What do sluts want?

I’ve been disappointed by the overall response of the right-blogosphere to the provocations of the sluts.  We have made the mistake of allowing them to frame the debate (a mistake conservatives have made over and over).  Many have gotten bogged down on questions about what behavior makes rape less likely and whether women bear any responsibility for avoiding danger.  The rape issue is a red herring.  It has nothing to do with the real issue, which is the social legitimation of female promiscuity.  These marches are not meant to intimidate potential rapists; they’re meant to intimidate social conservatives.  The sluts are only tying together the issues of social disapproval and sexual violence as a rhetorical trick to cast themselves as victims even as they go on the attack.  It’s like how the Dreyfussards would pose as defenders of the Jews before launching their vicious assault on the French Catholic Church.  Or the way Jewish organizations like the ADL always invoke the Holocaust before attacking Christian scripture and ritual as “hateful”.

The sluts are not victims; they are aggressors.  Their victim is society itself.  Their goal is social approval for female sexual promiscuity.  The MRM and “game” advocates (who I have elsewhere criticized) have painted a disturbing but very plausible picture of where widespread female promiscuity will ultimately lead.  A few of the most desirable men monopolize women during their young, attractive years.  Then after getting old and being discarded by these “alphas” from their harems, women “settle down” and allow themselves to be supported by a “beta provider” husband.

The most obviously objectionable feature of this scenario is that it treats the vast majority of men like sacks of shit, who have no feelings or interests that their female exploiters need to bother about.  This is the issue that the men’s rights movement has siezed upon.  The problem is that it’s hard for men to defend themselves as a group against women without seeming unmanly.  Nor is this merely a matter of perception.  I think that too much masculine partisanship really does sap one’s masculinity.  Perhaps the sluts have provided a solution.  They are not directly attacking us (although indirectly they certainly  are); they are directly attacking the moral law.  The moral law is something we men can certainly defend with full vigor without looking (or feeling) like sissies.  We need to keep the debate on that level.  Is sex outside of marriage right or wrong?  It is wrong, and we have the arguments.

26 Responses

  1. The trouble is that the argument over whether there was such a thing as a crime “against society itself” was lost in the abstract long ago. It has taken this long for the logical consequences to be expressed. It is much easier to oppose the expressions with pretexts than to reopen the debate about the foundation of morality itself. After all, these women are not doing anything unusual, they are just being unusually blatant.

    I don’t really see a way of reintroducing the concept of sexual morality. Churches can try, but are easily marginalised. The rationalist argument for sexual morality is not hard to make, but outside the Game/Men’s RIghts nexus, I’ve never heard it made publicly.

  2. “A few of the most desirable men monopolize women during their young, attractive years.”

    Nonsense, poppycock, bollocks…this manosphere meme makes the PUAs, actual and otherwise, feel cocky about their “accomplishments.” Men have always been gross liars when it comes to tales of their conquests; nothing has changed!

    You’ll find hordes of women out there who are attractive, who are not on the cock carousel and who are not exclusively dating “alphas” (another word that means nothing). Some date betas, some date omegas, some don’t even date!

    The whole slut-walk thing: for many of these very young, earnestly PC people, it’s a lark, yes. A way to inflame the teabaggers, the tradcons, the churchies and of course you all fall right into it!

    The actual point trying to be made is this: rape is committed by rapists and as it stands, it is an illegal act. A man cannot cry that a short skirt (what’s short, above knee, thigh-high?) or cleavage took control of his brain and made him commit a crime so he is not guilty. These girls and boys are hamming it up to make this point; therefore, the halloween costumes.

    If you want to impose dress codes on the female population because you believe that will eliminate rape and sexual assaults (ha ha!) then just say it.

    “The most obviously objectionable feature of this scenario is that it treats the vast majority of men like sacks of shit, who have no feelings or interests that their female exploiters need to bother about.”

    You know, this sounds like something various feminists said about men 20-30 years ago! Turnaround sucks, doesn’t it?

  3. Some colourful language there, but, as a man, I mostly agree with the substance.

    I’m an old fashioned kind of guy and I’m not a fan of promiscuity, but when I was single I got used to dating in a promiscuous culture (in several cities in the UK and Ireland), and I know how it works.

