Edited by Yara Alsayes
Walking down the streets and experiencing sexual harassment in broad daylight in Ramadan, we start to wonder, when did it become okay to let men harass women? When has it become an acceptable argument to blame victims and say they should “respect men’s fast”? It makes no sense that something as sacred as fasting justifies harassment! The most frustrating thing about this argument is that it shows how much women’s bodies are sexualized, even if they just passing by on the street.
- Reminding you they’re fasting
You could walk past a man and he’ll say “allahoma enny sayem” so loud to make sure you hear him. Men somehow find a way to remind you that they’re fasting. We’re unsure as to why this is any of our business. Apparently, it is a harasser’s way of blaming you for how desperate he is, being aroused by a woman walking down the street.
“One would believe that during the Holy Month of Ramadan, we would witness a drop in sexual harassment. Sadly, in Egypt, the problem seems to remain the same.”
- Reminding you it’s Ramadan
When a man shouts “it’s Ramadan!” at us, we’re baffled. Do you think I didn’t know that? Are we just stating the obvious now? Why are you telling me what month it is? I know it’s Ramadan. Oh, are you implying that my outfit isn’t Ramadan appropriate? How about minding your own business?
- Comparing you to Ramadan dessert
We know you have nothing on your mind but food and sex, completely defeating the purpose of Ramadan. However, you don’t need to compare me to inanimate objects, please.
“At some point of your life, you’ll hear a man say “bism Allah masha’Allah”. This man doesn’t know what he wants. He doesn’t know if he’s a sexually perverted sad little man, or someone who’s religious.”
- “Praising” you with a religious phrase
At some point of your life, you’ll hear a man say “bism Allah masha’Allah”. This man doesn’t know what he wants. He doesn’t know if he’s a sexually perverted sad little man, or someone who’s religious. He’s using God’s name in harassment! We shouldn’t have to deal with their perverted confusion.
- Use a “newly popular” phrase
Each year there’s a new phrase that people like to use in sexual contexts, especially harassment. This year it’s “Dondoo”. This little word has spread like wildfire and apparently now it’s being used by harassers, it’s no better than the alternative.
Ramadan is supposed to be a time of peace and tranquility, a time to have self restraint, but it’s turning into the exact opposite. When fasting becomes an excuse to be violent against anyone, it loses its purpose. When you cannot control yourself enough to look away from whatever “temptation” you have in front of you, we doubt you can complete a day’s fast. When it’s easier to blame women for something which you clearly have control over, you are relinquishing your title as an adult man. Before you ask women to respect your fast, respect Ramadan by being a decent human being.