An Offensive dispute ignited social media recently between Egyptian boys and girls after a man launched a controversial campaign called ‘Khaliha Ta’nes’ (Let her become a spinster) in which he expressed men’s dissatisfaction with the rising cost of marriage.
In contrary، women in Egypt responded، and initiated another campaign called ‘Khalik fe Hodn Omak’ (stay on your mom's laps). The revengous campaign witnessed hundreds of women criticizing this despicable Hashtag.
A battle on Social Media
Although many officials have voiced condemnation over the "offensive" campaigns، boys and girls have taken them sarcastically.
On one hand، many men felt that this campaign represents them and took to social media platforms to support.
"As marriage has become an expensive commodity that most young men can't afford and since women are ok with that and don't want to back off this silliness... let her become a spinster."، a social media user posted on twitter
"All my support"، another one said.
In contrary other men criticized “Khliha Teanes” campaign، stressing that such campaign reflects the subconscious of some Men in our community who deal with “the woman” as a commodity that he can buy، sell and use it، and when he get enough of it، he can manage without it or change it.
Other men refer to this campaign as one of the most “offensive” hashtag launched recently; stressing that “woman” represents our mothers، our wives، our sisters، our daughters and their insult is unacceptable.
“The one who compared the woman to a commodity that can be bought and sold، has nothing to do with ethics”، another social media user wrote.
On the other hand، Egyptian women response to this hashtag was surprising as they encouraged and challenged men to do so، published many satirical posts through their social media accounts using “Stay on your Mom’s laps” Hashtag like;
"What... we do a prayer for guidance before we reject you"
“Do you think we are going to be upset… We are going to celebrate”
“Let me hear the best shout out for Spinsterhood، health، and freedom”.
“Let her become a spinster” Hashtag founder
Mohamed Al-Masry، The founder of “Let Her become a spinster” Hashtag confirmed that he does not mean at all to insult women، yet he just want to reveal men dissatisfaction with the rising cost of marriage expenses.
“If there is not a woman، the man also will not get married and will become a spinster too”، Mohamed added، noting that the reason behind late Marriage is that the girls’ families become “too demanding”.
Condemnation against those online campaigns
MP Caroline Maher، Member of social solidarity committee in the House of Representatives، confirmed that the name of “Let her become a spinster” hashtag is inappropriate، noting that high marriage expenses affect both women and men.
Moreover، MP Heba Hagras، member of Social Solidarity committee in the House of Representatives، said that some people are not aware of the proper dialogue methods، noting that it is important to understand the value of Marriage and its significance.
Maya Morsi، head of the National Council for Women، expressed her dissatisfaction with such campaigns; describing them as "unacceptable."
She added that the wrong traditions which increase the expenses of marriage will not be solved by such campaigns، expressing her displeasure with "spinsterhood" term.
In this regard she preferred to use "late marriage" for both men and women instead.
Saeed Amer، head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee said that the main principals of marriage in Islam are affection and compassion between the spouses.
In this regard، “Let her become a spinster campaign” has nothing to do with religion، and its founder harm his sister، his mother and all Muslim girls، Amer added.
Ibrahim Khalifa، a sociology professor at Al-Azhar University said that “Let her become a spinster” is inappropriate for the Egyptian community، as it is rooting Male society thinking and women’s inferiority.
He also noted that the percentage of unmarried men is much higher than that of unmarried women.
Marriage rates increased by 4.2 percent in 2018، compared to the rate measured in 2017، according to a report issued by The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
The report concluded its statistics by mentioning the exact numbers of divorce and marriage papers issued during last August. The marriage papers amounted to nearly 96،200 forms، while the divorce forms reached about 92،300.
As a Middle Eastern country، divorce was never an easy option in Egypt especially for women who are usually subject to social pressures after divorce as their families start imposing a lot of restrictions on their behaviors and activities. However، some women started to disregard the traditional constraints; divorce rates have become higher than ever in Egypt.
Additionally، social defaming of women and girls is not limited to divorced women، but also affects women who pass a certain age (usually mid-thirties) without getting married. The number of unmarried women and men is likely to increase (according to the official statistics) with the difficult social and economic conditions.
Divorce rates in Egypt
Divorce rates in Egypt witness a noticeable increase compared to marriage rates، according to a report issued by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
An official report issued by CAPMAS in February، stated that divorce rates increased by 2.8 percent in 2018. The number of divorce forms issued in August 2018 were 18،600 compared to 18،100 during the same month of 2017.