Culture Gap

This week I found myself in communication with three Algerian students, currently attending university in Algeria. My contact with them regards a joint project that I will be completing with them, their team working from Algeria and my time (myself and two others) working from America. Our goal once we are finished is to examine the cultural gaps and differences and how those differences affect our work as a team. Upon opening my first email from the Algerian team, I found that the names of these people were completely, for lack of better words, foreign to me. I was unable to decipher which of the Algerian students were male and female. While communicating with the leader of the Algerian team, I found myself automatically assuming them to be male. As we have not video-conferenced with them yet I had absolutely no idea the sex of this person, but in my mind had already assigned to them a major piece of their identity. This struck me immediately. I had knowingly, walked into this relationship with these three Algerians, understanding that they come from a more sexist culture than I had. I weighed the overt sexims that exists in Algeria, over the covert sexism that is experienced in American society, sexism that I found myself contributing to.

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