Aug 142012

I stumbled upon an article that described a device you place over your glasses that keeps near objects clear, but blurs your distance vision. Its purpose is to prevent ultra-religious men from seeing a woman and becoming filled with lust.

Lets put aside for a moment the seemingly weird belief that feeling lust is Bad. If one accepts that it is, than this is a clever partial solution that doesn’t intrude on anyone else’s rights. Straight men certainly appreciate the female form, and avoiding it may help with avoiding lust, much like avoiding walking by that delicious-smelling bakery may help with not breaking your diet. Yay Science!

But why did they stop there? Chemical castration has been around for a long while. Like any other tool, it can be used for good or evil. It has been used in the oppression of gays in the past. But I’m glad it is a tool we have available, because sometimes our genes fuck us over. The most horrifying thing I can imagine is being a good person who is stuck with the sexual desires of pedophile. I am grateful I was not dealt that hand, but I thank Man that we’ve created an option for such a person – that if it was me I could have my sex drive removed. Why don’t these men use this tool? If they fear possible permanent damage, couldn’t the ones who’ve fathered all the children they want start a drug regimen? It seems that at least some of them are willing to inconvenience themselves enough to wear blurring glasses – this solution is much more elegant and far less crippling.

An acquaintance who was raised in Orthodox Judaism provided this insight:

they’re supposed to have sex drive…for their wives…when they’re not ‘impure’, that is.

And it dawned on me that I had assumed far too much. They are supposed to be attracted to their wives, but no other women? Do they not realize how humans work?? The characteristics that a man finds attractive in his wife he will  find attractive in other women as well! If he didn’t then he wouldn’t find them attractive in his wife! They don’t even have to be physical characteristics – a man attracted to smart, sarcastic women will find that attractive in any woman.

To remove lust is a problem engineering can help with. But to encourage lust for one person while snuffing it out in all other cases is so far beyond that it’s akin to magic. What kind of deranged memeplex convinces you that you’re a bad person unless you can do magic? No wonder the people harboring them are damaged.

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