Dworkin got it wrong, Naomi Wolf got it wronger

[dropcap]N[/dropcap]aomi Wolf’s 2002 article on the effects of porn, republished in the new Yorker’s online edition[1] got it partly right. Of course, all convincing falsehoods are salted with the truth. Wolf, like Dworkin before her, lamented in “The Porn Myth“-  the effects of freely available porn on society.

Starting from an ideological point of view she inherited from Dworkin, The Beauty Myth author stumbled only partly into a conceptual model of human behavior matching reality. This was despite an Ivy League Alma Mater at Oxford and Yale.

Dworkin predicted that access to porn would turn men into sex crazed beasts, based on her belief that men were subhuman. Wolf, by contrast, explained the failure of Dworkin’s prediction with the rationale that while still subhuman beasts, men’s lack of hyper-sexual aggression was due to porn’s supposed numbing of male sexual instinct. In this model, men were still subhuman. Despite its failure, the opposite of the predicted outcome was re-interpreted to conform to the standard feminist narrative.

Interestingly, this perfectly illustrates the difference between an ideology, in which facts are retooled to serve a doctrinal truth, and a philosophy, in which conclusions are drawn from observation, or data, or experience. Ideologies are immune to data, which is what makes them poisonous to civil societies.

Returning to Naomi Wolf and following her assumption that men are subhuman, the twisted logic of feminism is that because men are sex-obsessed beasts, real women can’t compete with the fantasy of porn.The poor, natural flesh and blood women of the real non-porn world are left bereft of affection or attention in a world where males are satiated by pixilated flesh. In Wolf’s own words “In the end, porn doesn’t whet men’s appetites—it turns them off the real thing.” She expands on this, to say:

“The onslaught of porn is responsible for deadening male libido in relation to real women, and leading men to see fewer and fewer women as “porn-worthy.”

This is a simple, black and white version of reality, consistent with the old feminist narrative of men bad, women good. It’s simple in the way children’s stories are simple. The truth requires an adult understanding of human behavior.

Rather than turning men off the real thing, ready access to porn provides an alternative to men (and women) in seeking sexual satisfaction. That’s it; an alternative. It’s not the deadener of sexual interest claimed by Wolf, and its also not the inflamer of runaway sexual aggression claimed by Dworkin, because… surprise! Men are human beings, not simply appetite driven brutes as Dworkin and Wolf’s feminist models of reality cling to.

So why have women, as Wolf claims, lost so much market value? If we are to listen to her, it’s because in the sexual arms race between real flesh and blood women – and the airbrushed, silicone enhanced shaved, shined and professional stage managed world of fantasy presented by porn, reality can’t compete. If sexual attraction were actually an arms race between humans and machines – then it wouldn’t be the evolutionary driver pushing living organisms to spam their environments with little copies of themselves. Wolf’s analysis of porn as a supplanter of real human contact fails because Naomi Wolf continues to assume men are not the fully realized humans that she obviously is, because she’s a woman.

Of course, the dogma that women are uniquely human, uniquely possessed of emotion and the ability to feel pain and so on is comfortable to a childish mind. The conceit of “I’m better than them” satisfies an immature ego, and so this unexamined dogma persists. Young, hip, progressive feminists in Sweden end elsewhere continue to cling to the solipsistic view of second wave feminists, taken directly from Solanas:

“Being an incomplete female, the male spends his life attempting to complete himself, to become female.“

Men’s constant failure to conform to this delusion provokes frustration and anger in those whose ideology informs the attempt to force conformity to their ideal, rather than accept reality. Faced by a decades of blame, anger, manipulation and shame for failing to conform to “man-as-defective-woman,” those men are, to state it mildly, weary of the ongoing abuse.

This climate of abuse cannot be understated – a fabricated cultural narrative of male supremacy and women’s oppression routinely derails useful discussion of human motivations, so a short list of examples is provided here for reference.

  • Men’s on the job death rate: 97%
  • Men’s shorter life expectancy [+- 5 years depending on country ]
  • Selective military service
  • Exclusion of consideration in ant-violence PSAs
  • Exclusion of protection of legal due process
  • Routine depiction in media as inferior humans
  • Discrimination by businesses catering to women only
  • Routine male-vilifying falsehood promoted by government
  • Routine male-vilifying falsehood promoted by charitable organizations
  • Promotion and endorsement of male-targeting rape by prison system
  • Treatment of male sexual victimization as comedy
  • Culture-wide prioritization of rescue resources away from men (women and children first)
  • Female dominance and affirmative action in education
  • School-endorsed hate rallies in major universities
  • Male targeting murder-advocacy
  • Male targeting eugenics advocacy
  • Anti-male hatred promoted openly by online communities
  • Mainstream television’s celebration of male-targeted sexual mutilation
  • Female cosmetics industry use of male infant mutilation in beauty products
  • Male-hatred promoted in mainstream clothing design (boys are stupid)
  • Cultural prohibition and eradication of male space in western society
  • Murder of male sexual nonconformism (gay bashing, gay murder)
  • Courts ignoring fathers and children in favor of mother’s convenience
  • Male reproductive responsibilities without rights
  • Debtors prison for only fathers
  • 90% of homeless are male / Female focused homeless aid
  • female-only health initiatives

