Menu
Share
 
Switch to Desktop Site

Virginity tests: Misogyny and intimidation in Egypt

Next Previous

Page 2 of 4

About these ads

Gen. Mamdouh Shaheen, a member of the military junta now running Egypt, said no such tests had taken place. "We denied it then and we deny it now."

The anonymous general's words reveal a frightening but not surprising attitude for people who know Egypt. His suggestion that if they weren't virgins then they couldn't be the victims of rape is telling, as is his implication that "nice" girls wouldn't be treated that way. Many Egyptians are deeply conservative about the role of women in society, and would share his views that it wasn't appropriate for women to be present at mixed protests in the first place.

Sexual intimidation has long been used in Egypt, and not just on women. For instance, democracy activist and blogger Mohammed al-Sharqawi was raped with a cardboard tube by a state security official in a Cairo police station in 2006. His tormentors were never prosecuted.

But women have more often been targeted in sexual ways. There was international outrage when apparently pro-Mubarak thugs groped and attacked CBS reporter Lara Logan in a vast crowd in Tahrir Square the night Mubarak resigned. But Egyptian women activists on the frontlines had been experiencing such treatment for years.

Next Previous

Page 2 of 4


Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

Loading...