In the song Egyptian singer Tameem Youness describes how he’d react if a woman he is attracted to refuses his advances; praying she contracts salmonella.
He also threatens to destroy the house and the things inside it if she says no to him.
The song ignited outrage on social media, with user Killjoy Kaat saying that men financially, socially and legally benefit from abusing women and joking about abusing them.
Youness has claimed his video was meant to mock abusive men who act irrationally and aggressively. “I’m a jokester and I love to joke around. I will never stop joking around,” he said.
But social media users were not so forgiving. “If Tameem Youness wanted to make a satirical commentary song (like he claims) he would’ve added a disclaimer at the beginning / ending of the video, he knows the society that we live in and he knows that trash men will use it as their anthem,” said greemace.
Egyptian filmmaker Aida El-Kashef posted her experience on Facebook of being sexually harassed by Youness, and the threats that followed:
“It started with what I thought was normal flirting, to being extremely pushy when a nice friendly no wasn’t enough, to literally pushing him away physically over and over again, to making public scenes when I got aggressive and told him u r a harasser, to threats of hacking my devices because I was asked by someone who had the right to know and I told the truth.”
“Salmonella’s” release coincides with a video that was circulated online early in the new year which captures a woman being sexually attacked by a mob of men on New Year’s Eve in Mansoura, which ignited outrage across the country.
Egypt has a longstanding problem with sexual violence – a 2013 UN report found that 99.3 per cent of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime.
In October last year 18-year-old Mahmoud El-Banna was stabbed to death in a revenge attack after defending a student from being sexually harassed and beaten in the street.
El-Banna died in hospital and was dubbed “the martyr of chivalry.”
Security forces initially announced that El-Banna was killed following an argument with some friends in a café before CCTV footage of him being chased through the streets was released.
Activists have long accused Egyptian authorities of being indifferent toward sexual harassment perpetrators, often punishing the victims instead.
Activists Amal Fathy and Lebanese tourist Mona El-Mazboh were both jailed for standing up against sexual harassment in Egypt.