Possible Worlds and Misogyny May 28, 2009Posted by Dwight Furrow in Current Events, Dwight Furrow's Posts, Philosophy of Gender.
Tags: conservatism and sexuality, conservatism and women’s rights, Ross Douthat
Brad Delong channels a friend who comments on conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat’s views on women:
- believes that abortion is murder.
- thinks that women who use birth control should be stigmatized as (or perhaps are) unattractive sluts.
- thinks that single parents should be stigmatized too.
Don’t you only get to pick two of those three? Unless you’re a real p—- who thinks women should be locked up by their fathers until title to them is passed to their husbands, that is.
I suppose there is some possible world in which someone could, without contradiction, hold 1, 2, and 3. But not in this world.
Delong provides the analysis:
I agree. If you think birth control and single parenthood should both be stigmatized then you must be for abortion on demand. If you both forbid abortion and stigmatize birth control then single parents are valuable parts of society performing important work raising the next generation. If you forbid abortion and disapprove of single parenthood then women on the pill are Visible Saints.
Since there are possible worlds in which people think “women should be locked up by their fathers until title to them is passed to their husbands” Douthat’s beliefs are not quite unintelligible—but they are very close.