At MOMocrats: White male privilege and the daughter testPosted: June 25, 2011
I’m very excited to share that I’m now a contributor to MOMocrats, a great blog dedicated to writing about politics from a variety of parents’ perspectives. My first post for MOMocrats has just been posted; please check it out, and the rest of the blog, too! An excerpt:
Steven Levitt of Freakonomics fame recently wrote that he bases his decisions on whether to support government prohibitions on what he calls the “daughter test”:
It wasn’t until the U.S. government’s crackdown on internet poker last week that I came to realize that the primary determinant of where I stand with respect to government interference in activities comes down to the answer to a simple question: How would I feel if my daughter were engaged in that activity? If the answer is that I wouldn’t want my daughter to do it, then I don’t mind the government passing a law against it. I wouldn’t want my daughter to be a cocaine addict or a prostitute, so in spite of the fact that it would probably be more economically efficient to legalize drugs and prostitution subject to heavy regulation/taxation, I don’t mind these activities being illegal. On the other hand, if my daughter had good reasons to want an abortion, I would want her to be able to have one, so I’m weakly in favor of abortion to be legal, even though I put a lot of value on unborn fetuses.
That this is utterly ridiculous ought to be so obvious as to need no elaborating. Do we want legislators making laws based on what they would personally want for us as parents, or based on respect for people as human beings with equal rights and autonomy? This shouldn’t be a difficult question to answer. Yet a bunch more white dudes similarly privileged as Levitt have since weighed in to debate whether or not his test is reasonable.
Read the rest of the post at MOMocrats.
ETA: I just realized this is the 100th post at Are Women Human. Hurrah!