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The Beer Company Promoting Sexism and Sexual Harassment in Egypt

The Beer Company Promoting Sexism and Sexual Harassment in Egypt

“Forget about the color of the dress, focus on the woman wearing it. Be a man.”

“Be a man.”

That is the primary slogan of Birell, a beer company which came to the Egyptian markets in 1986 providing non-alcoholic beer, which has been running “man up” advertisement campaigns since as early as 2009.

What does ‘manning up’ entail? In one advertisement, the customer is told to forget about “what colour is the dress” and focus on the woman who is wearing it.

In a country where 99 percent of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment, the advertisement appears to promote cat-calling, staring and maybe more. The latest campaigns have even attracted the wrath of social media users who have accused Birell of sexism and the promotion of sexual harassment.

Yet, is this merely an oversight by the non-alcoholic beer company? According to its company overview, Birell has a strong and bitter taste that can “only be handled by men.” Self-titled “Birellman” on Facebook, the company promotes its drinks to men, warning that unless you “man up”, you cannot handle the golden coloured drink.

One of its latest ads that has been criticized for promoting sexism and gender discrimination concerns ‘skinny jeans’. The advertisement states that if you are to wear skinny jeans, you might as well take a taxi, go to national registrar and change your name to “Maysa” (which is a female name, but, with the change of the ‘s’ in Arabic can refer to ‘being a sissy’).

“It basically says wearing skinny jeans makes you a woman,” explains 23-year-old feminist and blogger Enas El Masry, “The issue lies within the frame they draw for what a manly man should be like. That is what the image plays on. Men don’t wear skinny jeans. If you do, it’s better if you change your name to a female one.”

“If affects women indirectly in several ways: only men are tough enough to do certain things. If you can’t live up to that, you’re as good as a woman.”

The result of this is that, not only are women targeted, but so are men, who are expected to be ‘manly’ in ways that Birell prescribes. In a 2009 advertisement, Birell declares “the personality of a woman is the last thing you should comment on,” when a man in the television ad compliments a woman’s personality. Another 2010 advertisement depicts women as constantly nagging and ends with “being a man is not easy.” Meanwhile, a 2012 campaign run during Ramadan declared that a “man should not cross his legs like a woman” and implied that a man should not be sensitive or cry.

 Farida Ezzat, President of ‘Heya – The Women’s Initiative’, agrees with Enas, adding that Birell owes a duty and obligation to promote social issues.

“It is unacceptable and infuriating that Birell has continuously released ads that promote sexism and gender discrimination,” says Farida regarding the latest ad.

“It is sexist. It is offensive. And more than anything, it is socially irresponsible. As a company with its popularity, promotion of social issues is not only a duty but an obligation.”

The President of the women’s initiative, based at the American University in Cairo, adds that both men and women should protest the blatant gender discrimination, “Birell’s ads speak loud and clear of what type of company this is. It is a company that will do anything to make profit even at the cost of promoting a culture of discrimination and sexism.”

“It is clear that the values Birell upholds are values that are against a society where women and men are respected; a society where equality of all forms exists. As citizens of this society, we must stand up to gender discrimination, sexism and all forms of prejudice.”

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  • Morad

    This is not only a pointless article, it’s an infuriating example of how people an twist anything around to make it fit their viewpoint. The Birell company has realized that the main target of their audience are male, so they decided to focus on that group in their ads. What they are saying by their ads is that they want the “manly” man to drink their beverage. This does not mean females are not allowed to drink, nor that there are things women aren’t allowed to do.

    This is a method used since the dawn of time by marketing companies to reach out to their target audience. The only people who have even the smallest right to be insulted her are men who don’t want to feel “manly”. Women are really not affected at ALL by this campaign.

    Just another dumb comment by a “feminist activist” who wants to stir up shit to get attention to her cause in any way possible. While I agree with her cause and agree that there IS sexism in Egypt and it must be addressed, I can’t agree with what she is trying to do in this case. It’s sad how a cause so noble got ruined by people so ignorant.

    • Nasser

      lol

    • Fuck you

      You’re definitely a stupid piece of fuck!!

    • Minymina

      Agreed with you 100%

  • Silje O. Heltne

    This sucks, I used to love Birell for it’s smooth, mild taste, and I am a woman who enjoys a proper porter. When I lived in Egypt I’d have up to 4 in a day. But I could never support them again with my money knowing they’ve resulted to this sexism.

