Sunday, June 30, 2019

Who Should Feed the Dog?

Just in case you believe that I am picking on Carolyn Hax, here she offers a cogent response to a letter ... as opposed to the less than good response she offered to the letter writer quoted in the previous post. See previous post.

Here we have yet another young woman who is persuaded that men and women are the same thing. Somehow or other she has come to believe that a woman need but tell a man what to do, and that he ought naturally to do so. 

So, she gives him instructions. He says that he has heard what she said. He does not do what she asked him to do. She keeps insisting. He keeps ignoring her commands. 

Evidently, she does not understand that if a tactic is not working it should be discarded.

Here is the letter:

I love my boyfriend with all my heart; he's smart, funny and takes great care of me. Like any couple we have our pet peeves, but his not listening to me strains our relationship more than anything.

For example, this morning I told him he needed to feed the dog because I had to leave early. On my way out, I again told him he would need to feed the dog, and he replied that he understood. Four hours later, he asked me if I fed the dog this morning.

It would be one thing if it were every once in a while, but, Carolyn, it's every day. He acknowledges he has problems remembering things, but I feel like he's making it my problem, not his.

My mother used to leave little to-do lists around the house, and I really resented it — like it was her indirectly saying I'm too stupid to remember things. I don't want my boyfriend resenting me for the same thing. I already feel like the nagging girlfriend, and I hate it.

Am I asking too much personal responsibility from my perfectly capable adult boyfriend?

Of course, she is not asking for him to take personal responsibility. In principle, feeding the dog is her responsibility. She gets up too late, fails to fulfill her responsibility, and falls back on telling him to do so. We do not know whether he works. It appears that she is the one who is going to work… which is a problem in its own right. Perhaps she is expressing her dismay over his indolence by making an issue of dog feeding.

Note, this apparently happens every day. That means, she fails to feed the dog on a daily basis. Which makes her derelict. She does not think that maybe she should try to figure out how to get ready on time for work. And besides, how much time does it really take to feed a dog?

I recommend that they hire a dog walker and pay the dog walker to feed the dog before walking it. See, it wasn't that difficult.

I will quote Hax, though her first paragraph makes no sense:

No, of course it is not too much to ask of a perfectly capable adult that he be personally responsible for the dog. It is, however, too much to ask that his responsible behavior look exactly like your responsible behavior.

The second paragraph is better… where she calls out the letter write for her obstinacy:

Just as it was a bit obstinate of your mom to stick to her way (written instructions) when another way (verbal) suited you better, it’s a bit obstinate of you to stick to your way (verbal instructions) when another way (written) might suit your boyfriend better.

Finally, Hax concludes with a message that all women, especially all liberated women, should take to heart. Men are not the same as women. Men do not respond well to receiving commands from women. You might think this is bad. You might think that this is ideologically deviant. No one likes it. Still, it’s reality.

This is also bigger than the dog and written vs. verbal instructions. You’re living with your boyfriend, not a copy of yourself. Any time you can base your expectations of him on who he really is — and when who he really is doesn’t drive you out of your mind — you’ll advance the cause of your relationship immeasurably. Though the dog will be grateful as well.

How to Kill a Relationship

If you are looking for relationship advice, you have come to the right place. Or so I like to think. The woman who wrote to Carolyn Hax a bunch of years back did not go to the right place. She asked a serious question and received the kind of advice that any good denizen of the therapy culture would have offered. That is, she got some bad advice.

I will quote the letter, in its entirety. I am confident that you know what Hax responded. And that you know that it was bad advice.

Here is the letter:

I have finally met a guy I really like. We have been seeing each other on and off for a couple of months. Should I ask where this relationship is going or just see where it takes us? I have been raised to believe the guy should bring up stuff like that. I'm worried that if I say I would like to be exclusive I might scare him off.

She is worried that she might scare him off. She is right to be worried that an assertive lean-in attitude will scare him off. In almost all relationship situations, open and honest is a bad idea. She is right.

