Men Need to Reclaim the Moral

Something I noticed when I taught Business Ethics, primarily to male students, is that men seem to think ethics is ‘a girl thing’.  What?  What?!  (My god, that can explain everything!)

Men routinely insult other men who express concern about doing the right thing—“What are you, a fucking boy scout?”  Note that boy scouts are children.

Worse, men who raise ethical questions are accused of going soft, being weak, being a bleeding heart.  Note that these qualities are associated with being female.  It’s thus emasculating to be concerned about right and wrong.  What?! 

Apparently, Mom is assigned the role of teaching the kids right from wrong.  And, of course, anything Mom does is held in contempt as soon as a boy hits twelve, so this may partly explain why men eschew ethics.

Right and wrong is also the arena of priests and we all know priests aren’t real men.  They’re celibate for god’s sake.

Ethics presumes caring, and real men don’t care.  (They especially don’t cry, tears being evidence of caring about something.)  They may protest that they can’t ‘afford’ to care; they have to make real decisions about profit and war, and feelings just get in the way.  As if ethics is all, only, about feelings.  (Where did they get their education?  Oh, they didn’t.  We don’t actually teach ethics.  Except in a few university courses.)

The problem is men run the world.  And it’s not going well.

Isn’t it about time men reclaim the moral?  If rising above the gendered worldview is too much, then just redefine your terms a bit—and for gawdsake Man up!  Consider (and then do) the right thing!

[Hell Yeah, I’m a Feminist is a feminist blog, often radical feminist (radfem), always anti-gender and anti-sexism.]


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    • JE on September 11, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Unfortunately in the business world, ‘the right thing’ is ‘making a lot of money for the company’.

    From what I see in the University Police world, the cops tend to act ethically because they’ll get fired with very poor resulting job prospects if they don’t.

    I’m pretty sure things are different in the Big City Police world, though.

    • ptittle on September 11, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Why do you say ‘unfortunately’? Are you assuming that ‘what is’ MUST trump ‘what should be’?

    (I understand very well how things are — do you really think I need to be told? My argument is about how things should be.)

    • JE on September 11, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    I say unfortunately because it would be nice if things were different.

    The question of whether or not you needed to be told anything never crossed my mind. I was relating my experience in my own work environment.

    If you aren’t interested, feel free to delete my comment so as to make room for the other folks who regularly comment on your blog.

    • ptittle on September 11, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    It’s just that ‘what is’ if such a common derail-and-dismiss response to ‘what should be’ arguments. I didn’t want to let it go uncriticized. ‘What is’ is irrelevant to ‘what should be’.

    And yeah, I noticed the abundance of commenters! Can’t figure out how to get people to find me!

    • ptittle on September 12, 2014 at 12:06 am

    “The question of whether or not you needed to be told anything never crossed my mind.” It should. That’s partly why ‘mansplaining’ is hated so much; it’s so paternalistic; it’s men telling us stuff, without stopping to think about whether we need to be told.

    “I was relating my experience in my own work environment.” Another classic – ‘Let me tell you about MY life.’ Fine if you make it relevant to the argument, but otherwise it’s just male privilege, taking up the discussion space, putting the spotlight onto themselves.

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