  • Commander_Chico

    Egyptians, do whatever you can to keep American-style feminism out of your country.

    • Ahmed

      Go back to reddit.

      • Minymina

        Feminism – (men = women)
        American-style feminism – (men / woman = women)

        • Kelly L. Krause

          I’m sorry, but what exactly is ‘American-style’ feminism? I am sure that other readers here would appreciate hearing your definition.

          • Commander_Chico

            Privileges without responsibilities or accountability.

            Continual hysteria based on manufactured statistics about rape or wage disparities.

            Authoritarian suppression of speech that “triggers.”

            Extreme sluttiness. Attention whoring on social media.

            “Fat acceptance” Trying to force men to accept fat women and suppression of imagery of truly beautiful woman.

            Squashing energetic boys with “zero tolerance” and political correctness in schools while pushing grrrl power.

            That’s a good start.

          • Kelly L. Krause

            Please continue…

            What sort of ‘privileges’?

            What makes you think that statistics RE rape and wages are ‘manufactured’?

            What makes a woman, or for that matter ANY human being, ‘slutty’?

            And what do you mean by ‘attention whoring’ on social media? It seems many people around the world use social media for attention… We live in a very self-centered era.

            And speech that “triggers” what exactly?

            What do you mean by ‘energetic’ boys? And what exactly is being ‘squashed’?

            Apologies if all the questions are overwhelming, but I like to have as much info as possible before I shape my thoughts.

            I will say, however, that I greatly disagree with your thoughts on ‘fat acceptance’, and this is coming from a woman who wears anywhere from a size XS – S or US 4 – 6.

            Much of the argument coming from within the States – and other areas around the world, I might add, that include the UK and Europe, India and even areas in the MENA Region – state that people’s overwhelming exposure to media in this day and age shapes an unrealistic vision of the human body (for women AND men).

            When looking at models and celebrities on tv, online, in magazines etc., we often forget that they are being made up, dressed up, in some cases even having dental work or drastic surgeries to ‘fix’ problem areas, and being photoshopped or airbrushed so that waists look smaller, breasts look bigger etc. Not to mention that they are also often portrayed in unnatural, suggestive or sexual ways/poses that are deemed more ‘attractive’ or ‘alluring’.

            The fact is, MOST human beings’ bodies do not fit naturally into this idealized image that we have allowed ourselves to create. Furthermore, each person tends toward a ‘natural’ shape for their body. I, for example, have always been slim, while my husband has always been husky, my mother and best friend have always been curvy, and my longtime work colleague has always had an athletic build.

            No matter how hard my husband works out – and he works out 6 days a week – he is always going to be husky. My best friend exercises EVERYDAY, yet she will always be curvy.

            The emphasis of the ‘American’ argument, if you want to call it that, is body acceptance (regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman). The aim is to develop a healthier image(s) that promotes that acceptance and greater confidence and self-esteem, rather than instigating low self-esteem and unhealthy habits in an effort to create the ‘ideal body’, many of which can lead to injury, illness or even death.

            If you’re not ‘suppressing’ the imagery of ‘truly beautiful women’, as you put it, then you ARE suppressing the image of all other women. You are also suppressing the image of all men who do not fit the ‘ideal’.

            So, unless you look like Chris Hemsworth from the Thor and Avengers films, you might want to re-think your statement.

            Thank you,
            Kelly

          • Minymina

            You make excellent points, however we are talking about extreme feminism. Which has spread all over the US, hence why it’s sometimes known as ‘American-style’ feminism”.

          • Commander_Chico

            The first abdication of responsibility of American women is over their own sexual and reproductive choices. They expect to be able to play around with any man, then have the state pay for their abortions or with welfare for their father-unknown one-night-stand children.

            The second abdication of responsibility is over work and wages. American women expect “equal wages” without choosing or being able to do the hard or dangerous jobs like engineering, mining, computer science, firefighter. They expect that a make-work office job staffed by a psychology BA be paid as much as a civil engineer working on a construction site, without regard to the value of that work. They also demand to take breaks from work at any time due to periods, child care issues, even for years, and expect that their professional advancement be equal to the guy who is grinding it out year after year.

            None of the endlessly repeated “studies” about wage disparity or frequency of rape stand up to statistical analysis. The claim is that women are paid 77% of what women are. Controlling for occupational choice and hours worked per week, that gap disappears.

