Thursday, January 2, 2020

So You said No : It is not funny

I should be writing something about this huge escalation between Egypt and Turkey following the Turkish parliament’s approval to deploy Turkish troops to Tripoli (or Qassem Soleimani's assassination) instead, I am writing this post about a very disturbing music video that hit the internet on the first day of the year.

Yes, music videos and maybe I am writing this because I am fed up with those teaching us what to say and not to say and what to criticize and what not to criticize. I have had enough with those who define the freedom of expression according to their friends online.

The first music video is by multi-talented Youtuber/influencer/advertising director/social media comedian Tameem Younes.

Younes who is not a professional singer released his second music video “Salmonella” or as commonly known now in the social media “But if you’re going to say no”.

Here is the music video and it is about some loser who does not take “no” for an answer from his love.


In nutshell, Younes warns his girl in an alleged funny way of not loving him as she will get salmonella as a start.

Popular and also controversial singer Mahmoud Esseily makes a cameo in the song.
The music video made more than one million views on YouTube in its 24 hours.
I did not find it funny and felt something is wrong.

Soon girls and women pointed out what is wrong, this music video is actually supporting “Non-consent” abusive relationships and violence against women.

As debate began to grow, Tamim Younes made a video on his Facebook account saying that he meant to expose fragile masculinity.





Okay now comes my turn to say my two worthless Egyptian piasters.

First of all, if an artist or a singer had to issue a statement or release a video to explain the meaning or the actual goal of his song or his work then there is a problem in that song or this work.

I am quite surprised that Younes who is a big name in the advertising business in Egypt forgot to keep his message simple so it can reach its target audience directly especially when we are dealing with issues like violence against women and fragile masculinity. 

This song and its lyrics can be the official song theme of Netflix’s You, which is a very disturbing TV series if I may say.

Second of all, in a part of the world and in a country that actually women and girls pay a heavy price for saying no for an answer, such matter can’t be trivialized in funny songs by any means.

Women and girls get killed sometimes for saying No for an answer in Egypt and the Arab world.
To speak the only language many people speak about nowadays, I must hint out that the financial losses of the violence against women are estimated to be in an average of LE 2.17 billion according to the UN in Egypt.

I won’t go far already. I am writing this post and the Egyptian police and prosecution are investigating mass-sexual harassment and attack that took place in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura on New Year’s eve.

Tens of young men mostly teenagers were filmed while stalking and running behind a young lady wearing a short skirt in downtown Mansoura. Things would have escalated to worse if she had not been saved and got into a car.

The videos showing the incident went viral and they were shocking.
This was not the only incident that took place in Nile Delta on New Year’s Eve. Another video surfaced for a similar mob attack in Nile Delta’s Zagzig where a girl accompanied by a young man was also stalked and harassed by tens of teenagers.

In both cases, we are back to that ill-debate about women’s responsibility in sexual harassment and what she should wear and what she should not in a Nile Delta city.
In 2013, the UN released a study saying that 99% of Egyptian women were subjected to a form of sexual harassment in their lifetime

I do not have an exact number of Egyptian women assaulted physically and sexually for saying No as an answer but I see and hear about the victims every now and then starting with simple blackmail to physical violence that destroys lives and families

This is not a matter to laugh about.

Needless to say, most men online believe there is nothing about the music video or lyrics of the song.
They think it is funny and some women are overacting and that political correctness storm should be stopped.

What I fear that in front of this anger, the song will continue to spread its catchy music.
Many predict that this song will be played over and over in DJs in the wedding season.

Let the memes pour in

The memes and jokes are already made about the song and it is the phrase “If you are going to say no”  are here to make things worse.
"So you said No" on a scene from Le Chaos where policeman Hatem
abducts and rapes Nour



Another scene from "Le Chaos" after the rape of Nour with the words "So you said No"



And that's "You" scene with the words "So You said No"
Facebook screenshot
And that awful rape scene from the Karnak

We are normalizing the wrong more and more instead of fighting it.

This is not the first time Tamim Younes creates an online controversy where he gets away as well as gets what he wants for publicity and hits.

He was in hot waters from a couple of years ago when he whined about giving tips to waiters in restaurants and cafes in an elitist's way. He got away with it because he is considered “ a dark comedy mastermind”. It is not a dark comedy or black comedy, it is a bad comedy.

Last year, he got his moment to become a mainstream figure when his "one-sentence song" { You are nothing} hit the charts online and became a meme.

Anyhow, we are not overreacting as women and girls when we say that this song is troubling and if he wanted to help then I am afraid he made it worse by normalizing it and made it funny manner.

Still I do not know if it is less troubling than -bigger-than-life actor/singer/rapper Mohamed Ramadan's new music video "Bum Bum".

Mohamed Ramadan's troubling scene



At the end of the day, Tamim Younes's target audience is the Upper and Upper Middle-Class boys and girls but he has not reached the popularity and status of actor Mohamed Ramadan who insists to be Number 1 in everything.

On the first day of the year, Ramadan launched his new music video "Bum bum", another silly catchy music song.
I stopped the video at the troubling scene.


So we got here a young man who goes to a party, he does not drink alcohols but by mistake, he drinks and it gets weird from here as he makes out with a man he thought to be a woman and enters by mistake the bathroom while a woman is inside.

He does not stop, he keeps opening the door on that woman and I do not know where the humor is. The director of the music video is Ramadan's favorite director Mohamed Sami who has very interesting sexist views about veteran Egyptian actresses according to his beauty standards.

Ramadan is a star for the working class and seeing him doing that scene does not help. Already, the music video is the most top trending in Egypt right now.

I am not from that group that always blames Mohamed Ramadan for the decline of morals and the spread of thuggery, crime and sexual harassment because of his films.
I believe his films are actually a mirror and a reflection of Egyptian society and not vice-versa.

Me and others are not overreacting but actually pointing out what is wrong is an important step to fix that ongoing damage in our society.

It is not a class matter. I would dare that someone like Tameem Younes is more sosphicated than Mohamed Ramadan if I say but still he can't see what is wrong in his music video. Same thing if you confront Mohamed Ramadan.

Yet this has to be changed and more people must speak up.

1 comment:

  1. I apologize in advance for being an insensitive male (I am serious), but I think you were unfair to Ramadan, the message I get is be aware of spiked drinks otherwise you could get in trouble and act like a jerk, (kissing a male and walking into the wrong place). Unlike the Youness video that definitely could give the wrong message. At the end I will admit that if females find it offensive , then it absolutely is.

    khaled

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