Foot-in-Mouth-Club! Lebanon's Mikati Says Independence Day is Like a 'Divorcee Celebrating Her Marriage'

Published November 24th, 2021 - 11:50 GMT
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati talks during a news conference at the Grand Serail in Beirut, September 30, 2021. (AFP)

ALBAWABA - The Lebanese Prime Minister Najeeb Mikati can be forgiven for his latest blunder on women and sexism. Of course, he didn't mean to but it just came the way it did. All Lebanese went to social as a result to vent.

But his choice of words, especially on such an auspicious occasion - Lebanon's celebration of her 78th year of independence - is clearly regrettable and maybe misinterpreted. 

The Arabic social media and the English ones for that matter - and up till now - has/are fuming with anger, loathing and sarcasm at Mikati who described the Lebanese independence day is like a "divorced women celebrating her marriage". Indeed, what odd choice of words to describe the reeling Lebanese state.

Needless to say the women of Lebanon fumed at this analogy because the prime minister went on. He added say if the woman had been understanding it would have  not led to her divorce in the first place. Shocking! tempers fumed!

The analogy was getting worse by the minute and Mikati should have stopped after his first comment even though many Lebanese saw it as a bad one that clearly doesn't reflect reality. But he actually continued to explain. This explanation about the woman being more understanding and considerate made it worse. What about men activists barked, or the many that in power for that matter. 

The analogy was all wrong because somewhere in his comments Mikati wanted to talk about the worsening economic situation of Lebanon. But women are no way to be blamed for that and the same goes for men. But obviously he had something on his mind that he didn't communicate too well.

The way comments went on the social media, it is the Lebanese politicians who are to be blamed. Put the country to rights people electronically shouted. Lebanon is in a terrible economic state with the Lira plummeting, (23,000 to the dollar); exorbitantly high cost of living, no medicines in pharmacies, not even an aspirin. This is not the fault of women!

But aside from that, bloggers saw the uttering of the prime minister in front of Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Parliament Speaker Michel Berri celebrating Lebanese independence, as paternalistic, patriarchal and down right rude to women.

There was much cynicism also. One tweeted that the Lebanese people have no idea where the next slovenly comment will be coming from, adding "may God help Lebanon.  On the patriarchy angle, one just said the man from the Orient, or the East is a lost cause meaning that he won't change whether its the prime minister or the man-in-the street.

Another addressing Prime Minister Mikati says: "You are right and I respect you for this expression" but someone else called him a misogynist.  

Another stated Mikati should resign for this comment which is rather drastic and another added now Mikati is another distinguished member of the “Foot in the Mouth Club”.


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