Cut from a Different Cloth Response

Cut from a Different Cloth attempts to look at Afghan culture and offer a view into their world and beliefs. The film offers a very western look at how women cover themselves and does not make an adequate attempt to understand why women participate in this aspect of their culture. The film seems insensitive at times and could have been filmed in a way that allows for the opinions of the filmmakers to come through while also giving a deeper explanation of their beliefs.

Even though the film did seem insensitive at times, it was interesting to watch because I do not know a lot about Afghan culture. It was surprising to me how much responsibility the women of the family have to not shame their families. Also, how easy it seems like it is to shame the family and how women are punished for doing things that are not approved of. While I watched the film, I felt angry for these women because from my viewpoint, the men enforce certain ideals and religious beliefs yet they have no idea where in the Qu’ran they came from. However, I know that I do not have a full understanding of their culture and should try not to make such judgments. Also, this occurs frequently in other cultures and religions as well; people often do not read religious texts and simply follow the leaders of the religion.

The woman who lives with the Afghan family does not seem to try to understand their customs very much and acts disrespectfully when she is wearing the burqa. While I cannot say for sure how I would act, I would like to think I would have at least tried to understand why they participate in these customs and shown those customs more respect. Also, they did not really seem to talk about how some women feel empowered when they wear a burqa or hijab. This shows the western viewpoint of the film because it is likely hard for many westerners to see how this could be the case.

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One response to “Cut from a Different Cloth Response

  1. I agree with what you brought up regarding how people of other religions also choose to follow their own religion and gain what they know & believe in their religion from other people. This is a good point because it’s easy to judge the people of Afghan culture we saw in the film for just trusting their religious leaders about what their Holy Book says without having read it themselves, yet if we turn the lens on our own culture here in America, I think this is sometimes the case here too. There are many Americans who are Christians who haven’t read the entire Bible. They get their information from what is preached at Church and they hear lines from the Bible from Church & from family members, etc. They too are getting what they believe about their religion from religious leaders such as Priests, Pastors, etc. We don’t look down on anybody who hasn’t read the entire Bible; in fact it is seen as a special and honorable thing if a person does actually read the Bible. So, in reality, the practices of many people here in America are not very different from those of the Afghan people who rely on religious leaders for their religious beliefs and information. We may judge & view it as being somehow more dangerous in Afghan culture because the information they receive causes more restriction on the way people live their lives than in may in our culture, but it’s important to remember that this is their culture & this is what they are taught to believe, and that’s really no different than children here in America being brought up to believe in certain religious beliefs based on what their parents & church leaders pass on to them. This really reminds me to always remember that everything is relative! There are definitely similarities in the ways people gain information about their religion & are influenced by religious leaders in many cultures–it just so happens that the religious beliefs vary, and so we may judge how some people get their information as somehow more ‘dangerous’ when it’s a religion that we judge/view to be more restrictive. It’s important to remember that the ways of influencing younger generations through religion are similar in many cultures, and we can’t automatically negatively judge people from another religion for getting their information through religious leaders (rather than reading their Holy Book) just because we view their religious beliefs as more restrictive, because many religions pass on their beliefs in this way.

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