This week in class we have been talking about culture, values and judgement. It is important that we not pass judgement on other cultures. Without being in their shoes we have a hard time truly knowing what it would be like having to make the decisions they have to make.
A great example I can think of is female circumcision practiced in many parts of the world, but specifically in West Africa. Women in Africa are circumcised by their mothers, older sisters and grandmothers usually around the age of 12 or shortly before puberty and the menstrual cycle begin. Most of their genitalia is cut off and their vaginas sown up. This is to ensure virginity until marriage. Although I do not agree with female circumcision, and taking all sexual pleasure out of a woman's life, who am I, or who are we to say they need to stop this practice?
What if you were a mother of a young girl in Africa? Would you circumcise her? It is all too easy for us Westerners to quickly say no. But what if it meant your daughter would never be married if she wasn't? In most cultures in West Africa if a woman reaches marriage age and has not been circumcised they are viewed as dirty, unclean, a sexually deviant woman, but more hurtful, unmarriageable. If you knew you would never be able to marry off your daughter you may think twice about the traditions that are expected. A woman might even be upset with their mother for not making it a priority to follow the culture of the land.
This may be an extreme example but all I'm provoking is we not be so quick to judge when we hear about other countries, or even our own, that value different things from our own views.