Monday, July 14

Retards Make It to The Atlantic

The money quote:
"You won't be able to stop them (i.e. guys), but you can protect yourself. He who created you knows what's best for you!"

Hello all the lollipops out there.. and the flies too. Hope everybody's is doing great in Candyland!

Well, I've -unfortunately- seen this stupid ad in many places around the internet. I even received it in an email! (Some of my buddies have gone into the habit of spamming lately.) When I first laid eyes on it, the only thing that came to mind was.. WTF? I felt disgusted and offended beyond belief. And every time I saw it on a blog or a Facebook group the same lump found its way to my throat.

Until, one day, I saw it on The Atlantic! Even Andrew Sullivan seems to have been moved by it. Yeah.. Voila.. It's right there in my face.. But this time there was something new about it. I thought I saw a tongue sticking out from behind the lollipops! Most probably it was the working of my insulted brain which in turn intoxicated my imagination. I rubbed my eyes, looked back again.. still nothing changed.. There is the stupid ad, the lollipops, the flies and the tongue!

Sandmonkey has said enough about this, that I need say no more. Although in his post he has reached an awkward conclusion assuming that hijabi females themselves are the ones responsible for this stupid campaign! (Why?.. No clue.) Wish such a disgusting ad would have stayed at home.. but uhuh.. that's just one of the disadvantages of Globalization.. Things cannot be kept at home for too long! Now, the whole world can see the latest inventions of the Egyptian mind! That's how Egyptians use the evil West's modern technology.. precisely, as manifest in Photoshop! See? Who on earth could have thought of this but us? It still is creative, if you can somehow bring yourself to take out the "sick" aspect of it.

Let's cast all that aside now, and please bear to look at this thing (sorry) from a fresh angle.. an Egyptian one as well.

I don't believe hijab propagandists have grown that desperate while seeking to influence more girls to wear hijab, knowing that almost 80% of Egyptian females today are hijab-wearers. What's freaking me out about this ad, though, is its indirect encouragement to sexual harassers!

Seeing this ad from a boy's eyes, the message is totally reversed from a presumably "religious", "pious", or "moral" cause, to an implication that sexual harassment is the norm, and that whoever dislikes it should make this clear by dropping down a veil over her head.. so as to say, become marked. You guys are thus being encouraged to direct your sexual advancements towards those who do not hold this mark.. the X.

Mind you.. How come we see no ads, stickers, flyers, posters or the like, telling guys to back off? or reminding them of the punishment of a sexual harasser in the afterlife? The doors of hell seem to be wide open exclusively to females!.. and in today's Egypt those females are defined as those who do not cover their hair! On the other hand, though, nothing whatsoever is said about male sexual harassers. Sometimes I even imagine that they are ready to place a reward for those who harass females down the streets or means of public transportation! And the message that is being transmitted all the time sounds like "Girls are asking for it. Girls deserve it. Girls are the source of evil. Girls are temptation. Girls are the ones who push you to sin, and if you give in to their temptation you are just a poor fellow, and it is totally human, and God will forgive you for being weak. But she.. she will burn in eternal hell."

I can't believe I'm about to do this.. But let me play a devil's advocate for a while.

Suppose that girls are asking to be harassed.. Supposed that they enjoy your sneaky hand exploring their bodies.. Suppose they are just pretending to be offended while in secret that is what they are seeking after.. And suppose that you are merely answering their call. Why don't you count your sister among them? Why don't you count your wife among them? Why don't you count your daughter among them? Are they immune? Or.. the question I'd better ask is.. Are they marked as untouchables?

Here it is. In a man's world you can not place any restrictions on men. You can not ask them to be moral, religious, God-fearing.. or even human. Most of them will be delighted by the thought of being considered as insects, as long as they are allowed to roam freely and indulge in every low desire. "So what? Call me an insect.. Fine by me. But let those lollipops be prepared for my adventures. Let them know that they can never hope to get rid of my jaws and my stinky tongue. Let them surrender to my rules."

Islamist Fundamentalists exploit this patriarchal rot seeking their own advantages. They are other insects of another kind, feeding on social fungus. For them, reforming manners and calling people to abide by high morals means their distinction. What will they feed on when there is no more rot? While the status-quo is so full of advantages.. that's their ultimate playground. That's why they can exercise their influence at full length. Patriarchs will appreciate this license to sin, while in return they will offer huge support to those fundamentalists.. after all, they are the ones in power.. they control society.. and those fellow insects will help them to gain more control.

Girls in this position have no choice. They are not doers, and they are brought up to believe that they can never aspire to be doers. They are the done-by. You either accept the marking system (the veil) or you are exposed to waves of criticism and rebuke for being the primary source of evil on earth. You can not break this affiliation between patriarchy and islamic fundamentalism.. it is a match made in heaven!.. and you are too weak to dare question their values.

But wait a minute.. Your submission is not solving anything.. not even for you. On the contrary.. it is making things much worse. By accepting to play the role of the lollipop, you are in fact declaring the death of humanity. You are the one building Candyland with your own hands. And you're building it for insects to enjoy! In Candyland, there are only lollipops and flies.. Flies are the living organisms, they rule.. lollipops are merely inanimate objects. Wrapped or unwrapped, they still are the same. Insects will consume you one way or another.

Believe it or not.. you can stop all this! You have the power within you to decide and choose, because you are still a human being. So, you can either choose to stay as such and change your society to better, inspiring them to stick on to their humanity, and refusing to be exploited in such a way.. or.. you can go ahead and surrender.. go with the flow.. be the lollipop and lose any hope in becoming a human being once more. It all lies within your hands.

7 comments:

ahmad said...

indirect encouragement to sexual harassers!

i agree totally...
as we have to keep on mind that ppl who made such add, are trying to serve Islam , and they couldn't come out with any better idea except "packaging" Hijab as a self-protection , not to fight the sexual harassers..

how strange is this county...


p.s.
nice blog though - knowing that i hardly read in English! -
:)

JustFYI said...

Here is a link for modest swimsuits which only reveal the hands, face and feet. Not guaranteed to prevent sexual harrassment, but if you use a good insect repellent, you may be able to ward off the flies.

- modestswimsuits.co.uk


Shimaa Gamal said...

As I said it before when I first saw this ad, if men are flies then women should use a pestiside as covering up was never the solution.

I don't know what were they thinking of but the guy(s) who made this ad is not in the least creative (not to mention the poor choice of colors) but a lolipop for a woman and a fly for a man?!!

So, women are candies and men are disgusting insects?? This is smart!

Fantasia said...

ahmad,

I am glad that you liked this blog and I thank you for your comment.

This ad actually came to confirm that doubts that many people had about the relationship between the rise of fundamentalism in Egypt and the growing horrifying rates of sexual harassment. It simply came to lay down the missing thread in such a directly blunt manner.

Hope you will keep interacting with what we discuss here.

Fantasia said...

justfyi,

I so much like the oxymoron in modest swimsuit! Still I will go for the insect repellent.. scientifically tested and proven to be more effective.

Fantasia said...

shimaa gamal,

glad to see your comment.. big fan of your blog.

seeing this ad, i thought it only lacked the line "from the producers of Dumb and Dumber"! But I could not find anything funny about it. It is such a pity that we've reached those limits in our society. A bigger pity on those who forwarded such an eyesore while imagining this as some kind of a religious act!

Anonymous said...

Great post, but I wanted to point out that "retard" is an offensive, belittling term.

"When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid" - Audre Lorde