October 27, 2010

"Nobody taught me to regard women as sex objects. I always did."

"Most men do. And truth to tell, most women regard men as sex objects. We regard many other aspects of another person, but sex is the elephant in the room."

Roger Ebert, writing — in an ungainly fashion — about Hugh Hefner.

94 comments:

The Crack Emcee said...

I despise that man.

Ann Althouse said...

Ebert or Hefner?

Scott M said...

Ebert.

Quayle said...

"Evolution has hard-wired us that way."

So what is the point of feminism?

Is it to change the natural course of evolution?

shoutingthomas said...

Both are alumni of my alma mater, the University of Illinois.

Any sane woman revels in being regarded as a sex object.

Hef is one of the most important figures of the 20th century. Playboy played a key role in the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s. And, he was the king of T&A.

Ebert has increasingly become another boring progressive crank.

shoutingthomas said...

So what is the point of feminism?

Is it to change the natural course of evolution?

For a very brief period, there was a point to feminism. From about 1968-73, there was a debate about whether women should have equal access to a job and an education. This was resolved very quickly, because Americans are fair people.

The commie knuckleheads like Betty Friedan refused to quit once the only real problem had been resolved. They wanted to create Utopia, and refused to settle for less.

Thus, the pile of shit that is contemporary feminism.

Once the only worthwhile goals had been achieved, it was time to go home. Unfortunately, the commies don't have the sense to do that.

Scott M said...

So what is the point of feminism?

Why...the right to make choices. You know, like the right to work as a taxi cab driver and demand the same wages as the men, but then tend not to work the more dangerous third shift or drive in the more dangerous neighborhoods. Or the right to work in a warehouse and demand the same wages as the men, but tend to work in the office instead of the weather-baked/chilled warehouse floor were the men do. Or the right to be a professional women's basketball player and complain that your salary isn't anywhere near the NBA player's because you do the same job. Or...

lyssalovelyredhead said...

People like to try to avoid this, but sex is a really, really big deal. Evolutionarily speaking, creationarily (is that a word) speaking, whatever your perspective, we are made so that it is an enormous part of our concerns in life. People who say "it's just sex" are lying to themselves.

The problem comes not from seeing the person as a "sex object", but from seeing the person as an *object* with no personhood. I'm not sure which one Hef means here.

- Lyssa

Sixty Grit said...

Ebert is an object. Tools are objects.

shoutingthomas said...

The problem comes not from seeing the person as a "sex object", but from seeing the person as an *object* with no personhood. I'm not sure which one Hef means here.

This is nice stuff, and it's utter bullshit.

We all see the sexuality of other people as an object divorced from their personhood until we know them.

That's why, when men walk down the street, they turn around and take a look at a woman's ass.

The wild, unfettered world of sex without regard to personhood is why people go to orgies.

Feminism is full of shit. And, it will fail completely in its attempts to suppress the natural instincts of people.

Fred4Pres said...

Ebert is an annoying person. He is also a poor film critic. I never cared for his comentary.

But sex is a big deal. I think Heinlein did a story on how it completely drives everything in society and tried to imagine other alien races who had different means of procreating.

As for Hef...thanks for the magazine.

rdkraus said...

Don't much respect Ebert's politics, but that's a pretty good and thoughtful article. Pretty much correct, as far as I can see.

I'm old enough to remember when Hefner was fighting for civil rights, etc.

traditionalguy said...

Hefner was bold enough to become all things to all people in an age when boundaries existed only to be broken down. The man loved money paid to him by adolescents of all ages more than he loved freeing women from enslaving rules about public morality. Until Heff saved the day, boys had to read National Geographic. It seemed that such magazines and movies about foreign cultures or pagan Roman cultures were exempt from censorship rules about bared breasts. Now the mystery is gone.

ndspinelli said...

I respect Ebert's opinion on flicks, although Siskel was slightly better...and Ebert knew[and hated] that. On any other topic Ebert is full of shit.

Salamandyr said...

Honestly, I've never had much interest in the "mystery" of hiding feminine beauty. The appetite for feminine beauty is a hunger that cannot be sated, nor is is piqued by starvation.

In other words, Ron White is correct, "You see one pair of breasts...you pretty much wanna see all the rest of em too!"

Darrell said...

For many years of his life, Ebert was the elephant in the room.

former law student said...

