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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 17, 2011
@stontree: Yes, I think there must be different versions of this post out there. I am looking for the one that says that men have "uncontrollable sexual urges". I did see where he talked about having unfulfilled sexual urges, but that is very different.

I have have unfulfilled urges of all kinds. I have had the urge to punch my boss before, but it wasn't uncontrollable (then again, maybe it was in uncontrollable in the sense that I couldn't control having the urge, I could only control the part about not acting on it).

I wonder how much different the responses to this post would be if Scott were talking about unfulfilled urges to punch your boss?
 
 
Jun 17, 2011
Actually, I think "Ondredea" almost nailed the root of the problem...

"instead of resolving problems at home and communicating with their spouse, they find it easier to tweet pictures of their junk and have sex with interns"

With the current divorce rate above 50%, and celebrities treating marriage like a revolving door, society is accepting that marriage is not a permanent institution anymore. Especially in the USA, where almost everything has become disposable, marriages are quickly following suit. People don't want to deal with the problem, they just want it to go away, but in reality, they are just making it worse.
 
 
Jun 17, 2011
See? See? This is what you get when you threaten men's balls.
 
 
-12 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
Mission accomplished, Scott. Me? Shooting for -1000?
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
I have made an interesting (to me) observation

When I read the comments to this blog, I always sort them by number of votes, from highest to lowest, because I have found that the less emotional, more cogent (and therefore more interesting (to me)) responses tend to get voted to the top (and I never have time to read all the comments, so I just read them downwards until they become mostly uninteresting)

Todays post is pretty much the opposite (with exceptions, of course)
Pretty much all the top comments seem to have been written largely in a state of outrage; the posts without outrage were pretty much voted down.
(And the number of votes assigned to specific comments were MUCH higher than what one normally gets on this blog)

I wonder why.
Was the site hi-jacked by a special interest group, or did Scott really touch on a raw nerve here?
 
 
-11 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
So, I re-read the original post. Where does Scott say rape is cool? Please, if anyone can find it in this blog post (the comments don't count), then let me know. Enough people have commented on it that I feal like I'm retarded. I mean, I read the post, and then I read it again, and the only instance of the word "rape" is where he suggests that chemically sterilizing men would result in "no rape", which I assume is a good thing. No rape is a good thing, right?
Is there something wrong with my brain? Is it skipping the word on purpose? Please, someone help me. Where does he say rape is cool?
 
 
-18 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
Scott, I hope you find all of these comments as amusing as I do. Why do so many readers forget that your blog posts are often simply thought experiments, and not your real opinions. They are litterally just a bunch of words that you put together to help put ideas in motion, and nothing more. When will people stop taking the internet so seriously?

Pro-tip: The internet isn't real life.

Scott, you are a very funny gentleman.
I know that most of this blog post was a joke, because I know you are married. And I also know that you are most likely the type of guy who wants to be married to a person he can actually have conversations with, which means your wife is most likely as smart as you are, if not smarter. And I am betting the topics you bring up with us have been brought up with her at some point. And if you *really* meant everything you posted on your blog, she would have chopped off your man-meat and left with half your stuff by now.

See that? Everything I wrote there? That was ALSO a joke. But I'm sure someone will think it is for reals and get pissed off at it. I'm calling it accidental trolling.
 
 
-53 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
This is fun!

You know the feminist website that brings the extra traffic overhere has COMMENT MODERATION, and so they do not publish comments that do not agree with them (it happened to me twice). They also do not have a rating system for their entries.

Do you know why this is?

Because they do not have the B A L L S for it!



I crack myself up.
 
 
-37 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
I think this post is aimed at the misinterpreters. Scott is too smart to say something that is so almost-horrific without it being deliberate. But it's interesting stuff all the same. In the same line of thinking, I've wondered why men cross-dressers don't try taking a little testosterone. I don't think they would miss the urge to dress like women once they get a little more manly in the way of thinking. But then, perhaps they would get stronger urges in other areas and had to take a downer (literally) pill for that..
 
 
+60 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
I have some problems with this post. Foremost, of course, is the implicit suggestion that men are "naturally" driven to sex up everything female, regardless of her desires. I can see where that's not exactly what he was saying, but he implies it in several places shortly after he says it's not what he means.

