Tag Archives: gender

Our scary future: sexbots are coming, powering the ‘sexodus’

Summary: The war of the sexes has begun a new chapter, with the development of tech sex (as far beyond today’s sex toys as a horse-drawn buggy is to a F-35). It’s too disturbing for most mainstream analysts to see, let alone discuss (other than to condemn). Brave readers will read this post and its pointers to the world of tomorrow. It’s a follow-up to my first post about sexbots: Tech creates a social revolution with unthinkable impacts that we prefer not to see.

Sexbot

The war of the sexes has entered a new era (again), as both imbalances build on both the demand and supply sides.

On one hand, the rewards for men playing the game are not what they were. To mention just two of the more obvious changes A new study in Journal of the AMA shows that 40% of American women are obese — and roughly half of marriages end in divorce, often catastrophically for men (loss of their child plus a decade or two of payments). Hence women’s magazines and websites overflow with whines about men’s “failure to commit” and the “peter pan syndrome”.

On the other side of the ledger, feminism has unleashed women’s hypergamy while men’s economic fortunes fade rapidly (e.g., women are increasingly dominating men at every level from high school diplomas to college and doctorate degrees) — leading to paradise for much-sought-after alpha males, and increasing numbers of celibate omegas.

Society would rebalance, somehow — eventually. But this instability creates an opening for technology to disrupt the game in ways we now can only imagine — with the allure of better drugs (much safer than heroin and booze), the high-voltage excitement of video games (in the near future evolving into virtual reality), and high-tech sex toys (and in the near future, sex bots). It’s the next phase of what British journalist Milo Yiannopoulos calls the “The Sexodus: Men Giving Up On Women And Checking Out Of Society.

“Social commentators, journalists, academics, scientists and young men themselves have all spotted the trend: among men of about 15 to 30 years old, ever-increasing numbers are checking out of society altogether, giving up on women, sex and relationships and retreating into pornography, sexual fetishes, chemical addictions, video games and, in some cases, boorish lad culture…”

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A new hot trend from Hollywood: women hitting men

Summary: The revolutions have begun, taking America into realms with few or no historical precedents — normalizing prohibited behavior, breaking unquestioned rules. Films and TV show women hitting men (even in cute rom-com couples). What happens as this becomes accepted in society? Will domestic violence increase? How might this change relationship between the sexes?

Grrl Power

 

Ancient mores say that men should not hit women. This rule limits the action in film and TV. Women routinely beat up bad guys. Good guys fight bad guys but not bad women (except lightly). Even fights by good girls were limited because having girls hit by guys seemed too violent for many viewers (see examples at the TV Tropes page, and the exceptions on this page) — but this is fading away.

Corrosive to this rule is women casually hitting men — often for trivial reasons — which has become commonplace on film and TV. In these scenes men cower before the righteous rage of grrl-power, since striking back would be wrong.

Here are a few examples of casual girl-on-men violence, starting with two of the odder examples of grrl-power: women abusing their boyfriends. It’s so cute, especially for action-adventure heroes. Afterwards is some speculation about what it means.

One of the many times Beckett humiliates Castle in “Castle”
From S01E03, “Hedge Fund Homeboys

Scenes of Beckett abusing her sub are more impressive when seen in motion.
Watch him whine an beg for mercy. Modern love is cute.

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Lessons for us from the TV show “Castle”

Summary: For eight years the TV show Castle explored the nature of romance in 21st century America. Now that it ends soon, in its present form, we can review the lessons it taught us. TV and film tell our myths, and can help us better understand ourselves.

“Oh, wow. You’re engaged to a douche.”
— Rogan O’Leary (Beckett’s husband), speaking to her about Castle.

Stana Katic

Stana Katic, co-star of Castle.

After 9 seasons ABC decided to reduce the cost of producing the TV show Castle by firing its co-star, Stana Katic (playing Kate Beckett). They plan to reboot the show, presumably reverting Richard Castle back from beta sidekick he has become to the alpha of the early seasons — paired with another action girl. This break in the show will end a story that powerfully reflects trends in American society. Let’s take a few minutes to review what we’ve learned from Castle.

Romance in America

“Castle” helps us adjust to a new America, with women on top.

The show began with Beckett and Castle as equal partners with romantic overtones — an example of classic second-wave feminism. As the second wave evolved into the more aggressive third, so the delicate balance of Castle tipped into something different.

Beckett (like Rey in The Force Awakens) is a trendy female version of the Doc Savage 1930’s action hero (“the pinnacle of human physical and mental achievement”). She was top in her NYPD Academy class, youngest ever female NYPD detective, marksman, master of unarmed combat, fluent in Russian, former model, and has the highest case closure rate in the NYPD (i.e., she’s an ace investigator and interrogator). See the ABC publicity tweet at the end showing the result.

