A hologram wife that is being marketed as a substitute for the real thing.
If you're unaware or don't have time to watch the above-linked video, in short, Japan is suffering a "sex/romance crisis" wherein fewer and fewer men are pursuing women. The purified/extreme form of this trend are called "herbivores," where men opt to completely abandon the pursuit of women, choosing a life of video games, grooming, living at home, anime, and porn instead. They are an interesting case study in not only are they the most "extreme" form of this woman/marriage boycott, but it results in some interesting behaviors, namely replacing real women with a substitute.
The last time I was this shocked was hearing about the existence of "waifu pillows" and the shocking advances (and resources dedicated to) developing robot women. Odd as they may be, however, they are simply substitutes this small segment of Japanese men are using for women, so the creation of a holographic Stepford wife should come as no surprise. But while "waifu pillows" and (eerie as hell) "sexbots" could simply be dismissed as the sex toys of a fringe element of Japanese society, the hologram wife is different which makes it so shocking. Specifically...
it's the free market telling us this trend isn't so fringe.
Not that every man in Japan is some herbivore metrosexual, dropping the $2,000 it takes to get a hologram wife, but there's enough of them that a commercial enterprise has invested the money into it to make it a reality AND they have the gall to advertise it on TV and the internet! Additionally, it's almost as if there's no shame as the commercial seems to be completely indifferent, indifferent and matter-of-fact about what it's advertising. It suggests that it's perfectly acceptable today in Japanese society to have a hologram wife instead of the real thing.
When you think about it, this is incredibly sad and telling and on many levels.
One, just how poorly have women been brought up that they're being out-competed by a hologram? The saddest part of the commercial I couldn't get over was how the hologram simply said simple and kind things that has been bred out of today's women. "How are you?" "When are you coming home?" "It's raining out, don't forget your umbrella." You laugh at it now, until you realize just how few women display such concern or care in Japan (or other western cultures) that it actually has become a rare commodity. It's a sad state that basic wifely courtesy and concern can be replaced with some voice recognition and computer code. And while you may be quick to deride, mock, and ridicule these herbivore men (and perhaps rightly so), remember, they're consciously choosing freaking pillows, sexbots, and holograms over the real thing.
Two, while Japan may be down the "freaky-hologram-wife-sex-bot-pillow rabbit hole" further than it's other western counterparts, we here in Europe and the US face a similar phenomenon - porn. Mock the herbivore men all you want, there isn't a man under
Third, the real thing. Understand what is happening here is 100%, PURE, CLASSICAL, ECONOMICS. Women are getting replaced with a substitute good. Normally people would say, "Why would you take a hologram over the real thing? What the hell is a matter with you?" But what normal people don't realize is that you are not these people and every person has their own tastes and preferences. Some people like chocolate. Others like vanilla. And some weirdos prefer black licorice. So you can judge and laugh all you want, but in the end these men/boys ARE opting to go with a substitute. It is perhaps the shock that we are finding out just how little it takes to be a substitute that makes this hard to believe. Namely digital or "virtual" simulations are equal to (or better) than the real thing to some men. But hard as it is to believe, the collapse in marriage rates makes your belief irrelevant.
Finally, women. While my focus has been on substitutes for women, I am fully aware of the point many of you are screaming right now - that women today themselves have changed (for the worse) making your right hand and a hologram wife the better of the two options. I am also fully aware of the economic and sociological arguments that student loans, a poor labor market, and a stagnant economy (all three variables of which are in play in Japan, the US and Europe) make marriage and dating impossible for many young men. But sticking with the effect digital technology has had on the sexes, we cannot ignore its effect on women. For while digital technology in the form of porn, digital wives, and sexbots are all competing against women for the attention of men, digital technology also competes against men for the attention of women. Namely, social media.
While demand for women has gone down because they've been substituted out, demand for men has also been decreasing because women have found their own substitute good - social media. Simplifying things a lot (but not by much), men want sex, women want attention. And while porn has certainly lowered men's demand for women, social media has DEVASTATED women's demand for men.
Women no longer have to date you, tolerate you, be pretty, be nice, or be kind to get attention. They simply have to post a couple well-angled pics on Facebook or Twitter, and BOOM! A limitless source of attention from THE ENTIRE WORLD OF MEN. Flirts, winks, emoticons, texts, sexts. They're getting everything they want without having to give up sex or committing to one guy, so why should they buy the cow when they get the milk for free?
This has not "cleared" the courting market, as much as it has evacuated it where both parties (suppliers and demanders) leave the market because they've found a substitute, if not, superior good. Men, who may have demanded women, are leaving the marriage market for porn, and women, who supply marriage/dates/sex, are also leaving for social media. The result is a drastic drop in marriage, sex, and dating that can be classically graphed using economics:
This, of course, spells doom for socialist economies and politicians who rely on bribing old people with social security to vote for them. Without younger people marrying, breeding, and having children, minimalist herbivores and MGTOW's won't work up the tax base necessary to continue financing these social security ponzi schemes. This is why Japan (and other countries) have launched lame PSA campaigns trying to get native
But my view is a bit more empirical and cynical. If it's come to the point women would rather attention-whore on Facebook and men would rather marry a hologram than get together in the real world and rub naughty bits together, I say let it burn and enjoy the decline. Society, no matter what the country, doesn't deserve to continue on.
Books by Aaron