Women being mistreated and discriminated against, is a reality evident in our society and one many of us are consciously aware of. However, every now and then during our moments of hope for the better and future aspirations, something happens that reaffirms this sad reality or pushes it to further realms. Such are two images that recently went viral on social media.
The first image is of an old woman sitting on the floor of a train, as three men sit around her on the only available chairs. It was shared by Rayan Aly Abou Eyad.
The second image is of a young woman pulling behind her a rack filled with many heavy boxes, as men sit to the right of her in an Ahwa. It was shared by مصر للجميع.
Recently Egyptian women have been successful within the fashion, sports and scientific realms. Furthermore, many women and men alike have been calling out society on sexism, sexual harassment and female discrimination, taking proactive steps forward. Accordingly we have been extremely hopeful for a better future. However, such images bring us back to reality, reminding us that although we have moved two steps forward, we still have thousands more to move.
In the first image, not only are the men around the woman not respecting her as a woman, but they are not respecting her age, finding no trouble in letting an old woman sit on the floor of the train, as their youthful selves sit on the chairs. It is troubling. If it were any of their mothers, they would’ve stood on their feet, and let their mother take the chair, even if that train ride took two full hours. This is the perfect example of the devaluation of women in our society. There is no sympathy, no respect, and no value given to this woman. This translates as these men viewing themselves as superior in relation to women.
This metaphorically portrays the amount of struggles, weight, and problems women in our society have to carry and deal with, in relation to the comfortable and untroubled state of men.
We don’t know the story of the woman in the second image and we can’t speak of her background or her brother or her father as we know nothing about her situation. For all we know, she could possibly be an only child, with a sick father at home. However, this image is so expressive in the sense that in all cases a woman shouldn’t ever be put in such a situation. It is expressive in the sense that right next to her men sit comfortably. This metaphorically portrays the amount of struggles, weight, and problems women in our society have to carry and deal with, in relation to the comfortable and untroubled state of men.
These two images are a reminder of the unfortunate and backward situation of women in our society. This very situation is sometimes overlooked and forgotten, but is never gone. The day our men are raised and taught to value, respect, and free women in our society, is the day the problem will be gone and not just forgotten.