Post-Modern Morals

Can you believe the screwy world we live in, where it’s considered totally ok to show scenes of a sexual nature on TV, but it’s not ok to sexually harass a co-worker even if you were just kidding, gosh, have a sense of humor? And back when we were a more traditional society, military men had all sorts of liaisons and no one cared, but now David Petraeus cheats on his wife with his biographer and commits a series of ethical breachers and we all care? And bitches today wear the sluttiest clothes, but it’s somehow considered more rude to walk up to a big ol’ whore and say, “Hey, you’re a big ol’ whore!” than it is for that whore to wear a v-neck t-shirt. Unfair. Unbelievable.

About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
This entry was posted in Popular Culture. Bookmark the permalink.

88 Responses to Post-Modern Morals

  1. Kasabian says:

    Haha, what!? I’m trying to remember what the logical fallacy that that article falls into is called… it’s not quite a red herring, right? My brain is telling me “false juxtaposition” but I’m not sure that’s a real thing.

  2. Joedj says:

    For crying out loud you linked to National Review and I read most of that article. It is painfully difficult to unsee that much dumb. Keep after ’em, Tiger.

  3. Tim says:

    Where can I sign up for one of those college-level masturbation classes? I’m pretty experienced, actually, but I figure you’re never too old to learn something new.

    • Julian says:

      No clue. I didn’t have any masturbation related classes available when i went to college.

      But then again, that was only community college. Maybe its something reserved for those fancy prestigious colleges

  4. Mariucel says:

    I threw up a little in my mouth. Jesus.

  5. Chataya says:

    But if vast numbers of girls younger than 16 need after-sex options to prevent unwanted pregnancies, why isn’t there a flood of statutory-rape charges being lodged against older teenagers for having consensual relations with younger girls?

    Because 14-year-old girls never ever have sex with 14-year-old boys.

    • Aaliyah says:

      Pfft. The fact that you’re actually using logic proves that you, too, are sucked into this hypocritical culture. Shame on you!

    • Clearly we’ve…gone from “no women have sexual desire” to “teenage boys are not getting laid”…?

      I have all the bafflement for this.

      • It’s a standard MRA talking point, that one … women are to blame for not indulging every male of whatever age the minute he wants sex, AND are to blame for indulging any male of whatever age except the writer. We’re both frigid and slutty mcslutsters, all at once.

    • trees says:

      Sure I agree, girls and boys are involved in consensual relationships, but sexual exploitation of young teenage girls by much older boys and men is a major issue. This was certainly my teenage experience.

      • Pseudonym says:

        I agree, I’m sure it is a major issue, but denying those girls access to emergency contraception is not exactly a solution to that issue. Sure, the morning-after pill might let some guys get away with sexual exploitation, but forcing pregnancy on the victim as a way of securing evidence is grossly unjust, and it reveals just how little V.D. Hanson cares about the rights of those who don’t follow his moral code.

      • trees says:

        I agree, I’m sure it is a major issue, but denying those girls access to emergency contraception is not exactly a solution to that issue.

        Oh god yes, absolutely! The morning after pill should be widely accessible. I in no part can relate to anything Hanson has to say, I merely wanted to point out the major role that exploitation plays in teen pregnancy.

      • Paulina says:

        This! I knew something bothered me about his statement, and you said it perfectly.

        Thanks! :)

  6. A4 says:

    “More than 500 people were murdered in Chicago last year. Yet Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel still found time to berate the fast-food franchise Chick-fil-A for not sharing “Chicago values” — apparently, because its founder does not approve of gay marriage.”

    Gentliiiiiiiiiiiiiiies and Ladymen! It’s time for another round of our favorite game I like to call “Sounds that save babies” where we come up with reasons why your concerns are trivial!

    Past favorites include “Women in the middle east are wearing burkas” and “There are starving children in Africa”.

    Jill had time to write this article despite the many people who died of cancer today. I guess writing an article online is more important than working on cancer research Jill!

    Kasabian is trying to remember the details of logical fallacies while neo-nazis CONTINUE to spread their bigoted rhetoric across the world. Do you have a name for that kind of careless disregard for others Kasabian?

