Misogyny is alive and well in the Arab world, and the recent controversy surrounding Egyptian footballer Amr Warda is a case in point.
Warda felt emboldened to allegedly harass women, even underage girls, online. In addition to that, members of Egyptian and Arab communities, including teammates and football officials, undermined the struggle of his victims and quickly pardoned him.
This issue has shed light on deep-rooted troubles plaguing the treatment of women in the region. Responding to the matter, Egyptian actress Rania Youssef hit the nail on the head with tweets highlighting the double standards women continue to face.
Last week, a number of sexual allegations emerged against the 25-year-old Egyptian national team player who plays with Athens-based Atromitos F.C.
Several women shared screenshots of conversations documenting Warda's sexual advances, pushy attitude, and aggressive language. In response to the backlash, the Egyptian Football Association issued a statement announcing Warda would not be participating in the national team's remaining matches at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON). However, the ban did not last long.
After Warda released an apology video that many deemed unconvincing, the association announced the player would be allowed to rejoin the squad after their final group stage match against Uganda on Sunday, which saw Egypt win 2-0.
Youssef was among those who criticized the public for quickly forgiving Warda, noting the major discrepancies between how officials reacted to the footballer's case versus her wearing a see-through dress late last year.
In December 2018, Youssef was charged with "inciting debauchery" for wearing a dress that revealed her legs at the closing ceremony of the Cairo International Film Festival.
Lawyers Amro Abdelsalam and Samir Sabri had lodged a complaint to Egypt's chief prosecutor about Youssef's look after it drew negative feedback online, which subsequently led to "public obscenity" charges against her. According to the BBC, the aforementioned lawyers are known for pressing charges against celebrities.
"(Her appearance) did not meet societal values, traditions, and morals and therefore undermined the reputation of the festival and the reputation of Egyptian women in particular," Sabri had told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The charges were later dropped after Youssef was forced to apologize for her choice of outfit on live television.
Youssef faced heavy criticism for her outfit at the time, and later on when she wore "hot shorts," with many social media users slut-shaming her and attacking her with offensive comments.
In light of the Warda dispute, Youssef couldn't help but point out the double standards in society's judgment of women's and men's conduct. Women are unfairly shamed and discriminated against for actions whereas men easily escape blame with no consequences (or in some cases a mere a slap on the wrist).
She posted a tweet that read:
"I have a question for the honorable lawyers: My dress violated public morals, incited debauchery in public, and led to a three-page complaint filed to the public prosecutor. But, harassment did not (lead to the same consequences)? Why are you applying double standards?"
In another tweet, Youssef emphasized that combating sexual harassment is no less important than winning AFCON2019.
"On the contrary, the former might be more crucial for us and for the world. Sports are all about morals, in my humble opinion. #No_To_Harassment," she wrote.
Many social media users agreed with Youssef's stance. Here's how they responded to her tweets: