What Women Want: Ethical Issues


Cartsonis, S., Davey, B., Matthews, G., Meyers, N., & Williams, M. (Producers) & Meyes, N. (Director). (2000, Dec 15). What Women Want [Motion picture]. United States: Paramount Pictures.

In the 2000 film, What Women Want, Mel Gibson plays the character of Nick Marshall, a chauvinistic ladies’ man who acquires the ability to hear women’s thoughts at any given moment. At first, Nick sees this sudden ability as a curse, but is persuaded by a psychiatrist that this is in fact an amazing gift that he should use to his ability. Taking her advice, Nick uses his new gift to get ahead at his job and take down his new boss, Darcy McGuire, by reading her thoughts and using her ideas as his own, ultimately leading to him falling in love with her and ridding himself of the gift altogether. The ethical issues of invasion of privacy and plagiarism are present themes throughout the film.

The main ethical issue present in this film is invasion of privacy. Nick uses his so-called gift to control those around them and manipulate them into thinking that he is the perfect man. He excels at work, performs better with women, and gives advice to them solely based on what they want to hear. This is an extreme invasion of privacy because he is extracting information that he would never be able to get unless the women actually said it out loud to him. Naturally, the women start to question how Nick has become so in touch with their inner thoughts, thinking that he knows them better than anyone ever could. At one point, a woman that Nick sleeps with asks him if he is gay because he is so in touch with her inner thoughts that no other man would ever be able to do what he did.

The issue of plagiarism is also present because Nick takes Darcy’s ideas as his own and uses them to get ahead of her and pitch an ad campaign to the Nike brand. When Nick’s boss starts noticing how in touch he is with his ideas he decides to fire Darcy, which makes Nick realize how wrong he was to steal her ideas in the first place. The fact that Nick admits that he was wrong to lie, steal, and manipulate others around him shows how these ethical issues have an impact on one’s morals and have an effect on what people think of your character. This movie was very well done and was able to deliver a great message in ethical issues while staying entertaining and enjoyable.

Blog Post 1: Invasion of Privacy in the Media

In today’s society, we are so driven and influenced by the media that we are often the ones who feel the need to control it. The Cooper article illustrates how certain elements of the media such as emphasis on negativity, invasion of privacy, and authenticity have such an impact on how we view the violation of our social norms. One of the main sources of news and scandals now includes today’s Entertainment industry and the rise of stories surrounding celebrities. Cooper writes, “Entertainment” industries now include a far higher percentage of pornography, slasher, trash talk, rap, heavy metal, promotional, soap, gamer, shock jock, and other “flash, trash, slash for cash” professionals. Such expansion may amplify or introduce issues.” More often than not, the people in this industry who gather the information that is released to the public may go to great lengths such as a severe invasion of privacy to deliver a story.

Bruce Jenner has become a particular target in today’s media regarding his sexual orientation and gender status. At first the allegations were seen as just rumors, but further speculation has concluded that the said rumors are true. This story relates the Cooper’s main ideas of news credibility and the invasion of privacy. Not only is the media taking information from sources other than Bruce Jenner himself; they are completely overlooking the fact that this is an extremely personal subject that should not be made public unless addressed by the person. A recent article from the New York Times stated, “One thing that remains missing from any of the articles about Bruce Jenner’s possible transition? Bruce Jenner, who has yet to give a single on-the-record interview during this time and has declined repeated requests for comment for this article.”

In most of the interviews I conducted, everyone agreed that they are often hesitant to believe stories like the Bruce Jenner case when they first come out because they frequently seem over dramatic. One interviewee stated, “When I first heard about the story I thought it was very bizarre. When I saw all of the articles being published online and in magazines I started to believe that the rumors were actually true. I think this is a very personal matter and the media is making it hard for Bruce Jenner to live his life the way he wants to. I think when he is ready he will make the decision to talk about his personal choices.” Another interviewee stated, “I don’t usually believe these kinds of stories because the sources usually aren’t credible. When the only thing I see is gossip magazines portraying these celebrities in negative lights it just makes me uninterested in what they have to say. If you ask me I think it’s an invasion of privacy.” All five interviewees agreed that at first they didn’t think the story was true, but now that the story is everywhere in the media they are starting to believe it.