I've been able to rely on Ebert's taste in movies for almost 40 years.

As for Hefner: the beautiful older sister of a classmate applied to be a Bunny at the local Playboy Club. She was rejected because her thigh circumference was one inch too big. Stringent standards for the female form accomplish nothing.

aronamos said...

Unfortunately he makes the mistake in thinking those Calvin Klein ads are designed with women in mind. They're designed for gay men. Few women buy Playgirl.

Which means that most of the wanking going on to Levi Johnston's pictoral is by teenage boys.

shoutingthomas said...

Stringent standards for the female form accomplish nothing.

Well, they do accomplish something.

Generally, they give me a hard on.

Quayle said...

"In other words, Ron White is correct, "You see one pair of breasts...you pretty much wanna see all the rest of em too!"

But just don't do that at the office. Don't look. Don't even think of looking. Don't even intimate that you might think of looking.

No matter what she chose to wear, nor how plunging the neckline or low the buttons start, if you look you'll be out on your can and you'll starve.

That's evolution for ya.

shoutingthomas said...

But just don't do that at the office. Don't look. Don't even think of looking. Don't even intimate that you might think of looking.

Fortunately, internet dating has come along at just the right time to circumvent this nonsense.

The sexual marketplace cannot be suppressed.

The commies tried it. Remember? Abolishing marriage? Destroying the family? Women are comrades in grey uniforms just like men? That was the Soviet Union.

They murdered 20 to 30 million people in an effort to suppress human nature, and even that failed.

The amazing thing is that there are still stupid fucking shits in this world who didn't get the lesson.

bagoh20 said...

Hef used liberalism just like all of us horny men at the time. It was the easiest avenue to those beautiful 60's and and early 70's women. That era had the hottest looks ever. I also liked the 40's, but that WWII thing was a high price to pay to live then, and no TV or Stereo.

rhhardin said...

It's backwards.

When it comes to sex, any woman will do, is more like it. That's how porn works for men, for instance.

There are, however, special women. You can fall in love. You can have a friend.

Fooled around and Fell in Love.

bagoh20 said...

"The amazing thing is that there are still stupid fucking shits in this world who didn't get the lesson."

This needs repeated, because it's the central problem of our country in our time. If you didn't get that lesson, you are capable of anything, no matter how debased.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

The problem comes not from seeing the person as a "sex object", but from seeing the person as an *object* with no personhood. I'm not sure which one Hef means here.

This is nice stuff, and it's utter bullshit.

We all see the sexuality of other people as an object divorced from their personhood until we know them.


Now come on, ShoutingT. My discussion was specifically not about seeing the sexuality of a person, it was about not being able to see anything but the sexuality of a person. Checking out a woman that you probably will never see again is one thing; since it's momentary and then forgotten, it's nothing in the scheme of things.

Where we run into problems are when a woman presents herself in a human, non-sexual, role (let's just say, for example, a governor), but some people can't see anything but a set of tits.

Scott M said...

Stringent standards for the female form accomplish nothing.

The right to free association and personal preference say otherwise.

The appetite for feminine beauty is a hunger that cannot be sated, nor is is piqued by starvation.

Cannot be sated for any long length of time, but it can certainly reach a saturation point...especially if she starts talking about her crazy cats afterward. As far as piqued? I disagree in the sense that starvation caused by sexy, yet concealing clothing combined with a general demeanor of "come hither" can turn the male of the species in knots with desire.

traditionalguy said...

The proper boundaries are an aid to enjoying life. If all breasts were on display all of the tome, we would lose the desire to see more. A time and a place set aside for exposing more decolletage is better than no rules at all. We did pretty well in the late 1950s with the skin tight sweaters and narrow waists look. That was when women all looked like child bearing devices, and the wider the hips the better. Let the good times roll, but keep a few female body parts back until the time is right.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

(to continue my last post) Three years ago, I would have said men that couldn't see past that set were mostly relegated to the margins, and to history. In 2008, I learned how wrong I was.

shoutingthomas said...

Where we run into problems are when a woman presents herself in a human, non-sexual, role (let's just say, for example, a governor), but some people can't see anything but a set of tits.

Well, I rather like Sarah Palin, and agree with a lot of what she has to say.

And, by God, I love those tits! Please call me, Sarah!

