Sunday, September 09, 2007


I thought that after a few weeks I might forget the silly behavior of the many Jordanian men who gawked stupidly at my granddaughters during their visit here this summer. Time hasn’t helped me much because I am still angry about the way they were ogled. In fact, I began to feel uncomfortable and dishonored as if somehow we all deserved to be insulted in this way just because we dared to go out in public! This is the feeling that has stayed with me and annoyed me.

I remember walking down King Faisal Street, the main street in downtown Amman, when I first came to Jordan in the late fifties. Sometimes young men would walk into me and brush my body with their shoulders and once in awhile one would actually pinch me. They moved slyly next to me and slithered away in a moment. I had to keep my anger at this invasion of my space, this uninvited intrusion, to myself. If I told my husband, who was often with me, he would be obliged to ‘defend’ me. What a ridiculous, uncomfortable situation it was. Attitudes have changed little from what I’ve seen. Many men leer unabashedly at any female in their line of vision. I am ashamed of the men; I’m embarrassed for the women, for Jordan, for the innocent hapless tourists (my granddaughters included) who would rather remember the ancient sites and beauty of the country than the insulting, uninvited stares from men.



Anonymous Hani Obaid said...

It is unfortunate that some of our men are of the opinion that any woman who is unveiled is "available".

I wouldn't judge all Jordanians by them. Although many of our Restaurants (notice the families only signs) and malls do.

for example Mecca Mall will often prevent groups of men from getting in on Fridays/Saturdays and holidays, based on the assumption that they're not there to shop but simply to oogle the women.

This is just as unfortunate as many of the decent men will be prevented from getting in to well shop !

Jewel called Ogling the worst kind of theft !

but I don't know, I mean you can ignore the oglers, the pinchers well they deserve jailtime. Worse yet sometimes the women will pinch you too just to scold you !

Sunday, September 09, 2007  
Blogger joladies said...

I remember, not long after being married, walking downtown with my husband (1965) when I was pushed into a shop whilst my husband had a fight with a man who had made some derogatory comment about me. Luckily I had not understood anything as my Arabic was minimal at that time but I did make it a habit to never catch anyone's eyes or listen to what they said so as to avoid getting upset. T

Sunday, September 09, 2007  
Anonymous lorenza said...

The situation with men ih jordan has not changed. When I was donwtown in 1986 A middle-aged man came up behind me and pinched me. I turned around and scolded him loudly, but he continued to follow me. A few minutes later he pinched me again. I kicked him hard where it hurts a man and he fell to the ground. An elderly shopkeeper came to see what the problem was and with the help of a young passerby I explained. They then sat on him whilst another went to fetch a policeman, who then took the man away. I was visited by many relatives of the man who wanted to bribe me to stop the case going to court, but I stuck it out and saw the man in court, who then recieved two weeks in jail. The only way to stop this sort of thing is to pursue these people through the courts, but sadly that rarely happens as bribes and wasta will see to it.

Sunday, September 09, 2007  
Anonymous Hareega said...

slap on the face, a slap on the face does it, it hurts but it works very very very well

Sunday, September 09, 2007  

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