Ethical Issues Surrounding Sex Selection During or Prior to Conception
Whenever technological progress throws up great new possibilities there are also attendant ethical dilemmas relating to such possibilities. Such is the case with genetic engineering in general and human biomedical enhancement in particular. Allan Buchanan is well aware of some immediate pitfalls for society if BME is allowed unregulated[i]. One of the issues he raises is that of sex selection during pregnancy. In many parts of the world, especially in the developing world, there is a cultural and traditional bias toward male babies. From a sociological perspective a balance of equal population of male and female individuals is essential for the survival of the species.[ii] An unfettered BME system would totally skewer the sociological balance and may inadvertently set the species on a self-destructive spiral. Currently, at least as far as advanced industrial nations . . . Read More
- Should the headquarters of U.S.-based multinationals promote diversity initiatives in their worldwide subsidiaries? If so, what’s the best way to accomplish this?
There is nothing wrong in U.S.-based headquarters taking the initiative for diversity promotion across other locations in the globe. The thoughts and measures of Brody and Shoemate are instructive, for they provide a framework that all MNCs could follow. Since American business culture and social values are somewhat different to that in the rest of the world, the HR Manager taking decisions from U.S. headquarters will have to be culturally sensitive. The HR Manager will also be cognizant of the fact that the definition of diversity is not constant across locations. Moreover, the HR Manager will have to heed to what configurations of diversity ideally suit local teams. Actually, Bestfoods’ diversity program is a good starting point for any company trying to achieve similar . . . Read More
In many ways, women are history’s largest minority. Their voice was for most part suppressed under male domination. It is only in recent decades that they have attained legal and nominal equality with men. America has been a theatre for women’s rights going back to the late 18th and 19th centuries. The Catholic Church provided a semblance of political emancipation for women. This it achieved through allowing Sisters to assume high offices within the rigid hierarchy of the institution. Though there was a degree of democracy and representation within the Church, in practice, “internal governments combined authoritarian and hierarchical structures with participatory and egalitarian elements.” This meant that Sisters were subject to the authority of officers, but in turn influenced the officers through elections and consultations. In this somewhat compromised democratic system some members were disenfranchised to vote. Even in the absence of a . . . Read More
The time period between the American Revolution and the Reconstruction were one of uncertainly and instability in American socio-politics. Having valiantly won its freedom from the British Crown, the fledgling nation was taking cautious first steps toward self-assertion. But even as America’s presence as a global power was taking root, its society was beset by longstanding issues. The social issues could be broadly divided across the twin axes of race and gender. Racial discrimination of colored people and gender oppression of women were two chronic malaises.
At the time of the Declaration of Independence and the framing of the Constitution, blacks were considered as unequal to whites. This is reflected in the early laws of the country where segregation and slavery were legally sanctioned. The basis of these draconian laws was the prejudiced conception of blacks as only three-fifth human (whereby whites are the benchmark of full humanity). Such unscientific . . . Read More
The basic plot of the movie – that set on the last days of a dying young woman – hints at being a tear-jerking melodrama. But contrary to this threat My Life Without Me delivers a surprisingly novel representation of a life about to end. The announcement of death, instead of limiting the physical and mental possibilities of the young woman Ann, actually liberates her to explore them to the fullest. The film is rich in its philosophical content, particularly themes central to Existentialism. This essay will showcase how through the strength of her character and a preference for rationality over sentimentality Ann represents a true existential hero.
Hardly 23 years of age, Ann lives an arduous yet contented life. She lives with her young family in a caravan put out in the backyard of her mother’s house. Although the relationship with her mother is somewhat troubled, she has a loving husband and two adorable girls. Her father is . . . Read More
Both the stories in question have a female, colored protagonist. The two central characters Zuleika and Kambili are also similarly aged – it is their teenage years that are being explored. Even before they reach adulthood they go through enormous upheavals in their lives. Moreover, their stories fit into a colonial discourse with attendant features of cultural displacement, social alienation and economic exploitation. There is yet another interesting similarity between the two heroines, namely, their personal obsessions. But the objects of their obsessions are not the same. Likewise, secondary characters in the two stories have obsessions of their own. This essay endeavors to show how there are a range of psychological dispositions among various characters which account for their obsessions and how the authors’ own obsessions bear upon them.
The Emperor’s Babe is a fresh and vivid verse narrative of a young woman in Ancient Rome. Born into poverty and . . . Read More
It is fair to state that the status of Asian American women before 1950s was not any better than that suffered by minorities from any racial-ethnic group during this period. This is amply attested by first-hand accounts of discrimination and maltreatment by early immigrants. We also have copious legal indictments handing penalties, jail sentences and deportations to early wave of Asian immigrants to the ‘land of the free’. Considering that it was beginning from the second half of the 19th century that steady streams of Asian immigration poured into America, it is apt to claim that their struggle spanned a century, ending with the Civil Rights movement of 1960s. Prior to this the community endured a century of hardships that mitigated their integration into mainstream American socio-culture. If racial prejudice was a sizeable challenge on its own, the issues were compounded for womenfolk. The rest of this essay is an overview of the Asian American experience . . . Read More
This essay is a classic in feminist discourse and is rich in irony. The foremost of the ironies is the fact that the author is a woman and yet longs for a wife. There is no homosexual connotation here, but this device is employed to convey the ordeals and drudgery facing housewives. Author Judy Brady attempts to transcend her gender and sexuality in order to gain a new perspective on the role of married women within the household. She looks at women from the point of married men and their expectations. The point of this exercise is to show how men’s needs and wants dominate interpersonal relations with their wives. Married women, on the other hand, submit to the pressures of social conformity and economic dependency on men, thus incurring a big sacrifice. What stands out in this essay is the whole litany of chores and responsibilities that a married woman carries out in her home and workplace. This list, by virtue of seeming endless, aptly captures the realities of . . . Read More
This article takes a critical look at one of the most recognizable cultural icons in American history – the Barbie doll. While admitting to the popularity and appeal of the Barbie doll across generations, Emily Prager finds certain faults with what it symbolizes. The fact that the doll was first conceived and designed by a man is the first of Prager’s objections. She contends that Barbie’s fulsome breasts and thin waistline accentuate her sex-appeal, thereby reducing femininity to the contours of body shape and skin color. Prager asserts that this physical perfection on part of the most popular doll undermines the feminist movement and other feminine ideals. Prager acknowledges that Barbie does serve as a role model in terms of her liberated sense of style and living. The showcasing of Barbie’s bohemian lifestyle, spanning condos, fashion plazas, swimming pools and beauty salons is appealing for young girls. Yet, her combination of verve and freedom does not . . . Read More
Both short stories contain abundant instances of gender bias. To be more accurate, the gender bias witnessed in these stories is so pronounced and persistent that it is fair to call them misogyny. In Cat in the Rain, the victim is an American girl who is married to a man indifferent to her wishes and needs. In the case of Sweat, Sykes is the abusive husband of Delia who pushes her to dire desperation. Though these two short stories carry the themes of gender bias and misogyny, they are conveyed through different literary devices. This essay will explain how gender bias is expressed in these two stories and will briefly analyze their socio-historical implications.
Cat in the Rain by Ernest Hemingway is a compact story that packs a punch. Known for his concise prose, each word of this 500-word story is weighted with significance. The story is about an outwardly casual conversation between an American and his wife vacationing in Italy. The girl is discontent about something in . . . Read More