My cousin’s daughter is smart. She recently summed a deeply rooted societal problem in few words. The little girl is relatively chubby and her mom, my cousin, keeps giving her remarks on her weight and looks. At one point, she responded: “Don’t you see that you are fat too! Plus, you are the one who keep feeding me all the time!”
Hypocrisy is the first word that came to my mind when I first saw this headline: “Morocco teens held for kissing photo on Facebook”. As mentioned in the story, the teen couple was “held for violating public decency.” For those who live in the Arab world, this is a well-known misdemeanor. And personally, as a citizen, I’m totally with maintaining public decency. But wait: is the sight of two teens kissing in public an act that actually violates public decency? I feel like I have been fooled for my entire life!
My teenage years were during the nineties, those days when our lives revolved around the TV schedule. We were based in a Gulf state and in the summer vacation we used to spend time Egypt. In both “Arab countries,” where kissing in public is unlawful, the few TV channels that were available back then (state-run channels) had daily Arab movies (mainly Egyptian) on their schedules, and *surprise surprise* kissing scenes were a must in any romantic story. As a teen, the message that I got from these films was: it is completely okay for couples to kiss in public as long as they are in love.
BUT, society is always there to confuse us. The very same states that shower us with such romantic scenes on a daily basis consider these acts violations to public decency if practiced by the citizens. Well, I’m sorry to tell you that your laws are not helping in preserving your idea of “public decency,” for we are human beings and learning by imitation is inevitable! As the few lines of the above story highlighted, “Others accuse society of hypocrisy for castigating a young couple for copying what they see on TV.” Some might argue that this generation is an “online generation” and TV is not as influential, hence no state control is practiced any more over the content to which a teenager is exposed. Again, such scenes are not met with the same social disapproval when they are on the screen. What happens on the screens stays on the screens. Try to convince a teenager with this rationale.
Before leaving this story, a vital question emerges: What really are the acts that violate public decency? [Read more...]