FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

“Frigid Farrah” and the Anti-Feminism of Sex Robots

News of “Frigid Farrah,” a setting on a newly advertised sex robot that is supposed to simulate rape fantasies has incited controversy over the existence of sex robots as technology gradually emerges toward widespread commercialism and accessibility for this new product. “Young Yoko” is also offered as a setting for statutory rape fantasies to be carried out. The Independent reported on the 9th version of the ‘Roxxxy TrueCompanion’ robot, “Like ‘Wild Wendy’ and ‘S & M Susan’ whose characteristics are self-ascribed, the website says that for Frigid Farrah, if you touch her ‘in a private area, more than likely, she will not be to appreciative of your advance.'”

The negative social implications of sex robots are already apparent in society, most notably in Japan where a social trend is growing in which men are opting to date sex dolls, sex robots, or have turned their sex lives to focus on anime and computers instead of having a relationship with an actual woman. But these replacements for genuine relationships are symptomatic of patriarchy within society where men are opting to engage in objects rather than treat and view women as equitable people. These robots, dolls, or other objects reinforce the sexist notion that women’s bodies primarily exist to serve and please men. These growing trends to replace women with objects undermines the independence and strides toward equality for women.

“No longer do these men have to put up with women who have flaws like opinions, feelings, and human bodies… Their porny video game fantasy has come to life: A ‘woman’ with a completely sexualized body, who talks, moves, and feels like a woman, but is completely controlled by the player/owner,” wrote Meghan Murphy for Feminist Current on the growing market of sex robots in April 2017. She cites that the defenses for this industry are the same ones used to excuse prostitution in which women are subjugated and exploitation to appease lonely, detached men portrayed as victims in these arguments. Other arguments try to claim that the existence of a sex robot that enables rape fantasies provides an outlet that could reduce rape and sexual assault, but imagine this argument being made to defend child porn. This growing industry provides an outlet for men to broaden their fantasies, write their own scripts in them, and reinforce the male gaze embedded in sexism and misogyny that sex is predicated on male enjoyment, male orgasm, and women’s role in sex are solely to serve these means. Male pleasure is already at the center of society’s idea of sex, and replacing women with objects to hash out sexual fantasies only strengthens this affirmation. Objectification has not diminished the rates of sexual assaults, sexual abuse, rape, or sex trafficking. The man-robot relationship clearly defines what sexual relationships are presupposed to be, a one-way outlet for men to fulfill their own needs and desires.

Murphy added, ” In other words, as women gain independence, there must be a stand-in, in order to preserve the hierarchy — in order to preserve masculinity itself. Sex robots don’t undo the violence or domination, they simply normalize it.”

If men are truly allies to feminism, they should be pushing back on these notions and growing industries rather than willingly engaging in them or ignoring them. A 2016 study by the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany found that more than 40 percent of the 263 heterosexual men surveyed said they could imagine using a sex robot. This is a statistic that would likely be replicated or even increased exponentially if the same survey was conducted in the United States. Its unlikely the same percentage of men would identify as sexists, misogynists, but in advocating for the objectification of women through robots, they are contributing to perception of women that identifies them as objects in themselves. Sex in our culture already does enough to objectify women and portray sex as a means for male pleasure and subservience from women rather than a mutual relationship that should be based on compassion, empathy, caring, and respect. Stripping women of everything that makes them human into an object that exists solely for men to use is inherently anti-feminist and the opposition to these trends that perpetuate these damaging perceptions of women should not be relegated solely as an issue feminist women should deal with.

More articles by:

Michael Sainato’s writing has appeared in the Guardian, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, Denver Post, Buffalo News, the Hill, Alternet, and several other publications . Follow him on twitter: @MSainat1

January 17, 2019
Stan Cox
That Green Growth at the Heart of the Green New Deal? It’s Malignant
David Schultz
Trump vs the Constitution: Why He Cannot Invoke the Emergencies Act to Build a Wall
Paul Cochrane
Europe’s Strategic Humanitarian Aid: Yemen vs. Syria
Tom Clifford
China: An Ancient Country, Getting Older
Greg Grandin
How Not to Build a “Great, Great Wall”
Ted Rall
Our Pointless, Very American Culture of Shame
John G. Russell
Just Another Brick in the Wall of Lies
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers Strike: Black Smoke Pouring Out of LAUSD Headquarters
Patrick Walker
Referendum 2020: A Green New Deal vs. Racist, Classist Climate Genocide
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Uniting for a Green New Deal
Matt Johnson
The Wall Already Exists — In Our Hearts and Minds
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Flailing will get More Desperate and More Dangerous
Andrew Stewart
The Green New Deal Must be Centered on African American and Indigenous Workers to Differentiate Itself From the Democratic Party: Part Three
January 16, 2019
Patrick Bond
Jim Yong Kim’s Mixed Messages to the World Bank and the World
John Grant
Joe Biden, Crime Fighter from Hell
Alvaro Huerta
Brief History Notes on Mexican Immigration to the U.S.
Kenneth Surin
A Great Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons
Elizabeth Henderson
Why Sustainable Agriculture Should Support a Green New Deal
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, Bolton and the Syrian Confusion
Jeff Mackler
Trump’s Syria Exit Tweet Provokes Washington Panic
Barbara Nimri Aziz
How Long Can Nepal Blame Others for Its Woes?
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: When Just One Man Says, “No”
Cesar Chelala
Violence Against Women: A Pandemic No Longer Hidden
Kim C. Domenico
To Make a Vineyard of the Curse: Fate, Fatalism and Freedom
Dave Lindorff
Criminalizing BDS Trashes Free Speech & Association
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
Binoy Kampmark
Dances of Disinformation: The Partisan Politics of the Integrity Initiative
Andrew Stewart
The Green New Deal Must be Centered on African American and Indigenous Workers to Differentiate Itself From the Democratic Party: Part Two
Edward Curtin
A Gentrified Little Town Goes to Pot
January 15, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
Refugees Are in the English Channel Because of Western Interventions in the Middle East
Howard Lisnoff
The Faux Political System by the Numbers
Lawrence Davidson
Amos Oz and the Real Israel
John W. Whitehead
Beware the Emergency State
John Laforge
Loudmouths against Nuclear Lawlessness
Myles Hoenig
Labor in the Age of Trump
Jeff Cohen
Mainstream Media Bias on 2020 Democratic Race Already in High Gear
Dean Baker
Will Paying for Kidneys Reduce the Transplant Wait List?
George Ochenski
Trump’s Wall and the Montana Senate’s Theater of the Absurd
Binoy Kampmark
Dances of Disinformation: the Partisan Politics of the Integrity Initiative
Glenn Sacks
On the Picket Lines: Los Angeles Teachers Go On Strike for First Time in 30 Years
Jonah Raskin
Love in a Cold War Climate
Andrew Stewart
The Green New Deal Must be Centered on African American and Indigenous Workers to Differentiate Itself From the Democratic Party
January 14, 2019
Kenn Orphan
The Tears of Justin Trudeau
Julia Stein
California Needs a 10-Year Green New Deal
Dean Baker
Declining Birth Rates: Is the US in Danger of Running Out of People?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail