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Internet Nazis bitterly divided on the sexbot question

Sexbots: Wholesome fun for lonely Aryan men … or tool of Jewish degeneracy?

The Summer 2017 WHTM pledge drive is! Please consider donating money to enable continuing coverage of Nazi sexbot debates! Thanks! 

By David Futrelle

The Greater Internet Lady-hating community has generally been pretty enthusiastic about the allegedly impending arrival of vaguely realistic sexbots, hoping that the ready availability of faux ladies for sex will render real ladies more or less obsolete. Or at the very least make the real ladies feed bad about themselves, thus achieving a major goal of misogynists worldwide.

But sexbots have gotten a much chillier reception from the subset of internet misogynists who also happen to be Nazis. Last year, for example, a writer for the Daily Stormer denounced sexbots as a plot by Jewish degenerates to lower white fertility and, you know, white genocide the superior race.

A recent poll on the Daily Stormer suggests that most internet Nazis are still wary of sexy robot ladies, with 54% (as of this writing) thinking they’re a bad idea. But a significant minority — 35% — is kind of into the whole thing. A lively debate on the subject has broken out of the site’s BBS. Naturally, these being Nazis, the reasons behind these differing opinions are uniformly terrible.

According to hacker Andrew “weev” Auernheimer, commenting on the Daily Stormer, BBS, sexbots might be good for

nonwhites …(maybe not blacks because they are incapable of caring for any object of high value and it would cost society a lot of money)

for whites no– we implement WHITE SHARIA, and then freely beat and rape women after …

being a faggot with a five figure masturbation machine is probably gonna make you a lot less likely to implement WHITE SHARIA

As someone called Hercules1 sees it,

Having it with a robot is a weird and completely desperate degeneracy.

It’s almost the same as guys who can’t get any, having it with an animal or something out of desperation. …

Have a little self control. We’re not animals, and as National Socialists, we shouldn’t strive for degeneracy.

Fanda is similarly wary

Sounds like either a Semitic scam to further atomise society, a gooky reaction to a horribly atomised society, or a combination of the above.

VorginiaSavior worries about robot-assisted White Genocide:

Sex robots would be not only degenerate but it would go against the propagation of the Aryan race.

But SnakeDoctor has much more immediate concerns:

I’m not sticking my dick in anything that has the potential to clamp my dick off. That’s like taking a gamble getting a blow job from a bitch who has seizures.

But for every commenter denouncing sexbots as “degeneracy” or worse, there are perhaps two others parroting the standard misogynistic argument for sexbots. While running behind the naysayers in the Daily Stormer poll, on the BBS itself the pro-sexbot Nazis are offering much more detailed and passionate arguments as to why sexbots are great news for white dudes.

“Im for it,” declares Exiled_Idiot.

Robots with artificial wombs would pose a giant threat to the female population (cuz noone wants to deal with thots if you can avoid or need to fuck them) and force them to better themself and become more viable. It would essentially force them to evole or die out.

TheOutlander14 sees sexbots as a boon for men in a world teeming with”unmarriageable women.” Echoing pretty much every MGTOW and Men’s Rights Activist who’s ever offered an opinion on the subject, he argues that

Sex robots decrease the marketplace value of sex, essentially taking away nature’s one advantage that women have and exploit to the downfall of civilization in the post-modern era. …

Men have already been FORCED to live lives without women. You have to do everything in the house. Cook, Clean, Work, Maintenance and the only thing your post-modern woman will offer you is a second income, maybe sex, and debt to maintain her consumerist lifestyle. Robots cannot provide money to women or meaningful attention, which works against them.

We’re entering a eugenic bottleneck everyone, and if women won’t shape up and compete against robot pussy, then they will end up without a child or husband. There are more great men out there than there are decent women, and I think they deserve to at least be fucking happy without being called a degenerate because they don’t want to date a 2 ton whale of a woman covered in tattoos who wants to spend their money. Not everyone will be able to mate, and it’s better they do it with a sex robot than a chink. …

If you know a decent chick who isn’t some fat slut with uranium up her vag, don’t fuck a robot. Otherwise, fuck one in the meantime.

The aptly named Terrible thinks that sexbots will force women to stop saying “no” to sex.

