Is Feminism a Harmful Ideology
Missing Works Cited
In Issue 4, "Is Feminism a Harmful Ideology?" I believe that the two central moral issues to this debate are as follows :
(1) Is it immoral to infringe upon individual liberty (even if some other good can come of it)?
(2) Is it immoral to discriminate based on sex (even if there are innate differences, which are relevant to the situation)?
What makes these distinctly moral issues, as opposed to legal, religious, or socio-political issues?
These are distinctly moral issues for a few reasons. First, answers to these questions require normative statements (yes it is immoral, or no it isn't immoral to infringe…) which express value judgements. These statements can not be supported by empirical evidence. In other words, they are not subject to verification by running experiments, or through observation. Second, these answers define standards of human conduct, which apply equally to everyone (as opposed to, for example, men under the age of 21 who live in Tanzania). Lastly, these judgements for the most part are, as the course guide vaguely puts it, "not laid down by authoritative bodies" (pg.1-3) .
What is the "liberal" position concerning the enforcement of morality? The liberal position concerning the enforcement of morals holds freedom as the most important value in cases of victimless crime. The liberal believes that it is cruel and unjust for authoritative bodies to enforce community moral standards for victimless crime because of the necessary restraint it puts on individual civil liberties.
Normative ethics is a branch of ethics which attempts to illuminate how humans should live their lives, and more specifically how to make moral decisions concerning oneself and others, according to certain sets of values. The following moral theories are components of normative ethics.
Application of moral theories to "Feminism and Freedom"
Act utilitarianism judges the morality of an act according to how much utility it produces. In this case, utility refers to an end or consequence. A morally sound act has utility, meaning that its end is a positive one. The act that produces the most happiness is considered the morally right one.
An act utilitarian who believes that feminism is a harmful ideology might argue that yielding to feminist's beliefs would produce less happiness than rejecting them. S/he may argue that forcing "equality" by, for example, requiring fire departments to establish less demanding physical examinations for women, or requiring corporations to exercise gender quotas may cause more unhappiness. Taken another step, if a fire-fighter's effectiveness rests to a certain extent on his physical strength, then would it be so far-fetched to suggest that inevitably lives will be lost because of the inability of certain fire-women to carry an unconscious person up from the basement of a burning house? ...