            The hysterical claims that “one in five women are sexually assaulted in college” are based on bogus premises:

            The one-in-five figure is based on the Campus Sexual Assault Study, commissioned by the National Institute of Justice and conducted from 2005 to 2007. Two prominent criminologists, Northeastern University’s James Alan Fox and Mount Holyoke College’s Richard Moran, have noted its weaknesses:

            “The estimated 19% sexual assault rate among college women is based on a survey at two large four-year universities, which might not accurately reflect our nation’s colleges overall. In addition, the survey had a large non-response rate, with the clear possibility that those who had been victimized were more apt to have completed the questionnaire, resulting in an inflated prevalence figure.”

            Fox and Moran also point out that the study used an overly broad definition of sexual assault. Respondents were counted as sexual assault victims if they had been subject to “attempted forced kissing” or engaged in intimate encounters while intoxicated.

            Yet this statistic is used to create a climate of fear amongst both women needlessly scared and men who are the victims of false charges. See Duke U, U Va, Columbia “mattress girl.”

            Extreme sluttiness – Sex and the City and Girls as role-modeling for American women.

          • Commander_Chico
          • Taha Ashour

            Feminism is the same every where. If men have the right to play around then women should have the right also. if a 21 years old adult male have the right to chose what to wear, where to go, and when to be back home then a 21 years old adult female have the right to do so. Women and Men have the same minds and i believe both should have the liberty to choose what to do.

          • Commander_Chico

            No, women and men do not have the same minds. Science shows there are major differences.

          • axel

            Dude..how can I follow more on your opinions n get a largwr picture of where you come from metaphorically ?

          • Ahmed Esmaeil

            About that If you’re referring to the biological mind construction, that women excel more in multitasking, and language, while men excel more in motor control, and map reading.

            Yes you’re right in general, but there are other studies that suggests that because of the elasticity of the human mind, the mind gets shaped by the experiences that you get through your life-time, so this is the result of the molds that we creates for either boys/girls once they are born (e.g. purple for girls, blue for boys, etc).

            but frankly I failed to understand your point, what does that has to do with one gender is superior to the other.

          • Between the Lines

            Hahaha…From your way of thinking, Commander-of-Inanimate dolls, it’s quite obvious women and men do not have the same minds. The goodly lady Miss Kelly has outwitted you,,,,,by leaps and bounds.

          • Kelly L. Krause

            Hello Commander Chico,

            Please see my replies to your comments:

            Your stance on sex and reproductive choices:

            What about the responsibility of MEN in THEIR sexual and reproductive choices? Last I checked, it took at least two people to have sex. Is it simply fine for men to ‘play around’ and have one-night stands without being accountable for their sexual activity or anything (i.e. children) that may result from it? Are women solely responsible for anything that results from their sexual encounters simply because they have a uterus and are the ones who carry and birth children? Sex requires at least two consenting people and BOTH bear responsibility for ensuring that the sex between them is practiced safely and with protection.

            I think you are also disregarding victims of rape (i.e. people who did NOT give consent), as well as the far-from-perfect effectiveness of birth control, whether you are using condoms, the pill, etc. or some combination thereof. In this scenario, can we assume that there are COUPLES who have decided TOGETHER to abort a fetus that may have been conceived unwillingly? In these cases, the state is paying for the abortions of BOTH the man and the woman.

            Regarding single mothers (and fathers!) on welfare, shouldn’t we consider the factors or circumstances that have resulted in their current situation (e.g. divorce, spousal abandonment, rape etc.)?

            I’m not saying that there AREN’T women AND men who enjoying sleeping around, and I’m not saying that there aren’t a fair share of these men and women who practice sex irresponsibly and without accountability. But there are many others coming from completely different experiences and circumstances that need to be considered when looking at welfare and abortion practice in the United States.

            Your stance on wages and women in the workforce:

            My understanding is that women are asking for ‘equal pay for equal work’, meaning they ARE performing the same work/job in the same industry with the same experience as their male counterparts. Your example of women working in one role specific to a given industry, while demanding the same pay as a completely different role from a completely different industry is baseless and doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

            Furthermore, you have cited industries (engineering, mining, computer science etc.) that have not only been traditionally dominated by men, but have traditionally pushed women out, often blatantly closing off opportunities to them.

            It is only recently that women have begun to venture into these traditional male roles, often seeking additional skills training and experience simply to be seen as ‘qualified’ in the eyes of their male colleagues.

