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The risks of the moralism

January 5, 2015

Shima Sharabi recounts the sexual morality taught to her when she was a teenager in Iran. The interesting thing is how it follows the same tropes used by social conservatives here in the US: the worry about sexually liberated women dulling men’s sexual appetite, about those appetites then being turned to dangerous extremes, about indirect harm to children, etc. But the narratives are so weird to western ears that we can only laugh at those strange mullahs.

We’re less likely to laugh at California’s efforts to encourage parents to read to children. Data scientist David Shor says we should. It doesn’t work. What does work, he says, are straight cash transfers. Ah, but that doesn’t fit our own morality tales.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    January 5, 2015 9:42 am

    I read to the end of the linked article hoping it would advocate for a livable minimum wage. If we don’t want to put money into poor family’s pockets “as a handout”, we could do it by paying more for their work. It would be cheaper than creating bureaucratic organizations, and it would feel more aligned with the “morality of work” that is so pervasive in this country, except for the fact that we think the poor are poor because they don’t work hard, which is (I have no scientific proof) likely a myth.

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