“We have no girls here that work with their degrees. Our girls are pampered. Everything she wants is at her service.”
“Assuming I agree that you work, what would we do about your beauty? Your job is taking care of my heart …isn’t it enough that you’re the president of the republic of my heart?”
These words are from Lebanese singer Mohammed Iskandar’s latest single Jomhouriyet Albi (“The republic of my heart”). Released about a month ago, he proudly describes what he expects from his lover. France 24 translated the whole song to English.
Soon after its release, different Lebanese groups objected. A Facebook group (called, “No, I’m not working for him!”) was created to counter attack the song. A street protest organized by different Lebanese feminist groups took place in Beirut’s Hamra district earlier this month, where both men and women held banners saying, “My degree is not for the kitchen” and “I want a woman, not a commodity!”
Weedah Hamzah interviewed some of the outraged women. Lara Dou, a 20-year-old Lebanese student, said:
“For God’s sake, someone should tell him we don’t live in the Stone Age. Women can protect themselves, be independent and reach the top.”
Alarmingly, a CD vendor in Beirut has said that the song is a best-seller among taxi drivers and men, and that some women had come and bought it just out of curiosity.