Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ethical Dilemma: Solved

New York Times columnist Randy Cohen, also known as The Ethicist, has produced some whoppers in his day. But this is the living end. I'm sure his proposal--to require all women to carry unconcealed weapons--is satirizing something. I'm just not sure what. Sexism? The ridiculousness of the pro-gun lobby? The ridiculousness of the anti-gun lobby? Hisself?

The best part is the little Gedankenexperiment where he imagines himself on the subway surrounded by Glock-toting females, and feels a snug, comforting sensation. (Clearly the subway around Lincoln Center does not have much in common with the Red Line.)

And then there's this:

Given women’s splendid record of seldom shooting at, for example, me, they’ve earned a provisional chance to serve the public good in this way. Even if some women prove imprudent with firearms — that is, act like men — feminizing gun ownership could ultimately reduce its appeal to men, making gun-toting as unmasculine as carrying a purse. There are occupations whose status (and pay) declined once they were taken up by women: secretaries, telephone operators, teachers. We already endure the mischief of such sexism; why not harness it for good?

Jonathan Swift you are not, sir.

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