Rabat - A predicted response has emerged to the controversial Arabic hashtag translate ‘Be_a_man,’ which encouraged men in Morocco to tell their female relatives to cover up at the beach. The new hashtag condemns “sexist” propaganda against Moroccan women.
Rabat – A predicted response has emerged to the controversial Arabic hashtag translate ‘Be_a_man,’ which encouraged men in Morocco to tell their female relatives to cover up at the beach. The new hashtag condemns “sexist” propaganda against Moroccan women.
Moroccan women have adorned hundreds of posts with the “Be_a_free_woman” hashtag in Arabic or #SoisUneFemme in French to denounce the original campaign, launched on July 9, against revealing clothing and makeup.
The “Be_a_man” hashtag angered thousands of women who called on Moroccan women to stop feeling victimized and act like a free woman.
Morocco’s Alternative Movement for Individual Freedoms launched #SoisUneFemme on July 20 in support of women’s freedom.
The campaign calls on women to be strong and to fight discrimination based on gender.
The hashtag has been widely shared and retweeted. Some Moroccan women, at home and abroad, chose to share photos of themselves in bikinis to condemn the hashtag against beach clothing.
Bouchra Abdou, an activist, feminist, and president of Tahadi Center, told Morocco World News today that the “Be_a_man” hashtag is a violation to women, their freedom, and their choice of dress.
The hashtag, according to Abdou, “misleads the meaning of manness as it is based on power, absolute jurisdiction and control over the fate of others at a time when we are in the greatest need to reevaluate the true meaning of masculinity.”
For Abdou, masculinity is to be “brave, classy, and respectful to others.”
“Anyone who wants to be a real man should not harass young girls, who are at the age of his daughters. Anyone who wants to be a real man should spend on his wife and children. Anyone who wants to be a real man should not rape infants and children, male or female.”
For years, Abdou has criticized the lack of security for dealing with assaults in public spaces.
In an interview with MWN earlier this year, Abdou said that “authorities need to push up their sleeves and do something concrete about assault incidents and their perpetrators.”
Abdou also urged the Ministry of Education to offer students an opportunity to learn about the dangers of assault and harassment.
Visage du Maroc, a platform dedicated to inspiring women, also condemned the “Be_a_man” hashtag, posting a photo of Miss Morocco 1968 wearing a bikini.
— Visage Du Maroc (@visagedumaroc) July 20, 2018
“Our response to the #Kounrajel [Be a man] campaign Do not let obscurantism gain ground! #SoisUneFemme,” wrote Visage du Maroc on Twitter.
For the supporters of the earlier hashtag, every man in a Moroccan family is responsible for what his sister, daughter, or wife wears.
“You are responsible for what your daughter and wife wear… so don’t be a dayooth,” wrote some Moroccans on Facebook. The Arabic word dayooth refers to a man who permits his female relatives to engage in illicit relations.