The Climax of Alienation: Sex Robots, Cultural Dysmorphia and a Second Look at ‘the Fascism of the Skin’

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Marvin PROSONO, Missouri State University, USA
Recent reportage of the advances in robotics have described entirely new lines of development in the manufacture and marketing of sex-capable, human-sized robots. With the use of silicon and high-tech plastics, these sex “dolls”, both female and male, have been made eerily lifelike and given voices and programming so that they can be vocally responsive. Although people have been interacting with electronic devices for decades, this new apparatus presents another step into an alienating and alienated social landscape. Working from previous work on the commodification of alienation and “fascism of the skin,” this development is analyzed as the latest and quite expensive commodity marketed by consumptive capitalism both to profit from the alienation it creates while producing ever new sources of alienation. Relying on a wide-ranging, inter-disciplinary literature, this paper explores the possible impacts of introducing machines into the most intimate aspects of human interaction. Ultimately, someone must apply criteria for the appeal of these machines. Already it can be seen that these robots conform to exaggerated standards of beauty and physique further exacerbating both body and cultural dysmorphia. Following the logic described by “Fascism of the skin,” the attempts to eliminate human imperfection from experience are exposed and set in context.