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Blogs

One solution to revenge porn: ‘cad-shaming’

29 April 2014

12:23 PM

29 April 2014

12:23 PM

I’m kicking myself because back in 2011 or 2012 Paddy Power gave me odds of 66/1 on Ukip topping the 2014 poll, which I chickened out of taking. It was perfectly likely that Ukip would win because their views on a range of subjects are close to the median British average, while the three main parties (or LIBLABCON as I call them when posting on messageboards under the name ‘Sword of Odin’) are often in a world of their own. But I also thought that the party brand could be made toxic by media exposure of its most extreme members, and great denunciations from the commentariat.

As it is Ukip’s support has ballooned so quickly that the almost daily revelations of its wackier members seem to make no difference. Maybe toxicity is not determined by press reports but the situation on the ground. If a third of voters in some regions are going Ukip, then the average politically-interested person is going to know quite a few openly Ukip-supporting people, and many of them are going to be normal, empathetic people.

But what should have told me that the brand wasn’t going toxic was something simpler: Ukip attracts quite a lot of beautiful young women. That’s sexual selection. Beautiful people, superficially at least, are less likely to be weird and enraged. Beautiful people also follow success and attract it.

One such Kipper is poor Lizzy Vaid, the latest victim of revenge porn, who as Milo Yiannopoulos pointed out has received little in the way of support from the sisters. Can you imagine if this had happened to a Labour equivalent? Comment is Free would have crashed with sheer anger.

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This is despite revenge porn being as misogynistic as things get, and almost entirely targeted at women; anyway I don’t imagine that if there was a sex video of me out there it would have quite the same market, a video as pathos-inducing as watching a confused and tired seagull trying to free its head from some plastic.

I rather share Freddy Gray’s bemusement at the whole phenomenon, seeing as it does involve an astonishing level of naivety. That’s perhaps a generation thing, as smartphones didn’t appear until I was hitting 30; before that, if you took videos of yourselves at it, you were basically a sex person.

But I’m also rather confused by the way people respond to this misogyny, mostly writing that the problem is the idea of sexual shame itself. Yet as anyone who has studied the theory or practise of human behaviour can tell you, most ‘slut-shaming’ is done by women, not men, and women usually seek to shame other women who are promiscuous, sexually active or just flirtatious.

There are obvious evolutionary reasons for this, yet some strands of feminism hope that women can behave like a union by removing all the shame attached to sex; that’s never going to happen, and when women fail to act like such a union, such as when one of their number is abandoned for showing political unorthodoxy, it just illustrates how feeble this idea is.

Social pressures should go with the grain of human nature, not push against it. Why not try to shame the men who do this instead? Cad-shaming, as it were. I can’t think of anything lower or less manly than selling a sex video of a former lover, yet the men who sell these things, or post them online, are rarely shamed. And any social stigma that reduces men’s success with the opposite sex will start to have an impact pretty soon; as will anything that increases their attractiveness, including having the ‘right’ politics – which is why chaps are so keen always to display their tolerance, intelligence and high-status.

PS: Having Googled ‘cad-shaming’ I’ve found that someone else also thought of it.

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