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Are Men’s Rights Activists planning to raise an army of goat men?

The results are in, and you ARE the father!

The results are in, and you ARE the father!

So there’s a hilariously alarmist post in the Men’s Rights subreddit at the moment in which one concerned MRA called aegorrivers offers his ideas on How to avoid paternity fraud and toxic relationships in general while still reproducing.

The post starts off with a lot of nonsense about allegedly rampant paternity fraud – indeed, it’s such clear nonsense that even a few MRAs feel obliged to correct him in the comments – and then moves on to describe just how terrible life is for men who (horror of horrors!) find themselves in relationships with women:

On top of this, relationships in general seem to be a problem for men, as men are routinely arrested over false domestic violence and rape claims, even when they are the ones being beaten and raped. Divorce courts are heavily biased in favor of women, and men usually lose custody, end up paying alimony and child support, are thrown in jail with serial killers and rapists and are left to be raped by the inmates if they cannot pay.

He concludes that the only reason men are willing to put up with all this is that

women are the gatekeepers to reproduction. This is the key power that women have always had over men, and they will continue to have it as long as we continue to allow ourselves to suffer just to maybe have the chance to reproduce (assuming she doesn’t cuckold you).

Weird. For a bunch of guys whose only interest in women allegedly stems from a desire to make little copies of themselves, (straight, cis) Men’s Rights Redditors sure spend a lot of time trying to figure out how not to pay for or indeed have anything to do with any children that might result from their (ugh) amorous adventures.

Be that as it may, aegorrivers has a solution: Hire a cheap surrogate mom in India!

With this reproductive strategy, you not only avoid all of the hazards of relationships and divorce, but also can guarantee that the child is your own child (put a condition in the contract that says that all payments are on the condition of a positive paternity test), get your pick of the litter in terms of attractiveness and intelligence (just pick an awesome egg donor!), have no problems with mothers trying to alienate your children as the mothers will have no right to them (some states do try to pull shenanigans on this one, but just don’t hire a woman in that state and go to other states to create economic pressure on the states that do this).

But it’s the next part that really got my attention. Emphasis added:

There is even research that is currently attempting to develop an artificial womb. This has succeeded with goats. (http://abcnews.go.com/US/straight-single-men-wanting-kids-turn-surrogacy/story?id=16520916). Perhaps in the future, we won’t even need surrogate mothers.

Goats? That’s right. You heard it here first: MRAs are planning on raising an army of goat children, hideous monsters that are half-MRA, half goat.

And aegorrivers, like some MRA Dr. Moreau, wants to be in the thick of it:

I also will be supporting the artificial womb research by attempting to pursue a PhD in a lab that does this work. I encourage all MRAs to pursue STEM degrees and do this as well. …

This has lifted a great weight off of my shoulders. I no longer feel as much pressure to conform to society and don’t feel as bad about not being able to attract women. I think this might be the key to ripping their power away from them.

Clearly, feminists need to come up with a way to counter the coming MRA man-goat apocalypse.

Might I suggest … Catpeople?

cat-people-vintage-movie-poster-hires-www.freevintageposters.com_ThRFjZzK0tumblr_lfyrairPip1qay0z6o1_500tumblr_m46gskahym1qlx3eto1_5008109263511_71f3300849catwomancatwomanheadswap

 

NOTE: Thanks to the AgainstMensRights subreddit for highlighting aegorrivers’ post, though the AMRers don’t seem to have realized the full implications of his argument.
NOTE TO EXTREMELY LITERAL MRAs: I’m aware that aegorrivers is not literally advocating raising an army of goat children. I am pretending that I have misconstrued his already silly argument for comedic effect. Likewise, I am not literally advocating that feminists start breeding an army of human-cat hybrids.

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Posted on July 20, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 198 Comments.

  1. >On the other hand, goat-men are satyrs, who are obsessed with sex and completely unconcerned with consent, so are we sure MRAs didn’t do this a long time ago?

    Satyr never got any until Hellenism came around. Before that, the women they assaulted in art easily rebuffed them and sent them running for the hills posthaste. But hellenist art also produced a number of statues of hermaphrodites that were set up in such a way as to deliver surprise penises to people who approached them thinking they would get to see a statue of a naked woman, so attitudes towards sex and art seemed to have shifted significantly by that point.

