Ethics Quiz: Free The Tampon.Com

share-not-equal“Tampons and pads should be treated just like toilet paper — they’re the equivalent,” argues Nancy Kramer. She has started Free the Tampons, a campaign to make feminine products accessible in all restrooms. “Menstruation is a normal bodily function, and it should be treated like that.”

This apparently is a new front in fighting the war on women. It’s one more piece of overhead to be passed on to the public, of course.  Are tampons really like toilet paper? Funny, I thought women used toilet paper too. I also thought public hygiene and health laws made toilet paper mandatory because rest rooms in public places are mandatory, and a rest room without tp isn’t worth much. Hard to cram those rolls into a purse, too.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is…

Is it unethical for restrooms not to supply free tampons and pads?

Continue reading

An Obvious Ethics Note On The State Of The Union Address

San-Andreas-crack

Since President Obama has shown a willingness to lie outright to the American people in order to advance his policy agendas and acquire political advantage, there is no reason why any citizen should have cared what he said in the State of the Union message yesterday. One example should suffice, though there are dozens. As recently as January 7, President Obama pushed his anti-gun agenda by stating that “we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency. It doesn’t happen in other advanced countries. It’s not even close.”  It’s a lie. It’s a lie because he has said this repeatedly, and repeatedly been told, even by reliable anti-gun sources that it is false. France suffered more deaths and injuries from mass shootings in the past year than the U.S. has during Obama’s eight years in office. That doesn’t diminish the importance of finding, if possible, effective policies to reduce U.S. gun violence. It just means that the President thinks it’s acceptable to lie to us, so he does.

The head-exploding moment in his speech last night (I read the transcript), if it did not come with the cynical and silly announcement of a Sixties space program-type effort to “cure cancer”—since we’ve all been ignoring cancer all these years–with Joe Biden—not Khloe Kardashian, an equally strong choice—at the helm (see, Joe’s son died of cancer, so that qualifies him for leadership in cancer research), came from Obama’s stated regrets for the divided state of the nation’s politics, and his failure to stem them, though Lord knows he tried.

Gee, why didn’t his advisors suggest to him that one way for the President to reduce societal division would to stop actively trying to divide people along class, race, religion, region, gender, generation and ethnicity? Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Bloomingdale’s

Bloomingdales

Can you read that?  Bloomingdale’s catalogue, just in time for the holidays, urges young men to drug their dates’ drinks. All the better to rape them later when they are too out of it to consent to sex. Or maybe, for the especially enterprising, sell them into white slavery while they’re in a stupor. Ho Ho Ho!

Here, this is a clearer version:

Bloomingdales2

The feminist blogs and websites were all over this one, so after somebody explained the outrage to the collection of Mad Men throwbacks, pigs and felons who work in Bloomies’ marketing department, they came up with an apology. “In reflection of recent feedback, the copy we used in our recent catalog was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale’s sincerely apologizes for this error in judgment,” the retailer told Tech Insider.

Here’s the problem: If you can’t tell that an ad like that is creepy without someone telling, you are creepy, and so are all the people who let the ad get into print.

No “War On Women,” Just Integrity: Gov. Walker Will Sign Abortion Limits Law Without Rape And Incest Exceptions

A fetus at 20 weeks: "Sorry, kid, your dad was a rapist, so you're not human any more..."

A fetus at 20 weeks: “Sorry, kid, your dad was a rapist, so you’re not human any more…”

For such an important, life and death issue as abortion—the slavery debate of our time—the lack of prominent politicians on either side showing integrity is stunning.  Abortion on demand advocates like John Kerry and Joe Biden simultaneously claim to believe that human life begins at conception—they are good Catholic boys—while contradicting the ethical demands of those beliefs by advocating the elimination of legal protection for those human lives. Anti-abortion Republicans typically blink at the question of what they would do if a daughter or granddaughter became pregnant with an unwanted child, retreating, like Dan Quayle did decades ago, to ‘I would leave the choice to her and support her whatever she decides.’ Translation: “I believe in restricting any woman’s right to choose unless I personally know and care about them.”

Yechhh.

