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So, let's say culture A sees a tradition being practiced in culture B that in culture A would be deemed oppressive towards a certain gender group. Is it acceptable for culture A to persuade the government of culture B to put a stop to the practice, even if the activity is obviously not seen as oppressive in culture B?
To avoid confusion here I'm going to be specific and say by traditions I mean activities that are not physically harmful. For example women wearing the burqa. In the west the majority reaction is that it is oppressive, however women wearing the burqa argue it is their cultural right to choose to wear it.
Note: I did post this question on the Q and A section but from the answers I've gotten so far, I don't think I was being clear enough.
Sociologists all over the world have yet to find a suitable solution, and I've gotten a pretty good idea of what they think, but it's the actual members of the culture that make the difference so I'd like to know what you guys think.
humans make culture and culture is not frozen on time...cultures too evolve...talking about burqa ..i have had many muslim friends who have never ever worn a burqa..now that is their choice..in same way wearing burqa too is personal choice but when it comes to country which has law banning things..well if one doesnot like it ...dont visit that country..every country has right to make his/her own laws...isn't it?
And we know this how? I think the issue is much bigger than burquas. When those same women are able to say what they want without fear of being stoned to death or shot, then I don't think anyone would take issue.
We know this by interviewing them, and also activism done by women who choose to speak openly about their choice to wear it. I am only referring to those women for the sake on simplicity.
It's not a question of "cultural rights" or "gender rights" both of which are groups and groups don't have rights separate from individuals, so it's about individual rights. As an individual you have a right to do what ever you want as long as you don't interfere in another individual's right. So feel free to wear a Burqa if you want, it neither breaks my leg nor takes from my wallet, submit to genital mutilation if that is your desire, as long as you do it willingly and of your own will it's fine with me!
Local laws should be enforced. But there are cases where the nation or a culture is a signatory to certain human rights general rule (they are vague though). Laws are changing because there are negative reactions to it. So in the long run, laws will be affected by the reactions of people against it, then laws will change because of people who push for it.
If you go to a place where they have this particular practice, you should have to follow the laws about it.
You can assimilate for your own good because the receiving culture wont change its culture because of you, it might get influenced if your number grows bigger, then, another culture evolve. ex. Tex-mex culture here in Dallas, combination of Mexican and Texan foods.
But if you want to react or criticize other culture because it is not the same as yours, that's being arrogant.
There are just simple laws that are universal, like the value for life, Killing is wrong in all culture.
First, there are no such things as "cultural rights" or "gender rights".
Second, once you dispense iw th that error, your question becomes rather moot.
Maybe there are no such things as cultural or gender rights in your weird world - but out here in the real world there certainly are.
NO, there are not. First, you have to define "Right" as something other than a politically imposed scheme of behavior.
A "right" is an inherent freedom of an individual, which by definition cannot b e "cultural" or "gender". A right, by definition, must be universal and applicable to all individuals, or, it is not a right at all.
I would say those two do exist as a subset of the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Doesn't mean all cultures value that or consider there to be any such right at all. But if that is your argument, well, you have the wrong avatar.
Yes. But I would stop short of using military solutions.
I'm puzzled why this would be a question of controversy, and will respond to this without having read the comments this topic has already generated. The notion of it being a 'gender' vs 'cultural' right to wear a burqua (sp?), or dress like a Pentacost, or an old hippie (which could easily be argued borders on religious , etc... or dress any old or new way seems odd to me. The burqua is accepted in this country and most places around the world. That said, a business that finds a burqua inappropriate for their staff, should have every right to say no to it's wearing -- in that instance, it has nothing to do with gender or cultural rights.
Is this a backhanded intro to the issue of outlawing some facial coverings due to poltical terror situations? If so, any country has the right to protect themselves, and if that includes outlawing facial coverings in public places, then that's okay fine with me, those who feel their 'dress' preferences are so critical to their lives can stay home and send someone else out to the grocer - their choice.
Also, regardless of whether some folks would like to see the burqa go the way of history, that's got not a thing to do with the choice of the woman, regardless of anyone else's opinion, certainly not anyone's opinion from the USA. I kind of like the idea of not worrying about my hair every day, or makeup for that matter. Here, we can throw on a baseball cap, sunglasses, lipstick, and we are camoed for the quick trip out, unfortunately, when you hit 50 years old, you can't see thru the sunglasses anymore! So that doesn't work so well long term, ......ah well. Any department or grocery stores out there that will agree to dim the lights?
