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

November 20, 2018
John Davis
Geographies of Violence in Southern California
Anthony Pahnke
Abolishing ICE Means Defunding it
Maximilian Werner
Why (Mostly) Men Trophy Hunt: a Biocultural Explanation
Masturah Alatas
Undercutting Female Circumcision
Jack Rasmus
Global Oil Price Deflation 2018 and Beyond
Geoff Dutton
Why High Technology’s Double-Edged Sword is So Hard to Swallow
Binoy Kampmark
Charges Under Seal: US Prosecutors Get Busy With Julian Assange
Rev. William Alberts
America Fiddles While California Burns
Forrest Hylton, Aaron Tauss and Juan Felipe Duque Agudelo
Remaking the Common Good: the Crisis of Public Higher Education in Colombia
Patrick Cockburn
What Can We Learn From a Headmaster Who Refused to Allow His Students to Celebrate Armistice Day?
Clark T. Scott
Our Most Stalwart Company
Tom H. Hastings
Look to the Right for Corruption
Edward Hunt
With Nearly 400,000 Dead in South Sudan, Will the US Finally Change Its Policy?
Thomas Knapp
Hypocrisy Alert: Republicans Agreed with Ocasio-Cortez Until About One Minute Ago
November 19, 2018
David Rosen
Amazon Deal: New York Taxpayers Fund World Biggest Sex-Toy Retailer
Sheldon Richman
Art of the Smear: the Israel Lobby Busted
Chad Hanson
Why Trump is Wrong About the California Wildfires
Dean Baker
Will Progressives Ever Think About How We Structure Markets, Instead of Accepting them as Given?
Robert Fisk
We Remember the Great War, While Palestinians Live It
Dave Lindorff
Pelosi’s Deceptive Plan: Blocking any Tax Rise Could Rule Out Medicare-for-All and Bolstering Social Security
Rick Baum
What Can We Expect From the Democrat “Alternative” Given Their Record in California?
Thomas Scott Tucker
Trump, World War I and the Lessons of Poetry
John W. Whitehead
Red Flag Gun Laws
Newton Finn
On Earth, as in Heaven: the Utopianism of Edward Bellamy
Robert Fantina
Shithole Countries: Made in the USA
René Voss
Have Your Say about Ranching in Our Point Reyes National Seashore
Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail