Fact: Walking the streets of Cairo is no easy, fun thing for women. If you’ve had your fair share of cat-calling, muttering in your ear and drivers’ attempts to run you over to get your attention; read on for five helpful and humorous ways to help you to handle Cairo street harassment.
The Game Face
You know those faces that professional female wrestlers make at each other in the rink? Raw aggression and menacing offence are written all over their faces, and they look like they’re ready to pounce. Well ladies, look upon thy inspiration!
Body language speaks volumes. The way you carry yourself does affect how people–including street rats– engage with you. Have you ever noticed that if you’re ever really upset or in some sort of hurry, street harassment happens less? That’s because you’ve got your game face on. Love it, nourish it and embrace it. You are a force to be reckoned with.
iPod to the Rescue
The best way to deal with problems that you can’t solve is to absolutely ignore them. This is where our trusty iPod or MP3 player comes in handy. We find that rap or slightly harsher music helps tune out the annoying cat calls more effectively. You might also like to try Cairo 360’s Ten Songs that Will Pump You Up.
If you’ve trained yourself to tune out without drowning your ears with sound; then that’s even better. The most important thing to remember is the less street harassment you’ll get, the better off you’ll be.
Depending on the cat caller, sometimes the best way to handle an uncomfortable situation is looking deep into the eyes of your harasser, like you’re examining his inner-soul, and tell him to have some respect for himself– in Arabic, preferably.
It should be noted that this does not work for every harasser. After a few times; you’ll have an intuition about which men will respond positively to this method.
Sometimes the best remedy for harassment is a good visualisation exercise. Though it sounds kind of kooky and new-age; it’s a simple exercise that you can do anytime and everywhere. Basically, visualise or imagine that the harasser is getting what he deserves. Say for example, the inter-city bus takes a drastically wrong turn and he flattens on the hot cement. Sweet relief. The more humorous your visualisations, the more effective they’ll be. And if you can get a good laugh out of it; even better!
There are times when all you can do is act physically, and you should try to avoid that tipping point with all your might. But if it’s inevitable; we encourage you to engage physically with a bit of tact.
We’ve devised a plan of egging. Keep a secure bag of eggs in your purse. When harassed, reach down into your bag and crack an egg right in front of the man. He’ll be so shocked, he’ll shut up for sure and maybe even think twice about harassing you or another woman again.
Eggs are also nice for harassers on motorbikes because they can fly long distances. Of course, you could do other things with these eggs, which we can’t encourage here; but we trust that you’ll be creative with them.
Note: These methods are not mutually exclusive and can be used together.