            While the number of women and men alike in the American workforce is expected to increase, overall labor force participation rates are expected to decline, with women only FINALLY accounting for approximately 50% of the overall workforce (46.8%) in another seven years (http://www.dol.gov/wb/stats/re….

            At the global level, the percentage of women has actually stagnated, with a participation rate of about 55%. And while labor participation rates for men actually dipped to 82%—and many women who work in the “informal” economy aren’t counted—the yawning male-female gap hasn’t been dented (see ‘The Full Participation Project’ study at: http://noceilings.org/).

            Moreover, your patently misogynist comments about women demanding to ‘take breaks’ for issues related to menstrual cycles, pregnancy, childcare etc. reflects exactly the type of sex stereotype — that women will be less committed to their work or less deserving of advancement after having children, or that they belong at home taking care of the children — that the United States federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in employment was aimed at eradicating.

            Workplace policies that don’t make space for the realities of pregnancy and motherhood and employers’ entrenched gender stereotypes and implicit biases toward women AND men (i.e. women are the primary caretakers, while men are solely responsible for their families’ living, education and healthcare costs) only perpetuate structural discrimination and ultimately lock men and women into traditional roles with little flexibility to adapt to the needs of their families.

            You may find more information and data on female participation in the workforce, classrooms and other institutions (especially with regards to decision-making) at the following:

            http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/h

            http://news.byu.edu/archive12-

            http://news.byu.edu/archive12-

            http://www.4thestate.net/femal

            Your stance on sexual assault:

            Regarding Fox’s and Moran’s hypothesis that those who have been victimized were more likely to have completed the National Institute of Justice questionnaire, studies collected by the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress actually estimate that there are thousands of victims of sexual abuse and assault that NEVER come forward and report the crime. This may be due to a number of factors, including feelings of guilt or shame, accepting responsibility for the actions of the perpetrator or attacker, fear, self-doubt and community reactions (from boyfriends/husbands/partners, the police, neighbors, family, the court, etc.).

            Studies also suggest that approximately only 3-5% of all rape or molestation allegations that are reported are false, making the remaining 95% of reports factual incidents that are absent of ‘victimized’ men. (Please find more info here: http://www.aaets.org/article12….

            I also find it amusing that you cut and paste verbatim an excerpt from the Time Magazine article you shared below (thanks for the referral by the way).

            This article (“5 Feminist Myths that Will Not Die”) was written by Christina Hoff Sommers, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). AEI is a self-proclaimed conservative institute, financed by like-minded organizations, corporations and private individuals and conducting several studies that would arguably uphold ‘traditional’ American values (https://www.aei.org/).

            The bottom line from all of this is that we ALL have a responsibility as citizens to research objective data and to be conscious of the missions, values and agendas of partisan organizations producing or publishing statistical data that is, at times, biased from the start. We owe it to ourselves to look at the argument and data from BOTH sides in order to see the bigger picture of a given situation/debate and make educated and informed decisions.

            Your stance on female ‘sluttiness’ in the media:

            I would agree that there are few female characters in current American media who are truly powerful and inspiring to women and girls…

            But it’s not reasonable to expect a male-dominated industry with largely (often all-) male teams to effectively write female characters (you cite ‘Sex and the City’, which was created by a man (Darren Star) and written by men for the majority of its run). It’s also not reasonable, as writer Phoebe Gavin recently stated, “to expect all-male teams to create products and marketing campaigns that appeal to other genders without painting them into dainty, pink-and-purple [or ‘sexy-for-the-sake-of-being-sexy’] corners. Those genders have to be IN the room.”

            I am also curious to know your stance on MEN in American media. From a ‘role-model’ angle, there are few aspirational characters for men and boys, the one exception being the largely successful superhero franchise in both film and TV. Beyond that, men and boys are left with violent, misogynist, exploitive, deceiving characters who often gain money, power, influence and other advantages in being so, while more admirable, ‘good’ characters are suppressed, abused, excluded and generally lose out (e.g. ‘Entourage’, ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘The Sopranos’ ‘Mad Men’, ‘Game of Thrones’ etc.).

            So, based on your argument that ‘women’s’ series promote ‘sluttiness’ in American women and girls, I suppose we can all assume that ‘men’s’ series promote violence, murder, rape, back-stabbing and all around douche-baggery in American men and boys.

            Perhaps we all just need to be advocates for our genders and not only encourage but DEMAND more dynamic characters (male and female) that step beyond their ‘manly’ or ‘feminine’ stereotypes.

