In Yevgeny Zamyatin’s 1924 science fiction novel We, citizens of the 26th century totalitarian society OneState inhabit a glassed-in world of entirely straight lines. They live devoid of passion or creativity under an all-powerful, perpetually re-elected leader known as The Benefactor. Sex, like everything else in the society, is highly regulated. Citizens who fill out a pink form are permitted for one hour a day, known as the “sex hour,” to draw the blinds on their apartment and have sex with whomever they choose by showing them the form.
Born in the outskirts of Moscow in 1884, Zamyatin is widely regarded as one of the earliest Soviet dissenters and the first to tackle the horrors of communism through science fiction. We was banned in the Soviet Union before it was smuggled out and published in English. Though relatively obscure today, the novel would go on to be a major influence on the works of Ayn Rand, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984. In Brave New World, Huxley took Zamyatin’s treatment of sex in a different direction. In that novel, sexual promiscuity is not only encouraged, but is the law under the totalitarian World State government. Desires are met publicly and with instant gratification. Emotional attachment and monogamy are illegal, and sex is used by the ruling party to pacify and distract.
Whereas sex was frowned upon by the English Socialist Party in 1984, Zamyatin and Huxley both saw sex as a means toward either human liberation or enslavement. They envisioned authoritarian orders that also realized this, and institutionalized sex to ensure it worked toward the subjugation of society.
I thought of these novels yesterday after stumbling upon the sinister Phase Two of a social engineering initiative by the California-based gay sex app Grindr. While the app is a notorious vector for crime, drug dealing and prostitution — and researchers have correlated such apps with the current record number of STD infections in the U.S. — over the summer, Grindr, which boasts 3 million daily users, revealed the issue it cares most about: policing gay men’s sexual preferences. In August the company announced the ambitious initiative, called Kindr, to battle “discrimination” on the seedy digital sex den.
The campaign, being rolled out in installments, features testimonials of people who can’t get laid, blaming it on mythical conspiracy theories like “racism.” The first video specifically addressed something called “sexual racism,” a newish preoccupation of the progressive Left that says you’re a bigot if you don’t find all races equally attractive and you’re also a bigot if you find certain races a bit too attractive. I’m guilty of the latter. Now we’ve been graced with the second installment of Kindr, and boy does it take the cake: Body Shaming.
Grindr probably is the most vicious meat market on the Internet. It’s literally only about what your fucking body looks like. And if you have a nice face, you can usually get by. It’s a digital space where horny men are reduced to a single profile picture and users scroll through and decide whether or not they want to have sex with you. As a friend put it, “it’s the last truthful marketplace!” and I have to agree with him.
This ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ dystopia we inhabit wouldn’t be nearly as menacing if it weren’t engineered from the top
But Grindr is worried some people’s feelings are getting hurt. The body shaming video features mostly fatties, a disabled person, and a transgender and opens with someone suggesting the word “preference” is a dogwhistle for bigotry. “Sometimes I hop on the app to just, really, look at some dick. I want to do all the things my peers are doing, but I have to navigate prejudice so openly, and I just don’t think it’s fair,” says a shirtless paraplegic in a wheelchair who, actually, is the only sympathetic person in the video. Compared to the other whales and sad sacks, he actually seems like a cool guy.
“The audacity of someone to say, ‘I’m not going to talk to you because of how you look!'” says an overweight man in the video named Rakeem, conjuring the question, how would Rakeem react if he hit on a guy in a bar who didn’t return his advances? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this type of attitude leads to something called rape.
“The community that I was supposed to be a part of wasn’t really a community to me,” Rakeem continues. Meanwhile, I won’t hold my breath for any future Kindr videos to address the “community’s” most bullied, misunderstood, and reviled group: gay Republicans.
Sizeism, ableism, otherism-Grindr is no place for any of them. Episode 2 explores the various forms of body shaming that exist on dating platforms and explains why all bodies should be respected. http://kindr.grindr.com Featuring: Rakeem Cunningham, Andrew Gurza, Dexter Mayfield, Cody Scurlock, and Pancho. Download Grindr: https://go.onelink.me/sTsz/18ee0992 http://instagram.com/Grindr http://Twitter.com/Grindr http://Facebook.com/Grindr
It’s unclear whether the bizarre campaign, which boasts the creepy tag line “It’s time to play nice!,” (even creepier that kinder is german for “children”) will have any real traction among normal gays, but I highly doubt it. I’m certain the majority of gays are laughing as hard as I am. Any effort to bully people into having sex with others they aren’t naturally attracted to, like all things Marxist, only serves to coddle the feelings of the most loathsome elements in our community: those intrinsically boring, self-hating and broken, victim-minded social justice cretins who, instead of getting off their asses to make personal change, expect the world to accommodate their own emotional dysfunction.
This Revenge of the Nerds dystopia we inhabit wouldn’t be nearly as menacing if it weren’t engineered from the top. It all begins to look like industrial grade propaganda straight from a sci-fi novel. One of the most wonderful things about human sexuality is there’s a market for everything. No matter what you think is wrong with you — fat, bald, old, cripple, trans, short, effeminate, ginger — there’s a girth of people out there who are really into that thing. And plenty more who will find the characteristic you hate most about your self to be your sexiest attribute.
Sure, people can be really mean on Grindr. But if you’re a disgusting ogre contacting a perfect 10, seven-day-a-week gym rat — someone you’d never have the courage to approach in real life — don’t be shocked if he laughs in your face, calls you names, or completely ignores you. After all, no one ever talks about the fact that when an ugly person hits on a really hot person, it can be either flattering or psychologically abusive. It’s gaslighting the beautiful person into questioning their own attractiveness if this, thing, thinks it has a chance. Moral of the story, know your value, know your strengths and weaknesses, and play in your own league. Human sexuality is exciting, complex, and messy and attraction is always in the eye of the beholder. If you have to shame people into finding you attractive, then neither party is going to enjoy the sex, which, if you could ask Aldous Huxley, may be precisely the point.
In We, much like in 1984, the novels’ protagonists begin to realize their own individuality through love affairs that are unsanctioned by the state. They discover passion. And passion, by its very nature, is perhaps the greatest act of discrimination. It’s the force that compels us to cut through the noise and mediocrity to seek those individuals and preoccupations worthy of singling out, loving, and defending. It is the enemy of the authoritarian, the drab, and the collective. The greatest thinkers in 20th Century literature knew this. And they knew sex could either lead us to the essence of our humanity, or be weaponized to destroy it.
Chadwick Moore is a journalist and political commentator, currently working on his first book. He tweets at @Chadwick_Moore.
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