The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90332   Message #1711763
Posted By: Azizi
06-Apr-06 - 07:55 AM
Thread Name: BS: How do you define it?
Subject: RE: BS: How do you define it?
Thanks for your responses to my questions, Quarcoo.

It's interesting to learn about other cultures-and in my opinion it's important not to judge other cultures by the yardstick and of the culture one lives in.

Please forgive me if you [and others] think that I am straying too far from your thread topic by my questions to you and my thoughts that are a result of your responses. But I would like to take this opportunity-rare as it is-to converse about this subject with someone from Africa and also, possibly-hear from others throughout the world on this topic.   

I would love your input [and input from others] on this:

It seems to me that many people in Africa, and other non-Western cultures have probably gone through, and will continue to go through significant changes in their traditions and their attitudes about their traditions as a result of increased familiarity with White & non-White American culture and Western European cultures. I imagine that the Christian religion, and the in-country educational system and the rise in folks educated outside the nation in the US and Europe and the influence of those persons in positions of power would drive those changes [to more Westernized way of living and thinking about things such as dating, and marriage]. But also it seems to me that economic realities [meaning the lack of sufficent money to support more than one wife at a time] and the realities of sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS may cause folks to change their attitudes about polygamy. For instance, a Luo friend of mine from Kenya said that it is the tradition in his ethnic group for the wife of a deceased man to marry that man's brother. In many {recent} cases, the brother had died from AIDS. Invariably, that means that the wife might also have AIDS, and then would give AIDS to her new husband, who gives it to his wife, who gives it to their unborn children and so on and so on. I believe that I understand the traditional reasons for this practice of brother marrying his deceased brother's wife, but what I am saying is that in my opinion, AIDS will [or should] change that tradition.

Furthermore, I think that Western attitudes such as equality among the sexes will become more a factor as persons in your government and mass media, and the Internet, and education system etc become more Westernized. If we in the United States and other Western nations don't blow up the world, I think it is inevitable-given the power and influence of Western cultures-that this happens. I think this will impact Ghanaian and other African cultures' attitudes about love and eventually substantially change such statements as "look [ing] out for a girl who can cook,clean and take care of the home.a strong woman to stand behind me all the time" and a polygamous man [one who is a proven lover or one who has a lot of children?] "is a strong man" . I wonder also is the polygamous man considered strong because multiple wives and multiple children serve as proof that he is a "real man".

I say this knowing that there are quite a number of people in the United States and elsewhere in the "Western world" regardless of race who echo these statements about what constitutes a real man and that the woman should take care of the home and stand behind [not along side of] her man. Yet Quarcoo, for your information, with absolutely no intent on my part to suggest that you are wrong in your views as you stated them, I want to share with you that what you wrote would be considered "politically incorrect" in the United States and in most other Western nations. What I mean by that is that quite a number of people-myself included-don't believe that women should be soley responsible for cooking, cleaning, and otherwise taking care of their home. We {okay I} feel that the man should ideally be an equal partner in this. I also feel that the proof of a real man is absolutely not whether he can impregnate one woman or more than one woman one time or multiple times. In my opinion, one of the main proofs of a real man is whether he is self-confident enough and caring enough to give and accept love.