Egyptian officials have admitted to performing “virginity” tests on women protesters in the aftermath of the ousting of Mubarak. The women were taking part in peaceful protests, camping out in tents on the square, often times with other male protestors nearby (a violation in Muslim tradition). The women were beaten, shocked with stun guns, stripped, searched and forced to open their legs to see if they were still “intact”.
Officials initially denied the claims of torture and “virginity” tests, but finally admitted their guilt after increasing pressure and the refusal of the women to be silent about their treatment. Although they admit the abuse happened, it is considered appropriate since it would protect the police from being accused of rape. “The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine,” a general said. “These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and (drugs).”
The women of course feel differently. One detainee, 20 year old Salwa Hosseni, says it is a way to keep women silent. “They wanted to teach us a lesson,” Hosseini said soon after the report came out. “They wanted to make us feel that we do not have dignity.”
The military said they found none of the women to be “virgins” and the majority of people detained were sentenced to a year in prison (except those who had university degrees – they were given a “second chance”). The Egyptian military stands behind it’s tactics of torture and the violation of women in order to ensure democracy.
Some people look at us funny when we MadMen wave our flags for America. Yea…there is racism, classism, and every other kind of ‘ism” you can think of, but having to spread eagle and let some “doctor” stick his finger in your cooch to promote democracy is going too far.
I sincerely feel for the women in Egypt. I admire your courage to stand and continue to fight and to voice your dissent.
You SHOULD be Mad.