    I just don’t recognise the description given above of an élite clique of alpha males and women who are only interested in using men first for sex and then as a source of free money. That just doesn’t match up with my experience. Sure, alpha types will always find it easier to get girls, and some women will always take a hard-headed approach to sex and relationships. But the dystopian picture painted above just isn’t one that I recognise.

    And this is bang on the money:

    “A way to inflame the teabaggers, the tradcons, the churchies and of course you all fall right into it!”

    If your opponents are looking for attention and publicity, the last thing you want to do is give it to them!

  4. “The actual point trying to be made is this: rape is committed by rapists and as it stands, it is an illegal act. A man cannot cry that a short skirt (what’s short, above knee, thigh-high?) or cleavage took control of his brain and made him commit a crime so he is not guilty.”

    No one at any point is absolving rapists of responsibility, least of all traditionalists (who are the most likely to call for more stringent punishment). Where I live there is an advertising campaign to ”Not advertised your valuables to thieves’. In no way is this sensible exhortation to avoid risk considered to be ‘blaming the victim’. Likewise, the policeman advising that sensible dress and behaviour reduces your risk of being attacked is not legitimatising rape. Bonald is absolutely correct to ignore this and instead identify the slut walk protests as an attack on virtue.

    “A way to inflame the teabaggers, the tradcons, the churchies and of course you all fall right into it!”

    Where as you would prefer people did not fight back. Why should they listen to you?

    “If you want to impose dress codes on the female population because you believe that will eliminate rape and sexual assaults (ha ha!) then just say it”

    As was said: ” Many have gotten bogged down on questions about what behavior makes rape less likely and whether women bear any responsibility for avoiding danger”.

    It might be annoying that Bonald has seen through to the core of the issue rather than getting himself side-tracked, but this attempt at pushing him into your preferred narrative is extemely weak.

    “Nonsense, poppycock, bollocks…this manosphere meme…You’ll find hordes of women out there who are attractive, who are not on the cock carousel and who are not exclusively dating “alphas””

    Here I agree with you. I am open to this argument, but do not yet believe it is anywhere near a central or dominant issue. However, I am based in the UK – perhaps the US is different.

  5. “Where as you would prefer people did not fight back. Why should they listen to you?”

    I guess the answer to that depends on whether you find that rising to the bait when faced with attention-seeking behaviour tends to be a successful tactic in other areas of life.

  6. One issue that has not been adequately explored around these parts is just who these women are.

    I suspect that they are a mixture. A minority will be committed feminists who wholeheartedly believe in replacing traditional ideas about sexuality with a new culture.

    A second group, probably the majority, will have got involved because they heard about the police guy’s comments, interpreted them (rightly or wrongly) as evidence of a misogynistic, blame-the-victims mentality, and want to protest about that kind of attitude. Their sympathies might be feminist in a broad sense, but they will not be politically committed, and most of them probably aren’t promiscuous in their own private lives.

    A final group will be doing it because their friends are doing it and it sounds fun and daring. They have no more than the vaguest understanding of political feminism.

    So, in answer to the question of “What do the sluts want?”, I would say:

    Group 1 want exactly what you are attributing to them, Bonald – i.e. an end to traditional ideas about sexual morality and the introduction of a feminist culture in its place.

    Group 2 want men to stop making insensitive comments that seem to shift the responsibility for men’s sexual crimes onto women. You may or may not think that this is a reasonable objective.

    Group 3 hopes that there will be sunny weather on the day of the march. Maybe there will be some hot guys in the bar afterwards!

  7. Hello SMS,

    Like Mr. Griffin, I’m somewhat baffled that you didn’t notice my main point: namely that preventing rape is not the primary reason for enforcing public modesty and maintaining a culture that frowns on sexual promiscuity. It is true that feminists used to say that men regarded women as having no interests that they need bother with, which bears a superficial resemblance to what I said about feminist/sluttist attitudes. Thank you for bringing this up. It is an important point, and I’d like to address it.

