Upon first glance, Andrea Dworkin’s claim that men dominate women because of sadistic porn seems far-fetched. However, there is a distinct link between sadism and treatment of women in the world. Sadism—specifically the heterosexual kind in question—involves one man dominating over one woman. These men will beat, strangle, pull hair, and torture these women for their own sexual gain, and men are told that these women enjoy this. It only makes sense that they would see this sexual fantasy and want to bring it into the real world. Now, this does not mean that men start attacking women in the street; it is more insidious than that. It’s little things like catcalling about degrading sexual acts and comments to smile more. It’s your boss implying that sexual acts will get you further in your career. And it filters all the way down to children when little boys pull little girl’s pigtails; they don’t realize that they are participating in male domination, and the girls are told that it means the boy likes them. The idea that men create a brotherhood from sadism is clearly represented in the sexual harassment women and girls face the second they meet a man or boy.
Dworkin’s negative view of men is undeniably harsh, but also it is clearly true. Men are influenced by what they are seeing on the screen before them; they are influenced by the acts of the real man, or macho man, on the screen. However, they are also being influenced by those that they look up to. A man does not necessarily have to watch sadistic porn of this kind to be powered by it. If a man is guided by a man who watches this porn or even by a man who is influenced by a man who watches this porn, then the first man will be brainwashed by heterosexual, sadistic porn. Based on this scenario, it is clear that anti-women behaviors are not permanent or innate; men can in fact be pro-women. What needs to be destroyed is not porn as a whole or the male species, but the systematic brainwashing of men to hate women. This means creating porn that showcases sex that does not degrade women, but porn that is enjoyable for both parties and consensual. The idea of the rape fantasy needs to be killed because women are the ones who are harmed by this fantasy. Going back to the playground, boys need to be taught that aggression is not the way to show affection, and girls need to be taught that they do not have to accept having their hair pulled as love. Ultimately, the problem is society. Society allows these events to take place. Society lets men catcall and harass, pull hair, and threaten women daily. Women are not toys for men to play with, and society and men must change in order to end the insidious destruction and domination of women.
Bennett could have many reasons for arguing with the fallacies. First, he could be trying to appeal to people’s emotions in a positive way. Pathos is a part of argumentation where the writer appeals to an audience’s emotional side while also using facts and reason. However, appealing to emotions is different from manipulating someone’s emotions. Bennett tends to manipulate emotions by speaking of crack babies and pregnant mothers doing drugs instead of bringing in facts and statistics along with the drug moms and crack babies. Secondly, he could be in a defensive state because he may feel that his position is under attack. Bennett is in a powerful job that controls the drug regulation in America. The argument for legalization could seem like an attack on his ability to do his job. This would in turn make Bennett defensive and protective of the work they had done, which would blind him to proper argumentation. These reasons do not excuse his poor argumentation or make his argument stronger, but they do give an explanation for why he argued the way he did.
Bennett’s legalization argument is not wrong in the sense that it is an incorrect argument, but it is wrong in the way it goes about arguing the point. Bennett’s use of fallacies in his anti-legalization argument suggests that his argument does not have solid grounding. Fallacies are logical inconsistencies in an argument, which imply that the arguer is either inexperienced or incompetent. Since Bennett has been in politics for what seems like a long enough time to be able to argue, it can be assumed that he is not an inexperienced arguer. Therefore, it can be surmised that he is incompetent or, more accurately, he cannot accurately argue his side of this issue. Misrepresenting data and toying with emotions implies a lack of legitimate reasoning behind an argument, which means that the writer must attack the weaknesses of the human mind in order to succeed. The writer, in this case Bennett, attacks the American people’s kindness and care for infants and the fear they feel when they hear of insurmountable increases in addicts, deaths, and the like. Basically, Bennett goes after the goodwill of the American people that he aims to protect.
Kant’s categorical imperative holds that people should only do what they think should be the rule, or law, for all. The categorical imperative is similar to the golden rule in the fact that they both deal with how people ought to be treated. The big difference is that the golden rule is more subjective since it deals with how an individual wants to be treated, which can differ for each person, whereas the categorical imperative is objective since it deals with how an individual thinks all people should be treated, which is controlled by the law.
As a society, we have certain moral rules that everyone agrees on: murder is wrong, you should not steal, or hurting kids is wrong. Generally, everyone agrees that this is wrong even if some people do commit these acts—this does not imply that these people think this is right, just that it feels necessary in that moment. However, these basic moral codes have been established through our changing ideals and experiences. In the past, revenge for a death was common, allowed, and even admired. In this day and age, this is no longer the case. We decided these moral “laws” based on past experiences. I do not think it is possible to develop a moral code without it relying on experience in some way. At our hearts, we are still animals, and, therefore, we do not have anything to stop us from committing “sins”. This has been exemplified in literature and entertainment throughout the ages like Lord of the Flies and the horror series The Purge. When people are no longer kept in line by a moral code, they will do whatever benefits them or brings them joy. If people had a built in, experience free moral code, then this sort of idea would not happen. Moral codes are built on experiences and advice given by those who have raised you. Some parts of moral codes seem to come from within us, but that is because they have been so deeply engraved into our societies that we can no longer tell that they are not developed from experience. An example of this would be out understanding that a person should not hurt others intentionally. This would seem like common sense, but this understanding comes from centuries of understanding and trial-and-error. Moral codes are not innate; they must be developed.
