How were these men raised that they have such hatred for the longhouse? Is the relationship between their parents at the root of this? Or is it a combination of exposure to extreme views on the internet and a lack of enthusiasm for marriage on the part of women who have similarly sabotaged their own lives?

I believe that there is a biological imperative built into most women to marry and have children. Ignoring this basic function hardwired into the brain explains the huge consumption of antidepressants and increasingly alcohol by women in their 30’s and 40’s. Because this explanation of why their self-determined paths have not yielded happiness is not acceptable they continue to put the blame elsewhere. In this case thinking in groups is not serving women well as they are all going down the wrong path, doubling down on poor choices which alienate them further from the relationships with men they need for both to flourish.

For millennia we have had these bridges for men and women to cross over in order to meet their complementary needs and modernity has blown these bridges up, along with a lot of other essential supports and taboos. How do we reconstruct them? That a minority of bored housewives in the 50’s and 60’s were able to ultimately destroy a way of life that most people found satisfying isn’t surprising. Everything valuable in our culture is currently being destroyed by a loud, powerful, but statistically tiny minority. Their boredom was immediately monetized so that by the 80’s it took two paychecks to support a necessarily small family where one working class paycheck formerly supported a large one. Working women are sold to us as all being of the laptop class whereas most are actually retail clerks, waitresses, beauticians, etc. These are more essential jobs in most cases and I am not denigrating them, but I believe given a choice of being a full time homemaker many of these women would prefer it. The choices our society celebrates are not for the masses.

I have four sons, 23-38. The eldest is firmly in the longhouse, another is in a stable relationship. All have a positive view of marriage and family but the single ones are pessimistic about their future. Neither fall into the high earner or great looking category. Not the bottom of the barrel either, but this is a huge change. Before the internet blew up the bridges between the sexes people assorted themselves into categories. Everyone knew that a real stunner of either sex had a bigger pool but it worked out wherever you fell on the attraction scale there was a cohort for you, “a lid for every pot” as the old ladies say. No more. Looking for pirate gold with a metal detector on the beach is easier than for an average guy to find an average girl who wants marriage and children. It’s really hard to understand how something so fundamental could be destroyed so quickly and it doesn’t bode well for the future.

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I value your frame about the pill being a radical technological game changer in universal male/female dynamics. Some of those effects being positive, but others not. Interesting to hear there is a movement away from the pill for young women. I am 64. As someone steeped in the West Coast American counterculture in my youth, I never trusted the pill, and never took it. How could I be certain it was safe? Something which is so powerful that it interrupts basic natural human biological function? It did not seem likely to me that it was safe. Yes, periods were painful, inconvenient, and messy. Yes, the pill was the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancy. But I also loved being in my female body and being part of the rhythms of nature. I waxed and waned like the moon and the tides. My thinking was similar when it came to pesticides, artificial chemicals, or additives to food: while I was not religious about being supposedly “natural” in all my choices, I didn’t want to wait for the studies showing whether such radical technical interventions were harmful but would rather err on the side of caution.

Unfortunately, these technological innovations (the pill, robot girlfriends, AI etc.) will happen and proliferate whether we want them to or not. We are not made for this artificial world, but as the Borg on Star Trek said, “resistance is futile” when it comes to technology. It’s still important to imagine the fallout as we still struggle to find a way to be together on planet earth. Thank you for your important contributions.

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I wonder if there will come a point along the way where robot girlfriends start playing hard to get?

At least part of desire (for both sexes) is based on validation, so perhaps rather than compliant, submissive AI waifus, we'll start seeing AI women who really only like men with greater than 2/1 kill/death ratios in Call of Duty, and others who love guys with extensive warhammer collections.

I suspect there would be a healthy list of investors interested in making technology like that work.

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Feb 3·edited Feb 3Liked by Mary Harrington

The 2013 film "her", written and directed by Spike Jonze, is very much on point here.

Tagline: "In a near future, a lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with an operating system designed to meet his every need."


Highly recommended, but do not read plot summaries! It's best seen unspoiled.

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While I agree that the Pill was historically the moment where sex was divorced from reproduction, I disagree that rejecting the Pill now means remaking the association. I do know a lot of women who are rejecting hormonal birth control — I never took it for very long myself, since it badly affected my moods — but they are just switching to non-hormonal methods like cycle tracking with modern apps, barrier methods or the copper IUD. (And everyone who has casual sex was already using condoms — if the Pill meant sex was a free-for-all, that was probably only until the advent of AIDS.) I don’t think this is causing any dramatic changes in sexual behaviour, and while some of these methods may require more cooperation from a male partner, I don’t think it’s quite the “interdependence” you are envisioning.

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Fun anecdote: in 1979, Stanford chemsitry professor Carl Djerassi, the "father of the pill", tried to pick up a much younger female friend of mine with the line "I invented women's liberation."


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The idea that women have emancipated themselves from men is an illusion, a childish fantasy. It is mostly held by the white over-educated products of the University.... Who of course fail to recognize the other 90% of their sisters both at home and abroad who don't fit into their laptop experience of the world They fail to realize that this fantasy that we call the modern western world is being held together almost entirely by the masculine... Not to worry though... This fantasy is coming to an end one way or another. if not Putin touching off a nuke in Europe it is probably going to slowly die as the United States stops patrolling the oceans which will force the world to globalized and will internally sever the interconnections of the mechanism... Who knows we might screw it up so badly that personal physical strength might come back into Vogue and be highly sought after by the feminine.. And in that world ironically the Low T soy boys will still need their AI girlfriends... Does it seem odd to anyone else that we're talking about succubus in the 21st century?

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Feb 4·edited May 9

Yes, the natural sex drive of many men is an absurdity as seen in the promiscuity of gay men where the limits of the female No is removed or the promiscuity of straight men who have limits removed by wealth, power, fame or by the gift of charm and good looks.

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Feb 4·edited Feb 4

"But imagine being dumped by a software glitch, or a power cut - like the Japanese man who ‘married’ his ‘virtual girlfriend’ but can no longer communicate with ‘her’, as Gatebox, the software that produced the illusion he ‘married’, is no longer supported."

Given the trend towards open decentralized/distributed identity and data standards (e.g., https://www.w3.org/TR/did-core, https://nostr.com, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluesky_(protocol)), the AI girlfriend of the future, with all its "memories" and parameter optimizations geared towards its originator, will be portable across firms and platforms.

Given this and other technology advances, your dire observations are IMO still understating what may happen. The AI girlfriend of the future may not be the runner-up trophy for men. Consider the male Jewel Beetle that was biologically triggered to mate with discarded dimpled beer bottles over female beetles (https://www.thoughtco.com/the-giant-jewel-beetle-1968152), threatening the future of the species. As a man, I'd like to say we are one step above the beetle, but I am not sure I can present convincing evidence.

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Ex Machina Redux: ChatGPT integrated with the Alicia Vikander (or otherwise personalized) fembot will conquer the world.

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