Recently there has been much talk about the bad conditions of domestic workers in Jordan. Human rights organizations along with many Jordanian social activists have raised an alarm against the slavery living conditions and abuse inflicted on foreign domestic workers in Jordan.
While reports highlighted physical, emotional and sexual abuse against young foreign domestic female and male workers, and while the prominent aspect of sexual abuse that is usually addressed is a forced non consent sexual act, merely no one addressed the abuse of human rights by imposing restrictions on others sexuality.
Bring on the table the sexuality of domestic workers in Jordan is not a matter of only a human right, or a luxury from my part, but it is also a matter of awareness that should be highlighted for an aspect that is a source of many problems, and in which, and like most of other problems regarding sexuality in our society, we always try to ignore, treat in secrecy or claim it to be inexistent.
Being a conservative society, and with a strong religious constraints on sexual behavior, we developed a shame culture with a focal point on sexuality for moral judgment. We perceive our moral belief system as an absolute, and thus while we try to abide with endless constraints against our biological sexual needs, which we have every right to do so, but we extend our expectations to impose our own laws on domestic workers working for us.
While an employer and a worker has the right to set their own rules. When it comes to abusing the basic human rights of the worker as a part of the employer set of believes, then it becomes more of slavery.
One can’t ignore the fact that most of domestic workers in Jordan are between the ages 20-40. Most of them come without a spouse. And all of them have different sexual needs that they try to cope with.
The scene is quite complicated. Some employers don’t even let their house maid go out the house alone so that she may not get into a relationship with the other building house guard. At the same time, their twenty something young sons, who are equally sexually deprived as of the maid, in a horney state, can easily impose himself on the poor maid and have sex with her against her will.
There are many stories floating around. Young men or even their fathers having sex with the house maid, is something that you commonly hear of. Pregnant house maids, and while are rare cases, do exist. House robbed because of a relationship between the house maid and another man from the outside happens at a wide scale.
It may not only male sexual abuse to their female maids. Widows, spinsters and even some gay men impose themselves on their young male house guard for sexual benefits.
Our society hides a lot. As long as everything happens in secrecy, no body cares. In fact, what would be expecting? Those imported workers are as human as we are. They have sexual needs that ought to be addressed. Unfortunately with a messed up situation of multiple constraints on everybody, those needs are just released in the wrong way, inflicting unnecessary pain that can be spared easily by acknowledging our humanity.