Casting Pearls Into The Algorithm

Casting Pearls Into The Algorithm April 29, 2024

Art by Aedan Kennedy @targambie on Insta

I am a little bit embarrassed to admit that I have been quietly checking on H. Pearl Davis–on the X App, @pearlythingz–provocateur, and peddler of iniquitously questionable takes. I haven’t quite come round to listening to her podcast, so perhaps she is much more reasonable than she appears in a hundred characters or less, so take this with a grain of plausible deniability. Nevertheless, the tweets are bad–so so so bad. Pulling at random some of the sensational ideas she recently shared from her heart, there’s this

Women don’t like p*rn because it makes them lose power, not because they believe it is that detrimental to society. Social media is far more detrimental to women than p*rn is to men

[‘splains the person with 426.7K followers on X and 1.9 on YouTube]

and this

Most women do not mentally mature past the age of 13. Maybe 17 at best.

and this

Men saying “let me ask my wife” is like women saying “let me ask my child”

I expect you can see why not only I, but millions of other people wander by to see this “content.” Like the fascination of a slow-motion train wreck, or a person so covered in tattoos there is no regular skin left, or a person cleaning her already clean kitchen for some reason,* it’s so hard to look away and think of better things. Pearl, as far as I can tell, is trying to be on the side of men, to understand them and make them feel more comfortable about their lives. She appears to be a church-goer, but not of the brand that has experiential knowledge of the underlying organizing principles of the Kingdom of God. Like so many, her brand of human relationships is of the Amelia Bedelia kind (h/t Jady as usual). She has some grasp on the fact of being human, but too many of the essentials are missing, which makes reading her all the more interesting.

I don’t want to litigate the fate of men in the modern world–we all know it is bad. In many ways, the men have the worst deal. They can’t win. They are on the lowest rung of the hierarchical ladder. They are right to be cautious about entering into marriage with some person who might suddenly show up on TikTok, screeching about her rights. All this is well-documented. It should, nevertheless, be possible to recover good things for men without resorting to misogyny or adopting a grim and brtual view of relationships between men and women.

Let’s take the tweets in turn, just for the sake of amusing ourselves as our gray hairs go down in sorrow to Sheol. In the first one, Pearl is responding to a person trying to encourage men not to look at p*rn. The original tweet is here. To which, as we’ve seen, Pearl makes this broad and sweeping judgment: “Women don’t like p*rn because it makes them lose power, not because they believe it is that detrimental to society.” I like that– “Women don’t like p*rn because…” as if any of us, in 2024 could possibly speak for “women.” Speaking as a woman myself, and one with a husband and two sons, I don’t like p*rn because it is both detrimental to society, detrimental to the souls of the individual men consuming it, detrimental to the women producing it, and also a grave offense against God. It does disempower women–and not in a good way. It’s actually not bad for women to have some power–especially the power of their own sexuality, especially when they can preserve it for the sacred blessedness of marriage. But there’s no point even considering such a vast subject because Pearl thinks that “social media is far more detrimental to women than p*rn is to men.” What does that even mean? Social media is detrimental. It’s bad for everyone. Why are these two things set against each other? Why would you have to pick and make such a comparison? Why tweet this at all?

Anyway, let’s go on. In the second one, she said, “Most women do not mentally mature past the age of 13. Maybe 17 at best.” Yeah No. Again, what is “most” women? Sure, there are a lot of dumb bricks out there, many of them on Social Media. But Pearl should confine her judgments to herself. Perhaps she has not matured beyond the age of 13, 17 at best. It’s like, I dunno, it’s like she’s hanging around some awful people. Go to a real church, for heaven’s sake. Real churches are full of men and women who are intelligent and mature, who care for each other, who count others as more significant than themselves, who can think their way out of the ever narrowing algorithm.

Honestly, as I’m typing this I feel all the maturity and intelligence ebbing away from my body. What am I even doing? How did I ever come across this person? Maybe she’s right. Maybe her millions of followers prove her right and me wrong. Maybe we’ve come to the end and we’re all being shoved into a horrible dark hut expecting to be suddenly devoured by Tash (the details of the last bit of the Last Battle are hazy for me because I’m always so anxious and stressed by that point).

I mean, we’ve come this far, might as well go the distance. Tweet Number Three: “Men saying ‘let me ask my wife’ is like women saying ‘let me ask my child.'” Again, it’s a no. It’s not like that. Unless you are horribly weird and bad. “Men” saying they will ask their wives something before giving an answer is nothing at all like asking their “children.” In fact, it’s a mark of respect, of honor, of acknowledging one’s loyalty and care for the single person you have pledged yourself to for the work of mucking along through life. My gosh, how utterly bleak.

So anyway, give Pearl a follow in the same way you might occasionally check in on Keven M. Young–for the truly bad, dumb, untrue, and apocalyptic takes. Or, just go be a regular person and don’t worry about this unserious, fatuous, foolish, incandescently dumb view of human relationships.

Have a nice day! Find me on Substack if you like.

*sorry, I can’t find the link–it was a reel somewhere

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