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Egypt: Do Egyptians have a natural aversion towards women?

Do Egyptians have a natural aversion towards women? Zeinobia is very unhappy with this emerging social trend, Mohaly is wondering where we are going with segregation, Diptychal wonders why they want to shut them up, and Eman Hashim is begging mothers to love their daughters!

Zeinobia starts her post by summing up how Ehab Salah, a TV presenter, shot his wife:

Newsreader Ehab Salah murdered his wife Magda in their house at nearly 4 AM after a huge fight that was heard by their neighbors. Salah killed his wife with a single shot from a gun that he inherited from his late father, the police general.

There were leaks about the details of the murder:

A big verbal fight, economic troubles, the wife slapped the husband then the husband got the gun and then one bang that ended both his wife's live and his as well. Each website imagined certain spicy details between those details in order to create the usual tabloid attraction that have reached to level of discussing their sexual life!!

Zeinobia said she was:

shocked and saddened by the amount of sexism in the comments on the murder in all websites. It is a strange thing to find most men praising the action of Ehab Salah which is killing his wife because she dared and slapped him after reminding that she was the one who was paying their expenses for the last three months!!

Suddenly Salah has become the symbol of manhood despite what he had done is against all laws, norms, traditions and religions, he has become the man who stood against the woman who worked and rebelled against him, despite the fact he was taking drugs during the time of the murder which was proved by prosecution office “he smoked marijuana before committing the crime” and despite the fact his wife suspected that he was having an affair with another woman which made her lose her mind and patience when he came back that bloody night late.

The comments in these websites show a huge amount of sexism against women in Egypt as they are the daughter of evil instead of Eve, the salves who should go back to their houses because they are rebelled on their masters after going to work!!! Strangely women have been always working with men in Egypt since the days of the Pharaohs in the fields on the banks of the Nile!!

The man has killed his wife because of a fight that can happen anywhere , he could have returned back the slap or just simply divorce her and buy his own dignity and freedom but he has killed her, a murder which he should be executed for according to the Sharia laws for God sake !!??

I just wonder where is the lost dignity of these men when they are being slapped on a daily basis by a regime that steals their freedom, their money and their land !!??

Mohaly saw one of the “For Women Only” taxis on the streets and he could not help but wonder:

Why do all the signs indicate that we are heading into the separation of the society between males and females. Females cars in Metro, female queues, female hours in some services, female only restaurants (like [famous actress] Hanan Turk's one), and lately female only taxi (check). I wonder what else will be female only!

I am not against women having their privacy for one reason or another, but I am afraid one day – especially with the fake religious and Wahabi waves invading our society- to wake up and find Cairo another Riyadh!

Diptychal narrates how BUSSY - the Egyptian Vagina Monologues – was forced into silence:

According to their own words BuSSy is about empowerment, about raising awareness about women’s rights, and, (in my opinion what is most important), giving a voice to those who are never heard.

I read today on ArabLit that the play’s latest performance has been forced into a combination of audience-enforced and self-enforced censorship. During their first night of performances, this year at the Opera House, audience members walked out. Audience members criticised these women for speaking about sensitive topics including child molestation and taking off the veil.

All of this got me thinking. Why were those audience members there in the first place? Why would someone who is so averse to self expression attend a play that is well known for what it says. Did they go there, all along with the intention of making their own voices heard, expressing their displeasure? And don’t they have the right to make their voices heard just as the women of BuSSy do? I am not so sure.

I could get a lot of flack for the coming sweeping generalisation but it’s how I feel. We, as an Egyptian people, are perfectly happy to bury our heads in the sand and ignore our problems. No one in Egypt has AIDS. Homosexuality doesn’t exist. Everyone here is God fearing. None of them would suddenly open first on a bus full of people “for no apparent reason.” Everything is just fine.

So a play like BuSSy was bound to be criticised because it sheds light on some of the things we would rather keep hidden.

And the sadder part to me, is that they were forced to self-censor. They were forced to think twice about raising their voices above the din. And that defeats the purpose.

And yet that is the status quo in this country.

Finally, “I beg you! Please love your daughterurged Eman Hashim:

لو مش ناوية او مش قادرة او مش عارفة, يبقى بلاش. حرام عليكى تجيبى للدنيا بنى آدمة تعيش عمرها بغلطتك.
لو مش ناوية تصاحبيها و تخليها متأكدة انها ممكن تترمى فى حضنك مهما حصل, بلاش
لو مش ناوية تربيها عندها ثقة فى نفسها بدل ما تمشى فى الدنيا تدور على نظرة رضا, بلاش
لو مش ناوية تحبيها و تأكدى لها ده بدل ما تعيش عمرها اسيرة اى محاولة انها تتحب, بلاش
لو مش ناوية توفرى لها الامان الداخلى و الاطمئنان … بجد, بجد بلاش
لو ناوية تكبريها على انها وحشة و لا تخينة ولا غبية عشان تتشاط بين الرجلين بعد كده , يبقى بلاش
الخوف و انعدام الامان و الثقة فى النفس و الناس و الدنيا مش بيروحوا مع الوقت. بيكبروا و ياخدوا اشكال مختلفة. و كل ما هاتكبر, كل ماهايكبروا معاها.
يا اما هاتستسلم لهم … و تبقى انتى جيبتى للدنيا كائن مهزوم مهموم حزين ميت
يا اما هاتغضب لحد مالغضب يبقى منفذها و ملاذها, و برضه هاتعيش كائن ميت
If you can't, don't intend to, or don't know how to love your daughter, then please do not bring another unwanted unloved creature into this world.
If you cannot be her best friend and be there for her no matter what, then don't have her.
If you cannot breathe self-confidence into her instead of turning her into a pathetic people-pleaser, then don't have her.
If you can't love her instead of having her crave for love all her life, then don't have her.
If you cannot show her the way to inner security, then please … please don't have her.
If you are going to bring her up believing that she is ugly, fat, or stupid, you will turn her into a miserable pushover; please don't have her.
Fear, insecurity, lack of self confidence, and mistrust in people and life are not things that she will outgrow with time; on the contrary they will grow with her and ruin her life.
She will either give in to them and … congratulations for you've brought a sad defeated dead creature to this world.
Or she will give in to anger and resentment and once again … you've brought up a pathetic creature to this world.

In another post, Eman Hashim hit the aversion nail on the head:

هى اللى تتعود فى بيتها ان جسمها مشاع لكل اللى عايز حاجة يعملها – ختان, ضرب, لبس بالعافية- هاتكبر حاسة بنفسها ازاى؟ حاسة بجسمها ازاى؟ هاتقول للتحرش لأة ازاى؟ هاترفض كل عين تقرب ازاى؟ هاتقول لآة بشجاعة و حزم ازاى؟
Where would a girl who has been a victim of female genital mutilation, subjected to domestic violence, and forced into covering up develop a sense of pride and dignity? How would this impact her self image? How would she say “No” to sexual harassment? How would she be able to discern the good from the bad? How would she have the courage to stand up for her rights?

2 comments

  • Everything said on this post is so true about life in Egypt – I commend you all forspeaking out about women there as it always seems the men is more important. However the women play a huge role in life also (I don’t know what more to say – so many things – but you keep up the good work & believe in yourselves, as in turn you will be helping other women in Egypt to speak out). I cannot believe the extent of FMG (now out-ruled) however approx. 97% of girls / women have had this operation and I’m sure it still happens (not so much in the cities, but in the rural / village aeras of Egypt). Also, the wearing of a scarf / full veil should be a personal decision. On top of that people are still ‘pushed to marry’ – some one they don’t know – they only get to meet with family around etc. and a member of family must be there at all times (ie. if a couple go out for dinner / movies etc). They do not have a chance to meet and fall in love naturally – this is another reason I believe there is a high divorce rate in Egypt. I would like to see comments about this – are views changing there? Are families (parents especially) recognising the problems? – stop the FMG & let couples meet naturally / get to know eachother etc.

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