presumably there isn’t something wrong with the social process that should be fixed. The latter situation puts you firmly in Hanson’s orbit, especially if you notice that they’re all men and so perhaps the problem is with women denying them something that they can’t get through no fault of their own. I’d rather not go there and fortunately I don’t have to because experience tells me that they’re unusual and the problem is not with the women who won’t fuck them.

Now a lesson in reading comprehension for orange watch. Saying “I like sex” is not the same as saying “I get laid a lot”, and what I wrote could equally be said by someone who has not ever had one partner. So accusing someone of bragging about their conquests based on that thin evidence is a bit pissy. However, it’s also an interesting example of slut shaming, and interesting that the two people who raised it are both trump fluffers. In a conversation about who can get laid and who can’t your own personal experience is surely relevant. Tineolas comment has been treated carefully and respectfully but even the suspicion of the opposite is sneered at and derided. Why is this? If I were someone who was “good at” getting laid presumably my experience would be relevant? But the mere sniff of a suspicion that I might be a slut has the heckles up doesn’t it? You should think about that.

Next lesson in reading comprehension: i “smoothly adopted the language of chads/stacys” so I could discuss incel theory and its flaws. This is a pretty basic process, not an act of callousness or adoption of a bullying tone. I’m not going to put a million qualifiers on everything I say just so that I can make clear to everyone my precise moral judgment of f every rarified term in a very rarified sphere of weird alternative thought, especially when I’m writing on a phone. But this objection from you,too, is not a real objection – it’s just another transparent attempt to find something to sneer about.

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J-D 05.05.18 at 12:29 am

Faustusnotes

True JD but I don’t know how else to say it.

Well, that rather depends on what ‘it’ is, doesn’t it? One possibility here is that you had something ignorant and odious to communicate and you communicated it reasonably clearly. In that case, the problem isn’t that you didn’t know how else to say it, the problem is less superficial faults. Another possibility is that you had something more reasonable and fair to communicate but made a big mess of communicating it. In that case, your follow-up is no improvement.

So what I’m going to suggest is not a paraphrase of what you’ve been producing so far, but something that you, or somebody else in your position might possibly say, or have said. Somebody might write, or might have written, something roughly like this:

It’s hard for me to grasp that there could be decent people, people who treat other people with dignity and respect, who want to have sex but aren’t having it. It’s hard for me to grasp because I feel as if I’ve had a lot of experience with a diversity of people, including the sort of nerds that some people might think would have that kind of problem, but I have rarely encountered people who do have that kind of problem. But I have enough sense to recognise the possible limits on conclusions I can safely draw from my own experience, and I accept that there are some people with that problem, even if I still have doubts about how common it is. Anyway, even if it’s rare that doesn’t make the problem less painful for the people who have it, and now that I’m thinking about that I want to emphasise my sympathy. It is sad for those people, and I am sorry.

I’ve put all that in quotes partly because it’s not something I would say, because my experience is not yours, but do you think that’s something you could say? If that doesn’t express your position, how is your position different?

Responding more directly to specific components of your response to me

I’ve been around nerds and kickboxers my whole life and in three countries

If you seriously think that experience of nerds and kickboxers in three countries is a sufficient basis for generalisations about humanity as a whole, then you are in need of a hard rethink.

it’s been rare to find people who can’t get laid if they try

Putting it that way, using the expression ‘it’s been rare’, carries the implication that it hasn’t been impossible, that you have found people like that. Even if it’s true that such cases are rare, does that justify the harsh dismissal you gave?

Also, the reference to people ‘who can’t get laid if they try’ admits the possibility of people who aren’t trying; in other words, you’re basing your conclusions partly on the observation that there are some people who aren’t having sex only because (apparently) they’re not trying to have sex. But this raises two questions that you may not have considered and which, if considered properly, undermine the position you were apparently expressing. One is the question of how you know whether people are trying to have sex. If you observe people not doing the things you think they would be doing if they were trying to have sex, it’s possible that they are doing other things which to them constitute ‘trying to have sex’. It may not seem like it to you; it’s even possible that by some kind of objective test (if there is one) their whole approach is hopelessly misconceived; but maybe they don’t know that. For a literary example, I offer you the character of Hector Mackilwraith, in Tempest-tost, by Robertson Davies. He’s achieved everything he wanted in life by setting out a detailed plan and conscientious diligence in carrying it out; then he decides it’s time to get married and tries to take the same approach to winning the affection of an attractive young woman with whom any observer would correctly judge he has no chance. It’s pathetically comical; but like many things that are pathetically comical, it’s also tragic. In addition, even if you’re correct that some people are not even trying, you haven’t considered all the possible reasons that they may not be trying. Maybe they aren’t trying because they are discouraged by a sense that they don’t know how; that doesn’t mean they don’t want it. Once again, you are in the position of unjustified harsh dismissal, negating the experience of people who want it but can’t get it on the basis of a denial that there are or could be such people, a denial which you don’t have the evidence to justify.

I’ve met quite a few men who aren’t into casual sex or just aren’t that into sex. But admitting so is difficult. I’ve never met anyone who really cared about sex who couldn’t get it.

But surely you can only mean that you’ve never met people who admitted to you that they really cared about sex but couldn’t get it. (Incidentally, perhaps you don’t count online encounters as meeting people, which is fair enough–I don’t either–but you have had two commenters make that admission in this discussion.) If you can figure out that it can be difficult for people to admit not being into sex–as I’m sure it can be, and I hope no part of my comments in this discussion suggests a denial of the experience of asexuals–then you have no justification for not figuring out that it can be difficult for people to admit to wanting sex and not getting it. Maybe you know a number of people like that and they’ve just never confided in you about it, and you really should have thought of that.

Given that there are people like that, I’ll tell you the sort of person they might confide in: some of them might confide in an advice columnist who writes about sexual issues. Way back at the beginning of this discussion, John Holbo provided a link to something written by one such columnist, and here are some quotes from that: ‘I hear every day from men and women in their twenties, thirties, forties, and up who are virgins or haven’t had sex for decades; some have never received so much as a kiss.’; ‘I hear from involuntarily celibate women frequently. They send me long, sad letters.’; ‘Well, there are men out there who are so profoundly socially disabled—so socially awkward or maladapted or damaged—that they just as incapable of finding finding sex and/or romance through “normal” channels as a quadriplegic confined to a bed in his mother’s home.’

You can tell me that you’ve never met anybody like that among nerds and kickboxers in three countries, and I’m still going to attach more weight to Dan Savage’s testimony on this point than yours. You should be attaching more weight to Dan Savage’s observations on this point than on your own. I can undestand your being surprised; but it should be a ‘Oh, I didn’t know that’ surprise, not a ‘No, that can’t possibly be right’ surprise.

I won’t comment on tineolas situation because to do so about a stranger on the internet is pointless and weird, but that’s my experience of life and I think my experience is diverse enough and long enough to listen to.

It’s no good saying you won’t comment on Tineola’s situation, because by direct implication you have already done so even if you are reluctant to admit it. Even if you’re correct about the length and diversity of your experience, it doesn’t justify you in concluding that you understand another person’s situation in life better than that individual does. What you are offering is a variation of a classic piece of bigot’s defensive rationalisation: ‘I have a low opinion of their kind; oh, not you, you know I don’t mean you, you’re one of the rare good ones, but you know most of them are no good.’ If you think telling people they’re that kind of exception is helpful, you’re badly mistaken. That’s how you come across. If that’s not really what you’re like, you should be trying harder not to come across like that.

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John Holbo 05.05.18 at 1:06 am

“Everybody should read it.”

Yes, the Srinivasan essay is good.

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Michael 05.05.18 at 1:44 am

As an example of why the problems of virgins can’t be separated from progressives’ agendas, look at Belle’s response to Scott Aaronson three years ago:
“Are boys really reading about feminism before they begin having lascivious thoughts about the peach-shaped asses of their female schoolmates? Is that what’s happening nowadays? And then, if they did read all that feminism wouldn’t they learn a) rape isn’t about overwhelming sexual desire and b) there’s a lot of sex-positive, porn-positive feminism on the internet?”
What’s the problem with this response? None of it is TRUE. Teenagers with OCD DO sometimes develop fears of turning into a sexual predator. I have no idea if Scott was one but Scott Alexander alludes to the issue in the article Belle herself linked to- see his discussion of scrupulosity. Those teenagers often do research to try to alleviate their anxieties and it usually makes their condition worse. So Belle basically mocked a real condition just to make a point. And as shown by her remarks about the right being worse in #320, she still doesn’t get what she did wrong or understand why a virgin might view her as a bad person for that. And this kind of willful ignorance is typical among progressives.

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J-D 05.05.18 at 4:30 am

Faustusnotes

The stats tell us that most people can get laid and form monogamous partnerships.

It’s not clear to me what kind of statistics you have in mind; and I’d be prepared to bet that it’s not clear to you either. I think you’re bluffing, and I call your bluff. You think there are reliable sources of statistical information that reveal how many people could have sex if they wanted to? I doubt that. I expect there are reliable statistics on how many people are legally married; probably slightly less reliable statistics on how many people are in monogamous partnerships not legally certified; and I bet those statistics show there are plenty of people who aren’t, many of whom never have been. Of course you can assert that those people could marry (or remarry) if they wanted to, but what kind of statistics do you suppose could exist to back that up?

In my experience most people can get laid with more than one person in their life and if they don’t it’s because they don’t want to. This isn’t a callous statement (per orange watch) or a moral judgement- as far as I can see it’s as close to a statement of fact as you can hope to get.

But the statement is one which begins with the phrase ‘In my experience’, so the only facts it is a statement about are the facts of your experience! You’re making an assertion about the sexual histories of the people you know; even if that assertion is true (and how sure can you be that people have fully confided in you? and what is the actual number of people whose sexual histories you think you are familiar with?), it’s a hopelessly inadequate basis for broader generalisations. What makes you think that, if there are people among your acquaintance who want sex but aren’t getting it, they would tell you about it? and what makes you think that if there aren’t any such people among your acquaintance, there can’t be any outside your acquaintance (or that there can’t be enough to be worth considering)? From what you say, it can be presumed that your acquaintance does not include any Elliot Rodgers or Alek Minassians; that is obviously a wholly inadequate basis for concluding that such people don’t exist. Likewise, even if you are correct in supposing that there are in your acquaintance no people like the ones Dan Savage describes, who are not hate-filled misogynists but who are not getting the sex they want, that’s obviously a wholly inadequate basis for concluding that Dan Savage is lying about how many of those letters he’s getting or that the people who write the letters aren’t telling the truth.

And I think you have two choices here: you can accept that incels are unusual and have turned real problems in a basic social process into a source of hate and terror; or you can pretend there’s nothing wrong with them and we shouldn’t think they’re making any mistakes, in which case presumably there isn’t something wrong with the social process that should be fixed.

On the one hand, it’s my opinion that the self-defined incels like Elliot Rodger and Alek Minassian are a small and wildly unrepresentative subset of the category of people who want sex and aren’t getting it, and that their diagnosis of a problem, and their proposed remedies, are erroneous (to the point of delusion) and malignant. On the other hand, it’s my opinion that of course there are problems with social processes, and what’s more there always will be, no matter how much social processes change, but it’s not at all clear how much (if anything) could be done by deliberate intervention in social processes to relieve the unhappiness of people who want sex and aren’t getting it. Dan Savage thinks maybe there are some kinds of social change which might have some benefit in this respect; I don’t know. What is clear to me, however, is that there’s no justification for directing your contempt at the large category of people who want sex and aren’t getting it just because it includes one small subset intoxicated with hate. When Tineola first wrote about experiencing this contempt, I asked about it because (as I observed) I’ve never felt it being directed at me (although I didn’t use that as a basis for a generalisation that it doesn’t exist, because that’s the kind of generalisation from personal experience I try to avoid); now I’m not so sure I can say that.

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faustusnotes 05.05.18 at 5:14 am

There’s a lot wrong with your response J-D, and some significant misunderstandings of what I wrote, and I don’t think I can reply to all of it, but I’ll try some parts.

First your suggested comment I could have written ends with me expressing sympathy for people who want sex but can’t get it, as if I haven’t done that. But I did do that – and got mocked and called a slut for doing so. I think I hardly need to point out to you that it is not necessary for me to express my sympathies for people before talking about their situation – this is classic right wing tosh, demanding people condemn X before they’re allowed to talk about Y. But I have condemned X, so where does your suggested comment change anything I said?

Re: Nerds and kickboxers, I did not present them as evidence of my experience of humanity as a whole, but because I think most people would believe they represent extremes of the human condition on this topic, and therefore if they have similar actual experiences on the topic at hand, that is instructive of something. I’m sorry that you misunderstood “I have seen these two extremes” to mean “these people are representative of all of society.” There’s only so much we can write in these boxes, but perhaps you could have inferred my meaning from the follow up sentences? I think you’re not trying, in truth.

Now we get into your complex discussion of whether I don’t know people aren’t having sex. But here’s the thing, it’s really easy to tell people are having sex: they have partners, or have had partners, and we typically learn this information early on in knowing people. Often they have children, a sure sign they have or have had sex. Furthermore, it’s usually safe to assume when discussing sex that people are getting more than they let on, not less, because it’s a topic clothed in shame and we don’t openly confess to doing it. If you doubt that, witness what happened when I reveal I like sex on this very thread: my revelation that I like regular sex was turned into an accusation that I’m a slut, and that I’m bragging about all my conquests. In general we don’t ask people how much sex they’re getting and usually anyway they lie about the amount they’re getting. The one forum where that is likely not true is when talking to PUAs, who have strong social incentives to exaggerate. This is an important thing to remember about the incels – the forum they operate in does not encourage revealing that you’re shagging a becky, does it?

(As an example of this consider the case of a woman in a loveless marriage, who comments on a thread like this and is tempted to reveal she isn’t getting laid, but has long since started dating other guys while her husband is out of town. Is she going to reveal that here? No, she is not. From our external perspective she’s an incel, but actually she’s quite busy enjoying an active sex life). People lie about sex all the time out of fear of exactly what happened to me the moment I said anything about my personal experience of sex.

You then cite Dan Savage’s clinical experience as proof that there are many people not getting sex, and suggest that I should weigh my personal experience against his clinical. This is precisely the wrong approach. Most people you know have or have had colds; very few people you know have or have had cancer; yet a general practitioner constantly sees people with colds, and an oncologist only sees people with cancer. Dan Savage’s experience is not reflective of reality.

But the statistics are, and they show that the overwhelming majority of human beings have sex, typically have had more than one partner, and ultimately form monogamous relationships that produce children. They are getting laid. In fact the prevalence of childlessness is so rare in adults that conservatives routinely feel comfortable mocking any woman who is, and know that they will never experience significant consequences for doing so, because almost no one knows a childless woman over 40, and therefore won’t care.

The reason I won’t comment on Tineola’s situation is that Tineola could be lying, or an incel stirring up trouble, or ph sock-puppeting again, or any one of a number of things that make factual assessment of anything anyone says on the internet rather difficult. Which again you need to bear in mind when dealing with incels, because they are lying to you. Many of them can get laid, but choose not to fuck the women they are meeting, because they think they are entitled to the hottest, most subservient, most virginal, most sexually skilled woman in christendom, and that anything else is an insult to them. They value their pride over their dicks. That makes the vast majority of them volcels, not incels. Yet a couple of right wing provocateurs have decided to take their voluntary ideological sacrifice seriously, and now we have to pretend that we really care about these people’s fee-fees? I’m not buying it. They’re a pack of misogynists whose political program involves the complete removal of women’s rights over their own bodies, and they’re willing to murder women in pursuit or expression of that program. They have a serious moral problem, and they need to be treated as people with a serious moral problem, not dudes whose blue balls led them down the wrong path.

