Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Blog 11: Unexpected Racism/Sexism

The question "Is there an inconsistency in the way we treat international students' expectations of women and the way we might treat sexism or racism?" gave me quite a bit to think about.  I was having this discussion the other day, and I'm pretty sure they started it due to this blog post.   I don't know if I would expect of feel entitled to special treatment if I were to travel to a foreign country.  My culture, though, does not punish me for disobeying the cultural norms.  From my interactions with another tutor who has a repeat-tutee from Saudi Arabia, she informed him that if she is caught disobeying cultural norms, not wearing a burka in public, she can be mocked and ridiculed when she gets back to her country.

So I guess to answer the question, do I think there is an inconsistency or double standard, is yes. I do think there is one.  But I don't see it as a problem, to a certain extent.  We are lenient when students want things we can provide within reason.  If a tutee requests a certain tutor because they have a good working relationship, we make it happen.  Sometimes the tutee has to wait for that want to be met.  If a tutee wants a certain gender of tutor for social or cultural reasons, we try to comply.  But again, sometimes they may have to wait to meet their want.  I think as long as the service we provide to international students is the same service we would provide to other students, we should have no problem.  


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