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...]

On Unintentionally Intimidating People

While most of us rightly want to be exceptional in some way or another, we often feel a lot of social and moral pressure not to think of ourselves as generally better than others. And, even more urgently, we feel pressure not to convey to others that we think ourselves superior and not to be [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...]

Governor Walker and Wisconsin Republicans Repeal Equal Pay Law

War on women? What war on women? WASHINGTON — A Wisconsin law that made it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court was repealed on Thursday, after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) quietly signed the bill. The 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act was meant to deter employers from discriminating against certain groups by giving workers more [Read More...]

No Feminist Books Were Required

Taslima Nasreen describes her awakening to the oppressive ways women were treated as she grew up in Bangladesh: Let alone ‘Western feminism’, I had no idea about ‘Eastern feminism’. Without any familiarity with these concepts, I have since childhood questioned a lot of diktat, advice and proscriptions from the family and from society at large. [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 Vagina Status Updates

Recently women have begun leaving updates on their vaginas on the Facebook page of Virginia State Senator Ryan McDougle, since he has shown such an interest in their vaginas that he has supported the proposed Virginia bill calling for invasive transvaginal ultrasounds: “You know, Senator, I’ve wished all my life that a man would know [Read More...]

Should We Love Abortion?

Jessica DelBalzo argues yes and goes so far as to say women should “venerate it wholeheartedly”: Suggesting that abortion be “safe, legal, and rare,” and crowing that “no one likes abortion,” accomplishes nothing for women’s rights. Pandering to the anti-choice movement by implying that we allfind termination distasteful only fuels the fire against it. What good is [Read More...]

Contra de Botton: Religions Are NOT To Credit With Universalistic Humanistic Values

Alain de Botton’s chapter on community in his book Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion is filled with half-baked thinking. After one-sidedly disparaging modern social life from numerous selective (and sometimes specious) angles, he goes on to model really effectively how not to try to learn from religion (Kindle Location 189): [Read more...]


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