Now, I have nowhere here said I don’t think genuine incels exist, and I have expressed sympathy for them, but I have made it clear that the vast majority of people can get laid if they want. I think that means people who can’t get laid (the ones who aren’t lying about it) until later in life are extremely unusual, and we should accept that. That probably means they’re doing something wrong, which I think you also accept since you are sympathetic to the idea that they would go to Dan Savage for “help” with their “problem”. But my first thought is that they don’t care that much about getting laid, but feel a great deal of social pressure to do so, since that’s what’s normal in our society.

Once again I’ll say there’s a contradiction here. You can either accept that (real, non-misogynist) incels have a problem of some kind that they need help with, or you can say they’re completely normal. In the latter case then it must be everyone else’s fault that they aren’t getting laid, which naturally begs a social solution, and that’s a problem. In some cases this is true and fixable, e.g. people with disabilities often get discriminated against in dating, and by working on breaking down barriers to participation in ordinary life for people with disabilities, by making them more visible, we can ultimately break down dating barriers too. But once we’ve done that we will be left with a small number of people who have no apparent fixable problems who can’t get laid. Now either they need to learn something about new approaches to getting laid – i.e. there is a problem in their current approach, which we should talk about – or they don’t. Which is it? My view is that it’s easy for the vast majority of people to get laid and if you’re consistently failing to do so you either don’t really want to or you’re doing something wrong. Your view seems to not fit with this. So what’s your solution?

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Sebastian H 05.05.18 at 7:12 am

Faustusnotes it is odd that you are willing to suggest people are lying about not having sexual but that they aren’t lying about having sex. I’m not the most perceptive person in the universe, but I’m rejatively confident I’ve encountered lies both directions.

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John Holbo 05.05.18 at 7:22 am

nastywoman, I’ve decided to impose a 1-ed-sheeran-video-link per thread limit. This issue has never arisen before and I’ve never given it much thought, but that is my decision!

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nastywoman 05.05.18 at 8:34 am

@373
”I’ve decided to impose a 1-ed-sheeran-video-link per thread limit.”

Us ”progressives” can live with that – but perhaps it still should be mentioned – that the story of Ed Sheeran – a once ”bullied incel” – could be very helpful to answer the question of somebody like @371 – about:
What’s your solution?

And also answer the question if – indeed – ”willful ignorance is typical among progressives” – as discussed here – and phrased by @369.

It’s probably one of the most exploited stereotypes in US (Teen) culture to play with the pain of the suffering ”Nerd” – ”Geek” or ”incel” – and also how easily such ”pain” can be ”healed” by having sex with a ”beautiful exchange student” -(who sees in ”the Nerd” or ”Geek” some kind of ”Charismaman”) or – as a hilarious alternative – using an American Pie to have sex.

And – all of these… ”solutions” – as ”ridiculous” – ”funny” or ”stupid” – or even ”degrading” – they are – are widely known – and especially by the so called ”incels” – as the ”incels” base mat of their knowledge about (the other) sex on those stereotypes.

BUT here’s the thing –
as ”a (hopeful?) progressive” myself I always would suggest an Ed Sheeran type of ”solving the problem” -(and not doing ”the bad stuff” – also Ed Sheeran once toyed with in some of his lyrics) – and so if I would suggest an ”American Pie” – (or doing a Nerd or Geek who isn’t an a…hole) – its NOT out of ”willful ignorance typical among progressives” – it’s because WE – nearly – every young American – know so much about this… ”problem”!

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J-D 05.05.18 at 9:24 am

LobstermanHere, again, is Dan Savage:

I do, however, sympathize with the plight of people—men and women—who experience sexual and romantic deprivation and are miserable (but not hateful) as a result. Those of us in the advice racket offer lonely, inexperienced, and sexually deprived people support, pointers, and encouragement. But following the standard-issue advice doesn’t always alleviate their misery.

On the other hand, here’s you:

OP believes that he or she is incapable of change that will allow him or her to successfully pursue his or her goals. OP has not tried change supported by the best tools, or OP would not believe this, because, at the end of the day, it’s just very possible to get access to passable sex with people of roughly equal attractiveness to you.

(Tineola is not OP, although that is perhaps beside the point.) So, do you know of reliable methods for achieving this result that, if we are to believe Dan Savage, are unknown to him, and to others in the advice racket? They offer the best advice, he says, but sometimes it doesn’t work; something you seem to be denying is possible. You haven’t revealed the nature of the ‘best tools’ you refer to, or how they are to be found, so unless you can produce better evidence there’s no reason to believe you.

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nastywoman 05.05.18 at 11:04 am

– and reading this thread I thought a few times how sad that we don’t discuss exclusively ”Ginger Incels” – as it is currently known how many ”Ginger Incels” -(in America) Ed Sheeran has helped to ”get laid” –
(and I really hate that ”expression” as the Hawaiian word ”Nookie” sounds so much… ”cuter”) –
and as there are Ed Sheeran Look-Alikes now everywhere – who offer themselves -(in Ermangelung des Originals) we perhaps should end this discussion with a critical look at how it all started – with Zuck and his idea that the ”Nerds” at Harvard deserve as much attention – from the ”female” Harvard students as all these ”Winklevoss Rowers”.

And I heard it actually worked pretty well for a while – and I heard from much older friends that some years ago – it was very ”fashionable” in the homeland to present proudly some ”nerdy” boyfriends – who might have been lousy in ”nookie” but where excellent in ”start-ups” – and that always works for a while – but now we have found out that it didn’t work long enough for the current ”incels” -(with the exception of some red haired ones?)

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J-D 05.05.18 at 11:21 am

faustusnotes

You then cite Dan Savage’s clinical experience as proof that there are many people not getting sex, and suggest that I should weigh my personal experience against his clinical. This is precisely the wrong approach. Most people you know have or have had colds; very few people you know have or have had cancer; yet a general practitioner constantly sees people with colds, and an oncologist only sees people with cancer. Dan Savage’s experience is not reflective of reality.

If you told me that you had cancer, and I responded, ‘I’m sorry to hear that, but, you know, the majority of people go through life without getting cancer’, what would you think of my response? Even if it’s true, it’s not relevant; it’s unhelpful and callous.

Once again I’ll say there’s a contradiction here. You can either accept that (real, non-misogynist) incels have a problem of some kind that they need help with, or you can say they’re completely normal. In the latter case then it must be everyone else’s fault that they aren’t getting laid, which naturally begs a social solution, and that’s a problem.

I enjoy singing. I’m not good at it. I would like to be a better singer than I am. That is a problem of some kind, in some sense, but it’s not necessarily a problem that anything can be done about. There are qualified professional teachers of singing, and if my desire to improve my ability as a singer was sufficiently intense I could take instruction, and perhaps my performance might improve. Then again, perhaps it wouldn’t, or perhaps not by enough to make the effort worthwhile. People’s capacity to be good singers varies. Some people are always going to be below average as singers no matter how hard they try or how much instruction they receive from qualified professionals; some of them, a long way below average. I could improve significantly and still be well below average.

I’ve never learned to dance properly, although I have had a few lessons. I think I would like to be a good dancer. Once again, there are qualified professional instructors, and perhaps instruction from a qualified professional could improve my performance. But maybe it wouldn’t, or not by enough to make the effort worthwhile. I could improve significantly and still be a long way below the average.

So even if my lack of ability as a singer and a dancer counts as a problem, which in some sense it does, it doesn’t follow that it’s a problem that I need help with, or even that it’s a problem I can be helped with. Maybe I could be helped with my problem; then again, maybe I couldn’t. Even if I did take lessons from a singing teacher, maybe I wouldn’t get good enough for my daughter to lift her prohibition on my singing in her presence.

The alternative you offer to the possibility that I have a problem I can be helped with is that I’m completely normal. I’d say it’s completely normal for some people to be better at singing and for some people to be worse. But that doesn’t make it everybody else’s fault that I’m no good as a singer and no good as a dancer. It’s nobody’s fault. Not everything bad in people’s lives has to be somebody’s fault. The cancer that killed my mother was nobody’s fault.

Some people have little or no success in attracting sexual partners. According to you, either it must be their own fault or else it must be everybody else’s fault. Well, it’s possible that in some cases it’s their own fault, and it’s also possible that in some cases it’s because of an unfair social system which is discriminating against them, but it is not the case that one or the other has to be true. Maybe some of the times it happens it’s nobody’s fault. Maybe most of the times it happens it’s nobody’s fault.

In some cases this is true and fixable, e.g. people with disabilities often get discriminated against in dating, and by working on breaking down barriers to participation in ordinary life for people with disabilities, by making them more visible, we can ultimately break down dating barriers too. But once we’ve done that we will be left with a small number of people who have no apparent fixable problems who can’t get laid. Now either they need to learn something about new approaches to getting laid – i.e. there is a problem in their current approach, which we should talk about – or they don’t. Which is it? My view is that it’s easy for the vast majority of people to get laid and if you’re consistently failing to do so you either don’t really want to or you’re doing something wrong. Your view seems to not fit with this. So what’s your solution?

Since you’re the one here who’s insistent that there is a solution, whereas I’m the one expressing doubt about that, it would seem more appropriate for you to explain what your solution is. According to you, if people aren’t being frustrated by unfair social barriers (as possibly, for example, in the case of people with disabilities), then there are approaches they can take which could be relied on to attract sexual partners. If these approaches are as reliable as you seem to think they are, why aren’t you sharing the information with the world? You could write a book and make a fortune from it.

The fact that there are no qualified professional instructors in the art of attracting sexual partners, teaching the sort of reliable approach you assert does exist, when they could be sure of a client base, seems to me to be evidence that you’re wrong, and that the problem is probably even less fixable than people wanting to be better singers or better dancers (or better swimmers, or better chess players, or a dozen other things I could mention). And if you’re wrong, then telling people that their problems are fixable, if only they put their minds to it, is hurtful and cruel. If your expressed sympathy is genuine, you would do better to tell people that there is hope for them, but no guarantees, and that even if they don’t ever succeed in attracting a sexual partner, or don’t ever succeed in attracting one again, it doesn’t have to mean that there is something wrong with them and that it doesn’t have to mean that their lives are ruined; even if you never have sex, or never have sex again, good things can happen in your life and there are things that you yourself can do to help make it better. That’s going to be harder for people to believe when they have people like you who appear to be telling them (no matter how much you say you sympathise) that there must be something wrong with what they’re doing and it’s all their own fault.

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bob mcmanus 05.05.18 at 1:54 pm

Thread still open? Came across this quote in a Pavlina Tcherneva article this morning showing why JG better than BIG and MY is a capitalist running dog.

“Amartya Sen also taught us that what matters is not just freedom, but substantive freedom. That is, policy has to 1) recognize what individuals themselves want and value; 2) it must provide these opportunities; and 3) it must remove obstacles from taking advantage of these opportunities.”

Now let’s apply this to Incels. They want oh be nice a named supermodel. What do we want to do about that? Let’s look at 2 and 3.

1) First it is not their fault. At all. Period. No more than poverty and wanting the nice house with picket fence and two cars in the garage is the fault of the poor. Social values are not examined on the individual level. No more psychology and personal history.
So Take Incels as far out of the discussion as possible, and ask why they can’t gt the supermodel.

2) So what sociaaized values keep Incels from getting the supermodel? What new social values would not legalize assault, but would make the supermodel jump the Incel’s bones? Soft power and re-education stuff, of course, we all know that a person always can resist the power of the hegemony. Agency after all.*

3) Like, maybe our society values individual wealth, personal appearance, and physical appearance a little too much? Should people become billionaires and very desired just because they are handsome? I though progressives and feminists were against judging people by appearance.

*Frederick Lordon, Willing Slaves of Capital, Deleuze and Spinoza, I pretty much deny agency and consent all together. In a rape culture, it is all rape all the time and most of the time people are in denial, as in capitalism. My money is earned, I work hard says both the slave and the overseer.

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bob mcmanus 05.05.18 at 1:59 pm

PS; Why am I volcel? Because as a kid, I saw the rape culture. Everywhere.

2) Loudly recommend Amartya Sen’s Uncertain Glory Great policy and politics book against neoliberalism, as sane humanist and practical as you might expect. Against private education? Sen’s got you covered.

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ph 05.05.18 at 2:02 pm

Robert Mueller questions the former president:
https://amgreatness.com/2018/05/04/what-if-mueller-questioned-barack-obama/

Most read at RCP – probably worth ignoring.

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Collin Street 05.05.18 at 2:50 pm

Faustusnotes it is odd that you are willing to suggest people are lying about not having sexual but that they aren’t lying about having sex. I’m not the most perceptive person in the universe, but I’m rejatively confident I’ve encountered lies both directions.

Sebastian: Faustusnotes detailed the reasons he believed this immediately — in the literal very-next-sentence — after he stated that he did believe it.

That is to say, in as many words, your [implicit] question was answered before you even asked it. So why did you ask? Did you not notice, or is there some sort of additional information [what sort of additional information?] you’re hoping to get by asking?

[if someone makes a statement and then gives and explanation as to the background of that statement, the explanation is a pre-emptive answer to the question, “why do you believe this”, and the “why do you believe this” question becomes blocked under normal language rules: you can’t ask questions that have already been answered, even if the answer came before the question was formed. Your next move has to be something else: you might reject or query the answer, if you think it’s inadequate — but you need to justify this by tying it to specific details of the explanation provided that you disagree with — or you can simply ask for more information to clarify [but asking for information constantly without making statements is regarded as a cheap and disreputable tactic]]

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bob mcmanus 05.05.18 at 3:25 pm

Wow, I think in my infinite ignorance, can connect some threads. What was the thread about language as instrumental rhetoric, Merriam and Sperber or whatever? Just skimmed it.

I was never the initiator, and “saw rape culture in her eyes” can be taken as you will.

But as soon as I was able to understand it, seduction (and persuasion, argument, logic) has appalled and terrified me.

I can make him do X? I can talk him into X, make him want X? By use of language, entirely socialized language, history and hegemony speaking through me, with the advantages social capital I have been given in terms of gender, skin color, intelligence, education, attractive body, acquired skills, and conformity to prevailing mores. And talking him into X is ok because of my good intentions kind heart and way cool friends?

I like saw the Hegel/Sartre thing and history and society in bed with me and decided to sleep alone.

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nastywoman 05.05.18 at 5:39 pm

– and I thought I had… e-nough – but this:

”The fact that there are no qualified professional instructors in the art of attracting sexual partners… shall not stay without the proper response – as it is the fact – that there are tons… millions! – a whole industry! of ”qualified professional instructors in the art of attracting sexual partners” – out there…

I even have a few of them in my own family – who constantly do all kind of ”teaching the sort of reliable approach” – and so actually – ”that ”attracting” problem is a lot more fixable than people wanting to be better singers or better dancers (or better swimmers, or better chess players, or a dozen other things somebody could mention) –
BE-cause in order to attract somebody else -(talking about sex) – you most of the time only have to attract 1 -(in words ONE) – person to be attracted to YOU –
while being ”a good singer” or ”better dancer” needs the applause from a whole bunch of people AND is just NOT as subjective as some ”feeling” of the quality of the ”nookie” –
(If y’all understand what I mean?)

And so – as long as we are NOT talking about ”The Disabled” -(a completely different story) – and we are really talking about a bunch of ”Retards” – who – sorry Mrs. Holbo really – REALLY – deserve such a name – the only possibility to deal with the problem is to really REALLY tell them – that there is ”something terribly wrong with what they’re doing and it’s all their own fault”.

