Journal Reviewed: Reitman, Oonagh. "Cultural Relativist and Feminist Critiques of International Human Rights - Friends or Foes?." 1997, 100-114. This journal article, “Cultural Relativist and Feminist Critiques of International Human Rights - Friends or Foes?” by Oonagh Reitman seeks to rouse discussion about the similarities between two critiques of universal human rights: cultural relativists and feminists, despite the antagonistic position both groups tend to take against each other. In the beginning, he lays out the basis of critique of international human rights by each camp. Cultural relativists argue that the universal human rights which are earned simply ‘by virtue of being human’ (Donnelly in Reitman 1997, 100) are insensitive to the diversity of culture. Feminists, on the other hand, criticize that universal human rights guarantee only men’s rights and that ‘gender equality and freedom from discrimination for women is given a low priority in the international arena’ (Reitman 1997, 100). Reitman then examines the combative relationship between the two groups. Cultural relativists believe feminists are ‘protecting a Western notion of …show more content…
Feminists are accused of taking the perspective of a woman who is a product of Western ideology. Which is to say that feminists ‘assume that all women have similar attributes and experiences and ignore the impact of other variables such as race, class, wealth, and sexual preferences on the position of women’(Chalesworth in Nayak 2013, 86). That in doing so, they have effectively excluded other women of different culture, class, and religion. What I would like to emphasize here is that in pursuing equality, feminists have become the very ‘”elite” they criticizes. Feminists’ claims for human rights are Western based, as simultaneously feminists are claiming that human rights are
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
In the U.S., feminism is understood as the rights of women (usually affluent white women) to share the spoils of capitalism, and imperial power. By refusing to fully confront the exclusions of non-whites, foreigners, and other marginalized groups from this vision, liberal feminists miss a crucial opportunity to create a more inclusive and more powerful movement. Feminist movements within the U.S. and internationally have long since accepted that, for them, feminism entails the communal confrontation of not only patriarchy, but capitalism, imperialism, white supremacy, and other forms of oppressions that combine together and reinforce their struggle. It means the fighting for the replacement of a system in which their rights are negated in the quest for corporate and political profit. It includes fighting so that all people anywhere on the gender, sexual, and body spectrum are allowed to enjoy basic rights like food, housing, healthcare, and control of their labor.
The word “feminist” has caused turmoil wherever it is uttered. It has gained a negative connotation, and is often mistaken with misandry. While these claims may be true for a minimal number of feminists, the truth is that in order to get an accurate representation on what feminists actually believe one would have to go to the source. The two main problems with that, are that first of all, it is “not rigidly structured or led by a single figure or group”, and most importantly there is not just one kind of feminism, there are hundreds in each aspect of our life (Tavaana, 2014). The most under represented group within feminism is the kind that is in the government. Not all have the same theories, and therefore, do not have the same beliefs. However what we do know is that, whatever theory they have, or agenda they follow, they are all fierce promoters of gender equality.
Feminist Theory is an aspect of considering feminism as having been based on socio-phenomenon issues rather than biological or scientific. It appreciates gender inequality, analyzes the societal roles played by feminists in a bid to promote the interests, issues and rights of women in the society. It is also based on the assumption that women play subsidiary roles in the society. The whole idea of feminism has however experienced hurdles in the form of stereotyping by the wider society. This paper tries to examine some of the effects of stereotypes that feminism goes through, what other philosophers say and the way forward towards ending stereotyping.
Academic discourse is the means by which new and old theories may be applied to a topic in order to reach a better understanding or challenge a notion raised within the field. It is through discussing and analyzing these concepts that individual voices may be applied to an academic community, allowing for a wider lens of thought to be picked up and further discussed. Grewal participates in this discourse in her article “'Women's Rights as Human Rights': Feminist Practices, Global Feminism, and Human Rights Regimes in Transnationality”. This paper shall analyze and discuss how Grewal applies previous theoretical concepts related to feminist discourse in order to offer a Transnationalist Feminist critique to the Global Feminist notion of Women's Rights as Human Rights.
