Friday, December 13, 2013

Blog 11

In  a way, I think there is a sort of uncomfortable inconsistency between the way we accommodate middle-eastern students’ views/expectations of women and yet we say that we have zero tolerance for discrimination. Considering the example about a racist student from the South doing a study abroad in England being tutored by a black student, I personally don’t think his beliefs should be respected or accommodated. It sets a precedent that says it is okay to treat people differently because of their race/their gender/their orientation/their religion. If every white student were to refuse being tutored by this black student, it’s likely that he would soon be out of a job. It is shallow and superficial to assume that a person’s physicality (skin color, gender, disability, etc.) has anything to do with their personality or intellectual capacity.

 That said, when it comes to accommodating any middle-eastern student who disdainfully believes there is nothing a woman could possibly teach him, he should be given the polite equivalent of ‘suck it up cupcake’, and be invited to join the next available tutor (be it a man or a woman), or be asked to leave. Cultural values should be respected – to an extent. Westerners who visit Middle Eastern countries (especially religious sites) are expected to dress and behave in a manner that is respectful to the local culture. This expectation should work both ways, meaning that Middle Easterners who visit the West should expect to align themselves with our local culture and treat women respectfully, the same as men, since emphasis on individuality and equality are a huge part of America’s culture.


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