Numerous studies have found that many people believe that a provocatively dressed woman is at greater risk for sexual assault and bears some responsibility for her assault if she is attacked. Furthermore, in legal, academic, and public debates about sexual assault the appropriateness of the term ‘provocative’ as a descriptor of certain kinds of women’s clothing is rarely questioned. Thus, there is a widespread but largely unquestioned belief that it is appropriate to describe revealing or suggestive women’s clothing as ‘provocative’ (...) and that women who wear such clothing could provoke sexual assault and harassment from men. Yet it is rarely noted that only women’s clothing is described as sexually provocative. Men’s clothing, no matter how revealing, is never described as provocative. Why is this the case? This Article challenges the assumption that it is appropriate to describe women’s clothing as provocative. Drawing on on models of the legal defense of provocation and research on objectification and responsibility, this Article demonstrates that continued use of ‘provocative’ term normalizes and entrenches deeply problematic attitudes about women’s responsibility for men’s sexual behavior. The social interpretation of women’s clothing as provocative arises from the privileged social and legal status of men’s sexual arousal and the objectification of women’s bodies. Describing women’s clothing as provocative thus reinforces a problematic conception of women’s bodies and sexuality that is connected to women’s experiences of their bodies, their clothes, and shapes their vulnerability to sexual assault and social and legal attitudes to such attacks. (shrink)
Multi-user online environments involve millions of participants world-wide. In these online communities participants can use their online personas – avatars – to chat, fight, make friends, have sex, kill monsters and even get married. Unfortunately participants can also use their avatars to stalk, kill, sexually assault, steal from and torture each other. Despite attempts to minimise the likelihood of interpersonal virtual harm, programmers cannot remove all possibility of online deviant behaviour. Participants are often greatly distressed when their avatars are harmed (...) by other participants’ malicious actions, yet there is a tendency in the literature on this topic to dismiss such distress as evidence of too great an involvement in and identification with the online character. In this paper I argue that this dismissal of virtual harm is based on a set of false assumptions about the nature of avatar attachment and its relation to genuine moral harm. I argue that we cannot dismiss avatar attachment as morally insignificant without being forced to also dismiss other, more acceptable, forms of attachment such as attachment to possessions, people and cultural objects and communities. Arguments against according moral significance to virtual harm fail because they do not reflect participants’ and programmers’ experiences and expectations of virtual communities and they have the unintended consequence of failing to grant significance to attachments that we take for granted, morally speaking. Avatar attachment is expressive of identity and self-conception and should therefore be accorded the moral significance we give to real-life attachments that play a similar role. (shrink)
New scientific advances have created previously unheard of possibilities for enhancing combatants' performance. Future war fighters may be smarter, stronger, and braver than ever before. If these technologies are safe, is there any reason to reject their use? In this article, I argue that the use of enhancements is constrained by the importance of maintaining the moral responsibility of military personnel. This is crucial for two reasons: the military's ethical commitments require military personnel to be morally responsible agents, and moral (...) responsibility is necessary for integrity and the moral emotions of guilt and remorse, both of which are important for moral growth and psychological well-being. Enhancements that undermined combatants' moral responsibility would therefore undermine the military's moral standing and would harm combatants' well-being. A genuine commitment to maintaining the military's ethical standards and the well-being of combatants therefore requires a careful analysis of performance-enhancing technologies before they are implemented. (shrink)
Modern military organizations are paternalistic organizations. They typically recognize a duty of care toward military personnel and are willing to ignore or violate the consent of military personnel in order to uphold that duty of care. In this paper, we consider the case for paternalism in the military and distinguish it from the case for paternalism in medicine. We argue that one can consistently reject paternalism in medicine but uphold paternalism in the military. We consider two well-known arguments for the (...) conclusion that military organizations should not be entitled to use experimental drugs on troops without first obtaining the informed consent of those troops. We argue that both of these are unsuccessful, in the absence of an argument for the rejection of paternalism in the military altogether. The case for military paternalism is widely accepted. However, we consider three ways in which it could be challenged. (shrink)
Although the term "torture lite" is frequently used to distinguish between physically mutilating torture and certain interrogation methods that are supposedly less severe, the distinction is not recognized in international law.
