The Male Security Guard Stick

The Male Security Guard Stick

The Male Security Guard Stick 720 540 admin

A picture of a security man threatening women who lined up in front of a bank in Libya has gone viral over Facebook yesterday. That occurred while these women were tirelessly waiting to withdraw some cash for life’s daily needs. The picture reflects how Libyan society started to normalize violence against women as an acceptable behavior; some years ago no one could have imagined that this can happen in public. However many Libyan women and men expressed their anger towards the behavior of the male security guard, especially that the violence is perpetuated by those who are supposed to – protect us – counter violence in the society.

“ Unfortunately, Violence Against Women is not a new or unusual issue in Libya as many women argued, “there are so much verbal abuse and other forms of violence embedded in the society that cameras fail to capture”, one woman commented on the picture.

However, If you read the comments on the picture posted in various pages in Facebook, you can clearly notice that despite many people condemned the horrendous violent act of the security man, in a way or another they still blamed the women. A Facebook user has commented that “the husbands and sons of these women were supposed to be lining up in front of the bank, not the women.” Even those who have progressive views about women tended to agree, that to avoid such situations that might lead to Violence Against Women, perhaps men in the family should take care of these matters such as  lining up to withdraw money from the bank. But the question is: what are the implications of such solution (men take care of women’s and families matters to avoid violence)? Wouldn’t such solution limit women’s participation in public sphere??

Some Facebook users went even extreme on justifying the violent behavior of the male security guard, arguing that it is the woman’s fault and she must has provoked him to act in such aggression way. Others justified his behavior as necessary to secure the place. One of the most ironic comments was of a woman saying that “the man did not hit the woman, he was just addressing her.” What was most shocking was a journalist comment on the picture, in his caption he called the male security guard as a woman not a man to insult him. He wrote “I do not see any man in the picture, they are all women.”

No wonder that these comments justifying the violent act of the security male-guard are more humiliating and harmful for women in the long run than the violent act itself. From using the term “woman” as an insult and de-masculinizing the male-guard as a punishment for his brutal behavior, to the many women who justified his behavior as normal. However there is still some hope stemmed from the comments of other women and men who strongly condemned this behavior as socially unacceptable.