In the article “The Case for Contamination”
Many people who advocate for the preservation of cultures are establishing a
disservice to the progress of women’s rights. Kwame analyzes the many ways how
the world is becoming more and more globalized. “Contamination” is his definition
is all of the new innovative values and traditions that’re destroying what our
ancestors left behind traditionally. While this may seem like a humane position
on the importance of cultural diversity it is, in fact, an endangering
viewpoint to the push for women’s rights. This is discussed extensively in
Kwame Appiah’s “The Case for Contamination”.


it, the topic of women’s rights as a global responsibility (which is also
viewed as ‘cultural imperialism’ imposed by highly developed countries) is
questioned as to whether this perception is endangering the cultural norms and
traditions of countries around the world. Appiah talks broadly on the subject
of globalization on how many traditions and customs are being threatened by the
emergence of dominating cultures from more developed countries. She uses the
example of how baseball caps, radio programs that talk about western figures
and brands like Coca-Cola are entering foreign lands and are having an impact
on citizens.




have no real choice,” the cultural preservationists say. “We’ve
dumped cheap Western clothes into their markets, and they can no longer afford
the silk they used to wear (traditionally)”. But the bigger issue remains on
how these “Western values” are affecting key areas that do not agree in the way
in which men and women behave, such as in the US. Islamic culture in
Afghanistan, for example, restricts women from many things including going out
in public without their husbands or without wearing their burqas to cover their
faces. These “culturally diverse” norms which cultural preservationists feel
the need to defend are damaging to the rights of Afghan women.


United States and NATO have assisted in gradually transitioning the perception
of equality among the region in order to empower women within their country.
Some would see this as a state sovereignty or aggressive behavioer  in its demands for a country like Afghanistan
to forsake its identity. Appiah didn’t see it that way, she replies that
countries do not have to surrender their cultural diversity in order to do what
is proper in the sense of human rights for women. It may be considered for some
to be ‘cultural imperialism’ simply based on the notion that these campaigns
for women’s rights are being championed by Western powers like the US and




 However, I think that we can support cultural
changes in the benefit of progressive human rights without the need to
sacrifice cultural identity and diversity. With the ever expanding spread of
ideas and information with tools like the Internet, many cultural practices
that are harmful or prohibit freedoms and rights will eventually become obsolete.


is one thing to preserve culture as in history, arts, and identity; it is
another to preserve cultures as in outdated, stagnant, and wrongful traditions,
especially those that limit women’s rights in my opinion.

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