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Egypt: Egyptian Male Blogger Orders Artificial Hymen

When Radio Netherlands broadcasted an Arabic translation of the Artificial Virginity Hymen kit, when Youm7 newspaper announced that the product will be available on the Egyptian market for LE 83, when conservative parliament members in Egypted wanted the product banned and any exporter exiled or beheaded, and when it caused such an uproar in the Egyptian blogosphereMohamed Al Rahhal just had to buy one.

As he went to retrieve his package at the post office:

it had been opened by various puzzled customs and postal employees who, at a loss, defined the product in writing as “containing an unknown red liquid” – and awaited my description.

fakehymen
 
He told them it was “cinematographic make-up” and took the item home:

Such is the “hymen”: a 5x7cm folded piece of plastic – of albumin, the notice promptly corrects me – covered on one side by dark red ink. Placed in the vagina before sex, the plastic hardens slightly, and rips upon intercourse. A few drops of “blood” will stain the sheets, preserving the woman's, her family's, or society's “honour”.

Whether it does actually work or not I cannot answer. The complete absence of medical information on the product, as well as online accusations that this product can cause infections, made me unwilling to give it to a volunteer to test.

Mona El Tahawy did not like how Egyptians were hot and bothered over fake hymensWith all the troubles Egypt faces these days — spiralling cost of living, a president in power for 28 years whose son looks likely to succeed him, etc. — why all the fuss over hymens, real or fake?

Welcome to the hypocrisy and denial that together drum at the heart of conservative religious views on women and chastity. And in the case of Egypt, that conservatism applies equally to Muslims and Christians.

As a Muslim, I know the Qur’an preaches chastity for men and women, but the conservative obsession with women means only females are expected to abide by the prohibition on extramarital sex. This obsession with virginity is shallow at best and deadly at worst.

Mohamed El Rahhal strongly condemns:

the hypocrisy that allows us to discriminate against 50% of the society while giving a free pass to the other half. I am against forcing women to go such lengths, sometimes endangering their health, to allow us to delay a long-awaited national moratorium on gender relations.

Morality is worst interpreted by anatomy. And if we're waiting upon a small piece of plastic to define morality, then we've already failed – and ought to find a better definition.

10 comments

  • “As a Muslim, I know the Qur’an preaches chastity for men and women, but the conservative obsession with women means only females are expected to abide by the prohibition on extramarital sex.”.

    I remember I did an “exposé” when I was in high shcool about his subject of virginity. My french teacher told me at the end: “I know now why arab men do want virgin women when they get married, that’s because they do not want to be compared”.

    Nice article Marwa.

  • […] Egypt: Egyptian Male Blogger Orders Artificial Hymen […]

  • […] Marwa Rakha over at Global Voices has more from Al Rahhal’s product review (he explains how it works, sort-of NSFW if only for use of anatomically specific language). Also, a report at the UK Guardian. […]

  • […] Marwa Rakha over at Global Voices has more from Al Rahhal’s product review (he explains how it works, sort-of NSFW if only for use of anatomically specific language). Also, a report at the UK Guardian. […]

  • Geez, is it really that important to appear virginal?

  • […] Al Rahhal通过网络订购了一个人造处女膜,这一包裹让海关和邮递员大惑不解,称其为“未知红色液体”,Al […]

  • Nermin

    male ego products.. they just want the surface ..let them have it.. a woman is a complete being not just a vagina.. its demeaning she could be lowered down to the value of a minor area of fragile skin..until the commuynity changes its values ..no should complain how she keeps her virginity.

  • […] W październiku 2009, Mohamed Al Rahal Rahal zamówił zestaw ze sztuczną błoną i zamieścił w swoim blogu jego zdjęcia, o czym donieśliśmy we wcześniejszym wpisie na Global Voices. […]

  • […] Mostafa Fathi também publicou uma nota no Facebook e Karim El Beheiry publicou um artigo em seu blog em solidariedade a Amira. Em outubro de 2009, Mohamed Al Rahal comprou um kit hímem e colocou fotos em seu blog, registrado em uma história anterior do Global Voices. […]

  • Ruby

    Its not about degrading women its all about being with a faithful pure lady ,look at the problems the europeans and other non muslim countries face etc. Women sleeping round with lots of men she dont know who the father of the child. Problems such as aids

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