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We Will Harass Men (#هنتحرش_بالرجالة in Arabic) is a Twitter hashtag addressing the issue of sexual harassment with tongue-in-cheek tweets discussing the objectification and harassment of men.
On June 9th, 2014, an inauguration celebration for the newly-elected Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was held at Tahrir Square in Cairo. During the massive rallies, a string of sexual assaults against women were reported, including a public stripping and assault of a 19-year-old student by a group of men, the footage of which was subsequently released on YouTube that same day. As a result, seven Egyptian men were arrested in connection to the assault.
Egypt has seen a drastic increase in sexual harassment and assaults since the 2011 uprising, with at least 250 cases of serial mob attacks on women reported during political protests. According to a study commissioned by the United Nations in 2013, 99.3% of women in Egypt said they had been subjected to physical abuse, while 97% said men have lewdly touched them wthout permission. In addressing the growing public demand for reforms, the outgoing Egyptian president Adly Mansour approved a decree to criminalize sexual harassment as an offense punishable by up to five years of imprisonment.
On June 15th, Arabic-speaking Twitter users led by a student who identifies herself as an Egyptology student began posting satirical tweets about sexually harassing men with the hashtag #هنتحرش_بالرجالة (“we will harass men” in English) in protest of the behavior depicted in the video. On the following day, Twitter user @TheBigPharaoh noted that “#هنتحرش_بالرجالة” had become Egypt’s top trending topic.
According to the Twitter analytics site Topsy, the hashtag was tweeted over 63,000 times within the first week. In the comings days, both BBC News and The Telegraph published articles about the Twitter trend.
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