I’ve been asking people some interesting questions related to taboo topics and beliefs during the past month. In this post, I will mention some of the answers I got (and still remember), anonymously of course.
Me: Do you believe in sex after marriage?
S.: No.. It becomes a duty.
How do you feel about masturbation?
M: I feel very guilty about it. God bans it, and I am sure that God has a good logic behind it. I wish scientists would direct their research to support these religious ideas because I am sure they are true. I tried to stop but I haven’t been succeeding, and it does feel very bad. I am struggling but I know that in the end I will succeed, hopefully.
What are your views regarding pre-marital sex?
F: I’m totally OK with sex before marriage, as long as the girl isn’t sleeping around. Oh, and the guy too. Like, it’s okay only as part of a true loving relationship.
What if the individual feels like releasing his/her tensions through casual sex, and does not aim for a long-term relationship?
F: It is not acceptable in this case. The person is not respecting his/her body! It’s like prostitution..
I saw that M. has been giving you constant ‘signs’, why don’t you give him a chance? You don’t like him?
H: Well, he’s black. What would the color of our children be?! What would my mom think? She’d go crazy.
Why have you always been giving remarks and jokes about homosexuals?
K: Like, I am a very open-minded person. I am not homophobic at all! Bel3akes (on the contrary), I am totally fine with these people. You want evidence? I have met gay people before. I once even had a research about the topic in college and spoke to some of them. Isn’t that enough proof that I am not homophobic?
What are your views regarding pregnancy?
D: Please, I told you we can’t talk about these things! If you wanna stay friends with me stop asking me about these things. They’re not things we can discuss. Khalas (stop it).
Why didn’t you go for your dream of becoming a flight attendant?
G: Who would marry a flight attendant who travels to a different country each day? I have to get married and have children and build a house. If not, what would I say to my family? Sometimes in life we sacrifice some things in order to have others that are more important.
Are you annoyed by what this woman is wearing?
S: Well, she is a Christian and has her religion and culture and I am a Muslim and I have mine. In her religion it is acceptable to wear these things, her family and friends are okay with it. In mine, it is not. I do not tell people what to wear. Everyone must do what their religion and family holds-up.
Do you pray in your room?
J: No, I am not comfortable with displaying my religious beliefs in front of my roommate. He does not have the same beliefs that I have. It’s like I’m forcing my religion on him.
Do you believe in secularism in Lebanon?
N: Of course! But, come-on, all the ministers would be Muslim. The rights of the Christians are better protected this way.
Do you support a Lebanese political party?
H: Yes, I am not like these people who say that they are with no-body. I do support ‘March X’ and I am not afraid to say it.
Why do you support them? Don’t you know that they have contributed to the ongoing corruption in Lebanon?
H: That’s true, BUT, ‘March Z’ are worse! I will choose the one that’s less bad.
You can support independent runners you know..
H: [changes the topic]
After I re-state my respect to every individual, I can’t deny that I do see something wrong with each of the above answers. They do represent some beliefs a huge number of people still hang-on to, and some struggle with.
I am not being judgmental nor labeling anyone as good or bad. Some of these statements come from my closest friends. I am simply discussing beliefs (which are non-human ideas).
I was planning on posting my comments under each answer that was given, but I realized that I’d have a mucho-grande blog post in that case, so I’ll keep it simple and leave the analysis and reflection to you. I’ll deal with some in a post later on.
Until we get to a Lebanon without religious, sexual, and social taboos.