After listening to what people had to say and reading the Cooper article I have concluded that people are less likely to believe a story if the main person is not included as the main source. It is only until the story is broadcasted over multiple media outlets that they start to believe what people are saying.

Cooper, T. (2008). Between the Summits: What Americans think about media ethics. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 23. 15-27. DOI: 10.1080/08900520701753106

Bernstein, J. (2015, February 4). The Bruce Jenner Story Goes From Gossip to News. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/

My Philosopher: Nel Noddings

noddingsNel Noddings is the product of small-town, East Coast America, of working-class roots, educated in public schools. Always an excellent student, she was initially a school teacher and administrator. Graduate training, culminating with a PhD from Stanford University, led to a prestigious university career with scholarly and pedagogical interests in philosophy of education, in curriculum and teacher education, and in mathematics education…it might be said that an ethics underpins her writing, her own process of doing philosophy. Several aspects of her style are influenced especially by a ‘foundation’ in Dewey. (Stone, 2013).  Noddings offers connection between happiness and morality in discussion that is ‘critical’ of a set of virtues: honesty, courage, intellect and perseverance. She makes clear that ‘relying’ on virtues for happiness requires something more; their enactment may belie intent. She writes, Insofar as virtue is connected to happiness, we must test each purported virtue to see under which conditions it actually shows this connection. We hope that the people produced by our educational efforts will be good people and such Introducing Noddings and the Symposium 485people must be willing to sacrifice some episodic happiness for a deeper form dependent on a life of goodness…. [We] should spend time in discussing goodness … [that] must include critical thinking on critical issues. (Noddings, 2003, p. 167) (Stone, 2013).

Noddings has very strong views on feminism and the roles of teachers and students in the classroom. In her book entitled Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education, she writes, when a teacher asks a question in class and a student responds, she receives not just the “response” but also the student. What he says matters, whether it is right or wrong, and she probes gently for clarification, interpretation, and contribution. She is not seeking the answer but the involvement of the cared-for. The teacher receives and accepts the student’s feelings toward the subject matter; she looks at it and listens to it through his eyes and ears. How else can she interpret the subject matter for him? (Noddings, 1984)

Creativity in classrooms is a big concern to Noddings. Many careful thinkers would welcome an analysis of the content of vocational and general programs—not to make them all alike but to assess how well they are meeting the needs of students with various interests in different parts of the country. Are the programs a product of cooperative efforts among educators, employers, and unions, as they are in much of Europe? Are the programs well staffed? Is the equipment kept up-to-date? One can see an obvious need for standards here, but they would not be content standards; they might better be called “opportunity to-learn standards.” The actual content would be (and should be) decided locally in consultation with national and international experts and in response to locally recognized needs (Noddings, 2013).

Noddings uses a case study on the standardization of algebra as an example. How should one define algebra? On this, many believe that a reasonable standard has already been established. Indeed, when one looks at the core standards, one sees nothing new. I taught high school mathematics more than 40 years ago and, aside from slightly different language, there is nothing new in the core standards. They may even be a bit less rigorous than the overly ambitious recommendations of the sixties. Textbooks have provided graded exercises in algebra for years, making it possible to teach both minimal and enriched courses in one class if one prefers to do it that way. But what if many students cannot handle even the minimal course? More standardization will not help; it will just make things more complicated. To say exactly what students will learn does not ensure that they will do so. In practice, many schools today violate their own commitment to standards by offering algebra courses that bear little resemblance to the real thing. The only reasonable response to this problem is to drop the requirement that all students take academic mathematics. Then educators must roll up their intellectual sleeves and work to design an accessible, relevant program for students whose interests and talents do not lead to traditional college work (Noddings, 2013).


Stone, L. (2013). Introducing Noddings and the Symposium. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 45(5), 482-487.

Noddings, N. (1984). Caring, a feminine approach to ethics & moral education. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Noddings, N. (2013). Standardized Curriculum and Loss of Creativity. Theory Into Practice,52(3), 210-215.