BE-cause IF we don’t do that – they might one day run for the US presidency and even might get… erected?

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Tineola 05.05.18 at 8:50 pm

Curse your damnnable perspicacity, Faustusnotes! Yes, it’s true— I’m an undercover agent sent from Wizardchan on a Secret Troll Mission, here to sow confusion and discord among the libcucks by getting them to argue about stuff in the comments section of a blog post! And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for you! And those meddling kids! And their dog!

YOU MAY HAVE WON THIS ROUND, FRIGID SLUTBITCHES, BUT I’LL BE BACK! I’LL BE BAAAACK!!

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Sebastian H 05.05.18 at 9:08 pm

Colin Street he says he’s worried that people might be lying, he offers no good reason to believe they are lying. For someone so quick to attribute mental health problems to people you disagree with you’re astonishingly slow to recognize potential signs of paranoia. ;)

Faustus is also two stepping between incels (the tiny political group) and the group of lonely people they draw from. (We can’t trust self reporting lonely people because they might be incels).

I understand that Faustusnotes is providing an internally coherent explanation. I’m querying whether it’s a TRUE or a USEFUL explanation in the context of the real world.

I apologize for querying too politely for you to recognize it, Collin.

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Tineola 05.05.18 at 10:07 pm

Given all this, I feel compelled to clarify the sentiment behind my original post.

John argued that Hanson’s argument stumbles when he suggests that sexual redistribution must be accomplished by force. It does. There’s no terribly good reason why we can’t approach the issue in some other good way.

However, the tone of his argument suggested that Hanson had ignored some substantial body of progressive thought on the topic. I read it and thought, “Oh, come on, John! You know as well as I do that progressives aren’t really interested in this sexual redistribution idea— they view the Great Unlaid as assholes and losers, just like everyone else! Sure, progressives might work to destigmatize sex work, but they’d do it for the sex workers themselves; you’ll never see feminists saying that we ought to treat sex workers better because they can provide sex to the otherwise undesirable!” This is the one part of his argument in which Hanson gets somewhere near a legitimate point: the way progressives aggressively seek moral failings in the involuntarily celibate, or argue that anyone can get as much emotional intimacy as they want if they really want it, or claim that nobody’s really involuntarily celibate, does sometimes resemble the way right-wingers treat the insolvs. (Admittedly, the parallel is weakened by the fact that you never see minimum-wage temp workers go on shooting rampages at investment firms. I considered mentioning the right-wing focus on criminal deadbeats, but decided that this was definitely overtaxing the analogy.)

Anyway, I wrote that, and then added a sort of coda along the lines of “By the way, I’m technically involuntarily celibate, and I’m not an asshole or a loser, and I feel really unwelcome when everyone implicitly assumes that I am.” I didn’t intend to draw any kind of comparison between progressives and the manosphere; in fact, that didn’t occur to me at all, and if it had, I wouldn’t have used the phrase “marked by”— I meant “marked by, in comparison to other progressive commentary” rather than “marked by, in comparison to conservative commentary.” I hope this clears things up a bit.

Z, you presumably dispute John’s contention that progressives could, or should, endorse ideas like Fourier’s or sentiments like Savage’s. What you’ve written doesn’t seem to have a lot to do with what I’ve written, except insofar as you assert that progressives simply have nothing to do with sexual misery, a claim which is clearly distinct from “sexually miserable people are assholes or losers.”

bob, what the hell are you talking about? Are you trying to analogize your problems with mine? If that’s the case, what you’ve written is deeply insulting; I’m not a “volcel” fishing for a supermodel, I’m just… lonely, in a “my life would be a lot less awful if I were in a long-term, loving relationship with someone” kind of way.

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Peter T 05.06.18 at 12:18 am

I feel a lot of commentary is failing to distinguish between the personal and the social. I have my personal issues (as who does not), but they are not nuclear war or climate change. Aggregated the like issues of others, they might make a statistical lump large enough to warrant collective attention, but then they are not MY issues – they become an abstract label wandering the net. Similarly, who are these “progressives” who are disdaining the celibate personally? I feel for Tineola, and if he or she poured their troubles into my ear from an adjoining bar stool I would listen sympathetically. But that’s not the same thing as considering the collective program of the incels. Responses to the social issue are not responses to any particular personal situation, or so I would hope. They are not divorced, but not the same thing.

In fact, my impression is that this kind of issue is currently a footnote in the larger political discourse (I’m not in the US, so I could be wrong about this as it applies there). If there’s a bit of noise now, it’s down to one incident and one idiot professor.

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Collin Street 05.06.18 at 12:32 am

Colin Street he says he’s worried that people might be lying,

I said nothing of the sort: I made no statement about my own beliefs.

Go and check.

[your reading comprehension skills are pretty mediocre. This is not an insurmountable problem, but the person who has to surmount it is you. We can’t help you much beyond pointing it out; the actual fix has to come from you. And it is something you really have to try and fix, because it causes problems for others, and not doing what you reasonably can to avoid causing problems for others and expecting them to tidy up after you is, you know, pig fucking selfish. The ability to avoid problems varies between people, obviously: what’s important is that you try.]

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engels 05.06.18 at 12:45 am

I’ve twice posted a fairly short reply to Z (with no links) which has been eaten by the spam filter.

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engels 05.06.18 at 12:55 am

Basic point was I don’t understand why anyone would say sex is not ‘social in nature’, even relatively speaking. It seems not only to necessarily involve other people but also to be strongly shaped by norms and informal sanctions if not coercive laws determined by one’s social group or society as whole. To put it bluntly: the fact someone who wants to can’t get laid is entirely due to the decisions of other people. I’m all for avoiding ‘word games’ but maybe you should reconsider whether ‘social in nature’ is really what you mean?

391

Faustusnotes 05.06.18 at 2:45 am

Good work tineola! I knew I was onto you!

I don’t know if you’re aware but sex worker activists (who are extremely “progressive”) routinely make the case that sex work helps the undesirable and the discriminated against. There are sex workers who specialise in people with disabilities, for example. So no, “progressives” who are extremely positive are not ignoring this issue.

392

nastywoman 05.06.18 at 5:51 am

@386
”and I’m not an asshole”

Then we are NOT talking about you.

”and I feel really unwelcome when everyone implicitly assumes that I am.”

You should not ”assume” that as we were talking about Hanson and a bunch of… no… let’s not call them ”losers” – let’s use a word ”Right Wingers like to use – a bunch of ”terrible haters” who are even willing to kill!!

393

nastywoman 05.06.18 at 6:07 am

– and about:
I’m just… lonely, in a “my life would be a lot less awful if I were in a long-term, loving relationship with someone” kind of way.

– so let’s finally use the advice of somebody in my family who had a similar problem and just got into a relationship which looks more and more like ”a long-term, loving relationship with someone kind of way”.

He told me – he had found out that in ”teh homeland – currently – to get in ”a long-term, loving relationship with someone” kind of way – one firstly should NOT get into any type of ”political discussion” – as somehow – in America – it seems to be a real ”turn off” for a lot of people who want to get into a long-term, loving relationship with someone” kind of way.

394

nastywoman 05.06.18 at 6:38 am

– or – perhaps we finally should quote – the ”worlds currently most famous philosopher”?

1.“Be nice to everyone, always smile, and appreciate things because it could all be gone tomorrow.”
or
2. “It’s ok to be not ok.”
or
3. “If love what you can’t have, then you have to love what you’ve got”
or
4. “Pain is only relevant if it still hurts.”
or my favorite one:
5
“If I ever have any back-up dancers, I want the penguins from Madagascar.”

395

nastywoman 05.06.18 at 7:06 am

and @Engels

”To put it bluntly: the fact someone who wants to can’t get laid is entirely due to the decisions of other people”.

If you are into ”group sex”?

– and avoiding ‘word games’ but maybe you should reconsider whether ‘social in nature’ is really what you mean?

396

engels 05.06.18 at 10:05 am

and avoiding ‘word games’ but maybe you should reconsider whether ‘social in nature’ is really what you mean?

Okay

social adjective so·cial \ ˈsō-shəl \ 4 a : tending to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others
Infants can become social beings only through interaction with others. —Gerald R. Leslie and Sheila K. Korman
b : living and breeding in more or less organized communities especially for the purposes of cooperation and mutual benefit : not solitary

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/social

397

Raven Onthill 05.06.18 at 11:11 am

(This is a late night what-I-might-think post. I suspect that in the morning light I will find considerable flaws in it, but I offer it as a starting point.)

Having watched this discussion continue with considerable horror, I have the following general remarks: (1) Libertarians in general, and Hanson in particular, conflate the “my” of “my body” with the “my” of “my property.” (2) Patriarchy makes “my woman” into “my property.” Men who feel entitled to a complaisant sexual partner (or object) are unfortunately common; incels say it outright, but there are many, many more men who believe it, hence rape culture.

This whole discussion is circling issues of embodiment and self-definition. The libertarian belief that one’s property is to be treated ethically as identical to one’s body, is ethically scandalous; one ends up with Hanson’s apparently seriously argued belief that taxation is a form of rape. It is, unfortunately, a distressingly common belief. Donald Trump has a large dose of it, and abuses both other people’s property and women’s bodies while at the same time treating the most mild personal criticism as an attack on his self. He is hardly alone among the rich and powerful in this but one does not need to be rich or powerful to hold this idea; this aggrandizement of the self is also very much a part of the masculinity of less-wealthy and even poor men.

It is a subject difficult of discussion because it so close to identity; discussion slips quickly from philosophical abstraction to defense of or attack upon the idea of the self.

(I’m sure there’s more to say about this, but there is not enough room in the margin of this book… Right now I am out of late night thoughts.)

398

engels 05.06.18 at 11:26 am

I guess on a deeper level the point is that sex in our society generally takes place between partners with genders and genders are socially constructed.

399

engels 05.06.18 at 11:48 am

”The Danish egalitarian system and Jante Law feed on each other to form what is one of the most liberal, feminist-friendly societies in the world,” Roosh writes.
“Therefore, when it comes to getting laid, your American attitude and belief system will cockblock the fuck out of you before you even open your mouth. Since basically the entire point of game is showing you’re better than the next guy, something that Jante Law specifically forbids, it’s no surprise to find that game efforts will not be well received in Denmark, especially if you consider yourself an alpha male. It was amusing how often and how quickly I’d offend every Danish girl without even trying.”

https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/cockblocked-by-redistribution

400

Collin Street 05.06.18 at 1:04 pm

… eh. Quick reading, my apologies, Sebastian. Missed a “he”.

It’s too late to write a corrected post in my local time, though, but I want to acknowledge my misreading.

[you still appear to be in error, btw.]

401

JanieM 05.06.18 at 2:30 pm

Raven Onthill @ currently ~397 —

No doubt someone will come along to pick it apart, but that comment was helpful to me.

It reminds me of Dylann Roof telling his victims “I have to do this because y’all are raping our women and taking over the world” before he slaughtered them.

I got news: We’re not “your” women, you murderous POS.

402

bob mcmanus 05.06.18 at 2:30 pm

397: This whole discussion is circling issues of embodiment and self-definition. The libertarian belief that one’s property is to be treated ethically as identical to one’s body, is ethically scandalous

Right, but the inverse is also not very sub voce, that my body is my property with associated rights like privacy and importantly to the question here, there are no prior (to individual rights) positive (“must do X”) social or community claims on the body. Like a draft. Vagrancy? Tattoos.

Or what they are, how they are legitimated etc. Gotta re-read Cohen on self-ownership. And MacPherson. If self-control over my body is not a liberal-legal property right or limited by the social political (the majority cannot vote force-pregnancy) then is it some kind of transcendentally founded Idea?

On a continuum, I think socialists are in opposition to libertarians and neoliberals in recognizing dominance of the social and demos and legitimating coercive demands on bodies. Mao pajamas.

The challenge is creating a new “communities that can command and coerce” that is not tied to the traditional structures of patriarchy and power.

Not informed consent, cause persuasion is a delusion. Submission to desiring-machines. Lukacs was right to stick with the Party. Oh, quck foolishness, western Marxism is based on the idea that class consciousness is emergent, that CC is the self-recognition of the proletariat as collective agent of history.

Since that decade, Marxians have been engrossed with the idea that Vanguardism and leadership are not only counterproductive, but ontologically impossible. In other words, persuasion fails* and is immoral in the attempt, a technology of capitalism. But the illusion, which is the illusion of rational choice, individual rights, public discourse, the stock market, everything, this mystification, the reifiction drives the machine.

See Aachen and Bartels, Democracy for Realists

403

Sebastian H 05.06.18 at 3:37 pm

Speaking of own troll combined with “hey let’s attack Sebastian’s comment 385 because he’s a fun target for the second time in a row” we have Collin Street at 388 exhibiting incredible levels of projection when he says about me (and pronouns are about to become important):

your reading comprehension skills are pretty mediocre. This is not an insurmountable problem, but the person who has to surmount it is you. We can’t help you much beyond pointing it out; the actual fix has to come from you. And it is something you really have to try and fix, because it causes problems for others, and not doing what you reasonably can to avoid causing problems for others and expecting them to tidy up after you is, you know, pig fucking selfish. The ability to avoid problems varies between people, obviously: what’s important is that you try.

Now the good thing about this little rant is that it illustrates the proper use of ‘you’ and ‘your’ when commenting. Those words are used to describe the person you are talking to in a comment.

However, the bad thing about this rant is that Collin Street, YOU (and I only capitalize it to emphasize the pronoun I’m using, since YOU see to have trouble noticing the difference between pronouns) are the person who wants to ascribe mental illness and infirmity to people who disagree with you in a very large percentage of your comments. But YOU (and again to be very clear I am talking about Collin Street) appear to be engaging in what mental health professionals usually call “projecting” because YOU (Collin Street) appear to have difficulty understanding the convention of using the word ‘HE’ to refer to someone other than ‘YOU’.

So YOU (Collin Street) going on a personally insulting rant about MY (that is Sebastian H) reading comprehension because YOU (Collin Street) don’t realize that the word ‘HE’ refers to someone other than ‘YOU’ (and by context it is crystal clear that the person being referred to is Faustusnotes because that is who YOU (Collin Street) were talking about) is rather rich. The rest of the comment clarifies that reading by leading the next paragraph with “Faustusnotes is also…” which to many readers would hint that I was talking about him already. This leads to the inference that you didn’t even read the whole of my seven sentence comment.

And regarding you throwaway apology an hour later, you didn’t miss ‘a he’. You replaced every instance of ‘he’ with ‘you’ for some reason and compounded the error by failing to notice that I was talking about Faustusnotes by name later, which should have at least triggered a “did I miss a pronoun” response in a good reader.

Then you state that I “still appear to be in error, btw”, which doesn’t even make sense because your comment was entirely about how I was incapable of basic reading comprehension and that you hadn’t revealed anything about your own beliefs.

But I can’t still be in error about that because I never said anything about that. I can exercise maximum interpretative charity, and imagine that someone who isn’t good at writing clearly might mean that I’m still wrong about Faustusnotes, except it doesn’t appear that I am wrong about that, so I’ll admit that I’m mystified.

And, I’ll note that you’ve successfully diverted away from my substantive question which was why Faustusnotes thinks we should just assume that self reported involuntarily celibate people are lying about how unhappy it makes them.

404

nastywoman 05.06.18 at 3:43 pm

@396+398+399
”Okay”

”social” – concerning ”the issue at hand” – the most fitting definition is in the Oxford dictionary and it says:

”2 Needing companionship and therefore best suited to living in communities.
‘we are social beings as well as individuals’’

And as hinted before – being a ”social being” = a fearless fighter against (economic) inequality!