Hax sees it differently. She writes:

I was raised that way, too, but then reconditioned to believe that if honesty kills your relationship, then it was already dying of natural causes.

“Where is this going?” still lays it on him. Asking to be exclusive is honest, and also such a compliment that it would be a shame to withhold it out of fear that he might not agree.

No, of course, she should not ask him where it is going. They have been seeing each other on and off for a couple of months. And she wants something like a commitment. Hax seems to believe that she should ask, but does not understand that asking where it is going does not really lay it on him. 

Those of us who have reached the age of adult reason understand, by the laws of Darwinian theory, that women become more committed emotionally to a man sooner than a man becomes committed to a woman. I will spare you the explanation, but you should understand that when a man and a woman mate they are not performing the same action.

What Hax sees as honesty bespeaks desperation… and an unwillingness to deal with a human specimen with a different emotional constitution. It is not a compliment when a woman becomes desperate and clingy. Many men find it suffocating. Many find that they are dealing with a pushy woman who is depriving them of the right to make up their own minds.

The key to understanding male/female relationships is to know that a man will give a woman anything she wants, but only if he believes that it’s his idea. If a woman is not clever enough to figure out how to communicate without couching her desperation in a cloak of false honesty, she needs some dating lessons. 

If you don't like that, ask yourself this, do we want her to get what she wants or do we want her to make a psycho point?

As for the big question, how she can persuade her paramour to be more closely committed to her, the solution might be for her to be slightly less available for him. Note that she says they are seeing each other on and off… this means that they are not yet a constituted couple… in his mind.

If she wants to regain some control over the situation she should take a step back. Otherwise, if she wants her relationship to have a higher level of commitment, perhaps she should demonstrate a higher level of commitment herself… by cooking him dinner. 

Anti-Semitism in Once-Great Britain

Yesterday, a fascist mob attacked journalist Andy Ngo in Portland, OR, sending him to the emergency room. Police stood by while it was happening. Apparently, they are on the side of the Antifa fascists. Obviously, the Justice Department needs to take action against the mayor of Portland.

So, fascism is on the rise. Only, it is coming from the left. Now, from Once-Great Britain we learn of a novelist named Richard Zimler, who is being excluded from cultural events because… he is Jewish. This means, for those who are unfamiliar with cultural reality, that the BDS anti-Semites are likely to be triggered by the presence of a Jew. And that British authorities happily bow down to the demands of the anti-Semitic left.

The Guardian has the story:

A bestselling novelist says he has been dropped from two literary events in the UK in recent weeks because he is Jewish.

Richard Zimler, whose latest book The Gospel According to Lazarus was published in April, said two cultural event coordinators had terminated negotiations on publicising his new novel because they feared a backlash from anti-Israel campaigners. Zimler has no connections with or family in Israel.

The author’s personal publicist, who asked not to be named, confirmed that two literary organisations had pulled out of initially enthusiastic discussions about events with Zimler. They feared his Jewishness would alienate Palestinian sympathisers among their clientele and could result in protests, the publicist said.

And, let’s not forget the British Labour Party. Under the unenlightened leadership of notable anti-Semite Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party has made anti-Semitism respectable… and has made being Jewish a triggering offense:

Friends in the UK had suggested that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign and the reluctance of the Labour party to take a firm stand against antisemitic discourse had contributed to an “atmosphere of fear”.

Zimler says: “If cultural organisations are afraid of hosting events for Jewish writers, then Britain has taken a big step backwards.”

He points out that his most well-known books are set in Portugal and Poland. His latest novel is set in the Holy Land, but 2,000 years before the creation of the state of Israel.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Down with Capitalism

You have to wonder what world these people are living in. Which people am I talking about? Well, the radical left in Great Britain. Happily, the Guardian has given us a glimpse into the way British leftists have been thinking. Evidently, the American left, led by notable imbeciles like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does not know how to think. So, if we want to examine the mind of the left, we turn to Andy Beckett in the Guardian.

