Compatibility Of The Feminism To Multiculturalism Sociology Essay Example
Compatibility Of The Feminism To Multiculturalism Sociology Essay Example

Compatibility Of The Feminism To Multiculturalism Sociology Essay Example

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  • Pages: 9 (2205 words)
  • Published: August 12, 2017
  • Type: Research Paper
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Throughout society's history, women have often been treated indifferently and seen as the weaker gender. This is particularly evident in various communities where women are denied certain rights and perceived to exist in a world dominated by men, expected to submit to male authority. Leadership positions have typically been limited for women throughout history, with most community leaders being men. Instead, women tend to fulfill service roles within their communities. In the past, only a select few privileged women were able to work or hold positions of power. Even in decision-making processes, men's opinions hold more weight. Regarding education, many countries provide fewer opportunities for women who are expected to focus on acquiring skills related to motherhood and household maintenance. Consequently, they are denied educational grants due to being solely valued for their role as wives and their anticipated


submission to husbands after marriage. In numerous societies, once a woman reaches adulthood she does not receive formal education but rather gains knowledge at home. When it comes to religious beliefs and associations within Catholic communities specifically, priests take charge of leading the most important religious celebrations. Women never receive equal opportunities in this context compared to menEven lay ministers and servers are predominantly male, while women primarily serve as nuns in various roles. In some countries, if a baby is determined to be female during pregnancy, parents may choose to put her life at risk unless she is male. Furthermore, men often receive higher positions than women in job opportunities. Women are given lower-level tasks and responsibilities with lesser salaries. Despite these circumstances, these women possess determination and strength to challenge society's perception of them.

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They live without definite rights and face unjust treatment within society. However, they have reached a point where they seek ways to change this perception by fighting for their equal rights as human beings regardless of gender differences. Their aim is to demonstrate that they are equally capable or even more capable than men if given the opportunity. These adult females strive to break free from the oppression they experience and prove that they can overcome any challenge thrown their way. This strong desire has led to the establishment of feminism – a movement dedicated to altering how society perceives women across various aspects of life including work, home, school, and church. Feminism aims to challenge the belief that this world solely belongs to men and strives to showcase women as an indispensable force behind a successful man's achievements.Women persistently push for their rights through feminism, despite facing obstacles and initial setbacks due to sexism avoidance. This movement empowers mistreated and marginalized women, promoting acceptance of diverse cultures in a place known as multiculturalism. Multiculturalism emphasizes equal treatment of cultures, respecting their rights and beliefs, with a focus on fair treatment of minority groups in society regardless of cultural differences. It also addresses religious practices and beliefs that impact humanity, acknowledging both cultural identities as valid. The connection between feminism and multiculturalism has been theorized from various perspectives, offering potential for a more equal intervention in gender positions and avoiding prejudices based on ethnicity within minority groups. Susan Moller Okin argues against the expectation for minority groups to conform to the majority culture for the majority's benefit, which suppresses minority rights. When one religion constitutes

70% of the population while the remaining 30% come from diverse cultures, there is pressure for the minority to adopt the cultural identity of the majority.Infringing upon the right of individuals who make up the minority to choose for themselves is a common occurrence when it comes to matters such as sex education and addressing teen pregnancy. A majority belief in its importance leads to forced conformity among the remaining 20% of people. This lack of autonomy can also be seen in voting patterns, where everyone aligns with a leader chosen by the majority, assuming they know what is best.

Education faces similar challenges, where even if a curriculum does not align with a school's values, both the majority and minority are compelled to follow it. Similarly, if uniforms are preferred by the majority in schools, regardless of their relevance or financial support, they become an expectation for all including minority groups.

The assimilation challenges faced by minorities stem from the belief that decisions agreed upon by the majority will benefit everyone. An example cited is the debate surrounding Muslim headscarves worn by Magrbin girls in French schools during late 1980s - these headscarves were considered appropriate attire for postpubescent young women. In response, supporters of secular education, feminists, and conservative nationalists have joined forces against certain practices.

Even those on the old left have supported demands from multiculturalists for flexibility and respect for diversity while accusing opponents of racism or cultural imperialism.This example illustrates the importance of multiculturalism in safeguarding individual rights. For instance, individuals who follow the Muslim faith and consider wearing a headscarf as an integral part of their culture should have the freedom to

do so without facing restrictions. Susan Moller Okin discusses another scenario involving polygamy within French Arab and African immigrant communities. She points out that in the 1980s, the French government permitted immigrant men to bring multiple wives into the country, leading to approximately 200,000 polygamous families residing in Paris. This policy's lack of effective opposition and disregard for concerns raised by women from these cultures undermines any argument suggesting official concern over headscarves was motivated by a desire for gender equality. However, when journalists interviewed the wives, they discovered that these women held varying perspectives on polygamy based on their African homeland or their French environment. In their African countries of origin, they viewed polygamy as an unavoidable but barely tolerable institution. Yet, in France, it became an unbearable burden for them due to overcrowded living conditions and limited personal space for married women. Consequently, significant resentment, animosity, and even violence emerged among the wives themselves and towards each other's children. This problem arises from the French government's policy of embracing multiculturalism which allows immigrants who believe in polygamy to enter with multiple wives and children into the country.Consequently, the clash of a distinct culture with French culture has led to many people in France accepting polygamy as an inevitable reality, based on various reports. The incidents involving the wives and children of these polygamous men often result in harm and suffering for all parties involved. This situation exemplifies conflicts between multiculturalism and feminism principles. By examining this situation, it becomes evident that while cultural diversity is promoted, certain rights of women to be treated respectfully in society are being ignored. According to Okin's arguments,

