Lebanon’s Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi has definitely outdone himself with the amount of sexists comments he made, all the while Lebanon is still reeling from a devastating blast at Beirut’s port and a crumbling local currency.
As the nation awaits solutions and reforms, and even some overdue display of moral support, from the country’s officials, the Interior Minister has successfully managed to show off shallowness and prejudice.
Here are the three times the Interior Minister undeniably proved his sexism to the Lebanese public.
#1 “Let The Women Cook”
The first of many sexist remarks by Fahmi came during an interview with LBCI reporter Remy Derbas.
Fahmi was announcing the closure of shops, restaurants, cafes, gyms, bars, and nightclubs during a two-week lockdown. However, it didn’t end there as one would expect from an official in his position.
When asked about how will people manage with the closure of restaurant and delivery services, Lebanon’s caretaker Interior Minister had a genius solution to the issue, stating: “Let the women cook.”
Given Lebanese people’s smart humor and comebacks, they poked fun at the outgoing interior minister.
Lebanese women reacted on social media by rejecting the minister’s sexist comment and vowing they were #Not_cooking_on_Sunday.
Lebanese men also reacted, feeling offended to be deemed incapable of cooking. They posted photographs of themselves preparing meals, cooking, cutting up vegetables and/or washing the dishes, as they challenged Fahmi to “be a man and cook.”
During an interview with talk show host Neshan Der Haroutiounian, Fahmi boldly said that, with the current situation in Lebanon, you need someone who isn’t gentle. “The woman is gentle, the woman is soft and timid,” Fahmi said as an argument to women’s lack of capability.
The comment, as expected, did not sit well with the Lebanese people and feminist organizations.
They justifiably viewed Fahmi’s gender-bias comments as degrading of all capable Lebanese women who are educated and well equipped to take on a position of power.
His remark made Lebanese women seem less capable than their peers in the world succeeding in such roles.
Lebanese women might be gentle, but they are hardly breakable and weak. Fahmi has apparently missed what has been going on around him for months, from the Revolution to the rebuilding of Beirut where women have been all but “soft and timid” and lacking leadership skills.
However, based on Fahmi’s history, no amount of evidence and backlash will knock some sense into him. He just did it again…
However, given that Raya El-Hassan’s whole government team was majorly formed of men, using her work as an example isn’t the best argument.
Also, it’s safe to say that Fahmi hasn’t done a good job himself during his time, as Lebanon isn’t just “not safe for women”, it isn’t safe for everyone.
Instead of addressing the backlash against his sexist comments, or at least apologizing to Lebanese women for degrading and marginalizing them, Fahmi keeps making these shallow and prejudicial comments against them, thrice in a row… so far.