Dos besos. To kiss or not to kiss?
A pretty standard greeting in Spain between a male and female. Italians hav their version, so do the French, Chileans, Argentinians, Brazilians, and so on… Here in America, a cold handshake. I used to think that it was important that Americans adopt some form of this greeting. It’s open and welcoming and it’s obviously a break from our Puritanical roots. Plus it normalizes a sexual act, making it not as taboo. I liken it to allowing kids to sip good wine, learn about the quality of drinking instead prohibiting it so strictly that they end up binging shitty beer in secret as soon as they get the chance.
Now, within the context of the #metoo movement, my thoughts on the ‘dos besos’ greeting have evolved.
What it teaches young girls from an early age is that society tells them to allow boys into their personal space without their permission. They don’t have a choice, otherwise risk being rude, unfriendly, and probably chastised by the elder generation. This is a problem. It’s the systematic submission of young girls to society’s rules that inherently favor the boys. Now, from my own experience, the two kisses did help break the ice. It allowed for a more intimate and personal conversation and broke down my own walls when talking to the opposite sex in a foreign country, thus avoiding a stale and predictably meaningless exchange. However, it does force a physical interaction that makes the girl powerless, and for that, it can be an issue. Despite social norms, a girl/woman should be allowed to admit who comes into her close personal space. I don't know what the alternative looks like, but this is one of those “traditions” that will end up being looked at in the near future… because arguing that "this is the way it has always been" is lazy and ignorant.