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If you have a round peg that doesn’t fit in a square hole, do you blame the peg or the hole? You probably blame neither. We don’t assign blame to inanimate objects. But you might have some questions about the person who provided you with these mismatched items and set you up to fail.

If a lion and a zebra show up at the same watering hole, and the lion kills the zebra, whose fault is that? Maybe you say the lion is at fault for doing the killing. Maybe you say the zebra should have chosen a safer watering hole. But in the end, you probably conclude that both animals acted according to their natures, so no one is to blame. However, if this is your local zoo, you might have some questions about who put the lions with the zebras in the same habitat.

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”?

The way society is organized at the moment, we have no choice but to blame men for bad behavior. If we allowed men to act like unrestrained horny animals, all hell would break loose. All I’m saying is that society has evolved to keep males in a state of continuous unfulfilled urges, more commonly known as unhappiness. No one planned it that way. Things just drifted in that direction.

Consider Hugh Hefner. He had every benefit of being a single man, and yet he decided he needed to try marriage. Marriage didn’t work out, so he tried the single life again. That didn’t work out, so he planned to get married again, although reportedly the wedding just got called off. For Hef, being single didn’t work, and getting married didn’t work, at least not in the long run. Society didn’t offer him a round hole for his round peg. All it offered were unlimited square holes.

To be fair, if a man meets and marries the right woman, and she fulfills his needs, he might have no desire to tweet his meat to strangers. Everyone is different.  But in general, society is organized as a virtual prison for men’s natural desires. I don’t have a solution in mind. It’s a zero sum game. If men get everything they want, women lose, and vice versa. And there’s no real middle ground because that would look like tweeting a picture of your junk with your underpants still on. Some things just don’t have a compromise solution.

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.

That might sound to you like a horrible world. But the oxytocin would make us a society of huggers, and no one would be treated as a sex object. You’d have no rape, fewer divorces, stronger friendships, and a lot of other advantages. I think that’s where we’re headed in a few generations.

 
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Jun 20, 2011
There are too many comments to check them all, so I don't know if this point has already been made. If not, I claim the prize for decoding Scott's message!

Over the last few months, he has posted a number of blogs describing how easily witch-hunts and smear campaigns take place over the internet through mis-quoting and quoting out of context. This is merely the latest of his experiments, which quite clearly prove his hypothesis as correct.

I wouldn't say the people posting counter-blogs are necessarily stupid, despite the quality of their posts; merely that they find the temptation of a fix of self-righteous indignation too much to resist.
 
 
+21 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 20, 2011
I'm wondering how many of these comments Scott wrote himself. The misogyny is breathtaking and it worries me how many apologists for such seem to be out there.
 
 
Jun 20, 2011
I'm wondering how many of these comments Scott wrote himself. The misogyny is breathtaking and it worries me how many apologists for such seem to be out there.
 
 
Jun 19, 2011
What kind of lazy idiot takes someone's word for it that you Meant one thing when you said another, and then signs a Hate petition? Here's a group that needs to be chemically castrated.
 
 
-5 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 19, 2011
I get it Scott! I wish I hadn't learned of your blog by way of a protest petition (wtf?). I'm just wondering what the hell these people, 95% of which probably haven't read anything except the manipulated exerpt, are trying to accomplish with their petition. Do they think you will ban yourself from posting on your own blog or maybe they want to have your comic license revoked. Whatever they think they are doing, I appreciate what you've had to say and I think the reaction is demonstrating just how horribly deficient our ability to communicate openly and honestly with each other has become. So many people are ready to attack and waiting to be offended. I will speak for myself in saying that this man, Michael Ponsler, is !$%*! all the time and I do believe that a natural desire or instinct to 'mate' is on my mind all the time. I'd like to say it is exacerbated by being newly single, but even prior to divorce my mind told me very often to just 'take her'. I might be talking about the waitress that just served me my breakfast sandwich and coffee or the hottie sunbathing in the neighboring back yard, but the point is it's there. The impulse and the desire have never left me. Even when I was serving as deacon in the church during services my mind, as much as I resented and begged god to remove the thoughts, would still be drawn to sexual desire. I agree it is instinctive to want to mate. Whether one acts on that instinct against a woman's will or not is a matter of environment and, can I say, training?
Society is a fickle beast! It's funny and acceptable if a comedian grabs an audience member's camera and snaps a pic of his junk. However, if a politician has private pic swaps with a woman through twitter then everybody throws their arms in the air like he's actually committed rape! Americans have to realize that elected officials are not cardboard cutouts of Moses or any of the saints. They are real people, they are us and they, too have human feelings, urges and real relationships with real issues just like the rest of us. Should we really recall politicians for their humanity? I don't mean to say that a rapist should not be punished severely, but I also don't see the logic in removing a politician from office for being a man!
 
