Category Archives: Romance and Relationships

Ethics Quiz: The Syracuse Kiss Cam Ban

Kiss cam

The Syracuse University Carrier Dome kiss cam was taken out of service over the weekend and was not in operation during  the Syracuse-Central Michigan University football game, apparently because a letter to the editor  on expressed the opinion that it encouraged sexual assault. So-called kiss cams are a tradition in some stadiums in which the scoreboard camera pans the crowd and picks out a couple who find themselves being displayed over or under a banner that encourages/demands that they kiss as the crowd roars. Typically, they do, laugh, and life goes on.

Yes, it’s stupid.

Letter writer Steve Port described watching two kiss cam scenes in which women didn’t seem to want to be kissed, but nearby men kissed them anyway as the crowd cheered.  He said such a practice condones and encourages “sexual assault and a sense of male entitlement, at best. And they are an actual instance of assault, at worst…No one has the right to forcefully touch someone be it a hug, a kiss or a violent rape.”

Well, I certainly agree that rape cam is a bad idea.

Port argued that “the Syracuse University student government, the chancellor, the athletic director, etc. review what happened last weekend and seriously consider the ramifications of what they are encouraging.” Spooked by the letter and the online response to it, the Syracuse administration discontinued the gimmick. One letter is all it took. “We are taking the time to assess the concerns expressed in the letter to the editor. We discussed this with POMCO, the sponsor, and they supported that approach,” Sue Edson, executive senior associate athletics director for communications, said in an email.

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day:

Is the kiss cam a provocation to sexual assault and a sense of male entitlement and therefore unethical?

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Filed under Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Quotes, Romance and Relationships, Sports

From The”On The Other Hand” Files: Before You Are Too Hard On Feminists Who Arrive At College Resenting Men, Read This…

Street harassment sign There is are good reasons why many women come to think of all men as potential predators.

Valerie Steighner authored a powerful essay titled “My 11-Year-Old Daughter Just Got Catcalled for the First Time and I Don’t Know How To Teach Her to Protect Herself From Predators.” Please read it. Here’s an excerpt:

She is 11 years old. She just graduated from elementary school and still plays with small plastic animals. And now along with vocab words, I have to teach her how to protect herself from disgusting men.

I told her that what that man did is called catcalling and catcalling is aggressive behavior and the best action is to ignore it. Usually, men that are willing to yell slurs about you and your body, if provoked, can be unpredictable and dangerous; it’s best to keep walking; don’t make eye contact and stand tall. 

I felt so defeated as the words came out of my mouth. Basically, there is nothing we can do, but pretend it’s not happening….Obviously, I was sexually active all through my twenties, but there is a difference from being what others want and finding what you need…The predator lives everywhere. He lives on our streets, in our grocery stores, on our billboards and in our malls. He constantly reminds us what our value is and where we belong. How do I teach her to catch him, see him and to protect herself from him?  How do I teach her that her body is not a source of shame but a source of power and strength? How do I teach her to hear the predator’s words to know what they mean and still stand tall and confident? How do I teach her to protect herself and still be open?

It sucks. It sucks that this has to happen to my daughter in 6th grade. It sucks that it’s only the beginning. It sucks that she has to learn about her body in the context of men noticing it. 

What also sucks is that the problem is a failure of ethics and civilization to move fast enough. Men are programmed to want sex and to procreate, and once upon a time in America the kind of conduct a disgusting 50-year old focused on the writer’s barely pubescent daughter was a cultural norm. In some places, it still is. Women had no other function but to find a man, have his children and make the home run smoothly, and not finding a man was, in some settings, a catastrophe. In the American West, a woman in her thirties who was uneducated and unmarried was very likely to end up a prostitute: it was the single largest occupation for unmarried women. When so many women are whores, men get in the habit of treating women as whores, and women who don’t want that fate will provide positive reinforcement to flirtations that are really harassment and disrespect. [You can find the many Ethics Alarms posts related to this topic here]

Old habits supported by hormones, traditions and bad role models—like, say, Jack Kennedy, Joe Biden and Donald Trump–will die hard or not die at all. In many ways, the culture still supports the ugly behavior Steighner’s daughter experienced. Many ways.  For example, in a current Geico commercial, the Gecko shows his trophy accompanied by that briefly popular song “Whoomp! There it is!,”  which is essentially street harassment in song form. You will also hear it in sporst stadiums. Continue reading


Filed under Childhood and children, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Love, Popular Culture, Romance and Relationships, U.S. Society

If They Threw Elliot In Jail For Kissing Erika Eleniak, What Would Have Happened To E.T.?

In a memorable scene in “E.T.,” young hero Elliot (Henry Thomas), intoxicated by his psychic link to his marooned space alien pal, loses impulse control during Middle School science class and, while E.T. watches John Wayne’s passionate kiss with Maureen O’Hara in “The Quite Man,” embraces the class heart-throb—played by barely pubescent “Baywatch” babe-to-be Erika Eleniak!


— and gives her a passionate smooch.

If Spielberg’s classic premiered today, this scene might be condemned as sexual assault by feminists, who would insist that Elliot should have been charged. Is that really fair? Rational? Sane?

