The things that people do in service to their personal god amazes me. The extent to which they insist that I go along with it makes even less sense.
Take the whole issue of birth control. My GOD, why should women get it for free? Why should women get a leg up on men in a Western Country in 2012? Why is it so controversial? Basic reproductive medicines should be free and included in any health care plan. It’s just about the majority of people on the planet — the country — any place you look — there are more women than men.
BUT, religion comes into play and far too many women just let it go.
Today was a turning point for me in one group.
I have friends in Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Lebanon, Libya, Jordan, Syria, and have for many years. I’ve even dealt with the ridiculous influx of Saudis. But today I had a child refuse to touch me. A simple high-five to reward his good work was something he couldn’t countenance.
From now on, I will not let any Saudi male touch anything of mine. I will make them stay away from me and anything of my work.
There are some who still apologize for Saudi behavior, but I for one do not have to take it. I will teach my classes as I always have, which has worked for every other group from every other country on the planet. (And yes, I have taught outside of the U.S.)
As I told the Saudi who refused to give me a high-five for his good work — you are in my home.
In my home, your celebrate good work with a high-five. I don’t have to take into consideration your inexplicable obsession about some god micro-managing your every move.
CLUE BAT: Your God has better things to do.
Update: A Saudi student who was absent the day this happened came up to me the following day (yesterday) and made a point to not only touch my arm, but hold on to it and tell me that not every one of them feel the same. I told him that the student who had such a problem with touching me should apologize, that what happened was disrespectful and rude.
Later, the same student came by my office and asked to kiss my head. It was very touching and makes me tear up even now. He told me that he had told the other student to act like a Texas man or get his ass back to Saudi Arabia.
There is hope.
Today, we had a good class. The material in the book allowed me to show them this: President Obama and Michelle Obama signing. When I played the first video, there was a bit of “Oh, Obama” but I moved it forward to Stephon. They couldn’t understand him, but I had printed out Stephon’s translation, so I gave it to them, and showed them both clips again. Then I showed them the ASL alphabet and then the video of Michelle Obama. They could see her sign “I” and it was on. We watched the video of her several times and they all tried to guess what she was signing (it’s really fast!) We signed simple words to each other throughout the class.
It was a really good class. Guess who was absent?