Feminism has tackled gender inequality in the workforce, within politics, education and various institutes. Within the 20th century some of these issues faced in western culture have been completely reformed due to certain feminist movements that have encouraged women to fight for equal rights. (Crofton: 2011: 272-273) The first and second waves of feminism have proven to be successful by increasing equal rights between men and women. (Kaplan: 1992: 7) Despite these successes which include allowing there is still the fact of the matter remains that women are still objectified by their gender. ()The generalization of gender roles, have proven to be challenging within the feminist movement, this is often due to the objectification of women in the media. Also as feminism, is an ideology it has various schools of which have conflicting ideas of the ‘empowerment of women’ making it difficult to clarify on what is not acceptable in establishing women’s rights. (Fraser: 2014)
This essay will aim to discuss the relationship between Western Feminisms and International Feminisms as explored by various non-Western Feminists. It will aim to investigate the origins of this 'relationship ', the complexities/complications within it, evaluate how effective both paradigms are in the third wave and ultimately what is still needed to be done to create a transnational, intersectional feminist movement irrespective of the backgrounds of all women.
There is such a thing as universality of human rights that is different from cultural relativism, humanity comes before culture and traditions. People are humans first and belong to cultures second (Collaway, Harrelson-Stephens, 2007 p.109), this universality needs to take priority over any cultural views, and any state sovereignty over its residing citizens.
It is important to understand cultural relativism and universalism by definition for this assessment to understand why relative universalism is simply a reclassification, and how it fails to facilitate further innovation. Both quotes from the World Conference of Human Rights, which were previously used as one of Dahre’s supporting points, say that the UDHR is universal. Subsequently, the conference also stated that external factors such as culture, religion, and other particularities, “Must be borne in mind”. Comparing these two defining quotes to Dahre’s Relative universalism shows a striking similarity. Relative universalism is said to be the integration of universalism and relativism without trying to find “Some moral space in-between”. What Dahre believes to be the solution already exists in the fundamentals in the relationship between relativism and universalism. The difference is that Dahre essentially argues to stop the pursuit of a middle ground. When referring to the “middle ground” it is interpreted as being the solution of the dichotomy between culture and universal human rights. Both perspectives, Dahre’s and the current dichotomy, have the same goal of balancing the two. Dahre’s solution in contradiction admits what universalists wont, that the pursuit of a middle ground does not exist. Although Dahre seems a bit monotonous in his assertions of
In his article “Cultural Relativist and Feminist Critiques of International Human Rights”, Oonagh Reitman (Reitman, 1997) delivered the similarities between cultural relativist and feminist critiques of international human rights where the former believed that the source of human rights is culture while the later argued that those who hold human rights are men and not women. The overall article is divided into three sections. The first section, Oonagh Reitman tried to explain relativist’s behavioral pattern made in the field of women’s human rights by elaborating their
As an international student from India who is acquiring her education from a “First World” university, I can often hear the difference in the way oppression is talked about. My perspective is rooted in the knowledge I gathered for twenty years of my life where issues like dowry, female feticide/infanticide, honor killings and everyday sexual harassment were very pertinent to me. By examining radical-socialist feminist theories, I could try to understand the root of women’s oppression even if the or...
While on one hand there is a growing consensus that human rights are universal on the other exist critics who fiercely oppose the idea. Of the many questions posed by critics revolve around the world’s pluri-cultural and multipolarity nature and whether anything in such a situation can be really universal.
Throughout history men and women have been put into the rigidly defined roles of feminism and masculism. This box that society has created has push back the true people and presented us with the societal image of what men and women should be. This is gender stereotyping. Through these stereotypes a feminist movement and a masculine movement have arisen to try to break those stereotypes.
Modern-day feminism is no longer about equality but more about superiority. Today, many feminists go around stating there isn’t a need for men, women can survive on their own, and that women are better than men. As Saira Khan states in her article on Spiked, “modern-day feminists engage in man-bashing rather than dignified demands for equality.” (Khan 1). It just shows how feminists would rather take their anger out on men rather than realize we a...