Sexual harassment is and always has been a serious issue we face in Egypt. Fortunately, this issue has been exposed in these past few days. And women and men are standing together to fight it and defending women’s right to speak.
Every day, we witness many incidents in Egypt and all over the world and they all trigger me, but as people were trying to raise awareness against sexual harassment, there were other groups of people who appeared to want to ride the wave with their atrocious abusing ideas of women.
The issue yes triggered me, but I also felt so oppressed because of their claims.
Women are the victims here? Why for god’s sake blame them?
I felt angry and depressed.
That is why I am writing this article today, not to highlight the incidents I have gone though nor talk about them, you all already know how horrible these incidents can be but to share and spread my thoughts, because I have the right to do that, and because I strongly refuse any other opinions that don’t stand with the victims and blame them instead.
It is not a topic where we can argue or have conversation and you are free to disagree, No.
Because the way I see it, if you are defending them you are one of them, period.
Here are my thoughts I had in mind and the things I experienced in these past few days regarding sexual harassment in Egypt.
It Is Not Only About Adults
Most of the sexual harassment and rape stories I read in the past week happened to women at a relatively young age, younger than 15.
And that made me think, no people don’t harass because of their uncontrollable sexual desires, they just want to prove that they ‘can’, they want to prove that they are powerful and authoritative, and children are the best ‘objects’ to use here, they are weak, small, they are most likely to freeze, and they won’t be able to speak up.
If you use the same concept on women, in men’s perspective, they are weaker, smaller, but if a woman yells, screams, or even hits, they will run like cowards because harassers are weak in the inside, that is why they seek power externally by trespassing others.
Women Are Not Cars
I refuse to compare women to homes or cars that are not locked properly or a million-dollar that are left in the streets so they attract thieves.
This comparison still spoils the whole point and even confirms that women are still something to be earned or desirable by public.
Women are not properties, women are not money, women are not anything materialistic. Women are women, women are humans that share this community along with men.
The community will fail. If any tries to prove that they have the authority or the upper hand. We SHARE our community together; we must work hand in hand to make it a strong one.
Go To Hell With Your Assumptions
In the past few days, I come to realize one thing is that some men are feeding themselves their assumptions of women; they believe it and act upon it.
The most famous assumptions are:
- “She wears this way because she wants my attention; it is an invitation for me to go and touch her.”
Women dress a certain way and put on makeup because they like it, women laugh like this because it’s the laughter they were born with, women walk in dark streets because they are the only way home, so no we don’t give a damn about getting your attention because we don’t flipping care.
While I don’t deny that some women do things for men’s attention, you are still not a mind reader, are you? You still must have a clear permission.
- “A dick picture will turn her on.”
You expect us to say “wow,” As if you are seeking validation. We instead wished we could spit on your face.
Dick pictures are the most disgusting thing women would ever receive, and it is a big turnoff.
And since social media does not allow to report the heck out of you by sending a proof of your texts, we still have nothing to do but block and hopelessly report you, anyway.
- “But, hey, you can’t speak of all women,”
At least I am speaking of a great percentage of them.
Go To Hell With Your Attention
- My hair is messed up today.
- My under eyes circles are getting darker.
- I should drink more water.
- Oh, life can be stressful.
- Am I good enough for my family?
- I should not have said that.
- Oh, I have to deal with my illness.
- Uh, I forgot to feed the cats.
- I think my life is falling apart.
- I think I am falling apart.
- Ugh, here is a little prat, I will just ignore.
- Am I good enough?
- My outfits are getting old.
- Wait, here is a little mirror, oh yes this is messed up…
- I should become better, how?
- I will just put on earphones and sing along.
- And more.
See, everything but your unwanted attention.
Yes, I have blocked people on my Facebook in these past few days.
People who put their hands on their ears so they won’t hear our voice, people who are shaming us, and blaming us.
People who kept on sharing claims to support the crime and even distributing atrocious ideas to justify it.
I was very depressed. Then I talked to my best friend,
“should I remove/block them?” I Asked.
she said, “absolutely yes.”
And then I came to think of it, these exact people if I ask for their help in the street in a harassment incident, they will look away and leave.
Some men just don’t want to speak up for women, why? They resist with every bit of their power to not to stand with women against all this.
Because you think if you do you will be you less of a man, or you will sound dramatic? Or because you think women deserve? Or because you are one of the harassers?
Some even went out of their way and defended victim blamers (When people attacked them aggressively), despite the fact that they disagreed with them. Wait, what?
Is it the right time to defend those who made up these controversies themselves around their atrocious ideas of women while on the other side women are crying, bleeding on social media needing support?
You guys make my blood boil…
Pause, Think And Reflect
No matter what their degree in religion is, no matter how much they studied or knows about religion, no matter if they have the authority to speak of the name of God.
You still are ordered to think of every word they say, think if there are valid evidences, think if what they are saying is possible or logical, think of their personal motives and their background.
Stop romanticizing and believing them blindly just because they speak of god.
They are not angels; they make mistakes, and if there is a bad lawyer or a bad doctor, there is a bad sheikh or pastor.
Please pause and think before you share their claims.
Harassment is A Harassment
Someone told me the other day, “It is only harassment when it comes from the wrong person.”
I didn’t get the statement actually, as it was just another twist to justify things.
For example, if there is someone I crush on and he suddenly touches my body inappropriately. Would I still allow him because he is the “right person”?
All relations must be built on respect and understanding the boundaries, & everyone must respect themselves, you, and your personal space.
Plus, there is no one way to measure things. That wrong person could be a husband who abuses his wife. That right person could be a stranger who treats people responsibly.
My opinions And experiences Are Not Valid To Some
Me: KK doesn’t present women other than just a body.
Them: you are just jealous.
Me: This footballer is harasser, I don’t get why people defend him.
Them: ugh stop the drama.
Me: then this bastard, frightened, stopped me in the street and tried to force me to get inside his car.
Them: you are just way too beautiful, I don’t blame him.
Me: talking about the same bastard.
I have stopped expressing myself to men, luckily I have a tremendous support from my brother and my friend.
I Am A Human
Defending women doesn’t mean I am negating the struggles men go through in day-to-day life.
I read many stories of men raped and sexually harassed by women.
Men who are hurt deeply because of a cheating partner.
Men who work 24/7 to provide money and stable life for their families.
Men whom society defines them by how much money they have and not of their values.
Believe me, I am aware. I stand with everyone who is suffering and I wish I could end everyone’s pain because in the end I am a human.
I am only against the crime and those who commit it, It just happens, especially in Egypt that women are the most affected by it.
You Should Know That By Now
I won’t stop, we won’t stop till you all understand.
Rape is a crime, sexual harassment is a crime, period.
No buts, no what ifs, no reasons why, no arguments.
It’s a CRIME, period.
There is always light in the form of people who give you hope. They are brave enough to stand and speak up for everyone who is affected.
This thank you goes to men in Egypt who showed bravery and support for women and encouraged them to stand and speak up. Thank you for being sincere and truthful with yourself and others, thank you for your effort and for your voice in a time where most were silent.
Another thank you goes to all women who are fighting hard to stop this regardless of the obstacles they face, regardless of the voices that tell them to just give up.
Thank you for keeping up the spirit, thank you for giving all women the courage to speak and be strong.
Thank you for My Mom and my friend Dan for their endless support.
To everyone, listen, be mindful, compassionate, respect yourself and others.