People confuse themselves so easily!
If they'd leave the basis of right and wrong in place, there wouldn't be this confusion.
It's like the abortion issue. Skip the basic fundamental rights, and ya go off onto a tangent that is totally unanswerable.
Bottom line---there are no "gender rights" nor "cultural rights"; there are only individual human rights. The right to life would be a basic one. All discussion outside that foundation is only distraction and nonsense. If a woman wants to wear a burka, let her wear one. If she's forced to wear one, let her get herself out from under that oppression, throw off that burkha and come bare-headed to America or somewhere where she has the freedom to be bare-headed. But most people in that situation will come to America, put that burkha back on, and start whining and yelling discrimination when anyone questions it. Go figure. People make their own oppression often, and then oppress others in the same manner when they themselves are freed from it.
What after all culture is for, me say that is for a welfare of mankind,Human cannot be complete their identity by discriminate male & female. gender is more important as if any one is depreived, mankind is suffering.Then no meaning of culture
I would say that every human 'right' is equal (by definition) Then the issue is that different people interpret 'rights' differently - then this is confused by one group asserting that their idea of a 'right' is more a right than yours. Cultural rights are even more problematic because within that culture it is an unarguable "right" but if that culture is being practiced within another then the dominant culture will assert their 'right' above that of the subculture.
This is where it becomes something else. A major weapon in the armoury of some is to attack the 'rights' of a subculture within it - as an attack on that culture itself. The burqa is in the centre of this kind of argument now. The French have banned it in some public places like schools and banks etc. There are two reasons, one is the 'logical' one that we need to know the identity of the person and facial expressions are a big part of communication - the other reason is as a cultural attack. Deciding which is the first or dominant reason is difficult as everyone will cite the practical reasons whether this is what they believe or not.
I would say that a human "right" beit, male or female, should rise above that of culture.
I agree absolutely - but different people have different idea's of rights, what we see as 'human rights' can differ, then it becomes a case of which 'right' we are talking about.
My read of the cultural dynamics is very different than yours re the burqua being banned. I'm in the US, not France, but I think that the Galic majority resents that (some of) the Muslim minority in France are resisting cultural assimilation - holding to orthodox Muslim tradition.
This is becoming the issue in America - not just with Muslims - as the cultural majority (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) demands that minorities adopt THEIR values. I don't see it as a gender issue though.
You have sort of stumbled upon a couple of issues. ONe is the failure to assimulate culturally... Except in France it is not a failure, it is purposeful and deliberate. The clash between cultures is not accidental or incidental, it is deliberate and planned, with the Islamic culture expecting to displace and become dominant. Islamic "culture" is not culture as much as it is religion imposed behavior, and the religion mandates cultural dominance of itself over all others.
In fact, it doesn't matter whether it is France or not, the same issue is global, where the influx of Islam becomes a deliberate cultural war for dominance.
The burqa was just an example folks. Mainly what I'm trying to get at is the core of the concept of cross cultural intervention.
A less specific example perhaps is cultures wear women are designated care givers for their families cultural norms only see women in that role for said culture.
Where issues of physical harm, such as FGM and honor killings, are concerned, gender rights (human rights) obviously trump cultural rights. I think the same is true of more subtle forms of harm, such as forbidding girls from attending school, having jobs, or visiting male doctors. (Especially in countries where female doctors are rare or non-existent because women aren't allowed to attend school or have jobs! In those cases, forbidding women from visiting male doctors is essentially murder.)
Burqas and niqabs are a much trickier issue, certainly. In general, I believe people should be allowed to wear what they want, but I do think there is a public safety issue with garments that cover your whole face, especially with the burqa, since they are designed to block peripheral vision. Maybe in places like Afghanistan they don't care if a woman gets hit by a car because she can't see it through her clothes, but in the West we do. Therefore, I am okay with bans on the niqab and burqa, but I think bans on the hijab (such as the one in French schools) are purely the result of Islamophobia. To the best of my knowledge, nobody's tried to forbid Christian nuns from wearing habits and wimples, which are essentially the same thing as a hijab!
If I read your OP right, your saying if other cultures, meaning other countries, should try to change another countries practice they don't agree with.
