Weeks after Egyptian women started an online campaign encouraging each other to report every incident of sexual harassment, a campaign that received heavy attacks from voices who blamed harassment on "women's revealing clothes," they took to social media again, but to protest the social pressure placed on women who chose to wear the "Burkini," a swimwear that covers most body parts.
Can’t believe this is happening in Egypt!! WTH is happening? They really have the audacity to speak to them like that? I thought wearing a burkini in Egypt (an arab Muslim country) isn’t a problem at all but this is clearly not the case. https://t.co/VtyC4FFy5G— Dena (@dodyydood) July 20, 2020
The conversation over Burkinis was triggered by several incidents that were filmed and posted online, where individuals disapproving of the beachwear worn by Hijabi women attacked their outfits and said that "it hurts their eyes to see it."
Other comments expressing dissatisfaction over the Burkini associated it with underprivileged social classes and said that it shouldn't be allowed in 5-star hotels and resorts in the country, calling it "disgusting" and "low-class."
women should wear whatever they want— لينه (@linahhabib) July 18, 2020
if they want to wear the burkini at the beach let them
if they want to wear a bikini at the beach let them
so you won’t like it if someone calls you a terrorist bas it’s normal to stop hijabis from swimming in the pool because of their hijab? i am sorry, but aren’t both different forms of islamophobia?!?!?!?!?!#SURVIVINGHIJAB #NOHIJABBANS #NOBURKINIBANS— Maلak 🏳 (@MalakMakled) July 20, 2020
In response to these attacks, many Egyptian women demanded that "women's choices of clothes in pools be respected regardless of others' opinions, as long as it's water-proof."
Some commentators took the chance to point at the striking social paradoxes; blaming sexual misconduct on women's clothes while "rejecting their choices to cover-up" and demanded that society stops interfering in what women choose to wear, "whether they choose to take off or put on more clothes."
It’s the same people that ask “but what was she wearing” that are for burkini bans. y’all blame them for “not being modest enough” but criticize them when they are? make it make sense #NOBURKINIBANS https://t.co/7afajyRi24— nourhan fouad (@nnourhan_) July 20, 2020
Im pissed that no one is fighting for hijabis the way we all did when it was about harassment and clothes. THIS IS THE SAME FIGHT. We cant pick n choose which aspect of women’s rights we want to fight for. We fight for every woman’s freedom of choice. #NOBURKINIBANS #NOHIJABBANS— Kenzo🏳️ (@issalilpepsican) July 20, 2020
Social media comments also highlighted the classist perspective of voices that attacked Burkinis, questioning their reactions if the first lady of Egypt, who is a Hijabi, choose to wear to it.
I really cant believe that our first lady is a hijabi and there are still places banning it!😂 not to mention that the ministry of tourism mentioned "burkini is allowed in ALL resorts/hotels"#NOHIJABBANS #NOBURKINIBANS#SURVIVINGHIJAB pic.twitter.com/2Zh1TbhkEE— salomaa🏳 (@salmamoftahalbk) July 21, 2020
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