Are you a sexual harrassment supporter?

Yes, you! And might I also say that it is time we call it what it is, violence against women, which is becoming a norm in Egypt.  Sadly, many people who say they are against sexual harassment are actually supporters without realizing it.

If your first response is, she got attacked because of how she was dressed or where she was, then I am sorry you are a sexual harassment supporter.  No one (regardless of their gender) should be abused or harassed for any reason.  Period.  Why is that so hard to understand?  When people say things like women are like candy and need to be covered up, they really are saying that men can not control themselves and are rapists waiting to happen.  Women are scientists, doctors, engineers, fighter pilots, moms, referees, etc.  They are not candy.  They are not diamonds.  They are human beings who have the right to dress as they choose without having to justify it or be punished for it.

If you think that sexual harassment affects a woman’s honor (شرف ) then you also have a problem.  Her humanity, dignity, soul, heart, psyche, body and more have been violated, but not her honor.  Her honor is only defined by her actions not what someone else does to her.  It is time we stop being dinosaurs and realize that honor has nothing to do with it.

If you are a man and feel that your honor is being violated because a woman was harassed/raped/abused/attacked please take a number, have a seat and wait until hell freezes over.  This has nothing to do with you.  You do not own women.  Your honor is only defined by your actions not by what happens to someone else.  Your job is not to harass women.  Full stop.  If as a decent person (regardless of gender) you choose to stand up against harassment then thank you, that means you have chosen the right thing.

If you feel that videos of attacks make us look bad in the eyes of the rest of the world, then please go drink some arsenic. The fact that you believe that half the population lives in constant fear of being abused or harassed is less important than our collective image means you really need some therapy.  I totally agree that the privacy of victims needs to be protected, they at least deserve that from us. But covering an attack up or pretending that they are not an epidemic is just sick and stupid.

We have a serious problem in Egypt.  It is called misogyny , as defined by wikipedia

Misogyny /mɪˈsɒɪni/ is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women.[1][2] Misogyny has been characterised as a prominent feature of the mythologies of the ancient world as well as of various religions.

If you find any way to blame a victim or justify an attacker then you are a misogynistic inhumane creep that needs to find a hole in the ground to bury yourself.

If you think you don’t support violence against women, but see people blaming the victim and don’t say anything that makes you a supporter.  If you lead men to believe that this is about their honor and don’t right their views, then you are supporting more violence against women.  If you want to hide the fact that these attacks happen then you are a supporter.

If you do not take a stand against crimes against women, you are supporting them.  If you belittle efforts that are made to stand against these crimes then maybe you support these crimes.

If the only solution to this problem in your view is violence against men then this is another problem, it is called misandry.  We can not fight violence with violence. We can only start educating everyone on how to stop the current epidemic and to make sure it never happens again. We need strong laws and implementation of these laws.  We need to feel safe by knowing that we are protected, not that we need to walk around carrying weapons to fight back.

A stand, is long overdue.

For Women: A culture of gold in Egypt

Kicking off our first post in the guest blogging series.

MamaMona has been a favorite blogger of mine for quite some time.  She writes with an honest voice in a diverse range of topics.  On her blog you will find posts about parenthood, shopping, Egypt, Islam and lots of other things.  Perhaps what makes her stand out the most is that she is an Egyptian woman who was raised in the US and then came back as an adult.  It makes her perspective of Egypt different than people who have lived their whole lives in Egypt.  She is a reminder that you can be a very dedicated mother, yet still your very own person.  Here is Mona’s take on Gold and the Egyptian culture.


 

A culture of gold in Egypt

In Egypt, gold is a big deal. Since the days of the pharaohs, gold is king. Growing up in the states, I never really thought about gold jewelery and always preferred silver to gold anyway. In the US, 14k gold is very common, while here, it’s almost never sold or dealt with. It’s strictly 18k or 21k in the Arab world.

Most Egyptian women love gold. Throughout a woman’s life gold is key. When a baby girl is born, people buy gold earrings, bangles, pendants even tiny rings for the newborn. This is seen as a good gift because the parent can keep it or sell it eventually if need be. When a young woman is getting married, there’s the Shabka. It’s a traditional jewelery set that’s a wedding gift to the bride from the groom. It’s a huge deal, the woman goes with her fiance and probably her mom to pick it out. This is a big part of the engagement/marriage agreement, I gather. .

Gold jewelery is usually any Egyptian woman’s prized possession. Often stored in a mother of pearl box (on Egyptian soap operas at least.) Gold is often how some rural women keep their wealth, on their arms and ears, etc. The thing about gold, it’s considered a girl’s best friend here. It’s something that people like to have, and seen as more than just an accessory or a piece of jewelery because in tough times, if need be, people sell it for cash. Nowadays, more modern styles are popular. White gold and diamonds are popular with Egypt’s elite as well.

On a more personal note, I recently was purchasing something from a gold shop here in Hurghada. The glass cases and windows were totally empty. Just bare velvet neck shaped displays. Recent crime has shop owners worried. Tourism is really down and times are tough since most people’s livelihood comes from the tourism industry. A woman came in to the shop with 2 small girls. She removed their earrings and had the man weigh them and waited to hear how much she would get for them.  I could do nothing but look at the ground and feel like crap.

Blackberry and Iphone Silicone Skins in Egypt

If you have a blackberry phone or an iPhone and want one of those silicone skins click here.  Lots of colors are available in stock for different models (8900, 8520, 9000 and 8320).

They keep your phone safe from scratches and hard falls.  They’re also a colorful way to dress up and personalize your boring old business phone.

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If Egypt Wins The World Cup

This is a little hypothetical question.  If we win the next match in Sudan and go on to the World cup and actually win, do you think this might be a motivator for the rest of the Egyptians to work harder and achieve more?

I asked my sister that yesterday and she came back with what I thought was a very smart and concise answer.

“No.  Abu Treika is a role model, but the Egyptians are the same, fahlawa works for them, it is all they know.  Just like the Japanese know process and that works for them.  Nothing will change, reality bites”.

Unfortunately I agree with her, I just wish it were different.  I wish it meant something and I wish that people would take it as a sign that when a team works hard, trains smart and gives their all they can achieve something wonderful and that any one of us could be a member of that team playing any kind of sport in life.

On a different note.Yesterday, our Palestinian/Jordanian neighbor was screaming insults at the Egyptians for being happy and making a fuss about winning. She was asking where are the Egyptians when there is an intifada. She doesn’t get it, football makes the Egyptians happy, she also forgot all of the times Egypt paid in blood, sweat and tears for the Palestinians and every other Arab nation. Is it too much to ask for them to just let us be?  I am not for the idea that people go crazy over football but why do we have to judge other people when they are feeling happy and expressing that happiness by belittling them.  My question to her, why aren’t you in Gaza screaming for them instead of your cozy apartment in Kuwait enjoying your life complaining about the Egyptians?