Realising what it must be like

Posted: September 14, 2011 by jennysaul in good intentions gone awry, Maleness of philosophy

As an undergraduate, I took a seminar where, in one class, the topic of moral relativism arose in discussion. There were only two women in the class. One of us (it might have been myself) used the example of female genital mutilation in some cultures, arguing that a practice as horrifying as that had to be universally wrong. The men in the room, including myself, started arguing aggressively about this point. Finally, one of the women spoke up: “Could we maybe pick a different example?” I hadn’t thought about it, but it later it occurred to me how uncomfortable I would have been in a room full of women vociferously arguing about cutting up male genitalia.

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