More disturbing for me, personally, is what appears to be the assumption that most women in monogamous relationships are non-sexual. There's also the assumption that lack of sex in a relationship is strictly the female's fault -- without any regard to changes a man might go through (lack of romance, etc) that might make it harder for a gal to get her blood pumping. A guy might be creative and passionate in the dawn of a relationship, but if/when that turns into mindless quickies that end with him rolling over and snoozing, a woman's need for passion is neglected.

Obviously, generalizations on either side of the fence are a bad idea. Not every guy turns the act of sex into two boring minutes of rutting, and not every woman becomes frigid once she enters into a long-term relationship. It's a matter of keeping things interesting and communicating. With politicians and otherwise "powerful" men, I think the problem tends to be that they're in positions where they have sex readily available to them -- instead of resolving problems at home and communicating with their spouse, they find it easier to tweet pictures of their junk and have sex with interns.

Rape, on the other hand, never enters into this picture. Rape isn't about sexual gratification, and as Mr. Adams has said, he's not (exactly) endorsing it.

Really, if anything, Mr. Adams seems to be saying that men are too lazy to resolve things at home, and that lack the brain power to find any alternative means than bumping uglies with the first willing woman that walks his way. I think that's the real reason this is getting so many negative reviews -- he's not only suggesting that most women lack any kind of sexuality, but he's also saying that men lack the ability to make things work. It's fairly ridiculous.
 
 
+58 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
Hey !$%*!$%* Last time I checked, I do have a Y chromosome, and yet somehow I don't have this "instinct" to rape, lie, cheat and tweet my dick to strangers. Maybe you should avoid generalising from your own situation?
 
 
+42 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
I understand the deeply philosophical point you thought you were making with this post. However, your understanding of human nature, is poor. We as humans have created our society as a way to separate us from the animals. So it's understandable that some of these "Natural Desires" that animals exhibit would be frowned upon in our society. However, men don't have these uncontrollable sexual drives like you've said. Personally, when I meet a female I don't immediately think "Hmm, I'd like to have sex with her." And neither have I had any uncontrollable desires to post images of my genitals on the internet, but maybe this is just a side-effect of being a teenager in modern society, maybe I'll grow into my sexual desires.

I see the point you wanted to make with this, that society immediately places the blame on males, blah blah. And to a point I agree, society does see males as natural predators, but for the most part males do not have uncontrollable sex drives. Most men don't ever think about raping a woman. Most men also don't have overwhelming sexual desires upon first meeting a woman, but like I said, maybe it's just me.

If this was a joke, it was very poor taste. I mean the topic isn't something anyone should make light of.
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
First of all I share your views about free will, i.e. it does not exist. People think they make decisions, but I think desicions are made by an organ called brain that follows the laws of physics.
Your conclusions are not the only possible outcome. Society could evolve to simply not judge the private lives of the rich and famous as long as there are no "victims", as long as all the parties involved are happy.
 
 
-27 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
Interesting how people read things that Scott didn't say, like "raping is a natural male urge". Also interesting to see that more and more people in the USA are becoming extreme hypocrites.

All Scott is really saying is that men have sexual drives that cannot freely be expressed (save for a few men that are actractive enough, like Robbie Williams). E.g. it is a fact that men will become s*xually aroused when introduced to a new woman, even if they have had s*x more then once with one woman and the drive was worn off already.



I estimate that 99% of the people who downrated this entry did not read it.
 
 
-5 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
Here's a related (6 minute) video of a talk on this topic from a man's perspective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWZODxiFhX8
 
 
Jun 17, 2011
(Just to clarify - yes I did say "misogynistic", and yes I understand that most people are taking objection to the apparent claim that men can't restrain their urges, and yes I realize there's an apparent contradiction there. I said "misogynistic" because Scott's extrapolation from his own desires to the natural desires of all men reveals some unpleasant things about Scott's desires, and to me that's the most troubling thing about the post. Others are free to something else more troubling. There's a lot to go around.)
 
 
-38 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
I can tell you Scott that you are going to get a lot of heat for saying this. The goal of the current philosophical movement is equality. To the point that Men and Women no longer are two genders. They want Men to act like Women and Women to act like Men. Only when Men loose their physical trait will they be satisfied.

The Feminists, the LGBT guys(?) are the exact outcome of this 'decadent' thought. If you can't change the fact that men and woman are different, them turn men into women, is their ideology.
 