To Beckett’s eyes, today's problems are all about capitalism’s cruelties:

For almost half a century, something vital has been missing from leftwing politics in western countries. Since the 70s, the left has changed how many people think about prejudice, personal identity and freedom. It has exposed capitalism’s cruelties. It has sometimes won elections, and sometimes governed effectively afterwards. But it has not been able to change fundamentally how wealth and work function in society – or even provide a compelling vision of how that might be done. The left, in short, has not had an economic policy.

Does Beckett utter the least word about the record of socialist economies? Not a one. Does he have anything to say about the tens of millions of people who starved to death under socialism? No, sir, he does not. Does he try to explain why nations around the world, beginning with China, have been turning to capitalism after their failed experiments with socialism? No, ma'am, he does not. 

He emphasizes capitalism’s cruelties, without saying a word about the fundamental dysfunction built into economies that fulfill his wet dream of worker control, of environmentally friendliness, of greater government regulation. It’s nice to say that workers should have a say in the running of companies-- it is not an alien notion-- but what does Beckett think of the Venezuelan oil industry, taken over by the government, no longer being run by American oil executives. The result: a nation with boundless oil reserves cannot produce enough petroleum to feed its people. 

He makes no mention of the many companies that offer their workers stock and stock options.

This to say that the denizens of the left are burdened by their own conspicuous moral failing. They refuse to accept the verdict of history. They refuse to accept that their policies, put into practice, produce either starvation and desolation or stagnation. They are still fighting the good fight against capitalism, but they refuse to acknowledge that the free enterprise system fed the people of China, while socialism starved them. I realize that that is a bit stark for their minds, dazed and confused by their lofty ideals, incapable of recognizing that their gods failed, but such is the truth.

And after all, Great Britain did not turn to Margaret Thatcher because its earlier forays into socialism were working so well. They turned to Thatcher because Labour policies were failing. Today, they are dying to bring Labour back into power, but have nothing to say about the simple fact that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party is infested with anti-Semitism. And that it supports Islamist terrorism. Do they really believe that Hamas and Hezbollah are models for good economic policy?

Beyond that, the new leftist thinkers ought to understand that capitalism in the West, certainly not in America, is currently overregulated. Eight years of Obama saw stagnant economic growth, because, in large part, of crippling regulations. And let’s not forget that the American capitalist economy is currently hobbled by an excess of bureaucratic regulators, lawyers, environmentalists, and diversity activists. The problems with capitalism were created in some considerable part by the effort to reign in capitalism.

And let’s not forget that the current system is running on debt, on an excess of borrowed money. And let’s not forget that the new tech economy is so complicated that allowing armies of the unemployed to make decisions about tech innovation will surely damage its competitiveness in the world.

Anyway, Beckett conveniently blames all of today’s economic woes on capitalism. He does not, for example, blame any of it on the Brussels bureaucrats who are running the European union.

And yet, in recent years, that system has started to fail. Rather than sustainable and widely shared prosperity, it has produced wage stagnation, ever more workers in poverty, ever more inequality, banking crises, the convulsions of populism and the impending climate catastrophe. 

Really… in the United States unemployment rates are lower than they have ever been. Jobs are going begging because there are not enough qualified workers to do them. By the laws of supply and demand, more jobs with fewer applicants produces wage growth, not wage stagnation. Banking crises are produced when government spend beyond their means. As for climate catastrophe-- the new Guardian working-- the left trots this out as a reason to repeal the Industrial Revolution and return us all to the state of nature. And yet, serious climate scientists, like Richard Lindzen, formerly of MIT, do not believe that the climate apocalypse is looming on the horizon. Imbeciles like AOC do, but what does that tell us?

Remember when activist politician AOC got involved in the Amazon proposal to open a giant hub in Queens? How did that one work out for the people of Queens?

I am not saying that government has no place in the mix. I am certainly not saying that we do not need an industrial policy. But we need an industrial policy that will enhance economic growth, not one that will sacrifice wealth creation to the goddess of Nature.

The new leftists envision a world where workers decide, and where the general population decides… just as they do in Venezuela. 

