this morning my class was giving presentations on various aspects of sumerian culture. two girls in my class were telling us about love, sex and marriage. one of them began by talking about empathy, and how it's important not to judge when we look back into history. she said it's important to pretend we were a part of that society instead of looking down on it from our modern perspective.
fine, that's all p.c. and well and good.
but then they started saying things like, if a woman talked back to her husband, he had the right to knock all of her teeth out. if a woman was caught having an abortion, she would be impaled.
are you serious? are you telling me that it's wrong to cast judgment on something as misogynist and just plain horrific as this?
i haven't heard anyone saying, "well, you can't judge european imperialists for having had wiped out the native americans and taken africans as slaves, because that seemed right to them at the time. that was a part of their culture." get the fuck out of here.
i hate when cruelty to women is somehow "okay," especially when a woman says it. i wanted to raise my hand after that impaling bit and ask, "just a quick question: how do i have empathy for that type of behavior, exactly?" but my prof was already getting irked at the lack of preparedness of some, and i didn't want to be an ass.