The gigantic sound system in the random car going down my street right now is blasting the following song for the whole neighborhood to enjoy:
كبراني براسا وما بدا تحاكيني ومش عام تتهدى ما يخليني إن ما خليتا نجوم الضهر تشوفن حدا
And this summer, when you’re off to party at one of those Lebanese restaurants that feature a one-man-show, or, when you’re attending a cousin’s wedding, you will most certainly be dancing to the following lyrics:
بدي ربيكي حالف بدي فرجيكي إذا عصبت بكسر روس لا تتحديني
مجنون ومبتحمل اختي تهينيها بخلأ كون من الأول حوا بمحيها
So, fellow country women and men, how and when did we stoop so low?
A couple of years ago, Mohammad Iskandar and his son Fares started this phenomenon of producing music that revolves around violent, misogynistic and homophobic themes, and today, so many ‘artists’ are scurrying to join the band wagon of insulting and demeaning women in their ‘works of art’. The stoic philosopher Seneca claimed that “all art is but imitation of nature”, so by that measure, the violence inciting, humiliating messages in such songs merely reflect similar tendencies in our Lebanese society. I mean, think of it for a minute: those performers gain in popularity by the day; there is a slew of such material incessantly popping up and crowding the waves of radio stations and T.V. channels. If such products didn’t have an audience that accepted and consumed them, then producers wouldn’t have spent time and money making that sort of trash. This society is rotten to the core.
I can’t begin to explain how dangerous this phenomenon is: such songs are desensitizing people to the fact that threatening the woman in your life and abusing her physically, emotionally or psychologically is actually a crime, that forbidding a woman from joining the work force is going against her basic human rights, and that extreme jealousy that leads to crippling a woman’s life and curtailing her options is simply a symptom of a very sick mind and society.