FGM And Menstruation Taboos

1961 Words 8 Pages
FGM and Menstruation Taboos: The Consequences of Imposing Morality Across Cultures

The concept of paternalism dictates that those in positions of authority restrict the freedoms and responsibilities of those beneath them. The authorities convince the subordinates that these policies are for the good of the subordinates. The enforcement of female circumcision and menstruation taboos exemplifies paternalism. The practice of female circumcision and development of menstruation taboos shows how ritual pollution, false consciousness, and different ideologies are utilized to enforce something that is controversial. Through paternalistic methods, female circumcision and menstruation taboos are deeply rooted into many cultures and are good examples of how men keep women in subordinate positions. Female circumcision and menstruation taboos incite debates between cultural relativists holding a conservative ideology and radical activists determined to eliminate the practices.

Ethnocentrism is an ideology in which people believe that their culture is superior in comparison to the cultures of
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The established practice of FGM and menstruation taboos exemplifies how paternalism can occur in society. Radical activists condemn these paternalistic practices through radical ideologies that brings to light the prevalence of false consciousness and ritual pollution, which upholds radical ideals. The cultural relativist finds these condemnations rooted in western ethnocentrism, which fails to account for culture of the practitioners and the consequences of interfering with such practices. These diametrically opposed perspectives emerge concurrently from the complexities surrounding FGM and menstruation taboos, and their cultural

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