A world of Questions

First I’d like to introduce myself to those who don’t already know who I am. I’ve posted a couple times recently, mainly on the tech side, as Stephen. I’m a friend of Andrew and Teisha’s from their undergrad years.

So, I left the office this last Tuesday (June 10th) in a very foul mood. It wasn’t because of anything at the office, it was because the NYTimes had updated its front page and this artcle was the top story. I found so many things that offended my sensibilities that I really couldn’t choose one to focus on until I realized that had this not been in Europe, but the Middle East or some of the former Soviet ‘stans, then I probably would have shrugged it off.
Europe, and France especially, has, in my mind at least, an image of a much more laxidasical, and in my opinion healthier, attitude towards sexuality and this seemed so contrary to it. This led me to wonder, why hasn’t there been a larger adoption and integration of French and European culture within these communities? I’m certain that it is a multitude of reasons, but how much is their lack of desire to integrate and how much is the greater French populous is actively attempting to hinder their integration?

There have been numerous articles since the riots in Paris about the slums on the outskirts where the sizable immigrant population, mainly from Islamic countries, has been relegated to. The creation of a lower class. If you knew that you had zero chance to become a citizen, how hard would you try to integrate? On the other hand, it sounds like quite a few have already integrated but there are other hinderances, like elders and religion, that are blocking said integration.

Is there a good solution? Will it just take another generation or two?

2 Responses to “A world of Questions”

Glad to see the post, styopa, even if it’s such a depressing topic. I’ve shared this with some friends and co-workers, and it’s just astonishing.

I think you nailed some of the reasons for this behavior, and the article itself hits a few. Really, there are two difficult ethical questions: by what standard does one decide what is archaic, and at what point is it ethically to impose your views on others to stop an archaic practice?

Personally, I think traditional like this, or female circumsion are [i]clearly[/i] beyond the pale, and people should step in and stop them- right now! But it’s a fine line in the case of other traditions, and because of that, it’s hard to get a cut and dry standard.

The best solution is probably: keep exporting Western culture, as much as possible. That’s adjusted much of the world.

Paradoxdruid - June 13th, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Wow. I had heard about the French ruling but hymen replacement in new to me. As a side note BBC has podcast dealing with female virginity in Europe that explores this subject. I haven’t had a chance listened to it but think I will make time. Anyway I am not opposed to procedure in and of itself but the reasons why people are doing it is troubling. This another example of why the middle east and west are in conflict. There are some very large cultural gaps at this point.

Two other points I would like to make. First I just can’t endorse the wholesale exporting of western culture. There are some things I think the world could use less off. Mass dependence on cars, overeating, the death penalty and reality T.V. I know you, PD, have complained about the move towards a nanny state that California is making. My understanding is that its worse in Europe, particularly in the UK.

Second from the article:
“I have colleagues in the United States whose patients do this as a Valentine’s present to their husbands.”
I have to wonder about America’s sexuality a bit. This seems like a lot of money just to bleed one more after sex. Perhaps I am missing something.

Gilvoro - June 17th, 2008 at 8:57 am

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