I say no. No other country or group has any right to interfere with another one, even if they strongly disagree. Every culture has something another one deems is wrong.
If the people of that country appose whatever the other culture says is wrong, it's up to those people to change it, not an outside group.
However a culture is right to insist a person that decides to join them stop whatever they see is wrong. If they don't like it, they should not join the group.
human rights are above cultural rights, imo. it's religious culture that has taught that women are less than men, subject to men. I don't see that changing easily, these religious, cultural beliefs have a long history in civilization. gender inequality is still part of many cultures.
assimilation has never been easy, nor do I think it should be complete. cultural traditions should be able to be carried on through generations. as far as burquas being worn in public places, I would think it's very difficult to be aware of your surroundings. if people are moving into other countries, they should understand and respect the laws of the country and carry on the traditions that they can.
Why should other cultures be 'assimilated' into yours if they come to your country ? Why can't they keep their culture? I don't see this kind talk about Jews living in your country, or in the UK, or France recently. Nobody seems to object to Jews practising their ancient traditions and cultural practices, wearing black robes and the little hat that I forget the name of. Or the German (I think) people that have been in America for ages without any cultural criticism of ther old cultural habits, the Amish. You are not attacking the Chinese for getting together to play ma jhong. Or a million other little habits and practices that demark cultural boundaries.
This is not meant as an attack on you RebekahElle - but to point up the fact that we accept loads of stuff 'just like this' as 'normal' all the time.
perhaps I was not clear or we have different meanings of assimilation. I do not believe in a complete assimilation or immersion. nor do any of the groups that you mentioned. I'm definitely not attacking any group. multi-culturalism should be accepted and in many parts of the world, it is. I'm pointing out that laws of the country should be respected and followed. I thought I made it clear that I feel cultural traditions should be kept so that they can live on through generations.
when I say assimilate, I refer to perceiving or recognizing what is on the outside and incorporating it on the inside without changing the overall structure of what is within. otherwise, taking part of a country's culture, laws and incorporating it as part of your lifestyle without changing who you are as an individual. does that make sense? I'm a huge believer in being who you are and acceptance of others.
and yet laws of a country should be respected.
What rebekahELLE just said above is also what I mean, since I basically said the same thing.
If someone wants to move to your community and become part of it, great. That person should learn as much as they can about the community and embrace the general practices of it.
Keeping some of your old customs that are important to you are fine, up to a point. But if they start to interfere in some way with your new community, make others upset or uneasy, then you should give them up.
If they are so important to you that you can't, then you should stay where you are or find another community to join.
It has always been the conceit of western liberalism that its values are human values.
I'm not sure conceit is the right word for a belief in the equality of the ultimate value of all human beings. Rather it is a mark of civilization that goes beyond "western liberalism." [I'm not denying that we suffer from certain conceits.]
Conceit sums it up I think, but it is not liberal it is general. The "human rights' that are expounded ad nauseum are not observed by the very countries that talk them up the most. The US shouts the loudest, yet refuses to subject itself to the International court that judgees these issues. The reason is simple enough, if teh US DID submit to the International court half your previous administrations would be called to appear there. There are warrants issued for Bush in parts of Germany that I know of, probably many more if I cared to look.
The issue is the imposition of what one culture sees as "rights" upon another, what the US sees as rights are not civilization - they are just one opinion.
Are you a paid troll? Your marxism is both annoying and frustrating to the purpose of intellectual discussion. Your "US IS THE WORST" in terms of human rights is beyond all bounds of idiocy. There isn't the slightest chance any reader who isn't either wholly brainwashed, or wholly ignorant could possibly agree with your patently false and wholly stupid propaganda.
You complain that I live in some "weird world", and then you make staetments that are wholly and utterly removed from reality. Stop your trolling, if that's what your paid to do, and if you're not paid, please, please, leave whatever cult you live in, and join the real world.
Yes, Sylive. We hold these truths to be SELF EVIDENT. It isn't conceit, it is REALITY.
Our "version" of human rights IS correct, and it IS correct because it is based upon the foundation of reason and logic. No other version "rights" is valid, because it is based upon the imposition of the state upon the individual. ONLY in western civilization do we understand that true power is ONLY wielded by the individual, and no power imposed by the state or political powers is legitimate, bcause it fails to serve the only rationally true power - the individual.