The grrl-power plots — driven by Stana Katic’s acting skills — gave Castle a largely female fan base (i.e., most guys tuned out). Maintaining faith and allegiance to the series requires amnesia about its contradictions — much as Americans require amnesia to retain belief that we’re a city on the hill in world affairs.

Perhaps naturally, Beckett slowly took the leading role in the show. To maintain its balance, Castle became her beta sidekick and occasional butt monkey — receiving physical abuse, mockery, and humiliation. He becomes a pudgy contrast to svelte Beckett, often submissive to her (and to his mother and daughter).

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The collapse of gender roles: an unseen revolution with unimaginable consequences

Summary: Here is another brief note looking at the revolutions of our time that are reshaping our world. This looks at gender roles, changes that will take generations to work out and with implications probably beyond imagining.

Gender Equality

Two of the utopian goals of the late 1960s are within reach, but their success is not fully appreciated. First, the West is at zero population growth (before immigration) — a goal coined by Kingsley Davis in Science (10 Nov 1967), although he said it could not be done by voluntary means (government action would be needed). Second, the shift to a unisex society — with the role of gender drastically reduced (e.g., in child-reading, education, the workplace, dress, behavior).

Combined these two mutually-reinforcing trends (a drastic drop of fertility made possible a more unisex society) represent revolutions larger than those in politics and perhaps even technology. History has seen nothing like these since the shift to agriculture millennia ago.

In one sense we have already made the change: in fiction. Books, TV, and films reflect a more unisex world. Change the names and pronouns in books (e.g., military science fiction), TV, (crime shows “Castle” and “Forever”), and films (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) — can you identify the gender of the characters?

Like most speculative fiction, they assume that gender roles evaporate leaving society otherwise unchanged. That seems unlikely to me. Society might take generations to adjust to the changes that have already occurred, as the existing but outmoded forms of thought and behavior only slowly adjust to the new realities. But the resulting changes might be large beyond our ability to imagine today.

There are few books that even hint at the future that awaits us. One of those is Plato’s The Republic. He describes a city in many ways more alien that that found in most science fiction stories, but which we might be approaching in this one sense. Here Allan Bloom explains how Plato’s insights illuminate our situation.

Excerpt from Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom

All the romantic novels with their depictions of highly differentiated men and women, their steamy, sublimated sensuality and their insistence on the sacredness of the marriage bond just do not speak to any reality that concerns today’s young people. …

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Follow the trail from a growing plutocracy to decaying families

Summary:  The social and economic evolution of America will shape 21st century America. This post ties together our rising inequality, falling social mobility, crashing system of higher education, dropping labor force participation, and falling rate of family formation. Another generation of these trends and we’ll have a New America. Time is not our friend.

 

Contents

  1. Looking backwards.
    …..Looking forward.
  2. Inequality: the political revolution.
  3. Social mobility: education failure.
  4. The next gen of America:
    …..indentured servitude.
  5. Men are “Going Galt.”
  6. For More Information.

 

(1) Looking backwards. Looking forward.

In times of rapid change we rely on economists to explain what has happened. However they are usually poor at seeing changes happening now (often they deny their existence, believing that what has been in the past must be so in the future). The massive changes in the social structure of America illustrate how we need their analysis, but have to look beyond it. Let’s trace the logic from our past to our future.

(2)  Inequality: the political revolution

Robert Reich has published another book providing an essential analysis of our time: Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few. How did we get into this mess?

{It’s} a myth-shattering breakdown of how the economic system that helped make America so strong is now failing us, and what it will take to fix it. … he reveals how power and influence have created a new American oligarchy, a shrinking middle class, and the greatest income inequality and wealth disparity in 80 years. He makes clear how centrally problematic our veneration of the “free market” is, and how it has masked the power of moneyed interests to tilt the market to their benefit.

Reich exposes the falsehoods that have been bolstered by the corruption of our democracy by huge corporations and the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street … He shows that the critical choices ahead are not about the size of government but about who government is for: that we must choose not between a free market and “big” government but between a market organized for broadly based prosperity and one designed to deliver the most gains to the top. …

Paul Krugman’s typically brilliant review in the New York Review of Books expands on Reich’s analysis, putting it in a broader context of history and the evolution of economists’ explanations for trends since the 1970s. The bottom line…

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Men are “going Galt”. Marriage is dying. Will society survive?

