Egyptian TV presenter faces backlash over victim-blaming sexual assault segment

Published November 2nd, 2015 - 02:43 GMT
Twitter was in an uproad this week after Egyptian TV host Reham Saeed said a woman was to blame for her own sexual harassment because Facebook showed her wearing a bikini. (Twitter)
Twitter was in an uproad this week after Egyptian TV host Reham Saeed said a woman was to blame for her own sexual harassment because Facebook showed her wearing a bikini. (Twitter)

Controversy is storming in Egypt after a TV presenter said a woman's sexual harrassment plight was spurred not by the well-known problem plaguing Cairo's streets, but by the way she dressed.

Last week, Egyptian presenter Reham Saeed ran a segment about sexual harrassment in Egypt on her show Sabaya Al Khair in which she interviewed Sumaya Tareq about her experiences.

But after the interview, Saeed ran a live feed of images pulled from Tareq's social media accounts. Before a stream of various photos of Tareq on a beach in a bikini, hugging her boyfriend and walking around the city, Saeed told the audience she had brought the harrassment on herself—these images were proof. 

Yikes.

This is a terrible, shockingly common argument about street harassment used all over the world. So while it may not be surprising someone pulled it out again, it is sort of comforting to know that social media shot back at Saeed with a vengeance. 

The segment caused an uproar large enough to prompt Egypt's Al Nahar TV to remove the YouTube videos of the episiode and take Saeed's program off the air this week.

Egyptian satirist Bassem Yousef even chimed in, offering free ad space on his social media accounts to any company who pulled support for Saeed's program. 

 

As a small gesture from me to the campaign against Reeham Saeed I will post a free ad on my page for all the companies that will stop their sponsorship to Reeham’s program.

 

Elsewhere on Twitter, users accussed the presenter of victim-blaming and invading privacy. 

 

Others questioned the timing of the frenzy, pointing out how it steered Egypt's national attention away from the country's recent election, whose sketchy details had sparked a campaign of its own on Twitter.



Reeham Saeed's case was a great success to kill the online protest against the Egyptian elections.


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