Wednesday, December 07, 2022

If It Doesn't Work, Try It Again

 Here's a fascinating reaction to the scourge of porn. First, the setup.

Thoughts on “He Chose Porn Over Me”: Women Harmed by Men Who Use Porn, edited by Melinda Tankard Reist ...

There were so many resonances with my own failed marriage. The women’s dismay at how that beautiful sensitive man they fell in love with had morphed into a selfish narcissist who neither noticed nor cared about the impact of his behaviour on his wife and children. All that mattered was that he got his own way – the once sublime sex now reduced to something more akin to masturbation with a blow-up doll...

Misogynistic patterns are baked deep into our culture. Late in our marriage, desperate at his endless put-downs and occasional violence... I was alone in a profoundly hostile world.

"Misogyny is baked into our culture" is the tell for what's coming next.

It was the feminist underground that saved me then; that made me understand that it wasn’t entirely my fault; that I wasn’t a failure; that these patterns were intrinsic to the patriarchal world we live in; that the capitalist system along with its military industrial complex relied on the nuclear heterosexual family to brutalise us into conformity, to make us accept abuse of power and the hierarchies that dominate all our institutions – from the schoolyard to corporations and governments.

The man who chooses porn over his wife is the archetype for all men. The man who works so his wife can stay at home or simply pursue her dreams isn't mentioned. Fight the power!

Her diagnosis is Marxist and therefore backwards.

(A)s the widespread change that resulted from the women’s liberation movement and the other liberation movements that developed in the 1960s and 70s started to gain ground, and people were no longer so prepared to accept abuse of power and hierarchies, a brutal backlash took hold.

Pornography was fundamental to that backlash and drove the technological revolution – first VHS, then the Internet, broadband and the development of ever smaller and more powerful devices. Even though pornography became increasingly violent, governments practically everywhere turned a blind eye.

Porn isn't a backlash to anything. It's a drug more addictive than heroin. Our modern delivery systems would have grabbed men by the, err, throat no matter what political events had preceded it. Still, when all you have is a Marxist hammer, every problem looks like a political nail.

In any case, her solutions are doomed to failure.

Each woman’s piece ends with advice to other women and about what needs to change. Don’t go out with men who use porn is a key theme, as is listen to – and believe – your instincts.

That's a decent first step, but it only serves to increase the competition for acceptable men to insane levels. Now, instead of looking for a strong, competent, loving man, you need to look for a strong, competent, loving man who doesn't use porn. All of the 7's and 8's can write off finding a husband. The 6's and below can forget about even looking.

Lysistrata, the withholding of sex as leverage, only works if the men want you. If they're already choosing porn over you, then you might as well try withholding cold showers. It's never going to work. The solution is to fight the porn at a more basic level.

The goal should be to increase the pool of potential husbands, not fight over a rapidly dwindling supply.

The author's case is that porn is bad for her. Fair enough. It certainly is that, but that doesn't make it morally wrong. The only basis for claiming porn is morally wrong lies in the telos, the objective purpose, of sex.

Sex is for making babies. Babies belong within a one man - one woman marriage. Sex is not recreational, it's sacramental because it creates the one thing in the world that has the spark of divinity - people.

The author says men shouldn't use porn because she doesn't like the results. That's not going to get her anywhere. If she said men shouldn't use porn because God doesn't like the results, then that's going to get somewhere.

Make no mistake, the whole thing is painful to the core. This woman deserved a loving and devoted man, not a drug addict. I'd like nothing more than to see stories like hers become rare. Turning to Marxism isn't the solution.

This is the life she is mourning. There's only one way to get there.


Ilíon said...

Frankly, I don't believe her, and I strongly suspect that she's telling the story backwards.

tim eisele said...

KT, I'd like you to consider something:

If a particular man only wants to get married so he can have sex, and doesn't otherwise care much about associating with his wife, does that sound to you like a recipe for happy marriage? Or does it sound like a formula for a bitter guy who mostly resents and avoids his family, hangs out in bars, and only goes home when his urge for sex drives him there?

And if he neither particularly wants nor likes kids, but is only willing to accept them as an unavoidable consequence of having sex, do you think he's going to be a good father? Or is he more likely to resent, neglect, and possibly abuse his kids?

It seems to me that if a man only cares about sex, and doesn't value the other aspects of having a family (the aspects that porn can't provide), then that man is going to make a terrible husband and a worse father. And if he can satisfy those urges with porn, then maybe everyone is better off if he just does so, rather than getting married for the sex and then producing a miserable family who all hate each other.

Would it really be so terrible to live in a world where only people who actually wanted the entire experience of a family and children had them? Where all children were wanted children?

K T Cat said...

Ilion, there's definitely that flavor to the essay, but for me, it's forgivable. She's been hurt deeply and intimately, so it's natural that she would turn him into the devil. However, it's also not uncommon to hear women lament how porn has ruined their marriages.

Her turning to Marxist feminism is also forgivable to me. Any port in a storm of betrayal, as it were.

K T Cat said...

Tim, great points, all. I'd respond that there are tradeoffs to everything. Sex within marriage doesn't solve all problems and leaves some people suffering. I think that what we're doing right now is worse.

As for sex being a prime motivator for men, well, that's biology for you. It worked on me, too. If I only wanted someone who shared my interests and would bring some money to the table, I'd have married a man. For some reason, I married a woman, a specific woman.


Ilíon said...

How believable is it that a man who is not already addicted to porn, and who is experiencing "sublime" sex with his wife, is going to turn away from his wife in favor of porn?

I guess you still haven't figured out that -- in the feminist age -- when a woman accuses a man of something, the truth is almost always the opposite.

K T Cat said...

Ilion, porn is like a porch light to a moth. It overwhelms our built-in mating algorithms to the point where we can ruin our lives with it no matter what anyone else is doing, like the moth who kills himself whacking the light bulb while food and female moths are all around him.

I'm not willing to engage in blanket denunciations of anyone in these cases. To me, it's a case of technology producing something against which we have no defenses.

Ilíon said...

==I'm not willing to engage in blanket denunciations of anyone in these cases.==

Really? From where I'm sitting, I see you shitting on some man of whom you know nothing at all except what some woman -- a feminist, a leftist ... ergo, a liar-to-the-core -- asserts about him.

==... porn is like a porch light to a moth. It overwhelms our built-in mating algorithms ...==

Only to someone who is immersed in it from a young age.

This allegedly horrible man would be about our age, which means that when he was growing up the porn was mostly still photos ... and you had to go looking for it. He grew up in a time when one did not boast about masturbating, as some do these days; when it was at best an embarrassment that no one acknowledged, and a sign of failure?

So, again ask: "How believable is it that a man who is not already addicted to porn, and who is experiencing "sublime" sex with his wife, is going to turn away from his wife in favor of porn?"