Summaries-belladonna98

1.) Do Toms Shoes Really Help People?

It seems counterintuitive to tell people not to buy shoes from a company that donates to the underprivileged, but that is exactly what is happening. Toms claims that for every pair of shoes (and now glasses) purchased, a pair is donated to someone in need in the developing world. We don’t know where, exactly, and that is part if the problem.

There are many businesses that follow the same charitable model as Toms, that is, for each item bought, one is donated. Among these are WeWood and Smile Squared, which plant trees and donate toothbrushes, respectively. This business model is, at best, a risky one, because the companies rarely research how their “aid” is going to affect the economy of the area they are supposed to be helping. For example, after a tsunami in Indonesia in 2006, the country was overrun with rice donations, which destroyed the local market for rice. So it doesn’t seem like many people who make these donations really think about what they’re doing. But not all aid is harmful, it just has to be well thought out.

One would think that with all this controversy, Toms would be eager to show just how their “get-one, give-one” program works, but the opposite is true. The Toms website only vaguely describes their donations, focusing more on convincing their customers that they’re doing good rather than how they’re doing it. So my advice, with all the possibility for error in this business model, would be to refrain from buying Toms until we have all the facts. That way we know we’re not crippling shoe merchants when we buy our feel-good charity shoes.

2.) 4 Ways Everyone Can Benefit from Therapy

It seems counterintuitive to suggest that healthy people attend therapy. But what is mental health, really? Everyone has moments of neuroticism and no one is perfectly healthy. It’s absurd to believe that everyone couldn’t benefit from taking some time to talk out their issues with a professional. Everyone, yes everyone should be in therapy.

            There are four main benefits that therapy has on an individual’s life, even though the positives are endless. The first is help with dealing with emotions – any emotions, from the stress of everyday life to the loss of a loved one. Therapy (and also life coaching) also holds a person accountable for their goals. Once you tell someone something, it’s out in the universe and you are more likely to stick to what you said. Speaking of the universe and the big questions, therapy can help answer them. Professionals are literally trained to help you solve life’s biggest problems and find meaning in your life. This doesn’t mean you have to have an issue-filled, meaningless life before therapy, but everyone has moments when they feel like their life is just that. Why would anyone want to be without resources in those times of need?

There is also a social stigma that prevents people from going to therapy, especially in the professional world. Often we who go are seen as weak and in need of guidance. I personally have lost a job opportunity for mentioning therapy during an interview. But the only way to de-stigmatize therapy is to actually go to it and see what it’s all about. The road to understanding could actually help some people along the way.

In essence, therapy is basically like getting a master’s degree in being a person. If my own experience coupled with outside research has proven anything, it’s that everyone, even the rainbow-filled, happiest people on Earth, could benefit from it. Societal standards be damned, people who go to therapy are just regular people who talk through their issues on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. So even if a person thinks that they have the perfect life with the perfect brain, they should consider taking the plunge and see what they’re missing out on. It could end up changing their life.

3.) Men Defining Rape: A History

It seems counterintuitive that men have so long defined something that has affected mostly women throughout history. Since the first ever written laws in 1780 BC, there have been laws, made by men, defining what is and isn’t rape. Men have controlled women’s bodies through their political power for centuries, and wrongfully so, leading to the conclusion that the law is not always morally right.

            When men still owned women in the time before the birth of Christ, rape was considered property damage against a woman’s father. This evolved into having to pay a father to compensate for rape. Rape also referred to abduction of a woman, regardless of the abductors actions. There are also ridiculous amounts of other definitions that rely on whether the woman was a virgin, a woman of color, or if she was married. In any case, the woman was almost always at fault.

And then there are the laws about pregnancy. Since 1290, men have been saying that a woman cannot get pregnant if they did not enjoy a sexual encounter. In fact, this argument was made as recently as 2012, when Todd Akin declared that a woman cannot get pregnant if her attacker has committed a “legitimate rape”. But of course the definition of a legitimate rape is always changing, and said definition is always made by men.