rather than exacerbating tensions, efforts should focus on protecting the rights of minority cultures while also respecting women's rights. She believes that feminism entails advocating for equal treatment and protection against sexism for adult females. Women should have the freedom to live their desired lives, pursue their own interests, and enjoy the same rights protected by civil laws as men do. However, Okin suggests that multiculturalism sometimes prioritizes group rights over individual rights. She provides examples where minority cultures may not adequately safeguard the rights of all individuals within those groups - such as cases involving polygamous marriages or exemptions from general laws due to self-governance. While some individuals may benefit from polygamy, it may not be applicable or desirable for everyone in society.Okin argues for specific group rights for minorities, but cautions that these rights should not come at the expense of others. The relationship between culture and gender can influence each other in various ways. In some cases, cultural norms adhere to gender expectations, and vice versa. For example, when men take on traditionally feminine roles or women adopt traditionally masculine roles, it challenges conservative cultural ideals. Similarly, society often expects women to prioritize homemaking after marriage, but many women advocate for their own employment and equal opportunities as men. This conflict between culture and gender also arises when society expects men to provide financial stability but women end up assuming this role instead – going against societal expectations. Additionally, in courtship dynamics, society typically expects men to actively pursue women and express their intentions and emotions throughout the process. However, due to the belief that women are just as capable as men,

some females embrace courtship practices by being the ones who disclose their feelings first.These examples demonstrate the continuous interplay between civilization and gender. Despite differences, there are opportunities for compatibility between feminism and multiculturalism as home environment influences culture regardless of cultural variations within societies. Family and upbringing significantly shape individuals' life paths. Conflicting identities of gender and culture can be resolved within the home setting. Okin argues that acknowledging internal differences and personal lives can resolve disagreements between gender and culture. She emphasizes the significance of personal, sexual, and reproductive aspects in most cultures, which often dominate cultural patterns and rules. Religious or cultural groups commonly focus on personal laws relating to marriage, divorce, child custody, division of family assets, and inheritance. Maintaining this focus safeguards personal, family, and reproductive aspects of life. Protecting the home is crucial for preserving one's cultural identity while reconciling contrasting concepts. Additionally, Okin highlights how many cultures employ men to control women; ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, as well as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam provide examples attempting to justify such control and subordination of women.The text highlights various myths that perpetuate gender stereotypes and deny the role of women in reproduction. These myths depict men as having the power to reproduce themselves, while portraying women as emotional, untrustworthy, evil, or sexually dangerous. They also undermine mothers' rights over their children's temperament. Examples include Athena being born from Zeus' head, Romulus and Remus being raised without a human mother, and Eve being created from a part of Adam in one biblical version.

These myths further ignore women's primary role in reproduction in Genesis and justify polygamy in certain religious contexts.

The story of Abraham exemplifies patriarchal control as he is commanded by God to sacrifice his son Isaac without consulting Sarah, Isaac's mother. Abraham's unquestioning obedience becomes an ideal model of faith for three religions.

Overall, these examples demonstrate how feminism exists across different countries and cultures, suggesting potential compatibility with multiculturalism. However, it remains undeniable that society still favors male dominance at times.Okin presents examples of male dominance in different cultures, such as clitoridectomy, child marriage, coerced marriages, and polygamy. Some argue that these practices are necessary for controlling women and continue to exist because of men's insistence. In an interview with a New York Times reporter, practitioners of female circumcision in Cote d'Ivoire and Togo explained how this practice helps maintain a girl's virginity before marriage and ensures fidelity afterward by reducing sexual activity to a marital duty. According to one female exciser's perspective, a woman's role consists of caring for her children, managing the household, and cooking. If she hasn't undergone circumcision, she may prioritize her own sexual pleasure. Furthermore, there was recently a court ruling in Egypt that overturned a law censoring the editing of female sexual content in films. Supporters argue that this law limits a woman's sexual desire and makes her more suitable for marriage. Additionally, many women in these situations lack alternative options to marriage. Men in societies that practice polygamy acknowledge that it serves their self-interests and helps them control women. A French immigrant from Mali mentioned in an interview that having multiple wives ensures someone will take care of him when his wife is sick. He also stated that having several wives compels them to behave politely;

if they misbehave, he can threaten to take another wife.
However, in these societies, women have a distinct viewpoint on polygamy. Immigrant women from French Africa reject it and assert that they have no choice in the matter. They argue that their female ancestors in Africa also disliked it. The use of forced or coerced child marriage is employed as a means of controlling whom girls or young women marry and ensuring their virginity at the time of marriage. It often strengthens the husband's power through a significant age difference between spouses.

In certain areas of Latin America, rural Southeast Asia, and West Africa, rape victims are encouraged or compelled to marry their rapists. In some cultures, including 14 Latin American countries, rapists can evade prosecution by marrying their victims or offering to do so. This practice demonstrates that rape is viewed as an affront to the woman's family honor rather than solely as a violent attack on her as an individual.

Despite cultural disparities, there exists potential for compatibility between gender and culture. Instead of allowing these differences to lead to conflict, they can be utilized to establish connections by exploring possible links between internal and external factors. By marrying his victim, the rapist can restore the family's honor and remove a daughter who may be perceived as undesirable due to being seen as "damaged goods." Family and home serve as exclusive environments where everyone receives nurturing, making them ideal for safeguarding women's well-being and preserving cultural identity.

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