Ladies, do you have moral agency?
As the opening of this article, this is a rhetorical question. But in the post-legal world created by 3 generations of feminism, it’s not a rhetorical question. Are you (a woman) a moral agent?
Of course, the opponents of the human rights of men and boys have a long history of feigned incomprehension of the arguments of this movement, so an explicit definition of terms is necessarily included here.
Moral agency is an individual’s ability to make moral judgments based on some commonly held notion of right and wrong and to be held accountable for these actions. A moral agent is “a being who is capable of acting with reference to right and wrong.”
Men, as the word is commonly used, are universally moral agents. Even bad men, those vilified in our media based on improper behavior, or criminal behavior, are moral agents. They are held accountable for their actions and speech. Picture any recent celebrity dragged over the coals of public censure, tearfully or earnestly apologizing in a press-conference-of-atonement.
But the question, for women, is apparently different. Elin Woods, ex-wife of the golf superstar apparently routinely assaulted her ex husband using a variety of weapons, including a golf club. Accountability for her? Nope. She was the victim. Pay no attention to that satisfied smile on her face as she made off with millions of the dollars earned by the superstar athlete she “caught” having sex with women who didn’t regularly initiate violence against him.
We will omit any tedious recitation of recent media-featured women for whom personal accountability in their own criminal and violent conduct was not a feature.
Distinct from individual women, women-the-class are not moral agents. No, they’re victims, they’re objects, they’re helpless, they’re subject to the prevailing winds of fortune.
The war on women. Rape culture, patriarchy. Women’s historical oppression, the wage gap, the glass ceiling, et cetera. All of these are pseudo-mystical elements of our culture’s narrative, re-enforcing the non-agency and continued self selected identity of victimhood of women-the-class.
The question is not whether women-the-class are moral agents, since that question has already been answered. They are not.
The remaining question is reserved for the individual. Are you, being a woman, a moral agent?
This question, asked within the context of an article, if of course rhetorical. But, when asked personally, it requires a real answer. In the post-legal, feminist-influenced culture we currently inhabit, it’s a question to be asked of, and answered by, anyone with a uterus or a double X chromosome as entry to any nontrivial, friendly, working, or other relationship.
You must be at least as tall as this sign to ride the coaster. You must be a self-possessed adult exercising your own agency, volition and self responsibility to be an associate or friend, or colleague. At least, my associate.
There are a few realities on the ground, rarely if ever acknowledged by any element of our culture’s narrative. Items of fact which everybody knows, but will not admit to, because to do so is forbidden.
Women have much more social power and prestige than men. Women also have more economic and political power than men.
Who controls access to sex? Women, obviously. Who controls the spending of most disposable income? Can you guess? Take a look at the amount of retail floor space in any store, and who it is arranged to cater to? Who are 55% to 65% of the voting electorate? A hint: not men. And who are the majority of graduation outcomes as well as students in any major college or university? Again: not men.
The point here isn’t to “prove” our culture is powerfully gynocentric, because anybody to whom that fact is not painfully obvious is either mentally defective, or too dishonest to be worth addressing.
But coupled with the social, economic, and political power wielded by the so-called weaker sex is a grotesque, sickening cultural fraud: “the weaker sex.” The idea central to feminism is that women are less capable, less rational, less adult, weaker willed, and of lesser personal agency and volition than men.
In cases where women commit crimes, or initiate violence, or other general counter-ethical ass-hattery, we are treated through our mainstream media to a never ending torrent of pubic excuse-making. Kasey Anthony murdered her 2 year old infant, apparently because being a mother interfered with the important pursuit of partying. After a six-week trial, in July of 2011, the jury found Casey Not Guilty of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter of a child, but guilty of four misdemeanour counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. But there was no doubt about whether she had killed the 2 year old victim. But Anthony was abused as a child, or maybe sexually abused as a pseudo-adult–or maybe suffered some other misfortune. Because male criminals are always afforded the excuse of a bad childhood or relationship gone wrong, the same considerations are extended to female child-killers like Casey Anthony, right?
Except that no male offender is ever afforded such consideration, and nor should they be.
So why are female offenders so often and so publicly excused? It is the idea, central in the feminist narrative of our culture: that women are weaker, less capable, less adult, and lacking in the personal agency we assume and require of the real grown-ups in our culture, i.e. men.
But this cultural tendency is present not only in our post-legal, feminist-influenced culture, it’s been present for millennia, long before privileged, rich middle class white women began writing books about how oppressed they were. In fact feminists, for all their talk of radical change, have done nothing more than amplify the aspects of “patriarchy” they claim to oppose. What is commonly called “feminism” is a paternalistic view of women as society’s incompetent infants to be be taken care of at all costs.