What makes you think that one thing obviates the other?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

She was rejected because her thigh circumference was one inch too big. Stringent standards for the female form accomplish nothing.

My lovely little sister was once told that she could not get a role playing a princess at Disney World because her nose was too big.* Those stringent standards aren't limited to sexual charactoristics.

*My response: "Thanks a lot, happiest place on earth."

shoutingthomas said...

And to be blunt:

My late wife was the most brilliant intellect I ever met.

And she had a great set of tits...

And she took great pleasure in the admiration men showed for those tits.

And she found it all very amusing and natural.

This is called... sanity.

shoutingthomas said...

My lovely little sister was once told that she could not get a role playing a princess at Disney World because her nose was too big.* Those stringent standards aren't limited to sexual charactoristics.

That's life.

The difference between running a 4.6 40 yard dash and a 4.4 40 yard dash is a career as a running back in the NFL.

Scott M said...

If all breasts were on display all of the time, we would lose the desire to see more.

Not to mention the unattractive sag factor if that were the case. The United Nations consensus, as readily displayed by the data in National Geographic, shows significant saggage.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

What makes you think that one thing obviates the other?

I don't think one of these things obviates the other (and I can't see how you would think that I do, when my post was clearly criticizing that attitude.) I don't think that you think that, either. But, do you deny that that is a sickenly frequent attitude from the "enlightened" left? If you do, then you really haven't been paying attention.

- Lyssa

campy said...

called... sanity.

Someone who has that should try restoring it to society someday.

Pogo said...

Better that sanctity were restored.

ricpic said...

Not only is sex a big deal, it's a big fucking deal.

edutcher said...

Ebert used to be a good movie critic. When he forgot that was his forte, he ceased to be any good.

Hefner OTOH was always a pompous jerk. If you look at some of the Rule 5 Sunday stuff, you very quickly realize there was only one kind of beauty in his mind and only one way of showing it. They all looked pretty much the same.

bagoh20 said...

Hef used liberalism just like all of us horny men at the time. It was the easiest avenue to those beautiful 60's and and early 70's women. That era had the hottest looks ever. I also liked the 40's, but that WWII thing was a high price to pay to live then, and no TV or Stereo.

Hef was and is a Lefty twit, but you're right that a lot of guys went to anti-war protests for the express purpose of getting laid.

As to the women of the 60s and 70s, they looked like bags of dirty laundry or something wrapped in plastic.

You're right about the 40s, though, women were allowed to be beautiful.

Bob_R said...

I love the first two comments: which man is the more despicable? Like Scott M, I'm guessing Ebert.

Hefner is so big and bland. A softcore one-hand magazine. Pseudo-intellectual (The Playboy Philosophy!) Pseudo-sophistication (ART...Leroy Nieman) (JAZZ...Chuck Mangione) center-left and on his farthest left positions he wound up in the majority (civil rights, Viet Nam).

Ebert is more frustrating. Some very interesting insights on film - and some of his best reviews are ones that I disagreed most strongly with (cf. e.g. Blue Velvet). Generally a good, down-to-earth writer. But then this statest, collectivist, political philosophy and a deep hatred for anyone that lives outside of his little slice of Deepest Blue America.

I've long accepted that some of the artists I've admired the most are truly despicable people: Stan Getz, Miles Davis, Sinatra, Picasso, the list goes on. Somehow it is harder to accept with a critic.

Penny said...

Beware of elephants who enter the room through teleportation.

The ones who find a home in that room have been moved there by sexual tension. It takes a good, long while to ease an elephant through a doorway.

virgil xenophon said...

"The whole world revolves around the hole." Comedian Dave Chappel once said on, IRRC Conan's Late Night show that he wished he could monetize the vagina,--make it an independent object like a subway token--as it would be a universally acknowledged thing of value that would be readily accepted currency anywhere on Earth--"If I could do that I'd have it made."--Conan practically fell off his chair laughing.

TMink said...

I think men tend to view women as sex objects while women tend to view men as success objects.

Trey

Scott M said...

TMink...potential thread-winner.

Marshal said...

On Ebert's politics:

It's natural that those whose life's work is on fiction are drawn to the left. You don't learn the limits of effort and intentions by watching movies.

John said...

"As to the women of the 60s and 70s, they looked like bags of dirty laundry or something wrapped in plastic."

