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Arab Men Constantly Grope Women in Public

Postmillennialism —  1 Comment

USA Today — After years of enduring vulgar and degrading comments or worse by men on the streets of Egypt’s capital, Cairo University student Cherine Thabet decided she had had enough.

As part of the Nefsi (Hope) campaign, young Egyptians hold up signs that read, “I hope that you will respect me so that I may respect you.”

“Do you know that it would be strange for a woman to leave her house and return without hearing two or three strangers’ opinions about her chest, in all kinds of colorful language?” she asked in a blog post. “Can you imagine that it is routine for a big man to stand quietly by as a woman gets groped?”

Her post received a torrent of comments from women throughout the Middle East who complained that they, too, are tired of a common practice of Arab men that is usually just whispered about by women.

“We should confront society (about this) as much as we can,” said Thabet, 21, who has been campaigning online, on the street and on Egyptian television about the issue since her post. “We should talk and talk (about it), so everyone understands what the problem is.”

The wave of recent revolts for democratic changes in the Middle East and North Africa known as the Arab Spring has not led to more leadership roles for women, who have traditionally been sidelined politically in this part of the world.

However, the throwing over of old orders has inspired Arab women to try to change their old roles in society. That can’t happen until women can at least walk the streets without being grabbed by men whose behavior is seen as acceptable, they say.

“Women are struggling for basic rights, for nationality rights, to end domestic violence, against rape and sexual harassment,” said Farah Hobeissi of the Lebanese group Nasawiya (“feminism” in Arabic). “For us, it’s very clear that it’s not an easy battle. We are facing a patriarchal society that uses sex and religious men to hold us back.”

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One response to Arab Men Constantly Grope Women in Public

  1. And Muslimism is a religion of peace…

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