I honestly can’t understand this. Why would anyone want to do this? The fact that this is happening in a modern society is extremely baffling. This is not the first time I see this and I’m sure it won’t be the last. And I’m not talking about the video.
There is no video here, unfortunately for those expecting it. I’m talking about the fact that someone would even want to watch a video of a female getting raped.
Admit it. The title itself made you click. I’m going to excuse you this time if you promise to read the whole post. And I can’t promise to make it short because I have a lot to say about this. Read on.
A couple of weeks back, one of my Facebook friends posted the following link on my wall:
It basically say: Man lures his girlfriend to his places and tapes her getting raped by his friends. Watch this video +18.
Luckily for both my friend and I, I’ve seen this link on other peoples’ walls before and I instantly knew it was one of those spam links you click and all hell breaks loose. I like to call them: The “socially awkward moment” links.
I understand men watching porn and such but never rape. It is almost like enjoying watching someone getting physically attacked. I highly doubt anyone in their right mind would enjoy such stuff but rape is somehow different to some people.
What I did after receiving that wall post was alert my friend about what happened behind his back while he fell for that trap. It was an embarrassing moment, I can say.
I took a screenshot and asked my friends not to click such links because of their obvious threats in addition to saving their face in front of others.
Now, I know that this particular guy is a very decent guy and it was the first time I see such a thing happen with him. Some of my friends have been clicking away and spamming people unknowingly (which always means more screenshots for me and less joy for them!) but this guy’s curiosity got him in one awkward situation he will never forget.
Sexual assault. Is it as trivial as a simple post about a fake video link spamming my newsfeed and my personal pleasure out of the whole awkwardness of the situation?
A couple of hours ago, I was reading tweets from Egypt about cases of sexual harassment and assaults in Tahrir. On June 30th, almost 50 cases were recorded with one needing immediate medical assistance. Yesterday the numbers dropped to 17 and people still seemed to be outraged by this.
Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault is one of the groups volunteering to prevent sexual harassment and assault by gathering their team of volunteers during protests and keeping track of such incidents. The team of men and women offer help and try their best to prevent such shameful acts in addition to providing psychological and medical help when needed. As per their Facebook page:
The group aims mainly to combat sexual harassment incidents and collective sexual assaults that women face in squares during sit-ins, protests and clashes in the perimeter of Tahrir square. The group tries to save victims exposed to such incidents and also make the experience less severe by observing the square and intervening in case of the formation of such mob assaults. The group also provides support and follow-ups to girls and women in case they suffer from such assaults.
There are many initiatives in Egypt similar to this one and I will be posting links to their social media accounts at the end of the post. Their updates are extremely terrifying and saddening at the same time. But what I’ve noticed as well is the reactions of some of their followers. I’m certain that some of those are just trolls but others are dead serious. Some took it it lightly and even joked about it telling women to enjoy it. Others asked women to stay home while quoting verses from the Quraan. The rape culture in Egypt is at its finest!
As we struggle for women rights in the Middle East, the use of sexual assault as a tool against protesters has been a growing trend. While most protests are relatively free of sexual assaults, those women who choose to go to Tahrir to voice out their political opinions are at higher risk of getting assaulted. Some attribute that to mobs hired to terrify everyone from joining a protest. Women are targeted regardless of their age, appearance or even motives of being there. Reporters, observers, protesters, doctors and even children! Most of those incidents were highly organized and it was pretty obvious that those committing it were only there for that specific reason.
During the celebrations in Tahrir Square following Hosni Mubarak’s resignation in February 2011, Lara Logan, a correspondent for CBS, was sexually assaulted while covering the news.
Another young journalist was attacked as well on the 30th of June. While some of the pro-Morsi journalists claimed the victim was attacked by the revolutionists, many of those volunteering with the sexual assault prevention groups are blaming the president and the ruling party for failing to take assertive action towards those issues in addition to indirectly encouraging the attackers by calling female protesters whores and even blaming them for going there and making themselves open to sexual assault. Take the following example:
This is a clear example of how the Muslim Brotherhood deal with women related issues in general: CLICK ME!
In addition, security forces would rarely help and the victims would go through this with almost no chance of someone successfully interfering to get them out of this hell.
Yasmine El Baramawy is an Egyptian musician who experienced a severe sexual assault along with a friend and survived to become one of the famous victims of sexual terrorism in Egypt. She now advocates for many of those organisations and her brave stand and appearances on TV stations and newspapers gave voice to many women in Egypt who want this disgusting scare tactic to end.
Facebook has tens if not hundreds of pages against all sorts of sexual abuse.. from simple text messages and Facebook interactions to pictures of men harassing females on the road. It is quite evident that we, the women of the Arab world are no longer putting up with this shit.
Having lived in Egypt for 7 years, I’ve been through some of this. I’ve been whistled at, called names, had someone stand in my way and even touched inappropriately in the middle of a busy mall and many streets! There is no shame in admitting this since I am not the asshole here but I noticed one thing: the more fuss you make about it, the less likely the asshole would get away with it and probably consider not repeating it.