Allowing women to vote IS a human value, not a liberal conceit. Ditto for universal education and prohibition of slavery. These are not conceits.
Government doesn't have the right to take away anyone's rights. Thus the question is moot.
I think that the best way to convert someone to your way of thinking is to live in a such a way that the other culture can't help but notice that the way you are doing it is better.
Get your own house in order first.
Americans see women covered up and having less access to education, wealth and power as repressive and primitive. And here it is, because American women have the right to those things. They're used to it and think it's "normal."
Women who are born and raised in a culture that keeps them inside and covered up and uneducated and serving their men as God demands believe that is normal. Unless they see something they think looks better to the point it's worth fighting for, they will remain as they are and should be allowed to. It's their lives. If they are happy with it, fine. As long as they follow the laws of the country they live in, who cares?
Americans and Europeans could all die and go to Heaven and God is standing there shaking his head, saying, "Dude, WTF? I told you men to rule your women. You dumb, p-whipped sissies. To Hell with you."
Definitely a good point. Apparently there have been major leaps forward in gender rights thanks to soap operas, of all things. Here in the US we tend to think of them as being somewhat regressive, but there were some studies done in India, I believe, that showed that five years after getting televisions women were far less likely to believe that men had the right to beat them, confine them in the house, and forbid them from getting educations or jobs, because the soap operas they were watching tended to show urban women with careers and some degree of independence.
I see that among the reoccurring points, cultural assimilation comes up a few times. If members of a certain cultural group move to a place with different cultural practices are they automatically expected to change their practices? Or if they should be able to retain aspects of their culture, how can they prevent it from interfering with their new lives. Should cultural assimilation extend to what they do in their own homes? And finally on the topic of culture clash, should the children of the new migrants be raised with their parents values or that of the society they live in?
You can still retain your "own self". Slowly by slowly you will learn to mix your old ways with the prevailing culture. Respecting and knowing the culture you are into is also good.
it is best to assimilate because when you move to another area, they have new market which you are not use to, you have to adjust (basic needs like food availability, types of housing -- laws etc.), language -- very important. You have to balance and know the options for you. You bring in a new culture to the receiving area and the culture in the area will also affect you of course.
Should cultural assimilation extend to what they do in their own homes?
well, to some extent yes, because the technology like TV, communications will introduce you to a new culture. Slowly by slowly in your homes, you will be acculturated.
Disciplining your children is family level, but of course the laws on family in your locality is taken into consideration.
I think anyone moving into a different country would expect to make some changes in order to fit into the culture and society. Even moving into a different state or part of the country here in the US brings it's own cultural differences. It doesn't mean you change as a person.
someone moving from the upper midwest into the deep south will go through some degree of culture differences. or a family moving from the rural countryside into a big metropolitan city.
as far as differences not interfering with their way of life, individuals have to decide what is more important to them. keeping cultural traditions alive in their home is one way of preserving the culture and yet with families especially, the children want to be accepted for who they are, and should be. parents and teachers have a responsibility to communicate and learn about differences and expectations.
I've taught many different children from different backgrounds. those who came from different countries and cultures were very often more respectful of a school's environment and the role they (parents) played in making sure their children were fitting in and learning. We would make sure to include them and allow parents and children to share some of their cultural traditions and foods. I will never forget a little girl who was here from Pakistan for a year. Her mother sent me a card thanking me for opening up her child to learning and accepting her. I couldn't believe it. I was both touched and saddened to realize there are those who do not accept other cultures.
It would depend on what the "customs are." Cannibalism, no. Slavery, no. Type of dress and other religious or non-oppressive cultural customs, yes.
Cultural assimilation should be voluntary on most matters.
Interesting question. There do seem to be some common threads evolving in how we define civilization. Some cultural customs customs clearly are less evolved and not worthy of being considered civilized--e.g. cannibalism, slavery, child prostitution and the like are extreme examples. It's ironic that religious fundamentalists of all stripes who view themselves as the definers of morality are often perpetrators of some of the most uncivilized, divisive acts.
Could you explain yourself in your indictment of religions in terms of reality (you have to use real examples of mainstream religions and real doctrines, etc, you don't get to make it up), and then defend your divisive words, in light of your condemnation of "divisive acts"?
Human rights shouldn't be an issue in my book. We were all born the same way, I should get no special treatment because I am a white male. I do notice that I might get favored over certain blacks by some people, however. But if they present themselves as a professional they can outshine any white person. People want to see blacks succeed.