The other question that exposes a paucity of thought, courage and integrity in abortion opponents involves the rape or incest dilemma. Journalists, who learned in their campus cultures that abortion only involved one human life and the “thing” being removed was just an inhuman annoyance with no rights at all, consider any policy maker or politician a monster  if he doesn’t melt into a puddle when asked the “but what about…?” question and blubber, “Of course, I support abortion in the case of rape and incest…” In truth, the opposite is true. That answer exposes a callousness toward women and the lack of serious and coherent thought about human life. Continue reading

Incompetent Elected Officials Of The Month: The Connecticut State Senate

The Connecticut Senate this week approved a probably unconstitutional bill requiring all Connecticut colleges and universities to adopt the “yes, means yes” policy when it comes to sexual consent, similar to California’s cypto-fascist law. The bill dictates a completely unenforceable standard for sexual consent It was bi-partisan fascism, and passed 34-1. Sen. Joe Markley, R-Southington, was the lone vote against it.

According to the bill’s champion, Sen. Mae Flexer, D-Killingly,  it is “is redefining the definition of consent.” She explains that under the law, college students would be required to “say yes” or indicate nonverbally through “physical cues” that they are willing to have sex with another college student. And what “physical cues” would qualify? How about eye contact, and the kind of communications that we celebrate in the arts and literature? What about the “look of love” that Dusty Springfield sang about? Enough, Mae? How would schools enforce such a law? Cameras in every room? A panel of “physical cues” experts, watching every possible sexual encounter? Continue reading

Unethical Quote of the Month: Talking Points Memo Blogger Alana Levinson

Biden Harassment

Now I’m wondering whether I’m a “bad liberal” to call him out. That means aligning myself with conservatives who love crying “double standard” on issues like this, not because they actually care about feminism, but to push their liberal media bias agenda.

—–Alana Levinson writing at Talking Points Memo about Joe Biden’s blatant “creepy uncle” sexual harassment at public events, and the news media’s failure to condemn it.

Wait, what?

Is this some kind of weird mutation of logic that only liberals and journalists understand, like the unique language identical twins make up for themselves?

Alana makes a strong case–it’s not hard to make, however—that Vice-President Biden routinely, publicly and shamelessly engages in the exact same conduct that gets employees and executives warned, sued and fired all over America as feminists cheer (as well as non-feminists with a brain, because the employees and executives should be warned, sued and fired).  It’s called “abusing power and position to cop a feel.” Then she writes the quote above, which I don’t understand at all:

Sexual harassment is unethical, disrespectful of women, and illegal.

Liberals have been at the forefront, to their credit, of making this recognition a cultural sea change.

The Vice President of the United States regularly undermines this signature liberal and feminist achievement by flaunting his cluelessness and archaic sexism at public events, either because he’s not paying attention to his own party’s rhetoric (scary) or because he knows he can get away with it (disgusting).

So she’s being a bad liberal if she points out that this is wrong and needs to stop forthwith, and a good liberal to allow it continue, allow the Vice President to act as if women (and, ick, little girls)…

Biden grope2

…are his personal fondle-toys while they silently endure public humiliation and silent discomfort? Continue reading

Campus Rape: How Opposing The Use Of Fake Stats, Lies and False Narratives Became “Conservative”

fondo abstracto de tecnologia 3d.Lenguaje binario

I just don’t see how or why insisting on using objective and verifiable facts in policy-making and public discourse became “conservative bias.” I don’t recall the media’s interest in correcting fake combat statistics during the Vietnam war being regarded as “liberal bias.” I can’t bring myself to believe that only moderates and conservatives care about making sure that the public isn’t deceived into believing things that aren’t true.

But why does this stuff keep happening, and particularly, why does it keep happening under the supervision of Democrats and their supporters during the Obama years? I know I’ve been harping on “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” and the deification of Mike Brown as contrary to all evidence, common sense, fairness and rationality, but such cultural embrace of lies is objectively outrageous and dangerous. I also resent being called a “teabagger,” a racist, or a right-wing nut for pointing this out.

One reason resent it, perhaps the main one, is that I’m a lifetime iconoclast, curmudgeon and contrarian (just like Dad!) and while I know that having  people, even friends, angry at me never changed my opinions, words or behavior very much, most people are not like me. Most people, when they are called racists on Facebook or bombarded with dishonest Daily Kos internet memes or realize that their friends aren’t inviting them out for beer because they will object to the conventional liberal wisdom of the nonce, decide its more important to get along than to fight the good fight, so they just adopt the prevalent opinion of their “crowd.” Usually, personal growth and education on the issue stops about then: if you listen hard, you will hear the sound of a slamming door. Soon they’ll be calling others racists on Facebook.