    Join us next time when we look into why no one should care about prison reform, healthcare or animal rights!

    • Kasabian says:

      Little do you know, my quest to remember logical fallacies is an essential part of my master plan to dismantle all neo-fascist organizations! Six degrees of separation and so forth.

    • Datdamwuf says:

      thank you for that cartoon and your game :)

  7. EG says:

    Jeez, what is this world coming to. It’s almost as if we’re expected to recognize and respect women on their own terms.

  8. Pseudonym says:

    We have become a nation of promiscuous prudes, says sanctimonious schmuck.

    There’s no logical inconsistency between opposing murder and supporting same-sex marriage. Evidence suggests that pot smoking is less harmful and less addictive than tobacco smoking. You can choose what you want to watch on TV or study in school, but you still can’t sexually harass your employees. People look down on others who voice gratuitous insults about women’s appearance in order to shame them for imagined private sexual behavior. Spitzer lost his job. People defended Rush Limbaugh, ensuring there was controversy; nobody’s defending the widely-publicized Gosnell, who incidentally is also not a star NFL quarterback. The “assault-weapons” ban wasn’t the only gun control measure being proposed, but those of VD Hanson’s ilk haven’t been noticeably vocal in promoting measures to address the proliferation of illegal “urban” handguns.

    • Caperton says:

      I know, right?! You can show a person above the age of consent simulating sex on cable TV, but you can’t get away with sexually harassing your employee. You’d think one was legal and the other wasn’t legal or something!

      • EG says:

        It’s almost like one of those things hurts someone and the other doesn’t!

      • Pseudonym says:

        Let’s not lose sight of what’s important here: VD Hanson’s feelings seem pretty hurt by his inability to call people “honey” or “hussy” or “tart”. Modern society isn’t the only thing that resorts to empty, symbolic moral action when it cannot deal with real problems.

    • Willard says:

      You can eat THC infused food. Not many recipes for tobacco brownies out there. No need to inhale!

      • Pseudonym says:

        Are you saying that the Simpsons lied to me about tomaccoes?

      • Willard says:

        Someone did actually crossbreed one, but the nicotine was in the leaves, not the fruit. Nightshade crossbreeds tend not to do very well, there were some potato/tomato hybrids I read about that would kill you.

        However, such an endeavor would be far more valuable than the drivel this guy spewed. There was a weird wannabe Paul Harvey-ness to some of it that made me follow up on some other totally inaccurate old white guy stories. Good times.

    • Mariucel says:

      The Michael Vick thing though, I feel it undermines his wider point a bit, because that one was clearly over the top in a way that I think is massively racist. African American quarterbacks in general have to be flawless so as not to incur some kind of judgment. See the way people treated Cam Newton like a wayward child this past season.

  9. I didn’t bother reading further than this:

    “Marijuana, like alcohol, causes far greater short-term impairment than does nicotine.”

    WTF? Tobacco cigarettes KILL. They kill in slow and horrible ways and they harm the health of people exposed to them who didn’t choose to smoke the things.

    Poster I saw the other day at a tram stop: “Smoking takes lives. Then it kills.”

    Go fuck yourself, defender of the tobacco industry.

    • EG says:

      Yeah, and marijuana carries a much lower risk of addiction than either alcohol or nicotine.

    • Willard says:

      far greater short-term impairment

      So much greater that many can’t even get off their couches to go drive the 5mph that will assuage the bug-eyed paranoia that would ensue.

    • TMK says:

      Well, from what i heard (long time ago. I smoke neither so that doesn’t interest me), cigarettes have less of that cancer-causing stuff in them that the usual joint has.

      Of course, not that many people smoke 20 joints a day, so there’s that.

      Also, second-hand smoking is not that dangerous for most bystanders. Still, very annoying and generally unpleasant.

      • thinksnake says:

        Nicoteine itself is carcinogenic, but less so than the tar and other ingredients used to hold it all together. Joints usually have a lot more tar than factory-made cigarettes, plus people tend to hold the smoke a lot longer. But equally, yeah, people don’t typically have the equivalent of a pack-a-day habit.

