I do understand that men by nature are hunters and like to chase after women. But I still do not understand the way Qatari men, or men in the Arabian Gulf in general, chase women and I never really understood the way of flirting in Qatar. I know I am Qatari, and I know that my society is very conservative, but still, the flirting method seems so unnatural and odd! Because to me, it seems more like harassment and insult than flirting. Isn’t flirting supposed to make you feel flattered and sexy? With Qatari men, it is completely the contrary; the more they harass you, the more successful they think they are. It is not unusual for a group of men to flirt or rather “harass” you all together at the same time. it is like a challenge between themselves. The more numbers you throw the cooler you are.
Staring, is flirting 101, or rather scanning or x-raying. You would feel naked from the way they stare at you; they stare with a sexy dreamy look, eyes and mouth half open. You can feel their sexual frustration strangling you; their looks are utterly violating that they make one feels that they want to put their dicks in ones mouth! Then comes flirting 102; which is following or rather, chasing. They would follow you to the end of earth. It doesn’t matter if you stopped to pray, they would wait outside the prayer room; it doesn’t matter that you want to shop for lingerie, they would pick it up for you. They will stick like glue, even if you don’t smile or give any sign of approval. That doesn’t matter to them, because you are an object they are having fun with. Flirting 103 is, saying pick up and flirting lines, with a sexy dreamy voice of course. (a Horney voice). They would say lame things like “what a gazelle” .. “oh god help me .. what beauty” .. “oh beautiful, I would die for you .. what a sexy walk”. “please have mercy on me and take the number” ( as if he will wait for my approval!) .. and Yes! They do think that this is what girls want to hear!
Of course during all of this, they would be shouting their number out loud several hundred times so that you memorize it. people would be giving the girl dirty looks. Why? …. Because she is the bitch who seduced them, if she didn’t want to be harassed she should have stayed at home or went out with a male member of her family! And if the girl tried to stop them, people would judge her as being “improper” to be shouting out loud in public. Moreover, some of those men would take advantage of this and insult the girl even more, and some, believe it or not, think it’s a way of being positively responsive to their harassment.
And after all of this harassment.. what is the result they expect? Do they seriously think that I would call someone who disrespected me that way?
I am writing about this because few days ago I broke my silence, I let out the anger of being harassed all those years. The story begins on a normal day in City Center shopping mall. I left the gym and had to do some errands. As I left, three boys saw me and changed their direction and started the chase. I first went to a prayer room to pray the afternoon prayer. I was surprised to see them waiting for me at the door, one of the boys said “I waited for you”. What am I supposed to say “thank you, you are so kind to wait?” I ignored him as I usually do when these things happened, and continued my shopping. I thought that they would give up after few minutes; if they see me unresponsive. But I was surprised when I saw them behind me in Carrefour. They followed me from isle to isle. I got irritated because I couldn’t finish my shopping. I couldn’t buy certain feminine products because I knew they would make silly comments about them. I only managed to buy glass candles and cleaning products. It was obvious that I had an angryserious face, but they didn’t care. An hour has passed and they were still behind me. I could hear their comments “am dead of this beauty man” .. “have mercy on me” . My anger started to build up as I saw people giving me judgmental looks. I didn’t want to shout at them, I never did such thing, I don’t know how to. I didn’t want to embarrass myself. My last stop before going home was Starbucks. I know the people who work there, so I started chatting with them a little before ordering my coffee. All the sudden, one of the three boys came so close to me and started saying “I have never seen such beauty in my life ….” At that moment I exploded, it was like something was taking control over me, I didn’t feel myself. I grabbed the heavy Carrefour bag that was full of glass candles up high as if I was going to hit him with it and screamed at the boy “if you don’t leave me alone and get the hell out of hear I swear to God I will crush your head with the glass in this bag you asshole” he got scared and ran away with his friends, as they were leaving I shouted “you animals .. get out of here you donkeys”. My hands was shaking, I looked around and realized the place was full of foreigners. I thought “shit, now they will think that Qataris are barbaric”. My friends at Starbucks were shocked. I said “they have been following me for two fucking hours, I didn’t smile or gave them any sign that am interested, why couldn’t they just leave me alone”. They said “why didn’t you call the police”. I know that if I did, they will be put immediately in prison for few days for harassing women. But I was not in the mood for all of that. I tried to calm myself and look in control. As I was waiting for the coffee, another man came next to me and said his number! But he left immediately after that. He didn’t give me the number because he was interested in me, it was just because I was a female. I am sure he will through the number at every female wearing black Abaya, at the end of the day, he will wait to count his victory.
I felt so proud of myself. Those boys deserve even worse. Who gives them the right to bother us this way, and who gives the society the right to judge us. To hell with them. I called my friends and told them about the incident. They laughed and shared my feelings. I decided I wont be intimidated or quiet anymore.
Few days later, two men followed me in City Center. They got in the elevator with me. I would usually get out or change my direction. But this time I decided not to. Because they do not deserve any importance. When all three of us got in, they starting saying “hey beautiful, whey are you mad, smile”. I gave them a look that showed how disgusted I were from them; how much I degrade them. Then I said “you men are disgrace, you are not men at all, what you do to me, will be done to your sister”. One guy was shocked, the other said “yeah yeah ok ok whatever”. I felt so happy for saying that, I spoke about their manhood, told them they were not men. That’s the biggest insult any man could get.
I do not mind flirting. Actually, am a big flirt myself. But not in such disrespectful way. If a guy approached me normally, respectfully, with a kind smile, chatting about something, telling me honestly that he is interested in me. Then I might be more responsive. Qatari men should learn a more civilized way of flirting. There is no need for the staring, chasing and harassment. We do not have to be so stressed out and sexually frustrated because of our conservative society. Just be normal. But I have to be honest and say, I would be more hesitant to allow a Qatari to approach me than any other nationality. That is because of all the gossip and rumors that I might have to face. Moreover, I know that most Qatari men are conservative themselves and are not very fond of marrying someone they flirted with in public because according to them “if she did it with me, then she can do it with any man, even after we are married”. But this is another topic that I will discuss later.
To conclude this story, I want to say something that a friend has mentioned when we were discussing flirting behavior within the Qatari society, he said “it is easier to sleep with a Qatari lady than to dine with her” …Think about that reality!