Women are almost always overlooked as being active participants in riots. They are simply invisibilized. A few months ago, during the London student protests, the fact that women were partaking in the riots was big news. The media characterizes violent protest as a guy thing, and non-peaceful protest as a woman thing. A woman’s true peaceful nature is often used as reasoning against such violent protests. If women can’t be peaceful, why can’t men? This backwards way of thinking has given credit away from the women who choose to partake in violent protests. Any time there’s a crazy riot going on, men are always given the blame or credit. Why is it so hard for people to acknowledge that women are capable of violence, and that violence can sometimes be productive, as a useful means of protest?
Preparing for this post, I tried to find articles about women’s role in the recent riots in Tunisia or Egypt. From mainstream to underground news sources, it was hard to find anything. Yet again, the male perspective becomes everyone’s perspective. Even though a woman in Egypt might be protesting about different grievances then her male counter-parts, that perspective is not shown. I was able to find great photos of women protesting in Egypt. It wasn’t from a news source though. It was on someone’s facebook.
All photos from here. Compiled by Leil-Zahra Mortada.