        Second-hand smoking is relatively less dangerous than first-hand, yes. But it can still be very risky, particularly for people who have to work in smoking rooms.

        (I am not a doctor or pharmacist or anything like that, just going by what I’ve been told in the past).

      • EG says:

        Second-hand smoking is relatively less dangerous than first-hand, yes. But it can still be very risky, particularly for people who have to work in smoking rooms.

        Or people with asthma. I couldn’t go to pubs when I lived in London because if I had dinner in a pub I couldn’t take a deep breath for the following twenty-four hours. My best friend used to have attacks in such circumstances.

      • Mariucel says:

        Well it sort of varies from study to study, and it depends on the premise, I guess? See this study that says joints are non-carcinogenic http://www.medpagetoday.com/hematologyoncology/lungcancer/3393?xid=ob_&utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=oncology

      • For tokers with access to a power outlet/candle and some time, there’s always a vapourizer. Instead of igniting the material, just pass hot air around it. Mind you, it is possible to generate smoke if the air is too hot; it takes a bit of time to get the settings right. Done right, though, your lungs will thank you.

        …uhhh, so I’ve heard, anyway :)

  10. Jay says:

    This Hanson character’s a terrible writer. Always has been. After the 2nd paragraph, I was ready to set myself aflame.

    You’re angry that your first two initials are “V.D.” We get it, man. Now stop releasing your rage on the many millions of us who have internet access.

    • Brennan says:

      You’re angry that your first two initials are “V.D.” We get it, man.

      Oh, good, I’m not the only one with a mind juvenile enough to Go There. ;D

    • BabyRaptor says:

      My exhusband’s initials were STD…Come to think of it, that might have been why he was such a raging asshole.

  11. theLaplaceDemon says:

    This thread made me lol.

  12. TomSims says:

    Nothing like a link to a right wing article to get the commentariat fired up

  13. Miguel says:

    I didn’t know that George Patton had “female liaisons” when he was in France. I always thought he followed some sort of bullshit military “code of honor” that would have forbidden that.

    • Kasabian says:

      Yeah, as far as I can tell, I don’t think it was ever good form to cheat on your wife or screw around with the ‘local women’. Remember those creepy YOUR DICK WILL FALL OFF propaganda posters?

      • TomSims says:

        @Kasabian

        “Remember those creepy YOUR DICK WILL FALL OFF propaganda posters?”

        You served in WW2?

        WW2 was before my time, but I did 2 combat tours in the Nam and I recall reading in Star and Stripes and it stated that some VC hookers had razor blades in their vagina. I have no idea if it was true or not. I never even thought about cheating on my wife.

      • tinfoil hattie says:

        Um. Putting razor blades in your vagina will slice the hell out of your vagina.

        So, no, the “hookers” in Vietnam didn’t have razor blades in their vaginas.

      • Donna L says:

        Um. Putting razor blades in your vagina will slice the hell out of your vagina.

        Not if you hold them tight with your vaginal teeth.

      • EG says:

        And then your vagina can grapple another ship and swing onto it looting all the cargo before scuttling it and drowning the crew!

      • Aaliyah says:

        Quite an interesting thread we have here.

      • Kasabian says:

        Right, sorry, less “I remember when those existed” so much as “remember how those were a thing that once existed?”

    • Denise Winters says:

      military men had all sorts of liaisons and no one cared

      Good to know that adultery being illegal in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and those campaigns against STIs and letting information slip were nothing more than a cover. The good olde days.

  14. elena says:

    I’m sincerely trying to understand his logic, but when it comes down to it the only thing that seems apparent is that he is incapable of looking beyond his own situation as a white middle aged male.

    The whole problem with him is a lack of empathy, almost to a crazy degree.. Ex: clearly he hasn’t opened his mind enough to the idea that what a women wears does not correlate with consent. That you have to treat her like a human regardless of how much her tits are out.. Because he’s never had to deal with that before, and actively decides that he doesn’t need to know anything more.

    Seems obvious, but I think it should be stated. I often wonder how their minds work.

  15. JBL55 says:

    I feel stupider for having read Hanson. And not for the first time.

