Free Ethics, Gender and the Family Essay Sample
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Ethical values acculturated in the family belief system determine the conception of the cooking role as either feminine or masculine. Ethics refers to the code of conduct and behavior in the family set-up. The orientation of the tasks within the household system are perceived and executed based on the societal manipulation and within the cultural norms and values which most a times are just but mere social constructs. Cooking is one of the oldest household chores associated with the feminine gender, a value system that has been upheld for generations on end (Gillian, 1992). The society has long held this view and the patriarchal nature of the society has been challenged by the rise of feminism; whose central argument is advocating for the conception of women as equal to men but not as subordinates.
Gauged through the lens of deontological, teleological and utilitarian ethical perspectives, cooking is indeed not a feminine chore, but a chore that can be comfortably executed by either gender. Consequential ethical perspectives revolve around the resultant effects of an action as the measuring tool to define the basis within which the moral judgment of an action should be encapsulated (Mikel, 1992). Deontological ethics depend on the duties and rules that bind the execution of an action whilst utilitarianism focuses on the satisfaction one derives from an action. This paper explores coking as a household chore as seeks to determine whether it is a chore restricted to a single gender.
A popular aphorism asserts that the end justifies the means. In the same case, consequential ethics orientation seeks to define the morality of an action based on the end result or outcome or consequence (Noddings, 1984). Examining cooking through the lens of consequential ethics, a person who wants food on their table must be motivated to cook. The importance attached to feeding for a starving soul in this case will not worry who and how the food got on the table if not into the stomach. Consequentially, the issue here will not encompass what the ingredients were, what fuel was used or even who the cook was but whether there is food on the table or even the hunger has been dealt with via the provision of food.
Ethically, the gender will have nothing to do with the presence or even the lack of cooked food to feed on. So it doesn't matter who cooks, whether feminine or male what matters is the provision of edible food that has been subjected to preparation via whatever methodology and inclusive of all ingredients that make a meal (Lawrence, 1982). From the consequentialism lens, it is imperative to note that a household chore, even if it is not cooking is not tied to the gender, but to what will be the eventual outcome.
Deontological ethics determines the goodness or rightness (read acceptability) and whether the actions of a person conform to the set moral rules. Deontologists assert that an act might be considered right irrespective of the bad consequences provided it sticks to the rules (Gillian, 1994). Deontology restricts the ethical orientation to duties that are inherently good and also to observe an objectively obligatory rule. Based on these postulations and the debate on the femininity or masculinity of a chore, it is quite clear that ethics dictate the rules or duties for the household actors to play in. this will include the use of logic to determine whether an act is right or wrong (Kohlberg, 1982). In such circumstances, the reasoning behind the establishment of gender divide over an issue dictate the action which will be undertaken and even the course to be adhered to.
Using the cooking chore, the deontological ethical orientation does not provide for details on how the cooking should be done but rather accords precedence to the availability of the food. Not surprisingly, it does not drag the question of gender disparity and thus any member in the family is under an obligation to cook rather than seek to burden the female folk by attributing the cooking duty to them. The proponents of consequentialism led by Immanuel Kant asserted this by claiming that the ethics behind the eventual end or consequence are not important in and of themselves, and our intentions are not important in and of themselves (Egan, 2001).
To contrast these ethics, the utilitarian model comes in handy. The utilitarian ethical model, which postulates that the morally right course of action in any particular situation ought to produce the greatest balance of benefits for all parties involved (Gilligan, 1998). The means is not the question rather the emphasis is on the benefits thus achieved whether economical and/or social-cultural. The acceptability of an action is hinged on a process that involves the evaluation of the available courses, the establishment of potential harms or conflicts and the selection as well as execution of the course that results in the greatest benefits with all factors considered. Even under its expansion and refinement, the varied principles seem to agree on benefits and harms in terms of pleasure and pain; inscribed in the satisfaction of personal preferences or in economic terms (Whalley, 2005). This model gives sufficient back up ideas for the formulation of ethics centered on personal goodwill and awareness of the varied gains one could make by adhering to a certain course.
Utilitarian's agree that the ultimate goal of an action should allow morality balance the beneficial and harmful consequences of our conduct. By relating this to the devolution of coking as an household chore, a clash of interests is noted in that the chance to escape from the chore if one considers it boring is made possible by the understanding that other family members will do it for him. In addition, it does not bind either gender to the cooking as a chore but rather opens up the ground for attainment of whatever personal interest which might include a surprise for ones spouse or children. In addition, it gives a foundation through which the feminine gender appreciates the more if the opposing gender prepares a meal for them. Through the utilitarian, the motivation of cooking are mirrored ethically to the persona evaluation on satisfaction and whether the act has a general balance that sees the good supersede the evil.
To conclude, it is imperative to note that gender roles are just but a creation of the human imagination enshrined in the social construct. There is no background evidence that proves a direct link between any gender and the diverse household chores in the family setting. However, the ethical orientation does play a big part in ensuring that the chores are satisfactorily handled, not because of the gender inclination but because of the consequences, goals and targets and also the resultant benefits and satisfaction (Ward, 1988). This is how the three ethical models refute the assertions that certain household chores are reserved for certain gender. However, this does not discredit the fact that certain gender is comfortable and perform better in some varied household chores.
Generally, men, known to be the least contributor in the execution of household chores, are known to have a go depending on the satisfaction they seek to derive from attending to the core. This could be an attempt to please their spouse, an obligatory move that they see as necessary to induce progress and harmony in the house as well as a way of setting good precedence in their children (Halberstam, 1998). In addition, modern trends now seem to lack that division of chores between the genders and people are becoming more comfortable in whatever duty or role they play in the prosperity and harmonious co-existence of the family.
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