Concerning being an ”individual” NOT sharing any toothbrush and… ”sex” –
and about this ”Roosh-dude” who really seems to think -(like you?) that all of these Danish girls didn’t go for his… his… okay let’s firstly call it ”Pick-Up” because all of these Danish girls are born into this ”great social-democratic” society where they are not dependent on some BIG American Charismaman –

Well –
I was born into a very similar (social-democratic) society in Germany – and from the perspective of a very dumb young American there might be a tiny – tiny bit of truth – that WE (Danish and German and a lot of other European Women) have a certain ”confidence” which is partly based on the ”social security” we enjoy from birth –
BUT the real ”deal” –
the real… thing is that we might be able to identify a… holes right away –
-(especially some ”American Ones”)

405

engels 05.06.18 at 11:24 pm

the most fitting definition is in the Oxford dictionary and it says: ”2 Needing companionship…

Er okay so how does that suggest sex isn’t ‘social’?

406

Faustusnotes 05.06.18 at 11:51 pm

Sebastian, I don’t assume self reported incels (of the real non misogynist kind) are lying about how unhappy it makes them. I’m assuming that most people – including most people on this thread – lie about how much sex they’re having and in particular with how many partners they are having/ have had sex. I don’t assume that people who admit to being incels (who aren’t lying) are lying about how unhappy this makes them. my cynicism about others statements extends only to the truth of their sex lives.

To back this up I give the example of sexual health research, where people often dispute the validity of self report, and where it is generally accepted that people understate their risky behaviour (which is basically what were talking about here). For example there’s a suspicion that most “hetsrosexual” new HIV cases in Japanese men are actually acquired through sex with men, for a while American researchers believed hep C could be sexually transmitted because injecting drug users were lying about their behaviour, we have special strategies for dealing with men who are straight but have sex with men, and with young people who won’t admit or accept that their behaviour is risky. more anecdotally I give the example of this thread which is all about how easy it is to get laid but not a single person has talked about how easy they find it or how much they do it, and admissions that even could possibly suggest some familiarity with the world of casual sex are heavily policed. There’s no chance anyone on here is going to admit to an affair – it’s much more socially acceptable to fake a barren sex life.

In Japan and Korea an excellent example.ple of this can be observed in the way women hide their casual sex partners. They lie about it to other women and then say they wouldn’t tell the truth because none of their friends do “that sort of thing” so they couldn’t possibly tell them. But if you’re hiding it from your friends, why assume they aren’t hiding it from you too? This kind of behaviour rests on the assumption that what you’re doing is unusual, which arises from the conviction that it’s bad and thus noone else is doing it.

The only people who you should think are exaggerating the scale of their sexual activity are PUAs. And why would we care what thdy are doing anyway?

407

bekabot 05.07.18 at 12:52 am

you’ll never see feminists saying that we ought to treat sex workers better because they can provide sex to the otherwise undesirable

One of the many reasons to treat sex workers better than we do is because they can provide sex to the otherwise undesirable.

(Good enough?)

Though actually, the sex-pos strand of feminism has been busy making this same exact case for many, many years. (Or, what Faustusnotes just said.)

408

Kiwanda 05.07.18 at 1:14 am

Peter T:

…Similarly, who are these “progressives” who are disdaining the celibate personally?

(Besides faustusnotes and nastywoman, you mean?) It’s a fair point: there’s nothing about progressive views, as such, that demands disdain for the celibate, and no clear evidence about this regarding progressives as a group. It would be wrong to ascribe to all progressives the highly visible mean-spirited views of *some* progressives without clear evidence. And the same clarity about the distinction between a group and the individuals in it should extend to all groups, right?

409

nastywoman 05.07.18 at 1:48 am

@405
”so how does that suggest sex isn’t ‘social’?”

because – ”it’s none of your business”?

410

Kiwanda 05.07.18 at 1:52 am

It may be of some interest that Scott Aaronson has posted about Hanson and his column.

411

Orange Watch 05.07.18 at 1:53 am

FN@406:
admissions that even could possibly suggest some familiarity with the world of casual sex are heavily policed

Observing that your reference to going a week w/o sex as a failure of planning implies that you find obtaining sexual intimacy easy (even w/o your later explicit statements to precisely that effect, all of which were coached in terms like “in my experience”) – and hence ARE making comments about your sex life, and indeed sexual prowess, despite your later denials – is not in any way slutshaming, no matter how much you want to play victim. Observing that someone spoke about their personal experience with sex and that they all but explicitly stated that they do not find obtaining regular sexual intimacy difficult is not a judgement of their sexual conduct, nor can it easily be construed as one without numerous unstated assumptions. The only moral judgement that leveled was one against disingenuousness, although I conceed in context there was some judgement against punching down as well.

In passing, I’d note that you now appear to be suggesting that all people are equally honest about sex in all contexts and to all audiences, and are equally inclined to play up/play down their level of sexual activity and number of partners in all contexts and to all audiences, which should strike anyone with even a passing knowledge of how human beings interact with one another as absurd. If I’m mistaken on that count, it’s not on the basis of poor reading comprehension; you’ve freely and consistently cited completely unrelated examples of contexts as unreservedly corroborating each other and in your 406 have doubled down on your emerging Unified Theory of Sexual Disclosure.

412

J-D 05.07.18 at 6:07 am

Faustusnotes

Evidence that people give false or incomplete or misleading answers in response to being asked questions about their sexual activity is not the kind of evidence you need to establish conclusions about unprompted volunteered information about sexual activity. I expect that if I asked all the people I know about their sexual activity any information I got would be unreliable (and I’d lose friends and gain enemies); but that would be no reason to doubt any unprompted confidences (if I ever received any).

413

Sebastian H 05.07.18 at 6:39 am

It feels like you are falling into a stastical fallacy. I don’t remeber it’s name, but it’s the one where for example a clinical psychologist begins thinking everyone has terrible marriages because his sample (acutely disturbed patients) have bad marriages.

Yes, the population of recently seroconverted straight men in homophobic countries is probably under reporting their number of recent male partners. Yes the number of people who recently contracted Hep C are probably under reporting their recent IV drug use. But you aren’t taking into account exclusion factors.

The involuntarily celibate will essentially never show up as recent seroconverted HIV cases. They aren’t having sex.

The involuntarily celibate will essentially never show up with a sexually transmitted disease. They aren’t having sex.

The population of recent HIV conversions or Hep C contractions is very different from the involuntarily celibate.

Furthermore, unlike lying about sleeping with men in a homophobic country, there are strong cross pressures to inflate your numbers of sexual partners—especially above zero. You seem to completely discount those cross pressures, and I can’t see why.

414

Collin Street 05.07.18 at 8:06 am

And, I’ll note that you’ve successfully diverted away from my substantive question which was why Faustusnotes thinks we should just assume that self reported involuntarily celibate people are lying about how unhappy it makes them.

Your question had an answer given to you before it was even asked, like I said. Here’s the question you asked that we can call “initial”:
Faustusnotes it is odd that you are willing to suggest people are lying about not having sexual but that they aren’t lying about having sex.

[… this is of course not the same question as you cite above! This is the sort of thing that’s lead me to conclude you’re… not very good at argument? keeping track of your own position, what you’re arguing for or against, is a key part of making sure that the arguments you have lead to meaningful conclusions: no “win” or “lose” if you don’t know what you’re fighting for or over]

[if you’re not following: your initial question was about “lying about sex”, your new question is about “lying about unhappiness”.]

So. Setting aside that you’ve changed your position without evidently realising — we’ll stick with your original question — the post you are responding to contained the following comments:
Now we get into your complex discussion of whether I don’t know people aren’t having sex. But here’s the thing, it’s really easy to tell people are having sex: they have partners, or have had partners, and we typically learn this information early on in knowing people. Often they have children, a sure sign they have or have had sex. Furthermore, it’s usually safe to assume when discussing sex that people are getting more than they let on, not less, because it’s a topic clothed in shame and we don’t openly confess to doing it. If you doubt that, witness what happened when I reveal I like sex on this very thread: my revelation that I like regular sex was turned into an accusation that I’m a slut, and that I’m bragging about all my conquests. In general we don’t ask people how much sex they’re getting and usually anyway they lie about the amount they’re getting. The one forum where that is likely not true is when talking to PUAs, who have strong social incentives to exaggerate. This is an important thing to remember about the incels – the forum they operate in does not encourage revealing that you’re shagging a becky, does it?

The bolded parts are given as reasons in support of faustusnote’s conclusions. They are an answer to your question, a question that when they were written you had not yet asked. The question you asked was answered.

Now, you may not be satisfied with the answer you have. You may not agree with the answer you have: that’s fine. But, it’s one of the rules of the way discussions flow: essentially, a question, once answered, cannot [usefully, and thus politely] be asked again.

415

Collin Street 05.07.18 at 10:14 am

Sebastian: something I didn’t mention.

That Faustusnotes has answered your question doesn’t mean you have to be satisfied with his answer. Of course you can disagree!

But, the questions a person asks for the situation “I am not satisfied with the answers you have given so far” are different to the questions asked for “You have not answered my question at all”. You’re treating the former as the latter; this is wasteful of the time and effort that faustusnotes put into answering your concerns, and is thus disrespectful.

416

engels 05.07.18 at 10:39 am

because – ”it’s none of your business”?

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=the+personal+is+political

417

bob mcmanus 05.07.18 at 11:48 am

The Aaronson link is decent, drawing a different crowd. But we really are only starting on this, at the bare beginning.

If I had to guess, I think it’s because I refused to endorse the one socially approved explanation for what so many shy male nerds go through: namely, that it’s all down to their own terrible behavior and attitudes. On this theory, if swaggering, non-nerdy guys enjoy more romantic success, Mb>it must be because they’re more deeply moral than nerds are, more sensitive and feminist, better able to see women as people. And hence, if the nerds would only look further inward, blame themselves even more, repent even harder for their failings, maybe their problems would sort themselves out.

I did not endorse that theory, and will never endorse it.

That is what incels hear, that it is trivially easy to get love and affection, and if you are unlaid you are a bad person. Period. Women aren’t sluts, but they are saints. Saints. All of them.

I need to reread Either/Or, the satire of the seducer and the interminable sermon toward marriage. I have been bothered my whole life by the move to allow priests to marry, Buddhists, Hindu’s, so many traditions value celibacy and renunciation, can’t we have one asocial space? Why not? Do we next allow priests to become hedge fund traders? What happened?Well, we can look to Luther I guess…

Celibacy is in itself in a large part of the population equated to misogyny, because half the population still finds its identity in its reproductive role.

Shulamith Firestone was absolutely right.

“Firestone argued Freud and Marx had ignored that she called the “sex class”, the domination of women by men because of their biology. Gender inequality originates in the patriarchal societal structures imposed upon women because of their bodies, she argued, particularly the physical, social and psychological disadvantages caused by pregnancy, childbirth, and child-rearing.[8] To be human is to outgrow nature, she argued: “we can no longer justify the maintenance of a discriminatory sex class system on the grounds of its origin in Nature.” The abolition of the sex class requires that women take control of the means of reproduction.[18] She regarded pregnancy and childbirth as “barbaric” (a friend of hers compared labor to “shitting a pumpkin”) and the nuclear family as a key source of women’s oppression. Contraception, in vitro fertilization and other advances meant that sex would one day be separated from pregnancy and child-rearing, and women could be free. She anticipated that groups of people would in future gather together voluntarily to rear children without resorting to permanent male-female relationships and without the idea that particular children “belong” to one couple.[8]”

418

nastywoman 05.07.18 at 12:05 pm

@416
and as I asked before – is that really a quote from the 70th?

and what did I read at Wikipedia:
”The personal is political, also termed The private is political, is a political argument used as a rallying slogan of student movement and second-wave feminism from the late 1960s. It underscored the connections between personal experience and larger social and political structures. In the context of the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s, it was a challenge to the nuclear family and family values.[1] The phrase has been repeatedly described as a defining characterization of second-wave feminism, radical feminism, women’s studies, or feminism in general.[2][3] It differentiated the second-wave feminism of the 1960s and 1970s from the early feminism of the 1920s, which was concerned with achieving the right to vote for women”.

Wow – it is a quote from a time I wasn’t even… existing yet? – and I know some friends of my parents who have told me that they were living in ”Kommunen” at that time.
-(and some even shared their toothbrush?!)

BUT that was – how many years ago? and if -(also Wikipedia) writes:
”Writing in 2006, Hanisch observed, “Like most of the theory created by the Pro-Woman Line radical feminists, these ideas have been revised or ripped off or even stood on their head and used against their original, radical intent.”[7]”- and so – perhaps as it is 2018 – some stuff happened since ”the personal is political” and it is possible that it actually might be the other way around? like… like
”the personal is the political” – but still NOT concerning ME using my own and absolutely not ”social” or ”socialized” private toothbrush?

Even if somebody from the 20th might have a very hard time to understand that?
-(did they even use toothbrushes at that time?)

419

Faustusnotes 05.07.18 at 1:21 pm

Orange watch, if you don’t live with your partner and you are busy it’s possible to go more than a week without sex through bad planning. This is a very simple and obvious inference that can be drawn from my comment. You, however, chose to take it as evidence I have lots of sexual partners, then sneered at me for bragging about it. And now you double down on the slut accusations! Now I happen to think there’s nothing around with slutting about but you obviously do, or you wouldn’t have whacked me with this little aside.

Also if you think “in my experience” has the same meaning as “speaking for myself” in the context of a social behaviour like getting laid, again you’re looking for excuses to make a fuss. I’m obviously talking about the people around me as much as myself. You’ve been quick to draw a specific conclusion because you want to paint me as a braggart jock. More fool you.

Sebastian I should hope it’s fairly obvious that I’m not comparing incels to injecting drug users with hepatitis C. I’m simply making the point that in general people lie about behaviour that is considered shameful. This includes having large numbers of sex partners, having lots of casual sex etc.

I’ll grant you it’s possible that virgins might lie about having previously had sex, but I think that’s only likely to get past our notice when they’re young. By the time people hit their thirties their friends know if they aren’t getting any and never have. And of course statistically by the time people hit their thirties almost everyone is partnered up and often with children. By this age the prevalence of sexlessness is very very low. And I’m not willing to call a vorgin in their early twenties an incel. That’s just late blooming.

It really is the case that the vast majority of us get laid.

420

bob mcmanus 05.07.18 at 2:45 pm

Bah. This isn’t being taken seriously. Like capitalism, you have move outside and against to even see it.

Why was 8 year old me told to brush my teeth wear clean clothes and stand straight? Yes, men care about uniforms in competitive environments (oh wait…they all are), but for the most part are famously loose in judging how other men dress.

Boys dress nice to show they care what women think of them, to show that women are attractive enough that men will change their behavior to gain favor. Its a form of flattery and courting.

I woke up every morning o my life knowing that what was important every moment of every day in my most minor and trivial actions was what women think of me, and what mattered was that they think I like them. It still matters here in this comment section.

Scott Aaronson linked above tried to prove his service at one point saying 1st rule: Women must not be touched without consent. What about criminals and handcuffs? Well, that’s different.

Maybe “bad” or accused women can be touched? Jesus.

The entire discourse is sick and corrupt, after the third wave feminists have rushed back to the plantation because the high wages and equal opportunity created opportunities to be well-paid overseers.

Trump and Sanders were about new different some good and some bad ideas. They were productive. Clinton wanted to build n Obama’s successes. She was reproductive.

And so it goes.

