A TV interview with Syrian-Ukranian actress Jenny Esber has prompted many angry reactions on social media as she seemed to defend domestic violence.
أطالب بمحاسبة هذه الإمرأة لتبرير العنف— Yasmine Bahri (@yasminebahri) April 3, 2021
لكي لا يتجرأ أحد على التبرير لأي نوع من العنف بعد الآن https://t.co/lYxVyusAwW
Translation: "I demand holding her accountable for justifying violence, so no one can ever do so from now on."
In the conversation over her personal life, Esber who has been divorced briefly talked about being beaten by her former husband before being interrupted by the presenter Rabia Al Zayyat, who asked her if she would call what she has been through domestic violence.
Esber then hesitated and said that she "wouldn't call it so, because if a woman gets beaten during a heated argument it isn't domestic violence." She went on to say that domestic violence "is when a woman is minding her own business but gets beaten up anyways".
When will this justification stop!! NO EXCUSE FOR ABUSE! We need to use media platforms to spread awareness FFS, Not ignorance!I fight for my daughters equality, safety and not ACCEPT ABUSE!! 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬 https://t.co/a5uvZzqnrW— LinaM 6:07pm (@Lina_Masri) April 3, 2021
As soon as the interview was aired, many women took to social media in shock, condemning Esber's understanding of women's rights and urging her and other female celebrities to stop making anti-women statements on air.
أسوأ عدو للمرأة هي المرأة الغبيّة والمؤثّرة... للأسف في ناس عم تسمعها ويمكن تعتبر هالشي عادي... https://t.co/3P49aDKHc2— The Wise Sheep 🇱🇧 (@TheWiseSheep1) April 3, 2021
Translation: "A woman's worst enemy is the stupid influential woman. Unfortunately, many people are listening to her thinking she sounds right"
In recent years, a number of Arab female celebrities came under fire for sexist remarks, including Lebanese actress and former beauty icon Nadine Nassib Njeim who didn't support equal rights for women and said she would support her son's right to have sexual relationships before marriage, but not her daughter's.
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