Is Multiculturalism Bad For Women?

1490 Words6 Pages
In this essay I argue that multiculturalism and establishing group rights for cultures is not as harmful to the interests women as Okin implies in her essay, “Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?”. (587). First I will outline Okin’s examples which she uses to frame her view of the control of women by men in their cultures. I will also outline her arguments that group rights and multiculturalism should be viewed skeptically. I will then define multiculturalism. Then I will argue that Okin uses vague ‘tunnel vision’ examples to support her ideas that multiculturalism is bad for women. I will also provide stories and examples in cultures where women are respected. In order to provide a foundation for her readers to be skeptical of group rights related to multiculturalism, Okin describes several stories, examples, and historical cases of women being controlled within their culture. Her examples include France’s historical permission of polygamy due to the immigrants’ culture; Greek mythology; Adam and Eve from the Bible; Orthodox Jews living in the mountains; and Sarah and Abraham from the Bible. She uses these examples to illustrate her point that, “Most cultures have as one of their principal aims the control of women by men.” (590). Okin describes practices such as clitoridectomy, child marriages, and forcing rape victims to marry their assaulter. She uses these examples to reinforce her point that, “many culturally based customs aim to control women and render them,
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