421

nastywoman 05.07.18 at 2:46 pm

@but – and perhaps to put an end to all these… these.. uncomfortable ”pondering” about if ”sex” is more of a ”private” or ”social” thingy – y’all need to see John Olivers last explanation of ”Americas Major” – and…
”ferrets” – and if – after watching it – there will be still this desire on here – to make ”it”… social I will offer all my used toothbrushes – to anybody here – who wants them…
even to ”Friedrich”!

422

bob mcmanus 05.07.18 at 2:58 pm

Kindness is a form of flattery. Politeness. The usual rules of discourse. Honneth’s recognition shit.

I guess to eat I have to live in the farmyard and not be aggressively hostile or destructive, but apparently that’s not enough. That lasted about a decade, until I could no longer stand the constant approval and flattery I had to perform for a world I despised.

423

bob mcmanus 05.07.18 at 5:26 pm

Anybody remember Lucas? I sure do

“A socially inept fourteen year old experiences heartbreak for the first time when his two best friends — Cappie, an older-brother figure, and Maggie, the new girl with whom he is in love — fall for each other. “

But there was a happy ending, cause Lucas ended up with Winona Ryder in her moust phase.

See, the beautiful people the lords and ladies were with each other, and the peasants and losers were with each other, and everybody got love and was real nice about it…

…and everybody was in their proper place.

We haven’t even begun to talk about this, and likely never will.

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anon/portly 05.07.18 at 9:26 pm

Faustusnotes has said so many goofy things it’s hard to pick out just one or two. So first a quick point:

371 In fact the prevalence of childlessness is so rare in adults that conservatives routinely feel comfortable mocking any woman who is, and know that they will never experience significant consequences for doing so, because almost no one knows a childless woman over 40, and therefore won’t care.

I know several childless women over 40. I would say that almost everyone knows several, and would actually be surprised if a single person reading this doesn’t know at least 5, maybe 10, unless the total number of women over 40 they know happens to be unusually small. Furthermore how and when and why do conservatives mock childless women? Women used to be called “old maids” and “spinsters” but by society in general, or so I thought.

334 Especially since all the things that incels and Robin Hanson think are holding them back from getting laid – their supposed ugliness, their alleged lack of money – are not a barrier for those of us who treat women with respect and speak to them like human beings.

371 Now, I have nowhere here said I don’t think genuine incels exist, and I have expressed sympathy for them, but I have made it clear that the vast majority of people can get laid if they want. I think that means people who can’t get laid (the ones who aren’t lying about it) until later in life are extremely unusual, and we should accept that. That probably means they’re doing something wrong, which I think you also accept since you are sympathetic to the idea that they would go to Dan Savage for “help” with their “problem”. But my first thought is that they don’t care that much about getting laid, but feel a great deal of social pressure to do so, since that’s what’s normal in our society.

I see Faustusnotes as basically saying “they should pull themselves up by their bootstraps,” a type of argument that, for good reason, we don’t make about people’s economic woes.

Of course it is true that poor people could, if they just worked harder and smarter, escape poverty, and many in fact do just that. But it still remains true that we are all born with certain endowments, and it’s a lot easier to be successful economically if you were “lucky” in the circumstances of your birth, in various ways (parental wealth, race, education, etc).

Just as different people experience greater and lesser success (however defined) in their “economic” lives, it’s also true that different people experience greater and lesser success (however defined) in their “romantic” lives.

As an aside, I would say that some people who are utterly miserable “romantically” are actually having lots of sex, and some people who not unhappy in this area have little or no sex. (People are weird, and diverse). So there’s no perfect positive correlation between sexual frequency and sexual satisfaction.

But there are obviously many men and women who go without sex (see link in 106) and are without partners, and who would be happier if things were otherwise. Who can deny that? Yes, they can always go to the gym and get out there and meet people and all that, but they don’t.

Who is to say that, just as there are factors beyond individual control that affect their chances of economic success, there aren’t similar (and possibly overlapping) factors that affect their chances of romantic success also?

I have a couple of friends – very single, ever since I’ve known them, who I think I know well enough to have a small amount of insight into their situation, who I think would be (and would have been) happier if they had found partners, but they never did. One is very sensitive about his appearance, the other is of a very taciturn (but artistic and creative) disposition. Both of them I (and others who know them) think came from family backgrounds that were not super-advantageous in terms of their early socialization vis-à-vis adolescence and females, but maybe this is iffy. I think Faustusnotes is right that throughout their lives, they “could have gotten laid” but they just didn’t. Bu I think it’s presumptuous (at the least) to suggest “they don’t care that much” or “they’re doing something wrong.” They are who they are.

Consider for a moment common left-wing blog themes like “many poor people vote against their interest” and “large swathes of the white population are irredeemably racist.” Our society is so f’d up that these things are true – that mass ignorance and perverse behavior are commonplace – but it’s impossible that a man or woman who doesn’t get laid has only him or her self to blame? There’s no social element that bears even a smidgen of blame?

I’m actually skeptical of the two claims in the previous paragraph – I think voting against interest and racism are way over-emphasized in left-wing discourse, which to me is overly given to “people who don’t think like (socially upper middle class) me are given to moral and cognitive defects” type thinking. But the idea that the deck is to some degree stacked against some people – poor people, minorities, women, and so on – that one I do agree with. I think the deck is stacked against people in various and varyingly subtle ways – saying that people are to blame for their problems is not that insightful. Not that we often aren’t, just that any issue worth discussing is going to be way, way too complicated to be reduced to just that.

371 That hot girl you want can choose to have sex with you as well as someone else, if she wants, and choosing to fuck you wont deny him anything. We can all grow the pie by a mere act of desire. Sex is a post scarcity economy already and has been a long time, and anyone can participate in it if they want to and if they treat the other participants with respect and dignity. [Emphasis mine].

My final note is that this observation has been contradicted, authoritatively and comprehensively – at least in my view – by the complex set of moral and ethical arguments known as “Rodney Dangerfield’s act.” I told my doctor my wife tested positive for a venereal disease … he gave himself a shot!

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anon/portly 05.07.18 at 9:38 pm

I’d like to add an additional point to my “stacked deck” point, which is that in life, there’s a lot of luck involved. (Yes, some people, when they “get lucky,” get lucky).

Anyway, to me another important reason to be skeptical of the outcomes-based viewpoint as espoused by Faustusnotes.

426

engels 05.08.18 at 12:14 am

In 2016 to 2017, there were 5% of adults in England who reported feeling lonely “often” or “always”.
Younger adults aged 16 to 24 years reported feeling lonely more often than those in older age groups.
Women reported feeling lonely more often than men.
Those single or widowed were at particular risk of experiencing loneliness more often.
People in poor health or who have conditions they describe as “limiting” were also at particular risk of feeling lonely more often.
Renters reported feeling lonely more often than homeowners.
People who feel that they belong less strongly to their neighbourhood reported feeling lonely more often.
People who have little trust of others in their local area reported feeling lonely more often.

Three profiles of people at particular risk from loneliness were identified:

Widowed older homeowners living alone with long-term health conditions.
Unmarried, middle-agers with long-term health conditions.
Younger renters with little trust and sense of belonging to their area.
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/articles/lonelinesswhatcharacteristicsandcircumstancesareassociatedwithfeelinglonely/2018-04-10

Now back to your regularly scheduled moralising/psychologising…

427

Orange Watch 05.08.18 at 1:03 am

The more FN comments in this thread, the more parallels I see between their POV and that of lovely souls who propose to cure depression by dismissively telling the depressed to stop feeling sorry for themselves and just be happy.

bekabot@363:
I wish I could say that was just me having a good ear rather than having seen that argument presented nearly verbatim literally dozens of times. It’s a go-to MRA script to win sympathy from non-activists who could be sympathetic to feminism, but don’t identify as feminists, and so naturally it gets trotted out in non-manospherical venues. If a feminist pushes back against it, they’ll seem defensive and will have to fight upstream against unstated background tropes regarding how feminism already won and we have equality – with the helpful, reasonable MRA all too eager to chime in with an implication of “at least we HAD equality until the feminazis Went Too Far…”

Depressingly, I’ve seen that over and over again as a foot-in-the-door rhetorical ploy to win over the casual undecided.

That touches on a point worth repeating. People aren’t born incel, toxic or otherwise. Some nascent incels will reach adulthood with toxic values already internalized, but others will merely be socially awkward, isolated, etc. until they later find a group that responds to their problems with sympathy, and even compassion. If the only group out there that will do that is intent on indoctrinating them to be misogynists, that’s a problem. And it’s not a problem that will be solved by further callous mockery and dismissal of them as presumptive members of the group that’s telling them they understand and know how it feels. Not that I have a solution, mind you; it’s just pretty obvious that no good will come of pushing the wavering celibate into the waiting arms of the incels while reinforcing a siege mentality.

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faustusnotes 05.08.18 at 1:56 am

anon/portly, childlessness among American women aged 40-44% is about 15% and higher among the highly educated. If you don’t hang around PhDs, it’s lower.

As an example of the way conservatives mock childless women, consider the way the previous female PM of Australia was routinely smeared for having no children, and her general femininity called into question because of it (e.g. she had a “barren” kitchen).

I decided to actually check the statistics on sexlessness, and found this analysis of survey data which finds 8.2% prevalence of sexlessness in the past 5 years in an adult sample. In people aged under 45 it’s about 3.5%, and past year sexlessness <8%. The study doesn't give a figure for continually sexless but I think anyone with a rudimentary grasp of probability theory can see that it must be very low. The study also seems to show no relationship between sexlessness and general happiness.

There is a link to another 2002 study (of the same data set?) which seems to find about 5.5% of American men aged 24-45 have never had sex (are still virgins), but it also finds this significantly associated with religious observance and not consuming alcohol – i.e. these dudes are volcels.

Like I said, being an incel is extremely rare and not likely to be representative of a broad social problem. We should not compare incels to insolvs, because economic inequality is widespread and poverty common.

Lastly, about the "respect and dignity" thing, I clarified later that I added that as a sop to the slut-shamers on here, and in practice people don't even have to do that to get laid. As you say!

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J-D 05.08.18 at 2:15 am

anon/portly

But there are obviously many men and women who go without sex (see link in 106) and are without partners, and who would be happier if things were otherwise. Who can deny that? Yes, they can always go to the gym and get out there and meet people and all that, but they don’t.

It seems to me we should consider the possibility that there are also people who do go to the gym and get out there and meet people and all that and who still don’t have partners and are still going without sex (although they would prefer to have partners and would prefer to be having sex). Apparently Lobsterman and Faustusnotes can’t credit that this is a possibility, but I don’t find their incredulity persuasive as evidence.

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nastywoman 05.08.18 at 8:20 am

@424
anon/portly has said so many goofy things -(about Faustnotes ”many goofy things) – it’s hard to pick out just one or two. So first a quick point:

”saying that people are to blame for their problems is not that insightful” – while (kind of?) blaming Faustnotes for his problems explaining an issue which is ”way, way too complicated to be reduced to just that” – as we ALL? seem to have found out by now – that this… this ”sex thing” – seems to be a very ”subjective” – ”private” and ”personal” thing?

And sorry Mr. Holbo if I have to bring up Ed Sheeran – again! – but I have such a lot of friends lately – who are so… absolutely ”into” Ed Sheeran that the boyfriend of one of my friends -(she ”liebt ihn”) – bought a ”ginger” wig and surprised her the last time they got ready for… ”nookie” –
And they had ”the best time” together – BUT not in the way – anon/portly and Faustnotes exchanged some serious (personal) experiences with (the other?) sex – BUT more in a very… ”funny and emotional way” – more comparable to somebody creating very erratic dance moves for ”Shape of You”.

And so my final note (not only to anons/portly’s @424 ”final note”) – is that ”the complex set of moral and ethical arguments known as ”MY (ME) act” – that y’all really – really should watch the tutorial how ”to move” to ”the Shape of You”!

431

Robespierre 05.08.18 at 11:41 am

What you just wrote may well all be true, but it is irrelevant. Nobody owes anybody else love, sex or friendship.

It is undeniably sad and even tragic that these things, which are hugely important human needs, can’t be guaranteed, even to well meaning and basically decent people, but any solution that involves “people should be forced to have sex with me” is so monstrous that I can’t believe we’re even discussing these assholes seriously.

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bianca steele 05.08.18 at 2:56 pm

Stopping by and seconding Orange Watch @ 427. I’d add that in nominally progressive forums like this one, it seems increasingly common for MRAs and similar to profess support for feminist causes but when a woman engages them on the topic, to subtly shift discussion to something like “now that we agree I’m a good guy and care about your issues, obviously your issues don’t need to be discussed anymore, and I’m going to. pressure you to come out one of MRAs’ pet issues now.” It’s a bit more subtle than “I agree taxation and redistribution would be nice things to have, but that means you’re going to sleep with me or any classmate of my choosing, right”, but hey it’s not the 1980s anymore.

They’re not above citing Faludi as support for the argument either, claiming the backlash as not merely obvious but only just and fair.

433

engels 05.08.18 at 3:59 pm

being an incel is extremely rare and not likely to be representative of a broad social problem

Read some effing Durkheim
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_(book)

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nastywoman 05.08.18 at 4:14 pm

@
”Nobody owes anybody else love, sex or friendship”.

with the exception of US President – he does -(please NOT sex – and perhaps NOT love) but perhaps… ”friendship” for the American people?

435

Whirrlaway 05.08.18 at 5:53 pm

Probably used to be social disfunction got expressed through eating, ie “hung for stealing a crust of bread” but these days many eat badly but few actually starve, so naturally disfunction gets expressed in the central motivational tone of the day: manipulative, possessive sex. The big problem with the experience of social disfunctionality is that it’s difficult to self-regulate and you pretty much want to do whatever is necessary to break through. Some do cut loose, as we see.

Jim Morrison nailed it … as far as I know he wasn’t having any problem getting laid. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0Mz_IqpZX8

436

anon/portly 05.08.18 at 7:22 pm

childlessness among American women aged 40-44% is about 15%

You write this as if it contradicts my point, but it contradicts your point, doesn’t it? Roughly 1 in 7 women you meet over 40 will be childless, so saying “almost no one knows a childless women over 40” can’t be right. Right?

I decided to actually check the statistics on sexlessness, and found this analysis of survey data which finds 8.2% prevalence of sexlessness in the past 5 years in an adult sample. In people aged under 45 it’s about 3.5%….

Quick note: it’s not 8.2%, it’s 13.6% – they say it plainly in the text and you can calculate it from the top line of Table 1. I didn’t find where you got that 8.2% number. (For males only I don’t see if or where they give it but it’s 8.7%). I didn’t see that 3.5% number either but for people 25-34 it was 3.4% and for people 35-44 it was 4.2%. (I calculated these numbers myself from table 1, which means they could be in error).

Of course as they say it’s based on self-report data, which doesn’t mean it’s not roughly accurate.

Like I said, being an incel is extremely rare and not likely to be representative of a broad social problem.

From the cited study: Sexual inactivity is there by not necessarily a short-term interruption of sex, but often represents a long-lasting lifestyle in a non-negligible percentage of American adults.

Well, I would like to avoid using the term “incel” altogether, as it seems only to conflate “not having sex” with “affiliation with a fringe/crackpot group of young males defined more by ideology than romantic status.” (I think Sebastian made this point already). Also I think “non-negligible” is a much better term than “extremely rare” to describe the percentages we’re looking at, whatever subset of the population is under discussion.

We should not compare incels to insolvs, because economic inequality is widespread and poverty common.

