I try to educate others and myself, on cultural awareness issues, through the publishing of weekly cultural tips. I recently posted a tip on working with Israeli Orthodox Jews and the exchange of business cards (see below). Interestingly enough, I received a letter by a professional female in direct opposition of my tip. This individual was extremely offended. I am sharing her anonymous letter as an educational moment. I flash back to the quote, “You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all the time” (Abraham Lincoln).
Do bigots actually live and thrive in today’s American and/or global society? It appears some cultures are not afforded the same rights as others. We are asked to be accepting of all, but it appears that the all is minus more than half of the worlds population (54% or 3 billion plus) the Jew, the Christian, and the Moslem.
Take away: Tolerance is for all, not some. This goes back to a simple policy of “Disagree and Commit.” We don’t have to like everything, but some things are cultural and not ours to change.
My Cultural Tip: If working in or visiting
I want to let you know that I found the latest Cultural Tip, extremely offensive.
Yes, it may not be culturally acceptable for Orthodox Jews to accept a business card handed directly to them from a woman. However, I used to work for the American Jewish Committee in
I would appreciate an extension of cultural sensitivity to the women working here.
This is my response:
Correct me if I am wrong, but I draw a conclusion of ethnocentrism and bigotry.
The tips are taken directly from a world source leader in global communication and cultural know-how. The cultural tips are definitely not meant to offend, but rather to bring about awareness of difference and hopefully, tolerance of another's customs and beliefs (right or wrong). As I have offended you, I apologize for the offense you have taken on the Working with
Here is what I wanted to ask but didn't: Would it be better if women wore buttons to announce their monthly cycle, I think not. What is the answer?
Take Note: In a great cultural book called "Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands, states, "
A recent real life example: Today (July, 24, 2006) I attended an EEO/Diversity forum where a female Air Force Academy graduate and a U2 pilot discussed her feelings of being forced to wear the burka and the inability to drive a car alone in a Middle Eastern country. When I personally served in the military internationally, many of my female peers were put into the same uncomfortable cultural situation. Women are not afforded the choice of wearing the burka if they desire to leave the compound. Many times my women peers were offended, but they adhered to the cultural guidelines if they went off site.
Back to your response, in the
Thanks for your feedback,
MikePlease write and post a comment as I love dialogue!