Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Multicultural Musings

This summer in addition to the aggravating Spanish class, I am also taking Global Women's Issues with one of my favorite professors. In reading the first couple of chapters for this week's class, I came across a discussion that is stuck in my head--multiculturalism. I have no problem with the base theory. I do think that other cultures need to be viewed in their own context without the imperialist biases of our own society. But I must agree with Ayaan Hirsi Ali's critique of multiculturalism at least in part. Accepting it completely allows turning a blind eye to certain practices simply because they're traditional or cultural.

I started thinking of this because of the recent development in Sweden (see earlier post: "yo, Sweden, wtf?!"), which Anna and I have been sort of debating over the last few days. Quite rightly, she says that by denying sex-selective abortions, you open the door to denial of all abortions. This is very true. However, I don't think that a liberal, pro-choice society has to accept them as valid just because we are a liberal, pro-choice society. Human rights are never negotiable. This is the line we have been repeating to the rest of the world for years, and it is unconscionable that we would ignore this in our own societies at the same time we are promoting it in others. Just a thought...

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