These few items were typed quickly and represent a tiny sample, with no pretense of providing a comprehensive list. While increasingly disenfranchised, men continue to weather an escalating narrative of male censure, both from mainstream media and at a personal level. In almost any workplace environment men-are-stupid jokes have become common, and while such female censure is commonly grounds for hostile workplace litigation.

Piling onto the climate of open hostility, men who treat this as anything besides good natured humor are shamed, told to man up, get over it, and stop being so sensitive. Add to this the endless shit testing, lying, manipulation and game-playing that all women engage in with men. Not all women are like that? Okay, not all, only the vast majority. Oh, and by the way, if they’re real men, they’ll still pay for drinks, dinner, vacations, buy gifts and the list goes on.

And for Naomi Wolf, published author, political consultant, and Rhodes Scholar, the failure to grasp this without being spoon fed it is indictable.

According to Wolf :

“By the new millennium, a vagina, which, by the way, used to have a pretty high “exchange value,” as Marxist economists would say, wasn’t enough; it barely registered on the thrill scale.”

Wrong Naomi, dead wrong – and for somebody with your education and apparent awareness of the social landscape – I’m going to call this at least self-deception on your part. The problem is not the lack of shine and bounce of your fluffy bits in comparison to pixilated fantasy. It’s that the 50 year feedback loop of entitlement and unaccountability, and male facing blame and anger have rendered the selection of flesh over pixels an idiot’s choice.

It is the current and escalating social climate of false accusation, men-suck, women are smarter, better, more human than men that has cooked women’s market value. Borrowing once more from Naomi Wolf’s NYMag market economic argument, the product on offer is now dangerous, toxic, and unreliable.

Of course hardly anybody is going to tell women this unkind truth, because there’s no profit in telling overgrown, emotionally stunted children they need to get over themselves and grow up. Especially while all other commercial messaging saturates them with flattery. The universal message of “Women are better, women are stronger, women are more mature, women are goddesses,” is what sells diet pills, granola bars, lipstick and bikini wax. Personal accountability is a downright bummer compared to all that fake adulation.

Men are obviously still expected to compete for selection, while women select from competitors. That’s the built in behavioral wiring we share with almost all sexually differentiated life on the planet. And its not going to go away any time soon – no matter how hard radical re-inventors of reality try. That’s why in an economy re-developed along female-favoring lines, in which most of the economic recession lands on men, and where higher education has become so hostile – men are simply opting out. It’s also why women aren’t going to become the pursuers in romance. They’re not naturally wired for it. A few might, but only those few with the mental acumen to adapt. However, myths of women’s innate superiority aside, most people are by definition; average.

Men on the other hand, who’ve always had to negotiate risk as competitors for sexual selection are voting with their feet. In rare instances where women do take a sexual lead, the downright hostile and dangerous climate men are now inured to provokes another response. Female sexual initiative is as likely to be treated as ambush than regarded as well intended attraction. The abject failure to recognize this, by the way, somewhat diminishes the fiction of superior female perception or intelligence.

This explanation is not a wake up call to women, by the way. I have no intent of enlightening frustrated females that in the current economy of sex they should try demonstrating a personality, or a sense of humour, or disengagement from the “all men suck” ideology. I intend to provide women no such manual, even exposing such outline in the previous sentence. No. This would be a total waste of time, because to benefit from any such revelation, they’d first have to grow up. Accountability, self-responsibility and empathy for others are elements of an adult’s consciousness, that omitting a few, our culture does not foster in women. Saturated by a nearly universal mainstream narrative of entitlement and victimhood, several generations are unsalvageably locked into permanent mental childhood. Corporate control of our culture’s narrative provides no immediate profit in reversing this cultivated phenomenon. Children are easier to sell to.

Anti porn advocates will continue formulating and selling semi-coherent rationales for the banning and suppression of alternatives to the vagina racket. And as long as our culture continues to pretend men are the source of all evil, and that women are victims, despite feminism’s dominance, men having sexual options will continue to leave women in diminished romantic demand.

That’s why, Naomi, your vagina isn’t worth shit.

[1] http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/trends/n_9437/

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