We present a new theory of erotic capital as a fourth personal asset, an important addition to economic, cultural, and social capital. Erotic capital has six, or possibly seven, distinct elements, one of which has been characterized as ‘emotional labour’. Erotic capital is increasingly important in the sexualized culture of affluent modern societies. Erotic capital is not only a major asset in mating and marriage markets, but can also be important in labour markets, the media, politics, advertising, sports, the arts, and in everyday social interaction. Women generally have more erotic capital than men because they work harder at it. Given the large imbalance between men and women in sexual interest over the life course, women are well placed to exploit their erotic capital. A central feature of patriarchy has been the construction of ‘moral’ ideologies that inhibit women from exploiting their erotic capital to achieve economic and social benefits. Feminist theory has been unable to extricate itself from this patriarchal perspective and reinforces ‘moral’ prohibitions on women’s sexual, social, and economic activities and women’s exploitation of their erotic capital.
“Tirannide indistintamente appellare si debbe ogni qualunque governo, in cui chi è preposto alla esecuzion delle leggi, può farle, distruggerle, infrangerle, interpretarle, impedirle, sospenderle; od anche soltanto deluderle, con sicurezza d’impunità. E quindi, o questo infrangi-legge sia ereditario, o sia elettivo; usurpatore, o legittimo; buono, o tristo; uno, o molti; a ogni modo, chiunque ha una forza effettiva, che basti a ciò fare, è tiranno; ogni società, che lo ammette, è tirannide; ogni popolo, che lo sopporta, è schiavo.”—Vittorio Alfieri, Della Tirannide, 1790 [via Vento largo]
“In 1883 Henry Ziegland broke up from his girlfriend. She was so distressed from the break-up that she committed suicide. Her enraged brother did the ‘heroic’ thing, and shot Ziegland and then took his own life with the same gun. Little did he know that the bullet had scraped past Ziegland and lodged itself in a tree behind him. Ziegland must have thought he was the luckiest man alive. Unfortunately, luck wasn’t on his side when he decided to remove the tree from his property, some 20 years after the original shooting. Unable to perform the task manually, he decided to use dynamite. In the explosion, the bullet became dislodged from the tree with such a force that it flew into Ziegland’s head, killing him instantly.”—Top 5 Unluckiest People Who Ever Lived - Pig Jockey
“In the annals of judicial folly, a place of honor ought to be reserved for this week’s conviction of three Google executives by an Italian court. Their crimes, apparently, included a failure of clairvoyance and an inability to time-travel.”—The Wall Street Journal