The fake campus sexual assault issue is another area where this phenomenon is occurring. CBS’s Sunday Morning gave one of its gauzy features about it yesterday, beginning with the assumption that for some reason (the reason was already pre-programmed and injected directly into the Democratic Party’s second most reliable “base” group, young single women bloodstream, with its “war on women” convention theme in 2012) campus sexual assault is epidemic. On the show’s website, proving that this was propaganda rather than journalism, was this sentence: “According to the U.S. Justice Department, one in five college women will experience some kind of sexual assault while in school.” (It had been removed by this morning.) Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: A Sexual Assault By The President?

"Kiss me, you saucy wench!"

“Kiss me, you saucy wench!”

I owe blogger Ann Althouse big time for this:  What an alert and accomplished troublemaker she is!

This seems like a “gotcha!” and it is certainly that. It is more, however, and raises both illuminating and difficult issues. Here is the video of Obama’s encounter while voting in Chicago today:

Here is Althouse:

“I thought only “yes” means yes: Did Obama get true, verbalized consent from that woman before he kissed her?  No. He did not…Obama orders her to kiss him: “You’re gonna kiss me. Give him something to talk about. Now, he’s really jealous.” As you see in the video, he makes that declarative statement and immediately grabs her and kisses and hugs her. Why is that acceptable? He’s using her in an effort to regain dignity and to humiliate the man who humiliated him. It might all be dismissed as play humiliation and play counter-humiliation. But the woman’s body was used as an object of that play, a means of communication between men.”

When I ran an all-female staff for a mostly rich old guy association, I gave a standing order that no staffer would submit to a kiss from a member, no matter how “playful” and no matter how high-ranking the man was. There can be no consent in such situations, and a man saying “You’re going to kiss me” and doing it a) without free and open consent and 2) under the duress and the compulsion of superior power (Gee, do you think the President of the United States automatically carries that with him? Not sure? Ask Bill Clinton.) has engaged in textbook sexual assault and battery. This conduct, which has been the subject of a major initiative by the Democrat feminist base this year, counts encounters just like the one in the video as the kind of campus sexual assault that gives them the “one in five women are victims” narrative to stoke this skirmish in the “war on women.” So your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz—and I suggest you reflect a while before you answer—is this:

Is what Obama did in the video ethical, in the sense that it was responsible, respectful, fair, acknowledging autonomy, not an abuse of power or position, and most of all, meeting the strict standard of male-female interaction that is being aggressively and pugnaciously advanced by his feminist supporters?

Continue reading

The Double Standard Files

double-standardsA misguided commenter (or perhaps he was just trying to annoy me) challenged my assertions regarding Michael Sam by claiming that I was advocating a double standard in his case, while I have condemned the prevalence of double standards elsewhere on Ethics Alarms (like here.)  I pointed out, none too gently, I must admit, that this was an unjust complaint. The requirement that trailblazers in sports, politics or any other field have to either establish high levels of performance, character and trustworthiness or fail—and not only fail, but set their causes back significantly—is not a double standard, but a separate one that applies in unique circumstances. I find it difficult to believe that most people fail to understand this.

Just to be clear, however, I began this morning searching the news for true double standards, for which the accompanying word should always be “hypocrisy.” I did not have to look very far:

 Double Standard #1 

“Take back America”: Racist for Republicans, Fine for Democrats Continue reading

Sen. Gillibrand and The Pigs

"I yield to the distinguished gentleman from the sty..."

“I yield to the distinguished gentleman from the sty…”

People magazine revealed an intriguing bit of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) new memoir, “Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice to Change the World” that suggests that members of the Senate are not the “Distinguished Gentlemen” they are supposed to be, at least when it comes to basic manners involving female colleagues:

“Gillibrand isn’t especially offended by her coworkers’ remarks. ‘It was all statements that were being made by men who were well into their 60s, 70s or 80s,’ she says. ‘They had no clue that those are inappropriate things to say to a pregnant woman or a woman who just had a baby or to women in general.’ ”

Now some critics on the Right are using this as a “gotcha!”, suggesting that Gillibrand is protecting Democrats from negative attention for the same kinds of conduct that Gillibrand’s party and colleagues are quick to use against Republicans in its “war on women” strategy.

This accusation is beyond disingenuous, not to mention stupid. If Gillibrand were to publicly accuse a GOP colleague of such conduct, she would be accused, by these same critics, of being a hysteric, a bad colleague, unprofessional and petty—and they would be right. No professional woman responds to this kind of crude, obnoxious, “Look! I’ve-been-hiding-in-since-1970,” training-wheels harassment by making a public accusation that embarrasses not just the individual at fault but the organization they both work for. For Gillibrand to do this in the U.S. Senate would instantly make her a pariah even in her own party.

More importantly, it would be wrong. Continue reading