Not true. Women in the 1960s looked great. Not everyone or even a significant minority were dirty hippies. Catherine Deneuve or Anita Eckberg or a young Mary Anne Faithful looked nothing like that

William said...

Larry Flynt and Hugh Heffner have had their bards and memorials, but Bob Guccione recently passed away without causing so much as a ripple in the zeitgeist. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the contributions of this pathfinder to the mores of western civilization. It was Guccione who introduced pubic hair to the world of porn. Perhaps I'm dating myself, but there was a time that porno women had pubic hair, and it was shocking to see. Thanks to Guccione's trail breaking efforts, we were later able to see Larry Flynt's cervix shots. Civilization is a colloborative effort, and, if Guccione was not the keystone, he was part of the rainbow arc of sexual liberation that has made us all so happy. We have Guccione to thank for John Gielgud's appearance in a hardcore sex film.

ricpic said...

Guccione gave Eyeties a bad name. The guy's worth a gazillion bucs and he fills his "villa" with smoked mirrors and cheap all white Louis Qatorze knockoffs? He couldn't improve on made men in Bay Ridge? A shanda.

jamboree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon said...

But sex is a big deal. I think Heinlein did a story on how it completely drives everything in society and tried to imagine other alien races who had different means of procreating.

I believe you are thinking of the novel Stranger in A Strange Land (which gave us the word "grok" and helped inspire the 60's free love movement), the tale of a human man who returns to Earth after being raised by sexless Martians

jamboree said...

*Roger* Ebert has always given me the heebies. Can't even click to read what he said especially on this subject.


WV: halate: When hate is late - when hate is accompanied by latté.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

I don't understand what it means to view females as objects. As opposed to what? Subjects? (Obey me like a ruler, mistresses, for you are but unto me like a sovereign's subjects be unto his royal highness.) A predicate nominative?

It does some like females don't tend to like to emphasize the hole nature of their sexuality, probably because sodomizers often feign a "woot! hole!" enthusiasm to make it seem any unwanted sodomy they might inflict is just enthusiasm-induced carelessness.

Nothing wrong with sexual fantasy for having a physical component. (Though the idea of having actual sex with a girl for a mainly masturbatory exploratory purpose would seem too real to serve that or any other moral purpose, notwithstanding of course it's a great good if through actual sex one can learn a great deal.) In particular, with respect to females, female breast-feelings tend to be more unselfish if they are associated with the female actually touching her breasts, such activity being a kind of metaphorical sign, I am inclined to think, that they occasion the sort of feelings associated with considering what sort of feelings she might have about providing for offspring (which in mammals suckle). Just general breast feelings not associated with touch probably more tend to be about what the male is going to provide (when a father cares, he doesn't occasion the child to need more caring or, metaphorically, suckling, from the mother).

Jon said...

Where we run into problems are when a woman presents herself in a human, non-sexual, role (let's just say, for example, a governor), but some people can't see anything but a set of tits.

To be fair, Sullivan never really spent much time focusing on her tits.

jamboree said...

Because I didn't click I thought, "Is Hugh Hefner finally dead? YAY! Crack open the champagne!"

But I'm guessing no, huh? Ah well.

MamaM said...

There is not a commenter here I view as a sex or success object (other than Titus whom I consider to be a constructed character).

Humans are relational beings, with genders and identities that lead to procreation and sexual expression.

When humans are regarded primarily as sex objects, their unique ability to exchange thoughts, inspire, amuse, imagine, problem solve and co-create (in hundreds of ways) tends to be overlooked, discounted, diminished and shut down.

The success of this blog is not based on sexuality. It may factor in, but ultimately it is our awareness and desire to express and communicate that powers this forum.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

Oh, I'm sorry, mistresses are not objects of course. I should have said, "Obey me like a ruler, mistresses, for ye are but unto me like a sovereign's subjects be unto his royal highness. Yes, that sounds much better.

murgatroyd666 said...

fls wrote:

As for Hefner: the beautiful older sister of a classmate applied to be a Bunny at the local Playboy Club. She was rejected because her thigh circumference was one inch too big. Stringent standards for the female form accomplish nothing.

Think about it. Playboy bunnies wore uniforms, and those bunny costumes were made in a limited range of sizes. (I've also been told they were stiff and uncomfortable.) If your friend's sister was larger than the limit, she would have looked ridiculous. Ever see a size 16 woman trying to wear a size 12 dress?