            Thanks for listening, it’s been a blast.

            Kelly

          • I.F.

            WOW!! that’s the only thing I am going to say to you Kelly… WOOOOW!!! 🙂

          • Commander_Chico

            First, men and women are built differently. It’s up to women to keep their legs closed or at least use birth control when the man does not commit to supporting a child they have.

            Second, you reply to my complaint about manufactured statistics with manufactured statistics. There is no reliable scientific study that could ever say that there are X more rapes for every reported rape, or that only X percent of rape charges are false.

            The recent flurry of notorious false rape charges (Duke, U Va) and the continuing flow of rape charge shake-downs of prominent men seem to contradict your assertion of low rates of false charges.

            Third, no disputes equal pay for equal work. But the 77% figure is based on all aggregate wages, NOT controlled for either occupation or hours worked. So the “crisis” is non-existent.

            Fourth, it’s ridiculous to assert that women in America now aren’t free to pursue scientific or engineering careers. The fact is that they are less interested in studying hard technical fields.

          • Kelly L. Krause

            Hello Commander Chico,
            Again, please see my rebuttals to your arguments:

          • Commander_Chico

            Dear Ms. Krause:

            Did you learn in anatomy class that the hormone testosterone is the primary neurochemical stimulant of sexual desire? And that men have 17 times as much testosterone as women? Probably not, it would be “politically incorrect” to teach that. When the art and social critic Camilla Paglia took testosterone she was shocked at how horny she got. You should try it – you can probably buy it in Egypt over the counter like almost everything else. Just don’t take it until you grow a beard or wear your husband out.

            Throughout human existence, women have been the gatekeepers. Men are less controlled by nature. In the past, social and legal conventions were created to conform to the biological reality. Many of these conventions are still present in Egypt, where it’s not acceptable for girls to slut around. In America, the state subsidizes it. I am perfectly happy to take advantage of that.

            The science of evolutionary psychology has revolutionized the understanding of human gender relations, example:

            http://scan.oxfordjournals.org/content/10/3/311.abstract

            We now know that many of the natural preferences of males and females can be socially destructive and should be constrained.

            http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019188691500210X

            That, again, is good for me because I am a narcissist.

            Most of what the science says ratifies what feminists call “patriarchy” if that means societies where there are strong gender roles and conventions which revolve around sexual abstemiousness, male providing, and female caregiving.

            A lot of what you have written is in basic agreement with me – that the statistics like the 77% wage argument or rape statistics are false or very questionable. But American feminism is built upon those false statistics, especially when it comes to degrading due process protections for the accused.

            The JAMA study does appear to be accurate if it is truly controlled for hours worked, and those are the only kind of studies worth looking at.

          • Kelly L. Krause

            Hello Commander Chico,

            I’ll begin with your idea of the feminism definition of patriarchy…

            Broadly speaking, feminist theory defines patriarchy as a social system that enforces gender roles and is oppressive to BOTH men and women. It typically characterizes patriarchy as a social construction, which can be overcome by revealing and critically analyzing its
            manifestations. It also argues that the traditional ideology itself (i.e. that men are inherently dominant or superior to women) can be believed and acted upon by either men OR women.

            I personally see this as a far kinder and more open and inclusive definition of patriarchy than traditional explanations and descriptions would lend (e.g. “Control by men of a disproportionately large share of power”; “A social system in which males hold primary power”; “A social system in which males predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property” etc.).

            I would be interested to know how YOU define patriarchy, since you clearly don’t see either its traditional or feminist
            ideologies being an issue – perhaps not even existing— in the United States.

            I would also ask you to not put words in my mouth, please.

            I never said that the 77% wage argument is false; the argument, as far as I know, has always been transparent
            in stating that this figure accounts for the average gap between men and women across all occupations in the United States.

            While it shares little information on specific occupations, it nevertheless makes us question WHY there is a gap
            in the first place and is an incentive to investigate further and with greater depth at the occupational and industry levels (e.g. the JAMA study).

            I will also repeat that we are not in the midst of a massive “epidemic” of rape hoaxes.

            False rape charges and the wrongfully accused, though they cannot and should not be ignored – I reiterate, the facts need to be examined in EACH report of rape or sexual assault separately – seem to be a topic that you are especially passionate about and have brought up time and time again. I have started to wonder if you yourself or someone you know were/was the victim of a false charge.