    The difference between them and me is that those communist bitches were filthy liars. Patriarchal culture always demanded that a husband protect and provide for his wife and children, and Christianity has always treated male unchastity the same as female unchastity. Where, may I ask, is the equivalent of this in feminist rhetoric? Where is the acknowledgment that women have not only rights, but also duties toward their husbands–who the feminists encourage women to abandon frivolously–or their children–who the feminists encourage women to murder in the womb? No patriarchist ever encouraged men to greedily and selfishly pursue pleasure and power (“enpowerment!”) the way feminists encourage such behavior among women. Thus, the analogy fails.

  8. “I guess the answer to that depends on whether you find that rising to the bait when faced with attention-seeking behaviour tends to be a successful tactic in other areas of life”

    Ignoring it is possibly an option for the media, not for the rest of us. This issue has gathered attention already – e.g. Germaine Greer’s column in the Telegraph – analysing it and opposing it are the correct course of action. Why should only one side of this argument be heard?

    To ignore it and not bolster our side would be to lose.

  9. Hi Reggie,

    The first group is the main animating force, and so they are the ones on whom attention should focus. I believe that conservatives should not fail to engage in debate with people on the other side who raise serious issues. Refusing to engage them, saying that they’re not serious or not a real threat, is usually a mask for cowardice. We are afraid of taking on feminists given their control of the media and the government. But these are not silly little girls, any more than the communist agitators we called “hippies” were hapless young idealists; to their credit, they have made a serious, revolutionary claim: that it is bad for a community to have normative expectations regarding women’s sexual behavior. If reactionaries don’t respond to that–or if we try to dodge it with things like “oh, but we only want to protect you from predators”–people will get the idea that we can’t respond to it. I think it’s best for everybody if we put our foundational beliefs, and our arguments for them, on the table. They say I’m trying to control women’s sexuality. I say, of course, how can any society not realize its stake in something so central? Here is where we should debate. Let us see if they can, rather than just beating up on some poor policeman, actually argue that sexual libertarianism does a better job promoting happiness, stable families, social concord, dignity, and virtue than my restrictive system. And let us see if I can argue the opposite.

  10. Reggie gets it very well! A mixture of all 3 groups – that is the slutwalker club.

    “Patriarchal culture always demanded that a husband protect and provide for his wife and children, and Christianity has always treated male unchastity the same as female unchastity. ”

    It may have demanded, but it couldn’t and didn’t enforce this code (impossible to do really), therefore, women needed to take control of their own lives and be able to provide for their children on their own.

    Christianity tended to wink at man sluts; on the surface there was censure, but nothing like female sluts endured — not even close. One could say that a certain number of women, especially from the lower socioeconomic classes and racial minorities, got tossed on the slut burning pile. They were needed to serve the real sexual wants of men, especially those with power and money.

    Patriarchy is all about the pursuit of power and pleasure for men, especially POWER (money)! When you control another human being (wife) and have control over your offspring, I imagine that’s a pretty heady sensation. I can almost sympathize with men who lament that the glory days are over; must induce a strong sense of angst to realize things will never be that way again, at least in the western world.

    Just a thought: if you want to enforce “public modesty” in regards to womens dress (I don’t care for hooker styles either!), the best way to do this is: deny them attention. You just need to convince your brethen to do the same. If men would pay the same attention to the shy girlies in modest frocks, you can bet the slutty clothes would end up in the dumpster.

    Good luck on that campaign!

  11. Hello again, Bonald. I think someone else will have to take up that last challenge, since I’m not a supporter of this movement.

    I do think that giving groups the oxygen of publicity can backfire. I strongly suspect, for example, that liberal media outlets have actually helped the Tea Party by focusing on their activities. I have a feeling that some of the “sluts” are very pleased at being taken so seriously by so many people.

  12. Hello SMS,

    Thank you for your prompt reply. I think the basis of our differing appraisals of patriarchy comes from how we regard human dependency. If I read you right, you regard personal dependency as degrading and inevitably lending itself to abuse. Of course, dependency is–I’m sure you won’t dispute this–an ineradicable feature of the human condition, so the question really is, on whom or what should we depend? The alternative to patriarchism’s personal dependency is impersonal dependency: depending on government social services and/or on the market. I regard this as worse, not only in that it also tends to abuse, but because it doesn’t foster virtue, self-sacrifice, and love the way personal dependency does.

