A Woman's Rights?

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Bowser, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    I've been pressed to give my opinion on the rights of women--a simple yes or no reply. Knowing that rights of individuals may be defined differently according to the individual defining them, I've been hesitant to offer a simple answer to an issue that involves many aspects. I suppose the best way to start is let others define, in their view, what those right are or should be, giving me an opportunity to address each in turn.

    In general, my position is women have the same rights as men in American society: they can vote for their representatives, they are free to seek prosperity and compete in the job and business markets, and they are not bound by any artificial restrictions where their liberties and freedoms are concerned.

    You might disagree with the above, and feel free to point out your view. What I'm hoping for is a list of rights that you believe women don't posses, or that men do but are denied to woman. Or maybe women should have special right in your opinion.

    It's a topic that has come up in other threads, but never seems to be defined very well. Your thoughts?
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    I think if "rights" are properly defined (i.e equal treatment under the law), then men and women should have equal rights. And in fact they do, in almost all Western democracies.

    Where there is still ground to make up is not on "rights" but on the much broader and softer, though still important, issue of social attitudes.
    Russ_Watters likes this.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The point of all this is to get around acknowledging that women are human and have human rights.

    It's a straightforward question:

    Do you acknowledge and affirm that women are human beings and have human rights, full stop?

    For whatever reason, he declines, and can only measure a woman's human rights as a comparison to men's.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    Social attitudes? Define for me please.
  8. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    You seem to have an infatuation with women in society.
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Well I think you should be able to do that. But examples would be things like expectations regarding child rearing, perceptions that some tasks are unsuitable for women, pressures on women to dress and look a certain way, taking women's opinions less seriously than men's, ....that sort of thing.
  10. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Several years ago there was a court case in England where a woman challenged the requirements for firefighters - a 38-inch chest (not bust) measurement, which allowed most men to qualify but few women. Of course, equality should depend on what you can do, not on some arbitrary measurement.
  11. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    It's not always true, but are not women, in general, more nurturing than men? But that's not to say a father can't provide the same care.
    In general, don't women gravitate towards certain professions. Statistics might be helpful here.
    Don't know much about that. In my world everyone wears jeans and a sweater...or worse.
    If they are listening, the opinion is being considered. My personal experience while working with a mixed crowd during a meeting, the woman being questioned certainly was respected for her knowledge and expertise. Often I've relied on women to train me for specific jobs--running machinery, etc. Many of us depend on professional woman and their advise.
  12. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    I agree. If she can drag that fire hose and hold it steady under full pressure, yeah
    origin likes this.
  13. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    That's just one example of how "equality" can be unequal. What requirements are actually required?
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Interwoven Dimensions

    Yet these attitudes have undeniable impacts on human rights.

    For instance, Ecuador:

    One thing is for sure: The murders have sparked outrage in Latin America, where there is a widespread crisis of femicide (the deliberate killing of women) and sexual violence. Central America has some of the highest rates. The 2012 Small Arms Survey, often cited by United Nations, surveyed murders of women around the world in the years 2004-2009. At a rate of 12 per 100,000, El Salvador is the country with the highest femicide rate, followed by Jamaica (10.9), Guatemala (9.7) and South Africa (9.6). Many of the deaths are related to gang violence that rages throughout much of Central America: In a recent series, NPR investigated the brutal effect gang violence has on young women, who are seen as sexual trophies and are targeted in sexual attacks.

    Central American women who choose to leave the region and head north to the U.S. face a grim reality. Amnesty International estimates that 60 percent will be assaulted on the way. Activists report that many take birth control before the dangerous journey, in preparation for possible sexual assault.

    And it's a problem that extends far south. According to Argentine NGO "La Casa Del Encuentro" in 2014 nearly 300 murders in Argentina were considered hate crimes against women. All of this has led to a growing women's rights movement, with the hashtag campaign #niunamenos (#notoneless) protesting the killing of women. It's also led to femicide laws in several Latin American countries, including in Brazil, where the U.N. estimates that an average of 15 women a day are murdered in acts of gender violence. The new Brazilian law imposes jail sentences of up to 30 years for convicted offenders and longer sentences for criminals who attack girls under 14, women over 60 and pregnant women.

    The outrage over the fate of the Argentine tourists goes beyond the killing itself. News articles about the murders are filled with reader comments like this one: "It's terrible, what happened to them, but how irresponsible of their parents to let them travel alone, backpacking." Another commenter writes: "the world is tough and their parents clearly didn't teach them well ... What did they expect?"

    That line of questioning has launched a twitter hasthag #yoviajosola (#Itravelalone).


    How about Australia?

