Analyzing Edgerton's Argument

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Robert Edgerton argues that cultures that practice exploitation should be judged morally inferior to those that enhance people’s lives. Exploitation is benefiting from someone by treating him or her unfairly. Basically, what Edgerton is saying is that societies are sick, and we, as the model society, should not even attempt to understand these sick societies, but just condemn them. I will argue about cultures that exploit women and my lens will be my mixed culture of Ukrainian and American. From Islamic and African cultures that practice female circumcision, to the Kazio culture that, in order for girls to progress into womanhood, a man has to have anal sex with them, to the Ethiopian Hamer tribe that practice females’ suffering of being whipping in order for the man to progress into adulthood, we see a pattern of male dominance, females’ willingness, and cultures that oppose these practices. Male dominance has been prevalent ever since the hunter/gatherer social transformation. It continues to be so, in almost every culture, except of the apparent Amazons. Even today, in our post-Industrial era, males are still more dominant than females, especially in third world countries. The male gender were the ones to become leaders and determiners. They define what is acceptable for a woman ranging from one culture to the next. Whether it is the way a woman should dress, be treated, or how she should behave, it is all decided by the males in society. These decisions vary from female circumcision, or female genital mutilation, to anal sex as the initiation into womanhood, to women being whipping for a man to transition into adulthood. Female genital mutilation is mostly practiced in Islamic and African cultures, claiming young girls as t... ... middle of paper ... ...f a man becoming an adult is too much dependent on them. They should not have their bodies mutilated for the pleasure of a man feeling as though he can now be considered as an adult. I agree with Edgerton’s argument that cultures that practice exploitation should be judged morally inferior to those that enhance people’s lives. Islamic and African cultures, Kazio cultures, and Hamer tribe do not enhance women’s lives. Using my own cultural lens, I believe that women deserve to choose what they want to do with their bodies and without being shunned by their own cultures, I believe that women should not feel so inferior to men simply because they were born that way, and I do not believe that there should be any rituals or practices performed that damage or exploit the women in any way. Because these cultures do not enhance women’s live, they should be deemed inferior.

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