            If that is the case, then I am truly sympathetic. But I
            repeat again, you cannot presume that every rape accusation has a 50 percent chance of being false.

            In doing so, you discredit, discount and insult those persons who genuinely are/have been victims of rape or sexual assault. You also bias any investigation from the start and manipulate data to suit your
            preconceived notions, sometimes without even being aware of it. Moreover, you ignore the issue of rape in the United States and the need for objective data and accurate numbers.

            But I would like to ask, if feminism in the United States is built upon ‘false’ statistics, then what exactly is the
            anti-feminism argument built upon?

            The information you have presented here is vague and unconvincing and often manipulated, so all I can assume is that the anti-feminism argument survives on the resentment of – even hatred of – and blatant contempt and disrespect for women. And if that is the case… Don’t
            we NEED feminism?

            Regarding the studies you have cited, if you have the full studies available or know where I may obtain them without having to cough up $76, then please share.

            Otherwise, all I have to go off of are the abstracts, which do not present all the data, including recording/statement
            transcripts, subject backgrounds, influences, restraints and other controls.

            In the case of the oxytocin study, we know nothing of the backgrounds of the participants and transcripts of the
            protagonist recordings are not provided – it is, after all, only an abstract.

            How are we to look at the data objectively and analytically without understanding what may have triggered a given response?

            I know nothing about the thirty subjects who participated. Were they selected at random? Or are they all coming
            from the same age group, race, class etc.? Were both sexes equally represented? I have no idea what the ratio of male to female protagonists was, no idea how
            many protagonists there were overall and no idea what sort of ‘distressful emotional conflicts’ were described by these protagonists or the order in which they were described.

            All of these details can influence a response and need to
            be considered when looking at the data.

            Where the narcissistic personality/mate choice study is concerned, why would you refer a study that was conducted in Britain and included only British females when your argument has purely focused on American women in the United States? Perhaps this is your cue to relocate?

            That being said, key information and data is not represented in the study abstract alone (again, please forward the full study if available). What else do we know about the participants, beyond their sex (female) and age group (18-28)? How many participated? What do we know about their former partners/mates that may have influenced their ratings? And what exactly were these twenty statements relating to the attractiveness of narcissistic personality traits (that I assume the study’s authors prepared)?

            Surprisingly, my primary and secondary health classes deemed testosterone levels in men a standard and fundamental learning point of the broader sexuality discussion. I can’t imagine for the life of me why my teachers would have wanted to explain one of the basic, naturally occurring factors that makes a man a man (biologically anyway).

            Regardless, your argument is GREATLY insulting to men and women.
            You essentially say that men have no self-control whatsoever. They are slaves to their sex drives and therefore, women hold the responsibility
            for any sexual aggression they may experience from men (through moderate dress etc.).

            While women have a sexuality unique to
            each of them and while a woman can come across as attractive to a man, that man will still need her consent to take things forward.

            Most male-dominated societies (including
            our own) have denied and judged women who try to use this sexuality (e.g. asking women to cover up, telling them not to go out at night or not to go out
            alone etc.).
            Though I have to ask, if you and other men are so controlled by your testosterone levels and sex drives, then wouldn’t you WANT women to ‘slut around’?

            Therein lies the inequality.

            We seem to have no problem with (heterosexual) men desiring and pursuing sex, but once they get it, if they turn around and call the woman a slut, then we are somehow okay with that, too.

            We never say men should have their hands tied up when they go out on the streets, so that they cannot assault or molest a woman. Yet, we have no qualms in saying a woman better do X, Y, Z if she doesn’t want to be harassed or assaulted – COMPLETELY IRONIC, by the way, when many men (including yourself) freely ADMIT that they are driven by sex and have no self-control. This is an inherent biased attitude against women, denying them free will.

            That is why this attitude – YOUR attitude – must change.
            A woman has the right to be out on the streets when she
            wants, with whom she wants, dressed as she likes. And a man, no matter how immensely and inexplicably attracted to her he is, has to seek her consent before he can infringe on her personal space.

            The regressive side will often ask, “Like all powers, can’t the woman abuse that power? Can’t she entice, hook, tease or give mixed signals to a man if we give her that free will?”

            The answer is yes, of course she can. And if that happens, you STILL cannot act without consent and say she was asking for it. Lack of consent is unjustifiable
            in any circumstance, PERIOD.