  13. “It may have demanded, but it couldn’t and didn’t enforce this code…Patriarchy is all about the pursuit of power and pleasure for men”

    About ten years ago a member of my family left his wife. His Brother, the eldest son and a man born in the 40s, disowned him and the whole family fell into line behind him on this. Forgiveness only came when it was discovered that his wife had also been cheating on him for an extended period. Even after this discovery the road to forgiveness was rocky.

    Nothing about this situation speaks to people not enforcing the code or simply trying to make sure that men get it their way. Indeed, even though the wife was only related by marriage and the children were in their middle and late teens, it was her side that everyone took. No one wants to see a wife and mother abandoned.

    “deny them attention. You just need to convince your brethen to do the same. If men would pay the same attention to the shy girlies in modest frocks, you can bet the slutty clothes would end up in the dumpster.
    Good luck on that campaign!”

    Why should we listen to your suggestions on setting our agenda when you yourself accept they won’t work (‘Good luck on that’)?

  14. Sorry. Didn’t mean to imply that you were.

  15. I agree with Bonald that the rape angle is bogus. It’s not exactly a red hearing, though. I don’t know if there is a name for this rhetorical gambit, but there should be. Basically it amounts to this: shape the discourse so that persons opposed to behavior X (e.g. lewd dress) are assumed to favor, condone, or tolerate behavior Y (e.g. rape). There is no logical connection between opposition to public lewdness and tolerance of rapists, but once the association is established in discourse, respectable people can no longer decry public lewdness.

    We traditionalists do not control the discourse, and so must be “wise as serpents” lest our indictments be used to indict us. One possibility is to stop criticizing lewdness and promiscuity, and begin praising modesty and chastity. And not just praising them, but explaining their moral purpose. Just ignore the nihilistic nonsense seeping out of woman’s studies programs: they are not interested in reasoning with us.

    Here’s the point to make, over and over. Human civilization requires control of human aggression and sexuality. This is one thing about which Freud was right. Most people understand the need to control aggression with legal, social, and moral sanctions against individuals who fail to exercise self control. Unbridled sexuality is, likewise, socially destructive at several levels: it is unsanitary, provokes jealous violence, impedes family formation, etc.

    Unbridled sexuality also tends to destroy our sense of one another as individual persons who are to be understood primarily in terms of our souls. As Roger Scruton somewhere wrote, modest dress forces us to look each other in the face. And our ideal should be that no man should know a woman’s body until he knows her face. That’s chastity–reserving carnal knowledge to the one who knew us first by looking into our faces.

    Eros is a beautiful but terrible beast. It is wrong to tell a child that it cannot be beautiful, but it is wicked to tell a child that it cannot be terrible.

  16. Miss SMS,

    You said, “Patriarchy is all about the pursuit of power and pleasure for men, especially POWER (money).”

    Some men (and women) do want power, but patriarchy is not ALL ABOUT men’s power. As Camille Paglia said, correctly, patriarchy is another word for civilization.

    And civilization is all about controlling (to as great an extent as possible) men’s and women’s destructive desires, so that a society in which man has a chance of flourishing can be built up.

    When we dump civilization/patriarchy, we immediately begin to descend to the state of nature, where nobody is safe and a good life is impossible. Because some of the old order that you hate remains, we have not totally descended into the gutter. But that’s where we’re heading, thanks to the general popularity of your view of human relations.

    Being promised the liberty to indulge one’s whims may be superficially appealing, which is why you confidently say “Good luck on that campaign!” But unlimited liberty necessarily leads to social catastrophe, at which time it will no longer appeal to the masses. The only question is whether one will recognize this before or after it is too late to save our society.

  17. I would have to say, Mr Roebuck, that I think you are following a sound premise to an unsound conclusion.

    The notion that people have certain destructive impulses which need to be restrained in order to maintain a civilised society is not controversial. It would be readily accepted by people from different parts of the political spectrum (with the possible exception of anarchists).

    The problem with some conservatives is that they identify institution X or behaviour Y as being crucial for civilisation and predict that, if it is removed, civilisation will perish. This had led to them crying wolf too many times for such claims to be taken at face value.

