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Multicultural inappropriateness…

18 January, 2008

Regular readers to this blog will know what I do for a living, but for those that don’t, I’ll briefly explain. The majority of my job involves teaching literacy to adults aged 18 to 60 years of age of various levels of ability, from those who can’t manage their own names to those that are more advanced and are at college level.

The people that I deal with are also from various backgrounds, deprived, disadvantaged or disengaged from education. I also deal with migrants and refugees from all over the world, from as far away as the Ukraine to some countries in South America.

Part of the myriad things that I have to deal with are conflicts due to multicultural differences, these can range from intolerance, to ignorance and just plain prejudice. Over the years, I’ve resolved more conflicts and dealt with more incidents than I care to remember, but, sometimes even I’m surprised.

Discussions about sex and sexual acts are not normally tolerated, unless the discussion is part of a sexual health session. We have to consider that the people with whom we work are from various faiths and cultures where matters of a sexual nature are not openly discussed and offence may be taken at such topics of conversation.

This morning I had to break up a gaggle of middle aged Muslim women who were discussing oral sex, quite openly and loudly. I’m not a prude, nor am I usually prone to blushing, however even I flushed at the tone of the conversation.

It’s a shame I had to end their discussion in the classroom, it was healthy, especially for women who haven’t had the freedom to be able to discuss these matters openly before. I didn’t stop them entirely…I just moved them into a smaller room so they were able to to carry on their conversations and not be overheard nor interrupted.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 16 February, 2008 8:35 PM

    Why exactly would you assume that just because they are muslim women they didn’t have the freedom to discuss oral sex openly before? I live in a muslim-dominant country, a third-world country if your wondering, and i see people, boys and girls, talking about sex openly, muslims, christians and even atheists.

    Mike Says:- In my experience, muslim women have never discussed sex openly in the presence of men. I have dealt with a lot over the years and it’s something that has never happened. Most of the women I have dealt with have expressed concern at even being in the same classroom as men. It’s been their attitude, not mine. Which is why I found it refreshing.

  2. 19 January, 2008 12:58 AM

    Now THAT’s the kind of interesting story you don’t hear every day. What a glorious twist that it was Muslim women doing the discussing.
    Though you probably won’t read this comment anyway – you’ll be the yellow blur driving all over Yorkshire this weekend.

    Mike Says:-…and indeed I was, I haven’t stopped driving all weekend it’s been glorious, my old car had had it and I’d completely lost confidence in its ability to get me where I wanted to be without breaking down, even though it was less than 3 years old! Ms Lemon is a pleasure to drive, I feel liberated again!

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