Oh, Scott Adams! Can you write anything about that whole man-woman business without being a creepy douche about it? In a recent blog post titled “Pegs and Holes” – which refers to exactly what you think it refers to — Adams offers his take on the powerful men who have been in the news lately because, as Adams puts it, they’ve been “tweeting, raping, cheating, and being offensive to just about everyone in the entire world.”
After noting that the “current view of such things is that the men are to blame for their own bad behavior” and that this “seems right” to him – gee, ya think? – Adams decides to get all philosophical on us. (When you’re Scott Adams, this is a very very bad idea.) He writes:
The part that interests me is that society is organized in such a way that the natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal while the natural instincts of women are mostly legal and acceptable. In other words, men are born as round pegs in a society full of square holes. Whose fault is that? Do you blame the baby who didn’t ask to be born male? Or do you blame the society that brought him into the world, all round-pegged and turgid, and said, “Here’s your square hole”?
I’m assuming that Adams doesn’t actually think that baby boys are born with erections, and realizes that it is biology, not society, that hands out penises and vaginas to babies in the first place. I’m just trying to understand the whole pegs and holes metaphor. Why does he think “round” penises and “square” vaginas are somehow incompatible? In the context of consensual sex, after all, penises of all shapes and sizes generally fit into vaginas quite nicely.
As far as I can figure it out, the round-vs-square analogy simply refers to the fact that men can’t simply stick their “round pegs” into any conveniently located “hole” whenever they feel like it. The fact that these “holes” aren’t accessible to any random guy thus renders them “square.” This seems to frustrate Adams, who goes on to complain that “society has evolved to keep males in a state of continuous unfulfilled urges, more commonly known as unhappiness” and that “society is organized as a virtual prison for men’s natural desires.”
Looking at Hugh Hefner’s marital history – he’s been married and divorced and just got stood up at the altar – Adams concludes that:
For Hef, being single didn’t work, and getting married didn’t work, at least not in the long run. Society didn’t offer him a round hole for his round peg. All it offered were unlimited square holes.
What does this even mean? I suspect that over the course of his lifetime, Hef has had about all the sex he could possibly want, and then some. Is it somehow unjust that he couldn’t force his latest fiancée to actually marry him? Or that some women are sexually unavailable – that is, square holes – to him?
It goes without saying that Adams’ notions of human sexuality are profoundly insulting to both men and women . On the one hand, he’s suggesting that men are basically all potential rapists walking around with, er, turgid pegs; and, on the other, he seems to regard women as little more than passive (if stubbornly recalcitrant) receptacles for these male “pegs.”
And so it’s hardly surprising that his grand solution to the conundrum he’s invented is a rather depressing one. After noting that it really wouldn’t be a good thing for men to go around willy-nilly raping women and/or, as he puts it, tweeting their meat, he suggests the real solution is for men to be chemically castrated. And no, I’m not making that up. Here’s Scotty:
I think science will come up with a drug that keeps men chemically castrated for as long as they are on it. It sounds bad, but I suspect that if a man loses his urge for sex, he also doesn’t miss it. Men and women would also need a second drug that increases oxytocin levels in couples who want to bond. Copulation will become extinct. Men who want to reproduce will stop taking the castration drug for a week, fill a few jars with sperm for artificial insemination, and go back on the castration pill.
That might sound to you like a horrible world. But the oxytocin would make us a society of huggers, and no one would be treated as a sex object. You’d have no rape, fewer divorces, stronger friendships, and a lot of other advantages. I think that’s where we’re headed in a few generations.
Is he being serious here, or is this all some satirical “social experiment?” Who the fuck knows. Though I suspect if I accused him of being serious, he’d claim he was being satirical. And vice versa. Because that’s just the way he is.
Also, while I’m at it: the idiomatic expression about pegs and holes posits a square peg and a round hole, not the other way around. Why did Adams reverse this? Why!? Why!!?? Is he trying to drive us all mad?
EDITED TO ADD: Check out Feministe for more on Scott Adams and his peg.
EDITED AGAIN: And Pharyngula as well.