Harassment and Chivalry - Case Analysis
It is needed to point out that a person usually faces such an ethical dilemma when it is very difficult to judge, which of the possible ways of solving the problem will be the most ethical. This paper analyzes the case study describing such a complicated situation.
There are three main characters in the analyzed case study. Lee is a negative personage, so called dangerous little man. He is a person of a low regard both professionally and personally. He is a kind of man who writes the memos describing the worst deeds of his co-workers instead of improving his own personality. On the contrary, Janice is a person who combines the beauty, good character and high professionalism. She is perceived very well in the working community. Errol, a hero of this case study, showed himself as a true gentleman defending the honor of a woman.
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Analyzing Errol behavior, it is necessary to point out the following. Authentic person strives to be himself/herself both in his/her immediate reactions and in a coherent behavior. When hearing Lees compromising comments for the first time, Errol did not show his true reaction; there was no here-and-now approach inherent to the authentic behavior. His behavior when talking to Lee during his second meeting was authentic because he acted as his heart dictated, he told the truth that corresponded to his initial set of values.
His behavior confirmed three main features of the authenticity - full awareness of the present moment, lifestyle choice at the moment, and taking responsibility for the choice a person made. Remley and Herlihy (2010) argue that authenticity is the greatest existentialism value. To live and behave authentically means to follow a personal path regardless the beliefs of others and their opinions.
Errol felt that Janices honor had been impugned. Showing the respect to Janice, he avoided his physical reaction. However, in most cases, under the influence of cinematography, man organizes a fight thus showing his courage before humiliated woman. Errol demonstrated wisdom and placed his ego on the second place after the respect to the will and ask of the person whom he respected - Janice. But the matter was not solved for him. The gentlemans duty to defend a woman honor prevailed at his second encounter with Lee.
Errol behaved from the teleological ethical viewpoint when allowed Janices request to stop his active actions. An ethical decision should be made in such a way that it will minimize harms and maximize benefits for the stakeholders taking part in the analyzed life situation (Trevino & Nelson, 2011). Errol was informed by Janice about the potential negative consequences that might appear after Errols deed.
He preferred to follow her advice and not to add troubles to her. But from the deontological view for Errol such a zero reaction was immoral because he was brought up on the conservative traditions where mans duty was to defend the honor of a woman. Errol had to react immediately to Lees indignity following the duty to protect the reputation and honor of a woman.
It is essential to underline that Lees behavior exists due to the peculiarity of the modern circumstances that have been established. Being perceived as a despicable man, Lee was tolerated by his colleagues. His colleagues did not stop him face-to-face demonstrating courage to express their feeling. Therefore, Lee felt impunity and freedom to behave in such a way.
It should be underlined that in the society the attitude to such kind of man is even more loyal than at the workplace, where some professional qualities can prevail when being opposite to such a man. Modern societys norms relating to the Code of gentleman conduct are simplified to the inacceptable state. There is a little education (Preston, 2007) dedicated to these issues.
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Egoism in its negative form began to prevail in each spheres of modern life. The duty to protect womans honor in particular is perceived as an example of the fabulous history of the Middle Ages. However, I am convinced that the return to the classic education with its canons could change the situation.
Regarding the concept of chivalry showed by Errol, I should point out that I fully support such an attitude to the mans duty before woman to support her honor. Lee told everyone that afternoon that he took pictures for his company newspaper. Instead of this, he allowed himself to put Janice pictures on his wall.
Moreover, he was so arrogant as to comment them in front of Janice partner, Errol. I reckon that a true gentleman should bring such miserable men to their level. Negative consequences will always be whereas such type of men does not stop to be vile. However, a gentleman that has a set of high personal qualities should fulfill his duty before the woman when showing that womans reputation and honor is protected.
It is obvious that Lee views woman not as an equal member of the society but as a mans ownership for whom she is only a thing to satisfy his whims. He does not respect anybody except himself. Moreover, understanding that such a clever, attractive and socially active person as Janice will never pay attention to him, Lee again applied his worst qualities as deception and neglect. By taking pictures of Janice without her consent of their further usage, he demonstrated meanness and baseness.
Describing his behavior from the ethical point of view, it is evidently that all his deeds are dictated by the most negative sides of egoism. Naturally, as Preston (2007) argues, egoism is an inherent quality of each individual. It helps to develop a personal self-esteem when applied
positively. Egoism is the facilitator for the formation of personality, comprehension of the best qualities and development of the particular type of behavior. With a healthy egoism a person knows his best qualities of character. It helps him to use their potentialities to the maximum to demonstrate the best performance.
However, in Lees case, this is another issue. When egoism comes to extremes, and turns into a negative quality, it spoils the life of the personality and its environment. In the analyzed case, Lees egoism is a destructive form of extreme individualism which manifests itself in an effort to meet only his own interests and wants, bypassing the public interest (Preston, 2007).
Egoism is a moral quality, and the vital principle, which is based on the opposition of the individual interests to the interests of the whole society. It is driven by such qualities as individualism, envy, anger, greed. Lee began to think that the world existed only for him and everything and everybody around him are just means to achieve his personal goals. One becomes aware of the superiority of himself above all others.
The principle of egoism and its negative side is being implemented in Lees behavior. In his actions morality disappears, such qualities as greed, indifference, selfishness and narcissism prevail. Other people around him are considered only as the way to get more benefits. With the aim to receive them, he is ready to destroy the lives of others in the name of his great goals. Egoism is identified with greed, because egoist should have the best, he believes that only he must have the worthy life with the highest standard of living. To achieve this goal, egoist falls to fraud, forgery and other actions.