    Take the environment, for example. Why has Ian Kiernan's Clean Up Australia Day been such a success? Because we care about the postcard playground in which we live. China's pumping of noxious gases into the atmosphere will not stop because 100 of us decide to scoop up a Paddle-pop wrapper on Maroubra Beach. But, it will make a difference here. And if we're lucky, it will have a flow on effect elsewhere.

    It was Christmas recently. The Wayside Chapel brimmed with people who could not afford to provide a simple celebratory dinner for their children. So, charity stepped in. It was an inspiring example of the better side of our society. Did this prevent one Angolan child suffering starvation due to famine? No. Did these meals metamorphose into protein packs that could be sprinkled down on the African continent like manna from heaven? No. But it helped here.

    Yet, when it comes to a woman's right to walk unharmed through a city street, our understanding takes a nose dive.

    'Of course we're not rapists!' we say to ourselves. We condemn the pack-animal mentality in India. 'My mother is a woman!' It's as predictable as a 90's Demtel commercial. But then, we'll go home and watch The Footy Show or maybe Jersey Shore, both of which reduce women to empty vessels at best and objects of sexual derision at worst. Some of us may go to the pub - even joined by A Woman, because we're evolved - and they like to joke along too! It's all part of the fun! Lighten up! (Nice pins, by the way).

    If, God forbid, a woman is attacked here in Australia, the inevitable questions about where and with whom she was before it happened convince me more than anything that we are embroiled in dangerous times. In 2012, our postcard playground is still smeared with this retrograde thinking. Jill Meagher, even in death, was maligned by the protectors of female chastity for daring to venture out by herself at night time.


    We can work our way through press archives anywhere in the world. In Africa, there has long persisted superstitions about having sex with virgin girls and curing diseases, like HIV infection and AIDS. So, you know, governments tell women to stop tempting men. In the U.S., it sounds like Tedeschi's Australia ... well, on our good days. On other days, we're supposed to feel sorry for a convicted rapist because the conviction will disrupt the rapist's life. In Italy, the priest says merry Christmas by blaming women for domestic and sexual violence.

    She travels alone? It should not need a hashtag campaign. To the one, it's not so much to ask. To the other, we might propose there is a problem if she should have to ask in the first place.

    The attitudes denigrate her human rights. Part of the problem with correcting this outcome is that enough people seem unwilling to acknowledge that she has human rights in the first place. This, in turn, is also a social attitude. But those of us who don't seek a reason to refuse those rights? What are we doing to secure them?

    Analogously, firearms: It is one thing to say we have a Second Amendment right, but we argue much over ideas including whether that right is abridged for prohibiting extraordinary firepower, or even by holding shooters accountable for accidentally killing the wrong person.

    How about free speech: Consider Griswold. This old Supreme Court decision has been haunting social conservatives lately. There is an added layer of irony because we wouldn't have that decision if women could have opted out of Barnum's Law (yes, that Barnum) for conscience. So here's the thing, though, because we all have a "First Amendment right to free speech". But should it be illegal for you, me, or anyone else, to discuss birth control in the presence of a woman?

    With the current issue in Ecuador, and the longstanding question derided as the Guardians of Female Chastity, this comes down to basic freedom to move around and exist in the world without chaperone. And as long as the social attitude is, "Well, why did she drink alcohol?" or, "Why was she traveling alone?" a woman's right to conduct her own self is under siege.

    It is easy enough to say, even to the point that it starts to feel condescending: She is a human being and has human rights. At some point, she will get sick of hearing me say that.

    Because the living praxis we witness in the world around us suggests this notion, this seemingly simple, easy thing to say, is somehow controversial and contested.


    Garsd, Jasmine. "What Did You Expect? The Question That Women Are Sick Of Hearing". National Public Radio. 19 March 2016. NPR.org. 21 March 2016. http://n.pr/21CgivS

    Tedeschi, Simon. "We must face up to our own rape culture". The Drum. 1 January 2013. ABC.net.au. 21 March 2016. http://ab.co/1NmvWdk
  15. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    You asked for my views regarding rights and I have given my reply, differentiating rights from social attitudes. As I say, I think myself there is still some way to go in social attitudes, at least in Europe, where I live, but it varies from country to country. Italy is very different from Norway, say.

    I probably should not comment on social attitudes to women in the USA. (I lived in Houston Texas for a couple of years, but there the issue that struck me most forcefully was racial: the blacks and the whites hardly seemed to mix.)
  16. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Tiassa, I'm afraid I have no appetite whatsoever to have a discussion with you on this subject.
    Russ_Watters and cluelusshusbund like this.
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Considering that Tiassa is one of our most thoughtful and knowledgeable members when it comes to almost any human rights issue, it doesn't say much about YOU if you don't want to join in a discussion with him.
  18. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    My limited experience of Tiassa is that he/she is unreasonable, almost to the point of hysteria. Just shows how two people can form different impressions of an individual, I suppose.

