It’s an International Ethics Dunce parade!
1. Ontario, Canada
The Windsor-Essex County Humane Society in Ontario thought it would be really clever to use the Donald Trump phrase that many believe disqualify him to be President in an ad to adopt kitty-cats. It featured a photo of Trump and said, “You don’t have to be a star to grab a pussy … cat.”
Amazing. Not one person in the chain of custody of this—I would say obviously, but when so many people miss it, I guess it’s not—offensive ad had an ethics alarm sound. Nobody had the sense, prudence or guts to say,
“Uh, guys? Hello? You do realize that this is using a phrase describing sexual assault while alluding to the one who used it to describe sexual assault? You do realize that “pussy” alluding to female genitalia is vulgar and uncivil, right? No? Here, let me explain it to you…or hwo about this: there is no way this won’t spark criticism. Is that what you want?”
Sure enough, the ad promoting cat adoptions this week for $50, was taken down shortly after it appeared this week.
The society offered a pathetic apology. Melanie Coulter, executive director of the humane society, “explained” it was an attempt to make light of the U.S election campaign, though it also “made light” of sexual assault, contemptuous attitudes toward women, and obscene rhetoric.
“We are obviously sorry if people are offended by the ad — that wasn’t our attempt in the least,” Coulter said. “Our attempt was to find homes for cats that need them.” She also added that the shelter took in more than a hundred cats in the last week.
For the record, the rationalizations here are…
3. Consequentialism, or “It Worked Out for the Best”
13. The Saint’s Excuse: “It’s for a good cause”
19A The Insidious Confession, or “It wasn’t the best choice.”
It also suggests that I need to add “We meant well” to the list as a sub-rationalization to #13.