First of all, kissing, for all intents and purposes is strictly prohibited in Pakistan. It’s not a good thing to do. Even kissing your husband is considered forward and crass. Someone recently said, “You can tell by the people someone hugs when coming out of the airport who the wife is. It’s the woman standing quietly in the corner who does not get the hug or the kiss”. Not sure about you but I believe that’s accurate.
For what it’s worth, here’s a brief recount of what happened. A man and a woman made out on a domestic flight in Pakistan. A passenger protested to this public display of affection. The flight attendant brought out a blanket so the couple could be shielded from the eyes of the offended.
Social media has all of a sudden forgotten that Pakistanis typically don’t behave that way. We are actually just the opposite. We are afraid to sit next to our wives or significant others publicly. Our romantic behavior has two speeds; aloof and icy which oscillates at any given moment to naked and humping. A third speed usually is steamy glances in each other’s direction alternating with coy smiles and subtly sexual invitations. It’s all very cut and dried. People who look for sex wouldn’t be disappointed in their Pakistani partners. People who look for the pleasures of sex would be well-advised to look elsewhere.
But this debate does bring to the forefront an issue bigger than the kissing. Why are we so bothered by harmless kissing in a country where there are actually sexual crimes happening? Why are we focusing on two people engaging in a barely sexual activity? I mean may be some of us have had kissing lead to bigger things but it typically doesn’t. A woman is asking on Twitter how khooni liberals would feel if their parents sucked face on a flight. Here’s an answer from a liberal….. I’d love it. If more of us kissed with our kids around may be our kids understood that marriage isn’t just compromise and sacrifice. It’s also happiness, passion and love.
Many of us have taken to social media to declare kissing a private act. I mean, no disrespect to these purveyors of morality but if I had to look for privacy each time I wanted to kiss my husband I’d be turned off by the idea of kissing. Also, since kissing is so taboo then why is everyone shamelessly recounting the events that happened on a flight between two people? People are openly commenting on a kissing couple on accounts that their brothers and fathers and sisters and mothers are also a part of. Now one might wonder how these agents of selective modesty would defend their outstandingly roguish behavior by posting about others’ purportedly private and “sexual” lives but I don’t wonder about that. I know these people are shameless and offensive themselves and try to cover their vices by pointing out innocuous things in others.
I think we can tell why we are so riled up about the kissing. It shows us in a bad light. It actually shows a woman and a man kissing each other like equals. It vindicates all the women who have been slandered for having romantic relationships with their men. It makes others see us as wayward Muslims who can’t keep their tongues in their mouths when they’re with their significant others.
Around or the same day, a Hindu girl was asked to convert to Islam by force in Faisalabad. Her details aren’t important. She was 14 is important. She had four men charge at her physically and sexually is important. She didn’t convert is important. She registered as an independent Pakistani in my land of pure is the most important. She placed her story in stark juxtaposition with a simple offense like violating make -believe chastity. She created the gradient that should move us to ask ourselves,
“How many of us find rape as offensive as passionate kissing between two consenting partners?”
I believe this is a divine call to action. A nation chanting “no PDA” while averting its eyes from a forced conversion and gang rape of a minor!