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Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women

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Michelle Montijo

on 10 October 2013

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Transcript of Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women

Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?
Susan Moller Okin

Gender and Culture
Most cultures spread with ideologies concerning gender
Two main reasons why group rights have not been addressed
First, they tend to treat cultural groups as monoliths
Monolith: social structure that is hard to control
they pay attention to differences between the groups rather than the differences within them
they pay little or no attention to the fact that their cultural groups are gendered.
Second, supporters pay little or no attention to the private sphere
When Trying to Solve the Problem
Two important connections come into play between culture and gender
First, the central focus of most cultures is on the sphere of personal, sexual, and reproductive life.
Religious cultures are usually concerned with "personal law"
laws of marriage, divorce, child custody...
Second, most cultures aim to have more power over women by men.
Many myths about women to show they are subordinate
Group Rights
Demands for group rights are growing
Rights are usually anti-feminist
Most cultures are more patriarchal
Many women of those cultures claim that their rights are being violated
Women's rights are often rejected by leaders of countries
When "culture defense" is brought up, women are often to blame for the criminal act that was committed by men
Men are held less accountable for committing "crimes of passion"
Many women have protested against the double standard
Kymlicka's argument is based on the rights of individuals
special rights put them on an equal level with the majority
groups that claim special rights must govern themselves as liberal
can not discriminate against its members through race, sex, or sexual preference
He believes those who deny women any rights do not deserve these "special rights"
In many cultures discrimination occurs in the private sphere
by fathers, or symbolic fathers
Kymlicka's denying of special rights is accurate but not one minority or majority group would pass his "no sex discrimination" test because of the private sphere
To fix this problem, it is necessary to look at the private spheres
"Unless women--and, more specifically, young women, since older women often become co-opted into reinforcing gender inequality--are fully represented in negotiations about group rights, their interests may be harmed rather than promoted by the granting of such rights."
Women should not be treated differently according to their sex
Women should have equal rights as men
Should be able to live a fulfilling and free life just like a man does
Minority cultures are not protected by individual rights alone but should also be granted special group rights
There is growing tension between feminism and multiculturalism
The tension is mostly between the commitments between group rights

Do you believe its fair that men are held less accountable for crimes against women?
Do you think that this problem--the discrimination of women in the private sphere--will ever be resolved?
Full transcript