Anti-Feminist What Now? The Meninists Have Arrived to Cairo

By: Salma Gharraf and Neda Ahmed

With everything that’s going on, all the stories coming out, all the brave survivors speaking up and coming forward with their stories; expressing their agony, pain and suffering while challenging not only their harassers/rapists/abusers but a whole patriarchal system, it’s obscene and downright disgusting to start a ‘voices for men’ “movement”. Today, we find ourselves facing backlash from rape apologists and people feeding into this exact patriarchal oppressive narrative, with their frustrating insulting and dehumanizing comments. An attempt to silence our voices, to let the law handle it and stop making dawsha and fedeeha to these “poor” men. For us to follow rules, made by men, for the sake of men. What’s new and up and coming now is an anti-feminist movement… for men????? An Instagram account has been created the last week, to defend such and such harassers, with a clear message and ‘campaign’:  to end men’s oppression and misery from feminism, rather ‘radical feminism’. Al yaani ehna zalmenko.

So here we are, as always, breaking down everything the dear leader of this so-called movement has said, claimed and posted on both his personal and campaign accounts. He even described himself as the Voice of Men.

First of all, educate, wala balash educate lahsan tedaye’, read, how about that? Before accusing feminism of your ‘oppression’. There are multiple schools of feminism, all with different ideas and methodologies. Ne’raf el so-called enemy kwayes abl ma nehbed, wala eih ya habibi? *rubs nose in landscape orientation*

Like any other movement, feminism evolved compared to when it first started, best described as an umbrella term. At the mere beginning, its first ‘wave’, it was a movement made by white women to find liberation seeking their basic rights and needs (right to vote, right to divorce, right to work) in a patriarchal society in favor of the white man, with no guarantee and inclusion of marginalized women, AKA women of color, queer female identifying individuals and disabled women. Fast forward several years – two centuries actually – black women of color and activists took a hold of feminism and included themselves in the conversation through on-ground protests and academic theorization, how you might think? Well, damn sure not by being respectful and docile, but by being radical, by showing anger, by fighting tooth and nail for their very basic human rights, but we’re going to talk about this later. Anyway, Kimberle Crenshaw – a black American lawyer, civil rights advocate, and philosopher – introduced the term intersectionality to the conversation by stating the importance of gender, color, religion, ethnicity, physical and mental (dis)ability and sexuality as important factors when looking at oppression because our very identities are intersectional and each of those factors affects the others. This is where we, as Arab women, are put into consideration, but not just us, the other marginalized women of color, and the even further marginalized individuals within us. So, we are not JUST feminists, we are intersectional feminists, anti patriarchy, anti capitalism, and anti oppression to any and all women, regardless of their identities, which are validated, seen, and inserted in our rhetoric.  

Radical feminism has been getting increased attention and is, thankfully, becoming a more popular school. So, what is radical feminism? It, like all other schools, manifests equal rights for men and women through radical reordering of society to eliminate male supremacy and economic and social inequality. In other words, it’s tackling the problem from the very roots, calling for quick and permanent change. They criticise non-radical schools of feminism, i.e. liberal feminism, on the basis that their methodology does nothing to take away the unfair power men have over women due to generational patriarchy and inherited misogyny. So, to answer and correct your theories habibi, feminism is not looking to take away ‘men’s rights’, but it’s holding men accountable for the undeserved privileges they have over women. 

If a poisonous plant was implanted in a garden, it affects the whole place, infesting every other plant. And in order to remove it, you need to grab it from its deeply ingrained roots, to get everything out, to dismantle it from its core power. 

We’re not anti-religion, at all. It’s a basic freedom to conform to whatever religion your heart is drawn to most. If you care to explain, habibi, what does ‘anti-religion’ mean to you? We’re just not getting it.

What is the ‘believe all women without evidence’ thing because sure as hell I’ve never heard of it. If I understand correctly, it should be ‘believe all sexual survivors, with or without evidence’, and this is a statement that does not discriminate on the basis of gender identity, right? We believe both female and male survivors, but male survivors have an even harder time speaking up, because of your fucked up system that undermines your struggles as men, reshaping masculinity and setting an impossible standard that deprives you from your human needs; the need to cry, the need to express oneself, the need to talk about your own assaults, and much more. THAT’s what feminism aims to combat, THESE are the roots we’re grabbing, and your damn movement is nothing but an excuse to further stop us from solving these problems. Remember the ABZ case, a male survivor came forward with his story on an anonymous account, and without hesitation, people slandered the living hell out of him. Blaming him, shaming him, disregarding his pain and dehumanizing him. This is a victim that we chose, as feminists, to also believe and acknowledge, but he couldn’t take the hate and unfortunately, deleted the account out of fear. 