To show how it can work, Beckett trots out the example of Cleveland, OH. He does not mention the many American cities that are and have always been run by leftist politicians. He has nothing to say about the horror of living in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore et al. In large part they are disaster areas, divided between the rich and rest. Such is the result of leftist policy, dictated by the people.

So, he trots out Cleveland:

In Cleveland, the Democracy Collaborative helped set up a solar power company, an industrial laundry, and a city-centre hydroponic farm growing lettuces and basil. All three enterprises were owned by their employees, and some of their profits went to a holding company tasked with establishing more cooperatives in the city. All three enterprises have succeeded, so far. The goal of the project was summed up in blunt, almost populist terms by one of the Democracy Collaborative’s co-founders, Ted Howard, in 2017: “Stop the leakage of money out of our community.” Yet “community wealth building” also has a more subtle purpose: it is a concrete demonstration that economic decisions can be based on more than neoliberalism’s narrow criteria.

There you have it… leftists set up a solar power company, an industrial laundry and a farm growing lettuce and basil. We have no problem with these companies. I suspect that an industrial laundry does not clean up industry, but still clean clothes are a good thing.

But, do you think that this is the model for a thriving and functioning economy, one that is going to compete on the world stage? Is that America’s future, being a world leader in hydroponic farming while the rest of the world innovates in technology? Is it the most economical way to produce basil? What does not market have to say about downtown Cleveland basil? Does it sell? Can it sustain itself economically? After all, we know that renewable energy plants cannot sustain themselves without extensive subsidies... and that West Germany, having shut down all of its dirty energy plants, like nuclear, is now burning more and more coal.

What Is a Megetable?

Hat’s off to Arby’s. They still have the meats.

Most recently, they invented a new dish, called a megetable.

While our woke chefs are working day and night to produce a burger made entirely of vegetables but that tastes just like meat, Arby’s has outdone them by producing a dish that looks like a carrot and tastes like a carrot. Except that it’s really made of turkey. Thus it is chock full of animal protein.

Arby’s has understood that there’s a limit to this current mania about eating a totally vegetable diet. It knows that there can be too much of a good thing.

Since we all know that you are what you eat, if you eat too many vegetables you are likely to become a vegetable. And we don’t want that, do we?


Friday, June 28, 2019

Socialism, Scandinavian Style

Today’s Democratic Socialists, beginning with Bernie Sanders, were not smart enough to see through the massive con that was the Soviet Union. They were not smart enough to see the damage that Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro were going to visit on oil rich Venezuela. And yet they continue to think of themselves as superior intellects. They ought to climb down from their high horses and take a few steps into the real world.

For all of their bluster and zeal, they are merely trying to save face.Incapable of admitting to error they want to foist bad policy on America… because it would make them feel vindicated. Considering how badly they missed the truth about socialism, they want us to believe that we did not really understand them.

They loved the Soviet Union, supported Castro’s Cuba and Maduro’s Venezuela, and now they tell us that what they really want is to turn American into Scandinavia. You know about Scandinavia, made up of racially homogeneous nations with miniscule populations. Better yet, Scandinavian nations do not need to bother themselves over national defense. They are living under the American defense umbrella. If they ever needed to defend themselves, they would instantly surrender. It is fair to note that some of them, Sweden especially, have admitted far more Muslim migrants than they can handle, thus provoking social unrest, criminal gangs, rape culture and bombings. But, hey, they have free medical care for all... In truth they don't have free medical care for all, but don't tell Bernie.

Be all that as it may, Charles Lane has explained the truth about Scandinavian. (via Maggie's Farm) As you might guess a fraud like Bernie Sanders happily touts the virtues of a system that would not be practicable in the United States… even though he does not understand how it functions. Like Comrade de Blasio, Sanders believes that the nation contains limitless financial resources. Neither of these socialist phonies understand how much debt undergirds America’s prosperity.

Lane opens his Washington Post column by asking just how socialist Scandinavian nations really are:

Drawing on data from the World Bank, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development and other reputable sources, the report shows that five nations — Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands — protect property rights somewhat more aggressively than the United States, on average; exercise less control over private enterprise; permit greater concentration in the banking sector; and distribute a smaller share of their total income to workers.

