“Egypt steeped in misogyny” ميصير قادين دوشمانليغا باتميش اؤلكه
She became Egypt’s first radical feminist, and is now carrying out protests against the oppression of women along with other activists of the FEMEN network. Aliaa Elmahdy has been forced to leave their home country after death threats and persecution, and living for a year in Sweden.
She is only 21 years, make up the body and reserved in manner. Aliaa Elmahdy does not appear to mind the image of a powerful agitator. But she has a great strength in their views and great security in who she is, there is no doubt.
– I have the right to be what I want, and the right to be proud of myself and my female body. I’m more angry than afraid of those who threaten, and every time it happens, I am even more angry that so many girls and women are afraid of violence in the world today, she says.
Perhaps a view that is not directly shocks Swedish women, but to express themselves as Aliaa do in Egypt that has a traditional and conservative view of the role of women is equal to the outcry.
Having blogged about women’s rights in a few years, she put out a picture of herself, wearing only stockings, on his blog. The message was that as a woman she is proud of herself and her body. In no time, she was known throughout Egypt and was interviewed by several newspapers. Many reacted strongly and hateful, her family disowned and she received death threats on the blog. Eventually threats and harassment so many that she had to leave the country. After a visit to a women’s conference in Stockholm she sought asylum here, and her application was granted last summer. During the asylum process, she learned that the Swedish Migration Board received several letters of continued death threats against her.
In Sweden she is studying Swedish. Here, she can walk without any comment on the clothes she is wearing.
– I dressed like this sometimes in Egypt as well, but here I do not have physical and verbal harassment. But it took a long time before I could drop my flight and fight response, she says, sweeping a hand over his beige tank top, jeans and simple white shawl.
– In Egypt, acting almost everyone as if they own my body, so it is for all women. On the street, I have suffered so many physical and verbal attacks that I can not count them anymore. My parents tried to control me in every way, and my dad measured the length of my skirt all the time. He once said that he wanted to cut off my tongue.
A few weeks ago conducted Aliaa and two other Femenaktivister a provocative action in the mosque on Södermalm in Stockholm. They had painted slogans on their naked torsos against sharia in Egypt and the world, and to honor the norms that prevent women to live a free life.
During the half hour that the campaign was going on they were inter alia told that “they were whores who were too badly fucked,” said Aliaa Elmahdy and notes dryly:
– That says everything about their views on women.
Had Aliaa and the other two Femenaktivisterna conducted their campaign in Cairo had been raped and abused, she is convinced.
Therefore, she is very involved in the fate of a 19 year old Tunisian Femenaktivist risk going to meet. Several of Femens actions have recently been to support Amina Sboui imprisoned in Tunisia and risk imprisonment for having bared his torso in protest against the culture of honor. Amina Sboui has received a fatwa directed to itself.
Aliaa hope Femens actions will cause the world to open their eyes to what is happening with Amina Sboui in Tunisia.
– Our campaigns make people aware, and I think it takes something more radical than politics for a change to occur. It is not just with words, says Aliaa who wants to become a film director and talk about their own experiences of oppression of women in the motion picture.
– It’s not just about Islamization and the Muslim Brotherhood in power. The whole community is steeped in misogyny, it is both religious and cultural, she says pointing to opposition politicians dare not endorse demands for women’s rights:
– Many liberal has backed the former said when they attacked for it, and there is a terrible double standard. Many men who claim to work against sexual harassment join such organizations because they think they’ll get to sleep with women.
Do you feel that you have a hard time trusting people?
– Yes, I can feel when people are not trustworthy.
Can you understand that Muslim women think Femens action counteracts the ability of women in society?
– They defend their position and tells you that it is a freedom to wear the veil, but in that case it is well a freedom for men too and I’ve never seen a man who assumed the veil. Why should we be grasped if we have shirtless, it would never happen to a man, says Aliaa.
Now she has started a Facebook group FEMEN Egypt, and hope that more Arab women to join the network. So far she has about 900 sympathizers, but nobody wants to be an activist. That there still are many young, strong and outspoken women in the protest movement in Egypt think she is a positive sign.
– We are different than the previous generation, they were afraid to have opinions. Because we are so oppressed maybe we become hardened and tough it. But many will still fall victim to the end, she says with sadness in her eyes.
– We need a social revolution in Egypt, before then, I can not go back.