‘Female’ sex robots designed for men are a good idea because they will take a lot of leverage away from women, dealing a deadly blow to the thot institution of ‘consent’. If a guy can just bang his robot and it feels better than banging you, then I guess you’d better learn to cook and clean and be a mother, right? Got some serious competition if all you’ve got to offer is a wet slit.

What must never be allowed to happen, though, are sex robots designed for women, for obvious reasons

Red_In_T_and_C offers an extended take on the threat sexbots pose to the power of pussy.

Our problems may be Jewishly inspired, but the lever that moves us is pussy.

Sex is both the carrot and the stick used to control men. We do the most ridiculous and destructive shit to get our nut. Which is harmful. We are then punished afterwards via things like “harassment” claims, child support etc…

Sex robots will allow men to develop the tools needed to resist being manipulated by women. 

For those still unconvinced, Red offers an argument that even the dullest Nazi should be able to understand. Because it involves vaping.

Being against sex robots is exactly like being against vaping. Pussy and tobacco are addictions that are expensive, that are undignified, and which have serious and life ruining real world consequences.

Consider a man of potential being sperm jacked at 20. He may never see his child, but would still be a slave to the child support machine until around 40. His career, ruined. His ability to raise a family, ruined.

And all because a bunch of feminists who hate men wish to deny us our liberation. And because a bunch of insecure men fear shaming language.

The only argument against sex bots is some sort of nonsense about no babies getting made.

Where are the arguments against condoms, the pill, sex ed, and abstinence?

And, hey, if you’re worried about the fertility rate falling amongst whites, Red adds, just “imagine the endless benefits if we gave sex bots to muds.”

Sorry, I’m still imagining the benefits of sexbots designed to clamp Nazi dicks off.

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Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

Kat:

OT: Effety-eff, this is so not normal

White House sent Melania into Trump-Putin meeting in a failed effort to get Trump to stop talking

I worry that it is starting to seem normal. A few months ago, my immediate reaction to that headline would have been “holy shit”, but now I just give it a Merkel-like eyeroll:

comment image

Where will this process end? What will seem normal by 2020?

EJ (the Scheming Liberal Race-Traitor)

@guest:
Are you using the term “Darwin” to refer to evolutionary biology in general? If so, PZ Myers might be a good reference source. He’s written extensively about this very issue.

guest
guest
3 years ago

@EJ No, I’m using the term Darwin to refer to Charles Darwin’s work on natural selection. One of PZ’s posts, many years ago, was actually one place I asked this question about Darwin’s work; I got a few interesting but tangential answers, but no one I’ve encountered yet seems to be able to articulate what Darwin argued with respect to human sexual selection, and how he came by his conclusions, or know anyone who has.

guest
guest
3 years ago

Totally OT, except in my head (two more puzzles I have not yet been able to find answers to under my own steam)–does anyone here have any leads on the following:

An essay by G. K. Chesterton in which he points out that we tend to look at ‘conservatives’ like Dr. Johnson as individuals, anomalies, or one-offs, when in fact it’s possible to trace intellectual connections between them in the same way we analyse the development of progressive/modern thought.

A short-ish story/novelette about a retired military officer living in a beachside town who ends up falling in love with an unconventional widow who draws caricatures (I was sure this was Thackeray, as he was an illustrator/caricaturist himself, but I’m unable to find it in his work–but it would be someone in that style/from that period).

As with the Darwin question, I’ve had several stabs at finding the answers myself but have not yet succeeded, and at this point am relying on random luck, and someone saying ‘oh yeah, it’s x’.

Dalillama: Irate Social Engineer

@guest
You have correctly stated the gist of Darwin’s position. Now what?

guest
guest
3 years ago

@Dalillama I believe I may have correctly stated Darwin’s argument, but I haven’t seen any actual evidence that this is the case. Where did he write this? (I’m going to start with The Descent of Man, but there’s a lot of Darwin’s work to look through.) What evidence did he use to come to these conclusions? (Darwin did write about cultures beside his own, so I don’t know what information he incorporated into his arguments.) Is he drawing on anyone else’s work, either consciously or unconsciously? What did his peers think of this argument? Have Darwin scholars investigated this line of thinking, and set it into its cultural context? I have no idea. But to get back to I think weirwoodtreehugger’s point, this line of argument bears a passing resemblance to some of what we hear from the manosphere, and I find it significant that a similar set of ideas can appear in the work of a far more respected, and respected for good reason, thinker. I think this is worth exploring–it’s not my period or area of expertise, but it may be one of those things where I’ll have to say ‘fuckit, someone’s got to research and write this.’