 
+54 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
I think we all know that Scott's next post will be about how the rest of the Internet has taken him out of context and dogpiled on him for something that his regulars recognize as a random exploration of a provocative idea.

The thing is, Scott, at some point there IS enough context. If your random ideas keep heading in the same direction, then it's not unfair for people to attribute them to you. You can claim that you were just expanding on an idea for its own sake, but if you do it too often it just starts to sound like backpedalling, as people start to wonder why you're so eager to expand on THOSE particular ideas all the time.

You've lost the benefit of my doubt, Scott. You're misogynistic slime.
 
 
Jun 17, 2011
I generally enjoy reading Scott Adams, but sometimes his naivete is not charming, like right now. Generally, I find it a little hard to be mad at him because he's not even trying to make a sound argument most times, it's just an interesting, comedic way to look at things, driven strongly by a comedian's instinct.

Except that rape jokes are not funny. (And this is not special treatment -- global poverty jokes are not funny, AIDS jokes are not funny, slavery jokes are not funny, etc. And comedians generally understand this.)

Still, I thought I'd go through the post and comment on a few sentences that stuck out for me, since I feel like he doesn't quite deserve the negativity he's getting here.


"But in the end, you probably conclude that both animals acted according to their natures, so no one is to blame."

Blame is a complicated concept. It is bound deeply to our expectation of self-control, morality, and intelligence. Adams seems to be pushing something very naively biologically-deterministic and state-of-nature here, but...


"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."

This is quite nice, I think if everyone accepted this simple fact then we'd all be much better off. He should have stopped here.


"the natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal while the natural instincts of women are mostly legal and acceptable.

Ouch. Ignorance of about a century's worth of feminist issues, and more than that, just a simple lack of empathy with women. (As an aside, Adam's relative lack of empathy is something he's well aware of, and he does tend to try and compensate for things more serious than blog posts.)

I guess the short version of the criticisms against this is that he doesn't realize (1) how malleable these 'natural instincts' are, and (2) women's instincts (natural or not) have been held against them. A LOT.


"men are born as round pegs in a society full of square holes."

INTERESTING. While I can see how this is interpretable as "men but be free to rape and murder more!" it is generally true that the current social structure (the patriarchy, if you want, though I don't like that word) is not quite set up to make men happy. It tends to push them towards being emotionally stunted, aggressive, promiscuous, and predatory. (It tends to push women towards being sexually stunted, passive, conciliatory, emotional and cooperative.) That's a list of qualities I'd come up with to make each individual man effective in a certain type of environment, but not happy. (Not that it's set up to make women happy either, of course.)

And as we see, his solution to this is not "Rape should be legal. !$%* the women!"


"Consider Hugh Hefner."

Sooo much fail in this whole para. Do not generalize from celebrity evidence! Do not generalize from single data points! Hugh Hefner is interesting to analyze as a social phenomenon, but not as an example of a "typical male".


"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."

The problem, of course, is the word 'natural'. Take that out and he's correct. Many desires which are typically identified as male and cultivated in men, today, need to be policed.


"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."

It's not really a zero-sum game, again, because we took out the word 'natural' before. But as things stand right now, in many ways, it is a zero-sum game. I'm guessing what he's thinking of is the tired old cliche that men want sex and women want commitment. But it's a cliche because of a reason. I think it's true that if you raise people in a sexist society, many of those people are going to face zero-sum games in their personal relationships.


But now the conclusion, which is generally the whole point of these essays for Adams. He tries to make it something surprising and instinctually repulsive, and asks us to consider why we had that reaction.

"I think science will come up with a drug that keeps men chemically castrated for as long as they are on it."

And then he justifies why that wouldn't be so bad. This is interesting because it shows both: his ignorance of reality, and his open-mindedness about taboos.


So, overall, negatives: reinforces many sexual stereotypes, does not recognize the struggle women have gone through to get where they are, and seems unaware of the effects of benevolent sexism on women. Doesn't take his own thought experiment seriously enough: if we can make oxytocin and asexuality drugs, why not just make an orgasmotron? Surely everyone will be happy then.

Positives: does not shy away from the implications of biological determinism, decides that happiness and justice are more important than biological purity, and pushes for biological tinkering in order to achieve them.


Apologies for the length. This is why I lurk.
 
 
+53 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 17, 2011
Wow, who knew the creator of Dilbert is !$%*!$% crazy...

You learn something new every day.
 
 
 
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