In the Arab world there are things you must not challenge through words or actions, three topics that are black and white: politics, religion and sex. But take a look closely, those topics aren’t that black and white, they’re not as separate as everyone thinks they are, they’re interconnected and shades of grey. Look at sex, it is part of a political, religious and social/cultural thought. But this taboo topic is a good root for studying society, what goes on behind closed bedroom doors is reflected by forces on a bigger stage: politics, economics, religion, traditions, and generations.
For example take a middle aged man that wants to get married. You look at his first option, finding a wife that his family approves of, one that sticks to her traditional Arab and Islamic values. But guess what, he can’t bear the burden of the costs in married life as more and more marriage is becoming a very expensive proposition. So then you look at his second option, one where his wife is although still a virgin but is a career woman, something that is a bit outside of what society defines as traditional Arab and Islamic values. Although she can help him with the costs in married life, she is not accepted as she defies gender expectations.
More and more we have activists advocating on behalf of Arabs for the right to talk about sex: to look at it outside of the context between a married man and a virgin women, something beyond what’s approved by your parents, sanctioned by religion and registered by the state. Since AIDS/HIV is an epidemic that is still continuously on the rise in Arab regions, you’re also looking for the right to get tested for the disease and the right to use a condom.
Westerners believe that the way to do that is through dramatic confrontation; through facts of what we deem is the norm or the right, and what we deem is a better way of life: where there is sex in films, where we wear clothes bearing our arms and legs, where erotica novels is on the rise, etc. But what we’re missing is that because of traditional Arab and Islamic values and religious beliefs passed down from generation to generation, the Arab world will NEVER be as open to sex as we are. There will not be a “sexual revolution”, but instead a “sexual evolution” through negotiations as discussed in this video (http://bit.ly/1fX3LyH), where they will first learn about what goes on in other parts of the world, and then looking at their current conditions, they can find a common ground and pave their way for what will work for them. At the end of the day, they’re just human. All they want is the right to express their ideas freely, to marry who they choose, to decide whether or not they want to have children and to be able to do that without fearing death and discrimination.