[I think part of the reason I haven’t actually done anything with this yet, aside from it not being within my area of expertise, is that I don’t want to waste my time if someone’s already looked into this (‘this’ meaning the origin, justification and context for Darwin’s idea of how sexual selection must necessarily lead to ‘more masculine’ men and ‘more feminine’ women, and how that interacts with manosphere ideas on how women ‘are a different species’)–but it really doesn’t seem like anyone has.]

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
3 years ago

@guest

Out of curiosity, why do you care what Darwin wrote? Darwin was wrong about a lot of things because evolutionary science wasn’t really a thing at that point and his science was rudimentary. Scientists today don’t necessarily believe everything Darwin did, so why does it matter where Darwin personally got his information?

Dalillama: Irate Social Engineer

@guest
Seconding PoM’s question: why does it matter if Darwin wrote that or not? (He did, in The Descent of Man, but you won’t learn anything new from reading it there)

(‘this’ meaning the origin, justification and context for Darwin’s idea of how sexual selection must necessarily lead to ‘more masculine’ men and ‘more feminine’ women, and how that interacts with manosphere ideas on how women ‘are a different species’)–but it really doesn’t seem like anyone has.]

He was a 19th century English seminarian; how much more analysis is necessary?

History Nerd
History Nerd
3 years ago

@guest

You’d have to find a Darwin scholar rather than an evolutionary biologist. Darwin was politically conservative, so biographers tend to view him as more objective and apolitical. If he was, for example, a feminist or socialist, people would try to examine how his “biased” political views influenced his science in a conspiratorial “history of ideas” narrative.

Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
3 years ago

Ivanka makes my skin crawl. Eugh.

@guest! It’s a good question. I don’t know much about what Darwin wrote on that specifically, because I am not in that field. The history of biology is interesting after all! If you’re looking for an answer in order to fend of arguments from Christians, though, I suggest that you not worry as much about what Darwin believed.

Better, in my mind, to emphasize that atheism has no heroes and science no messiah – Darwin was wrong about a number of things, and we should celebrate the fact that we now know better. That fact – that there’s no argument from authority – is more important than what Darwin believed.

As for a direct answer as to the whole “men evolved to be strong and women evolved to be pliant” nonsense, the answer’s not too difficult. The genes for muscle mass aren’t found exclusively on the Y chromosome, but are throughout the genome. So too for “pliant” behaviour. These are non-gendered traits which are only slightly nudged by sexual dimorphism, and that nudge can easily be overwhelmed by non-gendered factors. We basically aren’t as dimorphic as many people would like to believe, and a woman pursuing the “strongest man” genes is going to have offspring in which both male and female children may carry those genes for strength, not just the boys.

(I am not a biologist, PZ will be able to say this far better than I, and will probably use his eight octo-arms to squirt me with water from his tank for being wrong about things)

An aside on this that makes me grumpy pants. It’s super fascinating and irritating to see the same people claim that women evolved to be pliant and supportive – vague personality traits – then claim that things like sexual preference and gender expression can’t possibly have a genetic component. They get the side eye that melts steel beams.

Fun question! Mmm, genetics. Delicious.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
3 years ago

@guest

Is this meant to be a long-winded way of saying you’re a creationist?

(I’m no good at dancing around stuff that should probably be danced around, just in case anybody hadn’t noticed yet.)

History Nerd
History Nerd
3 years ago

It’s common for Victorian conservatives to state their opinions about social issues without evidence. It’s most likely Darwin didn’t have any data or observations and he was stating what was “self-evident” to him. Science was still “natural philosophy” in the late 19th century and there wasn’t a modern scientific research process yet.

