Keywords: cultural defense - feminist theories - cultural identities - patriarchial societies - human rights.
The article analyses the use of cultural defense for crimes related to violence against women at the light of transnational and postcolonial feminist theories. It explains how in such instances there is a risk of over-simplifying what constitutes the culture of non Western countries, especially the Muslim ones. Such a representation is based on a false opposition between Western countries, supposedly respectful of women's rights, and Muslim countries as patriarchal. Such opposition does not take into account the current evolutions that Muslim societies are going through, as well as the presence of harsh conflicts between liberal and fundamentalist forces within those same countries. It also does not consider the persistence of a patriarchal culture in Western countries, in particular in Italy.