Does Sexism Trump Even The Profit Motive?

Why I don’t buy the argument that the reason they don’t make enough video games or films centered around strong female characters because such simply wouldn’t sell. [Read more...]

On the Ethics of Teasing and Mocking People, in Groups, in Friendships, and in Debates and Satire

One of the difficulties in working out the civility pledge I co-wrote and signed earlier this year was addressing the use of humor and mockery in disagreements. So let me offer a bunch of points of clarification of the use of humor to persuade. I will focus on antagonistic humor—like teasing people for what they [Read More...]

Meditations on How to Be Powerful, Fearsome, Empowering, and Loved

Yesterday I observed that sometimes an inaccurate sense of modesty can lead a powerful person to underestimate the extent to which he intimidates others. I focused particularly on the fact that moral and social conditioning trains us to downplay our accomplishments, the extent of our influence on others, and our fearsomeness in their eyes. It [Read More...]

Banksy Against Advertisers

    A paper on the ethics of advertising from one of my students this semester featured this interesting argument attributed to the graffiti artist, Banksy (supposedly from a book called Cut it Out): People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then [Read More...]

Dying Responsibly

Yesterday the New York Times published a must-read op-ed by Susan Jacoby about the costly disconnect between Americans’ values and their practices when it comes to end-of-life health care. Just a few key statistical takeaways: A third of the Medicare budget is now spent in the last year of life, and a third of that goes for care in [Read More...]

The Brothel Next Door

So, last night there were news trucks on my block as I arrived home. Turns out that a few doors down a woman was running a brothel. I had no idea. [Read more...]

No, You Can't Call People Sluts.

Ever since Rush Limbaugh tried to slut-shame a law student for testifying at a forum hosted by Congressional Democrats about the medical needs that contraception serves, I had wanted to go through all Limbaugh’s remarks and detail the millions of ways they were awful for the morally obtuse. But I kept thinking, no, it’s just too [Read More...]

Why Misogynistic Language Matters

In response to the vileness of Rush Limbaugh giving Physicalist pause about whether to consume any right wing media (even out of concern for rational fairness), Bret asks: I’m curious: do you see how conservatives verbally address women as more offensive than their stance on pretty much anything else, from their treatment of the poor [Read More...]

Kids Can't Watch Depiction of What Their Lives Are Like

Sounds like an Onion title when put like that, no? Here’s a documentary about the bullying kids’ suffer that the MPAA rated R: The MPAA defended its judgment thusly: [Read more...]


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