It's typical of "progressives" that they think thy're qualified to run other people's businesses and lives without having a clue about why people do what they do.

edutcher said...

John said...

"As to the women of the 60s and 70s, they looked like bags of dirty laundry or something wrapped in plastic."

Not true. Women in the 1960s looked great. Not everyone or even a significant minority were dirty hippies. Catherine Deneuve or Anita Eckberg or a young Mary Anne Faithful looked nothing like that


Anita Ekberg and, to an extent, Catherine Deneuve were holdovers from the 50s and very lovely. Marianne Faithfull, however, was a product of that Mary Quant "I hate looking like a woman" Swinging London thing - which was the birthplace of the flat, shapeless (even the hair) unisex look.

Lucien said...

Playboy advanced the radical and (still) transgressive idea that human sexual activity is not just healthy but good.

It also rationally made the point that if a fellow wants to get laid frequently without becoming a father, it is good if everyone involved has access to birth control and abortions are legal; and that if you want to encourage female sexual activity (since it takes two to screw)a fellow is better off not calling sexually active women sluts, or viewning them as Madonnas or whores, but rather as the Girl Next Door.

As a byproduct of this, and other libertine ideas, it also advanced the idea that we should keep state, local and federal officials out of our bedrooms and medicine cabinets.

Scott M said...

As a byproduct of this, and other libertine ideas, it also advanced the idea that we should keep state, local and federal officials out of our bedrooms and medicine cabinets.

Well said. If I get someone pregnant, I should be able to sign a waiver of all responsibilities to that child if the woman decides to keep it and be immune to any further responsibilities, financial or otherwise. Keep the state, local, and federal officials out of our bedrooms and anything related to it.

Ralph L said...

We have Guccione to thank for John Gielgud's appearance in a hardcore sex film.

At least it was a straight film, so the ol' poof kept his toga on.

Kirk Parker said...

"sex is the elephant in the room"

Oh, jeez, now that's I picture I wish I didn't have in my head...

Lyssa,

"because her nose was too big"

Wow, such blatant anti-Scandinavian bigotry. But we're used to it, of course.

Almost Ali said...

I'm waiting for Roger Ebert's reaction to Playboy's upcoming issue, Under The Burqa.

BJM said...

@shoutingthomas

That's why, when men walk down the street, they turn around and take a look at a woman's ass.

One of the most embarrassing moments of my adult life was the result of raw sexual magnetism.

I was in a small neighborhood drugstore browsing magazines while waiting for a refill when a well built man in a black T-shirt and jeans moved into my peripheral vision. I don't engage strange men, so I never looked up.

He had obviously just showered and shaved and I was mesmerized by his body and scent; he moved, I moved a few paces behind him. I'm not exactly sure how long this went on, but one of the counter girls giggled and the man & I exchanged glances.

He was a very famous championship NFL quarterback. He sort of grinned uncomfortably, thinking I was another football groupie. I blushed the brightest red of my life and fled the store.

Twenty plus years later, I still remember how he smelled, his dark wet hair curling on his muscular neck, his rippling upper body and tight butt in soft worn 501's.

Yeah we do it too.

former law student said...

Playboy bunnies wore uniforms, and those bunny costumes were made in a limited range of sizes.

No outfit that had studied the female form to the extent Playboy had could have rationally made bunny costumes in a limited range of sizes. They would have had to have two dozen to cover the breast possibilities alone.

It's typical of "progressives" that they think thy're qualified to run other people's businesses and lives without having a clue about why people do what they do.


This young woman's figure could make a bishop kick a hole in a plate glass window, in Raymond Chandler's felicitous phrase. Assuming Playboy's intent was to hire hot chicks, their requirements screened out one of the hottest.

If I get someone pregnant, I should be able to sign a waiver of all responsibilities to that child if the woman decides to keep it and be immune to any further responsibilities

What economically rational woman would sign such a waiver? You couldn't get Ayn Rand to fuck you on that basis.

Scott M said...

What economically rational woman would sign such a waiver? You couldn't get Ayn Rand to fuck you on that basis.

Oh, I dunno, FLS. Maybe an intellectually honest one that thinks reproductive rights should be extended, as much as possible, to both genders. Why should she get to decide, alone, whether or not the man gets off scott free or is required to support the kid for the better chunk of two decades?

