Citing potential harm to men’s ‘sensitive spots,’ activist urges film ban

Mahmoud Hanfy Mahmoud, head of the complaints department at the Association for Human rights and Social Justice, has demanded in an official complaint to the attorney general that the Egyptian film entitled "678," which addresses the issue of sexual harassment, be banned.

Hanfy claims that the film, which is currently showing in Egyptian cinemas, incites female victims of sexual harassment to commit violent acts against young men, specifically targeting their  "sensitive places" with sharp tools, which could potentially lead to sexual impotence.

“The film sends the message to women who are subject to sexual harassment that it is okay to resort to vigilante justice against the harasser," Hanfy stated in his complaint.

"According to the film, women can't bring formal complaints about harassment to police for fear of scandal," he added. "Making this assertion is like giving women a green light to hurt young men in the streets for reasons that may be unrelated to harassment.”

The film’s writer and director, Mahmoud Diab, dismissed the charge that the film encourages women to practice violence.

“I'm only issuing a warning about the dangers of sexual harassment continuing in the absence of a change of circumstances that would allow for a different means of self defense,” he said.

“The problem presented by the film is not fantasy," Diab said. "I've seen several examples of women carrying sharp weapons to defend themselves against harassment."

"The film condemns this sort of violence, of course, as evidenced by the heroine’s fate at the end of the film," he added. "If this sort of violence happens in reality, this is not the fault of the film. In the film, we encourage victims of harassment to take recourse to the courts.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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