  2. I left the link debunking the 30% in another thread, using their own reference material against them.

    @DJD:

    not all suspicions of paternity “fraud” are equal. Some are more wrong than others. Fidelity insures paternity, but infidelity (which covers situations of overlapping activity with multiple partners) doesn’t guarantee the reverse. I’d like to see what the difference in percentage is between cases in which the infidelity is known/admitted and cases in which the infidelity also is only suspected.

    There’s never going to be accurate statistics on this because not every who is having sex with different partners around the same time is going to admit infidelity. Therefore the proportion of suspected infidelity cases which are true positives is going to continue to be unknown. There will be true negatives in there too, where the woman is being truthful about having only slept with one person and the man refuses to believe her.

    It’s also a “so what?” question on a number of levels. Just because a woman has slept with someone else, and this is accurately known by the man, the child could still be biologically his if she is still having sex with the partner. As others have said, it ignores the fact that child support has been awarded “against” non-biological fathers because the key fact has been the fathering (i.e. nurturing) and not the biology (e.g. nature). It also assumes, as I said in the other thread, that the woman had intent to deceive and may have assumed biological fatherhood.

    Your criticism is odd. NIce how the argument always attacks the women, why not criticise the men who are providing the sperm contribution to these “fake” children.

  3. Plus thanks to chimerism it is theoretically possible for someone to have a biological child that a DNA test would think was someone else’s. Happened to at least one woman, caused her quite a bit of legal misery.

  4. cassandrakitty

    # notallsatyrs

  5. RE: emilygoddess

    That poverty makes some people desperate enough to risk their health – whether by selling blood or doing medical trials or serving as a surrogate – doesn’t make it ethical to ask it of them.

    Not gonna lie, when I first moved to Boston and I was looking for work, I looked into being a surrogate. At the time, I hadn’t been on hormones or had top surgery, so I could still meet their creepy breeding requirements. Fortunately, I found a job before it came to that.

    I looked again when I was homeless, because $8000 would’ve been enough to keep me alive for a year, which seemed totally worth carrying a fucking child to term. Unfortunately, by that point I was on hormones, brain meds, and was labeled mentally ill, so I was no longer prime breeding stock.

    RE: zoom echon logon

    Brrr. That story gave me the creeps.

  6. Regarding artificial wombs, uterus transplants are looking promising, but getting a child to term in one is still not a thing that has occurred. Four Swedish women were given IVF the beginning of the year, into transplanted uteruses, but I can’t find any news if they’re still pregnant — the attempt before them ended in an early miscarriage (last I saw she intended to try again). The big question seems to be blood supply as it isn’t just a matter of enough blood to sustain the uterus (that seems to be mostly solved) but to sustain pregnancy. I somehow doubt external wombs will be happening soon if we can’t yet manage to transplant one and get it enough blood to sustain a baby.

    But yes, should we work out how to carry a baby to term outside someone’s body, I can’t see feminists, or women in general really, complaining!

  7. TW: Medical grossness.

    This nurse/blogger suffered no problems after her first child, but after her second, she ended up having a sort of “pocket” in her rectum where shit would gather up. In order to completely empty her rectum of shit when going to the toilet, she had to insert fingers into her vagina and manually press it empty (because the pocket was sort of hanging into her vagina; I find this a bit hard to explain, but hopefully you get the right picture). My sister, who’s a medical secretary at the birth department of a hospital, knew the medical term for this phenomenon, but I’ve forgotten, and besides, I wouldn’t know what it’s called in English anyway.

    In English, it’s called a rectocele.
    It’s a fairly common development after child birth, which puts strain on the pelvic floor muscles. Wort case scenario is it develops into a vaginal-rectal fistula, which is bad news.

  8. A woman I work with had a baby not too long ago and was telling me in detail about *all the things they don’t tell you*. She also said her doctor told her not to google too much because it would just stress her out. I know its hard to hear but I find it pretty ridiculous that women are walking into medical situations with a blindfold in some cases. I don’t think I’ve heard someone who had bipass surgery say “Yeah, the doctor wouldn’t tell me about a lot of the complications because it might scare me”.
    Is this a case of thinking women are too soft and delicate to hear the truth?

  9. emilygoddess - MOD

    Is this a case of thinking women are too soft and delicate to hear the truth?

    Possibly this, and possibly also a fear that we won’t fulfill our duties as baby machines if we know what we’re signing up for.

  10. @pallygirl – [Just because a woman has slept with someone else, and this is accurately known by the man, the child could still be biologically his if she is still having sex with the partner.]

