El Masry El Youm is going viral for all the wrong reasons today. They posted a caricature by caricature artist Abdallah earlier today, and it seems that all hell broke loose in the comment section, and the image is already circulating all over Social Media. The caricature shows a man asking for a woman’s hand in marriage, saying to her father “what do you mean you’re asking for a dowry? You should be glad I’m marrying her; half the guys in the area sexually harassed her on Eid”.
The reason for readers’ outrage is how blatantly misogynistic and discriminatory it is. The caricature encourages the very kind of victim blaming which we consider the core of the sexual harassment issue here in Egypt. Immediately after being published on the newspaper’s Facebook page, Journalist Ahmed Khair El Din published it on his Facebook page with the caption “what is this?” Since then, reactions on the incredibly insensitive caricature have been negative.
“Women suffer from harassment on daily basis, and to add insult to injury, they get blamed for it by a large portion of our society. They don’t need it to be made worse by the press encouraging such shameful behavior.”
We find it frustrating that it is the year 2016 and women still have to fight oppression in all the wrong places. Media should be helping the oppressed, not lending a helping hand to their oppressors. El Masry El Youm should know better than that. Women suffer from harassment on daily basis, and to add insult to injury, they get blamed for it by a large portion of our society. They don’t need it to be made worse by the press encouraging such shameful behavior.
“The page was flooded instantly with comments about how demeaning this is to women.”
There is a silver lining to this story, however, and surprisingly, it comes from the comment section. The page was flooded instantly with comments about how demeaning this is to women. While there are the hateful, misogynistic comments appearing every now and then, for the most part commenters are disgusted by the caricature and do not believe it’s a laughing matter. At least we know that if the media strays from the right direction, there will always be people willing to speak up about it.
Update: the caricature was deleted from El Masry El Youm’s Facebook page only two hours after being published.
Update: El Masry El Youm issued an official apology on their website and Social Media.