Also, feminism is not ‘anti-government’, it is anti-oppression, in all its forms. Please explain how being anti-government is a virtue when we are supposedly living in a democracy? It is only in the land of dictatorship that being anti-government is a crime, so watch your words. Lastly, feminism is not anti-men, it is anti-patriarchy and it is anti-oppression. It’s also pro-equality. In a utopian feminist society, all genders will be getting equal rights, allowing them equal opportunities of growth and prosperity. In fact, in a feminist society, men would be free of the restraints of hegemonic (traditional) masculinity. W wenabi shil shanab Si El Sayed aw Stalin ayohoma akrab from the poster!

Now concerning some of the alarming crap you say in your stories, we have a lot to explain. 

C O N S E N T 

Ever heard of that? No? Expected. 

A woman has every right to agree or disagree on anything that happens to her or that she might get involved in, sexually or non sexually, whether that be taking a photo, talking to a guy, and everything that goes on between going on a date to having sex. Her consent to one act doesn’t mean her consent to a different one, nor the same one later. Egyptian feminist activist Malak El Boghdady made it very clear in her stories, talking about sexual coercion in the context of consent, which is forcing a yes out a person by shaming them, blackmailing them, and guilting their way into agreeing and various other ways of manipulation and mental abuse. She perfectly concluded it all in the statement; “a yes does not always mean yes”. 

Will we leave her alone? NO.

See this man’s tactic is showing you how dumb, aggressive, blasphemous, sensitive and “too much” feminists are, by twisting their words, by showing only what his narrow mind was capable of interpreting, and by gaslighting, slut shaming and mocking victims and those who defend them.

On the personal level, many of this guy’s ‘opinions’ are not opinions at all. While we’re all allowed freedom of speech and expression, our opinions must never be in favour of dehumanising already marginalised groups, even going to the extent of calling them ‘social rejects’, manipulating religious texts to support their views. There’s a damn clear line between freedom of expression and hate speech. You can have an opinion on every single social issue on the condition that your opinion doesn’t breach human rights. It’s that simple. 

A friend who uses the pronouns they/them was bullied by this guy; he called them a social reject, only for identifying differently. So please, do tell me, how is your behaviour in any way related to the ‘equality’ you’re preaching in the bios of your social media accounts? How are you any different than a system which oppresses groups that don’t fall into their boxes and “accepted” labels? He even said, “I wouldn’t expect anything less from a they/them.”

What is even a they/them? I’ve no words; how can you refer to someone in this dehumanising manner? What exactly are you trying to establish?

You know what also is very questionable about you? Your unwavering support for Tameem Youness, and the support he’s very affectionately returning. 

All we’re asking for is for you to hear us, to have empathy, to stop with your bigotry and senseless thinking deprived of any emotion or even logic. But since asking has never gotten us anywhere, we’re not gonna be nice anymore. No, we’re demanding you to hear us, to see us, to respect us and our existence, our fight against our oppression but yours as well, from an authoritarian and structurally violent system that you’re choosing to defend.

This is nothing compared to what we still have to say and express. We, Salma Gharraf and Neda elewa, vow to destroy this useless excuse of a “mission” until the end of time.

Mel akher…

See,  we do have our speculations that he’s either a social experiment to test our patience and bring us marara, or just your usual clout chaser hopping on a trend, but there are so many men who have the same mindsets, and so this had to be said. 

We’re pretty sure when habibi finds this article, he won’t bother reaching the very end, because this is how deep and badly internalized misogyny works in people’s minds. And we don’t care, because we’re not necessarily making it for him or about him, we’re making it for us, seyah feminists yaani. And also mainly for this to reach anyone who can be brainwashed by the crap he claims to be valid counter opinions that should be highlighted on the internet. So if you made it this far, khodo bosa (except for that dude and the 3-4 supporters of his, ento takhdo a’la demaghko)

With radical love,

Salma and Neda

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