    That was exactly what I meant. To take a well-known case, the fiance of the woman who slept with Dr Schwyzer days before becoming engaged could well have been the sperm provider for her pregnancy even if she lied to him about the degree of certainty. (I agree there’s no way to get accurate statistics, but was just thinking that it would be interesting to know which half of the double accusation is more often wrong than the other.) Part of the silliness of the MRA position is that they attribute deliberation to what is at best a matter of chance – one would have to risk unprotected sex with the non-desired father at least once. The odds could be altered a bit, but, within my ken at least, not made foolproof. (As I have no experience whatsoever of mixed-sex conjunctions, I am naturally prepared to accept that I could have made a huge bloomer here.)

    I was mainly just being a bit of a math geek, but any criticism from me was directed at men who wrongly suspect adultery, the weightier (in my view) of the two parts of the suspicion. I have no more to say about the practical application or there being any point to the test at all than the poster who found it interesting that 70% of suspicion cases are wrong.

    There are two parts to the question settled by a paternity test, which does not settle how many suspicious possible fathers are right about adultery but wrong on parentage. Although we can’t really get accurate statistics, I’m just suggesting that a split of, say, 60/10/30 (40% right about adultery, 75% of those right about adultery right about parentage) would have different implications than a split of, say, 10/60/30 (90% right about adultery, 1/3 of those right about adultery right about parentage).

    As far as practical applications go, I am acquainted with a woman who advocates for a system in which a mother upon birth could designate any willing adult as the child’s co-parent. I forget what the stipulation was for cases without a willing co-parent, but would probably back such a system, with the emphasis on raising the child instead of who provided the original sperm.

  11. Is this a case of thinking women are too soft and delicate to hear the truth?

    The cynical part of me thinks that some doctors have a vested interest in keeping their patients in the dark. It’s probably a lot easier doing your job if your patient only knows what you want them to know.

    The optimistic side thinks that a lot of doctors probably do want to save their patients a lot of grief. There are horrible things that can wrong during a pregnancy and a delivery, and you can really freak yourself out if you go on a Google image search self-diagnosis binge (know this one from experience).

  12. opium4themasses

    I don’t know that it is fair to attribute malice to a number of different medical professionals. I think it is wrong, but they likely want to avoid increasing stress.

    Still the patronizing way they deal with people is infuriating.

  13. cassandrakitty

    I think it’s less “soft and delicate” and more “mindless bodies to be acted upon by the thinking people with the penises”, with strong overtones of “this is women’s purpose anyway so anything that discourages them from doing it is unacceptable”.

  14. opium4themasses

    I was ninja’d. Ahh well

  15. cassandrakitty

    It’s not “malice”, it’s misogyny. One would think this wouldn’t need to be explained on an ostensibly feminist-friendly site.

  16. You know, the more I hear about pregnancy, the more I am so, SO glad I never got pregnant. I really, really don’t think I would ever want to. (Which works out fine, since me and hubby would need to either adopt or have headbabies anyway… if our brain can even do that, which I’m dubious about.)

  17. WWTH, that article…ugh. The only person who should decide to continue a pregnancy or not is the pregnant person. That’s who is running any health risks associated w/pregnancy and delivery. If the pregnant person wants input from anyone else, that’s fine, but it should still be the decision of whomever is pregnant.

  18. I was being generous to the doctors and assuming that the advice not to google was for a) woman who are already pregnant and definite they want to have the baby b) complications that are not-preventable, can’t be mitigated by preparation and don’t always happen. In which case, yeah, why worry about them.

    But, if you aren’t pregnant and/or you don’t know if you want to have a baby, then ALL of it is useful info. Plus, there are loads of things it’s worth being prepared for (or so tv tells me).

    And, are there really any complications that fit that “not-preventable, can’t be mitigated by preparation” criteria? I can see how it could easily be a “don’t worry your pretty head about it” situation too.

  19. One of the most chilling, yet reassuring things my mother ever told me:
    after learning in high school about just what childbirth entails, I asked my mother how much difficulty she had had. She assured me that she’d had no particular problems, then added, “If I’d have had to go through what some of my friends went through, I’d have stopped at two.”

    As number six of seven, this was disconcerting. My younger sister decided at an early age not to have children, and has never regretted it. Conversely, my husband and I have two, but then, neither of us had to be pregnant.

  20. huh, Now I get IT MRAs meant satyrist not satirist. Not that being a goat man changes the fact they’re still assholes.

