Cairo Guide: Five Ways to Deal with Street Harassment
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
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
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
Note: These methods are not mutually exclusive and can
be used together.