Don’t Blame Porn For Misogyny – Blame History

misogyny, history, sexism

It seems to have been a comic called Marc Maron who came up with the term ‘unfuckable hate nerds’ to describe a particular sort of vile misogynist, and it’s a misogyny, porn, manosphere, sexismpretty good term. It’s entirely reasonable to be horrified by such people and wonder what should be done to stop them/save them before they get too dangerously radicalised/save other people from them.

And if you spend much time reading the very good but very alarming We Hunted The Mammoth website, you might be edging closer to the idea of just locking the whole lot of them up somewhere far, far away.

But there are still people taking the easy option of insisting that the ‘rise’ of men who really, really hate women and are becoming more and more willing to act on this hatred (like Elliot Rodger and  Alex Minassian, the Toronto killer) is all down to the Internet – and internet porn.

There’s probably something in the idea that the ‘manosphere’ – a collection of sites and discussion forums full of alt-right, Men’s Rights and ‘Pick Up Artists’ along with ‘incels’ (the last group being the one that the two murderers above identified with most closely) – can reinforce some lonely, frustrated, perhaps not-too-mentally-healthy-to-start-with men’s belief that their unhappiness is everyone else’s fault.

misogyny, history, sexismThe thing is, the whole of contemporary society is founded on the idea that men are people and women are property. There are theories to the effect that the domination of heterosexual monogamy as the ‘ideal’ comes from the idea that every man is entitled (by virtue of being a man) to own a woman, who will cater to him sexually, domestically and psychologically, and be his breeding stock. I’ve read more than once that the reason for this model being adopted, over a previous one which allowed the ‘ruling’ male or males to have as many women as they wanted, was to placate the resentment of lower-down-the-pecking-order men, which was likely to spill over into violence against their rulers.

So, until relatively recently, we had stuff about conjugal rights. The finer points of this religion-based rule seem to have been neglected or overlooked in favour of a general belief that once a man had married a woman, he had the right to stick his dick in her whenever he felt like it. And here’s a really fun fact: the law changed to make it a criminal offence for a man to have sex with his wife against her wishes in…

Wait for it…

NIINETEEN NINETY TWO. Up until just over 25 years ago, a married woman was the sexual property of her husband, with no legal right to say no to sex.

This is what we are struggling against, all those of us who want a world where people have, not the right to partnered sex, but the right to look for willing partners, to express their sexuality in ways that make them and any partners they may do so with, happy. Before mainstream porn, before the internet, camesmug man, misogyny, sexualty thousands of years of men labelling and controlling and defining women’s sexuality, and ‘sex’ itself – which is partly why so many people still seem to feel that PIV sex is ‘real’ sex and everything else is either ‘foreplay’ or irrelevant. Or icky.. Women having bodily and sexual autonomy, making choices for themselves about who to accept or reject as a sexual partner, or what type of sexual activity is welcome and what is thoroughly unwelcome, still outrages and terrifies a lot of men.

More diversity in porn, more open and free discussion about sexuality, about choice, and about independence and autonomy, about how to get along with other people… this is the stuff young men, in particular, need. It isn’t going to happen overnight, but nor did all the other steps human beings have made along the road away from male supremacy (and white supremacy). But a knee-jerk porn-blaming reaction is 100% not the answer.

Leave a Reply