  21. @booburry

    possible. But I would tend to think it’s more like the internet as made everybody think their “expert”, and doctor’s are just sick of it in general. So the default line to anyone is now don’t Google it. Also given the amount of bad information on the web. any other response is risky.

  22. @DJD:

    I was mainly just being a bit of a math geek, but any criticism from me was directed at men who wrongly suspect adultery, the weightier (in my view) of the two parts of the suspicion. I have no more to say about the practical application or there being any point to the test at all than the poster who found it interesting that 70% of suspicion cases are wrong.

    The 30% figure, as I indicated in my earlier comment, is based on a factually incorrect interpretation of a laboratory summary. That means that the 70% figure (100-30=70) you have used just now is an incorrect deduction. We don’t know the percentage because
    – not all suspicion cases go to genetic paternity testing
    – not all genetic testing cases reported in the lab summaries are due to suspicions about the identity of the father.

    There are two parts to the question settled by a paternity test, which does not settle how many suspicious possible fathers are right about adultery but wrong on parentage. Although we can’t really get accurate statistics, I’m just suggesting that a split of, say, 60/10/30 (40% right about adultery, 75% of those right about adultery right about parentage) would have different implications than a split of, say, 10/60/30 (90% right about adultery, 1/3 of those right about adultery right about parentage).

    Did you read what I wrote about how paternity is not the be all and end all of deciding custody/child support payments? Your ratio example is completely meaningless as we will never have all the information to know. I don’t know where you’re trying to go, but you’re pulling figures out of your arse. Repeatedly.

    I was mainly just being a bit of a math geek

    Pulling figures out of your arse and then running with assumptions from those numbers is not being a maths geek. It’s being an idiot.

  23. @Ken L.
    I totally hear ya about doctors maybe wanting to prevent people from getting wild ideas on the internet. My Mom has thoroughly convinced herself that she is allergic to every medication on the planet if it is not “natural”. She never had any issues like this until she started googling natural BS.
    On the other hand, if I were a doctor I would want to inform my patient pretty damn well so they won’t feel the need to turn to the internet. I have read that a very high number of people in the states feel like their doctor is not listening to them and in a rush in general. That probably feeds into people’s trying to find information elsewhere.
    I dunno. I didn’t mean to open a can of worms or anything, just thought about my coworker when you lovely folks were talking about the *joys* of pregnancy. :)

  24. Flying Mouse:

    The cynical part of me thinks that some doctors have a vested interest in keeping their patients in the dark. It’s probably a lot easier doing your job if your patient only knows what you want them to know.

    I regard any doctor who withholds information about medical procedures from their patients with extreme suspicion. I don’t care if it’s brain surgery or a cheek swab, as a patient, you have the right to know exactly what is going to happen to your body and any and all risks you might be running in the process. Especially when childbirth is involved, because there’s so much patriarchal fuckery tied up in the whole thing: “a woman’s primary purpose is childbearing, women don’t know what’s best for their own bodies, scary medical stuff is too complicated for tiny female brains anyway, they’d only have an attack of the vapours if we treated them like adults…”

    Extreme case in point, in Ireland, within the last 70 years or so, 1500 women underwent symphysiotomies during child birth, unknowingly and without their consent. The survivors are still lobbying for a full and impartial investigation into what was done to them, for the right to bring their cases to court and adequate compensation for what they went through. That’s 1500 cases of a doctor going ,”Yo, it’ll be easier for this woman to give birth if we just crack her pelvis open a bit. Or you know, a lot. No need to ask her. No need to explain to her what happened. It’ll only upset the poor dear.” Seriously, if you have the stomach for it, wikipedia “symphysiotomy” and read the long section on Ireland.

  25. The only time I have really pissed off a doctor is when they wanted to admit me to hospital, having come through the ED via GP appointment first due to weird neurological signs. There was something wrong, they had ruled out a bunch of really serious stuff, but they couldn’t work out what the problem was. I was postgraduate internal at the time and had a bunch of student assignments to mark at my flat that weekend. I refused to be admitted “for observation” after pointing out that I knew that “for observation” meant I would be lucky to have a nurse check me once an hour. And “for observation” doesn’t include actual, you know, treatment.

    The doctor even had the unmitigated gall to suggest that something might go really wrong when I was at home. I promised that, if it did, I would be getting my arse back to the ED via ambulance.

