Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

Cooperation Beats Submission—In Bed

Question: Can stripping or prostitution ever be empowering for women?

Gloria Steinem:  The word "empower" is troubling.  I mean I have spent 40 years talking to women.  I sat before the election, interviewed prostituted women in Las Vegas and so it isn’t... You know little girls do not wake up in the morning and say "I dream of being a prostitute."  It is a terrible, terrible life.  Body invasion is more traumatic than even getting beaten up.  In certain circumstances, obviously, it may be a way to survive. And we rationalize ways to survive. But I think what we need to look at is we need to pull back and say to ourselves why is it that men need... some men; it’s actually not the majority of men... but that some men go to prostitutes and need that kind of dominance.  It’s the disease of... It’s getting addicted to masculinity.  What is that about? 

In the egalitarian cultures...  People think prostitution has always existed, but it hasn’t and even rape was very rare.  For instance, when Europeans arrived on this continent they wrote about how shocked they were that the 500 or so native groups here didn’t rape even their female captives.  They were shocked.  So we need to stop asking so many questions of the people who are in various circumstances and feel they have to do this and start asking on the demand side why is there a demand for this.  What has been eroticized by male dominant systems of all kinds is dominance and passivity.  We need to eroticize equality.  I always say to audiences of men: "Cooperation beats submission. Trust me."  At least it makes them laugh.  That is what is troubling and of course in the meantime we have to stop arresting prostitutes and not arresting traffickers and pimps.  It’s absurd.  We’re arresting the victim or the survivor and not the oppressor.

Recorded on October 28, 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller

Directed & Produced by Jonathan Fowler

Prostitution is not empowering for women; it is a symptom of addiction to masculinity and need for domination. "We need to eroticize equality," says the noted feminist.

LIVE EVENT | Radical innovation: Unlocking the future of human invention

Innovation in manufacturing has crawled since the 1950s. That's about to speed up.

Big Think LIVE

Add event to calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo


Keep reading Show less

Navy SEALs: How to build a warrior mindset

SEAL training is the ultimate test of both mental and physical strength.

Videos
  • The fact that U.S. Navy SEALs endure very rigorous training before entering the field is common knowledge, but just what happens at those facilities is less often discussed. In this video, former SEALs Brent Gleeson, David Goggins, and Eric Greitens (as well as authors Jesse Itzler and Jamie Wheal) talk about how the 18-month program is designed to build elite, disciplined operatives with immense mental toughness and resilience.
  • Wheal dives into the cutting-edge technology and science that the navy uses to prepare these individuals. Itzler shares his experience meeting and briefly living with Goggins (who was also an Army Ranger) and the things he learned about pushing past perceived limits.
  • Goggins dives into why you should leave your comfort zone, introduces the 40 percent rule, and explains why the biggest battle we all face is the one in our own minds. "Usually whatever's in front of you isn't as big as you make it out to be," says the SEAL turned motivational speaker. "We start to make these very small things enormous because we allow our minds to take control and go away from us. We have to regain control of our mind."
Keep reading Show less

How COVID-19 will change the way we design our homes

Pandemic-inspired housing innovation will collide with techno-acceleration.

Maja Hitij/Getty Images
Coronavirus
COVID-19 is confounding planning for basic human needs, including shelter.
Keep reading Show less

NASA's idea for making food from thin air just became a reality — it could feed billions

Here's why you might eat greenhouse gases in the future.

Jordane Mathieu on Unsplash
Technology & Innovation
  • The company's protein powder, "Solein," is similar in form and taste to wheat flour.
  • Based on a concept developed by NASA, the product has wide potential as a carbon-neutral source of protein.
  • The man-made "meat" industry just got even more interesting.
Keep reading Show less
John Moore/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic cripples the economy and kills hundreds of people each day, there is another epidemic that continues to kill tens of thousands of people each year through opioid drug overdose.

Keep reading Show less
Quantcast