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Related Words, Beliefs, Background for Choice #37

Worldview Theme #35A: Sharing What Some Consider Very Private                            Worldview Theme #48A: Privacy

for a summary read these 5 entries in order: transparency, gay sex growing acceptance of,  same sex marriage,
                                 non-binary or gender queer,

for a summary read these 5 entries in order: confidentiality, privacy rights, privacy rights fight--USA history of, digital footprint, tracking cookies

androcentrism–a male-centered, male-oriented viewpoint in which human history and culture are seen and interpreted from a masculine point of view.  Ecofeminists have linked this to anthropocentrism

anonymitya strategy for being unidentifiable / impossible to reach or track down / remaining unknown.  An important part of insuring privacy, freedom of action, and perhaps avoiding being a target. Related to transparency in that invisible often equals anonymous. Examples: anonymity is an important part of 1) free elections in that if those voting differently than you knew this they might vengefully come after you,  2)  discrimination: if you don’t stand out in a crowd you won’t be discriminated against. Historically, USA Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, and an early champion of privacy rights,  saw anonymity as a precondition for freedom of thought. 

authenticitythe extent to which an individual’s actions (both living and seeking them) are consistent with his or her beliefs, values, and deepest desires, despite peer, family, economic, legal, and other pressures.  It can be said that an authentic person takes this wisdom to heart: “Don’t just know thyself—be thyself!” Doing this requires possessing autonomy--see the next entry. 

autonomy--Both meanings of this term, in politics and in psychology, connect with the idea of self-government--whether for a nation or an individual. With respect to the latter, possessing autonomy involves being responsible for controlling one's own life without coercion by others. See personal autonomy

bodily integrity—a principle that generally refers to the self ownership of one’s own body,  the inviolability of its boundaries, and the importance of self determination and asserting one’s rights over one’s own body.

civil liberties–are individual rights typically guaranteed by democratic and sometimes by other governments in constitutions or similar legally binding documents.  Their existence can be traced to efforts to limit the potential for government abuse of power and interference in the lives of individuals.  Examples of particular civil liberties are freedoms of assembly, speech, and religion, and the rights to marry, a fair trial, privacy, and to bear arms

civil rights–its meaning is very similar to civil liberties', but with different connotation and focus on discrimination.  In the United States, in the last 140 years, it has often referred to the rights granted African Americans (by the 13th and 14th Amendments) and negated by Jim Crow laws in the south.  A highlight of the civil rights movement was the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Other minorities have faced similar battles with mixed results. Women (hardly a minority in numbers!) saw efforts to enact the Equal Rights Amendment fail, while activity on behalf of the handicapped bore fruit in 1990 with passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act.  Efforts on behalf of gays and lesbians recognizing same sex marriages continue.  

confidentiality—refers to an understanding that certain private information will be kept secret and not be disclosed

contraception–the deliberate prevention of conception or pregnancy through use of various birth control devices or methods.          

cousin marriage–a way to build the internal cohesiveness and loyalty of a clan.  By marrying a blood relative such as a cousin, a man's bond with his wife does not threaten his allegiance to his clan or the social fabric, rather it instead strengthens it.  This practice occurs at high rates throughout the Middle East and wherever traditional societies have yet to be replaced by modern, individualistic societies.  

digital footprintrefers to an individual’s unique set of  personal information, life story, etc. that a prying outsider could learn about this individual by doing an exhaustive search of the internet  

ecofeminism—roughly speaking this is about the relationship of women to the Earth / nature, typically concerned with issues at  the intersection of feminism, environmentalism, and patriarchy. Within the field some are more centered on egalitarianism, some with issues of respect, some Earth-centered spirituality, etc. 

endogamy–marriage between members of the same social group.  Example: a Jewish girl's parents tell her that they won't allow her to marry a non-Jew.  Contrary to this example, many are more comfortable marrying those with similar background, lifestyle, etc., and endogamy can lead to social stratification.  Carried to extremes by ethnic groups, it can also lead to genetic disease as the practice limits the size of the gene pool

equal opportunity—in a narrow sense it refers to “leveling the playing field” so that all applicants for a particular job are treated similarly without prejudice or barriers that have nothing to do with ability to perform the job. In a bigger sense it can refer to all members of a society having an opportunity to prosper based solely on their ability, motivation, hard work, etc without prejudice or insurmountable hurdles put there by entrenched “powers that be”.

