This week's readings was in a new book, "Leo Africanus" by Amin Malalouf. This was was a welcome relief from all the monotonous and confusing textbooks before, and I was still able to learn about the history but through a narrative, a work of fiction, rather than a stuffy textbook.
I thought one of the most interesting things in the reading was the complete and total culture difference. The main character's father has two wives, the favoritism of a son, these are all aspects that shocked me as I read through the beginning of the novel. The father has two wives, the first beign the main character's mother and the second being a slave. Then, when both women become pregnant and eventually give birth, the father openly favors the newborn son and pays much less, if no attention to the infant girl.
This culture shock boggled my mind. In today's society, monogomy is the only option to marriage a large majority of the population knows, and the small percentage that IS aware of polygomy frowsn down upon it as almost unspeakable. But in that society, it was completely acceptable. Also, equality is stressed to almost a breaking point in today's world. But in the novel, the father blatantly prefers the son as opposed to the daughter. Today, fingers would be pointed at him left and right for total and blatant sexism, but back then, it was allowed. This makes me think about the statement "a small world." We think that just because we have all this new technology and avenues of communication that the world has become a smaller place. But has it really? Crucial culture differences such as these cause a major rift between opposing societies. Sexism in one society is seem as the status quo while in another it is considered almost as severe as a crime. How then, can our world become a smaller place when such rifts exist?