Does that mean the romantic inequality and romantic “poverty” (however defined) are uncommon? I guess in any case they’re not really “problems” in the same sense, but to some extent I think society does have an obligation, if not to promote certain types of relationships, at least to avoid promoting policies that increase things like family dysfunction. Of course like maybe some of the other commenters the only concrete thing I can think of is to reduce economic inequality and poverty, assuming that this will in turn improve things on the “relationship” front as well.

437

Richard Mulliken 05.08.18 at 7:44 pm

Lovely thread. No-one seems to recall that the vintage 1920 Commies also advocated the public ownership of the means of reproduction. From my years of clinical work I hazard that for every incel there are 99 volcels, or contented celibates. Voluntary celibates have myriad reasons, but one common one is low sex drive. Incels are also a quite diverse group. Qutie a few of them -male and females – are actually repelled by the other gender but pretend otherwise to themselves; projecting the source of the difficulty, as it were.

438

engels 05.08.18 at 8:20 pm

Nobody owes anybody else love, sex or friendship.

No, and nobody owes anyone else fulfillment through their work, happiness or a long life. Society as a whole does owe everyone the material conditions (things like free education, free health care including mental health care, economic security,the material bases for dignified social participation, eg not being forced to live in one’s parents’ home an adult, freedom from bullying, undeserved stigma and other psychologically toxic social pressures) that enable them an decent prospect of flourishing in those ways, and where it fails to provide them, compensation for the failures that predictably result. America clearly fails huge numbers of people in this regard and I’ve seen no serious argument on this thread that the ‘incels’ aren’t among them, their bigotry and misdiagnoses of the sources of their misery notwithstanding.

439

Kiwanda 05.08.18 at 9:08 pm

faustusnotes:

There is a link to another 2002 study (of the same data set?) which seems to find about 5.5% of American men aged 24-45 have never had sex (are still virgins), but it also finds this significantly associated with religious observance and not consuming alcohol – i.e. these dudes are volcels.

Like I said, being an incel is extremely rare and not likely to be representative of a broad social problem. We should not compare incels to insolvs, because economic inequality is widespread and poverty common.

The number of transgender adult Americans is thought to be about 1.6 million, that is, about 0.6 percent of the adult population. In the same spirit, should we agree that they are “extremely rare and not likely to be representative of a broad social problem”, and that their problems don’t matter either?

440

Orange Watch 05.08.18 at 9:41 pm

FN@428:
I decided to actually check the statistics on sexlessness, and found this analysis of survey data which finds 8.2% prevalence of sexlessness in the past 5 years in an adult sample. In people aged under 45 it’s about 3.5%, and past year sexlessness <8%.
[…]
Like I said, being an incel is extremely rare and not likely to be representative of a broad social problem.

Indeed, such a minute percentage of the population deserves no consideration and can be dismissed as beneath our notice by simple reference to rarity. So let’s see, since the percentage of the population that is sexless is 2-3x more prevalent than the percentage of the population that identifies as LGBT – or 10-15x more prevalent than trans alone – we’ll be ignoring their concerns now too? And the ~1% that is Muslim and ~2% that is Jewish – insignificant populations whose cannot have their particular problems noted, especially since any social problems they have will only affect some even smaller number of their number, as anyone with a rudimentary grasp of probability theory can see. Et cetera ad naseuam.

Which is to say, we rightly pay attention to the concerns of groups significantly less common than the numbers you dismiss as vanishingly small. You’ll have to do more than simply point to numbers to justify your callousness – not that even smaller numbers would justify it to anyone but a bully looking to have their target declared an acceptable one.

441

J-D 05.08.18 at 10:50 pm

Faustusnotes

I decided to actually check the statistics

That sheds an interesting light on your approach. First, you make confident pronouncements about what the statistics tell us. Then, after you’ve done that, it occurs to you that perhaps you could actually check the statistics.

442

Faustusnotes 05.08.18 at 11:55 pm

J-D would you say the same dismissive thing if I first said “transgender people are rare” and then after push back against my position checked the statistics and found transgender people are rare? No, you wouldn’t. Don’t play such silly games. We all know the truth of these matters, and it’s only when the truth is in dispute and we need to confirm it that we sadly have to dig up statistics.

Also I really don’t understand why people think that me showing incels are rare is the same as saying we shouldn’t care about their issues. I’m showing this simply to defend my point that they’re rare. I separately don’t think their issues are relevant to redistributive justice, and I would think that even if they were common.

What I am saying is that their relative scarcity – apparently much less than 5.5% of the adult male population – should be taken as possible evidence that they are doing something wrong, because they are in a rare group of people who seem to be unable to successfully achieve a basic part of modern adult social life. We might say the same thing about that small proportion of people who have never had a friend, or literate people who have never read a novel (I met one of these once!) or Japanese adults who have never heard an akb song.

So let’s consider an alternative situation where incels are common for identifiable reasons – eg the Bob McManus fever dream of a billion fewer girls. Should we force other women to fuck them? No we shouldn’t. Argument over.

443

engels 05.09.18 at 1:29 am

their relative scarcity – apparently much less than 5.5% of the adult male population – should be taken as possible evidence that they are doing something wrong

Interesting (if that’s the right word) to know if this ‘logic’ applies to eg homeless people, people with serious long-term illnesses, people who die in road accidents,…

444

Collin Street 05.09.18 at 2:41 am

I… really don’t get why there’s difficulty here.

People who are poor, socially marginalised and treated unfairly by society face genuine problems that should be addressed.

People who are poor, socially &c and think their problems are best fixed by killing all the jews… are all the above and also people whose policy conclusions should be… rejected.

445

J-D 05.09.18 at 4:47 am

Faustusnotes

J-D would you say the same dismissive thing if I first said “transgender people are rare” and then after push back against my position checked the statistics and found transgender people are rare? No, you wouldn’t.

If you wrote ‘the statistics show that transgender people are rare’, I would wonder (to myself, at least, and possibly to you) which statistics you were referring to; and if you then wrote, after that ‘I decided to actually check the statistics’, I would have reacted in just the way I actually did react in this discussion.

On the other hand, if you had written ‘transgender people are rare’, what I would most probably have thought to myself ‘I suppose they are, although I’ve never seen any actual figures; but I’m not sure how that’s supposed to be relevant’.

Also I really don’t understand why people think that me showing incels are rare is the same as saying we shouldn’t care about their issues.

Because your comments about rarity have been interwoven with comments which suggest that you think every one of the people who has this problem can solve it for ‘unself if ‘a wants to make the effort; that exceptions to this are not merely rare, but non-existent. That’s a dismissive attitude, in the same way that it would be a dismissive attitude if (to use Orange Watch’s example) you made the same suggestion about every one of the people who has the problem of depression.

I separately don’t think their issues are relevant to redistributive justice, and I would think that even if they were common.

Just to be clear: that’s fair, I have no argument with you about that. But it is separate from other aspects of your comments, the ones I am taking up.

What I am saying is that their relative scarcity – apparently much less than 5.5% of the adult male population

Why are you focussing only on the male population? There’s nothing to show that it’s more of a problem for the male population. It’s even possible that it’s less of a problem for the male population.

should be taken as possible evidence that they are doing something wrong, because they are in a rare group of people who seem to be unable to successfully achieve a basic part of modern adult social life.

You have been strongly giving the impression that you think it’s not merely evidence of possibility but evidence of certainty: not just evidence that people might be doing something wrong, but evidence that people must be doing something wrong. I quoted earlier Dan Savage’s assertion that people in his line of business give the best advice they can but sometimes it doesn’t help. Now, I take from that the implication that sometimes it does help, that there is advice people can be given about how they can change that will help some of them get the results they want, which does indeed suggest that some of them might have been doing something wrong. But on the other hand, if it’s true that the best advice doesn’t always help, that suggests that some people are doing everything right and still not getting the results they want, which is a possibility that you seem to be excluding.

Or consider again the case of Tineola. Tineola didn’t write ‘I have never had sex’ but ‘I have not had sex for a decade’. Tineola didn’t write ‘I have never had a romantic partnership’ but ‘I have had only romantic relationship’. If Tineola has had romantic and sexual partners, doesn’t that count as evidence that there is no shortcoming in Tineola that makes those things impossible, and if that’s so wouldn’t Tineola’s case be evidence that at least sometimes people are not finding sexual partners, even though they want to, through no fault of their own?

So let’s consider an alternative situation where incels are common for identifiable reasons – eg the Bob McManus fever dream of a billion fewer girls. Should we force other women to fuck them? No we shouldn’t. Argument over.

That was never the argument here. Nobody here was arguing that. That’s not the solution to the problem. Maybe there is no solution to the problem. That doesn’t justify dismissing it.

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nastywoman 05.09.18 at 5:56 am

@438
Very, VERY much agreed:

”Society as a whole does owe everyone the material conditions (things like free education, free health care including mental health care, economic security,the material bases for dignified social participation, eg not being forced to live in one’s parents’ home an adult, freedom from bullying, undeserved stigma and other psychologically toxic social pressures)

But:
”Nobody owes anybody else love, sex or friendship”.

And that America clearly fails huge numbers of people in both regards makes no serious argument on this thread that I should ”do” Trump.

447

nastywoman 05.09.18 at 6:05 am

– AND furthermore – as actually Macron did ”do” Trump” -(with self-defeating results) – we could ”ponder” next if doing ”incels” is doing them a favor?

Like ”the worlds currently most important philosopher” once said:

‘If someone tells you to change yourself, tell them to go f… themselves.’

448

nastywoman 05.09.18 at 6:38 am

and@all

Y’all shall not trying to troll leftists for how they should be in favor of doing Trump -(or comparable ”incels”)

As –
”People are messed up, man.)”

449

faustusnotes 05.09.18 at 7:53 am

Engels, actually a lot of people who die in car accidents die because they were drunk pedestrians. Do you think they are doing something wrong? I think they might be doing something wrong.

Not every problem is fixed purely by social action. Ultimately sometimes people’s personal decisions – to play American Football even though it’s stupid and dangerous, to get blind drunk for fun, to go surfing in shark-infested waters – are at least partly driven by their own desires, goals and preferences. This includes some people’s attempts to get laid – whatever the social framework, we know some people spend a lot of time trying to get laid with multiple people, and some people focus on only one partner. This isn’t all socially constructed. A little sense about what is personal and what is political would help here.

J-D, I gave the male stats because it’s men on a destructive path to murder women if they don’t get their way. You can calculate the stats for women if you want, from memory the proportion is slightly lower, perhaps 4%. In any case not vastly different.

450

engels 05.09.18 at 12:35 pm

a lot of people who die in car accidents die because they were drunk pedestrians

That wasn’t the question: is the fact only a few people die in road accidents evidence those that did did something wrong?

Nastywoman, for the avoidance I don’t think you should ‘do’ Trump.

451

engels 05.09.18 at 2:48 pm

(Btw getting drunk isn’t a crime in UK or means someone deserves to killed…)

452

TM 05.09.18 at 4:42 pm

It seems to me that what is at issue, or should be at issue in this subthread about whether the left somehow fails the sexually miserable, is whether sexual misery is a societal problem that can be solved or alleviated by public policy. As JH states @132: “Widespread sexual misery is a serious problem and public policy could, to some degree, address it.”

AND whether the left fails to support these public policy measures. Because what else could be meant by the charge that leftists are failing the incels? One can argue that the right is failing the poor because they oppose redistributive policies that would alleviate poverty, and because they actively promote policies that hurt the poor and are even designed to hurt the poor. So what are the analogous policies that could help the sexual poor but that we on the left are opposing? As far as I can see, nobody has answered that question, even after JH @132 explicitly invited commenters to propose plausible public policy solutions.

Isn’t that weird.

453

bob mcmanus 05.09.18 at 6:59 pm

Jordy Rosenberg interviews Kay Gabriel

Marxism in the 21st Century is about where it was 125 years ago, inspiring and guiding some of those who want to change the world, being called passe and unscientific by those who think conditions and analysis just need a little tweaking.

“KG: My fidelity to SRT lies in the premise articulated by Silvia Federici that the production of the sphere of unwaged reproductive labour grounds the formal subsumption of labour as a species of ongoing primitive accumulation differentiated via gender. In your own highly generative phrase, this sphere is capitalism’s “hiddener abode.” Entering it signals the theoretical attempt to articulate determinately the constitutive unevenness of the social. But on the one hand Federici fails to theorize the problem of scale—the historical relation, for instance, between colonialism and the ideological gendered division of labor in the imperial core, or their continued articulation in the present. This is just to say that to invoke unwaged labour in the Americas is always to initiate a confrontation with the history of chattel slavery and its reverberations in the present—say in the form of the mass incarceration of black men. On the other hand, Federici slams into the theoretical limit I broached above, the relationship that transsexuals bear towards both labor and the reproduction of labor-power. I think a rejoinder to both these limitations of this particular form of Marxist feminism can be found in a commitment to theorizing how the social and economic positions of some women depend on the exploitation and immiseration of others, which also serves as a rebuttal to the residue of transphobic feminism that obstructs this kind of theoretical endeavour in the first place.”

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Sebastian H 05.09.18 at 8:06 pm

Gack, I wouldn’t say that 8% is so rare that we shouldn’t spend any time thinking about it. I would have actually guessed that the percentage was much lower.

Also, your numbers make no sense. Sexlessness among men 24-45 in the last 5 years can’t be 3.5% AND 24-45 year old virgins (no sex their entire lives) be about 5.5%. Virgins should represent the absolute floor of ‘no sex in the last 5 years’. I understand that they are separate studies, but that should lead to some concern. (Is it possibly no sex within the last 5 years EXCLUDING virgins?).

“but it also finds this significantly associated with religious observance and not consuming alcohol – i.e. these dudes are volcels. “

Ugh, this is not well supported at all. Being religiously observant might mean that you want to put off sex until marriage AND be totally unable to find someone willing to marry you. Furthermore you may be confusing cause and effect. What if some of these ‘unlovable’ are drawn to religion BECAUSE they can’t find loving human contact elsewhere?

But in any case we think that the social problems of trans people are worth dealing with, and they represent approximately 0.1% of the population. The idea that 5-8% of the population is rare enough not to bother with is completely out of step with modern progressive thought.

And look at your perspective from the flip side. We are talking about what? 2 or 3 acts of incel violence out of a base which includes 5-8% of the population. Why don’t you therefore say THAT “is extremely rare and not likely to be representative of a broad social problem”?

In summary, 5-8% of the population is plenty, and you don’t seem to take your idea about what counts as an important rate seriously anyway.

455

engels 05.09.18 at 8:50 pm

So what are the analogous policies that could help the sexual poor but that we on the left are opposing?

For starters you can kind of extrapolate from the Dissent article I linked (welfare state reduces PUAistry) & the ONS survey (eg secure housing -> less loneliness). The US mainstream ‘Left’ opposes that to the extent that it opposes social democracy (‘socialism’ in Bernie Sanders’ watered-down sense)

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TM 05.09.18 at 9:07 pm

engels 450: Traffic accidents is a problem that we try to avoid or reduce by public policy, including car and road safety measures, alcohol restrictions, etc. The traffic fatality rate has declined as a result although it isn’t likely to reach zero any time soon, in part because even the most well-meaning public policy can’t prevent some individuals from engaging in dangerous or stupid behavior. I think that is the point faustusnotes was making. Fn certainly hasn’t suggested that anybody “deserves to be killed” for being drunk, as you maliciously imply. Rather he suggests that it’s difficult to prevent some people from engaging in behavior that might cause them harm.

Now engels since you are the one who broight up the comparison with traffic accidents: If sexual misery is an issue that, like traffic accidents, requires a public policy response, what would that response be? What do you suggest should society do about it? I’m sure you have some ideas, why don’t you share them?