            If you truly see women as ‘gatekeepers’, then I can only assume that you have bestowed that title on them because they are refusing to grant you access to what YOU want (i.e. sex). This has most likely shaped your attitude toward women and would explain why you disrespect them and view them with contempt.

            Your example of Egypt is also extremely poor and weak.

            You refer to a country where sex is not openly discussed (at least by the majority), where women are discouraged to go out/travel alone and where the majority of women dress conservatively, often wearing hejab or even niqab.

            Yet a United Nations Entity for Gender Equality study estimates that an astounding 96% of Egyptian women (across age groups, social classes, faiths etc.) have experienced some form of sexual assault (please download the full study, not an abstract, here: http://tinyurl.com/mog4938).

            What on earth makes you think that dictating where, when and with whom a woman may go or touting conservative dress somehow discourages or prevents sexual harassment and assault or ‘slutting
            around’ as you so elegantly put it?

            Should Egypt simply lock up its girls and women, essentially enslaving them? Or do Egyptians, men AND women alike, need to re-examine the overall mindset and attitude toward sex and gender within Egyptian society?

            Nevertheless, this has made me realize that you and I are both guilty of pulling attention away from the original
            topic of this Egyptian Streets article (i.e. sexism in Egyptian advertising), and hence pulling attention away from what is a dire situation in Egypt (i.e. misogyny
            and sexual harassment and assault). I will only be commenting on the original issue proposed by this article from here on out and I welcome your thoughts on
            the topic.

            With regards to feminism and gender equality in America, I am sure that you and I can fling studies and statistics
            at each other for the rest of our lives, but that will not change the basic need for each of us to treat our fellow human beings – regardless of gender,
            race, sexual orientation etc.—with respect and empathy.

            Good luck to you,
            Kelly

          • Commander_Chico

            Two points: first, if you concede that statistics promulgated by American feminists as base arguments are misleading, then doesn’t that call into question the whole ideology?

            Second, the whole “gender roles are socially constructed” argument has pretty clearly been debunked by science, which shows that there are real biological differences between the sexes which result in behavioural differences. Even young male monkeys prefer toy trucks to dolls and vice-versa. Again, doesn’t this call into question the whole ideology?

            Also, I’m not surprised that you attack me personally. My experience with false rape charges is through working in the criminal justice system, where charges brought as a means of revenge are pretty common.

            https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CBnmX-0UEAAqfHy.jpg

          • Between the Lines

            @kellylkrause:disqus …Kelly, you are an admirable woman with great patience and self respect. Sexist men are born and bred that way. An early indoctrination. It would appear, many Egyptian men by and large suffer deep inferiority complexes. An intrinsic fear of women and the power they harness. The best way to mask that fear is to undermine the subject viz, the woman. It’s akin to bullying. If one’s self esteem is in the trenches, best to find a target gentle enough to berate. Bullies do not bully the strongest guy in the class, but he might bully the brightest. Get my drift?

          • Amoulla

            Kelly, I admire your patience in taking on the impossible goal of trying to educate “Chico whatshisname”, but honey, don’t try. The damage is done. The coconut sitting on his neck can’t be improved. Better put your efforts towards the younger ones. Still may be hope

          • Monique Lili

            Kelly L. Krause you are my heroine. Great reply!
            It was needed that, after comments like the ones of Commander Chico, that was pretending to be a deep critical when instead results to be pretty superficial and closed in the same reductive thoughts about what the genders should be or less.
            The point is we all are humans, we are one. To fight between genders has no sense as has no sense fight against your own self. Differences between men and women should be thought as something will push all to improve in all the senses, in the same way different personalities with different abilities does in one society. There is nothing one gender can do that the other can’t simply because we are part of the same thing. We have the same abilities. We should be considered the equal in that sense.

          • I.F.

            YOU ARE RIDICULOUSSS….! I’m sorry (I am not actually) but the BS you are talking here… oh lord.. you must have mommy issues seriously. I tried to reply in a less insulting way but you insult women in your comment with your point of view (which you are allowed to have of course) yet it’s insulting. You make the woman alone responsible for getting pregnant when fooling around without using protection .. what about the guy dude?? Or did she get herself knocked up with her finger??? And yes… I do want to get the same f****** salary like my male colleague. But you seem to miss the whole point! I am not asking for the same salary when I sit in my comfy office as a civil engineer working at a construction site! YOU REALLY DON’T GET IT DO YOU?? I expect the same salary as my male colleague who has the same job as me, same experience, same working hours and same education like me. Same money for the same job. Dude.. you have issues man… I don’t know what woman disappointed you in your life but you obviously have to punish all the women on this planet with your shortsighted and closed mind. You make it seem that women have to be thankful that men like you let us co-exist with you on mother earth.. oh and yes, thank you we can help you populate the planet so your gender won’t become extinct. I feel sorry for your daughter and if you don’t have children I hope you’ll never have a daughter… Don’t forget.. you are on this planet because of a woman… so stop hating

          • Minymina
          • Minymina

            By American-style feminism, I am referring to (Radical) western feminism that seeks for women to be the dominant gender as opposed to being equal.

