Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Can we gender gun control?

Is violence related to gender? Are men more likely to use guns than women? New York Times writer Randy Cohen attempts to answer these questions in his recent edition of The Ethicist. Gun control is a hot issue now, and he thinks that he has found the answer. (Warning, there is definetly some saracasm ahead of you!) Just give guns to women! After all, women are passive creatures, guided by a moral compass that men simply don’t have, probably because they are juiced up on testosterone. Can you say “essentialism” with me? Not that long ago, women were considered to be morally superior and innocent, so they were kept inside the home, far away from the dirty, dangerous world.

I think my favorite part about Cohen’s piece was that paragraph where he argued that letting women be in charge of guns would make firearms less attractive to men, just like certain occupations. Good call. Instead of trying to fight sexism, let’s just use it for “good” reasons. Why didn’t we think of this before? Anything that’s attractive to men, let’s just pump a few women into the system, and make it unattractive. Think of all the money we could divert to other sources if women took over the NFL!

Oh wait, in my zeal for using women as tools to destroy all that men love, I forgot that sexism means the oppression of one gender by another gender for a purpose. There is simply no good reason for it. As much as part of me likes the idea of women ruling the world, I don’t know if banning men from owning firearms is going to make them less likely to commit violent acts.

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