The military claims to be an honourable profession, yet military torture is widespread. Why is the military violating its own values? Jessica Wolfendale argues that the prevalence of military torture is linked to military training methods that cultivate the psychological dispositions connected to crimes of obedience. While these methods are used, the military has no credible claim to professional status. Combating torture requires that we radically rethink the nature of the military profession and military training.
In international law and just war theory, war is treated as normatively and legally unique. In the context of international law, war’s special status gives rise to a specific set of belligerent rights and duties, as well as a complex set of laws related to, among other things, the status of civilians, prisoners of war, trade and economic relationships, and humanitarian aid. In particular, belligerents are permitted to derogate from certain human rights obligations and to use lethal force in a (...) far more permissive manner than is the case in other kinds of conflicts and in domestic law enforcement operations. Given war’s unique status, the task of defining war requires not just identifying the empirical features that are characteristic of war but explaining and justifying war’s special legal and moral status. In this chapter, I propose a definition of war that captures war’s unique features and can offer insights into when and how some forms of unarmed conflict could count as wars. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that an account of security as a basic human right must incorporate moral security. Broadly speaking, a person possesses subjective moral security when she believes that her basic interests and welfare will be accorded moral recognition by others in her community and by social, political, and legal institutions in her society. She possesses objective moral security if, as a matter of fact, her interests and welfare are regarded by her society as morally important—for example, when (...) violent crimes against her being taken to warrant the same punishment and condemnation as equivalent crimes against others. Moral security, thus characterized, is an essential part of what it is to be secure as a human person, and any right to security must include it. In the first part of the paper I critique alternative narrower accounts of the right to security, before defending my account of moral security in Section 2. Section 3 explores how acts of racialized and gendered violence are attacks on the moral security of the victims and of all members of the groups to which the victims belong. Broader structural and institutional forms of racial and sexual discrimination further compound the impact of such acts on moral security. Understanding how racial and sexual discrimination and violence are attacks on moral security offers a new way of thinking about the scope and urgency of a state’s duty to combat racial and sexual discrimination, an issue I explore in the final section of the paper. -/- . (shrink)
If you just can't decide what to wear, this enlightening guide will lead you through the diverse and sometimes contradictory aspects of fashion in a series of lively, entertaining and thoughtful essays from prominent philosophers and writers. A unique and enlightening insight into the underlying philosophy behind the power of fashion Contributions address issues in fashion from a variety of viewpoints, including aesthetics, the nature of fashion and fashionability, ethics, gender and identity politics, and design Includes a foreword by Jennifer (...) Baumgardner, feminist author, activist and cultural critic, editor of Ms magazine and regular contributor to major women's magazines including Glamour and Marie-Claire. (shrink)
In contemporary academic, political, and media discourse, terrorism is typically portrayed as an existential threat to lives and states, a threat driven by religious extremists who seek the destruction of Western civilization and who are immune to reason and negotiation. In many countries, including the US, the UK, and Australia, this existential threat narrative of terrorism has been used to justify sweeping counterterrorism legislation, as well as military operations and even the use of tactics such as torture and indefinite detention. (...) In this chapter I outline the components of the existential threat narrative, and explain how critical terrorism scholars have critiqued this narrative on two main grounds: that it is based on false empirical claims about the nature, scale, and motivations of modern non-state terrorism, and that counterterrorism policies and practices based on this narrative have had extremely destructive consequences for individuals, communities, and states—in some cases, causing far more destruction than terrorism itself. In the final section I offer some suggestions for the direction of future terrorism research in light of these critiques of the existential threat narrative. (shrink)
Why do war crimes occur? Are perpetrators of war crimes always blameworthy? In an original and challenging thesis, this book argues that war crimes are often explained by perpetrators' beliefs, goals, and values, and in these cases perpetrators may be blameworthy even if they sincerely believed that they were doing the right thing.