Another day, another story of a foreign women being stripped naked by a group of men who obviously have no respect for the fairer sex. The most recent incident of a British journalist in Tahrir being attacked is only one in a long line and it's time for a change to stop it from happening again.
After years of trying to figure out how in God’s name these attacks on women could happen, I think I understand, and hate all the more, how these bands of perverts think.
Bear with my attempt to understand these “Ghouls Gone Wild” with a metaphor. I take you to America’s time honored game and one of the most boring sports ever invented-- baseball.
When athletes gather to play, it is clear who is competing because of their silly uniforms. Watch them as they fight it out: pitch, swing, miss, repeat. And so these two teams battle for a 3-hour snorer and we can only pass the time wondering how this game became so popular.
Then, out of nowhere, we get some action!
Here comes some dude wearing nothing but a thong and running across the field! It’s a streaker; a fun distraction from life, a buffoon to be laughed at as he provides a moment of levity and then hopefully runs away or gets escorted out.
Sometimes, however, the distraction is not appreciated and that is when the athletes get ugly; they’ll kick, tackle, push and even beat the naked guy. Players would never really pummel each other for such an offense but, ‘hey, this idiot is naked and ruining our game!’ The unspoken rule is that if the streaker wears out his welcome then civil behavior goes out the window. ‘No-Clothes the Clown’ gets pummeled and no one seems to care. After all, HE deserved it, right?!
Back to Egypt, or Tunisia, or Iraq. It is not clear who's playing the game, but it is clear who is not playing or invited: the ones not in uniform.
“Ooh, you’re here to help us with the revolution? How cute, you and your blond hair and exposed elbows! Hey look everyone, a streaker from England!”
Big smiles and 'Ahlan wa Sahlans'. And these groups tolerated the streaker for a bit but then, they said “we need to teach the outsider a lesson: We are playing a game of honor here and you are disturbing it!” And that’s when they kick, beat, grab, grope, and rape the streakers. She gets assaulted and no one among these thugs seems to care. After all, SHE deserved it! Right?
It's not only foreign women who are attacked. These hulligans say, “The women deserve it! They were not wearing a covering!” What? Listen, even if she was covered, she would still be getting assaulted.
If a man can’t handle a little hair and skin without raping someone, he should be the one locked up in his house all day.
How does the molesting mob change their mentality? A paradigm shift would be nice, from a game of honor to a new path of framing life---an island escape. Man or woman, eastern or westerner, rich or poor; we are all stuck on this floating landmass called Earth together so let’s make the best of it.
Thank God that most Arabs are of this fantasy island ilk already. Look at the Egyptian men and women who saved the female reporters from certain death for your first example.
But to those scattered few who think it is normal to strip someone else's sister, there’s an old saying that ‘if a person comes to help you fight, give them a sword, not a uniform’. If foreigners or fellow Egyptian women for that matter, are braving the crowds of Tahrir, chances are they are on the side of the protestors.
So Oh Band of Raping Brothers, suck it up, join the 21st century and treat them as a guest, not a pest. And I should warn you that if you don’t, I may just have to streak your next family barbeque. That will not be pretty.
By Brett Weer
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Bawaba's editorial policy.
What do you think of the American in Arabia’s take on the recent attacks on women in Tahrir Square? Did he hit a home run or is Brett just way out in left field?