being conflicted


Cairo street scenes, Dec 2008 - 43 by Ed Yourdon

I am clearly not burdened by any misconceptions about religion or social norms; therefore my view on relations between sexes is different from what I see here. My views on women clothing are also different.

Local men [or better put it: those men whom I meet on streets] seem like some sort of primitive sexual predators, who just got out of the jungle. It feels like walking through the streets occupied with wilderness, with animals pocking their fingers at you, smiling lasciviously and waving their palms at me.

Today’s example: this morning my colleague was riding a cab when she saw me walking down the street. She wanted to call me and give me a lift, but noticed a flock of wilderness males who were talking about me in Arabic. My colleague decided not to give these species some additional fun and pleasure and did not call me.

Yesterday we decided to go to the seaside. It was quite late for this move – around 2 pm. I have not had enough time to dry my hair so I decided to hide it under the scarf. I normally do that when I am lazy to wash my hair. So my orange scarf completely covered my hair. I also wore a light summery shirt with open shoulders and a long skirt. Summer, heat, sea – what could be better?

Before I got into the car, went to the store or simply sat in the car men eyes were following me everywhere.

And after all this, how these men can be treated seriously? Primitive animals who are convinced they are better than you. How did that happen? Some of them should be caged for serious animal-like behavior.

Of course men at work are completely different: they are nice, polite and we can have a good laugh. I just don’t understand why there is such a huge difference?

Some people would say: you knew where you were going, why are you so surprised? Get used to it? But I can’t. I would say: these things are universal for everyone and people should not be treated like sex objects no matter where you go. Cairo should not be an exception in this case either. Cultural relativism should not be applicable in such cases. IT is even more surprising since this country was exposed to the foreign presence for a very long time, and yet i observe this animal-like behavior.


About Masha Egupova

I am coming from the small city on the Russian Far East called Vladivostok, but Chinese call it 海參崴 [Hǎishēnwǎi] meaning "Sea Cucumber Cliffs." In my blog I will present the view from and about Vladivostok and my views on what is going on in Russia in general.

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