Blue flower pattern, Examples of Chinese Ornament selected from objects in the South Kensington Museum and other collections by Owen Jones. Public Domain

This Week: Deepfake Pornography, Men in Chess, and the Wars Over Feminism

Welcome to the weekly Fairer Disputations round-up: your one-stop shop for the best in sex-realist feminism. This week, we bring you Nicholas Kristof on the scandal of search engines and deepfake pornography, Carole Hooven on sex differences in chess, Nathan Schlueter on the conservative war over feminism, gender ideology in the foster care system, welfare reform for mothers, women in prison, what featured author Leah Libresco Sargeant is reading—and more!

The Online Degradation of Women and Girls That We Meet With a Shrug

At The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof tackles the prevalence of deepfake pornography targeting women and young girls—and holds Google and other search engines accountable for its accessibility.

Why Do Men Dominate Chess?

The International Chess Federation recently released new guidelines allowing only biological women to compete in women’s categories. At Quillette, Carole Hooven has a fascinating long read on sex differences in chess—with potential implications beyond the game.

Why Antifeminism Isn’t Enough

Finally, at Public Discourse Nathan Schlueter analyzes the “FemWar” emerging within the U.S conservative movement. The way forward, he argues, is through clear thinking, accurate assessments of the past and present, and prudential responses to the future.

On one side of the debate are traditionalist antifeminists (we might call them AntiFems) who argue that the entire feminist project is misguided and should be jettisoned. On the other side are advocates of a more authentic form of feminism.

Nathan Schlueter

More Great Reads:

What I’m Reading: Leah Libresco Sargeant

I greatly enjoyed Rachel Lu’s review of (and reflections on) Catherine Pakaluk’s Hannah’s Children at Law and Liberty Pakaluk is interested in the women who defy the birth dearth and have a lot of children. Per her interviews, it isn’t because it’s necessarily much easier for them than the women who don’t reach their intended fertility. It’s that children is the hard thing they’ve chosen to put at the center of their lives.

One particularly sharp observation from Lu:

Some women set their sights on a large family partly because the buy-in for maternity is so high. For educated women especially, the highest costs associated with maternity are not direct, but rather opportunity-related… Once that heavy price has been paid, a mother naturally wants a good return on her investment. A houseful of children, in this sense at least, may not cost much more than one.

I tend to prioritize policy interventions to aid parents more than Pakaluk (and you can see my suggestions for CTC expansion here), but one thing I think Pakaluk has right is that there’s no plausible policy that will make children trivial. Aid to parents is more a matter of justice than of making parents interchangeable with non-parents. The pitch for parenthood is always that it’s a risk or an adventure that is demanding enough to be worth you devoting your life to it.