Monday, February 23, 2009

"Cultural shock"

"To females traveling to Egypt, I say: Be wary. Cover up. And mentally prepare yourself to accept a culture that is more tolerant of sexual harassment than your own." To females traveling to US, I say: Be wary. Crimes against women in US are worse than crimes against women in Egypt--this while not downplaying the severity of sexual harassment in Egypt. And the culture in the US seems more tolerant of crimes against women than in Egypt. (thanks Hani)
PS I received a few emails about it. As I said: I am not downplaying the problem in Egypt, and I have heard from friends of mine who traveled there. But it is important that we don't draw some imaginary lines of liberation of women between East and West. 22% to 35% of women who visit a hospital emergency room in the US do so because of domestic violence. On average, 23 women a week are killed by "intimates" in the US. Of all the women murdered between 1976 and 2005, 42% were killed by an intimate or other family members. 74% of all murders of women from domestic violence occur after the woman has left the relationship, filed for divorce, or sought a restraining order against her "partner." (All data is from Joni Seager, The Penguin Atlas of women in the World, fourth edition).