Scott M said...

I meant to add that the woman's signature is not required. As the man currently has zero input on the outcome of a pregnancy, even if it's his wife, why should she have a say on whether or not he participates, personally or financially, in the kid's life if she chooses to keep the baby? Call it a legal abortion, if you want. No killing involved.

former law student said...

As the man currently has zero input on the outcome of a pregnancy...

Hey, without the man's input, pregnancy is impossible. Get a vasectomy, if you can find a doctor who will assume the risk that some of your wigglers will survive.

Scott M said...

Already got one, thanks. I'm done one way or 'tother.

blake said...

A friend of mine appeared in the pages of Playboy. She was lamenting how hard they had worked her to get her ready for the shoot.

Five hours a day of exercise. I said, "What about airbrushing?!" since they're all supposed to be airbrushed, right?

Well, it was pre-Photoshop, I guess, so they actually made her work out for months.

Nice pix, though.

Penny said...

Elephant in the room.

Photo by Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP/Getty, and it's a beauty.

Synova said...

"Hey, without the man's input, pregnancy is impossible. Get a vasectomy, if you can find a doctor who will assume the risk that some of your wigglers will survive."

And this principle doesn't also apply to a woman pre-conception, how?

If she doesn't want a baby she should get a tubal.

And now we're equal again.

former law student said...

And this principle doesn't also apply to a woman pre-conception, how?

Scott M argued that, because women have the total say in whether to continue a pregnancy or not, men who impregnate women should not have to support any children they may sire. This argument does not apply to women because they have the total say.

Scott M said...

Its the "choice" in pro-choice. That whole laying-it-at-the-foot-of-the-man-because-he's-the-breadwinner is so Industrial Age.

Synova said...

Since women do have total say, on what basis does a man have to support the child if she keeps it? It was her singular choice. How does he become responsible for her choice just because he participated in the sexual act? This is manifestly abusive since his legal input is zero and his legal responsibility is total.

A man should have equal rights with the woman. If she can abort, he also should be able to abort. His choice alone and none of her business, just as her choices are none of his business. Since she does, in fact, control her own body he can't force his decision on her, so she still has more control than he does... he'll only have half a choice. He can't chose to *have* the child. His half-choice is only to *not* have the child.

If you argue that he's responsible for birth control *prior* to conception, and if that is *reasonable*...

...then it is also reasonable for a woman, to be responsible for birth control *prior* to conception.

In the pre-conception model both partners have equal choice and are on the same footing, with equal control and responsibilities.

Methadras said...

Why isn't Ebert dead yet? Just go, dude.

Synova said...

But I suppose that the subject was actually sexuality and the freedom of women to be sexual without consequences and how this was awesome for men since so long as they remembered not to disrespect her to her face she'd keep putting out and no one had to worry about unintended children.

So I suppose the point is... men do have to worry about unintended children.

Because even in the sexually free world you might end up with a baby mama or two, and the women short sighted enough to screw around with you will be raising your progeny while she screws the next guy and raiding your bank account to pay for her kids.

former law student said...

synova -- no birth control method is 100% effective. Any male who has PiV intercourse must assume some finite risk of impregnation.

But the man's responsibility is only legal. He can move to the ends of the earth to escape responsibility. It's the woman who ultimately becomes the life-support system for another human being.

former law student said...

Remember the breakfast analogy for the relative roles of the father and the mother? "The hen was involved, but the pig was committed."

Synova said...

So... the article had pin-ups but I missed the one for straight women.

Anyhow, I think that Ebert is abusing the word "object". He's pretending that it means admitting that biology exists.

There is a whole lot of territory between demanding that we be neutered and viewing everyone as a sex object. Those are the two extremes. Actually, the truth may be on a different axis entirely. Biology and sexuality and reproduction and attraction and beauty are real. We're neither neuter nor objects for sex. We are whole beings.

And that's why we came up with the term "sex object". We came up with it to describe... not a wonderfully attractive person, but a wonderfully attractive non-person. And in my mind a man who regards women as sex objects isn't the one who notices a woman who is beautiful or who appreciates it or who checks out her butt, but the fellow who is *stuck* there so that he becomes unable to form normal relationships that include sex. Sex ends up being assisted masturbation.

