Written by: Alaa Saeed
Many girls all over the world, particularly in the Middle East, complain about women’s rights, image in society and how they’re portrayed in the media. Feminism did women a great favor and helped them in seeking equal rights. However, some girls remain to be a source of sexism and inequality.
1- Slut Shaming Other Girls
Our society is so familiar with the concept of slut shaming. We watch in it Egyptian movies, on our streets and even schools. Growing up, girls are taught that being dubbed a ‘slut’ is almost like a death sentence. But no matter how much girls suffer from it, they themselves slut shame other girls for not matching their criteria of a “good girl”.
2- Romanticizing Men’s Control
Some girls brag that their boyfriends or husbands don’t let them dress in a certain way because they’re jealous. It’s very common in the Egyptian culture to perceive the man as strong and manly when he ‘controls’ his woman. We mistake love for being a control freak, and it makes girls fall in love with the idea of “the tough jealous man”.
3- Cursing Someone by their Mother
It became almost the norm that in order to humiliate someone, you just have to curse their mother. It’s because men look down on women as inferior beings, as a source of shame and a point of weakness. But it’s just weird that girls fell into this trap and became their own humiliators.
4- Worrying about their Reputation if they Smoke in Public
Smoking is hazardous for the health of both genders and has nothing to do with morality. Many girls still smoke in toilets to maintain their “cute polite girl” image in society. It’s 2017, and I still come across questions on social media like “What do you think of a girl who smokes?”
5- Believing they Should Dress Modestly to be Respected
Despite the gradual liberalization of our society, we still hear stuff like “I want to marry a modest girl”. I’m not attacking modesty, but I think girls should be aware that their worth is not directly related to how much flesh they cover. And no matter what girls choose to wear, they all deserve the same respect.
6- Saying that Limitations “Dignify” Women
We can’t deny that religious extremism controls a lot of minds, especially with the spread of false religious interpretations on TV, social media and books. Some women still believe that staying at home makes them a ‘gem’, not raising their voices makes them ‘feminine’ and not sharing their photos on social media makes them ‘precious’.
7- Preferring a Male Physician/Engineer/Lawyer/Poli
tician Over a Female Counterpart
We suffer from the toxic notion that women are emotional irrational weak creatures. Mothers tell their daughters they should trust a male doctor because he’s more reliable, focused and knowledgeable than a female doctor. Also, sometimes preferring a male politician, lawyer, engineer because stereotypically they must be smarter! And guess why also? Because women menstruate and get pregnant!
I just hope any inequality, sexism and hate in our society will gradually vanish over time through our awareness and desire for a more humane, rational and peaceful future.