These men who are making these laws have always been notorious for a lack of understanding of the actual situation. Non-scientists always seem to speak the loudest when discussing pregnancy and are almost always listened to. But these laws, by most people’s moral compasses, are not actually lawful. They are prejudiced opinions of men who want to be able to rape their wives whenever they want (which was legal until the 1990’s, by the way). The only way to combat this is to look at the only logical conclusion; lawmakers are not perfect, and because of this the law is inherently flawed.

2 thoughts on “Summaries-belladonna98”

  1. Since you’ve asked specifically about the strength of your arguments, Belladonna, I’ll respond with an in-depth analysis of your argument for Source 1. It’s overall above average.

    It seems counterintuitive to tell people not to buy shoes from a company that donates to the underprivileged, but that is exactly what is happening.

    —It doesn’t at all. It does seem counterintuitive for a company that needs to be profitable to give away product every time product is purchased—in effect holding a perpetual Buy One Get One sale with the added complication of having to ship the “Get One” pair overseas—but using it to attract customers is entirely intuitive.

    Toms claims that for every pair of shoes (and now glasses) purchased, a pair is donated to someone in need in the developing world. We don’t know where, exactly, and that is part if the problem.

    —You don’t demonstrate in any way that the “not knowing where” is “part of the problem” for consumers at all. It probably isn’t. The company may be miscalculating the full net value of its contributions, but you haven’t raised the question of whether this program fully benefits its recipients, so your “part of the problem” is vague. Problem for the consumers? Problem for the company? Problem for the recipients of the shoes?

    There are many businesses that follow the same charitable model as Toms, that is, for each item bought, one is donated. Among these are WeWood and Smile Squared, which plant trees and donate toothbrushes, respectively.

    —So far, this observation is irrelevant. Is there room for only one Buy One Give One company? Are they all making the same (as yet unspecified) mistake as Toms? Why mention them?

    This business model is, at best, a risky one, because the companies rarely research how their “aid” is going to affect the economy of the area they are supposed to be helping.

    —A “risky” business model loses money, Belladonna. You haven’t said that Toms isn’t profitable. If there are negative results of its practice, you should cite them, but they don’t make the business model risky.

    For example, after a tsunami in Indonesia in 2006, the country was overrun with rice donations, which destroyed the local market for rice.

    —Fair point. Well-meaning donations can do unintended harm. Your analogy might hold if you can demonstrate that the donation of Toms shoes does unintended harm. But you can’t use the “tsunami rice” example to demonstrate the trouble with Toms without evidence that donated shoes cause the same trouble as donated rice.

    So it doesn’t seem like many people who make these donations really think about what they’re doing. But not all aid is harmful, it just has to be well thought out.

    —By “people who make these donations,” do you mean Toms Shoes, or Toms’ customers? Must be clear here. Toms Shoes undoubtedly does “think about” what it’s doing. It may want its customers to react less “thoughtfully” and more emotionally. That’s for you to discover and demonstrate.

    One would think that with all this controversy, Toms would be eager to show just how their “get-one, give-one” program works, but the opposite is true.

    —So far, there’s no evidence of “all this controversy,” Belladonna. We have the opinion of one Comp II student as evidence. I love you, but your voice will probably not keep Tom awake at night.

    The Toms website only vaguely describes their donations, focusing more on convincing their customers that they’re doing good rather than how they’re doing it.

    —This is not surprising, of course. But you’re right to point it out. More convincing would be the evidence that the company used to brag about its contributions to schoolkids in Kenya, but that they had to revise their web pitch after it became obvious that shoe donations had ruined the local shoe-making industry.

    So my advice, with all the possibility for error in this business model, would be to refrain from buying Toms until we have all the facts. That way we know we’re not crippling shoe merchants when we buy our feel-good charity shoes.

    —A perfect, beautiful, counterintuitive thesis if you can prove it! 🙂

    GRADE F
    Please do.

    Like

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