At  Pikesville (Maryland) Middle School, a 13-year-old boy has been charged with second-degree assault for kissing a 14-year-old girl on a dare. Police were called to the scene by the school, undoubtedly influenced by the current sexual assault freak-out on college campuses. (The proper response of an ethical and well-led police force, by the way, would be “Don’t waste our time.”) Continue reading


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Childhood and children, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Gender and Sex, Law & Law Enforcement, Popular Culture, Romance and Relationships, U.S. Society

Unethical Quote of the Week: Kim Davis

“I never imagined a day like this would come, where I would be asked to violate a central teaching of Scripture and of Jesus Himself regarding marriage. To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience. It is not a light issue for me. It is a Heaven or Hell decision. For me it is a decision of obedience. I have no animosity toward anyone and harbor no ill will. To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God’s Word. It is a matter of religious liberty, which is protected under the First Amendment, the Kentucky Constitution, and in the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Our history is filled with accommodations for people’s religious freedom and conscience. I want to continue to perform my duties, but I also am requesting what our Founders envisioned – that conscience and religious freedom would be protected. That is all I am asking. I never sought to be in this position, and I would much rather not have been placed in this position. I have received death threats from people who do not know me. I harbor nothing against them. I was elected by the people to serve as the County Clerk. I intend to continue to serve the people of Rowan County, but I cannot violate my conscience.”

—-Kim Davis, Rowan County Kentucky Clerk  and hero of the addled, who has been making an ass out of herself while inconveniencing and insulting citizens of the State of Kentucky who only wish to get a marriage license, as is their right, in an official statement today released by her lawyers.

Stop in the name of arrogance and ignorance!

Stop in the name of arrogance and ignorance!

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to extend a temporary stay of a federal court order directing Davis to stop grandstanding, do her job and issue marriage licenses to a same-sex couples. One of the couples that Davis sought to deny the equal protection of law sued her, hence the order.   Davis’s lawyers, who have been giving her lousy advice, appealed  that order to the Court of Appeals, which stayed the lower court order until August 31. Now the stay of the order is no longer in effect, she’s out of even semi-rational options, and the courts are out of patience.

Davis, expressing certainty regarding her gross misinterpretation of law, religion, the Bible, and what it means to have a job, embraces a version of the Rule of Law that would lead directly to a theocracy. She is doing more damage to Christianity by her high profile idiocy than any gay couple possibly could. Continue reading


Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Race, Religion and Philosophy, Rights, Romance and Relationships

The Nurturing Of Race Hate, Part Two: The Daniele Watts Saga


Last September, African-American actress Daniele Watts (“Django Unchained”) engaged in lewd, if non-felonious, public conduct, then exploited the tensions arising out of Ferguson to claim victim status, police harassment and race prejudice. When the police were exonerated by the recording of her arrest and she was ordered to apologize by a judge (and asked to apologize by civil rights leaders, who were embarrassed after they rallied to her support only to find that she had played the race card without  justification), she failed—twice—to deliver a sincere apology. She is defiant and intoxicated by her martyrdom, another young African American who has been convinced of her entitlement to be an anti-white racist.

To appreciate the tale, we have to go back to September 11, 2014, when the actress and her white boyfriend, a “celebrity chef,” were visibly engaged in sexual conduct in their car in broad daylight on an LA street. Neighbors complained—we have not yet reached the point where rutting in public is legal and acceptable, but give progressives time—and police responded. Naturally, as this was at the height of the Ferguson controversy, the news media immediately reported the story as more police harassment of black citizens, this time for “kissing while black.” Here’s a typical account from  September 14: Continue reading


Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Race, Rights, Romance and Relationships, U.S. Society

Unethical Comment Thread Of The Month: IJR’s Story On The Cheerleader Rapist

"Hi, I'm Molly, and I just raped you son. A simple thank you will suffice..."

“Hi, I’m Molly, and I just raped you son. A simple thank you will suffice…”

Well, read it and weep, as poker players say.

I’ve written about this disgusting phenomenon before, when ethically-challenged bloggers, pundits and commenters snicker about how great it is for the under-age male victims of sexual assault by attractive female teachers and other comely predators. The complete ignorance of the requirements of basic adult responsibility, the wrongfulness of abuse of power,  the law of consent and so much else exhibited by these blights on civilization is truly frightening, though it tells us a great deal about where Donald Trump’s support comes from among other things.

I am distraught. On one hand, reading this kind of thing makes me wonder why I bother. Really. How can one man, or a thousand, reverse or even retard the corrosive effects of so many idiots whose contempt for decency and whose ethical darkness is so deep, cynical  and shameless? On the other hand, what better choices do those of us who understand and care about the values of society have? To sink into catatonic despair? To self-lobotomize and join the mob of corrupt fools, grinning and drooling as the U.S. becomes Hell? To shake out fists at the moon until something pops and we are dragged to the padded room?

The story that generated these comments involved former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Molly Shattuck, who was accused of raping a 15-year-old boy last summer in Rehoboth, Delaware. Shattuck decided to plead guilty to one count of fourth degree and  admitted that she performed oral sex on the boy, who was a friend of her son.

This classy mom (she has three kids) was sentenced to spend every other weekend for the next two years at a work-release detention center, plus she must pay the victim’s family $10,650 and register as a sex offender. Yes indeed, this is very lenient compared to what would have happened if an adult male had sex with a 15-year-old girl.

The Attorney General called it a “classic case of grooming behavior” as he argued for more than probation.  What the commenters don’t comprehend is that how a victim feels about criminal conduct should have little influence on the proper punishment of the criminal. Should the battered spouse of a man who has dominated and cowed her into believing that she “deserves it”  ensure that her husband is treated more leniently than the wife-beater whose spouse resists and objects? Well, this is one of the things the commenters don’t comprehend. There is so much more. (I have checked the comment threads on this story on other websites. They are essentially the same.)

Read it and weep.


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Filed under Character, Childhood and children, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Family, Gender and Sex, Law & Law Enforcement, Romance and Relationships, The Internet, U.S. Society

The Ashley Madison Files


Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Family, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Romance and Relationships, The Internet, Unethical Websites