What is Cultural Globalization?
This portion of the website is dedicated to the discussion of cultural globalization–the spreading of a cultural belief, value, or ideal from nation to nation through word of mouth, writing, artistic expression, and other means of communication. The cultural value we will be focusing on here is homophobia, also called hetero-sexism, in Uganda.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill
This bill was proposed in 2009 by David Bahati,
a member of the Ugandan Parliament. If passed,
it would make the following acts punishable by
death–having homosexual intercourse with a
minor, having homosexual sex when you are
infected with HIV, and having repeated
homosexual intercourse. It was shelved in May
of 2011, but was brought back in February of
this year. It is unclear how the Ugandan
government will vote on this bill or whether the
bill will be altered by removing the death penalty.
The Roots of Heterosexism
The history of Africa does not include the condemnation of homosexuals as some may suggest, in fact, there are historical accounts of homosexuality and alternative gender roles in different African communities throughout the years. However, with the influence of Christian and Islamic missionaries, African communities began criticizing and stigmatizing the LGBTQ community. These missionaries acted as forces of cultural globalization, spreading homophobia across cultures. This global prejudice is so prevalent that 37 African countries have outlawed homosexuality.
Why is This an Alternative to Globalization?
As mentioned above, we are looking at the globalization of homophobia. While homophobia is being spread, there are forces working against this prejudice to slow the globalization. We will now look specifically at the anti-homosexual legislation in Uganda through the lens of political power. Countries like Sweden, the UK, and the United States have all threatened to cut financial aid to Uganda due to the severity of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. By attempting to quell the spread of homophobia, these political forces are proposing alternatives to the globalized value of hetero-sexism. They are showing us that there are other options than conforming to the cross-cultural value of hatred.