That was such a great statement from this entry on the Global Sociology Blog that I thought it deserved more exposure.
There is no such thing as “tradition” understood as long standing practice, so deeply and objectively embedded in the culture that it cannot be extirpated without great damage to society and disturbance. The reality is less dramatic: traditions are narratives that justify power arrangements, especially of patriarchal nature. These are socially and discursively constructed devices designed to protect hierarchies and oppression from questioning and social change. To invoke tradition is to us it as a joker card that shuts down discussion and gives the holder an automatic win in favor of maintaining the status quo.