Saturday, April 19, 2003

Another thing that I forgot to mention.

I should add, in relation to my telling you about that horrible presentation in my philosophy tute, that the arguments of my talk - if not the presentation of the talk itself - were vindicated yesterday, when the tutor used a rather strange analogy in illustrating a point.

We were looking at Robert Nozick's general arguments against egalitarian socialism, and were discussing whether or not a situation in which the general population has, say, $2000 each, while only one person has $270,000, is fair. Then, the tutor chose to make an analogy between this situation of economic inequality, and another situation in which the inequality would not be specifically monetary.

The second scenario he gave, was of a society in which one celebrity sportsman had, largely as a result of his fame, managed to have sex with 20,000 women over the course of his career, while all other men got by with minimal bonking. Was this, the tutor asked, also an example of unacceptable inequality? Why should one man get so many women, while so many have so few? And would a system of state-issued brothel vouchers be a viable means of remedying the situation?

I don't think it would be stretching it too far to say that this is about as close to equating women with property as you're going to get. But is it really? Could the example have just as easily been one in which a woman has sex with 20,000 men? Perhaps it could. But even if the male and female positions had been exchanged, the fact is that what was suggested, and thus what was easiest to conceive of, was this example of a guy having lots of sex with girls. Which is pretty poor, if you think about it.

What made it even worse was that most of the guys in the tute could see nothing wrong with the example. Most of them giggled, perhaps feeling somewhat naughty to be talking about sex. And I hardly said anything about it, feeling that I might come across as a party-pooper if I did.

Does all of this sound silly? Was I overreacting? And why on earth did I feel like it would be out of place to say something about it? Who knows. Give me an email (cjrya1 [at] if you have any answers. In the meantime, I'm definitely off to bed, so cheerio.