Originally Posted by ElCapitanAmerica
Is it possible that the intensity/frequency of catcalling is culturally based?
I have a different opinion on this. This... isn't a simple question to answer. While I admit that the answer tends to slide towards racism, or anti-theism (like it has in this very thread - and anti-theism is considered just as politically incorrect as, if not more than, racism in several parts of the world), the fact still remains that the prevalence of gender-based discrimination is correlated with culture.
I think the distinction that we have to make here is this - no one section of the population is genetically predisposed towards sexism than another.
Cultural enablers for sexism, on the other hand, do exist, IMO.
Indeed, what is the difference between religion - that some of you so virulently oppose - and culture, really? Both endorse a common set of values, of expected behaviors from people in general; gender expectations, treatment of people along various sections of the social rung etc. are all a part and parcel of one's culture (just as you think they are a part of certain religions), right?
However, there is one crucial difference between religion and culture - the former is relatively rigid (though religion has changed over the years, especially in the more "moderate" spheres), while the latter is considered fluid and is subject to change (often drastic, in some cases). So, the key thing to remember, I suppose is that a culture can change, given time as well as internal and extraneous influences.
I'll take my own culture as an example - in Indian Hindu culture (and this is where the line between religion and culture gets really, really blurry), gender-based discrimination was once extremely prevalent. I'll cite a single horrendous practice - widow burning (sati) was a frequent occurrence. But the statistics have changed drastically in recent times and widow-burning is now considered a freak occurrence (there is still the problem of people revering the practice as a historical symbol of womanly chastity - but I believe that's being rooted out as well).
But the culture still is Indian Hindu culture - certain traditions and practices have changed drastically, but we still identify with the same cultural label.
That's a crucial point - cultural enablers may exist that support sexism (which probably means that certain cultures may show more support for sexist behaviors than others... or, to be more politically correct, certain cultures may not chastise sexist behavior as vehemently as certain other cultures), but they can be wiped out within the confines of that same culture. That is a crucial part of this conversation about culture and sexism, I think.
However, I don't think that means a person belonging to a certain cultural group or geographical region should feel innately inferior or something - like I said, cultures do change, and have changed over the years.