Scott M said...

Perhaps my meaning got missed, then, FLS. In the case of a pregnancy (assume that it's been confirmed) she can terminate or keep it depending on her own whims. If she's a truly fair person, going back to your original question, then she would understand that the man should be afforded the same choice she is allowed. It's not even really an even playing field because a man cannot force a woman to bring a child to term without wholly immoral measures (such as a tyrannical Violinist scenario...if it's not already tyrannical enough for you.

The state is the entity that forces men to pay up because they do not want the children, left adrift by the biological father, could end up wards of the state. If they given equal consideration to both the woman's life and the man's, he should be to walk away just as she can.

blake said...

So, Synova--

It came up in the (second) stomping thread: What's the Synova Submission Hold?

Synova said...

FLS, the woman is only committed if she chooses to be committed. The non-100% birth control applies equally to both parties. Both take a risk. But what is presented as right and necessary is to remove 100% of that risk from the woman. The man still has the risk.

If the woman decides to carry the child she can. If she decides she didn't want to, she is legally free to abort it.

Note, I'm not talking at all about the emotional elements and inhibitions toward killing your baby that might mean a woman keeps the child, because men have those too... or they *should*. So those don't count. No acting like a woman gets a special pass on that nobodies-business-but-hers post-conception decision making.

Unless you want to talk about that emotional stuff and *again* we end up asking men to do two completely unfair and contradictory things. We expect men to have no attachment whatsoever to the life they've created but be ready to take up the whole of fatherhood instantly... or be a bad person. It's irrational. Forcing people to be irrational is not healthy for society.

campy said...

If the woman decides to carry the child she can. If she decides she didn't want to, she is legally free to abort it.

Don't forget that after she delivers the kid, she still has a choice. She can drop it off at the firehouse or someplace and walk away.

former law student said...

The man still has the risk.

The man still has the risk of being the life-support system for another human being for nine months, at which point he has to squirt it out his crotch?

I'm not seeing the same risk here.

Martha said...

if Clarence Thomas ever said aloud on-the-record what Ebert wrote, there would be calls for his impeachment.

feminism......

Stephen A. Meigs said...

I don't feel male responsibility for offspring should be automatic, but something that results formally from marriage. Apparently, according to the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica entry for affiliation, practically this used to be the case in France, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Russia, Serbia and the Canton of Geneva, or when the putative father was in the British navy.

To me, the main argument against affiliation otherwise than through marriage is that it puts a great constraint on the sexual life of decent males, who naturally very much want to care most for whomever they love most (and their offspring). But bad males would care much less about exactly whom they might be forced to care for. Does it make sense for a society to enact laws that especially discourage those who care about loving justly from having offspring? How could this not discourage the evolution of moral traits?

Of course, another possibility might be an anti-marriage ceremony or formality in which the female renounces male responsibility before conception, but in the interest of females being forced to think for themselves about mating decisions, mostly I think fatherhood outside of marriage should not be some public spectacle, but should be private, mostly known to none but close friends of the mother.

AST said...

Why are you attacking Ebert, weightist! (Ebert is a schlub.)

Actually, I blame Hefner for the arrested development that afflicts most American men. We talk about "adult" magazines, movies, books, etc., but most of it is really aimed at teenagers.

He has also hurt marriage by setting airbrushed, siliconed standards for beauty that not even the women being photographed can live up to.

murgatroyd666 said...

No outfit that had studied the female form to the extent Playboy had could have rationally made bunny costumes in a limited range of sizes.

Ah yes, I well remember the many 220-pound, size 24 bunnies in Hefner's clubs! And those centerfolds!

Look, back when there were Playboy bunnies, there were also "stewardesses" on commercial aircraft who had to stay within prescribed weight limits. Same principle. Yeah, the Playboy Clubs could have stocked bunny outfits in a wider range of sizes, but that didn't fit their business model.

They would have had to have two dozen to cover the breast possibilities alone.

My informant told me that significant padding amounts of padding and lots of underwire were involved.

This young woman's figure could make a bishop kick a hole in a plate glass window, in Raymond Chandler's felicitous phrase. Assuming Playboy's intent was to hire hot chicks, their requirements screened out one of the hottest.

So? Their loss. They seem to have done well enough without her, at least back in their heyday.