Darwin’s work isn’t the same as modern evolutionary biology.

guest
guest
3 years ago

@SFHC 🙂 no, I’m saying I’m a historian who writes about how and why people get to where they end up (not a scientist with any particular interest in modern evolutionary biology). You may or may not recall that part of my ‘day job’ is explaining how knowing the context of Adam Smith’s writings helps us understand how he went from studying empathy as a creator of social networks to being a prophet for greedheads. What I’m interested in here is how the same factors/ forces/ context may have influenced both Darwin and the manosphere (in the former case, it’s notable because Darwin was otherwise a careful observer of the reality around him). And this just adds to my evidence that anything to do with Darwin automatically becomes a Christian thing…making it really difficult for me to actually understand where he’s coming from, because people freak out if I ask. Though, as I said, understandably, when you have people spitting on his grave….

‘Science was still “natural philosophy” in the late 19th century and there wasn’t a modern scientific research process yet.’ I guess that depends on what you mean by ‘modern scientific research process’–although the first academically funded research labs were a decade or two away, by 1871, when The Descent of Man was published, several scientific societies were publishing peer reviewed work and several more disciplines were in the process of institutionalising. Darwin himself is notable for being both a careful observer and a meticulous experimenter–so I am interested in how he justified whatever findings he wrote about.

History Nerd
History Nerd
3 years ago

YouTube atheists have pretty much given Dennis Prager a pass because he criticizes social justice people. They won’t mention that he’s a creationist and in conflict with most Jewish theologians on creation/evolution.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
3 years ago

The issue I have with historical materialism is that most of the theories regarding natural selection and evolutional psychology are pretty much the same shit with a different hat on to what the Biblical gender roles pundits believe. Both see men as little more than animals with no self control, and women as the weaker, nurturing, submissive animal.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ guest

Ooh this all sounds very interesting. May I invite you to set up another one of your blogposts? The economics one was fantastic. I occasionally drop bits of your work into discussions and meetings and it really helps me bluff that I have a clue what people are talking about.

As for Darwin, I don’t know if you’ve seen this:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00hd1mr/darwins-struggle-the-evolution-of-the-origin-of-species

It’s a BBC4 documentary. It’s about the social context of Darwin’s work rather than the work itself. So maybe it’s a possible starting off point? It’s pretty enjoyable in its own right anyway, so worth a watch.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
3 years ago

If the MGTOWs are anything like these rats, surely sex bots would be the death of them, they would starve and wither away!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-j-linden/compass-pleasure_b_890342.html

History Nerd
History Nerd
3 years ago

@Virgin Mary

You can tell from reading Richard Dawkins that what he really hates is the liberal theology in the Church of England and its emphasis on personal moral behavior, social justice and equality, and historical optimism. He’s committed to being an atheist because he dislikes the left’s moral influence on society in the UK, and he prefers justifying inequality as “just the way things are.”

Lea
Lea
3 years ago

I’m no fan of Dawkins, but he’s made it very clear that he is an atheist because he doesn’t believe gods exist.

Dalillama: Irate Social Engineer

Posted in wrong thread by accident, am now in hour 15 on the clock…

@guest

, On Darwin and the Making of Sexual Selection by Evelleen Richards appears to be what you’re looking for.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
3 years ago

@lea

I don’t like Dawkins either, he’s far too smug and self satisfied for my liking. He’s also been a bit of a coward refusing debates with people who he considers less than his intellectual equal. He would have no problem agreeing with most of the hard religious rights opinions on gender relations either, atheist or no. They think paedophilia is natural and men are wild animals, so does he.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/07/29/richard-dawkins-claims-some-types-rape-pedophilia-worse-others_n_5629458.html

History Nerd
History Nerd
3 years ago

I get the feeling that militant atheism in the UK is more anti-leftist, while left-wing atheists there don’t really care as much about promoting atheism. There are more progressive/liberal militant atheists in the US because we have the Religious Right.

Dalillama: Irate Social Engineer

@History Nerd

the Church of England and emphasis on personal moral behavior, social justice and equality,

comment image

PZ Myers
3 years ago

@guest: “no one I’ve encountered yet seems to be able to articulate what Darwin argued with respect to human sexual selection, and how he came by his conclusions, or know anyone who has.”

Eh, what? You can read Darwin directly, but otherwise there’s been lots of interest & controversy in this topic. Read Richard Prum’s recent book, “the evolution of beauty”. It’s all about sexual selection.

Have you even tried to read any of the extensive literature on the topic?

GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
3 years ago

As to Darwin, I’m fairly sure that he made the common error of assuming that the society he lived in was The Way Things Are Meant To Be. It’s a very easy error to fall into. In fact, I believe, traditional gender roles were a product of the sort of social organization that proved most successful in the conditions of pre-industrial “Western” society — that is, mostly agricultural societies in constant conflict with neighbors over resources. Men were molded into soldiers, since abundant cannon fodder was what gave the leaders of their particular tribe power relative to other tribes. Brawn was also highly desirable in many of the occupations that were available in a society where the majority of people were engaged in agriculture, where only human and animal muscle power were available. Women were molded into breeders and nurturers because maintaining a high birth rate was necessary to produce adequate quantities of cannon fodder and agricultural laborers, and the rates of maternal, infant and child mortality were horrendous. Just to get to replacement level, it probably was necessary for the average healthy woman to bear and care for at least five or six children.
Women were encouraged to become submissive nurturers because that tended to maximize what you might accurately call child production. Men were encouraged to develop in ways that made them more effective soldiers — in other words, to be willing to kill and, if necessary, be killed — which meant to suppress whatever degree of empathy (I believe) they naturally had along with their emotions. Society pretended that men were naturally lacking in empathy and emotions, and chastised men who did not fit the mold as effeminate — not Real Men ™.

The industrial revolution changed things radically, but not overnight — it took the technological revolution to do that. It wasn’t till after World War II that the big changes really caught on. What I believe we often don’t quite realize is that the actual roles of men and women have changed more in the last 50 years than they probably did over the previous 2000. The value of brawn has decreased tremendously as machines have taken over the vast majority of physical labor. The value of brains has increased tremendously as more and more work requires a high level of education. Due to advances in medicine (in developed countries at least) maternal, infant and child mortality rates are an almost insignificant fraction of what they used to be, so the vast majority of children live to become adults, and combined with the services that are available that have vastly reduced the labor involved in raising children (who obviously still do need a lot of nurturing), there is now no need for women to spend virtually their entire lives bearing and raising children and taking care of the household. And the demands of the modern economy require a lot of female brainpower — we can no longer afford to keep women shut up in their homes. As to men, we need relatively few as literal cannon fodder — in fact, many of the jobs in today’s military can be done just as well by women.

The result is that traditional gender roles are not just no longer valid, they are actively dysfunctional. But society tends to adapt to change slowly, and the actual change has been very rapid. So efforts to impose the traditional gender roles are still strong. I think a lot of the problems that David digs up for us are due to the fact that a lot of people are being brought up in the dysfunctional traditional roles, and men in particular are having a hard time adapting. Partly that’s because men ARE losing traditional privileges and a lot of them are not being helped much to develop a new, functional templates for manhood. Feminism can help a bit in the process of developing a new roadmap for manhood, but quite obviously feminists have to be mostly concerned with the problems women face. Most men — probably all of us — have been taught some degree of misogyny in our early years, and getting rid of it is a long and painful process even for those of us that recognize that it must be done. Too many of us don’t yet realize that our ideas about the roles of men and women have become severely outmoded in less than two generations, and are stuck with beliefs and attitudes that need to be discarded. Change is never smooth and painless.

I’ve talked about my own history here in the past, but I’ll repeat the high points so that people know where I’m coming from. Throughout my adolescence I came to realize that I had a visceral dislike of violence, but I couldn’t fit that into what I had been taught about being a man. I thought that maybe I was queer (“gay” was not used in the current sense at the time), because that was considered more or less equivalent to “not conventionally masculine,” but that didn’t figure because I was strongly attracted to girls and had no sexual interest in boys. In my second year in college I came across Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, and that is probably the book that has had the most influence in my life. She of course writes about how Femininity is a social contruct, but it is easy enough to make the short leap to understanding that Masculinity is also a social construct. Since that point I have taken the point of view that social pressure to conform to traditional gender roles is so great that there is a very heavy burden of proof on anyone who claims that certain qualities are innate to one sex.
I read The Second Sex in the winter of 1966-67, so when the women’s movement really started to catch fire in 1968 with the bra-burning that wasn’t (they were actually going to throw girdles etc. in a trash can as part of a protest at the Miss America pageant, but couldn’t get a permit), I was ready to support it. I used to call myself a feminist, but I switched to pro-feminist because some feminists object to men being called feminists. (And that makes sense to me — feminism has to be a movement of women, and men do have a tendency to take charge of things and women have been taught to defer to them, so men have to be strictly supporters, not in any position of leadership.) But lately I’ve come to realize that I’m not so much a feminist as I am an anti-masculinist — it just so happens that feminism and anti-masculinism are in agreement the vast majority of the time. I feel that one of the major problems of society is that most men have been socialized in a way that is extremely dysfunctional under today’s conditions and which could lead to the destruction of humanity — war and climate change being two results of toxic masculinity. If you try to discourage men from having empathy and encourage them to deny their emotions, that is what you get. You can say what you want about the negative effects of the way women are traditionally socialized, but they are not encouraged to develop attitudes that lead to violence against others or the potential destruction of the planet. I doubt there are many women who fantasize about the Apocalypse — even though they’d be better prepared to reconstitute a community and survive.

