Yesterday two videos started circulating on Facebook showing two men harassing a woman on the street in New Cairo.
The videos were posted by Facebook user Menna Gubran who claimed that these men started following and harassing her because she was standing alone in the street. Instead of doing nothing about it, she decided to take her phone out and film the incident as it happened.
As soon as Menna posted the videos, she received mixed feedback from the public; some applauding her for her actions, and others blaming her for it and calling her an “attention whore”.
And just like most events in Egypt, the subject of one of the videos became the joke of the town through several memes making fun of his approach.
Others, however, defended the man and claimed he was polite with his approach, even though the woman insisted he has been following her and made her feel uncomfortable. The video shows him still trying to make a move while she was obviously rejecting him. So it really wasn’t just a simple coffee offer like the harasser, and his sympathizers, have been claiming.
He too made a video in retaliation, but it only made him look even guiltier than before.
In the video, he tried to defend himself saying; “I thought she looked like the girls I usually deal with in my community.” He was also trying to justify his actions, by claiming that “The way she was standing in the street looked strange”.
In our humble opinion, his justification does not even make sense. What does looking strange mean? Who decided that? And even if she is, in fact, strange, how does it justify his actions?
Going to the second video, which featured man a lot older than the one before. The old man offers the woman a ride, and later comes out of his car and follows her while knowing that she is uncomfortable.
The man intentionally tried to threaten the woman, while making it seem like he is joking. He was trying to be funny and sarcastic, as he asked her for his OWN home address. Not harassment at all, right?
While the actions of the men in the videos are by themselves problematic, what was even worse is the public’s reaction. For some reason, the majority started throwing the blame on the woman; some blame her for being alone on the street, others for filming the actions, others claiming she’s asking for attention, while others criticized what she was wearing, even though the videos never showed her or what she wore.
And surprisingly, some girls even attacked her too. So much for girl power, right?
What logic is this? And why do any of those people think they have the right to judge how a girl feels when being harassed on the streets; why are people beginning to think it’s normal and that we have to deal with it? Why do some think that it’s okay to brush off a guy getting out of his car and not take it as harassment, just because he ‘apologized’? Even though he only did it when he found out she’s filming, and everybody can see that!
Harassment is harassment, and surprise surprise, girls are allowed to react however they want, even if it’s by posting a video online, cause unfortunately, it’s the only weapon they have nowadays.