Women across cultures

Cover yourself and put out that cigarette before I whip you, you shameless idiot. Put it out now…. Who is your husband? Where do you live? I am going to beat you till you can’t walk, are you some kind of harlot” (Kushner 45)?

Priscilla is unaware of the customs of Afghanistan. Women are not seen in public without their burqas as it is seen as a shameful act. When reading this part of the play, I couldn’t help but think, “what is wrong with a  country that beats their women for going out in public without being covered up? I could never live like that.” However, truthfully, I don’t know if that statement is true or not. Had I grown up in Afghanistan, I would not know any different and wouldn’t think anything of going out in public with a burqa.

A traditional burqa we would see on women in Afghanistan

We often don’t understand other cultures until we can experience them, and even then it’s not always firsthand experience because it’s not our own culture. America often likes to put their noses in other countries’ business without really trying to understand their culture. When this man approaches Priscilla on the street and starts to yell at her, naturally we feel anger at first because to us he is being absurd. However, to the people of that culture he is following custom. Where do you think we should draw the line?

Photo courtesy of:

Gabbay, Tiffany. “PRINCE: ‘YOU WEAR A BURQA. THERE’S NO CHOICE. PEOPLE ARE HAPPY WITH THAT'” Www.theblaze.com. The Blaze: Entertainment Section, 25 June 2011. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. <http://www.theblaze.com/stories/prince-you-wear-a-burqa-theres-no-choice-people-are-happy-with-that/&gt;.

Kushner, Tony. Homebody/Kabul. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2002. Print.

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