Like many of us, I read ManBoobz regularly — it gives us a window into the weirdly repugnant world of the manosphere. But I assumed it was a snapshot of the worst of the manosphere…and to my horror, I have just realized that it was a representative snapshot. I now have this discombobulated picture of David Futrelle: he’s like a guy mining for turds under an outhouse. You simultaneously think, “OMG, that’s the easiest mission in the world” and “OMG, that’s the most horrible mission in the world.”
I was led to this insight by Vox Day, of all people. Yesterday’s foray into his hateful mindset led me to an awful discussion of a chart, and then…well, let’s just say I went spelunking beneath an outhouse, started climbing upwards, and suddenly found myself in the colon of the manosphere. I need a shower, badly.
Here’s the odious graph. All my scientific training is shrieking in outrage at this thing.
It comes from a site called The Rational Male — yes, the second word does not belong there. Here’s what the author says about it:
All that said, I can’t help but recognize the nerve that my SMV chart has struck throughout the internet. I’m not just talking about the manosphere proper here; from recognized psychology sites (generally for comparison) to BodyBuilding.com, this chart is easily the most linked-to picture from Rational Male. Whether it’s about refuting its accuracy or comparing how my instinctual understanding of SMP valuations gel with more scientific studies, that graph has become a benchmark, or at least the starting point, for a better understanding of comparative SMV over the course of a subjective lifetime.
Oh, jebus. The “struck a nerve” trope that every idiot who says something stupid on the internet trots out…
SMV? What’s that, you’re wondering.
It stands for “Sexual Market Value”. It purports to show the worth of men and women over a range of ages. Hold off on your rage for just a moment, and let’s look at it objectively.
First, the SMV axis. What are the units? There aren’t any. Why? Because he doesn’t actually measure anything. Get that? All of the values in this chart are arbitrary inventions that he totally made up. The entire thing is a fiction.
Second, the whole concept of “Sexual Market Value”. What does that even mean? It’s dimensionless. He doesn’t have a way to look at any person and say, “Your market value is X”. It doesn’t even make sense to put this into a chart; my sexual appeal to my wife is huge, but negligible to everyone else. Scarlett Johansen may have a reputation as a very sexy woman, but her sexual “market value” to me is zero, and not only is it offensive to propose that her sex is purchasable for some imaginary sum of a million quatloos or whatever, it probably isn’t even a real commodity.
Except, and here’s the scientifically repugnant part, he has no way to assess the SMV of an individual, except to look them up on the chart. Which he made up. The circularity is so perfect, it’s practically Biblical.
And then in his post he chastises critics for their inferior understanding of statistics, and unironically titles his post “Sex, Lies and Statistics”. Gaaaaah.
Let’s not even start on the ethics of judging people’s worth by the sole parameter of their sexual attractiveness. By that criterion, the author of that graph is a negative ten, and should be shoved in the hole beneath the outhouse and ignored for the rest of his days.
One last tip: don’t read the comments. Don’t read the comments. Don’t read the comments. In between totting up the scores on all the women they’ve had sex with, they’re laughing at the critics for not appreciating the science of the graph.
Hey, Dave Futrelle! I’m gonna let you handle this gig from here on out. I don’t think I have the stamina to handle it.