History Nerd
History Nerd
3 years ago

@Dalillama

Well, depends on who in the Church of England you’re talking about. 😛

dslucia
dslucia
3 years ago

WWTH said:

I also don’t take it as a given that these guys don’t get any social interaction. Most people aren’t cool with the bigoted extremes that the people David cover go to. But people do tolerate or even agree with quite a bit of bigotry. It’s not necessarily hard for these guys to blend in with the rest of society.

Very much this.

Not directly related to incels, but related to the manosphere in general and GibbleGoons in particular, this exact thing is rampant within the video game community. In fact, until the gators started showing their true faces I was pretty well convinced that a lot of them were far more, well, reasonable than they turned out to be. And the wake of it has been three years of people excusing virulent sexism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia for various reasons, even if they aren’t actually taking the gator side of things. That’s why Anita Sarkeesian is still such a hot button topic, because so many gamers are convinced that her only mission in life is to ruin video games forever.

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

History Nerd:

I get the feeling that militant atheism in the UK is more anti-leftist, while left-wing atheists there don’t really care as much about promoting atheism. There are more progressive/liberal militant atheists in the US because we have the Religious Right.

Remember, atheism is unexceptional here in the UK. The majority of Brits are non-religious, especially so among the young and the educated. Being non-religious simply isn’t something most of us feel a need to make a noise about, because, in our milieu, it’s the default.

Our leading campaign group is Humanists UK, formerly the British Humanist Association, and I think most people would agree that it’s a progressive group, not “anti-leftist”. Whether it would meet your criteria for militancy, I don’t know; it’s a very polite organisation.

Unaffiliated online atheism in the UK has always mostly been about poking fun at believers, I think. The main target used to be the reliably ridiculous creationists, particularly American creationists (the level of religiosity in the US is endlessly fascinating). But, in more recent years, these atheists have increasingly targeted Islam, so I think it’s almost inevitable that they would drift to the right.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
3 years ago

You get right wing atheists, and left wing atheists.
You get right wing Christians, and left wing Christians.
Being a conservative isn’t dependent on belief in God, just the upholding of traditions.

History Nerd
History Nerd
3 years ago

It’s similar in the US. “Humanists” are almost always liberal/progressive, while those associated with “New Atheists” (especially Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris) and “Rationalists” are centrist to far right. I’d say Humanists tend to bash religion less.

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
3 years ago

grumpy

Brawn was also highly desirable in many of the occupations that were available in a society where the majority of people were engaged in agriculture, where only human and animal muscle power were available. Women were molded into breeders and nurturers …

The only women who didn’t develop much muscle themselves were the idle rich. Even women who didn’t labour in the fields needed pretty strong musculature to do the milking, carry the milk, churn the butter, etc. Quite apart from the seriously dangerous business of making soap and doing laundry. Then there’s all the “fun” of making sausages and all the rest of it whenever a beast is killed. It’s hard enough nowadays with modern equipment, doing everything by hand is another matter entirely.

