It's been in the news recently that the scientists are getting ever closer to producing realistic sexbots. As of now, most of the available ones look pretty unappealing:
But the current prediction is that by the 2040's, much more realistic-looking androids which can actually hold a conversation with you will be available.
Feminists are against the idea of sexbots. Here is Dr. (of philosophy, not medicine) Kathleen Richardson arguing against them. To hear her speech, click on the "HERE" link to the Toronto conference.
Richardson suggests that the idea of sexbots doesn't come from loving relationships, but rather from prostitution.
(The idea of masturbation doesn't come from loving relationships either; does that mean it should be banned? And the idea of sexbots doesn't "come from prostitution" any more than the idea of one night stands comes from prostitution; all of these things simply arise from our innate sex drive.)
Richardson then says that the existence of child sexbots might encourage those who already harbor vague sexual leanings toward children.
(Sexbots modeled on children would violate all sorts of laws against child pornography in this country, and will never be available here. And all the evidence shows that it's awfully hard to change male sexuality: you can't convince an adult male to "become" a child molester anymore than you can "cure" homosexuality.)
Then Richardson says that prostitution is all about politics, and power. She then suggests helpfully that if someone had tried to lessen racism by inventing black robots for the white race to take out its anger and hatred upon, that that wouldn't solve the problem of racism at all.
(This is an incredibly strained analogy, as well as transparent virtue signaling. Richardson wouldn't have to stretch like this if she had solid arguments. And her premise is wrong to begin with: whites take out their "anger and hatred," i.e., commit violence, against blacks far less than vice versa.)
Richardson mentions multiple times that she is an empathetic person. At one point she says that her empathy extends to men who have a hard time forming relationships.
(But she doesn't suggest anything to help them.)
Richardson concludes by saying she is against the objectification of women, and that people who'd have sex with robots are essentially doing that.
(Sexbots represent the opposite of the objectification of women: the women-ification of objects.)
Then Richardson says that she is also against the objectification of men and boys, which she defines as the narrative that men are sexually driven creatures who can't control their own desires and who commit rape.
(Isn't the basic feminist premise that men are pigs? And whether or not men can control their own desires has nothing to do with whether sexbots ought to be allowed. And if in fact they can't, sexbots will allow an outlet for some of that steam, keeping real women safer.)
Her final conclusion is, we all need each other, and no one should be left behind.
(People only resort to this kind of boilerplate when they have nothing substantive to say.)
Or listen to this paragraph from male feminist Mitchell Blatt:
Sexbots don’t just demean women. Ultimately, they demean men in thinking that men are nothing more than base animals only interested in carnal desires. The idea that robots can replace humans relies on the idea that men aren’t interested in meaningful lives. (It is also a demeaning view of individual men who think of themselves as not being able to attract desirable women.)
(This is a curiously prudish, Victorian view of humanity, one that divorces mankind from the rest of the animal kingdom -- or, as Blatt puts it, "base animals." Plus, no one is suggesting that if you're interested in sex, that that's all you're interested in. I know plenty of men who desire meaningless sex to go along with their meaningful lives. And the fact is, some men aren't able to attract desirable women; that's simply realism. Should those men be forced to forego sex?)
Blatt also points out that a robot that looks like a woman is just a woman for men who don't like women.
(Actually, the robots are for men who really like women, but don't always have a willing partner available. And, the fact is, there do exist women who are either fussy, illogical, gold-digging, hysterical, self-centered, gossipy, or some combination of those things -- even if Mr. Blatt himself has never experienced them.)
Blatt also helpfully points out that machines can't replace people.
(Did anyone suggest that they can, for anything other than temporary sexual needs?)
And Blatt offers that an act of sex with a robot wouldn't be "meaningful."
(Who in the world ever suggested it would be meaningful? Does Blatt ever do anything but set up straw man arguments? And why does sex itself have to have a deep meaning? That tends to be the kind of thing people say when they haven't had much sex.)
But the ultimate argument against feminists who disapprove of sexbots is, what's the ethical difference between those and vibrators? Both are mechanical devices used for sexual pleasure. If a toy can give you pleasure, why ban it?
How exactly would feminists react if men suggested vibrators be outlawed?
Another feminist argument is that these sexbots will set unrealistic beauty standards that young women will feel unable to live up to. But don't dildos -- which never go soft, and come in extra large sizes -- set up unrealistic comparisons for men?
Also, don't feminists believe that what goes on behind closed doors is no one else's business, and that the government shouldn't poke its nose into anyone else's bedroom? Feminists call those who are not on board with the LGBTQ agenda intolerant. Why does that principle not apply here?