One time, a group of young men followed me and a couple of friends around in a mall asking us to give them some attention. They used sexual remarks when they failed to “sweet talk” us into paying them their “God-given right”. I was starting to get mad but decided to ignore them because it was the best thing to do. When one of them called us “sluts” loudly, I lost it. I waited for the jerk to give me his back and I kicked him so hard in the calf. As he turned around, I surprised him with a direct punch in the face and then another. Everyone was surprised to see a girl punch a guy in the face in the middle of a high end mall but I simply didn’t give a shit! His friends froze while he tried to comprehend what just happened. I stood there yelling out everything this guy did while demanding they called the security. I also told him that he was not a man and that he got his ass kicked by a female for running his mouth. That pissed him off really bad as he began to take off his watch and jacket in a clear threat to hit me. I stood there telling him to punch me in the face while giving him my cheek. He just couldn’t do it. The people stood there doing nothing and his friends dragged him away while I kept yelling that he’s not a man and that this should be a lesson to him. Later on, the security arrived and managed to catch him but I told them to let him go as what I did to him was more than enough to teach him a valuable lesson.
Another time and that was the last time I experienced sexual harassment was when I went to Tahrir in 2011 to take some pictures and be in that one place that inspired the whole world. I dressed up modestly and made sure to respect the fact that the place would be packed and that not everyone there would be nice and safe to be around. As I was walking around, a guy touched me inappropriately. I usually give it no more than 5 seconds to decide whether it was intentional or by mistake but the force he used made it pretty clear that this asshole deserved a severe beating. I instantly turned around and beat him with my Nikon D60 repeatedly yelling “harasser!” He turned around and attempted to attack me but thankfully, the men there did a marvelous job at kicking his sorry ass while I walked away like nothing happened.
I can proudly announce that no one attempted to do such things without at least being publicly shamed. I was lucky enough to get away without being attacked as some of those men were young and stupid. But nowadays, it is plain scary. 16 year-old Eman Mustafa was walking with a friend in a village in Assiut when she was sexually harassed. She turned to face her harasser, spitting at him and vowing that she would claim her “rights” back, only to have him beat her and then shoot her with an automatic rifle. Her friend managed to flee the scene fearing that the man would shoot her as well. They finally caught him and a few months later, the man was sentenced to life in prison.
It is sad to know that you are not safe just because you were born with double X chromosomes. It is even sadder to see how society treats victims of sexual assault and harassment. The victims are usually be blamed for anything starting from leaving the house to the way they dress. It is somehow easier to inflict more pain upon the victim rather than deal with the bastards who cause it and stop it from happening to others.
Let me tell you how we feel when we are sexually harassed:
We feel disgusting for allowing such insects to come near us. Disgusted by the parents of such poor creatures who fail to teach them how to respect women. The bystanders who don’t see any need to interfere in such shameful situations. We literally wish it was legal to shoot them all on spot and walk away like nothing happened. We feel violated. We feel that the whole society failed us. The same society that would kill that same man for merely looking at their relative females but would not condemn a man for assaulting a stranger just because they think it’s fun or “she’s calling for it” or any other ridiculous reason they might come up with just to justify their lack of manhood. We distrust men in general until someone steps up and proves worthy of our trust and respect. We feel less feminine as we are forced to man up and face this reality on our or else. We do not care what that makes us as we do not care about how a twisted society perceives us as macho women while they obviously lack humanity. We even start to believe that the minute we decide to get married and have a child, if that child was unlucky enough to be male; he would be taught daily how to respect women until he grows up to be the man that everyone should be. And if that child was unlucky enough to be female; she will have to learn how to value herself not according to what this sick society demands, but according to how any decent human being should be valued. She will have to learn all sorts of self defense techniques and kick ass when required then walk away like a champ. She will learn to distrust most men until someone steps up and proves worthy of her trust and respect.
Dear male readers: rape is not fun to watch unless you first imagine your sister or mother being raped. While your curiosity might make you click a spam link, know that someday, a real video might start playing and by watching someone being sexually assaulted you are indirectly contributing to such acts. Whoever decided it was a brilliant idea to rape someone AND tape it then put the video for the world to watch should go to hell for making a constant reminder of that experience available for everyone to enjoy while an innocent victim suffers forever. Don’t support rape unless you approve it.
Sexual harassment is sexual harassment whether the girl dresses like a slut, acts like slut or is a self proclaimed slut. If she doesn’t ask for it verbally, you have no right to judge her and justify such violation. You have no right since you are not the one going through it. If you still believe that the victim could be responsible in any way, you need to scroll up there and see the fully dressed lady. No victim is responsible of someone’s lack of manhood.
An inappropriate word is sexual harassment. An inappropriate look is sexual harassment. An inappropriate joke is sexual harassment. You want to know what else is labeled as sexual harassment? Always ask yourself those 2 questions before doing anything:
- Can I say/do it to my mother and/or sisters?
- Will I be OK with it if someone else said/did it to my mother and/or sisters?
If the answer to one or both of these questions is no: it is sexual harassment and you need to stop doing it as well as take a stand against it.
If the answer to one or both of these questions is yes: hand over your man card, son. And while you’re at it, dig a whole, lay in it and die slowly.. we don’t need your likes.
- HarassMap: Facebook – Twitter
- Op. Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault: Facebook – Twitter
- Tahrir Bodyguard: Facebook – Twitter
- Shoft Ta7arosh: Facebook – Twitter
- Fouada Watch: Facebook – Twitter
- The uprising of women in the Arab world: Facebook – Twitter
- Post about Yasmine El Baramay’s experience: LINK