Tag Archives: Karantina

“The same people who are supposed to PROTECT you [the army], are HARASSING you!!”

I was on my way home, after a light evening with some friends in a pub in Beirut.

There was a checkpoint on the karantina bridge, right off mar mkhael area (this became very usual these days). Usually, if you’re a girl, soldiers let you go very easily. This time was different.

The soldier on the checkpoint did a move with his head, signifying: you can go. but in a fraction of second, he changed his mind and asked me to park on the right. I realized my shirt (even if it was more or less decent) might be the cause of this sudden change of mind.

Another soldier on the right asked for my papers, which I gave him. everything seemed fine to him, so he asked me: “why did he (the 1st soldier) asked you to park?”. I had no answer… To my amazement, I see the 1st soldier leaving his checkpoint (yes leaving it), and coming my direction. He stopped by my car and observed me.

2nd soldier: why did u ask her to park?

1st soldier, smiling in connivance : “mashi khayye, I wanted to check if her papers were in order”.

2nd soldier: (smiles). She doesn’t have her mecanique papers (As if I was supposed to have them… he could have looked on the stickers of my front glass!). What shall we do?

1st soldier: (gives me a loooong look, with a dirty smile) yalla let her go!

For the 1st time in my life, I felt completely: amazed, shocked, insulted, naked, and infuriated! The same people who are supposed to PROTECT you, are HARASSING you, directly or indirectly!

Submitted by Anonymous

Location: Karantina, Beirut

Time of harassment:  20-2: Night / الليل

Do you have a personal experience with sexual harassment or assault you would like to share? Please click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.

هل لديك تجربة شخصية مع التحرش الجنسي أو الاعتداء تريد مشاركته ؟ الرجاء الضغط هنا وملء استمارة التقديم على الانترنت. وتنشر جميع التقارير مجهول ما لم تحدد

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“Since when is a violent threat a segway into sex?”

It all started in the early morning once we left an after party. My girl friend met a guy that took us out with his friend to dance until sunrise. My friend was quite drunk and got into a ‘playful’ face-slapping ‘game’ with her date’s friend. A few minutes after this ‘game’ ended, he gave her another slap, a bit harder. I reacted.

With poor judgment, I slapped him right back across the face and told him never to touch her in the face again. He was aghast. Angry and defensive, he refused to apologize and excused his behavior as a joke. I eventually apologized for the act of slapping him (as I am a proponent of non-violence except in defense), but continued to explain why this is an unacceptable act- slapping anyone in the face- whether you’re kidding or not.

He proceeded to call me a bitch and threaten me about getting slapped in return.

A few weeks later, this guy happens to arrive at the bar I’m in. He greets some people, and proceeds to me. He has a smirk on his face and he greets me with: “Oh, the feminist.” After almost a month has transpired, his ego is still shrunken from our incident.

He tells me I’m going to get slapped and is very confident and proud of his threat. He then tries to converse with me, and actually chats with my friend. She denounces his threats and inquires whether he is serious. Does he really plan to slap me? He laughs. He tells us both that he is not “angry.” Not angry at all.

Instead, he is attracted to me and, when he says he will slap me, he means in bed. He wants to ‘hurt’ me. He wants to ‘teach’ me.

This happened a few weeks ago and I am still aghast at the intersection of sex, violence, power and patriarchy as they developed in this situation. Since when is a violent threat a segway into sex? How is it that this man found it was appropriate to, essentially, threaten me with rape? And publicly no less!

It’s because sex, in this case and in many, is not about pleasure. Rather, in these cases, it is about power and dominance. Although the situation did not begin with conventional forms of sexual harassment as we often define it, our second encounter commenced in sexual harassment and the threat of sexual assault.

The juncture of eroticism and violence is truly, deeply disturbing. And all from a man who swears he marched along with us during the anti-violence demo in June. From a man who ‘believes’ women should have equal rights. A man who considers himself progressive. A man who finds these values and attributes completely in line with his threat of sexual violence.

Submitted by ART

Location: Hamra & Karantina

Time of harassment:  2-6: Late Night / ما بعد منتصف الليل

Do you have a personal experience with sexual harassment or assault you would like to share? Please click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.

هل لديك تجربة شخصية مع التحرش الجنسي أو الاعتداء تريد مشاركته ؟ الرجاء الضغط هنا وملء استمارة التقديم على الانترنت. وتنشر جميع التقارير مجهول ما لم تحدده