Afghan Woman Prisoner Ethnocentrism is the practice of judging another culture by the standards of ones own culture (pg. 54). Ethnocentrism is also the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture. There are different levels of ethnocentrism such as: equality, sensitivity, indifference, avoidance and disparagement. Ethnocentrism leads to conflict, cultural shock, stereotyping, discrimination, and prejudice that lead negative attitude towards a person because of a group they are affiliated with. Cultural Relativism is the practice of judging a culture by its own standards (pg. 4) it maybe difficult for travelers to adapt to. It requires not only openness to unfamiliar values and norms but also the ability to put aside cultural standards we have known all of our lives. “Afghan Woman Prisoner,” a heart-throbbing article that opened my eyes into seeing what is really going on around the world, while I live a life where I worry about not liking certain food for supper. Ethnocentrism played a huge role in the article, especially the society of being a woman, living in a lost civilization in Afghanistan.
Gulnaz was raped by her cousin’s husband, who “forced his way into her home, tied her up, and then raped her. ” However, when courageous enough to report it to Afghan police, she was accused of adultery and sent to prison. Afghan were too proud of ruining their reputation, saving face was the only thing they can do to maintain their name in the village and so sending her to prison was their way of saving face. In my point of view, it is wrong to imprison young women for crime that were against their culture and religion.
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These so-called “moral crime” seems to be worthless work that Afghan law finds to be right…in their mind. They are being treated with no equality, justice nor respect. In my society, we value women and respect them to the fullest. It’s very different to see the cultural differences and realize that others have it worst then some around the world do. I can’t imagine the women living in that kind of society, who can’t even speak up for themselves. Since polygamy is allowed in the society, I feel like Afghan men are obligated to be more controlling, dominated and authoritative to keep their wives in check.
I don’t understand why women are not being valued in that society? We tend to view the way in which we think and act as correct; deviance from these internal “norms” is seen as wrong or abnormal. I think this tendency exists because our ingrained beliefs are often so strong that the guidelines created for us by our culture makes us see our way as the proper and natural way life should be. Studying cultural relativism of a foreign culture is to understand it as much as possible. This point of view seems to make a lot of sense, in terms of gaining the best possible understanding of other cultures.
There can, however, also be difficulties in certain cases when actually putting cultural relativism into practice. I do believe that all people deserve to have at least basic human rights to safety and fair treatment–no matter what their culture commands. The only choice she had was to marry her rapist and bring dignity back to her family and tribe. Since Afghan believed that a woman couldn’t get pregnant after her first sexual encounter, she must have had a consensual sexual relationship with her accuser.