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TM 05.09.18 at 9:27 pm

SH 454: I mostly agree with your sentiment – an issue shouldn’t be dismissed based on the number of people it affects, although the number of 5-8% you cite doesn’t justify the qualifier “widespread” used in this thread.

Regardless, you too should answer the question: what is it that you think should be done to help this part of the population? In the case of trans people – your example – progressives demand nondiscrimination policies and access to adequate health care. That’s it. We could agree that the same should hold for incels, except there is no evidence of discrimination on the basis of virginity. Do incels lack access to adequate health care, perhaps to certain therapeutic treatments that might be effective against sexual misery? Perhaps. Is that what they demand? I don’t think so but might be wrong.

So what is your take? Why don’t you let us know, the more specific the better!

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Faustusnotes 05.09.18 at 11:47 pm

Sebastian the studies are from different time periods. The 5.5% comes from 10 years earlier I think, could have changed a lot.

We deal with the social problems trans people experience because they’re clearly social problems arising from social actions – discrimination, violence etc. Trans people can’t find work for example. Can incels not find work because of their blue balls? Are they at risk of anti virgin violence? No. This analogy is frankly ridiculous.

I made the point far above that most of Hanson’s proposed policy responses to this supposed problem (by which he is trying to gotcha the left) are not sexually redistributive. Things like a sex worker stipend or training in getting laid are financially redistributive. Only one (sexual slavery) was sexually redistributive. This points to a general assumption underlying this discussion- that incels are incels because they’re too poor to be part of the dating game. I don’t see any evidence of that but if we suppose it for the sake of argument then it should be obvious that the left doesn’t have to do anything special about incels because our general social justice policies will fix the problem. if the problem is partly discrimination – against non white people or people with disabilities for example – then our social justice policies and efforts to increase diversity in representation will help to solve those problems too. Which again brings us back to some hardcore of the unlaid who are unlaid despite having no apparent social or economic reason. Are we yet ready to conclude that these people may simply be doing something wrong? Because it seems that the only political solution to their problems is sexual slavery, which we have I hope agreed is off the table. At some point you have to accept some people are doing it wrong.

For example today’s guardian has a letter from a woman whose new boyfriend took his condom off secretly during sex. Apparently this is A Thing. She probably won’t see that guy again and he is probably wondering why he can never keep a girl past the third date. The reason is obvious though: dude’s a fuckhead. He has no respect for female agency. No doubt this manifests in other ways during his dating life. The behaviour of some Bernie Bros and pro Putin leftists notwithstanding, the left is not a sheltered workshop for fuckheads. We don’t owe this proto rapist any help. If he can’t get intimacy because he keeps disrespecting every woman he fucks then he belongs in that last 1%.

TM says noone here has made any policy recommendations but he/she is wrong – I have. Far above I recommended greater inclusion of people with disabilities. I criticized an American dating culture that makes it hard for poor men and recommended a root and branch extermination of America’s hypocritical religious extremism. I don’t think I was alone in calling for the legalisation and destigmatisation of sex work. These are all mainstream parts of non American leftism. There really is nothing to see here. The left has solutions to the problems of the unlaid, and there is no reason for us to fuss about it.

What the America left doesn’t have a solution for is radical incel terrorism. And whatever that solution might be, sympathy is not going to be part of it, and neither is pity sex.

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Lobsterman 05.10.18 at 12:11 am

@J-D, number 429,

“Apparently Lobsterman and Faustusnotes can’t credit that this is a possibility, “

I think it’s perfectly possible. I just also think that it’s a sign you’re very likely making things much harder for yourself than they need to be. I have a strong suspicion that when and if we got together and I asked about the process by which a person who did all of the above tried to get a mediocre hookup, there would suddenly be all kinds of extra rules and self-defeating behaviors and suchlike.

And, again, that’s the kind of thing therapy is good for. Sorting out self-defeating behaviors and putting them in their places.

It’s just sex. Regular people have it, if they want it.

460

J-D 05.10.18 at 4:21 am

Lobsterman

Is it difficult to grasp the difference between

In all of the cases where people want sexual partners but don’t have them, it is because they are doing something wrong; there are approaches people can take which ensure that they will find sexual partners if they want them

and

In some of the cases where people want sexual partners don’t have them, it is because they are doing something wrong; there are approaches people can take which will improve the chances that they will find sexual partners if they want them

The difference seems clear to me; I am confident the first is false and equally confident the second is true.

It seems to me that when you are challenged for asserting the first, you respond by suggesting that you are only asserting the second, but then add something which suggest that actually you are asserting the first; and the same seems to be true of Faustusnotes.

Also, it is unhelpful and vexatious to suggest (as both you and Faustusnotes appear to do) that you could offer useful advice and then not actually offer any of it.

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faustusnotes 05.10.18 at 4:58 am

engels the dissent article you linked to seems to be taking at face value the opinions on sexual successfulness of a known, much-discredited PUA dude, who amongst other things is on the record for complaining bitterly that he has to keep his arse clean in order to get laid. All of his opinions on the relative success of PUA activities are heavily prejudiced by the worst kind of misogynist claptrap, and he appears to consider rape to be a successful pickup. I wouldn’t take his argument that the welfare state dissuades pickup artistry seriously, and I certainly wouldn’t entertain any policy suggestions that derive from his rantings.

The idea that the welfare state discourages pickup artistry is ludicrous. I would suggest looking to the nation where the PUA originated and where PUA ideas are successful, and ask what it is about that country that encourages it? I would also suggest that one part of the PUA thing – the casual sex part – is an important part of people getting laid, and anything that discourages that is not going to help the unlaid.

If ever there was a time for a “rising tide lifts all boats” argument, this is it. The more sex with the more people everyone is having, the more likely the unlaid will get in on the action too.

462

SC 05.10.18 at 6:01 am

Robin Hanson never replied to Holbo at 91, right? Did Hanson reply elsewhere? (I scanned the comments at Hanson’s blog and didn’t see anything but I admit that I couldn’t stomach a careful read of all of the comments since his April 26 post.)

463

F. Foundling 05.10.18 at 6:24 am

@ Faustusnotes 05.09.18 at 11:47 pm
>At some point you have to accept some people are doing it wrong.

Yes, *some* probably are – though you can’t assume that for all – but even then, the question that arises is *why* they are doing it wrong. *Some* may even be immoral ‘fuckheads’ – but even then the question that arises is *why* they are immoral ‘fuckheads’. Is it because of their genes? I’d say that it is because of mental issues and, in the case of ‘fuckheads’ at least, worldview issues, both of which could and should have been tackled in the education system at an early stage. Thus they aren’t merely a matter of ‘financial redistribution’ to adults who may or may not realise that they need professional help of one type or another (leaving aside the question whether it would be efficient, and whether it is easy to get decent help in these spheres at present). Now, I don’t think the worldview issues are primarily misogyny; the misogyny is mostly just one reaction to the feeling of impotence and failure. Most misogynists manage to be misogynists without becoming incels, and the person mentioned in the Guardian letter by definition isn’t. Furthermore, even if it might sometimes be tricky for the education system to detect and prevent the mental issues and worldview issues that cause a person to become an involuntary celibate, it definitely should be able to detect and prevent the mental issues and worldview issues that cause a person to become an immoral ‘fuckhead’, or that cause an involunary celibate to become a hateful terrorist.

>The left has solutions to the problems of the unlaid, and there is no reason for us to fuss about it.
>What the America left doesn’t have a solution for is radical incel terrorism. And whatever that solution might be, sympathy is not going to be part of it, and neither is pity sex.

Well, since ‘radical incel terrorism’ by definition is at least in part a result of the problems of the unlaid, any solution to the latter should be a solution to the former, too. And any such solution *is* motivated by compassion for everybody involved. Now, for the time being, I see no reason to see the ‘incel’ label as just one relatively rare label among many that mentally ill narcissists and psychopaths have used as a pretext for mass killings of randomly chosen innocent people. That doesn’t mean that these sick people didn’t need treatment, too.

In the end of the day, this isn’t so much a disagreement about practice; it’s more about attitude. There are those who like to say simply ‘F**k those people’, and there are those who really dislike saying that. I do think that, unfortunately, at *some* stage, *some* people are, indeed, hopeless; I will not accept that they always have been so and that nothing could have been done.

>The behaviour of some Bernie Bros and pro Putin leftists notwithstanding, the left is not a sheltered workshop for fuckheads.

I love you, too. :)

464

engels 05.10.18 at 9:12 am

The traffic fatality rate has declined as a result although it isn’t likely to reach zero any time soon, in part because even the most well-meaning public policy can’t prevent some individuals from engaging in dangerous or stupid behaviour.

I’m not denying individual behaviour needs to change; I’m denying the inference that the individuals in question are necessarily the unlaid. As a leftist this is a principle I apply to disadvantage generally (eg unemployment, poverty, sickness. loneliness, unhappiness, etc). Srinivasan’s essay provides for an argument for one approach, that the majority have a ‘duty to transfigure our desires’ to be more accommodating towards the marginalised. I’d personally put the emphasis more on material factors that underpin a more-a-less explicit societal culture of extreme individualism, competitiveness, punitiveness and social darwinism (which is clearly visible in many of the comments here).

today’s guardian has a letter from a woman whose new boyfriend took his condom off secretly during sex. Apparently this is A Thing. She probably won’t see that guy again and he is probably wondering why he can never keep a girl past the third date. The reason is obvious though: dude’s a fuckhead

Whatever he probably is, he’s definitely not an ‘incel’.

465

nastywoman 05.10.18 at 9:24 am

@457
”As far as I can see, nobody has answered that question, even after JH @132 explicitly invited commenters to propose plausible public policy solutions.”
Isn’t that weird”.

Not really – as a Poor Woman -(and ”her man”) – once told me:
At least they can have more ”sex” than the rich -(if they can’t have more money) –
and please no serious response to this… this… fact?

466

nastywoman 05.10.18 at 9:27 am

– and perhaps that’s why this whole (Klassenkampf)discussion is so… so silly?
-(if it is true that generally ”the poor have more ”sex” than the rich?)

467

Trader Joe 05.10.18 at 11:26 am

“As far as I can see, nobody has answered that question, even after JH @132 explicitly invited commenters to propose plausible public policy solutions.”

Ok….here’s my idea. We could utilize the website for the Affordable Care Act to launch a new app called INCEL-DER…..people who claimed to have this problem could then sign up on the app and view other incels in their area with a view to meeting and maybe, if say both parties are willing, getting a hook-up.

I’m thinking maybe swipe right if interested, swipe left if not (should seem obvious that most incels love to swipe right).

There could also be a related social media app – Incelbook so people can post their rants and get likes and stuff and maybe incel appropriate ads (we’ll leave it to your imagination what would be appropriate).

Using the apparently infinite funding available to the ACA the parties can then submit the bills from their ‘date’ and get reimbursement as a medical expense, but only if they in fact get laid. If they strikeout then they can use the app again (this would make the sign-up rolls self correcting so that only incels can use it).

If someone was unsuccessful multiple times, lets say 3, then they could automatically be enrolled in counseling to determine whether in fact they were “doing something wrong” as has been suggested or if there is other advice or encouragement that could be provided to improve their chances.

Now it could be that only dudes would sign up which would be a problem – but hey, maybe some of them might decided to take a chance and give bi a try. But if in fact there are some vast pool of available incel women (as some above have also suggested) then at least some match-making could be possible and 2 members of the at-risk population could be eliminated at one time.

Whatever the outcome – at least then there would be a really cool list that maybe the FBI or NSA would have some ideas what to do with.

Maybe not really tongue in cheek since I can’t in fact think of any plausible way to solve this one which is why its a personal not a public policy issue.

468

engels 05.10.18 at 11:37 am

…A comparative sociological study of East and West Germans conducted after reunification in 1990 found that Eastern women had twice as many orgasms as Western women…
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/08/12/opinion/why-women-had-better-sex-under-socialism.html

469

F. Foundling 05.10.18 at 12:47 pm

Edit to my 05.10.18 at 6:24 am:

(*Some* may even be immoral ‘fuckheads’) – *but you can’t assume that for all who, in one or another, are ‘doing it wrong’ either* – (but even then … etc.)

470

engels 05.10.18 at 5:55 pm

engels the dissent article you linked to seems to be taking at face value the opinions on sexual successfulness of a known, much-discredited PUA dude

Alternative opinion: its author might have thought about more this stuff than you have
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=katie+jm+baker

471

nastywoman 05.10.18 at 8:04 pm

@468
”A comparative sociological study of East and West Germans conducted after reunification in 1990 found that Eastern women had twice as many orgasms as Western women…”

How did you know that the ”Poor Woman” -(and ”her man”) – who once told me:
At least they can have more ”sex” than the rich -(if they can’t have more money) –
were both ”Ossi’s” (Ex East Germans) – and – Yes!!
Probably the so called Wessis (West Germans) – always were far too preoccupied with all kind of ”stuff” – trying to make more money -(but never as much as US) – that their sex life could have… suffered?

At least that’s one of the theories? –

So what’s about the solution to make all of these US incels ”poor” – and let’s take their computers away for sure – that will make them ”social” – and work on some ”orgasm’s”?

472

nastywoman 05.10.18 at 8:41 pm

BUT@468
– as some scientist – at least in the case of the Germans – have found out that:

”Entscheidend für das Sexualverhalten der Deutschen sei nicht ihre Herkunft aus Ost oder West, sondern ihr Bildungsniveau”. (”It’s the level of education… stupid”!)

And so Germans who are NOT as ”highly educated” – as perhaps the scientists – who came out with all these… surveys seem to have a lot more (fun) sex?

And could that be the major problem with these ”US incels” they are far too… too ”literate”?

473

F. Foundling 05.10.18 at 10:00 pm

More stupid sleepy typos:

@ F. Foundling 05.10.18 at 6:24 am
> Now, for the time being, I see no reason to see the ‘incel’ label as just one relatively rare label among many that mentally ill narcissists … have used

Now, for the time being, I see no reason NOT to see the ‘incel’ label as just one relatively rare label among many that mentally ill narcissists … have used

@ F. Foundling 05.10.18 at 12:47 pm
> *Some* may even be immoral ‘fuckheads’, but you can’t assume that for all who, in one or another, are ‘doing it wrong’ either*

*Some* may even be immoral ‘fuckheads’, but you can’t assume that for all who, in one WAY or another, are ‘doing it wrong’ either*

474

F. Foundling 05.10.18 at 10:21 pm

@ engels 05.10.18 at 9:12 am
> I’d personally put the emphasis more on material factors that underpin a more-a-less societal culture of extreme individualism, competitiveness, punitiveness and social darwinism

I agree that this culture is a problem, but changing material factors does not preclude trying to affect the culture itself directly; in fact, the two naturally go hand in hand, since, after all, propaganda for a change in the material factors may also be described as changing the culture. I do, however, agree that, as your links show, a sufficiently generous and progressively organised welfare state does have the merit of liberating and empowering women in a way far more substantial than purely cultural campaigns can. And who knows, perhaps it will also lead to more sex in general, too, thereby ‘lifting all boats’, which Faustusnotes advocates for (05.10.18 at 4:58 am)? I’m still inclined to think that a big part of the phenomenon are simply mental issues like low self-esteem, general poor socialisation, social anxiety, fear of rejection, fear of poor ‘performance’, etc.; all of these can be rather paralysing and debilitating, and how much the culture needs to change and the ‘tide’ needs to ‘rise’ to compensate for such things in more extreme cases, I really don’t know. As for the ‘duty to transfigure our desires’ thing, I haven’t read the article, but it sounds like a hopeless endeavour.