And housemaids didn’t score much better than scullery/ dairy maids when it comes to heavy work. Carrying buckets of water a dozen or more times up and down stairs to fill and empty washbasins and baths. Carrying wood for a fire is perfectly fine – carrying the wood for half a dozen fires is pretty heavy work. Then there’s the literal playing with fire when transporting coal scuttles with burning embers to light all those fires set earlier in the day and those oh-so-nifty long handled bed-warmers also filled with live coals.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ mildlymagnificent

Even women who didn’t labour in the fields needed pretty strong musculature

I’d never even thought of that, although it’s obvious now you mention it. There’s a lot of interesting archeology that uses bone development to infer lifestyles. It’s how we ‘know’ neanderthals were apparently predominantly left handed (I’m not so sure about that though). But there’s some fascinating stuff around weapon usage, especially longbowmen.

But I’m curious now about whether anyone’s looked at how stong women must have ended up in the pre industrial age. I’ve got a mate who’s an osteo-archelogist. Time to pester her I think.

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

mildlymagnificent:

The only women who didn’t develop much muscle themselves were the idle rich. Even women who didn’t labour in the fields needed pretty strong musculature to do the milking, carry the milk, churn the butter, etc.

My maternal grandfather was a farmhand, and the impression I got from my mother (born in 1922) was that the farm essentially owned the family. Everyone in the family would have work to do around the farm, including the kids, particularly at harvest time. And a large proportion of farm labourers lived in “tied cottages”, owned by the farm, so you had to keep the farm owner happy: losing your job meant you and your family would be immediately homeless.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

ETA: I’ve just dropped her a message. On a related note I noticed our most recent chatting session. I’d asked about whether you could detect indicators of ‘stress’ archaeologically and this was her response. Interestingly she seems to be suggesting that in early development, females are more robust than males. At least that’s my take, but I could be misinterpreting her answer:

Hi – big can of worms that question – what do you mean by stress? I will presume -you thinking about bone/tooth indicators of physiological response be it to psychological stress or disease processes, malnutrition etc? In utero stress on the mother and foetus – often malnutrition or maybe even thing like foetal alcohol syndrome (produces specific problems – some skeletal i.e. pinched face, wide set eyes) Other defects – often midline defects – so maybe a consequence of lack of folic acid – spina bifida, cleft palate – big and obvious expressions – but also other midline defects like semi-vertebrae – not visible or of consequence necessarily and those effected may not know about it as no other side effects) During growth and maturation – period of stress (disease/psychological e.g. growing up under conflict, domestic violence etc) big indicators are the teeth (usually the permanent teeth) showing enamel hypoplasia and the tibias (harris lines). Enamel hypoplasia -teeth develop in incremental rings, so any ‘stress’ means the body reserves or uses its resources to maintain the body and not to continue with growth and development – so less emamel laid down and shows up as rings on the teeth once they erupt. – can be useful to show chronological timing i.e. state of tooth development happens within known range – young babies maybe show evidence of weening stress – ie. the timing of the EH is inline with this period in a child;s life. Harris line also similar basis – transverse lines visible on x-ray of the shaft of the tibias – shows up even during adulthood – lines correspond to cessation in growth of the developing skeleton- like EH some chronological estimation of the timing of these periods of ‘stress’ can be estimated. Other stress indicators – tho there is some debate – cribra orbitalia and porotic hypersostosis – likely link to iron deficiency anaemia. Body proportionally may indicate growing up under stress (conflict for e.g.)more affluence in general correlates with better diet – life expectations etc and longer leg to trunk ratio than poorer folk….. usually effects males more readily than females – male physiologically less robust during growth and maturation – basic biology need females to carry the next generation one male to many females will work as well as many males…..Adult stress indicators on the skeleton – this would be more grey area – as we are more likely to look for underlying illnesses that may in turn have an effect on the skeleton. Link to a paper by Mary Lewis here if you need to read more – prob this is only a pub quiz question and this level of detail unnecessary…….

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
3 years ago

@ mildlymagnificent

Ok, asked about whether there were any answers from archaeological research into this, and short answer appears to be, no.

