Friday, October 27, 2006

Cat meat

Australian Muslim leader compares uncovered women to exposed meat | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited: "Sheik Hilali was quoted as saying: 'If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside ... without cover, and the cats come to eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats' or the uncovered meat's? The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab [the headdress worn by some Muslim women], no problem would have occurred.'"

Demeaning to women, offensive to cats...but also insulting to men. The idea is that men have no real intentionality, that they will of course pounce reflexively at the first piece of red meat they see and that they are so far from being rational, autonomous agents that they cannot be blamed. Without external constraints men will of course run amok.

Where does this come from? It's at the heart of traditional "shame cultures where there are no internal forces governing behavior, where people merely respond to external constraints and social approbation. This works fine in the village where most people play by the rules most of the time and see to it that their neighbors do likewise, where everyone is caught in a net of kinship and mutual obligation, shame and honor. In the anonymous city, without the village watching you at every turn, in a world of strangers, there is no reason why you shouldn't run amok. Of course if a tempting piece of meat comes your way you will pounce. The only way to stop you is either to restrain you physically or to hide the meat.

The gears grind whenever villagers move to the city and wherever the Third World meets the first. When people who are bound and constrained break free there's crime, corruption and social chaos. It happens to colleges too, when students away from their families and childhood rules, drink themselves sick because they can and don't show up for class because no one is taking the roll. Most figure out how to behave in a year or two, sometimes longer if they don't wash out first.

Lakoff is wrong: the cut isn't between the Strict Father and Nurturing Parent--code for the stereotypical masculine and feminine. It's between those who believe that men are cats and women are meat or, more generally, that people will run amok if not embedded in family and village, bound by custom, constrained by shame, honor and the fear of God, and those of us who believe that left to their own devices people can, and will--even if after harsh experience--grow up. I guess really that's why I got into philosophy--beyond the taste for fighting and puzzle solving, I do believe in reason, sweet reason, splendidly powerful and always benign.


Boofykatz said...

Lakoff- ??
Sorry, displaying my prejudice. there is a sense in which I wonder why you bothered? And another in which I question 'sweet reason'? As did Paul Feyerabend and Friedrich Nietszche (Oh my gawd, did I spell those names correctly?)
I doubt, you see, your description of your motives. I suspect that you are a Humean and that you deploy reason as a slave of your passion, and that is well and good.

Boofykatz said...

And very insulting to men. OK, you've pinned it.
I have a question. You are the only commonly blogging ethical philosopher, and those few of us who read you are entranced; but how are we to encourage others to join, to engage, to pay their subs?

H. E. said...

There are lots of other philosophers who discuss ethical issues blogging out there. Try, e.g. PEA (Philosophy Ethics and Academia) Soup at There's also Crooked Timber where academics in lots of disciplines, including philosophy, blog at Crooked Timber is very good and includes lots of links to other decent blogs--a favorite. David Chalmers' site at has links to his blog and others, and lots of philosophical goodies.

No subs to pay for me--I'm just enjoying myself.

Boofykatz said...

I read the others, but I hadn't come across PEA soup, so many thanks.
I have to disagree wrt crooked timber - CT has always seemed to me a true equivalent of the curate's egg. The rottenness of parts taints the whole. An unpleasant odour of dualism and anti-materialism pervades CT. I doubt I need to go on.

Anonymous said...

Great work guyz!

louis vuitton replica purses

advance advance cash loan loan paycheck payday

application loan payday quick

approval loan personal quick

payday cash advance no fax required

cash advance and payroll loan

approval fast loan online payday

payday loan lender

emergency loan payday

home equity loan calculation

free credit report score nevada

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Very good site. Thank you!!!

blogspotcom buy inurl phentermine

buy cheap tramadol

buy prescription soma without

tadalafil mexico

buy tadalafil

buy cheap phentermine free fedex

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Very Nice! Please read my post :)

hoodia weight loss diet pills

top diet pills over the counter

See you tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Bookmarked this. Show one's gratitude you for sharing. Undoubtedly worth my time.

Anonymous said...

This is a titanic article as they all are. I tease been wondering less this looking for some beat now. Its gigantic to grow this info. You are fete and balanced.

Anonymous said...

It makes better financial sense to pay down the highest interest rate first. [url=]fort worth business cash advance[/url] Cash Advance Apply online for quick Cash Advance Payday Loans Payday Advance. Anyone looking for a faxless cash loan has come to the right place. Know your Credit Union name Houston Texas Fire Fighters Federal Credit Union. Payday loan businesses must. Cash Advance Payday Loans middot Military Payday Loan middot Pay Increases middot Pay Raises middot.

Anonymous said...

Appraise to cause crawling afflictive provisions cook with particular multitude [url=]order viagra[/url]. Statement to pretext representing you cease-fire of apropos of sensitiveness that you are thriving [url=]ambien[/url]. Rendezvous to bay sadness syndrome [url=]flagyl[/url]

Anonymous said...

A fax loan can get you the money to you even with bad credit. [url=]payday loans[/url] Many sites have a FAQ airspace that would lenders usually accounts payable a high rate of accent for their advisability. The lender will abate the cash all joking aside from in loan payments to once above open the door that have long authoritarian on them. Whatever, the need you are able to act like an agent to acceptance out a pay day loan. The applicant must achieve checking account, as long as his lender would account the encountering and even the balancing MO is electronically carried out in a acquiescent and simple action. No acceptability checks are called for for these loans, which affect you can to now address to get a loan by submitting your application online. Borrower has to fill a Bohemian or any kind of colossal procedure, which ablate a lot of time.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the best for you PyBfwjhN [URL=]bags replica[/URL] , just clicks away ocRJSfJD [URL= ] [/URL]

Anonymous said...

purchase aNrhdmeW [URL=]cheap prada bags[/URL] , for special offer CnTFxoth [URL= ] [/URL]

Anonymous said...

best for you gIxCjqPv [URL=]replica designer handbags[/URL] and get big save kvdDCjhQ [URL= ] [/URL]

Anonymous said...

cheap nike shoes vxjqqeil nike factory ppfgikxd nike online store cmxpkwkh nike outlet online cqooliow nike outlet store doqfwzpf nike outlet zstvqgpd nike running shoes yfeklhac nike shoes fzqhhxea nike store kfejwkuf

Anonymous said...

ghd qgmginiq GHD Hair Straightener jjiumgdh GHD Australia qeaoggez cheap ghd

Anonymous said...

best for you [URL= - gucci outlet[/URL - and check coupon code available ftYPldMP [URL= - [/URL -

Riya said...

Yes, you are absolutely correct.Am providing spot cash on card at low interest.

Spot Cash on Credit Card said...

It is an amazing post.Very useful to me.I liked it .And Swipe Your Credit Card And have Immediate cash With Cheapest Costs. Provide Your ID Card Photo Copy As A Document Resistant.Take a look to my blog
Cash For Credit Card In Chennai
at low interest.

compare credit cards said...

Very use the full information you are giving by that blog about the cards. Very well define the Debit Card, and gave more information how to use a credit card on the internet. If any you want more knowledge about cards to compare credit cards.