Based on all the interesting comments I received on the blog post about Sexual harassment in the age of Twitter I have put together this mind map. The map shows all your thoughts about what the causes might be for sexual harassment in Jordan.
It seems to be going in two directions:
One way is leading to the patriarchal societal structure in Jordan where boys and girls are segregated in schools from a very young age. This means that boys and girls don’t become friends, and therefore don’t know how to behave towards each other, and that boys rarely meet female authority figures. The segregation continues in some ways in to adulthood with men only cafes, young boys not being allowed in to restaurants, clubs and the like plus gender separated gyms, salons and so on.
Another way is leading towards hardcore topics such as religion and culture and the fact that sex and even talking about sex is not allowed within this framework. Because the topic is taboo there is so much tension connected to it and it becomes even more interesting because “we want what we can’t have” (or because feeling sexual desire is a natural thing for all human beings if you ask me).
So this was your input – now what do we do about it?
I believe all of the points are connected and one thing leads to another. A continuous circle. Boys and girls are separated in school, they don’t become friends, they don’t know how to behave towards each other, young boys are excluded from public areas, harassment happens and that gives everyone even more reason to keep up the segregation of the genders!
So where to start? Where and how do we break the circle?