Stop it with your shock and awe. Let’s wake the fuck up. We all feel as entitled as Fattouche does. True, he’s a fucking asshole for actually hitting a woman, but his behavior is far from exceptional. We are all guilty of the things he is guilty of.
First and foremost, this is about violence against women. While we’re not all pricks that go around punching women in the neck (though, sadly, way too many of us are), we’ve allowed an environment in which women are unprotected by our laws and inferior to men in every way. This is our fault. It is our fault because we don’t care enough that women in this country have to deal with this kind of shit on a daily basis. It is our fault because we don’t take to the streets in anger to demand that women get equal protection under the law. It is our fault for electing idiots that do not care about women’s rights. It is our fault for not electing women, and for not allowing women to rise to a place of power and decision-making. It is our fault for blindly following religious doctrine that keeps women down and abused. It is our fault for pretending not to notice the screaming of our neighbor’s wife, the bruise on our colleague’s arm, the desperation in our cleaning lady’s eyes. Violence against women is here because we’ve allowed it to be here, despite endless calls to create a structure that makes it illegal for anybody, even a minister, to feel safe enough to punch a woman, in broad daylight, in public.
Second, this is about entitlement and the fact that we think specific things don’t apply to us. We don’t wait in line, we park where we’re not supposed to park, we’re above the no-smoking law. These rules are important to us, and we recognize that, but we’re better than everyone else, so they don’t really apply to us. We’re all shocked that Fattouche decided to skip the line and when he was called out about it, he got offended, claimed out loud that he was a minister, and then punched Daou. Thing is, that attitude is in every single one of us. At the bank, at the post office, at the supermarket, at the man’oucheh store, at the club. We all think we’re too good to wait in line, and if someone calls us out on it, we’re quick to claim out loud who we are and get offended that someone wouldn’t realize our birthright to be better than everyone else. Let’s all call that the Fattouche Complex from now on. It’s something Fattouche is convinced of, and something way too many of us firmly believes about ourselves.
Third, this is about civility, and the complete lack of it in Lebanon. Lack of respect goes a long way in Beirut. Even if you are a minister or a priest or a CEO or a prince, common courtesy is precious and should guide the way you treat people. In Beirut, we know nothing about being civil to each other. The only thing civil about us is our war, and we can’t even agree on that. We’re quick to brush off basic civic rules and then we complain when anyone else does it. Respect and civility are admired by us all, but, for some reason, we are convinced they don’t apply to us.
Thing is, this is not a post defending Fattouche’s dumb ass, sexist, elitist, and offensive actions. It is a post criticizing all the “We are all Manal Daou” statuses on Facebook. Because, let’s face it, “We are all Nicolas Fattouche.” Let’s realize that, and then do something about ourselves.