Pharyngula

Don’t be surprised, though. It’s only natural.

Now consider human males. No doubt you have noticed an alarming trend in the news. Powerful men have been behaving badly, e.g. tweeting, raping, cheating, and being offensive to just about everyone in the entire world. The current view of such things is that the men are to blame for their own bad behavior. That seems right. Obviously we shouldn’t blame the victims. I think we all agree on that point. Blame and shame are society’s tools for keeping things under control.

The part that interests me is that society is organized in such a way that the natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal while the natural instincts of women are mostly legal and acceptable. In other words, men are born as round pegs in a society full of square holes. Whose fault is that? Do you blame the baby who didn’t ask to be born male? Or do you blame the society that brought him into the world, all round-pegged and turgid, and said, “Here’s your square hole”?

Let us consider the many stupidities he offers us.

“Raping, cheating, and being offensive” are “natural” to men. You know, I have never in my life felt even the slightest urge to rape anyone; I’d go so far as to say that I’d have to be forced to rape, would probably find myself physically incapable of the act, and would find violent assault to be incredibly unnatural. I’ve also never been tempted to cheat on my wife (that’s a little bit unnatural, but then she’s got magic powers). I confess, I can be offensive to people, but that’s just me — most people quail at the thought of offending others. So here we have some presumptions about men that are just plain false.

And what’s with this “natural” nonsense anyway? It’s meaningless. What he’s really doing is trying to justify bad behavior with the “well, everyone else is doing it” excuse. It’s a logical fallacy. It doesn’t work. It especially doesn’t work when everyone else isn’t doing it.

Then he whines about us poor pitiful men, whose “natural” instincts (to rape, apparently) are so restricted, while women just get to run riot and do whatever they feel like doing — “blame and shame” are almost never, ever applied to control women’s behavior.

Stop laughing so hard! I see you out there with my magic blog-o-vision, goggling unbelievingly at the very idea that women are unconstrained by societal conventions.

All Scott Adams has written is a plea to allow him to indulge his whims without condemnation, coupled with a presumably inadvertent admission that some of his whims are pretty damned repulsive. Sorry, guy, if you dream of harming fellow members of your culture, you’re going to be slapped down and told you don’t get to do that. Go live in a cave if you resent having to get along with others and respect their autonomy.

He also descends into comical self-pity. Here’s what he imagines the natural conclusion of his oppression by a society that won’t let him rape women will end.

Long term, I think science will come up with a drug that keeps men chemically castrated for as long as they are on it. It sounds bad, but I suspect that if a man loses his urge for sex, he also doesn’t miss it. Men and women would also need a second drug that increases oxytocin levels in couples who want to bond. Copulation will become extinct. Men who want to reproduce will stop taking the castration drug for a week, fill a few jars with sperm for artificial insemination, and go back on the castration pill.

We already have chemical castration drugs: cyproterone and medroxyprogesterone acetate, for instance. They aren’t big sellers for the pharmaceutical companies (well, the latter is used by women as a contraceptive, marketed as Depo-Provera, so that’s doing all right), but Viagra is a massive money-maker. There isn’t any political pressure to put cyproterone in our drinking water, either. His future is already here, and it doesn’t seem to have worked out exactly like he imagines.

It also seems that some of us men are living happy, rape-free lives with cheerful, unassaulted sexual partners, and are also engaging frequently in enthusiastic sex without feeling like society is forcing us to do something weird and unnatural, and also without feeling that our happiness can only come by causing our partners misery. Poor little Scotty. I get the impression that he doesn’t find his sex life all that satisfying.