Monday, March 31, 2008

Why Moral Universalism is a Good Thing, pt. 90276009246x10^847 (sorry Daniel)

a.k.a. "Okin was right pt. 90276009246x10^847: Multiculturalism really is bad for women.

(Subtitle: Venezuelan man assaults woman for declaring feminism, declares feminism form of U.S. "colonialism.")

(h/t Amber)

Edit: Nor is this particularly an issue about "foreign" cultures: among the cultures, whose advocates claim it is deserving of protection, that leads to violence against women is U.S. majority Christian culture... moral universalism doesn't just save us against the "others."

While I'm on my universalist, cosmopolitan high horse, Phoebe makes an excellent point (in the midst of rightly yawning about some random stuff about some fancy-ass school that got its knickers in a twist about some facebook group, blah blah) -- because of the utterly bizarre way in which we construct race in this society, Jewish people (i.e. members of a really good candidate for the most oppressed group in history) count as white and are, in otherwise civilized liberal classrooms, treated as if their ancestors participated in the worst of the early U.S. crimes -- slavery, slaughter of Native Americans, etc. Solution: dump what David Hollinger aptly calls the "ethno-racial Pentagon" -- the moronic idea that people have to be classified in one, or a combination of, five racial groups in this country, and the associated idea that these groups express some kind of culture or shared affinity. Hollinger's alternative -- prefer voluntary to involuntary cultural affiliations -- would nicely solve that problem, make it harder for various groups to participate in the oppression of women, and nicely express universalist autonomy values, all in one.