 
-11 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 19, 2011
Scott does NOT say that rape is a natural instinct; he includes it as an example of "powerful men ... behaving badly".

The natural instincts he discusses are (human) male and female sexuality. While I don't agree with many of his conclusions or even many of his premises, I do appreciate some of what he says about society's expectations and pressures for people — especially men — to conform their sexual feelings to a defined "normal" or "moral" behavior. I have experienced those expectations and pressures, as I am certain many (most?) men have, if they are honest with themselves.

The people who are so quick to condemn Adams for his examination of society's treatment of sexuality and to judgmentally misinterpret what he has written are behaving in much the same way as religious fundamentalists and homophobic bigots do.

It's uncomfortable and provocative to explore attitudes toward sexuality; that is why it needs to be done with honesty, introspection, and empathy. Perhaps Adams' approach is too wry or outlandish for some people, but such is his style of inquiring into a wide range of social behaviors. The fact that sex is especially uncomfortable for so many people is hardly his fault — indeed, it is his point.

Maybe the tendency to so readily misinterpret and deplore what Adams has to say reveals that there is actually some truth in it.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 19, 2011
@astrosteve, why would you assume that it is not to be taken seriously? The author categories most if not all of his blogs as "General Nonsense" but has argued his point in some of those. Satire is normally obvious.
 
 
Jun 19, 2011
I understand what is being said here, and am absolutely flabbergasted at the number of people who are taking this article literally when it's clearly not intended to be taken literally. It blows my mind, it really does.
 
 
Jun 19, 2011
So I just read the two recent columns by Laura Hudson, and she's definitely an instigator. I didn't like at all how she put in selective quotes by Scott Adams, and then explained her interpretation of his words as his intended meaning without showing more quotes to back up those interpretations. So then I looked up Scott Adams' blog and read the actual "Pegs and Holes" article, and I seriously don't see it the same way that she did.

First off, his commentary on current events was accurate: there's been a developing trend in news since at least Clinton (going much further is getting a bit before my time of acquaintance with the media) to attack male sexual misconduct in politics and business with the media. There's no questioning his point that while a male's exposed sexuality causes the media's direct persecution, women's is treated differently- more specifically it's sensationalized, exploited and sold commercially. He specifically says that that seems fair since the male sexuality that is publicized usually victimizes people, saying:

"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."

He didn't say that 'rape' specifically was natural, he was saying that overt sexuality was in general (for both genders)- and almost specifically for males that includes rape (as well as cheating, flirting, etc). From there he really only tries to make the point that he believes the trend of restraining overt male sexuality by the media will ultimately lead us to a desexualized society, in order to eliminate the negative effects caused by outward sexuality, whether they are subjective OR objective- ultimately advocating *equality*. He finished by saying:

"That might sound to you like a horrible world. But the oxytocin would make us a society of huggers, and no one would be treated as a sex object. You'd have no rape, fewer divorces, stronger friendships, and a lot of other advantages. I think that's where we're headed in a few generations."

That's not condoning male sexual misconduct- it's admitting that it's a real thing with real consequences.

I think it's obvious he worded some things poorly considering the reaction it garnered once someone decided to call it out as anti-feminist, (just like it apparently happened a couple months ago- in the same way by the same indignant Laura Hudson- for an article that was once again spun ridiculously out of context) but I don't think he's given enough reason to actually conclude that he's particularly sexist- rather he is merely observant of realistic societal interaction and sometimes isn't good at avoiding ill-conceived interpretation.

As he's personally implied himself before, he's a far better cartoonist than a blogger.
 
