A public display of affection is the physical demonstration of affection for another person while in the view of others. Often PDA is demonstrated in the form of holding hands or kissing publicly, while holding hands is considered acceptable in Jordan, kissing is not very acceptable and is objectionable almost everywhere except in places like bars, and nightclubs. PDA is greatly contextual and regional, what is considered inappropriate in Jordan could be in fact very acceptable in Lebanon.
In Jordan, we suffer from a variety of mental and emotional disorders, in the form of hypocrisy, identity crisis, lack of self-confidence and self-fulfillment; let me explain, couples in relationships certainly get intimate at times, since most of Jordanian young adults and youth are in fact in relationships, I find it very sick that people look down on people displaying the smallest bit of affection in public, I’m not really saying that it is okay for couples to french kiss and make out in public, I’m just saying that being close, holding hands, kissing in front of people is not a big deal.
I think it all comes down to the way girls and boys are raised, with parents who barely show any affection towards each other, kids grow up feeling that it is something shameful that shouldn’t be demonstrated in public, a man is less than a man if he shows affection towards the woman he loves, a woman is a bitch for showing affection towards the man she loves.
In terms of identity crisis, us Jordanians, we like to observe what other cultures do, we like imitating without really thinking, we want to be open-minded and we do pretend to be open-minded -when we’re trying to impress- but then, when we’re with people who know us well, our families, friends, colleagues we feel safe, and we feel that we’re entitled to judge others, for actually feeling secure about themselves, their sexual and emotional desires, for displaying some affection towards each other.
So how come affections, physical attraction, and sex are taboos that we should never discuss? Why do we believe that if we ignore a certain subject, it will go away on its own, like homosexuality in Jordan “oh crap! gays at books@cafe? let’s just publish an article, a press release, bash and trash for a day then it will all be forgotten.” Hello! homosexuality is not always a choice, there are different issues, reasons, consequences that should be tackled and discussed. How come that despite the fact that every single person had watched porn at least once in their lives, we still wouldn’t discuss it in public? This conservative view towards these topics is what the problem precisely is, teenagers who are uneducated about safe sex, teenagers with great misconceptions about sex, porn being the sole source of information where teenagers learn about sexuality, discussing sexuality with fellow teenagers who have greater misconceptions about sex.
It is certainly essential that we allow teenagers to understand about sex from reliable sources, not porn, the internet, or their fellow friends with similar misconceptions. We need to relax, chill and embrace our children’s sexuality and curiosity. I have the following questions that need answers:
– Shouldn’t girls and boys be taught about sex?
– Is it the best policy to only warn girls and boys about sex? for instance would teenagers learn how to drive safe if we only warn them about car crashes?
– Should we teach girls and boys about sexual pleasure?
– Should mothers explain masturbation to their daughters as they mature?
Sexuality, affection, emotional maturity are all important aspects of human development that shouldn’t be left vague and unexplained, they are not secrets and taboos that shouldn’t be discussed or displayed in public, affection between parents teaches children bonding, teaches them to be affectionate and confident adults, makes them more secure about the relationships in their families. I do believe that getting over this meaningless shamefulness of emotions and sexuality will bring us to a better state.
— On a similar note, Farida Farouk Talks About Sex in an Islamic flavor and discusses the importance of sexual education.