The Sex Partner as Commodity and the Logic of Objectification August 5, 2011Posted by Summerspeaker in Feminism, Technology, Transhumanism.
Hank Pellissier continues eir promotion of sexbots in a charmingly heterocentric IEET piece. The entire discussion implicitly assumes straightness and explicitly invokes stereotypical essential female characteristics such as nurturing. According to Hank and company, sexbots for women will of course mimic men because that’s what women want. They’ll want companions, because women never care about just sex. Sexbots will even be recruited into the service of the idealized monogamous marriage rather than queering things up. Reading the article is like walking through a carnival of horrors.
The sexbot as replacement for the supposedly required flesh-and-blood sex partner neatly extends the process of commodification that turns us all into objects. “You need a lover,” the marketing professional says, “but these humans, they’re just too much damn trouble! Buy our product instead. The market will solve everything.”
Sherry Turkle’s worries about sociable robots resonate here, despite glaring failure to connect the subject with the longstanding Enlightenment project of capitalist rationalization and mechanization. It’s dangerous and dehumanizing to substitute things for people.