I know that the struggle for freedom is paved by the bodies of the freedom fighters and the blood is accredited price for liberty. However I am always saddened when I see the young Egyptians are presenting their lives as a sacrifice to claim their country back.
I feel that the masses of the youth have no weapon but their perseverance to fight the tyrants. The thousands of martyrs and wounded persons proved to me that our bodies are the weapon, the shield and the battle field.
Yes our bodies are the battle field, but that rings another bell. Women bodies are also targeted, but other variables play role in the strategy of how to humiliate a woman. That is the gender based violence, when are subjected to violence that violates their bodily integrity, but also attacking them with special tools to destroy certain things, like their reputation or self esteem.
If I analyzed the current events from a gender perspective, I have to refer to two incidents, the first the sexual violation known as the virginity testing, which 7 demonstrators faced in 9th of March 2011 and only Samira Ibrahim filed a case against SCAF. And the second case is the displacement of the Christian families from el Amiria in Alexandria, because of “illegal” relation between a Christian man and a Muslim woman.
Although I am really sick of the virginity obsession in Egypt, but the virginity tests proved to be a procedure done by the army before admitting any female prisoner. And that cause many issues, first that this happen without consent and that is a violation to the right of privacy and the bodily integrity. Add to that in a society like Egypt, the reason of doing such procedure can be easily to defame the women, if she is not virgin and not married and this is a lethal weapon to destroy a woman, and further on it can be used against all the revolutionaries. That the female revolutionaries, if any are not virgin, so that will mean socially that they are not trusted persons and not respecting the rigid Egyptian code of ethics and tradition. And definitely I have to note that women are valued with their chastity and that is examined by the community and the state as well, and that what was proven by the latest article of the Egyptian historian Dr Khaled Fahmy, that the procedure of “ virginity testing “ is used since the 19th century.
Also the second case shows how women sexuality is used to agitate sectarian conflict in Egypt. The case of Amiria is not the only case. It is very common that a relation between a Muslim man and Christian woman or vice versa flame the anger in hearts of both sects. The concept of honor that is imbedded in the women bodies and it is minimized in her genitals. And each community feels it is insulted if one of its females is engaged in a relation with a male from the other sect. The Egyptian communities see the women body as their property and she has no right to use it, unless she is in wedlock.That’s why I see women bodies as battle field. State, community and sect are struggling to assure its supremacy over women bodies. Everybody can accept a woman to be beaten or dragged, but a photo of a woman stripped and assaulted cause “unrest” in the country