Copy the Nordic model if you like, but understand that it entails a lot of capitalism and pro-business policies, a lot of taxation on middle class spending and wages, minimal reliance on corporate taxation and plenty of co-pays and deductibles in its healthcare system,” the report notes.

While Sanders rails against Wall Street bankers-- a dog whistle for those who know which ethnic group is associated with bankerly venality-- Scandinavian countries allow the banking segment greater power.

Sanders and AOC and their ilk want to tax wealth. One does not have any moral misgivings about confiscating the major part of the wealth of people like George Soros and Bill Gates, but Scandinavian nations provide generous welfare benefits mostly by taxing the middle class… through a value added tax.

Sanders and other left-leaning Democrats promise to pay for tuition-free college and Medicare-for-all with higher taxes on the top 1 percent of earners. Most Nordic countries, by contrast, have zero estate tax. They fund generous programs with the help of value-added taxes that heavily affect middle-class consumers.

For the record, France also has a value added tax to pay for its generous health care system. It also has unemployment that hovers around 9%.

The Nordic health care plans have high deductibles and co-pays… roughly like Obamacare. Sanders pretends that it will all be paid for… God knows how.

The Nordic countries’ use of co-pays and deductibles in health care may be especially eye-opening to anyone considering Sanders’s Medicare-for-all plan, which the presidential candidate pitches as an effort to bring the United States into line with European standards.

His plan offers an all-encompassing, government-funded zero-co-pay, zero-deductible suite of benefits, from dental checkups to major surgery — which no Nordic nation provides.

The Netherlands’ health insurance system centers on an Obamacare-like mandate to buy a private plan; individuals face an annual deductible of $465 (as of 2016), according to the Boston-based Commonwealth Fund.

Lane continues to explain health care spending. He busts the illusion that people in these countries pay much less than we do out-of-pocket:

Dutch consumers’ out-of-pocket spending on health care represented 11 percent of total health expenditures in 2016, according to the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker — the same percentage as in the United States. In Sweden, meanwhile, out-of-pocket spending accounted for 15 percent of health expenditures. Who knew?

As of yesterday, after Lane wrote his column, the Democratic presidential contenders all want to provide free health care to illegal immigrants. Do Scandinavian countries do the same? Glad you asked:

We have to join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all, including the undocumented,” Sanders said last month at a presidential forum hosted by immigrant-rights groups in California.

Actually, none of the Nordic countries enroll undocumented immigrants in their national health plans on equal terms with citizens and legal residents. Generally speaking, the countries provide acute care to undocumented adults, and full care to children, on an ad hoc basis. This is not unlike the United States, which provides billions of dollars’ worth of health care to undocumented people through various channels, public and private. In Denmark, private charity covers those who are undocumented.

Lane concludes:

American socialists’ enthusiasm for the northern European systems may be sincere. We shall see whether it can withstand full and accurate information about how those systems actually work.

Don’t hold your breath.

Eroding Your Freedom to Choose

Free to choose… however it's applied, we all believe, as an article of secular and religious faith, that we have the right to exercise our freedom. We are free to vote as we wish. We are free to live where we want. We enjoy freedom of association… with friends and even lovers. We are free to choose our spouses. 

So, you would think that we are free to choose with whom we socialize and whom we date. You would be wrong. Thanks to a dimwitted psychologist named Karen Blair, writing in Psychology Today (via The Federalist and Maggie’s Farm) people are making a big mistake in choosing whom to date… and presumably in choosing whom to marry.

For reasons that psychologist Blair cannot fathom, men and women, called cisgendered in the woke vocabulary, are unjustly refusing to date transgendered individuals. Somehow or other your son does not want to date an individual who has XY chromosomes but who declares him/herself to be a woman.

