Women experiences in different ethnic contexts are nowadays a focus of scientific and academic interest due to the fact that they represent a totally different reality and culture. The article by Harjo describes the life of a young Cherokee girl, who got married at her teen age, but her husband left her, so the young woman was supposed to earn her own and her child’s living on her own. Finally, she managed to continue her education at the university. Sharing her experience, the woman states that in the 20s, there existed a huge inequality between ethnic groups, in particular, in the sphere of healthcare.
For instance, her father was born at the private hospital, whereas her grandfather delivered her mother in the small home, being surrounded by her household. Although her parents were satisfied with the introduction of insurance and with the opportunity of institutionalized health care, Harjo herself was critical about this system, as when her daughter was having labors, she received excessive amounts of medications like painkillers, whereas Harjo as a representative of Native Americans wished a more natural process for her daughter.
Lora Jo Foo in the article about domestic violence against women in Asian American culture. She explains this negative social issue through the following points: the lack of individual space and “spatial tension”, police unwillingness to respond to the calls and the absence of services for the battered women, who need to ensure abuse only because they have no alternatives in terms of shelter. The existing legislation and restrictions, placed upon the welfare for immigrants also contribute to the stability and persistence of the issue.
The major factor of such a wide spread is the acceptance of such behavior in cross-gender relationships: “Among Korean respondents, 29% (the highest percentage among the five ethnic groups surveyed) felt that a battered woman should not tell anyone” (Jo Foo, p. 278). The narrative by A. Filemyr describes an African American household, which accepted a white woman, owing to the head of the family, Granny Hall. In addition, the family also had Blackfoot roots, so the author recollects pagan practices, used by the great-grandmother.
The author herself was very committed to this family, but nobody perceived her as a relative or a part of the household, even though she cared about her African American friend’s son just like mother. The author expresses dissatisfaction with the social upbringing and socialization of African American children, who, on the one hand, learn that affluence is a major value, but is not entitled enough to achieve this success.
As for me, multiculturalist approach should be taken not merely to psychology and counseling, but also to law enforcement as well as social policy in general, as ethnic minorities, due to the comparatively poorer access to information and, correspondingly, the poorer knowledge of their rights and freedoms, often prefer to avoid intervening into their own life situations, associated, for instance, with dissatisfactory health care of domestic violence.
Nowadays, it is difficult, from the position of a typical American, to understand the individuals who wouldn’t like to change their life, but responding to such critics, I would like to share my childhood experience. When I was a child, I lived not far from Asian American community and I can remember a woman, who always had bruises because her husband battered her heavily. My mother thus recommended that she went to police or center for the victims of domestic violence. When listening, the woman nodded, but finally said that she would become an outcast in her community and lose the connection to her native land and cultural roots.
Nevertheless, in my opinion, woman should act as diplomats in the process of normalization of cross-cultural relations, A. Filemyr’s experience demonstrates that interpersonal and international borders can be easily eliminated by woman.
Filemyr, A. (1995). “Loving Across the Boundary”, pp. 312-319. Harjo, J. (1991). “Three Generations of Native American Women’s Birth Experience”, pp. 218-221. Jo Foo, L. “Domestic Violence and Asian American Women”, pp. 273-279