    Candidates for X and Y over the years have included absolute monarchy, an aristocratic social hierarchy, traditional religious institutions – and now certain types of sexual behaviour. Yet, as I have pointed out elsewhere, the nations of the world which have reformed these Xs and Ys have become the strongest, richest, most stable and most widely envied societies in the world. (You might argue that liberal societies remain stable because of the conservative elements that they have retained, but I’m afraid that I find this implausible, and it comes close to circularity.)

    Now, this isn’t to say that we can always tamper with X or Y without harming civilised society. Nor is it to say that (to return to the subject of this thread) sexual promiscuity is always harmless and morally neutral. But it *is* to say that there is often less to these conservative claims than meets the eye.

  18. Reggie Perrin,
    I think you are confusing the occasional outbursts of conservatives for the general theory of conservatism. I mean occasional in the strict sense of an outburst occasioned by some particular progressive innovation. Because conservatism views society as an “organic” whole, it does not identify one component as the lynchpin on which all else hangs. That sort of reductionism is, I think, much more common in modern forms of thought, wherein everything depends on economic output, or individual liberty, or gratified libido, etc. Generally speaking, a conservative believes that that the beliefs, institutions, and material practices of a group stand in ecological relation to each other, so that disturbance of one component will likely have widespread and unpredictable effects. This is why conservatives advise gradual change when change is necessary. They want to see what else is affected before things go too far.

    In the friendliest possible way, I’d like also to remark that allusion to the boy who cried wolf will not impress a real conservative. You see, in our eyes, the wolf was real and almost all the sheep have been eaten. Just about everything the counterrevolutionaries wrote has been vindicated by history. If we thought that the revolution of secular democracy didn’t turn out so badly after all, we’d be liberals, wouldn’t we?

  19. Mr. Perrin,

    You said,

    …the nations of the world which have reformed these Xs and Ys [traditional institutions] have become the strongest, richest, most stable and most widely envied societies in the world.

    To quote from the introduction to Bertrand Russell’s “A History of Western Philosophy,”

    What had happened in the great age of Greece happened again in Renaissance Italy: traditional moral restraints disappeared, because they were seen to be associated with superstition; the liberation from fetters made individuals energetic and creative, producing a rare florescence of genius; but the anarchy and treachery which inevitably resulted from the decay of morals made Italians collectively impotent, and they fell, like the Greeks, under the domination of nations less civilized than themselves but not so destitute of social cohesion.

    (End quote)

    The strength and richness of the Western nations could plausibly be ascribed in part (note: only in part) to the “liberation from fetters” brought about by liberalism, but the anarchy and treachery is catching up with us, soon to be followed by the domination. Those who think the West is doing just fine remind me of the joke about the man who jumped off the skyscraper and, asked in midflight how things were, said “Just fine so far!”

    And JMSmith’s comment is on right the mark:

    …a conservative believes that that the beliefs, institutions, and material practices of a group stand in ecological relation to each other, so that disturbance of one component will likely have widespread and unpredictable effects.

    (End quote)

    Institutionalized acceptance of sexual promiscuity (redefined to no longer be promiscuity) is just one of the most visible and personal parts of the liberal jihad, which promises man that he can be free of all external restraints. If it is legitimate for social authorities to restrain man’s sexual appetite, then other restraints can be legitimate, and if man must be sexually free, then he must be free in other areas too. It’s a package deal.

  20. Thank you both for your courteous replies to my thoughts. Due to pressure of time, I must answer Mr Smith first.

    I would readily accept the major premise that “the beliefs, institutions, and material practices of a group stand in ecological relation to each other”. You will be aware that such matters are of concern to liberals just as they are to conservatives. Mill himself would have accepted the notion of the social fabric of society and would have agreed that socially deleterious behaviour is to be ruled out of bounds. The difference, I believe, is the extent to which conservatives are prepared to identify specific beliefs, institutions and practices as unacceptable and to rule them out of order (and to coerce dissenters into accepting their analysis).

    My use of the story of the boy who cried wolf was perhaps a little cheap, and I apologise accordingly. However, I would have to take issue with the proposition that “[j]ust about everything the counterrevolutionaries wrote has been vindicated by history”. To take merely one example – and a thoroughly Maurassian one at that – not many Frenchmen would agree that France’s stability, prosperity or greatness on the world stage has been retarded by the fact that she chose to take the path of liberal democracy.

