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Today, the New York Times published yet another meandering screed from conservative opinion columnist Ross Douthat, in light of the Toronto van attack last week that left 10 dead and 16 injured and the ensuing conversation about “incel” (involuntarily celibate) culture and the value of sex in our society. His conclusion was that maybe porn and sex work are good after all—and it only took an act of terrorism.

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For the most part, Douthat complains that liberals didn’t want to properly engage with The Discourse while conflating incels (misogynists who are frustrated, sometimes violently so, with the fact that “hot” “chicks” won’t sleep with them) and populations that actually face real inequality. But his bottom line is probably the most confounding:

But I expect the logic of commerce and technology will be consciously harnessed, as already in pornography, to address the unhappiness of incels, be they angry and dangerous or simply depressed and despairing.

So this is definitely already a thing?

The left’s increasing zeal to transform prostitution into legalized and regulated “sex work” will have this end implicitly in mind, the libertarian (and general male) fascination with virtual-reality porn and sex robots will increase as those technologies improve — and at a certain point, without anyone formally debating the idea of a right to sex, right-thinking people will simply come to agree that some such right exists, and that it makes sense to look to some combination of changed laws, new technologies and evolved mores to fulfill it.

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I’d like to point out that three months ago, Douthat declared we should ban porn because the dude from “Cat Person” and maybe Aziz Ansari couldn’t tell the difference between human women who don’t want to have sex and videos of adult film stars mid-coitus.

So it’s certainly interesting that suddenly, because a man drove a van into a crowd of people murdering almost a dozen people in search of woman-hating martyrdom, porn and sex work are the answer to appeasing the petulant fury of dudes who can’t get laid. Porn and sex work have always served a legitimate purpose in our society regardless of Douthat’s moralizing, but this is what it took for him to come around?

Douthat does the very thing he complains about: He refuses to properly engage in The Discourse, and merely accepts that “boys will be boys.” And instead of distinguishing between simple loneliness and homicidal misogyny, he hopes that porn and sex work can distract pathologically entitled men from inflicting more violence on others, implying that we should pawn off dangerous people on sex workers.

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Unfortunately, even in his embrace of the very things he’s previously opposed, Douthat presents a harmful misconception of the purpose of porn and sex work—that it’s there to placate and absorb the rage of violent misogynists. How about taking aim at the root of that misogyny instead?