 
Jun 18, 2011
The phrase "the way society is organized" is used at least three times in the article - with the implication that an unseen hand arranged things such that men are basically damned if they do and damned if they don't. Hasn't anyone noticed that MEN organized society? It didn't organize itself, did it? Women certainly have never had any significant role in saying how things were going to be. (I'm not talking about the "ha ha ha women have all the power ha ha ha" wink wink nonsense; I'm talking about the fact that women are not equally represented in government or corporate power structures - hell, they didn't even vote until this century. Point made.) So, if society didn't organize itself and if women didn't organize it, then who did? Men. Why would men sabotage themselves? Is this article simply a joke? It certainly does not stand up to scrutiny and its main argument is based on false premises and has no solid logical structure. It is either a whine or a joke. I wonder which.
 
 
Jun 18, 2011
Can I assume you've read this story?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welcome_to_the_Monkey_House_(short_story)

Vonnegut was way ahead of you.
 
 
Jun 18, 2011
Men have some making up to do... Society has told women that their pleasure was not needed, just the fact that they could make babies, for thousands of years. And now men are all complaining - once women have a choice - that they aren't getting laid. Maybe if you took more time and used some imagination?

Ah! But women are the frigid ones? Most of the women I know enjoy sex and complain about their husband's infrequent desire.

Biologically men may be hardwired to have sex and breed with as many women as they can. But then why aren't women programmed to bend over and mew while they ovulate? Seems like a counterintuitive mistake. Ah, but "mother" nature wasn't thinking when she made all the square holes and now the round pegs are just not at all wide enough. If society oppresses the natural male desire to chugalug than it must be creating a woman's aversion to it as well? Don't kid yourselves fellows... Women don't like sex because of ... YOU. You want it? You do it right. Homeboy. For real. And don't forget to wash behind your ears after!
 
 
+83 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 18, 2011
Okay, here lies the problem. Scott states, "Powerful men have been behaving badly, e.g. tweeting, raping, cheating, and being offensive to just about everyone in the entire world." and then in the next paragraph states, "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." Now, if you, Scott, believe that "tweeting, raping, cheating," etc. are "natural instincts of men" then you need to be called out. And if this is intended to be a joke, it's not a very good joke is it? Internet humor is not the same as stand-up comedy.
 
 
Jun 18, 2011
But sex and rape are very different things. If I want to have sex with someone and I discover they don't want to have sex with me my wish to have sex doesn't magically transform into a wish to rape. If it did it wouldn't be natural male instincts taking over it would be psychopathic instincts taking over.
 
 
-20 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 18, 2011
I read this blog entry when it was out.
Today I came back to the blog and saw it has -1000 or so votes. I thought “Wow people really don’t like the idea of chemical castration !”. So I read part of the comments (yes, I admit it only part of them: around 80). Then I read the blog entry again since I was not recalling reading in the blog most of what the comments were about.

So, malheureux cloportes bouffis d’ingratitude aveugle et d’ignorance crasse, could someone point me to the sentence in this blog where Scott says that we should let men rape women ? Or where does he says something mean about women ? Please ? No, I mean really I would like that because it would need you to actually read correctly ce putain de blog !
Citing Scott: “… we have no choice but to blame men for bad behavior. If we allowed men to act like unrestrained !$%*! animals, all hell would break loose…”

I think that we can list as men instincts: the need for sex, the need for power, to sum it up the need for domination by any way. We can list as women “instincts” the need for children and family unit and socialization. Yes this is a generalization, but a lot of you did not read correctly the blog that was not that long, how much would have read a blog entry describing every psyche in the world ? And is Scott saying anywhere that man don’t want a couple or don’t need tenderness ? But the sexual needs among others are those which can’t be fulfilled in our society and that’s what he is talking about. The point is not to list every need a man has.

And actually I think the problem is not men versus women. How is treated, especially in England or the USA, a woman that acknowledge her sexual urges and act about it ? Sure she will find a round hole for her round peg, since she will always find a man to satisfy this kind of needs, but that would be a round hole with spikes ! It itches afterwards.

Finally, when I read “I am a man and I don’t have any sexual urges” I see where you were wrong, Scott. We won’t need drugs to solve this. The pressure on this topic is so high that men will be taught, as women were taught for centuries, to forget their urges. For my part I am a man and, as everyone I know that is below 60, I have sexual urges even if I don’t act about it for the reasons Scott listed. I sometimes even have involuntary hard-ons being with a sexy woman. Maybe it’s because I am French.
 