            Radical feminism is a perspective within feminism that focuses on the hypothesis of patriarchy as a system of power that organizes society into a complex of relationships based on the assertion that male supremacy oppresses women.

            I support feminism but I’m against radicals who seek to get there way simply for being women.

          • Kelly L. Krause

            Could you point me to a credible source for ‘American-style’ feminism, please? I did a quick Google search, but there were no results. Please also share any documented instances where women in the US, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, are proposing dominance over men rather than equality (e.g. case studies, organizations etc.). The lack of evidence so far, at least through a quick internet search, would suggest that ‘radical’ feminism or other related extreme ideologies are not as rampant and widespread as you think.

            At this point, I fail to see reason in your argument that ‘radical’ feminism is such because it ‘hypothesizes’ that patriarchy functions as a system in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded or suppressed from it; THAT is the very definition of patriarchy (see Merriam-Webster, Wikipedia etc.).

            I am happy and appreciate that you support feminism, but I think you are missing the point of feminism – and in turn, missing the opportunity to support it at your fullest potential – when you argue that certain minority ‘radicals’ seek equality, or ‘dominance’ in the case of your argument, purely because they are women.

            The sad truth of the matter is that women are NOT subject to the same rights and privileges as our male counterparts BECAUSE we are women, regardless of whether we are living in ‘western’ societies or not.

            The beauty of feminism is that it aims for women to be seen as HUMAN BEINGS and therefore as equals, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.

            I think you would benefit from further research into feminist theory and practice; I’ll be happy to suggest some sources if you like.

            Thank you and good luck in your research,
            Kelly

          • Shady A

            I’m really enjoying the debate here, hope you guys keep going.

          • Minymina
          • Sheila Lillico

            Kelly, I am a college educated, strong minded, free thinking, world traveling American woman currently living in Egypt. You dealing with these two close minded fellas has got me laughing so hard my eyes are watering. From much discussion with Egyptian women they have informed me they wear what they want and choose to lean toward the more modest clothing, more-so due to their religious beliefs than to please any man’s opinion. And yes, women here do complain about male harassment although to be be fair, I have been treated well by both men and women and with much respect. I truly love the people here in Egypt. Please do not let these two guys in any way color your opinion of the Egyptian people as they do not all share these guys opinions. However, past that, I love your come-backs Kelly. It is one thing to be opinionated and quite another to be educated on a subject and/or subjects and my dear, you are of the educated side. You have systematically rebuked their opinions, note “opinions”, not facts and brought out their true colors. It matters not what nationality men are…..this “boys will be boys and women are their toys” attitude is the core of the “feminism” battle for equality and in time things will level out. I’m with you Kelly every step of the way. You know your stuff girl.

          • Commander_Chico

            Sheila, your avatar picture shows you are the personification of the strong American feminist woman – overweight and tattooed.

          • Kelly L. Krause

            If berating a person’s appearance and making shallow judgments is your only argument, then you have no argument. Perhaps you could follow Sheila’s honest and transparent example and not hide behind an alias and stock photo… You can thank her later.

    • Minymina

      I’m all for women’s rights but the feminists in America are crazy. I don’t think there is anything we can doom spreading.

    • Aranza Fs’

      Get out of here.

  • Jean

    Their non-alcoholic beer can “only be handled by men?” That’s hilarious.

    • Shady A

      They do produce beers that are up to 13% alcohol.

      • Jean

        I think most women could handle that, even with a “strong and bitter taste.” Not sure why anyone would want to though.

        • fatema

          their beer sucks , it’s too bitter and have a disgusting after taste , they are trying to promote this as manly , i only see it as a further insult to men
          the slogan should be
          “to be a man you should not use your taste buds !!”

          • Commander_Chico

            I guess it is too bitter for a woman, Fatema.

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