Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Quote of the day

"But again, what about consensual sex between 'responsible' adults? Consent, frankly, has little to do with it. Let me illustrate with an example from economic development, a class I teach in which I often address the issue of sweatshops:

"Does the fact that an impoverished woman in Indonesia is willing to assemble Nike shoes for 25 cents an hour, 12 hours a day, imply that it is a socially just arrangement? The woman has given her consent in the exchange, but does that make it right? Of course not—consensuality is an insufficient condition for social justice. But many male college students today will sleep out on the steps of the Capitol protesting sweatshop labor and then sleep with their girlfriends, completely unaware of the inherent contradictions of their beliefs and lifestyle. ...

"Contrary to what some might suggest, birth control does not render all of these arguments pointless, because the sexual psychology of women and men is shaped partly by their biology. In other words, even if a woman is using birth control, she still desires love and commitment from her partner more than just sex alone. Thus at a psychological level, women still desire the emotional closeness and intimacy that comes with commitment, and birth control (to the extent that it works) does nothing to address this issue. For this reason, women will typically have feelings of extreme psychological emptiness, depression, and anxiety when sex is given without emotional closeness or commitment given in return."

— Bruce Wydick, from his highly recommended article for Prism magazine, "Sex and Social Justice"