She kicked a Lebanese minister's bodyguard right in the groin, turned into an icon of the Lebanese revolution, and even got married in the midst of all the protests. But the patriarchy's ego couldn't handle such a thing, so now the issue has been taken to court.
On Wednesday, Malak Alawiye, the badass woman who kicked the armed bodyguard during the first few days of the protests in October, was summoned to court. She is set to face a military trial in November, a judicial source told AFP, on charges of "bodily harm and insulting the security forces."
Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch voiced its concern over Lebanon's usage of military courts to send civilians to trial. In a report titled "Lebanon's Military Courts Have No Business Trying Civilians," HRW urges the country to pass a law that would remove civilians from the "military court's jurisdiction entirely." Yet, the country has found a way to send a badass woman to court for simply fighting for her rights and defending her people.
During demonstrations that erupted across Lebanon on Oct. 17 last year, Alawiye kicked the bodyguard of former Education Minister Akram Chehayeb in an attempt to block him from opening fire on protesters. A lot has happened since, including the appointment of new governmental ministers — now led by PM Hassan Diab. Chehayeb has been replaced by Tarek Majzoub.
Also known as the "kick queen" of the revolution, Alawiye became one of the most known faces of the protests after a video of the moment she threw the patriarchy out of the window with her foot went viral online.
Her side kick turned into the foundation of artworks and memes, and she herself turned into a symbol of women fighters in a land that still discriminates against women in various domains of public life.
Women of all ages and backgrounds have taken center stage at the ongoing protests. On the first day of protests, a group of women stood hand in hand on the front lines, creating a human barricade between protesters and armed forces. This scene was not just a one-time thing, it occurred nearly every day since the start of the revolution. "The women of Lebanon have been outstanding in demonstrating their leadership, courage & commitment to peace throughout the #LebanonProtests, calling for change & gender equality," said Moez Doraid, UN Women Arab States' Regional Director.
Summoning Alawiye to court is absurd especially when taking into account the police brutality that has hurt hundreds of peaceful protesters. Why haven't these police forces been summoned? Haven't they inflicted "bodily harm" on civilians? Or does that not count?