Summary: Gender roles are changing at a rate not seen since the invention of agriculture. Marriage, the institution most affected, must also change or wither away. Here are reports with facts about marriage today and speculation about their meaning. All we know is that the future of marriage will be different than what we think of as “traditional” marriage.  {This post was revised slightly in Nov 2015.}

Death of Marriage

Contents

  1. Marriage: an institution in flux.
  2. The facts about marriage.
  3. One theory about the cause: men are “going Galt”.
  4. Will it be the end of civilization?
  5. Clear thinking about the problem.
  6. The 1st shot in next phase of the gender revolution.
  7. Conclusions.
  8. For More Information.

(1)  Marriage: an institution in flux

Marriage has been an institution in flux for centuries, but the rate of change accelerated after California Governor Ronald Reagan signed the revolutionary Family Law Act of 1969, retroactively abolishing the “traditional” binding contract of marriage and replacing it with no-fault divorce. This created our present system of serial monogamy (a series of monogamous pairings with the pretense of being for life). The feminist revolutions which followed forced further changes in marriage. Since then we’ve slid along the slippery slope, and still cannot see what lies at the end.

Let’s start this examination at an interview with Janice Shaw Crouse. She gives a status report on marriage today: “Bachelor Nation: 70% of Men Aged 20-34 Are Not Married“…

“Far too many young men have failed to make a normal progression into adult roles of responsibility and self-sufficiency, roles generally associated with marriage and fatherhood” … The high percentage of bachelors means bleak prospects for millions of young women who dream about a wedding day that may never come. “It’s very, very depressing … They’re not understanding how important it is for the culture, for society, for the strength of the nation to have strong families.”

Crouse sees the present but only in terms of yesterday’s norms. Today many young men reject the “normal progression into adult roles”. Many young women no longer “dream about a wedding day”, or are unwilling to make the compromises with a man to make that happen. As for the effect on society, it is just another of great experiments that we’re conducting — with our society as the lab rat.

Janice Shaw Crouse is a senior fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute at Concerned Women for America. She is the author of Marriage Matters: Perspectives on the Private and Public Importance of Marriage (2012),  Children at Risk: The Precarious State of Children’s Well-Being in America and The Strength of a Godly Woman: Finding Your Unique Place in God’s Plan.

(2)  The facts about marriage

For more about the facts Crouse describes, see the Pew Research report “Record Share of Americans Have Never Married As Values, Economics and Gender Patterns Change” (September 2014). It’s weak about the causes. For example, they don’t mention that increasing rates of obesity take many young people off the “market” for marriage, that the increased availability of sex outside marriage reduces men’s incentives to marry, or the increased “competition” of games and porn as alternatives to women.

Pew’s research shows that men’s weakening economic status vs. women renders many of them unmarriageable. The widening education gap guarantees that the economic gap will continue to widen. We already can see the effects rippling across society as women are moving on top of men in America.

But although the role of each of these factors remains obscure, the results are obvious and even predictable.

(a) More young people remain unmarried

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The Economist proclaims that men are “The Weaker Sex”

Summary: A trend goes mainstream when it appears on the cover of the major weekly news magazines. So it is with the end of men. It’s a trend long in the making, now visible to all who care to see. But seeing the past tells us little about the future. What’s the effect of this trend on society? How will men respond to this new challenge?  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

The Economist cover, 30 May 2015

They talk about ‘a woman’s sphere’
As though it has a limit;
There’s not a spot on sea or shore,
In sanctum, office, shop or store,
Without a woman in it.
— Anonymous, from Jennie Day Haines’ Sovereign Woman Versus Mere Man (1905).

The weaker sex
The Economist, 30 May 2015.

AT FIRST glance the patriarchy appears to be thriving. More than 90% of presidents and prime ministers are male, as are nearly all big corporate bosses. Men dominate finance, technology, films, sports, music and even stand-up comedy. In much of the world they still enjoy social and legal privileges simply because they have a Y chromosome.

Yet there is plenty of cause for concern. Men cluster at the bottom as well as the top. They are far more likely than women to be jailed, estranged from their children, or to kill themselves. They earn fewer university degrees than women. Boys in the developed world are 50% more likely to flunk basic maths, reading and science entirely.

One group in particular is suffering (see article). Poorly educated men in rich countries have had difficulty coping with the enormous changes in the labour market and the home over the past half-century. As technology and trade have devalued brawn, less-educated men have struggled to find a role in the workplace.

Women, on the other hand, are surging into expanding sectors such as health care and education, helped by their superior skills. As education has become more important, boys have also fallen behind girls in school (except at the very top). Men who lose jobs in manufacturing often never work again. And men without work find it hard to attract a permanent mate. The result, for low-skilled men, is a poisonous combination of no job, no family and no prospects. …

This leader and the article tell the simple truth.

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