One of the most Egyptian things a person could do is to give unsolicited advice (mostly in a derogatory way) to shame the person for saying something or stand up for themselves. It could be from loved ones to complete strangers who think they’re collecting bonus points by giving you their two-cents. Women, especially, get to experience this, even with topics as serious as harassment, rape, and sexual assault.
With the trending hashtag of #أول_محاولة_تحرش_كان_عمري everyone and their mother, literally, decided to ignore everything that was said and shame the women for speaking out. A lot of people were “shocked” by some of the things the women said, and I, personally, was shocked by the responses. Not because of the certain response to the topic of conversation, but because we, as women, get told these things almost every day for speaking up!
We gathered some of the most common unsolicited advice that we’ve been told, hoping that women would stop accepting these words and stand up for themselves when they hear any of them.
“Rabena amar be el satr” (God commanded not to expose sinners)
This is ALWAYS said when you’re trying to out a person who’s being a complete perv. A girl could go and say, “Hey I got raped by this dude,” then comes another girl that’s trying to act like the rational one in the situation and say “ya benty rabena amar be el satr!” The same person might continue their sentence with….
“Balash tefda7y nafsek” (Don’t dishonor yourself)
Women can’t come out with their rape stories or their sexual assault experiences because there’s always someone telling them not to expose themselves and let people know about you went through as if it was the women’s fault!
“El nas hat2ol 3aleeky eh?” (What will people say?)
They’ll say I’m not a sissy who takes people’s sh*t, how bout dah?
“Akeed msh da el 7asal w enty fehemty 3’alat” (That’s not what happened, you just misunderstood)
This one is very popular with verbal harassment or harassment in general; with someone who’s close to the person harassed – be it a relative, co-worker, or even a boss.
“Konty labsa eh?” (What were you wearing?)
Fun story: I once saw a woman in an all-black abaya and niqab that had her butt grabbed by a random man who continued to say something so inappropriate to her that I can’t even get myself to write because of how disgusting it is. How about that, team konty labsa eh?
“3ayza tefahemeena enek 7elwa ya3ny?” (You want to tell us that you’re good looking and stuff?)
I can’t even begin to write a description about this…