Singer tells women to give up work and focus on their man

The singer in question, Mohamad Iskandar. Image posted on Facebook.

These are the opening lines to a song that's proving worryingly popular in Beirut and Damascus. Naturally, it's also causing quite a stir with local women's rights supporters.

The song has enraged women's rights groups to such an extent that on 30 April a group of them met in the centre of Beirut to march in protest against "the stereotypical image of women" advocated by the lyrics. The following day in neighbouring Syria, an independent women's organisation called on the country's radio stations to boycott what they described "the promotion of poor taste".

Soon enough, a Facebook group was created to counter-attack the movement and support the song. The song itself, sung by Lebanese popstar Mohamed Iskandar, is clearly profiting from the controversy. Released just over a month ago, it features in the top ten hits of several radio stations.

Contributors

The song translated into English

Translated and subtitled by FRANCE 24. Original clip posted on YouTube by "SyriaQueen90" 19 April 2010.

“It promotes the dangerous manipulation of using love as an excuse for keeping women at home”

Leen Hashem is a member of the Beirut-based women's rights association, "Nassiwiya". She organised the march on 30 April.

The first time I heard the song, I was driving. I was so pissed off by the lyrics I had to pull over. To belittle women and trample on their rights is not creative. It's an insult to all women. In the last few years, a number of sexist songs have been released, but this one is the straw that breaks the camel's back. So I decided to do something. I created a Facebook group in protest against all forms of ‘art' which undermine women.

Iskandar's song reflects the attitude that women shouldn't work. It also promotes the dangerous manipulation of using love as an excuse for keeping women at home. It's even worse that this obscure vision of ‘a women's place' comes in the form of a song. We all know how influential songs can be on young people. In defence of the lyrics, which were written by his son, Iskandar says that working women result in a lack of education at home for children. He thinks that women working will see ‘the family' disappear and therefore result in the downfall of society.

We're currently trying to get the song blocked on the radio. But sadly, it's not something unusual here. You only have to walk down the street in Beirut to see adverts that demean women and joke about their intelligence. A little while ago, there was a billboard campaign for a supermarket that showed a woman saying ‘If I win the lottery [which the shop was selling tickets for], I'll surely find a husband'. At Nassiwiya we decided to respond with our own version. We replaced the text so that it read ‘If I win the lottery, I'll open an advertising agency that doesn't take women for idiots'."

The original ad: "If I win the lottery I'll surely find a husband". Image posted on Facebook 1 April 2010. 

The version altered by Nassiwaya: "If I win the lottery, I'll open an advertising agency that doesn't take women for idiots'. Image posted on Facebook by Leen Hashem.

The anti-song marchers

On the card in the centre: "If your sweetheart is jealous, he'd better stay home". Photo posted on Flickr by Mozzoom, 30 April 2010.

On the orange card: "My degree isn't in cooking your dinner". On the white card: "I'd like a partner, not a guardian". Posted on Flickr by Mozzoom, 30 April 2010.

On the white card: "If we were to stay at home tomorrow, the Lebanese economy would collapse". On the orange card: "I earn 6,000 dollars a month - do you want to be president of the republic of my heart?" Posted on Flickr by Mozzoom, 30 April 2010.

In Lebanon, the majority of judges, lawyers and students are all women". Photo posted on Flickr by Mozzoom 30 April 2010.

The protest in action

Video posted on Dailymotion by "Pomegran8mm", 1 May 2010.

Comments

If I win the lottery, I'll ...

I’m still puzzled about that ‘If I win the lottery, I'll surely find a husband' thing. Isn’t it so that in Islamic countries MEN have to pay for everything, the marriage ceremony, the dowry, etc.? They should have put up a male person saying ‘If I win the lottery, I can finally afford marriage’.

hope more respect women from men all the world.

I hope man could respect women from all respect no matter from living life, job, family or entertainment.
If we could treat girl or women like a queen, we could get more equal respond from them, they are not our poverty but our partner.
given that there is a lot emergence of women president, may be no terrorist or nuclear war would happen.
therefore, I hope men have to respect and esteem the fair voice from women anytime and everywhere.
from Yang, yichih, associate professor from national Kaohsiung marine university, Taiwan.

What to expect from primitive man like this!

Bravo - the brave and modern Lebanese women make me feel so proud of them! This kind of primitive man, like the singer there - I suspect he's a Muslim (why is this not mentioned since then we can understand more on what cultural foundation his primitivism is coming from - enough with pretentious 'political correctness' such as loved by the Obama's administration!), think women are only good enough to fulfill their beastly sexual lust or as baby-producing machine! Thsu is why, polygamy by Muslim men, including in the West, must be fought against - women are just the object to fulfill these two functions; whilst in the West, I much suspect, children are also used as object to profit from social welfare benefits and increase the population from the Muslim culture, since Westerners are having less children!

a reply to Katharine Sri

Kathrine you are no different from this guy !!, I’d like to start by saying Shame on you, how come you attack a religion that has nothing to do with this!!! That’s simply so low of you, if you have just a bit of education and I mean proper education, you will know that Islam does NOT underestimate women , and that the Wife of the prophet SAWS (khadejah) was a big business woman who the prophet used to work for!! Why didn’t he ask her to sit home and take care of him and his 6 children!!!!!!!! Because its not in our religion, again, shame on you, and I hope you’ll have more respect next time.

Indeed Khadija was a

Indeed Khadija was a successful business woman. It was certainly her who was wearing the pants in that marriage (husband Mohammed, the Prophet-to-be, was 15yrs younger than her). The only problem (a principal problem with the often repeated thesis that Islam liberated women): she was already a successful business woman BEFORE Islam came about.

re

See our broadcasters are all excited ,something excites they brains,Actors.Actors the latest gift to the moronic western countries.Time I looked up the dictionary,to find if there is a different intepretation to the word actors,and acting,that excites our collective western prats in the media and broadcasting.

Did you have something to

Did you have something to say? I think it's time you looked up rather a few words in the dictionary.

As for the girls in Lebanon, good luck with trouncing chauvinistic morons like josephwalker!

re

Oops somebody's upset.

singer

The observers are in the wrong country,they should move over to England,the English are used to its broadcasters talking or writing a load of crap all the time.I think you will find the French and Europeans are more educated,and dont tolerate a load of bollocks as news.

I am against this treatment but

the girl holding the sign saying "aghlabiyat el koudat: nisa2"
forgot that aghlabiyat el sha3eb nisa2, and u just proved that every single job that requires talking a lot and bickering women are a majority.

I like the sign that says: "Badi shrik bi 7ayeteh mesh wasseh 3layeh"

The problem is that you take everything too seriously, lighten up, create a song that says that the man should stay at home and take care of the kids, most men I know can't handle staying with the kids for 1 day.

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