Now, obviously, according to the psycho theorists, your son has a problem. We will need a massive propaganda effort to persuade him to change his dating preferences. You will note that we already have a massive amount of propaganda directed toward producing transgenderism. About that, no problem. About your son’s heterosexuality… he’s a bigot.

Now, that solves the problem, right. And you have lost a little more of your freedom.

Blair explains her research:

Imagine for a moment that you were to find yourself looking for a new partner at some point in the near future. Perhaps you would turn to a popular dating app and begin filling out your dating profile in hopes of finding "the one." In the process of doing so, you'd likely be asked to indicate your gender and the genders of others that you would be interested in dating. Under these hypothetical circumstances, which of the following people would you consider as a potential dating partner (check all that apply):
  • a cisgender1 woman
  • a cisgender man
  • a transgender woman
  • a transgender man
  • a person with a non-binary gender identification
Recently, my colleague and I asked this question of just under 1,000 participants and we published our findings in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Our results indicated that 87.5% of the participants who were asked this very question only checked off the cisgender options and excluded transgender and non-binary individuals from their hypothetical dating pool.

Given the extent of the propagandizing about gender identity you would think that the propagandists would have had greater success in persuading people that chromosomes matter less than belief. Apparently, when it comes to choosing a prom date or choosing who to spend Spring Break with, biology still retains pride of place.

Blair does not really consider the social consequences that will befall your son if he shows up at the prom with Caitlyn Jenner on his arm.

You will note that Blair never considers the feelings of anyone but the trans community. She understands, as most trans people do, and as trans people have themselves explained, that transitioning is most likely lead to being shunned socially. As for whether or not a man will date a trans woman… be serious.

It's really not an inconsequential question. For many of my trans friends, the question of whether or not someone will date them after they transition or come out often weighs heavily on their mind. After all, relationships are one of our most important sources of social support. Indeed, our relationships play an important role in our overall mental and physical well-being and our relationships are a better predictor of how long we'll live than smoking or obesity! But, if very few people are willing to date trans people, what does this mean for their health and well-being? 

As it happens, a very large majority of the children who believe themselves to be transgendered change their minds upon reaching puberty. Now, however, transgender activists want them to be shot up with puberty blocking hormones-- thus, mutilated and sterilized-- the better to ensure that they will not be free to choose to embrace their chromosomal truth.

Being mentally challenged herself Blair wants to know why people make these decisions:

The published study did not ask participants for the reasons behind their responses, so future research is needed in order to understand more about what leads to inclusion or exclusion. For example, some may only want to date people whom they can procreate with (although, we don't usually request proof of fertility from prospective partners who are cisgender), others may not fully understand what a trans identity means or entails within a dating relationship, and some may hold negative views towards the transgender community. 

Blair is so completely brainwashed that she imagines that anyone who does not want to date a transgender individual has a problem. And she wants to do research to figure out why your son refuses to date the transgendered. We know where this is leading: he is eventually going to be deprived of his freedom to choose. The State, such as it is, will soon be arranging relationships and marriages that include the transgendered.

Blair thinks that insight and education-- that is, indoctrination-- will solve a problem that is not really a problem:

Improving general knowledge and understanding concerning the diversity of gender identities and what each identity means may go a long way in increasing inclusion. Furthermore, increasing accurate media representations of trans and non-binary people, as well as finding ways to increase contact may also be promising, as other research has found that contact with, and additional knowledge about, transgender individuals can effectively reduce trans prejudice

By her reasoning, anyone who refuses to date a transgender individual is, ipso facto, a bigot.

Blair does pay lip service to freedom… while she is trying to figure out how to reduce yours:

Ultimately, each individual has the freedom to decide whom they date or are interested in dating, and thus this research does not attempt to make any statements concerning whom an individual should date or consider dating. At the same time, however, understanding the extent to which trans individuals are excluded from the realm of dating can serve as a benchmark for where society currently stands with respect to including trans and non-binary individuals. 

Of course, Blair offers not a single word about the concerted effort to produce transgendered individuals. She does not question whether this is good or bad. And she does not ask whether the transgendered need help themselves. Her pathetic efforts prove Camille Paglia’s point, that this signals cultural collapse.