    You can likewise form whatever impression of me suits you.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
    Russ_Watters likes this.
  19. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    Well no, copious words (also mathematics) is not a way to judge.
  20. wellwisher Banned Banned

    There is a difference between rights and entitlements. These two things are often confused.

    The best way to see this difference, is with an example. For example, in the USA, one has the right to own guns. The right gives one the option to own a gun or not own a gun. However, as a right, one is responsible for gaining the resources needed to purchase a gun, if they wish to have a gun.

    The government does not use tax dollars to buy a gun for anyone who wants a gun but cannot afford one. The poor person who wants to own a gun, but can't afford one, has to get a job and buy their own gun. They may not be able to afford a fancy gun, but there right to own a gun is, maintained since the right is only the option to own gun not a fancy gun, unless you pay. If tax dollars are used, then it is not a right, but an entitlement.

    Rights assume self reliance. The self reliant are mature enough to practice rights. We have the right to vote. But one has to be self reliant and go to the polls and vote for yourself.

    Abortion rights allow mature woman to have an abortion. But like any right, this implies self reliance, therefore the right to an abortion implies women need to buy her own abortion, or get the resources through private sector charities. This is how gun owners practice their right. If tax dollars are used, someone's else rights will be violated.As an example, if taxes could be used to buy guns, so anyone who wants a gun can have one, the left wing would feel violated, since their taxes will increase ,and go to buy something which they do not agree.

    If we added an extra payroll tax ,to just the Democrats, who think we should pay for abortion, then this might still be a right. It is the private sector agreeing to use the government to administer a private fund. If the laws also force the Republicans to pay more taxes, the right become an entitlement.

    I am all for women's rights, but these should not cost anything to anyone who does not agree. If a women wants an abortion she has the right, but she has to save for her abortion or find a liberal funded charity. But no tax dollars can be used, since this stealing of money from those who do not agree, will violate the right of others to pursue happiness. It will take away dollars they need to practice other rights in a self sufficient way. They may need that extra money, being commandeered for abortion entitlements, to buy a gun, so they can practice that right. Or they may need that the entitlement money being commander, to self sufficiently buy gas so they can drive to the voting booth and vote in a self sufficient way.

    Entitlements tend to violate the rights of other people, since it steals resources to it is harder for many people to be self sufficient with rights. If entitlement was done by charity, choice, or just taxing the political party who wants such things, then no right will be violated since all is done by choice and self reliance.

    I would like to see Democrats responsible for all their freebies they promise when they try to buy votes. The money will come from a tax on only register Democrats, since they want this, and directly benefits by this. This way no rights are taken away from others by stealing resources from those who need it for self sufficiency and the rights they wish to practice.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  21. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    Well, no. Some rights are entitlements.
    Decades of people discussing "rights" disagree with you. Some rights are negative, in that they are things that people should not prevent you from pursuing, some rights are positive, in that they are things that people should make sure that you have.

    Voting is probably an example of something that should be a positive right. People should be assisted in voting, since there is a failure in democracy if a state listens only to those who are able, within the current context of the state, to go and vote.

    You seem to have a strange idea of "the left wing". Not surprising. There are many of "the left wing" that seem in favor of the right to own a gun. What is missing from the US experience is evidence that owning firearms contributes to the public good or that is central to the well-being of citizens. On the other hand, comprehensive health care is both for the public good and is central to the well-being of citizens.

    Governments can pay for more things than just rights. Governments also pay for roads. Are roads a right? Countries that use a single-payer health care system often point to those factors of health care delivery that make it impossible for health care to be a free market system, i.e., free exchange is impossible because people cannot reasonably refuse health care.

    Facts not in evidence.
    Then you are not in favor of rights in any way. All rights have a cost; they are at the very least a limit on the liberties of others.

    I understand the conservative tendency to whine: they do not understand governments. The reality is that governments have responsibilities and they have to raise funds to pay for these responsibilities. It seems only "the right wing" in the US who wants governments to have things but not pay for them. After all, it was a Republican president who squandered the US surplus and ushered in over a decade of deficit spending.

    (My apologies for reminding Republicans that George Bush existed and that the world existed before Obama.)
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  22. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    A woman's rights..."and lefts" she said while delivering a vicious uppercut.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Do you acknowledge and affirm that women are human beings and have human rights?

    • • •​

    I believe I should honored by that. Thank you.

Share This Page