    It was freaky – without warning, I would lose all sensation in both legs for about an inch right around just above my kneecaps. I could feel my lower leg and the rest of my upper leg, but no connection between the two. Everytime it happened I would almost fall over. Also, occasionally, the horizon would do a vertical jump on me – unsynced with anything I was doing, like walking or sitting. My eye movements felt normal when this happened. I did some odd reactions to the neurological tests in the hospital, but nothing consistent with any disease or syndrome. In the end they said it was …. “food poisoning”. I laughed. I wasn’t on any meds at the time this all happened and I had no obvious food poisoning signs like diarrhoea or vomiting, or even a sore stomach/abdomin. Food poisoning my arse.

  26. @tinyorc – I remember reading about the symphysiotomy lawsuits a few years ago. I think the U.S. media gave it some coverage in the wake of Savita Halappanavar’s death. I remember being disgusted but not really surprised that such a thing could happen in the twentieth century. It’s in the same club as the forced (sometimes secret) sterilizations that have gone on for years in the United States.

    And you’re right, reading about the symphysiotomy procedure in detail is not for the faint of heart or delicate of stomach.

  27. Not gonna lie, when I first moved to Boston and I was looking for work, I looked into being a surrogate. At the time, I hadn’t been on hormones or had top surgery, so I could still meet their creepy breeding requirements.

    Maybe, but agencies are quick to weed out anyone who’s doing it for the money. It’s not in anyone’s interest to work with surrogates/donors who feel coerced, exploited, resentful, or contemptuous of the process. By the time prospective parents get to this stage, they’ve already been through a ton of shitty bad luck and emotional hell. They’re not trying to take advantage of anybody or breed little designer Aldous Huxley babies. All they want is a family, and believe me, they are incredibly grateful that there are women who are brave and generous enough to help them achieve that dream.

    In fact, it’s illegal to pay for body parts, so technically the donor/surrogate is being compensated for their time.

    Sorry LBT, nothing personal – it just upset me that you might think infertile couples are being creepy and/or exploitive when turning to assisted reproduction for help. That attitude is all over the media, from sensationalist articles to comment boards, and it’s another way in which people love to punish women for their choices (or lack thereof).

  28. I have a fear of not being believed by doctors. Add to that the ‘crazily hormonal pregnant woman’ trope and the terror gets ramped up to 11. I know some people behave like the world is ending when they so much as stub their toe but not everyone reacts the same. The possibility of your life and your potential childs life being in danger and just being told to shush and getting a pat on the head…(shudder).
    I really hope all these mgtow-scientists get on with their artificial wombs. I’d be first in the queue!

  29. RE: Buttercup Q. Skullpants

    Sorry LBT, nothing personal – it just upset me that you might think infertile couples are being creepy and/or exploitive when turning to assisted reproduction for help.

    Enh, I don’t think it was the PARENTS that were asking for the creepy things. It was the website who would’ve hired me. They wanted blond hair, blue eyes, higher education (preferably from a “respectable” school, including grade records), good health, a certain height and weight… I have all the respect for people who want kids, but it was skeevy as hell, yo. There’s a reason I ended up not doing it there!

  30. Buttercup Q. Skullpants

    Yeah, that does sound a little sketchy, LBT – probably not a place you would have wanted to get involved with. Agencies with any ethics/common sense should be looking for diverse donors. Generally, prospective parents are seeking a physical match for the mother, and not every woman is the WASPiest WASP who ever WASPed. For whatever reason, there’s a perception in the AR world that Aryan looks command a premium. All the recipient parents I know who went that route were frustrated by the ethnic monotony of the donors. If you’re Indian, or Jewish, or Korean, it can be almost impossible to find a match.

    The higher education requirement might make some sense from a business perspective – egg donor/surrogacy is so expensive, recipients tend to come from higher socioeconomic classes and want donors with a similar educational background. It does get a little icky when framed as a class issue. College degrees have as much to do with family background and resources as IQ.

    Anyway, sounds like you dodged a bullet there!

  31. I don’t object to surrogacy in principle, as long as the surrogate is treated fairly, but there does seem at times a fairly severe element of classism in what you describe, and — in fact — an obvious element of exploitation of poor women that makes me very uncomfortable.

  32. I have a friend who is a Jewish doctor who went to a prestigious college, who told me that when he was in medical school and short on cash he knew he could have made a lot of money by becoming a sperm donor. He didn’t do it because the ethical aspects of this sort of genetic selection made him uncomfortable.