To ensure that you think clearly about the extent of the bigotry, The Federalist offers a picture of a trans female... now, tell me, how happy you be if your son brought her home?

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Euphoria Generation

You have probably heard about the new shocking television series called, Euphoria. It depicts teenage angst over sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. It is ugly and depressing. The story is unstructured, at best. And the acting is consistently mediocre. If you haven’t seen it, you are not missing anything.

But then a larger question has been looming over the proceedings. Does the show portray teen sexual angst correctly or does it exaggerate for sensational effect? Is this the world that American teenagers are navigating, or is it an older person’s caricature of a life that he does not understand?

Those who pray that it’s an exaggeration note that today’s teenagers are less sexually active than were their predecessors. Others have a different perspective. If they have read Kate Julian or Olga Khazan in The Atlantic they will already have learned that many college age young women are experiencing sex as a painful experience, even when they have consented to it. According to Khazan, they associate it more with fear than with pleasure. So much for strong and empowered.

This is bad news, indeed. Apparently, the sexual revolution did not turn out as promised.

To be more precise, Khazan writes that far too many women have been choked during sex. The number includes adults and even high school students, the cohort mostly depicted in Euphoria:

In a recent study, Debby Herbenick, a professor and sex researcher at the Indiana University School of Public Health, found that nearly a quarter of adult women in the United States have felt scared during sex. Among 347 respondents, 23 described feeling scared because their partner had tried to choke them unexpectedly. For example, a 44-year-old woman wrote in that her partner had “put his hands on my throat to where I almost couldn’t breathe.”

Sex can involve consensual choking, but that’s not what’s going on here, as Herbenick explained to an audience during a panel at Aspen Ideas: Health, which is co-hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic. Instead, “this was clearly choking that no one had talked about it and it got sprung on somebody,” she said. Many sexual-assault cases among students at her university now center around nonconsensual choking. According to her research, 13 percent of sexually active girls ages 14 to 17 have already been choked.

It makes a certain amount of sense to blame it on porn. Apparently, porn has taught men that women want to be choked and that they like anal sex. Some women believe it too. If such is the case, sexperts believe that schools should be providing children with better sex education. And, according to Khazan, men and women should take lessons from gay men about how best to have anal sex.

For reasons that escape me, no one seems to suggest that perhaps these couples should not be doing what they are doing. And that they should not be indulging in violent sex acts. There is or there ought to be more to sex than delivering the maximum amount of pleasure.

Khazan manages to omit another salient point. She does not ask about the nature of the relationship between the two sexual partners. I trust that this will sound retrograde, but are these people engaging in hookups with near strangers? Have these sexual partners committed to each other as something more than machines to deliver sexual pleasure? One hates to have to say it, but casual sexual encounters are far more likely to be designed to please men, not women. Is anyone telling women not to hook up? I have my doubts.

Consider this. Eighteen months ago Kristen Roupenian wrote a story called “Cat Person” for The New Yorker. It was not an especially well written story, but it struck a nerve. In it, Margot and Robert met, got to know each other and ended up having bad sex. Scratch that: they did not really get to know each other. They saw each other once in person and communicated mostly via text. So, if we wanted to be fair we would say that they did not know each other.

When they started to have sex, Margot was repulsed. She had consented, however, and she chose to go through with the act. As for the act, it seems to  have more closely resembled bad pornography. There was no communication, no affection, no real connection.

Since they did not know each other, since they had made no commitment to each other, they were effectively strangers. They did not even indulge in what the escort world calls the girlfriend experience. In that case, their sexual acts will inevitably feel more like a cheap porno than like a part of a relationship.

But why did this couple and why do many young couples engage in sexual activities when they really do not want to do so? What forces in the culture have told them that this is normal or good behavior?

Instead of asking gay men how best to have anal sex, might it not be better for these young people to ask gay women how best to have sex within a committed relationship? Strangely, the question does not arise. Thus does the promise of euphoria produce dysphoria.