Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cultural Relativism and the Holidays

Don't worry, I'm not going to go all intellectual.

A classmate said, at our last class meeting of 2009, that she questions the worth of multi-culturalism (which, I confess, I think of as cultural relativism). I immediately understood. Any culture that thinks it's OK to carve away a woman's clitoris needs to be brought up short, not welcomed into community.

But I also read the amazing book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down —- a true must-read, and a book that I will recommend as a last-minute buy to any person still trying to think of a Christmas gift.

I think "relativism" may be, bizarrely, more precise[?] than "multi-culturalism", because the former word permits you to consider what is bad here against what is maybe even worse elsewhere, without accepting either one.

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