  33. Well, I actually prefer Linkin Park myself :p

  34. >smacks RandomPester upside the head<

    You're repeating yourself. Broken record is broken.

    Also, boring troll is boring.

  35. Why is it that all the fastest ways to make money involve selling your body in some sense or another? Sex work of any stripe, surrogacy (ok, not fast, but the egg donation part is), sperm donation…and the only one that’s predominated by men is the least invasive, hm, almost like female bodies are seen as a commodity or something…

    (To any trolls tempted to call sperm donation invasive — you do a bunch of paperwork and jack off into jars, not as invasive, privacy wise, as any form of sex work)

    The stereotype of “stripping her way through college” actually makes a lot of sense practically when you figure she could make more in a night than I did in a month. Which is, uh, fucked up. Granted I had a cushy desk job and my biggest risk was the CD duplicater spitting discs across the room, but I’m failing to articulate how sex work, selling your genetic material or renting out your uterus are tying into objectification in my head.

  36. I doesn’t seem right that women, in particular, can make more money by renting their bodies than by renting their brains. Hmmm. There’s something about that sentence that doesn’t seem quite right.

  37. Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough that by “which is, uh, fucked up” I meant that what’s fucked up is that some women turn to selling their bodies out of a need for money that a desk job isn’t going to provide (at least not entry level jobs anyways)?

  38. @Argenti Aertheri: Oh, I understood what you were saying quite well, and you’re absolutely right. The question is not whether selling yourself for sexual use is bad; of course it is. I was just musing about whether selling yourself for a mindless low level job (as I did for many years) is all that much better. You almost have to accept that sex work is dishonorable in order to believe that being a low-paid drone is less demeaning.
    And not all prostitution involves sex. Many corporate lawyers and lobbyist, for example, earn large salaries engaging in a high-class form of intellectual prostitution. They are hardly more honorable than a woman who has to be a stripper to survive.

  39. cassandrakitty

    I believe what you’re trying to get at is that the fact that these are the only well paid options for women indicates rather clearly that society considers our bodies to have more value than our brains.

  40. “This fantasy says nothing at all about women, but a lot about the men who have the fantasy.”

    Considering it’s men who are the ones put out about being friendzoned, strange how they fantasize about stuffing up the women’s game by cutting us out of the reproduction picture altogether. Seems to me the ones who want access to the reproductive gateway for fun and manpoints, shouldn’t be making themselves even more irrelevant to a woman’s life than they are now.

    Because no sensible woman would sleep with someone who uses ‘friendzone’ in earnest, expecting to enjoy the experience!

  41. Cassandra — thank you, as yes, that’s much closer to what my brain was saying than its sidetrack into occupational hazards!

    GrumpyOldMan —

    “The question is not whether selling yourself for sexual use is bad; of course it is.”

    It is? Because I could’ve sworn some people do sex work because they like the job. Which is, you know, not a bad thing.

    “And not all prostitution involves sex. Many corporate lawyers and lobbyist, for example, earn large salaries engaging in a high-class form of intellectual prostitution. They are hardly more honorable than a woman who has to be a stripper to survive.”

    What the actual fuck? Yeah sure corporate lawyers can be royal slime balls with less use than a hagfish, but how is what they do remotely comparable to sex work? (A term I note you avoid using)

    ——

    Anyone else here thinking about penguins?

  42. cassandrakitty

    So, I’m probably leaning way more towards the abolitionist end of things than most Mammotheers (and no, let’s not get into that argument), but even so…dude, can we not call jobs that involve being a selfish, amoral shithead “prostitution”? It should be possible to critique the sex industry without suggesting that the people involved in it on the actual sex worker rather than in a managerial position end are as morally bankrupt as corporate lobbyists. The way you’re framing things places all blame for the wrongs that occur within the sex industry on the workers, which is already a shitty thing to do even before you take into consideration how many of those people were coerced/trafficked/otherwise did not enter the industry of their own free will.

    I just hope that you realize that the kind of shit you’re pulling here makes the jobs of people who’re trying to help trafficking victims and other people who desperately want to exit the sex industry a lot harder.

  43. kittehserf MOD

    I doesn’t seem right that women, in particular, can make more money by renting their bodies than by renting their brains. Hmmm. There’s something about that sentence that doesn’t seem quite right.

    Abby Normal!

    You almost have to accept that sex work is dishonorable in order to believe that being a low-paid drone is less demeaning.

