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  •  I posted this below by accident (none)
    but Okin is not a relativist. She thinks liberalism is right, and is willing to come right out and say so. Her critics in the volume I referrred to pose problems for that view. The volume concludes with her response.

    Incidentally, Okin (now, prematurely dead) gained fame for her groundbreaking work Gender, Justice and Family, in which she argued that a thorough-going liberalism needs to take a good hard look at family (so called private) structures as deeply unjust. So much the worse for family structures she said.

    Liberalism, the way I am using it, isn't wishy-washy cultural relativism, but rather the view that individuals have basic rights, at the core of which is a right to self-determination or autonomy. I gather from what you were writing that you are a liberal in that sense of the word. Liberals have an easy way to counter gay-bashers: they do harm to others and show a deep disrespect for, or deny the autonomy of, those they bash: they  impose their will on others, and do harm in the process. In our society it is possible to make this move because the US (and for me Canada) is premised on Liberalism.

    Sorry for going on and on like this, but I am leading a reading group on this very topic. It might surprise you to learn that I am the one defending the inherent wrong-ness of cultural practices, while my students are being cultural relativists. Typing this out to you, has helped me to think through just where the problems lie.

    •  Thanks for the clarification (none)
      Okin sounds right up my alley! Now I'll make time to read her.

      Good luck with your reading group. Wish I could sit in on it.

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