Again, I see you trying to tell other people what they ought to like and how to run their business ... with no skin off your nose if you're wrong.

Almost Ali said...

Playboy bunnies wore uniforms, and those bunny costumes were made in a limited range of sizes.

Although they had a range of stock sizes, each girl was custom fitted by an expert seamstress who worked off the Playboy Club premises.

My ex, the most beautiful, sexiest girl I ever knew, worked as a bunny at the NYC (E. 59th St.) club.

After previously working as a secretary, she wanted to try something "different," something exciting, even glamorous. I suggested Playboy - she thought I was crazy - saying, They'd never hire "ME"! But they did, in a heartbeat.

Once she got past the "glamor," it was hard work - constantly on her feet until the wee hours, dealing with "high rollers" who thought 50-cents was a good tip.

Playboy offered her $1,500 to appear in their monthly, member-only (key holder) magazine, VIP. She wasn't shy about the nudity (topless), but was unimpressed with the $1,500 offer. She countered with $3,000. They were gobsmacked. Smart girl.

The New York club employed 150 girls, and I was surprised how many of them were, under the makeup, quite ordinary looking. That even in a place like NYC, hiring 150 beautiful, sexy bunnies was next to impossible. Which explains in part why they paid for an expert seamstress - who could make a B-Cup look like a D-Cup.

Now there's silicone... and Hooter's.

traditionalguy said...

I smell a whiff of libertarianism announcing that men have no responsibilities to their offspring. We honor the family as the foundation block of society, because someone needs to father the boys and girls. Without that raising of children, we will in 20 years inherit a world without any security filled with psychopaths that require 24/7 police supervision like on the COPS Show. Or instead we can kill off all of the children before they learn self defense. Somebody does need to preach family values and preach them first to Ayn Rand disciples.

Synova said...

Tradguy... Men absolutely have responsibilities to their offspring, moreover they have that responsibility to protect and provide from conception onward.

Asking men to *value* the destruction of the life they create up to the *moment* that the woman decides not to destroy it and then switch to protective father-mode is abusive.

Promoting abortion as a good thing for men because they can screw around consequence free (as a commenter implied) and then it's all free love after that is naive. True enough, it's really nice to be able to have control of reproduction without having to forgo sex, but presenting it as a boon for the man that the woman (whom he will not call a slut to her face, because women put out more if they aren't socially ostracized for it) can dispose of any mistimed offspring makes an assumption that neither party, the man or the woman, could possibly be harmed. What does he care if she happens to be a person that misses that child through her life? Certainly he just cares that he can get screwed some more.

It's very similar, I think, to pointing out that some men miss their aborted babies too, because once reproduction has happened there is another life attached to their own and it's a terrible thing to expect someone else, for your convenience, not to have any feelings about that.

One person can end up badly hurt through the actions of the other, and I just don't see how that carelessness for hurting someone you're having sex with amounts to any sort of "love", free or not.

Synova said...

I am serious about the legal issues, however. It's also very "libertarian" to separate what should be legal and what is *right*.

I do think that the libertarian principle of "not allowed to hurt/kill/etc another human being" applies to fetuses in a good-faith without-malice sort of way (in other words, no demand to protect above and beyond the normal course of nature strawmen). Others with libertarian leanings obviously disagree; it seems to be able to go either way.

On the legal side of it, IF abortion is legal and the choice of the woman alone with no recourse for the man one way or the other, then fairness demands an answer for that.

If we stop demanding that men support the destruction of their progeny because it's none of their business what a woman does with it, it may well be that men will actually be more responsible rather than less.

Maybe that doesn't seem like the two things are related, but the whole situation and what we demand men *feel* can't be separated all out from the fact that men are forced into powerlessness. The access to a legal fiction that provides a choice to "abort" might seem entirely destructive, but the lack of any choice or equality in action already is entirely destructive.

Responsibility that one chooses is different from responsibility that is forced which by definition can not be any kind of responsibility at all.

Scott M said...

For the record, I'm not in favor of paternal waivers of responsibility. It's a Socratic argument put to someone in favor of a woman's right to choose. Truth be told, I'm against most abortions on purely secular grounds, apart from my misgivings on the secular. That's machts nicht though.

bag mall said...

Nice article. I could not bear to send my parents to a nursing home. In home care is the way for me.

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