    For me, no. It’s not about sex work being dishonourable, but that it’s more invasive, whether of my body or having to play along with someone’s fantasies on the phone. Any sexual contact that was done for money, not for love, would automatically be demeaning in a way that none of the low-paid drone jobs I’ve had could compare with. Not that I’ve been stuck with truly crap jobs, but the idea of any sort of sexual contact with strangers is just horrifying. But that’s nothing to do with the idea that sex work is per se demeaning, let alone dishonourable.

  44. Isn’t there a shortage of non-white sperm because of this weird idea that people only want WASP donors? Actually some places don’t except red haired donors, which is just plain awful.

  45. Isn’t there a shortage of non-white sperm because of this weird idea that people only want WASP donors?

    I’ve heard that. Turns out that some people want babies that aren’t white. Shockers.

  46. Yeah, donor egg/surrogacy definitely feeds uncomfortably into the belief that women are most valuable for their functioning ladyparts. There is a positive flip side though – it allows infertile/older/single women to have expanded reproductive choices, and puts the lie to the MRA notion that women over 30 are past their expiration date and should just crawl into a corner because omg withered ovaries. Assisted reproduction expands the age range at which motherhood is possible, allowing women to defer family-making decisions and taking some of the pressure off to have children during the prime grad school/career starting years. It also removes the requirement to have a partner in order to be a parent (which pisses off the misters, and frankly I’m all for that). It uncouples motherhood from the functioning of the body and makes it more about the desire to be a parent.

    It’s also not uncommon to find surrogates who love being pregnant and are a little sad to be done with their own family building and miss the experience. I….can’t imagine, but more power to them if they want to help people achieve their family dreams, and find the process easy to boot.

    Re: the lack of nonwhite sperm, that could also be a function of demand. In some cultures, using a sperm donor is considered shameful and infertile couples are discouraged from even seeking medical help, so there aren’t as many couples/women seeking non-Caucasian sperm. I’m not sure what the basis is for that, but it seems like it might tap into the cuckoldophobia that underpins more conservative religious and patriarchal cultures.

  47. kittehserf MOD

    I read “nonwhite sperm” and started thinking of sperm whales who aren’t Moby Dick.

    … I’ll see myself out.

  48. “sex work? (A term I note you avoid using)”
    I did use “sex work” in my earlier post. If someone does sex work because they genuinely like it, I have no problem. However, I suspect that the majority of the sex workers do it because it is their best opportunity to earn a decent living in our fucked-up economy, and that is definitely not a good thing.

    When I wrote that post, for some odd reason I was thinking of an anecdote about Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam. He was a weak character who mostly lived a life of dissipation on the French Riviera financed by the French who kept him as a figurehead/puppet. A couple of times he made half-hearted efforts to stand up for his people, but quickly gave up, When the French money started to run out he appointed the head of the Vietnamese Mafia-equivalent to the post of Police Chief (!) of Saigon in return for a share of the illicit profits. In the anecdote, someone made disparaging comments about the morals of the French woman Bao Dai was currently involved with, who was basically a high-class prostitute. He replied, “Oh, she is just plying her trade. I am the real whore.” Argenti, I agree with almost all of what you say, but I think it is possible to sell your body without selling your soul. Selling your soul — no matter how much money you get for it — is the ultimate self-annihilation. Part of this comes from my experience of being in prison as a war-resister and realizing that the “authorities” can do what they want for whatever reason with your body, but they can’t take away your freedom of mind and spirit unless you let them.

    Somewhat on this topic I recently heard an NPR report about a town in Mexico whose principal product is prostitutes. Girls as young as 14 are exported — apparently principally to the US — where they are held in conditions that (IMO) can fairly be described as slavery and required to service up to 60 men a day, day after day after day after day. To me (and I assume to almost anyone who posts here) this is horrifying beyond words — it sickens me to realize I live in a country where such a thing is possible without a huge public outcry.

  49. I agree with almost all of what you say, but I think it is possible to sell your body without selling your soul.

    I don’t think anyone here is disagreeing with this. Probably what is making people uncomfortable is you co-opting the term “prostitution” to mean selling one’s soul or selling out one’s values, which implies you see selling your body and selling your soul as going hand in hand.

  50. Cassandra — yeah, I have no real desire to get into that debate either. The short version of my view is that people who want to do sex work should be able to do so safely and legally, and those who don’t should never be forced to, whether by actual force or economic fuckedupness (totally a word)

    Bunnybunny — nail, head, you hit it.

