The title can be read as “Bint Trump” and it is Arabic for “Trump’s Daughter”, specifically Ivanka Trump. This hashtag has been internationally a trending topic on twitter in regards to the United States’ president Donald Trump’s visit, along with his daughter and many others from his administration, to Saudi Arabia to attend the Riyadh Summit, which hosted leaders and representatives of 55 Arab and/or Muslim countries and the United States of America apparently.
To cut a long story short, Ivanka Trump has received the official title of assistant to the president.She’s now accompanying her father and his team on his international tour. She is an active business woman and a mother of three. However, when she set foot on the respectful Saudi Arabian lands, she was not spared from social media comments. Twitter users in Saudi Arabia tweeted captions to her photos that were tweeted under the aforementioned hashtag. It was as if Saudi twitter have never seen a female before.
Saudi’s be like #بنت_ترامب : pic.twitter.com/3A4to8Wo2l
— Maryam Albanna (@Maryamiialbanna) May 21, 2017
Their eyes :#بنت_ترامب pic.twitter.com/iE9xBlFSHY
— Hasan Sari (@HasanSari7) May 20, 2017
Now let’s start with the least of our concerns. This is a simple reminder that if people were to imagine this happening to any other random female, it would be considered a form of harassment, and clearly it isn’t any different with Ivanka Trump, the President of the United States of America’s own adult married daughter. Women around the world of all ages, religions, and ethnic backgrounds are condescendingly treated under the justification of their gender. Unfortunately, social media further provides an outlet for such patriarchal concepts to flourish.
Speaking of condescending treatment, Arabs have a long history of continuously objectifying and belittling their women to their outer appearance with little to no regard of their achievements. Moreover, Arabs have an obsession with the Eurocentric beauty standards that is quite difficult for our Arab genes to put together, not to mention the scorching sun that has kissed our skin from birth. For example, it is well-known that in Arabic culture, a girl of fair skin is most likely to be treated better and experience favouritism over her darker skinned sisters. She tends to be a “product of pride” to her family only because of her skin colour and not because of any particular achievement in school, sports, etc. People’s obsession with the POTUS’s daughter further promotes my argument. All (yes, not most, but all) the comments are about how beautiful, white, hot, and wife-material Ivanka Trump is. It isn’t about how professional and competent she is as a business woman.
Needless to say, the same people who are praising (and by that I mean harassing) Ivanka over her outer beauty are the same patriarchs who oppress, speak over, and cover their women in the name of religion. It’s the very same system that has called out the four Saudi female Olympic players for participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics. This is the culture that claims that the female body belongs to the state, family, and her husband, but never to the female herself. Such oppressive techniques are normalised in this region on our civilized planet in the year of 2017. Ivanka Trump showed up not wearing a headscarf and was respected for it, but God forbids if the Saudi sprinter, Sarah Attar, wanted to race in London and Rio without a headscarf, knowing that she plays in America with shorts and tank tops. People would discuss that Trump is not a Muslim but Attar is, which only strengthens my stand on how the culture is oppressing their people under the name of religion.
As a female who identifies as a Muslim Arab, I believe I am entitled to declare that the men of our culture were indoctrinated by patriarchs from birth. In laymen’s terms, this is what’s wrong with our culture. This is what’s wrong with our society. Calling harassment as the “least of our concerns” above is proper sarcasm because all women’s issues should matter to everyone. Women are not respected for who they are, but for how they look like and how much skin they show. Practicing such behaviours on daily basis has numbed the people’s perspective on how wrong this is. Finally as naively hopeful as that sounds, acknowledging a dire problem is the first step to seeking radical change to help elevate the rank of women in the Arab community.
Published by Nesreen
Your next-door passionate feminist View all posts by Nesreen
Photo Courtesy of David Martosko