The issues are slowly working themselves out. I have faith. Not everyone has my mentality though.
The only issue here is personal rights. Every culture consists of persons, and cultures grow through the interaction and commitment of equals, and diversify and morph in interaction with other cultures. Culture based on dominance and submission is not culture at all, but crime in progress. This is true of all collective forms of humanity, from family and church to nation. Gender rights are given to the genders, as personal rights are given to the person. Differences in age, experience, color, self, moment, and purpose give situational rank, but ultimately so that equality can prevail and humanity survive. Life is a destiny founded by something precedent and antecedent to life, and conducted individually. As not one decision in the flesh can account for the being of the flesh, rights are rendered in consideration of the self among other selves, as a self entirely alone could do no wrong.
Gender rights and cultural rights are mostly nonsense.
Yes, I'm aware that there is racism and hatred towards others...
But the SECOND you tell me that someone has more rights than I do, I'm gonna have to tell you to go F yourself.
Gender rights include allowing women to vote, hold public office, inherit property equally with men, etc.
You better start F-ing then - cos loads of people have more rights than you - you will see them passing your queue by in the airports and speeding in convoy down the Expressway - and if you excercise your 'right' to walk up to them some big guy will put you the right way up.
They are not only politicians, they are the rich and famous who have the rights that you think you have, and those you don't have.
The idea that cultures have "rights" is an unfortunate perversion of genuine tolerance and multiculturalism. True and effective multiculturalism provides space for different cultural expressions and cultural products, including diversity in values and goals and priorities. But only to a point. When a culture runs up against the basic rights or freedoms of individuals, it ceases to enhance the human condition, and begins to erode away at it.
Culture and tradition do not have value unto themselves. They have value only insofar as they contribute to human wellbeing and happiness. A cultural tradition of limiting women's roles to the home is not violent, but it restricts human empowerment and potential nonetheless.
The bottom line is that culture is a product of the human mind, or collective human minds. It therefore occupies the same category as philosophies, religions, intellectual traditions, fashion, ideologies or political schools of thought. None of these other things are considered to ever have "rights" that may potentially trump the individual.
Rather, they are expected to compete with each other peacefully in a marketplace of ideas, a marketplace that is bounded by certain clear inviolable rules and expectations. Those rules are based on the basic dignity and autonomy of the individual. The fact that countries from region A may respect those rights more than countries from region B, does not mean that those rights have greater meaning or relevance to region A.
As humanity leaves behind the yoke of backward and destructive religious, cultural and ideological traditions, it will realize greater freedom, prosperity and peace.
All the different 'rights' issues should be subsumed under one, universal human rights charter (a bill of rights - or constitution - for every man, woman and child on the planet). Any nation that refused to sign up to - or contravened - a universal human rights charter should then be de-recognized and expelled from the UN.
Cultural rights deal with society, and deal with factors that effect a person from a broad spectrum. Whereas gender rights, which are individual rights of a woman, or of a man affect the individual more intimately, at a much more personal level.
A woman has the right to have an orgasm, and to not have her genitals mutilated as a result. That is a gender right. Whether a woman wants to wear a curtain over their bodies? Well, who cares? There isn't even a comparison here.
I think that our entire society is being forced to become more: passive, less sexual and less exhuberant. For women, this is not as difficult a transition as it is for men. Men tend to be louder, more boisterous, territorial and sexually-driven.
Do you notice the decrease in emotional intensity in America today? How about the music? I think it sounds AWFUL. The reason is that everyone gets an electronic lobotomy. People who have been converted are as docile as kittens. But did they get to this mental state because they WANTED TO - NO! A guy even told me that "they" had "changed" him and he was nothing like his former self.
I experienced "the process", but WASN'T CHANGED. Whoever-they-are tried to coerce me into "being a female on the inside". They also "pressured" me to engage in a sexual activity I simply don't like. There were several attempts to FORCE ME to think in certain ways like my mind was being invaded. How did it feel? REALLY AWFUL. Were my "gender rights" being violated? Heck, my right to think for myself got violated.
Note that we don't have Laws protecting "gender rights" or "freedom of thought" rights, but in a society where ordinary citizens can be tortured for doing totally normal things without leaving any provable evidence THERE CERTAINLY SHOULD BE!
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