A new video courtesy of cbs paints a disparaging image of Egyptian women being sexually molested and assaulted with little consideration for potential legal ramifications. In many ways the assault on women says a lot about the customs and dispositions towards women in that part of the world which chooses to eschew them from affirmative roles in society and instead position them as objects their for the sexual gratification of men.
Tells one female Egyptian Filmmaker and activist Aida El Kashef who has chosen to make a film exposing the plight of women in Egypt, particularly one telling episode which saw her and other women at the center of one protest amongst men who sought to sexually assault them:
“Basically, people just started grabbing me everywhere, trying to take off my clothes,” she says. “My underwear was torn, and the thing is that it was not about the sexual assault at that moment, it’s just that you’re being pulled from every inch of your body.”
El Kashef and other activists have gone on to argue that Egypt’s new government has done nothing to make the streets safer for women which has led to the creation of bodyguards who attempt to combat male offenders as well as train women the art of self defense.
A cursory regard of comments on reddit has many commentators arguing that Islamic law has served to sequester the rights of women whilst others point out to the ever increasing lawlessness of the country since a power vacuum has been created with the over throw of its previous leader Hosni Mubarak. That along with economic disarray, lack of education and the continual delineation of a rigidly segregated society.
And then there was this reflection that made me wonder as well:
The problem at its roots is patriarchy. The patriarchal model of pair bonding and societal hierarchies revolve around controlling women and male “ownership” of women via roles.
Which raises another question, will women like film maker Aida El Kashef really able to combat an ingrained patriarchal society? Then again if one really thinks about it, the sexualization of women although overt in Egypt may ultimately be a recurring pattern the world over as one only need have a cursory regard of the way women are also sexualized in the Industrial west, who so often find ironically find themselves asserting their power and identity once they accept their prescribed role as sexual players, ever eager to please the male provider….
above image found here