Of course, not everyone is necessarily raised in a powerfully feminist family, but almost our entire society demonstrates continued willingness to instantly fabricate excuses for female offenders and criminals. However, it’s worth noting that the rise of modern feminism to preeminence as the culture’s governing ethic coincides exactly with the mainstreaming of excuse making for any and all feminine criminality, violence, or pathology.
Obviously, given examples like the publicly excused infant killer Casey Anthony, cheered-for sexual mutilator Catherine Becker, or any other public female criminal – there will be cries of “not all women are like that”. And that complaint will be true, but it will also be entirely beside the point. For those who do demonstrate violence or other antisocial pathologies – there remains the public chorus of excuse making.
What this means on an individual level is that any woman, even one with no history of criminal or violent behavior has the permanent, ever ready escape clause of the public’s excuse making capacity. Personal accountability is, for women, an optional indulgence. It’s also a choice usually selected only when convenient.
So we return to the question, asked not of women-the-group, but asked directly of you.
Are you, a woman, a moral agent? The answer for most is no, but what about you personally? If it’s no – well then, kindly get lost. there’s the door, don’t let it hit your ass on the way out.
Obviously, this article is written from the perspective of it’s author, myself. Just one man, arguably a very bad man indeed. However, a growing fraction of men and women are adapting their own viewpoints independent of, but similar to what I have described here. That is why variations of this article’s central question, “are you a moral agent”, addressed to women, are beginning to appear through the ecosystem of public and private discourse.
The examples provided earlier are extreme cases. Dialling calumny down, it appears common, based on articles in the daily mail and elsewhere that women taken with a desire for a baby feel no compunction at all about deception to rope a man into a 20 year legal and financial obligation.
IN other news Erin Wotherspoon is a Toronto resident and grifter who routinely eats at fine restaurants, and brags through her blog that she dates-and-discards several different men every week. She does this so that her “marks” pay for her expensive appetite. As I write this, canoe.ca has a current article reporting that she will shortly have her own reality TV show. Most of the commentary was positive, praising Wotherspoon for her initiative and invention. However, one particular negative comment on the article called the Wotherspoon an attention whore, a phrase demeaning to sexual service workers by comparing them to a scammer. Sadly lacking from any editorial commentary is the strictly accurate term grifter.
A grifter: A thief who operates by fraud, rather than direct violence.
But violence and theft aren’t even necessary to find numerous normalized examples. The now popularized gender ideological rhetoric surrounding sex and consent includes the flatly moronic idea that a wiling sexual liaison between a man and women after both have consumed alcohol is definitionally a sexual violation of the woman. Why, if both hypothetical participants are similarly socially lubricated is it rape. Further, if we accept that fallacy why is it not the male participant victimized. The answer of course is simple, because participating in an act of sex, or indeed, participating in any action is an act of volition. But the modern feminist ethic holds; as distinct from people possessed of minds (even drunk minds), women do not possess personal agency. It is likely only a temporary oversight that driving while drunk is not also exempted from women’s legal responsibilities in the criminal codes of western nations. Auto manufacturers, designers, and salespeople would be advised to retool their professions, in preparation for routine litigation, each time a female drunk driver kills pedestrians or other motorists. Unless of course the offending engineers, manufacturers and car salesmen happen to also be women.
The examples given above are varied, as the question of moral agency reaches widely into every area of life. As already mentioned, when applied to women-the-class, comes pre-supplied with the resounding answer; no. Women-the-class are not moral agents.
Which is why, in a world of Not-All-Women-Are-Like-That, the same question is increasingly asked of women as individuals. However, as suggested by the included definition of moral agency near the beginning of this discussion, the question is not always asked most effectively as a direct inquiry.
Feigned incomprehension is a serviceable deflection. Rather, the question is most often asked indirectly by the quiet measurement of behavior. Are you a moral agent, or are you an actor to whom the produced outcomes of your choices are divorced from your exercised agency.
And that question, are you a moral agent, however it is asked – requires an answer. From you.
I have previously asked this question publicly in the form of an article called The Gun In the Room. When challenged to answer the question as it was framed in that article – a woman claiming to be “concerned” about the issues facing modern men responded with an abject abdication of adulthood.
The violence our society puts at the proxy disposal of women, with no attached accountability is the gun, referred to in the title of that article.
Her reply : The violence by proxy which women can initiate : “ is not [her] problem, it’s not [her] responsibility to do anything about the gun placed in [her] hands”.
The child with a deadly weapon, which we are all to agree isn’t there, even while it is carelessly fired at bystanders.
Are you an adult, or are you a child?
If you claim the answer for you is that you’re an adult, simply saying so will not be sufficient.
You’re going to have to prove it.
 Angus, Taylor (2003). Animals & Ethics: An Overview of the Philosophical Debate. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press. p. 20.