This is a really great post by Independent Radical deconstructing cultural relativism and showing not only how it’s really racist at its core, but also how individualism prevents us from detecting patterns in other cultures that we can clearly see in our own. Highly recommended reading.
In order to defend practices such as burqa-wearing and female genital mutilation, cultural relativists represent such practices as a natural part of non-Western cultures. Cultural relativists would have us all believe that Arab women have been wearing burqas since the beginning of time. In reality, the Arab world was once the site of intellectual progress and religious tolerance, at least compared to medieval Europe (in which strict adherence to Catholicism was insisted upon.) As I said above, class divided societies tend to have cultures and ideologies that reinforce the status quo and these cultures ought to be critiqued on that basis. The Arabic world of the middle ages should not be exempt from such critique, but the religious extremism and violent misogyny of some Islamic countries in the modern era is at least in part due to the policies of the West. It is not purely a product of traditional Arabic or Muslim culture.