May 16, 2006

The homosexuality discussion; and our blatantly latent society!

Western societies are maturing with their endeavor of establishing a flexible & capacitating set of social norms & standards to the point that organizations are now not only defending the rights of homosexuals (or more inflammably: GLBT), but also the right of the latter to choose to revert back to their (I can’t help but say it) instinctual heterosexual (normal) status!

In the meantime, at this defeated part of the world, we still seem to be dragged into following the same progression route of western societies when dealing with this issue! That is to say to start with a total oblivious tabooing of the issue, while it’s a reoccurring phenomenon in all societies across time is an established fact even in Holy Scriptures!

Then you got groups forming to defend the rights of homosexuals capitalizing on the rising liberal environment throughout the 19th & 20th centuries, declassifying it as a psychiatric illness, to the point of total embracement (if not celebration) of homosexuality while proving its normalcy (it’s Oh-my genetic you know! So does cheating-on-one’s-wife as they say too).

Finally, & as you may expect from any society sincerely seeking social justice & equilibrium, they arrived to the conclusive underlying fact that homosexuality (whether genetically triggered or not) is like any other “lifestyle”, a matter of choice that (within the context of social justice in such societies) shouldn’t be condemned nor judged or segregated against, hence the flourishing of groups trying to help existing homosexuals who suddenly find themselves inclined towards the other sex (Again, I can’t help but saying) as they should!

So while people out there are choosing (replace with “discovering” if you are soft on the subject) that they are gay & others are discovering that they no longer fancy same-sex mates & struggle to come out of their new closet… Here at this oblivious part of the world, we choose to follow the same road pathetically.

Be it the backward-minded “religious” folks who view homosexuality as a product of the west (will, the hype around it definitely is, but that’s another story altogether) to the out-right liberal who think we should “learn” from the west how to embrace homosexuality with love & respect… the whole spectrum of opinions got it all but too wrong in my humble perspective because they fail to cherish the very fact that we could possibly have a different case.

Take for instance the Arabic (English speaking/written ones as well) media, chiefly the numerous satellite channels, they all approach homosexuality among other topics as an opportunity to be the lucratively first Arabic media outlet to break this into the public awareness & discuss it… now this is good at face value, but the methodology is what counts!

I have yet to witness a sincere attempt to put this subject in a unhyped & sincere format that tackles the subject without the viewership-ratings/magazine-sales boosting drama...

I’m all for taboo breaking & the exposing of our society for the illnesses it truly harbors in order for it to be remedied, but the hurtful fact is that even when we decide to discuss such matters, we erratically pick it up from where others have left the subject without any measure of scrutiny if they (the west in this case) have gotten it right to start with!

Why can’t we start something new despite our total cultural defeat, why don’t we dismiss the fad, hype, commercial exploitation & other aspects that surrounds sexuality in general & homosexuality in specific & isolate the matter in order to eruditely discuss it & come out with something that is fit for our oblivious society!

Sexuality is way too exploited in the west that even some chose an asexual “lifestyle”, reminding me of the Arabic proverb
"بدك اتحيرو خيرو"
; it’s all a matter of “lifestyles” after all, isn’t it? The freedom to decide on the “lifestyle” that perfectly fits one's idea of “individualism”...

Within such context, it really makes no difference when a man (because of the gay genes, sick, frustrated or for whatever reason) start “feeling attracted” to other men, (can’t help but rubbing it) young kids or a rare Mongolian chimpanzee, it’s all about the quest for the ultimate sexual satisfaction… All I’m trying to say is that the issue surpasses homosexuality and onto the way love, relationship , family, sexuality among other things is valued (or devalued for those matters) & dealt with accordingly.

Homosexuality in our societies varies distinctly from that in the west, of course the openness of western societies & their gracious ability to be capacitating (generally speaking) makes it easier for every passing mental wimp to turn one into a homosexual, yet over here the case is different, there are in general intrinsically solid reasons for this phenomenon, beside the natural reoccurrence of it, & other than being a spoiled rich kid from western Amman who’s trying to identify him/herself with the stereotypical conception of how one should be gay who must suffer oppression & seeks endorsement from the harsh society!

My fiancée is studying anthropology, my envy to her only matches my enthusiasm for what I can learn from her, as I wish I can systematically identify & categorize the trends in our society, though I can guesstimate-ly think of few now; such as limited access to the other sex (chiefly in Saudi) where the total segregation between genders intrigues individual (though perfectly comfortable with being heterosexual) to take the roll of the other sex in some circles to vent out some of the steam… I can hear deluded-into-feeling-well-informed folks shouting “Oh, but that’s called bisexuality or roll-playing”… BS… we don’t need to be conformed to the same set of labels & diagnosis.

I can also think of a kid going “soft” in the classical setup of an authoritarian father who conjugate his manhood with his masculinity in a house full of women (the mother & a half dozen of sisters) in which the poor little kid seeks refuge in the more appealing & definitely comforting feminine surrounding.

