“Allow men to compel the women they impregnate to bring their children to term”

Yup, that’s what psychiatrist Keith Ablow wrote (admittedly for Fox):

“It’s time to give men their due as fathers—from the moment of conception. Allow men who want to be fathers, and who could be good parents, to compel the women they impregnate to bring their children to term.”

And he thinks this is fair enough because:
“I am absolutely certain that no woman needs to become pregnant who wishes not to become pregnant.”

I did have a student once who made the above claim. But he was the guy who thought one could guarantee contraception by putting rubber bands around the condom. And even he (unlike Ablow) excluded rapes from his claim. And he backed down very quickly as objections were raised.

Thanks, K!

Side effect of the pill: All loss of restraint or responsibility (Updated)

***UPDATE:  Although I scooped Stephen Colbert on this one (take that, Stephen Colbert!!!), he does my joke better.  Of course, I loosened it for him:

 “If we give your daughters and granddaughters access to birth control, they will instantly turn into wanton harlots with insatiable sexual appetites. Because you know women — they’re always on the edge of nymphomaniacal orgiastic abandon. …They’ll pick up the prescription, pop a pill, then bone the pharmacist, the stock boy, and everybody in line for the bus. Why? Because the birth control was paid for by the government.”

You’re welcome!


Come on, laugh with me, because this is too preposterous to cry over.  To have an oh, so reasonable discussion about the move to have health care reform cover birth control for women, Fox News invited Family PAC Vice President Sandy Rios to balance (remember, they’re fair and balanced!) arguments by former Women’s Media Center president Jehmu Greene that the facts support greater access to birth control.

Predictably, Rios offered something much more diverting than facts:

Why in the world would you encourage your daughters, and your granddaughters, and whoever else comes behind you to have unrestricted, unlimited sex anytime, anywhere…?

Having a baby is not the worst thing. I think having multiple sex partners without any kind of restraint or responsibility is much more damning, why would you support that?

It’s funny, the way I remember it, a lot of discussion and decision-making went into my first sexual relationship and our commitments regarding pregnancy and family planning.  But now I realize that in pursuing birth control, I was actually hankering after “unrestricted, unlimited sex anytime, anywhere,” with anyone!  Because that is what birth control does, really.

“Does Philosophy Matter?”

Stanley Fish thinks not:

In short, the conclusions reached in philosophical disquisitions do not travel. They do not travel into contexts that are not explicitly philosophical (as seminars, academic journals, and conferences are), and they do not even make their way into the non-philosophical lives of those who hold them. The fact that you might give one set of answers rather than another to standard philosophical questions will say nothing about how you will behave when something other than a point of philosophy is in dispute.

He is specially addressing Paul Boghossian’s criticism of hin in an earlier NY Times article. His criticism seems to me to be sufficiently wrong to make one wonder if it was written in a fit of pique.

Why wrong? One way to show Fish is wrong is to provide counter-examples. So here are two:
1. If you accept much of virtue ethics and the accompanying that acting morally is not a matter of rule following, then how one educates children or students in right behavior changes.  It can’t be that teaching rules and punishing breaking the rules is the way to go.   Philippa Foot maintained at least at one stage we should teach moral behavior as a matter of what we do. We do not tell lies, we do give to the poor, and so on.

2. It is very difficult to see how one could accept Freudianism without some version of a theory of ideas. After all, Freud’s view is committed to a theory of causally active vehicles of contents knocking around in one’s unconscious. Hence, if one looks instead at those embodied cognition theories that avoid causally active inner contents, one’s view of how one explains others actions may well change. Since it is, it seems to me, a national pastime in the US to create accounts of others’ actions in terms of hidden desires, giving it up changes quite a bit.

What do you think?