Egypt: "Virginity tests will spark next revolution"

Mona Eltahawy in the Guardian, on gender and revolution in Egypt:

If the "it wasn't about gender" mantra is stuck on repeat so that we don't scare the boys away, then let them remember the state screwed them too, literally - ask political prisoners, and remember the condoms and Viagra found when protesters stormed state security headquarters.

(...) Let's be clear, "virginity tests" are common in Egypt and straddle class and urban/rural divides. Be it the traditional midwife checking for a hymen on a bride's wedding night, or a forensics expert or doctor called in after a prospective bridegroom's suspicions, young women are forced to spread their legs to appease the god of virginity. But no one talks about it.

But it's different when the state [or the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces] is the one forcing women's legs apart. A protest is planned for Saturday. It's a perfect time for gender to come out of the revolution's closet.

This must be our moment of reckoning with the god of virginity. The rage against the military must also target the humiliation brought by those tests, regardless of who carries them out.

Read the full opinion piece here.