A Cultural Perspective on Another Form of Terrorism
When I first started writing this article, I originally doubted if girls, who’ve grown up in Britain, would find a strong relation to it. However, I’m sure that many girls from countries like Egypt, where 70-99% of women are being sexually harassed everyday, would definitely relate. Many women in Egypt perceive sexual harassment in their patriarchal society as a no less of a threat than terrorism, in fact, the same way many people in the world define terrorism as ISIS, many Egyptian women live terrorism every day through patriarchy.
I grew up believing that the only pure way of having sex is by “making love”, many people reach sexual gratification through sexually satisfying their partners, and, in my opinion, the inability to satisfy your partner will always affect you psychologically. Sexual pleasure is, in my example, never selfish, it is instead the process of endless giving; however, this is not how sex is perceived in a patriarchy were women are only seen as bodies without souls, as ordinary objects for consumption. This vile perception of women justifies the everyday sexual harassment that the women in Egypt experience, and the fact that some men find sexual pleasure in objectifying women and forcing them into sex. In a patriarchy, sexual harassers are not to be blamed for this sexual disorder, instead, women are the ones that would usually be accused of behaving in a way that seduces men, of “asking for it.” No matter how modest our clothes, we are always the ones to blame. It is the terrorism of patriarchy that kills dignity in women and humanity in men, and how terrorists find their pleasure in objectifying their victims, sexual harassers find pleasure in objectifying women.
When sexual harassment becomes the norm in a society, it gradually distorts women’s sense of belonging to society. It’s common sense to think no woman appreciates living in a country that does not respect her and the same we see refugees escaping from death, we also see women that are escaping from abuse. While the whole world tends to see the greatest threatening terrorism to them is Islamic, we -Egyptian women- only know terrorism as patriarchal. So that whenever those women pray for the world, they always pray for a world with no patriarchy, a world with no terrorism, a world where love defines everything, where their innocence is never betrayed, where no one dares to steal their dignity from them, and where we can all live equally as humans.