Lovely human variation probably wouldn’t give such a neat line in the sand and we’d be short on testing what the individuals did in life without a time machine. But the skeleton is of course a dynamic tissue and responds and adapts to stresses placed upon it. There’s research into musculoskeletal markers ie tendon/muscle insertion points on the skeleton corresponding to particular muscle groups and therefore a range of movements e.g deltoid on the humerus of the upper arm. Some researchers have tried to correlate these to suggest they are markers of occupational stress, but a divided school of thought. Especially as some people are just generally more heavily musculatured than others. So how they would compare I don’t know and don’t know off hand of any particular research. But google markers of occupational stress and you may get some sort of hit. Needless to Say, someone who was a heavy weights lifter would probably have a few more grooves and pits and boney response as muscle insertion sites than me😊

Robert Walker-Smith
Robert Walker-Smith
3 years ago

Regarding sexual selection – I just finished an enjoyable book, “Nature’s Nether Regions”. The details of reproductive technologies was dazzling; I learned more about beetle genitalia than I knew there was to know. The intricacies of human reproduction are also covered in a degree of detail that would give any MRA the screaming fantods.
Basic message – in species with two sexes, both evolve to maximize the effectiveness of their reproductive strategies. Whether it’s roundworms, honeybees, or humans, it’s more complex and complicated than most of us realize.

guest
guest
3 years ago

@Dalillama–yes! Thank you, that’s exactly what I was looking for. I think there’s another piece of the puzzle as well, but that is definitely a good place for me to start.

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
3 years ago

Alan

But I’m curious now about whether anyone’s looked at how stong women must have ended up in the pre industrial age.

Not necessarily pre-industrial, just agricultural. I remember vividly being told about my paternal grandmother (born 1896). She began working when she was 14 on a sheep farm. When shearing was on, she’d have to get up before 4 am to get the wood stove working in time to give the workers a cup of tea before they started before 6ish. Then she’d have to start setting up for hearty breakfasts of chops and eggs and heapings of toast served around 8am. After which she’d immediately clear the table and get on with morning tea – basically a couple of (or more) roasting pans worth of scones.

Then lunch. Then – and this was when it hit me just how hard and heavy the work was – she’d mix, by hand, a huge plain buttercake mixture which was then divided into 4, four!, one plain, one with lemon flavouring, one with caraway seeds, one with sultanas or currants and bake them for afternoon tea. Think about the size of the mixing bowl held against one side of the body while you vigorously whip all the ingredients with a wooden spoon with the other arm. Makes my wrist-arm-shoulder ache just thinking about it.

In between times, she’d be chopping kindling and wood for the fire, refilling the “fountain” for boiling water on the stove, washing dishes, and peeling mountains of veg for lunches and evening meals. Shearers were like miners – they needed massive doses of calories+protein just to be able to do the work. Even with modern equipment and better training, it’s still pretty demanding.

I don’t know whether she was also responsible for laundry – pretty hard to fit in a whole morning standing over a wood fire and lifting boiling clothes with a pot-stick with all that other work needing to be done.

Robert Walker-Smith
Robert Walker-Smith
3 years ago

Mildlymagnificent – and humans of all genders lived like that for thousands of years. There’s a reason why so much inventiveness was applied to the question of ‘how can this necessary work be done without working people to premature death?’

I read a book recently, “Fannie’s Last Supper”, about recreating a late Victorian era dinner party using period kitchen equipment. Wood fired stove/oven was just the start – the dessert jellies involved cooking down calves’ feet.

Often, when I’m making my morning tea, I reflect on how I did not have to spend a half hour gathering wood or persuading the coals to light.

Ah, the good old days – may they never return.

GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
3 years ago

Or when you want to take a bath, and you have to heat the water in a kettle over the hearth or, if you’re lucky, on the wood stove. We take so much for granted.

Katz
3 years ago

For me it’s not even the work, it’s the uncertainty. Like this year grasshoppers ate all our seedlings, so we won’t get any fresh vegetables (except beans and tomatoes, which grasshoppers apparently don’t like).

Back in the day, grasshoppers ate all your seedlings and you DIED.

Evan
Evan
1 year ago

@guest – please keep in mind that Darwin had no idea how genetics worked. Mendel was starting the science of genetics around the same time, but was not widely published in his lifetime.

For example, we now know that most genes are shared by male and female humans; the Y chromosome is much smaller than the others. (BTW, this applies to mammals; non-mammals have different methods of sex-determination)

Sexual selection can work differently on the male and female of a species – though probably less on pair-bonding, low-sexual-dimorphism humans than on some other species.

But it does not work on one sex wholly disconnected from its effects on the other, and internet misogynists sometimes seem to think.

Darwin’s ideas on how sexual selection worked in animals are now thought to be partly right and a bit too simple.