 
-37 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
You know Scott's written something awesome when it's approaching four digit negatives.
 
 
Jun 17, 2011
EMU:
Your logic is compelling, though I hesitate to agree that marriage is bad for relationships.

Marriages are work, and it requires a concerted effort of both husband and wife to make certain that neither are taking each other for granted in ways that lead to neglect. Yes, a married person (man or woman) takes for granted that they have a spouse at home who loves them. There is a tacit assumption that your spouse will always love you no matter what you do, but I think that over the years, the sense of appreciation for your husband or wife tends to diminish.

This probably has a lot to do with perspective. At the beginning of the marriage, we're in awe of our partner, that someone we love and respect so much will be with us forever. As the years progress, the awe diminishes and we're no longer seeing our spouse as actual people. They're the old lady/man -- ye olde ball and chain, as it were. It requires a joint effort and hard work to keep from falling into that sort of complacency.

Despite our differing opinions, I am grateful to have heard this argued from a guy's point of view. If/when I ever do decide to tie the knot, it's good to know that men have as much of a desire to feel appreciated and not taken for granted as women do. It's easy to fall into the trap of "men/womens' needs" and lose sight of "human needs."
 
 
+102 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
> natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal while the natural instincts of women
> are mostly legal and acceptable.

This is the part that bothers me.

I accept that the Scott has a valid opinion regarding some the political fallout from, say the Weiner scandal (I too find the whole thing ridiculous), and I even accept that oft times in these sorts of cases things are much mroe complicated than just "oh what an awful man." And while I accept that Scott put the whole "rape/tweeting as natural urge" thing up there in a misguided attempt to be funny, or possibly just as link-bait, it's this men-as-victims thing which doesn't seem to be a joke, and is just...irritating. As though Women in western society control everything and are hell-bent on stripping every last ounce of maleness from the world.

Right. Because nowhere in western society do we ever blame-n-shame women for following their "urges."

Certainly words like !$%*!$ are completely meaningless and have no power to shame. And certainly there wasn't any revelation in the news that women who had children out of wedlock were sent to church-run prisons in Ireland as late as the mid-70's. And what with Women dominating government and business and religion, it's hard for a dude to catch a break.

Please.

It's all just some dude whining again about how he doesn't get to do whatever he wants because those dang women/gays/minorities/[insert group] are getting uppity and asserting that they too might be human equals with rights.

I heard all these whiny arguments from troglodytes back when I was in high school. I really expected better.

[If you ever leave the 70s, you are welcome here. -- Scott]
 
 
-31 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
Too funny Scott!

I don't know whether to consider you a puppet master or a master troll!

Either way thanks for the grins.
 
 
Jun 17, 2011
EMU:

I can see where you're coming from -- there's not often time in daily life to make time for the long, drawn out process of the candles-and-roses sort of romance, and it can rack up an expensive bill over time. However, I still think we're both at risk of falling into stereotypes. Really, I was defeating my own point by generalizing and implying that guys generally are reduced only to mindless quickies.

I argue that the candles-and-roses type of romance is a bit misleading. Foreplay doesn't have to be about drawn-out atmospheric props like wine and bubble bath. I think the core of it can be reduced to psychology -- candles and roses communicate that you're thinking of your wife, that you want to do something special for her, and that she is meaningful to you. Really, a simple text message telling her that she looks amazing can have a similar effect. I'm not going to get into a Cosmopolitan-esque list, but in my experience with the women I know, the biggest libido-killer is feeling like they're being taken for granted.

Yet I digress. To get back to the point, I think the real temptation for cheaters (not Men, but the subset of men that are Cheaters) is novelty. Things have become routine and boring at home, and the excitement of having something new and different is deeply tempting. When things get to this point, it's incumbent upon both partners to talk with one another about the health of their sex life. Unfortunately, our society has decided that talking to your partner about sex is somehow taboo and disgusting, so things are left unsaid and they both go unsatisfied. Honestly, I think that a lot of couples might want to look at how things were back when they were first got together and see what's missing.

I did laugh at the cartoon you linked. It does tend to be what happens if couples don't talk things out. Then again, there are some women who really feel that way and tend to make outrageous emotional demands, just as there are some men who prefer two minutes of something that is not boring for them, but may leave their partner unsatisfied. It takes all sorts.
 
 
 
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