    GrumpyOldMan — I apologize for having missed your use of the term sex worker. And yes, that is horrifying.

  51. Argenti: No apology needed or wanted. Due to the fact that we deal with some very sensitive topics here, there are bound to be some miscommunications and raw nerves accidentally hit. And tact has never been my strong suit. I do moral outrage much better.
    And “fuckedupness” is a perfectly fine word — wish I’d come up with it.

    It was my impression that historically prostitution was a general term that was adopted as a euphemism for “whore”, but I appear to be wrong about that — according to one source the sexual meaning can be traced to 1520 and the figurative meaning to 1570. I have certainly seen it used very frequently in the figurative sense, and the dictionary gives “the use of a skill or ability in a way that is not appropriate or respectable” as one definition. In any case it is a well-established use and not my personal invention. Arguably it might be better to reserve it for the sexual meaning, but that horse left the barn 400 years ago.

    “which implies you see selling your body and selling your soul as going hand in hand.”
    Actually I meant to state more or less the opposite — that you could sell your body without selling your soul, and that selling your soul was worse.

  52. Considering the amount of shit that most of the world flings at sex workers, and how accepted the abuses inflicted on them seem to be, I’m honestly surprised Jack the Ripper’s murders managed to cause such a stir.

  53. Arguably it might be better to reserve it for the sexual meaning, but that horse left the barn 400 years ago.

    Oh look, my favorite argument for using language in a way that further diminishes the underprivileged.

  54. cassandrakitty

    In this particular case the reason to “reserve it for the sexual meaning” is that other commenters are asking you to do so.

  55. Might be easier to use pigs. Plus, the next generation of MCPs could actually be half-pig, on their mother’s side.

  56. I know this thread is very old, but I am the person being laughed at here and I just stumbled upon this today through Google.

    First of all, all of you have decided that I’m not capable of getting a PhD. You are right about your claim that I’m not the smartest person ever, and I never claimed that I was. However, I do have something that most people don’t have: a puritan work ethic. So in spite of the fact that I’m not the smartest person ever, I worked my way into an excellent college. That’s because while other people were out partying and having sex in high school, I studied hard because I wanted a good future. And I recently did the same thing with my graduate entrance exams (scored in the 99th percentile). So hopefully I will get into a good school.

    Second of all, you seem to be under the impression that I spend all of my time going around telling everyone that I’m an MRA, which is just not true. Actually, as far as everyone on my campus knows, I’m a hardcore feminist socialist. I know all of the hip arguments for it and I can recite them like a tape recorder. But I obviously won’t join any feminist groups or causes or Republican causes or Democrat causes. I just tell everyone that I’m too busy with other things to work on politics, which is not true but I don’t want to get involved in vitriolic political spectacles.

    Third of all, you seem to think that I dislike women, which is also blatantly false. I frankly am apathetic towards them as a group just like I am apathetic towards men as a group.I don’t like or dislike individual people based on group characteristics. I’m not even angry. If I were a woman, I wouldn’t be attracted to me either because I’ve never seen anybody as ugly as me. It’s my fault that I’m ugly, and nobody else’s fault, not even my parents because my sister is attractive, very intelligent, and popular but I’m ugly, stupid (but I can compensate because I work hard) and very unpopular. It’s my fault because the sperm cell with literally every garbage gene that my parents had (me) won the race to the egg. The sperm cell with the all the good genes that my parents had (my sister) won her own race and is profiting from that. So it was my own stupidity that led to this situation and nobody else’s and I’m not demanding that the world change for me.

    You seem to think that I’m angry. But I’m not angry. Maybe I was a little a few months ago, but I”m not anymore. Now I’m just desperate. That’s what keeps me going towards this goal; this is the only shot I’ll ever have. If I fail this, I will die forever because my genes will be gone. I know it’s my fault that I have bad genes, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t have dreams too and just want to be normal like everyone else.

  57. Another thing you all have decided is that I will be upset if women use this technology so that they won’t have to experience childbirth. Quite frankly, I don’t care if they use the technology. It has nothing to do with me. All I know is that I want access.

  58. Dude. Unattractive and not very smart people find partners every day. Get a therapist, stay away from MRAs, take up photography or something. Be a decent human being. Don’t write long screeds about incubating your spawn inside goats.

    No guarantees, but I think the odds are better for you if you follow my suggested path than if you stick with the one you’re on. But it’s your life, and if you want to spend it unhappy and bitter that’s really your decision.

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