(I’ll say it on your behalf:) this is at best an unverified speculation spoken beyond the realm of established facts, yet what I’m trying to establish here is that we don’t need to vividly mimic homosexuality in our society & deal with it the same way others dealt with it!

We must certainly do the same in terms of acknowledging the fact it exist among us, but rather be empathically capacitating (yes, I too still they’re still humans) but without being acceptingly embracing (major difference) & then see how the matter can be eradicated or lived-with until it eventually dies off or get ridiculed to the proportion it fits.

Even the hyped & tabooed nature of the homosexuality discussion in our region is mimicked, liberals & open-minded folks think they made a rub-it-in-your-face achievement when they break the replicated silence around such topics, little do they know that the matter has been comfrotebly dealt with throughout our civilization in all sort of ways (from the the total acceptance to the out-right criminalizing), but alas… even obliviousness strikes the self-acclaimed open-minded of us.

What I’m advocating for here is to look at the matter from an alternative perspective, have a sense of falsification while blindly orienting ourselves with both how we identify sexuality & how we deal with it as the "west" did!

A quick disclaimers here, I sincerely believe that those choosing to orient themselves as homosexuals are normal people behaving abnormally (whether sexually active or mere tendencies only), they're no different from a perfectly sane man cheating on his wife or addicted to smoking! But definitely I cannot differentiate between the sexual & mental build-up that leads to any abnormal sexual activity or behavior, be it asexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, try-sexuality (if such thing exist), incest-sex, pedophilia or having sex with animals…


madas said...

Very interesting article. I am an anthropologist too, and one of the researches i have done was about homosexual men who are muslims and how they deal and balance between the two. It honestly was an eye opener :) I recently discovered in life there is no one formula that works, not for families, or marriage or friendship or even sexuality. Human beings are simply so different from each other and this is why there are indifinite number of options for anything...

The point is maybe homosexuality is an expected "deviation" even if we think it is abnormal? especially as you say, it has exited for thousand of years in a world where abnormality could not survive...( the law of the jungle... anyway... you gave me a lot to think about.

Anonymous said...

I have to congratulate you for really addressing the underlying issue, and not at just face value. It is true that the rights of homo-sexuals, as well as many other groups that we, in our limited-on-tolerance society, consider taboo, are being accommodated and actually accounted for.

Nevertheless, it is important to take into consideration that homosexuality in our society is merely a fad, a trend, a fashion. As we say, there is no smoke without fire. If we as people do not see in our society a certain type of behavior, being a taboo or not, it is very hard for us to develop it instinctively, but rather we adopt it, just like we have adopted many other fads or trends from "western" societies.
I guess there are cases where it is genetically defined, but for the most part, in my humble view, and I am not even close to being an anthropologist, I see it is just a fad that is destined to fade away with time, although there will always be the risiduals that are people who have developed the pure conviction of homosexuality, and you know what, they will always be a part of our society, and we might as well accept them and accommodate them. afterall, this is their private life, and I do not see it affecting my day-to-day life in any way, but we should always expect that sooner than later, my colleague at any point in life will be a homosexual. This subject is no longer a taboo. They are there, but we as a society are not ready to accept them openly, and we still have insecurities about them, as we do not know them. we have not had the experience. My education abroad has exposed me to all kinds of lifestyles of which were gay, lesbian, etc... All it requires is to look at them as people, and accept them as so without prejudice due to their preferences. If we can do that, and not just a minority, we are ready, but until then, any kind of lifestyle that is inconsistent with the "local norms" will be treated as outcast, abnormal, or otherwise persecuted.

Anonymous said...

I am not gay, and when i thought of the subject i came with what follows amazingly!!!

I always admired the gay fashion; I also was very supportive to them.
Gays liked me, and I like how they liked me, they have something nice in souls
The fact that a high percent of gays are smart dropped the idea in my head that they are stupid.
They are either disbelievers or believe in god’s mercy that always comes before his anger and trust their sole instinct.
I believe they are not looking for answers as they consulted their hearts before consulting everybody.
Westerns are dealing with the issue in a very respectful manner and gays are the saints of the 20th century.

Could it be!!!


Natalia said...

Wow, I thought you'd get a bunch of hate coming your way in the comments section after posting something like this. Good job.

Anonymous said...

Basem !!! i am kind of sorry for my previous comments, it only reflects an involuntary response that i narrate sometimes into logic :)

I hope it will not be misunderstood.

we are thinking of developing an online petition directed to Jordan government. but it needs a
lot of info, and first to know if any1 gives damn anyways! and look for a suitable name for the petition, not just legalize it, dicriminalize or somethn, i donno, i did the first step! i guess what we need to know, is if the jordanian government cares about online petitions! :)


Anonymous said...

The Petition will be about drugs and classification of drugs and the suitable corresponding criminal punishment, and if some drugs don't deserve punishment in the first place.

Tell me if u r interested, if not i will try to look for someone else, maybe myself do it.


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