Archive for the ‘Towards A Gender-Neutral Ethics’ Category

The End Of Humanism?

No, I don’t mean humanism in the sense of benevolence or the opposite of misanthropy, nor even in the sense of a godless ethical philosophy. I am using it more in the much older sense of Classical literature and thought in opposition to medieval Christianity. This was code for discussing human beings as they really […]

Letting Men Be Men?

I never quite know what to make of generalisations like, “Women will never know who they are until they let men be men” (Paglia). At one level I know what she means, that human identity is indissolubly bound up with one’s gender, of which we need at least two so as to define each other […]

A Radical Manifesto

An interesting doctoral dissertation for an individual of reckless courage, or someone who only had a short time left to live anyway, would be the rise and fall of the notion that equivalent actions of both sexes should be judged equally. Another might be systematically to chart the ways in which the self-same acts can […]

The Departmental War

I was once reading about an intra-departmental war between two female scientists, and reflected on how, if only the contestants had been male, every woman in sight would have described it as a “pissing contest” or a “dick-measuring competition”. In the latter case, women bystanders would never dream of asking whether there was something important […]

The Legacy Of Ibsen

Modern writers have so catered to the adolescent demand for permission to consider oneself infinitely “special” that they have forgotten all about the tragic heroes ruined through a fatal flaw of character. Ibsen led the way into this narcissism by teaching us to see the world entirely in terms of the virtuous individual contra the […]

A Law Of Me

A Norwegian feminist lawyer has written a book called Female Law. That fact in itself is worth setting against what we thought was the assumption of Western legal systems that a citizen is a citizen is a citizen. Tove Stang Dahl’s main perspective is that the legal norm must be “women’s perception of what is […]

The Who Versus The What

Once upon a time there was a R&B artiste who boasted of having beaten up her boyfriend. This may be regarded as a touchstone of a gender-neutral ethics, for there are two ways of handling such a situation. We may look at either the act or the person. If consider that ethical judgments pertain to […]

Children Of A Lesser Goddess

One of the dirtiest phrases in the progressive vocabulary is “biological essentialism”, the crime of thinking that men and women are hardwired for different suites of skills and interests. Paradoxically, however, it is permitted to assume the existence of such biological drives whenever the purpose is to express contempt for the men who follow their […]

A Charter For Cruelty

There is a strain of feminism that grants almost unconditional approval to ruthless women who claw their way to the top, stepping on their rivals’ upturned faces, while at the same time reprobating men who succeed by the same methods. In the former case it is called “strength”, in the latter case “phallocracy”. The bottom […]

I Shall Tell Daddy On You

People use whatever power they have. If you are male, muscular and a bit dim, you may attain your aims by physical force or the threat thereof. If you are female, small and trained all your life in advanced social skills, you may if you wish attain your aims by prim and proper tattling to […]