I know this is boring and it should go without saying, but apparently it hasn’t been said enough: this idea that fembots are the perfect women is just wrong. It suggests that men want someone over which they have perfect control. And that’s creepy… and boring.
Here’s an example of the phenomenon (via About-Face):
That part where they make eyes at each other, he instructs the GPS to take them home, and she hits the button to heat up her (cold, hard) “seat.” Just… ew.
Here’s another especially troubling example, sent in by a reader. It’s some sort of ad for Play Station 3. It features a fembot being assembled and “woken.” The narration explains that she will “cook, watch the house, take care of the kids” and be “entirely at your disposal as a sexual partner.”
At some point the fembot realizes she is being sold and expresses shock and disappointment. The man in charge explains, “Of course you’re merchandise, baby.” When she says that she’d thought she was alive, he labels her “defective.” That thought was not “part of the protocol,” he says, “You’re not supposed to think at all.” He then decides to destroy her, but succumbs to her pleas to let her “live” after all. Again, a super creepy story about the ideal woman.
Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.