Freedom of Date

My mum – who unlike many Egyptian mothers does not care that I’m 22 and single –  recently asked me if I would like to “meet” the son of one of her friends.

Apparently, the guy’s parents were on the hunt for a wife. My answer was a scowl the size of Africa and I was surprised that the woman who raised me to be a no-bullshit, independent woman would make such an offer.

“Yasmine, I didn’t say marry him or even date him, I said meet him”, she said in exasperation.

“Yes mum, but why on earth would a 25-year-old man get his parents to find him a wife? Something must be seriously wrong with his social life.”

She dropped the conversation. Hmm, I thought to myself, did this guy actually ask his parents for this, or are they volunteering to put an end to his bachelorhood?

fail

Growing up, I was always surrounded by negative attitudes on being set up on dates by your folks.

My parents for one, never sought that path because they believed in their children’s’ independent ability to find what is right for them in life. And yet that afternoon when my mum made her unusual offer, she prompted me to ask several questions.

First of all, why do many of us have such a negative attitude towards meeting guys through our folks? [Read more...]

Grabbing Balls

I recently read a “scientific” study that attempted to explain why, despite all the resistance to street harassment, “men” simply refuse to consider catcalls a serious problem. According to this report, some forlorn biological characteristic renders sexual attention, both sought and unsought for, appealing to men. For this reason, they argue, men don’t find street harassment and catcalls a problem despite the zillions of women explaining that it is.

far

Well, if this is science, and scientific explanations are the root of modernity, then I’m sure the majority of us would much rather remain primitive. Indeed, the past few weeks have showed how much women, and normal men, have rejected all excuses for sexual violence.

In case anyone has missed it, April was sexual violence awareness month.

On April 7th-13th, social media was buzzing with news and views about how women of the world may finally be able to walk about their streets in safety. Movements offline in the form of street protests also made an impressive show of their resistance to street harassment.

Perhaps what is more evident now than any other time is the fact, and yes it is a FACT, that sexual violence knows no borders, cultures or religion.

So next time someone tells you that harassment and rape are a “third world”, “Arab”, “South Asian” or “Muslim” phenomenon, you know that is absolute bullshit.

rape

Yet despite the existence of these inspiring movements around the world, the fact remains that until now, no form of protest seems capable of reducing the skyrocketing rates of sexual violence. Hell, we even have projects dedicated to “teaching men not to rape now” as a last desperate resort.

Which is why I will get back to my-cough- scientific study, and propose an experiment.

If men allegedly find unwanted sexual attention appealing, consider the following:

How many times have we as women, heard men exclaim, “I love pussy!” as they attempted one physical move or another while we walk past? What could happen if we in turn, started grabbing every guy’s balls as he walked past and told him that we all now “love balls”? [Read more...]

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Introducing Leila – half Egyptian, half European – the newest addition to our team! Give her some joooooon love! 

When it comes to claiming that things are universal, it’s always good to be careful. But one thing that seems to be almost everywhere is the infamous double standard when it comes to men, women and sex. Now some places and people are more open to sexual experiences than others, but the thing that seems to be the same no matter where, who and when is this:

it’s good for men to be sexually experienced, and bad for women.

Now that’s obviously a simplification but I seriously can’t think of a single person who hasn’t—at some point or another—believed in this! In fact it’s so pervasive that it’s unconsciously accepted by so many of us.

pie

In Egypt, this particular belief expresses itself in society’s obsession with The Virgin Woman. Virginity is such an important part of a woman that people will literally go out of their ways to find creative ways of having sex without it “showing” when they get married.

From non-penetrative sex to hymen reconstruction surgeries, there seem to be endless methods that ensure a woman will look and feel like a virgin on her wedding night. [Read more...]

Your Mind Too Narrow, You Can’t Be Talking To Me

Hey joonams,

It’s been on a long week- but TANK YOU GOD that tomorrow is Friday.

Did you see how I used “God?” I MUST be an extremist… just kidding …

I grew up in a very different generation than my parents.

My father is an Atheist, my mom blames everything wrong with the world on religion – regardless of whether it’s Islam, Christianity, or Judaism.

But they were born into a Muslim family.  My family is Islamic historically.

My great-grandmother fasts, she covers her hair at all times, she doesn’t eat pork – she was also married off at age nine… but if you think that is what being Muslim means then you’re f#cking cray.

The only God I’ve ever prayed to is a God who would keep the nightmares about vampires away (Buffy the Vampire Slayer scarred me for life).

My mother taught me to hate Islam and I did.

For a long time, I believed that everything wrong with Iran is a result of Islam including (but not limited to), the ridiculous notions that a woman should cover her hair, marry at a young age, and be stoned to death.

The Islamic Revolution of Iran

But Islam isn’t the reason that “Islamic” countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia are so backwards… to the point where Saudi Arabia wont allow it’s women to drive/vote/wear what they want.

If you really believe that the “Supreme Leader” Ayatollah Khamanei was chosen by a higher power, then you might as well believe that I, Farrah am a Virgin. [Read more...]

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