When Arguments Erupt

08-12-2014 12:49 PM

AMMONNEWS -By Abdulillah - A large percentage of us have seen the most recent YouTube videos and later the many posts and jokes regarding the yelling match that took place between our illustrious parliamentarians, when the issue about how women get their seats in Parliament came to the surface. For many of us who are unaccustomed to this type behavior towards women or even to one another especially in a public atmosphere, it has caused a lot of consternation and unease as to why this behavior is used or even tolerated.

What I don’t want to do is to reiterate the many stories and pretty funny pieces about the recent flare-up between the women in parliament and some of the men parliamentarians but to the issue of argumentation and debate in a public democratic society as a whole.

I must remind you all that these messy, uncomfortable, and sometimes violent emotional out-bursts in a public forum are not uncommon in any democratic institution. In fact they are quite common. Democracy is messy; it sometimes appears to the outsiders and onlookers as a messy way of governing.One wants to know why it has to be this way to get things done.

Let me attempt to set you straight why these arguments and exchanges are good and why we need to protect those who bring these subjects to the foreground, but limit them to expressions of political conflict that is a necessary ingredient in any democratic society and not escalate them to full blown civil disobedience or even war. Mind you war is not only between countries, tribes, but between genders as well.

Firstly; it is because passionate people need to express their position on a subject matter and that requires assembly confidence. A freedom to assemble and spout our ideas to whomever we please is a basic pillar of a democratic institution. This is of paramount importance not only in our private quarters but those in public areas and especially in a free press and a freely elected parliament.

Secondly; arguments of expression are necessary for the public to determine which idea and in fact which candidate or representative has the best argument and ideas thereby deserving backing. Where arguments that fail upon scrutiny can be discarded, or the candidate can either change his mind or in the next election he can be voted out by his constituents.

That being said, condescending behavior toward others with different views, and outburst of violence should be held in check. One cannot hear an argument if people are shouting, and violence should never be tolerated otherwise we would all be using our fists and guns to express our views.

As far as women having quotas are concerned I can tell you the reasoning is valid for such quotas at this time. Why you may ask? Well for starters women have beensecond class citizens and continue in that position to this day. The only way we can give them a voice it to reverse discriminate against the gender and policies that have kept them down for so long.

By the way this has not improved anywhere in the world and women have consistently been put down, used as sex objects either to sell merchandise as many advertisers do in the West, or as sexual slaves and servants in third world countries. They have yet to get equal wages for equal work as their male gender colleagues, and worse in our country we still do not allow a Jordanian woman married to man of foreign origin to have their children regarded as Jordanians. Now that’s just unfairness in my opinion.

By giving them quotas for seats in Parliament maybe we will be able to hear their voices and ideas on how to better our society keeping in mind that they are our sisters, daughters and wives, who also hold dear our country and our society as a whole.

This does not mean we as a society must agree with them on every issue they put forth, as in all things, even certain people of the same gender disagree on many issues. None-the-less we need to be allowed to hear their voices on what they believe will help their gender, because without it they will continue to be silenced and held back.

My sisters and brothers alike; please do not let our differences on issues get in the way of what we were taught by our mothers and fathers. To treat each other and our women with respect, who deserve the right to be heard no matter what way we believe she may have obtained her position or her argument. Would any male of us allow others to abuse his mother, sister or daughter? I doubt that very much. Let’s be the courteous, chivalrous men we have been raised to be. Argue with passion your position but do it in a respectful manner.

May Allah/God Bless Jordan and Its People

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