In a recent survey that could hurt Egypt's tourism industry, two-thirds of Egyptian men admit to harassing women and most of them blame women for wearing tight clothes and not being home by 8 pm. Of course, harassment is defined as everything from hollering at and ogling women to whipping it out and groping (more commonly referred to here as "crimes for which one can be jailed") but, regardless, foreign women and Egyptian women have one thing in common — they don't like it.
Worse, though, is the expectation among both men and some Egyptian women that women are asked to be harassed by their manner of dress. According to the survey, 83 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women admitted to having been sexually harassed, though less than 3 percent of the harassed Egyptian women ever reported it. And, although it likely goes without saying, most of the Egyptian women who were harassed were wearing headscarves or clothes they deemed modest because, when it comes to street harassment, it isn't ever really about what a woman is wearing, it's always about a man trying to assert himself and intimidate her.
I mean, though, let's be frank, this isn't new and it certainly isn't limited to Egypt. I've been hollered at everywhere from my hometown to Vietnam; I was groped in the high school hallway, in clubs in D.C. and in the halls of Congress. My European friends warned me about traveling alone in Italy and I've been followed home in Spain. My sister's suburban New Jersey college had a serial masturbator dubbed the "Mad Wanker" who used to wait for girls to walk by at night and then shine a flashlight on his less-than-impressive junk. So before we call it cultural, or even limited to Egypt, why don't we just say: who among us hasn't experienced this, regardless of our country of origin? And is there some system by which we can tag the men that do it with tracking devices, so we know who to avoid and/or mace?
Two-Thirds Of Egyptian Men Harass Women? [Reuters]