  21. Now I turn to Mr Roebuck.

    Leaing aside my dislike for Bertrand Russell, I fear that you are ascribing to me – and to liberalism in general – positions that we do not hold. With respect, the idea that mankind “can be free of all external restraints” is a caricature, or perhaps a representation of radical feminism or anarchism. In fact, this all-or-nothing view does not represent the choice the our societies are presented with.

  22. Mr. Perrin,

    Glad to see you dislike Russell. Perhaps there’s hope for you yet. 🙂

    Liberals may mostly not believe that we can be “free of all external restraints,” but that is the implication of much of their rhetoric. After all, if one barrier must be torn down, why not another?

    Most liberals still have common sense, and they assume that society’s leaders won’t let the mania for freedom and equality go too far. But without social principles that are broadly labeled traditionalistic, there is no principle with which the radicals can be stopped. So the great liberation proceeds.

  23. Mr Roebuck

    Thanks again for responding to my comments.

    I should say that I’m coming from the British (rather than the American) tradition of liberalism, which is rooted in hard-headed pragmatism and is laced with a healthy (but not excessive) respect for tradition. Sure, there is a student-radical tradition that says “if not barrier X, then why not Y?”, but such people have not read their Mill, Gladstone or Dworkin. So I have no obligation to defend a free-for-all model of society. I’m happy to agree that most liberals – and most conservatives, and even some socialists – still retain some common sense.

    I don’t think I have much more to say on this thread, other than that I have no desire to poke my nose into what people do in their bedrooms. Of course, I have my own religious and moral beliefs, but they have nothing to do with the public sphere. I am opposed to all broad-brush theories of society, whether they come from M. le Comte de Bonald or Germaine Greer.

  24. Mr. Perrin,
    Thanks also for the courtesy and intelligence of your remarks. Additionally, thanks for steering us back to the original topic of the thread. Like you, I have no desire or intention of sticking my nose in other people’s bedrooms. In my case, it is out of respect for chastity rather than privacy, though. (I know, chastity is a special form of privacy.) What I do not agree with is the oft heard statement that what goes on in other people’s bedrooms is “nobody’s business but their own.” Sexual acts have public consequences, and very often public costs. Whatever Ms. McSlut (where did the ol’ gal go?) gets up to in her bedroom, it will very likely impose some cost on the good people of Slutberg. She gets the pleasure, they get the bill–in the form of wards of the state, a birth dearth, STD’s, erosion of community standards, etc. I have no idea how to solve this problem, but do think it is a problem.

  25. “A way to inflame the teabaggers”

    Stopped reading

  26. “We traditionalists do not control the discourse, and so must be “wise as serpents” lest our indictments be used to indict us. One possibility is to stop criticizing lewdness and promiscuity, and begin praising modesty and chastity. And not just praising them, but explaining their moral purpose. Just ignore the nihilistic nonsense seeping out of woman’s studies programs: they are not interested in reasoning with us.”

    Absolutely. Reactionaries must do much more work to support and laud that which they stand for. The target audience is those people who already know how bad the modern situation is but who have no leadership and are despairing and lonely. Society is nearly dead; the supportive fabric that used to be everywhere is nearly gone. All of the old institutions have been fatally poisoned or destroyed by liberalism. The modern church has mostly empty chants and tired old phrases.

    Old heroes and truths must be resurrected and presented in a new but yet traditional way (I ain’t talking about electric guitars!). The left/liberals organize trips to the bathrooms. We have trouble making the boy scouts relevant. They own the culture — history, languages, visual arts, music, theater, etc., law, commerce – by default because conservatives/traditionalists have completely given up the public square. The traditionalist intellectuals who would be the leaders of the regular folk have no connection, much less authority, with them. Are these helpful but severly limited websites all that we have?

    The greatest conservative thinkers have written much great, relevant, and timeless (yes, even Chesterton!) material over the last 100 years, but the “middle management” layer failed to lead and implement. Why? Too big, too fast, too rigid, too lax?

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