  16. the_leanover says:

    My favourite bit of this might be that his incredibly on-the-pulse reference point for contemporary raunch culture is Madonna. (Bonus points for unironic use of the word ‘hussy’.) That’s some incisive cultural commentary, right there.

  17. McMike says:

    Guy has a point. Its totally random. One high ranking person of power gets away with multiple affairs, the next one does not. One company can have all the sexual harassment it wants, the next gets taken down over silly things. It seems its all down to the mood of the day, or how much power a person or company has.

    • EG says:

      It seems its all down to…how much power a person or company has.

      Yes. That’s how it’s always been. The only difference now is that sometimes women have power.

      • TomSims says:

        @EG

        “The only difference now is that sometimes women have power.”

        I would argue that in corporate America, women have ALL of the power when it comes to sexual harassment. A case in point. Just in the last 3 months I witnessed a case of sexual harassment of a man against a woman. The man aged 70 was fired when a woman aged 63 paid a lawyer $50 to send a letter to corporate. The man had been on the job twice as long, had a good record and was well liked by co workers. But just based on one accusation he was fired.

        I know the sexual harassment laws are written gender neutral, but that is not the reality. I don’t know if there are any stats on work place sexual harassment, but I’d bet the farm one would have to look long and hard to find just one case of a male suing a woman over sexually harassment.

      • Bagelsan says:

        I would argue that in corporate America, women have ALL of the power when it comes to sexual harassment.

        Then you would argue wrongly.

      • EG says:

        I would argue that in corporate America, women have ALL of the power when it comes to sexual harassment.

        You can argue that the moon is made of green cheese if you like. But do you have any actual evidence?

        Just in the last 3 months I witnessed a case of sexual harassment of a man against a woman. The man aged 70 was fired when a woman aged 63 paid a lawyer $50 to send a letter to corporate. The man had been on the job twice as long, had a good record and was well liked by co workers. But just based on one accusation he was fired.

        Oh, gee, well, we all know that a well-liked and respected older man could never be guilty of sexual harassment. And that woman–paying a lawyer! How unethical! What a shrew!

        What was in that letter, pray tell? What evidence did the woman have? What was the process leading to his firing? And if it was so cut and dried why didn’t he pay a lawyer to sue for wrongful termination?

        In other words: your anecdote sounds like incomplete bullshit to me.

      • Donna L says:

        I would argue that in corporate America, women have ALL of the power when it comes to sexual harassment. A case in point. Just in the last 3 months I witnessed a case of sexual harassment of a man against a woman. The man aged 70 was fired when a woman aged 63 paid a lawyer $50 to send a letter to corporate. The man had been on the job twice as long, had a good record and was well liked by co workers. But just based on one accusation he was fired.

        I completely agree with EG. (As usual!) Unless you’re in HR yourself, you have absolutely no idea what this man’s “record” really was. Or how many previous incidents and complaints there had been. Or what the evidence was against him. Or how seriously awful his conduct may have been. I can promise you that despite all the misogynistic myths out there, he didn’t get fired simply because he said “nice shoes,” or the equivalent, to the woman in question. He didn’t get fired because somebody “paid a lawyer” (how shocking!) to write a letter. No way they fired him without an investigation of the accusation; no employer wants to leave itself open to a wrongful termination lawsuit. For all you know, whatever his public protestations of innocence may have been, he privately admitted what he did.

        Your fantasy bears little resemblance to how things actually work when it comes to sexual harassment accusations in the corporate world. I’ve litigated cases on both side of that kind of accusation, and it simply doesn’t happen the way you describe.

      • matlun says:

        I don’t know if there are any stats on work place sexual harassment, but I’d bet the farm one would have to look long and hard to find just one case of a male suing a woman over sexually harassment.

        Of course there are statistics. According to those, in 2011 almost 1 in 6 of all official charges (over 2000 cases) were filed by men.

      • Emolee says:

        I would argue that in corporate America, women have ALL of the power when it comes to sexual harassment.

