Posted by: bklunk | April 29, 2007

Social Globalization

There are at least two ways to read this situation. On the one hand, it seems like an example of globalization spreading liberal values, like feminism and the notion that a woman’s body is, in a sense, her property and thus a space where her will should be sovereign.  On the other, it could be seen as globalization spreading values and overwhelming traditional values and morals. Is it ironic that this occurred just about the same time the US Supreme Court affirmed a restrictive approach to late-term abortions?

A Success for Women in Latin America « International Studies

City lawmakers in Mexico City have legalized abortion within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. Although deeply opposed by PAN and the catholic church, this shows a victory for women and a success for the women’s rights movements in Latin America. Although this law was passed only in Mexico City, it will no doubt have an effect on other Latin American countries as well. It may lead the way for others to start debating the issue and even lead to voting as well. Many women involved in women’s rights movements are hoping for a snowball effect to take place in Latin America. President Felipe Calderon has not commented on the legalization, but his wife has spoken out adamently against it. There is still very strong opposition to abortion in Mexico as well as most other Latin American countries that most likely can be traced to the Catholic church. Latin America has a long way to go, but Mexico is the beginning and may prove successful in bringing the issue to the forefront of discussion in other countries as well.

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  1. I think this is a great first step toward women’s rights. I mean, it took the U.S. quite a while too, before women received equal rights as men. It’s a long process, but hopefully other countries around the world will come to terms with equal rights for women. Feminism has been on the agenda for years, and the progression is happening, slowly, but still happening. I hope Mexico’s actions will influence other Latin American countries to follow in its footsteps. Also, I hope this policy will influence other feminine-related issues to be discussed as well.

    So, globalization isn’t so bad after all. It is because the world is becoming so interconnected that it is important for countries to come to agreement and cooperate with one another. Indeed, this may lead to conflict, but the globalization of the global markets will may way for countries to collaborate if they want to reap the benefits.

  2. Abortion is a controversial topic in the US, so undoubtedly it is even more controversial throughout more conservative parts of the world. Although there could be backlash in a country like Mexico against abortion, I think the more important issue here is women’s rights. Throughout the world women have lower statuses than men and equality is a slow process. Abortion may continue to be a controversial issue throughout the world, but Mexico’s legislation regarding it has implications for other women’s rights, or at least a step towards equality.
    Globalization in a social form is interesting to see and could have both negative and positive implications. On the negative side, many developing countries around the world may not want to change their values to western ways. However, when dealing with women’s rights, globalization can only be a positive. If equality of women becomes the norm, more countries around the world will be pushed to accept it. I hope this process will occur, and quickly.

  3. There are always positive and negative effects of globalization. Sometimes it is difficult to see both. I think that as mentioned above, if abortion legalization in Mexico furthers women’s rights in Latin Ameerica, that that is a positive effect. But I also do agree that what I think is a positive effect may be seen very diferently from another point of view. American’s generally see globalization as a good thing because we value change, we are future oriented. Other people in other cultures do not hold this same value. We also value liberty and equality which are core American beliefs. We tend to be so used to these values, to take them for granted, that we forget that other cultures may not necessarily hold these same beliefs. They are not universal as we so often forget. Americans also generally believe that people should strive for these values, and that if they cannot achieve them themselves, that maybe we can help. This is of course a very ethnocentric view of the world in believing that our beliefs, values, and principles should be universal and that every socieity should strive to attain them. The spread of liberal values as seen through the example of the legalization of abortion and thus the furthering of women’s rights is of course seen as good from the American perspective because of our own core values. But from another culture that may not value the same things we do, this spreading of liberal values may be disruptive of their own values and morals. Maybe they do not value change the way we do. Maybe tradition is more important to them. If so, then this change of law and thus change in women’s rights may not be viewed as such a good thing. As I said earlier, it is sometimes hard to see both the negative and positive aspects of globalization and whether one is more powerful than the other. It really depends on the point of view of the person and what his or her values and beliefs are. Positive and negative effects are not seen the same by everyone. It really depends on the person’s or culture’s values and beleifs.

