Disgusting, isn’t it? Appalling, inexcusable! If you think so, congratulations, you are one of the few who are truly disturbed by sexual harassment. It is out of control, and this elderly man, leaning over, hiding behind his newspaper to touch a woman’s behind, is the representation of all the reasons why we seem to be losing the battle with it.
We’re all well aware that there’s an epidemic of sexual harassment in Egypt. It has gone on for decades, and only increased in frequency and degree with time. It’s very difficult to find a woman in Egypt who has never been sexually harassed; be in verbally or physically.
“If harassers knew they wouldn’t find anyone blaming the victim, they wouldn’t dare harass them; they’d know they’d find themselves in the wrong”
Time after time we find ourselves obligated to explain to people who choose to blame the victim that victim-blaming is illogical, irresponsible and immoral. That no matter what a woman wears, it is not a reason (even worse, an invitation) to violate her. Somehow, the “excuses” given to harassers by the majority of Egyptians show that this vast majority is as guilty as the harassers themselves. If harassers knew they wouldn’t find anyone blaming the victim, they wouldn’t dare harass them; they’d know they’d find themselves in the wrong. However, it is evident that the majority of our society does not care for that. Logic be damned, as long as we can protect these harassers. Thus, harassers have a safety net, they don’t even realize they’re doing anything wrong. Their sense of right and wrong is even more distorted than that of those defending them.
The “excuses” in question always go along the lines of “men are sexually frustrated”, “no one can get married these days”, “she was dressed inappropriately”, “he sees so many sexual stimulants and doesn’t know how to deal with it”, the list goes on. That would only make sense if the only means of sexual gratification comes from sexual harassment, but everyone knows there are countless options to relieve sexual frustration. It’s high time we’ve called this what it is.
“When a man yells at a woman that he likes her breasts, he knows it won’t be of any relief to him, but it isn’t about relief, it’s about letting that woman know that he can do this to her”
This isn’t about sexual frustration. This is about violence against women. This is about asserting their twisted dominance over anyone; and society says “go ahead, they’re only women”. When a man yells at a woman that he likes her breasts, he knows it won’t be of any relief to him, but it isn’t about relief, it’s about letting that woman know that he can do this, he can say this to her.
“The disgusting, slithering touch of this old man on this woman’s behind is a reminder to every single person out there that it isn’t about sexual gratification”
The disgusting, slithering touch of this old man on this woman’s behind is a reminder to every single person out there that it isn’t about sexual gratification. It isn’t about a woman dressed provocatively. It isn’t about sexual frustration because men are too poor to get married. It’s about proving dominance. It’s a disgusting display of a perverted human being’s need to force themselves on another – seemingly weaker – human being to prove their power.
The worst part is that there will always be those who will defend him, come up with excuses, and that they will most probably outnumber those who stand with the victim.