feminism–associated with believing in the equal treatment of men and women, and supporting activities conducted to further the cause of women’s rights.  Beginning with (successful) efforts to win women the right to vote (suffrage) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, decades later a second wave of feminism linked long perceived political inequalities with cultural inequalities.  A big part of this was the women's liberation movement of the late 1960s and 1970s–which encouraged women to see how aspects of the male dominated societal power structure played out in their personal lives.  Feminists critique gender roles in sociocultural fashion.

flaunt--to parade and /or display with pride and ostentation, perhaps even in boastful, impudent fashion , 

gay sex, growing acceptance oftwo turning points in western affluent countries’ gradual acceptance of same sex sexual activities occurred in the late 1960s: 1) in the UK when Parliament rescinded the law making gay sex a crime, and 2) the 1969 when New York City Stonewall riots led to popularizing the term “coming out”—along with encouraging this—and to gay pride parades with rainbow flags, etc. Fast forward over decades of progress.  Whereas in 2002 just half of Americans felt homosexual activity was acceptable, by 2020 nearly 75% did. Likewise, typically a majority  of those polled in  western affluent countries --at least the ones not religiously conservative—approved of gay rights, same sex marriage, etc. Yet elsewhere in the world, acceptance has not progressed as far and fast. In India for example, 15% of those polled in 2003  felt homosexual activity was acceptable, a figure that by 2019 had grown to 37%. And gay sex is still illegal in 68 countries—indeed, in 12 of them it is a crime punishable by death. One side effect of increasing acceptance of gays: increasing tolerance of those who initially are viewed as “different.”

gender roles-- behaviors and characteristics that are the norm for each gender in a particular society.  Those prone to conformity can fall into certain stereotypical roles by societal expectations. This sociocultural view, bolstered by recent research, claims this is damaging to both men and women.  The opposing biological determinism position says that these gender roles are products of evolution, and links them with differences in physical abilities, brain lateralization, and hormones.

guilt–an emotional state produced by knowing that one has committed a breach of conduct or violated moral standards.  If one accepts society’s version of acceptable behavior, the punishment guilt produces is self-administered.                                                

homophobia–fear of homosexuals, typically associated with discrimination toward them

hormones–bodily substances, produced in a specific gland, organ, or as pharmacology products, typically travel in bodily fluids and serve as chemical messengers responsible for triggering effects elsewhere.    

human rights struggles–what a particular minority or group discriminated against has to go through to finally win rights or be granted concessions / accommodations by the majority. In this regard in American history we can note struggles for 1) an end to slavery, 2) native American tribal survival, 3) immigrants' rights, 4) women's rights, 5) worker's rights, 6) child labor laws,            7) rights for the mentally ill, 8) an end to segregation, 9) civil rights, 10) affirmative action, 11) farm worker rights, 12) rights for handicapped people, 13) gay and lesbian rights, etc. 

hypocrisy–basically not practicing what you preach. In equation form, hypocrisy = beliefs (or ideals) – actions



incest taboo–the nearly universal cultural prohibition of close relatives mating or marrying

introversion vs. extraversion–the contrast between looking within one's self / inner mental state and enjoying solitary pursuits vs. looking outside the self / to others for enjoyment / gratification.        

law: private vs. public–the former involves relationships between individuals (including corporations), the latter with state, social welfare issues (including penal law, regulatory statutes, etc.) 

marriage and health–research indicates that married people live longer, healthier lives.  In particular, it appears that happily married people better cope with stress, and suffer less from cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, cancer, and mental illness than singles

marriage, sanctity of –belief that certain things (having sex, bringing children into world, etc) should not happen unless the two people involved are a happily married heterosexual couple

means testing—an approach  to determining eligibility for some benefit, often a payment from a welfare state. It can also help gauge level of assistance offered.  Means refers to income, wealth, resources, support available, and other factors that inform answering the question, “Does this person (or family) need the assistance being considered?”

monogamy vs. polygamy–the former refers to a relationship where an individual is committed to but one partner; the latter refers to relationships with multiple partners such as a polygamous marriage in which either spouse has more than one mate. 

non-binary or gender queerrefers to a person’s preferred gender designation falling outside the constraining male or female binary choice. Many no-binary people identify with a gender different from their assigned sex.   As one person put it, “I like to think there’s this two person ‘board of directors in my head,’ one being male the other being female. Sometimes I listen more to one, sometimes more to the other. Besides that, my ‘physical body’ speaks to me.” 

