joeyl8
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    • joeyl8

      I still think that being rude is almost always ill-advised. If you’re in a place that is hostile to women, you don’t want to provide pretext to initiate hostilities. It’s usually best to exit potentially dangerous situations as politely as possible. As the article presupposes, you’re on your own—-you have no back up. Meanwhile, you could be in a place that not only protects someone should they decide to act violently towards you, but may even award such actions. There’s a reason women live in fear in some parts of the world—-because they live under constant threat of arbitrary violence. Our views about how wrong that is will not change that system or make you immune to it while you’re within its clutches. It’s harsh, brutal, unfair, and tremendously tragic—-but at least you get to home to a place where you’re treated more fairly, whereas for the local women this is their life.

    • joeyl8

      While yes, true that it’s a bit backwards…As much of a problem as the West has with treating women respectfully and fairly, the West is pretty advanced in regards to women rights and equality. A lot of nations, particularly in the Middle East and Asia, are a lot more restrictive. While rape is a very real possibility, in some places women aren’t allowed to drive cars, own property, or go out in public unaccompanied by a man. And no, you’re not going to just educate these people into treating women fairly. It’s not a matter of ignorance, it’s a matter of their culture and traditions being inherently destructive and belittling toward women. And while it’s great to fight injustice and speak your mind in your home country, a foreign culture is not yours to direct or shape, as unjust as it appears relative to your own. A cultural transformation has to take place initiated by these people when they’re ready to embrace a change. Otherwise you end up in a situation where there is resentment and hatred toward you, as an outsider, telling a people how they should live their lives when many of them don’t see it as a problem. You aren’t seen as a savior or an educator, but perceived as a destroyer of their traditions and way of life. This creates a space for conservative fundamentalist movements to take root, having the precise opposite effect of what you intended. You can see the examples of these attempts to “civilize” a people play out repeatedly throughout history, often ending in violence and genocide as tensions escalate. It’s partly this struggle between a modern Western way of life and centuries-old traditions that, among many other factors, has fueled violence and tension in the Middle East for decades and continues to torment many African nations. It took the West centuries to become as accepting of women as we are today, and we still have a long way to go. So a little patience and understanding will go a long way when traveling to a place that does not share you’re same enlightened views on how women should be treated.

    • joeyl8

      I can’t believe one of the pieces of advice encourages travelers to be rude. Offending the locals is almost never a good idea, not to mention generally unfriendly and anti-social. The quote at the beginning is far from the truth. You’re not alone. You’re in a place where people are born, go to school, go to work, fall in love, maybe get married, maybe have children, and certainly die. Respect that. Be respectful of the locals, their laws, and their customs. You are a guest in their country. You’re sleeping in their beds, drinking their water, eating their food, walking on their streets, shopping in their markets, sitting in their coffee shops, hanging out in their bars, relaxing on their beaches, perusing their museums—-all at their pleasure and tolerance, no matter how much money you’ve paid to be there.