Snapchat is an interesting form of social media. Unlike most social media platforms, it is more intimate in the fact that for the most part you interact with individual people and not the group as a whole. Although, stories still exist, which mirror the style of social media of Instagram and Facebook. By this, I mean that these modes of social media spew information to a group and not to an individual first.
One interesting feature of Snapchat is streaks. This occurs when you and whoever you are interacting with snap each other back each day for multiple days in a row. As this exchange continues, the streak “grows”. Basically, it’s just a count of how many days you have continued this interaction. Why I find this so fascinating is that it is possibly the sole reason that Snapchat stays relevant. Many people feel this compulsion to continue these streaks, which are really just arbitrary. What this feature and weird psychological need do is force people to use the app. Ultimately, it keeps Snapchat on peoples’ minds.
The reason I think this is relevant to a blog about economic inequality is the fact that this is probably an effect of the American economic style. Our mixed economy allows for government control and freedom for entrepreneurs. This freedom leads to amazing inventions, innovations, and fun new apps for us to enjoy. However, anyone can be an entrepreneur, which means the market gets flooded with new products and many similar products. The goal becomes that a product must be unique and the first on the market. That’s how Facebook became relevant. That’s how Instagram proved its worth. And that’s how Snapchat has stayed on the radar: it’s unique and it was the first of its kind. In conclusion, the American economy is designed to force entrepreneurs to be better, but it also preys on weaknesses of the human psyche.
So, I’m finally getting around to blogging after only posted twice so far. I’m supposed to post at least once a week. So, in conclusion, I’m doing really great. My inability to do weekly tasks is probably why my A1C is always so high–I can’t be bothered to remember to do things. This is why I have a million reminders on my phone and still fail to do them. This is also probably why I’m working on my research proposal at this moment. And by “working on my research proposal” I mean procrastinating by writing this blog post.
I know if I had finished it earlier, then I would have more time to think about it. However, my fear of things I do not know how to accomplish took over. So here I am. What I find so fascinating about this exercise is how so completely confused I was about writing a research proposal. It sounds so simple doesn’t it? Just explain your idea, why you want to do it, and how you are going to do it. But starting to write it, I realized I had no clue how to actually research my problem. It would make so much sense to interview people and see what their home life was like and how well they’ve done since then. I want to know how the wage gap effects lives, and I want to know how these single parent homes effect the lives of their children. However, I would need multiple years and loads of grants to be able to accomplish this. I do not have years, I have weeks. And I’m pretty sure no one wants to give me loads of grants right now. Maybe next year.
I’ve finally run out of dumb rambling things I want to share, so I guess it’s time to actually finish this work.
So, these are my notes from my presentation on Wednesday. They’re super boring, but hey my humor comes in the moment when I’m sleep deprived and low on coffee. Enjoy.
- Distributive Justice
- Julian Lamont and Christi Favor
- Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Distributive justice deals with different distributions of benefits and burdens across society
- Distributive justice identifies what is morally preferable and provides moral guidance
- Most people stayed in the economic position they were born into
- Economic benefits and burdens were seen as fixed
- Realized this could be fixed by government
- Now it’s a hot topic
- Changes in policy of any kind affect economic distribution
- Strict egalitarianism
- Calls for the allocation of equal material goods to all members of society
- People are morally equal
- Difference principle
- allows inequality in materials in order to raise the level of the least advantaged in the society
- Luck egalitarianism literature
- Considerate of responsibility and luck
- Equality of opportunity
- Desert-based principle
- People deserve certain economic benefits
- welfare-based principles
- Should be designed and assessed according to how they affect welfare
- Primary moral importance is the level of welfare of people
- libertarian principles
- Conflicts with the more important moral demands of liberty or self-ownership
- Don’t see the market as a means to some desired pattern
- Feminist critiques
- Existing principles ignore the particular circumstances of women
- More sensitive to the fact that women often have primary responsibility for child-rearing and on average, spend less of their lifetimes than men in the market
- Interest in what difference the practical experience of gender makes to the subject matter or study of justice
- Distributive principles
- Vary in what is considered relevant to distributive justice, recipients, on what basis the distribution should be made
- What I found interesting:
- Crucially relevant to current political discussion
- To inform decisions about our societies
- No society conforms to one theory—not realistic
- Recommendation: It’s interesting, but really long and in depth
In class on Friday, we did a video conference with Naomi De La Tour to talk about economic inequality. We mostly covered our educational experiences and what was our most important learning experience. Not surprisingly, most of us did not have rave reviews for the American education system. in my experience, our education system has valued our scores over us actually learning. Throughout high school, my math teachers would have us tutor lower math classes. The most startling thing about this experience was that they had no idea how to do math off of a calculator; we always had to do math without the calculator. This ended up creating a communication issue because I could not help the other student without the teacher’s help. Being able to discuss this with people who had gone to different schools, yet had had similar experiences was incredible. It really brought to life the fact that our education system is suffering. No one is learning; we had become cogs in the machine.
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