nonconformist–a person who doesn't think or behave in generally accepted fashion like others

patriarchy /  patriarchal society—social system dominated by men in positions of power, decision-making, leadership and moral authority. In some cases it can extend to include the domination, exploitation and oppression of women. Some use traditional male / female attributes to include environmental destruction as part of a negative critique of a patriarchal society; some lament male domination of human society has led to “the rape of the Earth. ”

personal autonomy—has concrete meaning in the same sense as bodily integrity, and subjective meaning in a personal freedom sense. The latter is best captured in Paul Goodman’s seeing freedom as a form of autonomy in exercising “the ability to initiate a task and do it one’s own way, without orders from authorities who do not know the actual problem and the available means.” Left anarchists especially like this concept.

polyamory–the practice or philosophy of having more than one loving, intimate relationship and doing so with the consent of all involved.  It promotes idealistic ethical behavior w/o jealousy & possessiveness

pornography and restricting creative expression–pornography refers to anything that depicts erotic behavior in a way to cause sexual excitement. Many argue that pornography should be protected under laws guaranteeing free speech and creative expression. They rail against laws restricting it, characterizing what is being banned as either (at best) merely artistic expression or (at worse) merely a victimless crime.  Others argue that display of pornography should be restricted–in some cases banned entirely–because it is harmful to society in the following ways: 1) it leads to increases in sex crimes, 2) it is degrading to women, and 3) it perverts the normal sexual development of children

privacy rightsprotection against unauthorized invasion of privacy is guaranteed in some countries. Right to privacy is part of various legal traditions that seek to restrain those—either government or private entities—that threaten the privacy of individuals

privacy rights fight , USA history ofIn 1890, eventual Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis described “the right to be left alone.” Later as a Court Justice, he tied this right to the Fourth Amendment with respect to protection against state intrusion into a person’s private information, and asserting a person’s right to concealing activities, thoughts, beliefs, and true feelings from state surveillance.  While most agree privacy is a basic human right, it is best referred to as a civil liberty rather than a civil right unless some sort of discrimination is involved.    Roughly a century after Brandeis’ heyday, internet data gathering for commercial purposes has breathed new life in the fight for privacy rights—and broadened the “privacy wall” many individuals seek to hide behind to include “digital sanctuary.”

private property, sanctity of–the belief that individual possession of private property gives people rights that help guarantee their freedom, and that government challenging those private property rights is tantamount to government trampling on their freedom. Americans who put private property on such a pedestal typically oppose government restrictions on how they use their land, and government employees trespassing on their property–perhaps citing the fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to bolster their legal standing

prostitution, forced–a form of sexual slavery in which someone is forced into working as a prostitute.  Poor women in develop-ing countries are often required by extreme poverty to sell their bodies.  Others are lured into the sex trade by false promises (sometimes of a good job in an affluent country) and are unable to escape.    

same sex marriage--an arrangement in which two people of the same sex live together as a family.  Controversy surrounds organized efforts to ban such marriages, extend to them the same legal rights that heterosexual marriages get, or something in between.  Civil unions or domestic partnerships fall in this last category, in which partners enjoy some but not all of the benefits of marriage. 

scrutinize--to investigate or examine something with great care

seclude--to isolate, stay apart from or separated, removed from other people 

serenity—the state of feeling calm and peaceful, lacking in agitation or feeling disturbed

sexually transmitted diseases–also known as venereal diseases, they refer to infections / illnesses that are transmitted through sexual contact.  Examples are AIDS, gonorrhea, syphilis, genital herpes, etc.  Safe sex practices–notably use of condoms–can prevent or reduce the probability of such transmission

tracking cookieshttp cookies are small bits of code stored on a user’s computer by the web browser being used that are used to store information, tracking cookies refers to compiling cookies to provide a record of a user’s  browsing history. Given the potential privacy concerns, many countries (including the USA and all EU member states) have laws requiring that users give informed consent to websites before such nonessential cookies can be stored on their computers.

transgenderrefers to a person whose current gender identity or gender expression differs from the sex (male or female) assigned at birth. Transgender hormone therapy provides a way to help people feel that their physical body better matches the gender they identify with.

transparencywith respect to behavior or information, a term described best metaphorically with observations like you can’t see through a closed door.  It refers to the extent to which something—often individual or group behavior—is visible or hidden, or open or closed to inspection. Examples: 1) a city council wants a more transparent, open government so its meeting is public and it does not go into (closed) executive session;  2) a software developer provides the detailed code to a program he writes in open source fashion so all of the instructions are completely visible

victimless crimes–certain behaviors that most societies frown on, and many have restricted or made illegal, but nonetheless seemingly involve only consenting adults and have no immediately obvious victims.  Examples include gambling and prostitution.    



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