Volume 34, Issue 1, Spring 2020
Andrei Ionuţ Mărăşoiu
Blaming Dirty Looks
Casting dirty looks is morally wrong when it encourages gender stereotypes and objectifies the woman looked at. Oglers are to blame for the harm done. And, if an ogler were to merely imagine what he perceives, we would blame him less than for his stare. So, in many such cases, we must be at least partly be blaming the ogler for being in the very perceptual state he is then in—for his male gaze. This line of reasoning goes against ethical orthodoxy, which claims that perception is simply not the kind of thing for which the agents who perceive could be blamed. Against orthodoxy, I argue that the moral relevance of the male gaze implies that perception is the kind of thing for which perceiving agents could be blamed.