Monday, March 15, 2010

cultural imperialism

"Over the last several decades, major women's rights organizations in the Western World have focused attention on eliminating clitoridectomy and infibulation in Africa, the Near East, and among immigrants from those areas. In order to demonize these cultural practices, they refer to them as "genital mutilation" and usually insist that it is violence against women done as part of the male repression and control of women. The latter assertion fits Moslem dominated countries more than the non-Moslem sub-Saharan African societies that follow these practices. The reality in many non-Moslem African societies is that the surgery is performed by older women and is an integral part of the initiation of girls into the world of women. Men usually are not allowed to be involved in anyway. Continued political pressure from the Feminist Majority Foundation, the National Organization for Women (NOW), and other groups has resulted in many Western governments and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopting as an important goal the global repression of clitoridectomy and infibulation. Some indigenous African women's organizations have responded angrily."

The above is from an anthropological website. UNESCO has never pointed out the use of young high school children in violent student politics in Bangladesh, but has had the gall to preach cultural imperialism in Africa.

Most of these do-gooder NGOs and supranational bodies have no knowledge of anthropology, nor could they care less. For instance, there are innumerable organizations and states trying to turn our society democratic even though that is against our culture (Samuel Huntington was one of the wise minds to make this point).

But the unkindest cut of all is when anthropologists, lured by lucre, join the imperialists.

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