The thing about western individualism is it is just so individualistic. If I remember my ethics properly, there is an underlying ‘ethical egoism’—that is, ‘I’ (the ‘ego’ in ‘ego-ism’) make my moral decisions on the basis of what is best for me.
Apparently, if Australian men (with footballers as the focus and pinnacle of that group) learned to respect women, then they would have better sexual behaviour. I’m not sure of the connection between those two things myself, but, as I mentioned in the last post, it is certainly difficult to object to.
But perhaps there is another way out of my confusion. Rather than objecting to it, why not adopt it, and then demand some of the same treatment?
I must confess to being similarly confused with the local Labour member’s pamphlet that came through the mail this week. Apparently the Labour Party is mounting a national campaign to reduce violence against women and their children. That’s a relief; apparently violence against husbands and fathers, or perhaps just any old random male on the streets, is still okay.
I thought we were supposed to be equal. If so, then why can’t men learn to respect men too? If that happened, then that would also change their sexual behaviour.
Take the poor husbands who send their wives off to work (in a very liberated sense, of course), only to have them become the victim of some office sexual predator at the Christmas party, or the willing accomplice of a tordid (sordid + torrid) office affair. When the second job seemed a good idea for the family budget, did this husband ever calculate on the family being ruined by another male, showing absolutely no respect for his female fellow worker’s unseen husband?
Or, let’s take it back earlier in life: what about the young single gad-about philanderer who is ‘sowing his wild oats’, engaging in what so many seem to regard as ‘normal sexual experimentation’ with one or two (but hopefully more, he says) random females as part of his growing up process? What, you are just practising on a girl who will one day become someone else’s wife??? A little respect for other men might actually put a curb on such good old-fashioned immorality—immorality that is now just called ‘normal’.
Then there is the lustful male, who plays the field, seeking the next sexual conquest—Sex in the City before it became a female domain. Sure, the fun is there in the conquest itself, but remember, conquests were once about one male beating another male, and the spirit of machismos past are easily transferred from the battlefield to the bedroom. The goal of the conquest is clear: to conquer ‘this woman’ before ‘that man’ manages to do so. Where would masculine rivalry fought through sexual conquest go if men showed a little more respect for other men?
Anyone who knows the fear of the Lord knows that there is a fine line between respect and fear. Once upon a time, if one man took another man’s woman, then he would be killed for such a crime. Even in today’s world, where everyone turns a blind eye, no woman belongs to any man and fornication is another word for recreation, men still kill for the same reason. There seems to be something deeply primal here.
Or perhaps it is God-given. Once again, it seems so easy: one man, one woman. She is only given to you if God has given her to you. If he hasn’t, then she is not yours, but she is God’s gift to another man. To take a woman who is not yours is to take another man’s gift from the Lord.
Okay, let’s launch ourselves into this next stage of respect for women. But while we are at it, perhaps we can launch ourselves into a newfound respect for men too. Perhaps sexual behaviour might indeed be changed. That would certainly be a new world. Perhaps we could call it ‘ethical he-goism’.