I’m always excited when I see history write itself in front of me and I’m just waiting for if it’s going to be a happy ending or a sad story. Sex has been a sticky subject for us humans at a social level and I’m watching some old tendencies creep back up when I thought we finally were going to explore new spaces instead. From taboo to revolution and then evolution – Sexuality has been a source of conflict forever, what have we learned?
“I demand the independence of women, her right to support herself, to live for herself, to love whomever she pleases, or as many as she pleases. Freedom for both sexes, freedom of action, freedom in love, and freedom in motherhood” – Emma Goldman, 1897
The sexual revolution and the struggle for your own sexuality saw dramatic steps in the 20th century: All sorts of ways to express the spirits of the flesh has been bent, tested, judged and walked through the fire – and came out better than where it was. Perfect? Hardly. Just better.
Even though homosexuality is still lethal in several parts of the world and female sexuality is seen as a sin in other (sometimes the very same) parts of the world, the hope of autonomy over your own body and you and your partner(s) sexual activity has marched defiantly forward, head high and middle finger stable in the face of the social order. The Sexual revolution came with a bang and the ripple effects are still spreading. New ideas are built on old battles. Erotica, pornography, and other expressions went from missing and corner case to everyday occurrence for everyone with an internet connection with the rise of porn-sites.
I want to highlight how religious fundamentalistic tendencies like Christianity and Islam both have molded chains to put on the sexuality around the. The metaphysical idea of that the Sins of the flesh stains your immortal soul is a theme that has many variants in both schools of spirituality and that idea is still rooted in our different cultures.
The sexual revolution rattles the chains, somewhat, but didn’t exactly shed them. We went from revolution to evolution: The challenge to the Old Rules became less bombastic (with some exceptions, of course, Femen comes to mind) over time, opting to slowly introduce new ingredients to the sexual-salad and present it in a more marketed way to the public. Even though dildoes wasn’t a new invention by any stretch of the imagination when the famous Rabbit-dildo was sold through popular tv-series Sex and the City, it was an evolutionary choice in sexuality to make it an innocent mainstream introduction. “Sex toy” was established in common conversations – It was okay to talk about it now – It had been on the TV and what else do you talk to your colleagues around the water cooler about other than what was on TV? It was the late 1990’s and we could finally talk about things that made us orgasm in public.
“Not me of course, pfft, its just perverts that buy things like that!”
But behind the scenes, the device sold for millions upon millions of dollars, purchased by the curious that just learned how to use it on television. In my eyes, that is an evolution in language and acceptance (even if it was everyone’s dirty little secret).
“The Rabbit’s entry into the long-standing debate on female orgasm is particularly interesting as it is an object that combines a penetrative dildo and a vibrating clitoral stimulator. As such, it was framed neatly by the popular 1990’s postfeminist rhetoric of women doin and having it all” – From the Book ‘Consumer Sexualities: Women and Sex Shopping‘
#MeToo is another one of these tendencies, even though it could’ve been a Revolution if the original people didn’t get overshadowed by upper-class, Hollywood stars that the media preferred to chase down stories from – Who wants to read about some peasant that got touched up in a bathroom somewhere when you get red carpet-babes that are in distress? An orgy in clickbait and everyone at the edge of their seats just waiting for the next predator to be outed.
Where #MeToo is different is the way it told boundaries: Where the earlier mentioned Rabbit-dildo took us to new territory, #MeToo was an expression of how you have the utmost control of what is and isn’t okay for yourself to get involved in. Taking control over your own body and sexuality is as, if not more, important to owning your own sexuality than being free to do what you please.
There are too many bits and pieces to this to give a fuller, clearer picture, but I’ve given you some of the red thread I’ve seen happening. There is something stirring though that I’m not entirely sure what to do with, other than noting that it happens.
Of all the hills you could choose to die on in order to preserve the sexual status quo and suppress any new expressions of sexuality from rearing its sinful head, asking the ones in power to dismantle any possibility for sex-robots to exist before they even have crossed the border is for sure in the top 10 strange ones.
But, that is what the director of Swedish Women Lobby, Clara Berglund, did (with some backup of individuals from other groups) in an article.
Berglund demands that human-robot relationship gets thoroughly investigated (how this is supposed to happen if the robots themselves isn’t around, is unclear. I guess it is ok if other countries besides Sweden have them, you know, for science) and how the mere existence of robots would normalize abuse of women by men. The rhetoric goes that its only pedophiles and rapists that buy these dolls because it has happened that those two groups of people have bought them in the past. I’m sure rapists buys a lot of things that we want to keep unbanned, so the argument isn’t really on steady ground, so to speak.
“Why are men willing to pay tens of thousands of kronor for a robot that follows all of their commands?” – Clara Berglund
If the robot itself would be the victim in Berglund’s narrative, it would make more sense. The message is clear: Men are beasts that can’t tell the difference between real females and dolls that look like ones and if we allow them free reign of these toys all bets are off. It’s supposed to be a slippery slope towards men using the real females as their Handmaidens. It sounds unlikely in my ears. Like, all of us are going to turn out like dysfunctional psychopaths and Berglund is saving humankind? (Well, Swedish-kind at least).
– Alex Utopium. Tweet with me!
Hey you, you beautiful butterfly – Would you like to support the Utopium-project? The most handy-dandy way to do it is by donating $1 in crypto through Bitbacker. Thank you for your help ❤