        As others have pointed out, this is ridiculous. First of all, how can women “have all the power” when they are the ones who are primarily the victims? Sexual harassment happens *because* men have more power. Also, there are many women who experience sexual harassment and cannot do anything about it, due to corporate culture, place on the ladder, unethical unwritten policies, needing a job, etc. etc. I was one of these women once upon a time. I reported my sexual harassment and *I* was the one blamed for it.

      • TomSims says:

        @DonnaL

        It is true I was not there, but I was told it was over foul language. No he didn’t make a pass. I’m friendly with both people. I have no dog in this fight. But corporate America, at least in my own experience at the bottom of the food chain has been very politically correct and very careful in its dealings with women and minorities. And in this case, it was he said she said and she prevailed. Herb is a decent but very stubborn guy. He hates lawyers. He’s not alone as lawyers are not very popular, at least for white trash like myself and Herb. Although Donna, you and the other lawyers on this blog have represented yourself’s as very knowledgeable and fair minded people. And unlike you, I do not express myself well and have a difficult time relating what I’m trying to get across.

        I have no idea what happens in the upper middle class and if you wrote about it, I would not doubt it to be true. But I do know what happens down at my level. I’m not complaining, only stating how it is. When I post, I post from life experiences not theory. And with all due respect Donna and others, I do my know my surroundings and life experiences better than anyone.

      • Emolee says:

        I do my know my surroundings and life experiences better than anyone.

        Absolutely, you know your life experiences better than anyone. But what you don’t know are the experiences of the women working and living around you. You may observe some things, women may tell you some things, but as to knowing what your “surroundings” are like for women? Only the individual women know that.

      • trees says:

        But corporate America, at least in my own experience at the bottom of the food chain has been very politically correct and very careful in its dealings with women and minorities.

        TomSims

        That statement may be true for you, but you’re likely not a reliable witness. Since the bullshit doesn’t affect you and you likely lack the necessary tools of perception, you just don’t see what’s happening right before your eyes. I know there are times when I don’t witness oppression because I’m not touched by it and I lack the requisite skills to see it. Also, I have had white people tell me about how some city/environment is super progressive and “PC” and I experience it as a super racist hellhole.

      • EG says:

        You may know your surroundings and experiences, but that doesn’t mean you know jackshit about being a woman in your surroundings. It was he-said-she-said–but you know for a fact that no pass was made? How? What makes you so sure that Herb isn’t lying?

        This is not the first time you’ve claimed to know about the experiences of women in your life, TomSims. Have you ever actually checked with the women? Have you been the kind of person they would trust enough to tell their experiences to?

      • EG says:

        Tom, you also have a habit of making grand, sweeping generalizations (In corporate USA, women have all the power!) and then, when called on them, qualifying your claim considerably (I mean, in low-level jobs, HR is very politically correct around women and racial minorities) and saying it was what you meant all along.

      • Karak says:

        I’m not as nice as everyone else here. If you want to pander about MRA misandry bullshit, reddit is only a few clicks away. Go there instead of being an annoyance here.

    • matlun says:

      It seems its all down to the mood of the day, or how much power a person or company has.

      When it comes to political scandals, often it is mostly about what the media latches on to and how well it catches the popular attention.

      While we are a less prudish society in general, the modern communication systems mean that news about a scandal can spread very quickly and widely indeed. Sometimes it can indeed seem as if it is somewhat random which events that are picked up.

      The article does not analyze this (or anything else) in any meaningful way, though. It is mostly a despairing cry that he does not get modern society.

    • Librarygoose says:

      I’m not complaining, only stating how it is.

      Huh. At what level is this exactly? How bottom of the corporate ladder are we talking? Because from my place sexual harassment is almost always written off until the manager is super bothered. The only time my coworker bothered to complain the manager said “I’ll talk to him” and nothing happened. We just have a creeper in my job.

  18. Beast says:

    His writing reminds me of a strobe light in a night club or finger nails scraping on a chalk board; dissonant and annoying.

  19. Cranes says:

    What I hear is ” oh god I’m old. I’m old and irrelevant and terrified my kind is losing its stranglehold on the world. Wah wah boo hoo old man needs an ego stroke. Old man is too lazy and entitled to bother understanding what’s going on with the world and why. Boo hoo cater to me.” Fucking gross.

Comments are closed.