Egypt Is Plagued by All Kinds of Misogyny and It’s Not Okay

Via Ahram Online


A couple of weeks ago, a Facebook page took it upon itself to “expose scandalous pictures” of some school kids in a private summer party – of course, the focus was on what the girls wore, because what any woman wears becomes automatically everyone’s business.


There are three shades of cool misogyny in Egypt, and all of them are very violently marketed on Facebook by (unfortunately) famous influencers that will not stop sharing their toxic insights on how women should wear/act/talk/live.



Religion-flavoured Misogyny




My problem with the religion-flavoured misogyny is that it’s always assumed that referring females to words like “pearl,” “prize,” “diamond” would be something very flattering to girls and women. In fact, lots of girls fall into this trap and feel flattered, without realising they’ve been horrendously objectified.  I am neither a pearl nor a trophy for good men to “earn” me.


Sugar-coating misogyny is one of the nastiest things I’ve experienced as a girl. I would very often find myself deprived to do so and so because I agreed to be referred to as a shiny object that should be kept locked away in a shiny box.


Many times a relative of mine would call me “gawharet el tag” because I brought him water, cleaned up after guests or whatever…as an early teen, it never hit me that I could be referred to as a “person who wears this crown” instead of being the mere jewel of the crown.


Sadly, gestures as simple as that grow into very wrong and mean perceptions that form entire cultures criminalising women who attempt to live as a regular human being just like their male counterparts.



Romance-flavoured Misogyny


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I don’t care if the WhatsApp screenshot was true or staged, my problem is the caption the “Romantic Screen” put under a post like this. This post gave me shivers, starting with “meraty w benty” until I reached “yesharekny feeky;” she’s not a goddamn company you pervert!


The way misogyny is romanticized in Egypt is horrifying, no wonder how people find 50 Shades of Grey romantic.



Society-flavoured Misogyny




I never understood the logic behind calling women and girls by the names of their fathers, husbands, brothers, sons. It’s like everything about us is shameful, or in other lingo “precious,”  to be announced publicly.


If a girl laughs in a particular way, she’s deliberately categorised in “honour-shaming” stereotypes. The whole talk about honour is also very degrading, if you’re a woman in Egypt and maybe the entire region, you’re no longer an individual. It’s not only that everyone, except you, has a say in your lifestyle, it’s that you go about living collectively. If you do so and so, you’re going to shame your family. If you say so and so to your husband, he’s going to think that your family is ill-mannered to have raised someone like you…etc.



WE SAID THIS: You know what’s even more unfortunate? It’s that most of these misogynistic beliefs are adopted and proudly expressed by more women than men.