  4. Overall, I think that this is definitely a step towards success for women, as well women’s rights. As mentioned before, it’s taken a while for women to get somewhat of descent status here in the United States, and slowly, but surely it looks like ‘we’ could be going global. It’s horrible to say, but abortion is always the topic that somehow breaks or makes the woman. When feminist issues are mentioned, or the topic of women having rights, the determining factor is always somehow narrowed down to abortion. I am not in favor of abortion, in fact I strongly oppose it, but I am in favor of choice, and I do feel very strong about having equal rights and having an opinion as a woman, and not being shut out or ignored simply because I am not a man. Abortion has been legalized in Mexico City, and even though that sounds bad it is indeed a step for women’s right, and though it is only one city at the moment, influence is big, and it is only a matter of time before the issue begins to be discussed throughout the other Latin American countries
    On another note, I think President Calderon needs to step it up and have some voice over the issue.

  5. Like others have mentioned, abortion is obviously a very controversial issue not only here in the United States, but worldwide. I find it interesting that in a highly Catholic-populated nation like Mexico would pass such a law. I understand that it was only passed in Mexico City, but it still creates a stepping-stone for such laws to arise in local areas and eventually perhaps at the federal level. However, as it was said in the post, so much of Mexico and Latin America is anti-abortion that I wonder how strongly this decision will affect national and regional policy on this issue.

    In regards to a victory for the women’s movement, to a woman who is pro-choice, this would obviously be a victory. However personally and as far as many other women (like President Calderon’s wife) are concerned, I do not see this as a victory. There are two very different types of feminism being affected here and a victory for one is a loss to the other. I think that bringing the issue of abortion to the forefront of national and international dialogue is very important for those on all sides of the issue. I suppose that this kind of action could be considered an aspect of social globalization. The question is how the Mexican government and other Latin American governments address the issue and carry out discussion successful on what the people want.

  6. oof, touchy subject here…and if I’m not careful I’ll launch into a rant supporting my beliefs on this issue. But I’ll try to take a step back here and look at this from an outside perspective.
    I am in general agreement with the rest of the field here, who, for the most part, suggest that this is a step in the right direction for women’s rights. In Mexico and most of central and south latin america there has always been rampant machismo- a cultural phenomenon placing women in a highly subordinate position within the social structure. It works like it sounds…guys act macho. This idea is a throw-back to not only the spanish hertitage of a patriarchal ruler but the Catholic influence as well. Even in our country where women have had to fight their way up, which likely also stems from our patriarcal roots, we have been able to significantly alter the gender norms in this country. The idea of machismo lays as a huge obstacle to the success of women’s rights movements in the southern half of the americas. With Mexico City legalizing abortion it is a good step to breaking down the discriminatory, degradative part of machismo. It’s nice to see women finally getting some respect and it’s nice to see the church being kept separate from the state.

  7. I am really glad to hear that Mexico City has allowed abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Mexico City is taking an incredibly important step in the right direction, and hopefully other countries will join them. I do question whether or not many others will join them because of the strong influence the Catholic church has on Latin America. If they do adopt such a policy change, it won’t be for a while. They need more time to modernize and to take care of their economy before they will entertain the idea of abortion. But overall, I think it’s great that Mexico City has provided women with more options when they are pregnant, and hopefully those in other Latin American countries will stand up for a woman’s right to choose.

  8. […] 4.  a response to a comment on one of my own blogs […]

  9. […] 5.  Social Globalization Comment […]

  10. In patriarchal societies, women often are subordinate to men because of the social structure. When men are primarily in control of money in a patriarchial society, women lose the ground to voice their opinions and protect their rights, which include personal decisions such as early-pregnancy abortions. The Roman Catholic church is an institution whose decision and policy makers are mostly men. When the American colonists did not want to pay taxes to England because they lacked representation in Parliament, they decided to become independent and assert their own rights. Perhaps men and women in Mexico are also desirous of greater representation of their own pro-choice beliefs, despite the institutionalized narrow values disseminated by the Catholic church. Indeed, a democratic state such as Mexico should base its laws on the desires of its people. In this way, the community of Mexican men and women who believe in pro-choice have furthered the fundamental democratic and liberal value of freedom. And most definitely, a remote cause of the passing of this law is the globalization of Western values by the mass-media, internet, human migration, and economic integration. Men and women are all starting to turn their heads in the same direction, to the future, where society is built from the bottom-up.

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