Cats and Cunts II

Posted on November 5, 2006


There are a couple of important points I left out that are worth considering. First, that Sheikh Hilaly and his ilk are not the kind of people who even know what consent really is, let alone what it looks like. I don’t know about other patriarchal cultures, but round here sex is usually seen as a struggle, wherein men try to obtain it, whether through persuasion or coercion (and these are not seen as too far apart) and women should resist it, until such a time when money changes hands and words are uttered, and then the woman has to give in as a duty. As such, clothes are really just weapons in the battle. I was talking to the guy who wrote this article about the Eid attacks, and he says that all the people he interviewed (including the shopkeepers that rescued the girls) said that the girls were to blame because of their tight clothes. Selective as ever, they disregarded those entirely veiled females that were assaulted.
I have never felt that the culture around here really contemplates that women can actually be tempted too, or that they can find sex pleasurable. I’d forgotten that consent isn’t really the issue here, only losing the battle for chastity. Basically, the line between sex and rape is almost invisible. At least in Egypt.
Second, as Mechanical Crowds kindly pointed out, whether or not people feel that a woman’s clothes indicate her interest in being handled, this is not an interest that can be recognized by law as some kind of defence. Nor can women be held responsible for the body chemistry of complete strangers, or acquaintances, or bosses, or even dates.
It’s fucked up, and I honestly don’t even care if it’s Islam or patriarchy or whatever. What’s the difference? Practically, the results are the same to women – either way, power over our bodies is placed in the hands of men.
I don’t feel well-expressed today. Excuse me if my logic is garbled.

Posted in: Egypt, gender, politics