BTW, judging from your comment here (05.03.18 at 6:46 pm, 327), when juxtaposed with the general thrust of your other comments, it seems to me that you might be misunderstanding what this (05.03.18 at 1:43 pm, 319) and, for that matter, this (05.08.18 at 2:56 pm, 432) is actually about.

Anyway, I suppose I’ll bow out at this point. May you all abide in peace and prosperity.

475

Dr. Hilarius 05.10.18 at 11:41 pm

470 comments and still going: sex sells.

476

Faustusnotes 05.10.18 at 11:51 pm

Here’s where we differ foundling. Unlike you and Collin street I don’t think people are always arseholes because they have a mental problem or because society made them that way. I think people can be arseholes because they are arseholes. There is no cure for being an arsehole. There will be arseholes after the revolution. As we saw in game of thrones, getting laid won’t draw out the poison. Arseholes gonna arsehole.

A corollary of this deep theory of arseholes is that there are also people who are not arseholes but just aren’t good at adulting. These people – we’ve all met them – aren’t bad adults because they have mental illness or because of capitalism. They’re just not very good at it. If they’re lucky someone will convince them of their mistakes and help them fix them but this often doesn’t happen and it’s particularly unlikely to happen to entitled young white men. Some of these bad adults will also be bad at getting laid, which is part of adulting. These people will also exist after the revolution.

For very different reasons O suspect that the ranks of the unlaid have a heavy over representation of arseholes and people who can’t adult. And there may not be much society can do about that.

477

bianca steele 05.11.18 at 1:45 am

@476

I dunno, I have it on the best authority that the way to cure a person who’s bad at adulting is to teach them about alphas and betas and that their problems are caused by their aspiring above what (some group believes is) their station. Gets them into the community with the right foot forward, y’know.

478

TM 05.11.18 at 8:32 am

engels 455: The left is to blame for sexual misery because it “opposes” secure housing?

479

TM 05.11.18 at 8:48 am

To be clear, there is no question that public policy is highly relevant to sexual health.

Think of
* access to contraception
* truthful sex education in school
* divorce laws
* women’s rights
* nondiscrimination of sexual minorities
* laws and mores that are generally permissive towards all sexual preferences as long as there is consensuality
* and many more.

I also agree that material factors like secure housing (think of all the young adults living with their parents) are important. I’m not at all belittling this argument. What evokes my disbelief about the way this discussion has been framed is that *all of these policies are exactly what liberals (leftists, progressives) have spearheaded for generations*. These battles for sexual freedom and self-determination have been fought and many have been won *by liberals* and as a result society is better and freer and sexual mores are less repressed and more healthy.

The complaint of the vocal incels on the other hand seems to have nothing at all to do with sexual freedom. They are white men complaining that women aren’t compliant enough. And it’s really a mystery to me why this kind of complaint is taken seriously by people men who claim to be on the left.

Dr. Hilarius 475: yeah no doubt.

480

engels 05.11.18 at 11:15 am

I agree that this culture is a problem, but changing material factors does not preclude trying to affect the culture itself directly

That’s kind of why I wrote ‘I’d personally put the emphasis more on material factors’ rather than ‘I believe material factors should be addressed to the absolute exclusion of everything else’. I’m certainly not making FaustusNotes’ ‘rising tide lifts all boats’ argument (whatever that means in this context) but I am generally opposed to the medicalisation of social problems. Your penultimate para is too cryptic for me I’m afraid. I invite you again to read Amia Srinivasan’s elegant and carefully argued essay before dismissing her conclusions as ‘hopeless’.

engels 455: The left is to blame for sexual misery because it “opposes” secure housing?

I wouldn’t put it quite like that but the mainstream ‘left’ in US and elsewhere is to blame imo for selling out its principles to neoliberalism, and for the animosity it has attracted from ordinary people and the material, psychological and political problems that have proliferated as a result.

481

Collin Street 05.11.18 at 11:15 am

There is no cure for being an arsehole.

Eh.

This is precisely the reason I insist on framing it medically.

482

John Holbo 05.11.18 at 11:25 am

500!

You can do it!

483

engels 05.11.18 at 11:33 am

So what’s about the solution… let’s take their computers away for sure – that will make them ”social” – and work on some ”orgasm’s”?

I think you might be on to something. Have a nice weekend everyone!

484

nastywoman 05.11.18 at 2:01 pm

@480
‘I’d personally put the emphasis more on material factors’

Me TOO – and as I always knew that ”the Poor” have more -(and better?) sex I would now finally suggest get rid of all y’alls ”material” belongings and if y’all having nothing left anymore sex will come quite… may I say ”natural”?

485

nastywoman 05.11.18 at 2:18 pm

– and as ”This is America” just has been out by ”Childish Gambino” – let’s spend the last 17 comments reflecting about why this ”incels-thing” is NOT existing in… Italy?

486

Ogden Wernstrom 05.11.18 at 2:52 pm

Collin Street 05.11.18 at 11:15 am:

There is no cure for being an arsehole.

Eh.

This is precisely the reason I insist on framing it medically.

Don’t give up hope.

I know that I have been cured many times. I’m probably due for another.

487

bob mcmanus 05.11.18 at 3:10 pm

Nobody is helping on my plan for national indiscriminate promiscuity (we could start a sport), or just mind-control of supermodels. Or mind-control of Incels?

We need to think about ideology as mind-control. We are after the age of mass communication mass-etc and are in the new age of niche, the age of efficient targeting, where every individual gets her personalized propaganda. I am currently getting constant ads for Arizer vapers.

Modernism was all about the education, the indocrination, the Enlightenment, and making ’em damn well like having their minds shaped into producing consuming individual citizens. Teach em to be better feminists? Hell, we have been shaping preferences for generations.

We just have to decide which side of the Incel-supermodel, and their allies, battle we want to have dominance and hegemony. I frankly don’t like rich supers much more than ugly Incels.

488

bob mcmanus 05.11.18 at 3:29 pm

Oh, I hate to concede anything, but of course there is irony goin on here, and mostly I want to get “mind-control” and liberal attempts to change people (change Incels) according to unexamined preferences and values examined. Radically accepting difference means what exactly, and has what policy implications. Neoliberal anarchy?

Or maybe individual freedom isn’t the highest priority?

I am still working on the harms done in Huxley’s imagining, especially by the accounts of those who matter. Everybody’s happy, right? What’s the problem?

489

Ben 05.11.18 at 8:39 pm

So if I have this right

Tired: Incels are proto-facist creeps and we can’t shun them hard enough

Wired: Incels are niche personalities forged by the intense heat and pressure of our neoliberal hellscape; we shouldn’t pay attention to their particular grievances but support community building and lowering economic inequality to mitigate the dynamics that create them

bob mcmanus’ galaxy brain: everyone’s a capitalist zombie I hate you all

490

Orange Watch 05.11.18 at 10:24 pm

Honestly, looking over some of the last few responses, it looks like a positive approach that would help would be destigmatizing mental health issues, as well as subsidizing their treatment. Suggesting that someone who was improperly socialized by their culture’s norms might benefit from seeing a counselor for guidance and/or support is not the same as saying they have a mental illness. They may have a clinical social anxiety disorder, they may have subclinical symptoms of one, they may just have cognitive distortions, thinking errors, or just plain poor socialization – and any of these could benefit from time with an agenda-free support group (because online incel communities are to a large degree toxic support groups) or therapist, without suffering social stigma or financial hardship for doing so.

Or yes, they may be terrible people who are happily wallowing in their misery. But writing off 5-8% of the populations (less the few rare good ones who are blameless – “some of my best friends are incels!”) as all being irredeemable acceptable targets for scorn and abuse is noxious. Which points to a major flaw in the claim that this chunk-o-population isn’t comparable to trans people (or if we’re looking for a closer numerical parallel, LGBT overall, though that still likely falls short) because those righteous people face systematic structural problems (ubiquitous unstated addendum: for being something they didn’t chose to be) that these unworthy ones don’t. We don’t just try to fix active discrimination against trans (LGBT) people, though. Far from it. We advocate for compassion, acceptance, and push back vigorously at hatred of them as a group. In short, we insist on treating them as individuals rather than letting their gender identity (sexuality) reduce them en masse to acceptable targets. And yet, well, the involuntary celibate are to be breezily reduced to whiny man-child arseholes, one and all? Hmm.

The left is as much a breeding ground for sheltered fuckheads as any other large group of people, and it has plenty of arseholes riddled all through it. We shouldn’t celebrate and enable that tendency, though, no matter how satisfying it might feel to punch down at easy targets among the ideological opposition. Again, they’re not necessarily the opposition until they get driven by scorn, embarrassment, and isolation into the open arms of the waiting, consoling, all-too-sympathetic incels.

491

engels 05.11.18 at 10:39 pm

Wired: Incels are niche personalities forged by the intense heat and pressure of our neoliberal hellscape; we shouldn’t pay attention to their particular grievances but support community building and lowering economic inequality to mitigate the dynamics that create them

👍

492

engels 05.12.18 at 12:26 am

(Except I do think sexual/emotional exclusion is a legitimate grievance)

Anyway, I think if the analogy with trans rights is pursued it leads to somewhat different policy prescriptions to OW’s. Leftists don’t offer trans people therapy to help them adjust to society as it is, but attempt to change society to address transphobia. The parallel course with respect to OW’s hypothetical socially timid male incel might include attempting to destigmatise male passivity or female sexual assertiveness. At least that’s the direction I’d want to go in given my general objection to therapy as a response to such problems: it doesn’t blame the victim but it does place the burden of adjustment on her.

493

nastywoman 05.12.18 at 3:21 am

@
”The left is as much a breeding ground for sheltered fuckheads as any other large group of people”

Objection – as I have found out that ”in general” – ”the Left” – isn’t.

494

nastywoman 05.12.18 at 3:46 am

or do I have to repeat TM?

…”These battles for sexual freedom and self-determination have been fought and many have been won *by liberals* and as a result society is better and freer and sexual mores are less repressed and more healthy.

The complaint of the vocal incels on the other hand seems to have nothing at all to do with sexual freedom. They are white men complaining that women aren’t compliant enough. And it’s really a mystery to me why this kind of complaint is taken seriously by men who claim to be on the left.”

495

J-D 05.12.18 at 3:49 am

500!

You can do it!

From far, from eve and morning
And yon twelve-winded sky,
The stuff of life to knit me
Blew hither; here am I.

Now for a breath I tarry,
Nor yet disperse apart;
Take my hand quick and tell me,
What have you in your heart?

Speak now, and I will answer:
How shall I help you, say?
Ere to the wind’s twelve quarters
I take my endless way.

496

nastywoman 05.12.18 at 4:06 am

@
”by men who claim to be on the left.”

Which reminds me:
Men seem to be very… very confused lately?

They should… dance more? – as there is this ”great dance video” called:

”This is America”!

497

b9n10nt 05.12.18 at 4:47 am

I do want to help us get to 500 so I’ll bring up new idea for the thread: intergenerational social stratification. Mostly by/as mass education and the suburban expression of the post-war boom nuclear family as a cultural ideal, individuals are socialized horizontally by peer groups and mass media. Spending time vertically with other age groups becomes forshortend, episodic rather than fundamental. This might well contribute to a diminished access to social networks that either eventually start up the hedonic treadmill of sexual relationship or redirect to other sought intimacies.

What the Incles can teach us is that, when the harm becomes the defining feature of an identity, and when these identities have the internet to congeal their interests, an in-group social ratchet of abusiveness emerged. For want of people that knew them and loved them as other people than the sexually frustrated loser archetype.

498

engels 05.12.18 at 11:06 am

These battles for sexual freedom and self-determination have been fought and many have been won *by liberals* and as a result society is better and freer and sexual mores are less repressed and more healthy

God bless Larry Flynt, PornHub and the Weinstein Company

499

TM 05.12.18 at 1:36 pm

Shorter engels: the left is to blame for every grievance vocied by white males because they insist on women’s and minority rights, which cannot but “attract” the “animosity” of “ordinary people men”.

Oops, that wasn’t really shorter, but more honest. Don’t you think?

500

TM 05.12.18 at 1:38 pm

Shorter engels: The left is to blame for every grievance vocied by white males because of its (the left’s) insistence on women’s and minority rights, which cannot but “attract” the “animosity” of “ordinary people men”.

Oops, that wasn’t really shorter, but more honest. Don’t you think?

501

TM 05.12.18 at 1:50 pm

And last not least: it is truly telling that engels 498, in response to my pointing out the importance of women’s rights for sexual health (479), responds with Larry Flint and Pornhub. You could make at least a minimal effort to conceal your misogyny.

502

ph 05.12.18 at 2:34 pm

John, you may like this: https://bloggingheads.tv/videos/52779?in=50:39

Black intellectuals call Trump the first rapper president, explicit comparisons with Bullworth.

503

Faustusnotes 05.12.18 at 2:59 pm

Jesus Engels you really never have anything useful to say do you?

504

nastywoman 05.12.18 at 3:07 pm

@
”God bless Larry Flynt, PornHub and the Weinstein Company”

But, but, but – ”A Fish Called Wanda” wasn’t produced by the Weinstein’s – and that’s supposedly THE film – which released them ”libido” in all the (very nice) incels of the last generation?

And that’s why speaking with some foreign tongue during ”intercourse” still seems to work so well in teh homeland?

505

nastywoman 05.12.18 at 3:12 pm

– and do I get 500 with this:

“Kant’s views about sex are, to put it mildly, bizarre, in part at least either the views of a bachelor or the views that made him a bachelor.” —
Paul Guyer.

506

Orange Watch 05.12.18 at 3:53 pm

engels@492:
I strongly agree that there’s structural work that would help A LOT, and I further agree with the specific areas you identify. Western gender roles are a wonderful breeding ground for resentment, isolation, depression, and confusion for people who don’t neatly conform to them or who fall afoul the hierarchies they create.

Still, no matter how society might change, there will be people who have more or less trouble fitting into the structure it creates… and better they get assistance in doing so from someone trained and theoretically disinterested than by toxic, manitulative peer groups with a sociopolitical agenda. More cynically, destigmatizing mental health issues seems easier and more likely to occur than altering society-wide gender dynamics, no matter how personally thrilled I’d be if we could smash our current gender norms into dust. Taming the beast is certainly not the most enticing course of action, but in the short run it’s likely to be more effective than getting rid of the beast. Alas. But that’s not to say we shouldn’t strive for both, nor that we can’t. Particularly since there is political will to destigmatize mental health issues in quarters that would declare a holy war against the least change in gender norms…

nastywoman@493:
There is, alas, a rather marked difference between the ideological left and the tribal left. And even on the ideological left, there are a lot of people itching for an excuse to become contemptuous asses who gleefully do so as soon as they find someone who’s been deemed an acceptable target by their peers.

507

engels 05.12.18 at 3:54 pm

Okay, I’ll leave you guys to your d̶i̶c̶k̶-̶w̶a̶v̶i̶n̶g̶ tireless struggle against toxic masculinity

508

Collin Street 05.12.18 at 9:26 pm

You could make at least a minimal effort to conceal your misogyny.

People don’t realise that their bigotries are bigotries. And you’ll only conceal the things you recognise as problematic.

The hard part isn’t getting bigots to say bigoted things, it’s getting them to recognise them as bigoted. And honestly… doing it directly is a waste of effort, you’re better served gagging them and letting them work out the whys in their own time.

Making an error precludes understanding that error directly. If more people understood that, we’d have a lot less dogmatism, but…

509

Marc 05.13.18 at 7:36 am

It was pretty obvious to me that message 498 was sarcasm. People should really keep their petty personal feuds out of the threads, and if they can’t control themselves perhaps they should be moderated out.

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