Perhaps there was some fun to be had in such an eye-catching headline, and my earlier article presumed the audience was adults who had a mild to functioning sense of humor. This won’t walk back that thesis, however. Quite the opposite. This is a double down (DD) on the clear male incentives to produce more than subsistence-level goods, often for the benefit of women, when acquiring favors from those women is more difficult.
The number one response from those who love to read headlines and immediately shout “NO!” was a version of “Well, if that’s true Afghanistan would have cured cancer by now.” This response misses that saying “harder” is not a zero-boob statement. Let me explain with a familiar illustration to those who love freedom and the 20-plus years of prosperity the Reagan revolution brought this country. The curvy imagery is embedded into one of the mathematical secrets of prosperity.
As you can see, the preponderance of hypersexualized photos and videos of breasts all over the Internet can move men toward the prohibitive range. This coupled with the limited effort men need to apply to even have sex today with other single women has theoretically moved men to the grey zone.
Now, why would this this bad? Well, men have often been driven for a century to do great things like storm the beaches in Normandy, marry and raise families, and generally contribute to society in hopes of getting back to their wives or making a life for their intended. This might not be something to simply discard in the name of progress.
Female Beauty Requires Great Effort
Some other folks shouted, “But what about Bernini?” That’s a very valid point, that artistic depictions of the female breast and body coincide with the some of the West’s greatest eras. The important word there is depiction.
Since Bernini was highlighted as an example, let’s discuss. In the past men were so moved by female beauty that they would spend tons of productive energy creating breathtaking works of art like this sculpture of Apollo and Daphne by Bernini. This sculpture is meant to capture Apollo’s endless pursuit of Daphne, a woman he can never attain. Daphne, the ultimate single girl, has sworn off marriage.
In the stories of the past, men would attempt to move heaven and earth in pursuit of a woman. Today, they might swipe right. Of course, ancient depictions of the beauty of female bodies also required months, if not years, of intense work to produce, which is a completely different scenario than getting a high-school or college hottie to instantly text you topless photos.
Ancient art also elevates a woman’s body as something worth years of effort in pursuit, while pornified bodies degrade and commodify human beings as pixels to callously flip through and discard. One is a work of wonder we gaze at for centuries, the other a short-term amusement constantly replaced by the next titillating image. So while the boobs were evident in imagery in the past, they still were depicted through immense effort and even told the story of a man striving to woo a woman.
So, yes, breasts were visible in Rome, yet its images of women literally put the female form on a pedestal. Look, there’s actually a pedestal in the photo. Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian’s selfies already outnumber all the works of fine art in Rome. Again, the difference here is frequency, effort, and quality.
Men strove in the past to depict the human form elegantly and with reverence. Now everyone has the female form instantly available and those images rarely hold women with a similarly artistic and elevating eye.
Since We Can All Eat Fine, We Should Enjoy Sex More
In ancient societies, nearly all people lived at a subsistence level with very little leisure time compared to the twenty-first century. That really affects people’s basic motivations. Americans have all their basic needs covered now because of the last century’s amazing technological discoveries. This removes one major source of motivational drive since survival is often a given for people in the West. This should cause a shift in focus to higher-order needs such as sex.
Yet data now shows that proliferation of Internet pornography has become an increasingly low-cost marriage substitute for men. Studies have found that “increased Internet usage is negatively associated with marriage formation. Pornography consumption specifically has an even stronger effect. Instrumental variables and a number of robustness checks suggest that the effect is causal.” This definitely shows a correlation between peak cheap nudity and reduced social productivity among men.
Least surprisingly, the folks most angered by this article were self-proclaimed “feminists.” The scare quotes are for a reason. These people do real harm to women daily with their ill-formed thoughts, angry continence, and myopic obsession with looking for “sexism.” If anything, the original article was a bit sexist about men.
Presuming female nakedness has such massive effects oversimplifies men’s drive, of course, but men largely enjoyed the piece, laughed, and agreed that while sex is not their entire drive in life women do make men better. Ask any man how he knew his wife was the one, you will invariably get a story of how “she was different,” “she got the best out of me,” and “I knew I had to work hard on this one because she was special.” You’ll also usually get the truth that these women did make their husbands work harder than what they were used to, and you know what? The men liked it.
Those with zero humor—e.g., feminists—failed to see that “harder to see” was the key part of the statement. These are the same feminists with such poor conflict management skills that instead of having a dialogue they spend their day subtweeting screen shots. Way to support your fellow female there. Exhibit A:
If women want to know what’s holding them back, it’s feminists’ blinding insecurity, obsessive need to be a victim, and the lack of humility that allows one shrug off a joke. Perhaps take some guidance from men, none of whom passively-aggressively captured screen shots for a series of tweets. As Mollie Hemingway aptly put it:
The fairest point from some of the “feminists” was that using the example of Eric Clapton’s song “Layla,” which he made in pursuit of a then-unavailable and very married Pattie Boyd, may not have been a great example of modern artistic effort. I did so to shield feminists, who may have had a heart attack if we listed all the male accomplishments we benefit from today. It was a poor choice meant to protect those unable to accept that men’s productivity benefits us all and does not mean women must be condemned to a life of dishwashing or casserole assembly. Instead, think of how hard your dad worked to get your mom to marry him, and whether you too deserve that kind of pursuit.
We’ve had a great run as a human race, and the positive synergy between men and women has contributed significantly to that success. It’s in everyone’s interest to find a win-win for men and women, and folks should greatly worry when the two sexes are divided and at war rather than working together enjoyably for mutual benefit. After all, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing during sex itself, right?