In the United States, "disrespecting" a historical monument comes in forms of desecration/ vandalizing of the object. Depending on which state, you could spend a few months to a year in a local jail... unless its seen as a felony offense, then a year in a state prison. May even have to pay some major fines. Especially if the monument is owned by an association, like a Historical Society... then you could face some other big lawsuits that could drag out for YEARS!
The Robert E. Lee Monument in Richmond, Virginia was one of the first statues to take residence on Monument Avenue back in May of 1890. It took approximately 10,000 people, with a bunch of wagons, to get it set up in the center square. Facing much scrutiny over the last decade or two, it is THE LAST surviving statue recognizing the history of the Confederacy.
Not too long ago, it fell victim to a few cans of Krylon (spray paint) during riots from local and national civil rights groups, like BLM and Antifa. But, for the most part, its still standing and several of those responsible for its "facelift" are still able to wander about in society, and face no consequences. (We know this is a touchy and controversial topic. We're not hating. We are making a point, though. Keep reading...)
EGYPT is known as one of the most historical countries in the world. Its place in World History, as well as Biblical History, has great significance for humanity as we know it now. History dating back centuries... the beginning of time, even... with stories of wealth, triumph, and success. Nations of peoples have come from her roots and she is still referenced today in matters of science, history, and the arts.
Pyramids, Mummies, Temples, The Sphinx!!! Y'all... the place is a sandy gold mine and we've all wanted to visit at some point... right!?!
With that said, have you ever wondered who was really responsible for the construction of all of those AMAZING pieces of architecture from the B.C. timeframe? Well, if you didn't know... SLAVES WERE THE ONES WHO WERE MOSTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR BUILDING THE PYRAMIDS AND SCULPTURES AND TEMPLES AND PHAROH TOMBS IN EGYPT!!!
(Pretty sure y'all knew that already. Some just don't want to discuss it. We're not gonna harp on it too long, so calm your titresses. Keep reading!)
Although African slave trading has been "formally" banned in since 1877, the act itself is still practiced "under the radar." Labor forces, bookies, human trafficking... are all still very prominent today (2020-2021), in Egypt, like there were back when The Great Pyramids were being built. Y'all probably know this, too... but whatevs...
Reeling it all back in: Did you know, though... that defacing, violating, vandalizing, or simply "disrespecting" one of these ancient monuments could not only catch you a MAJOR fine, starting at $20,000 (USD), but the Egyptian government bypasses "jail" completely, and will send you straight to FEDERAL PRISON FOR AT LEAST A YEAR!?!
NOT TO MENTION THE POSSIBILITY OF A CURSE BESTOWED UPON YOU!
With all of that in mind, Egypt stayed pretty "ancient" in their policies as time moved forward. It actually wasn't too long ago... 1956 to be precise... that women in EGYPT were FINALLY recognized as equals in society and allowed civil rights, like voting. Still, they slack on making major advancements in guaranteeing those rights.
Egypt ranks low in gender equity compared to other countries worldwide. The 2015 Global Gender Gap Index, which measures disparities between men and women across countries, ranks Egypt at 136 out of 145 countries worldwide. Women have significantly lower participation in the labor force than men (26% vs 79%) and lower literacy (65% literacy for women vs 82% of males). The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Social Institutions and Gender Index 2014, which measures legislation, practices, and attitudes that restrict women’s rights and opportunities, classifies Egypt to be among the countries ‘very high’ in gender discrimination together with others in Africa and the Middle East. And as revealed by the 2014 Demographic and Health Survey, 92% of the ever-married women ages 15-49 interviewed have been circumcised. - per USAid.gov
This is a country, whose history is filled with inspirational and strong women who were Pharaohs/ Queens, Princesses, Priestesses and Goddesses among their male counterparts. Yet, Egypt is literally still one of the most DISCRIMINATING countries in the world when it comes down to minority rights... especially for WOMEN.
Instead, women in Egypt, TODAY, are demoralized. They can't even wear what they want without being berated... and in some cases... raped, beaten or killed. And don't get me started on becoming a social media influencer... 5 Women Jailed In Egypt Over TicTok posts.
Can you imagine being a woman who defaced a pyramid?
Now... Imagine being an Egyptian lady, who's empowered, appreciates her identity and femininity. She is confident and wants the world to know her roots as a Strong Egyptian Woman and she wants to express herself... so, she sets up a tasteful photoshoot in front of one of The Great Pyramids. (Insert US FemNazi's Screaming, "YAAAAAASSSSS GIRL!")
Well... Meet Egyptian fashion model, Salma al-Shimi.
She didn't spray paint "All Pharaohs Suck" or "Down with Egypt" on the side of The Sphinx. She wanted to feel sexy and beautiful by showing off her feminine curves along with her heritage that she feels that she represents. She wanted to POST THE PICS ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND BE PROUD OF WHO SHE IS AND WHERE SHE COMES FROM.
She's a model... a dancer... and an Egyptian Woman rising above the stereotypes... and she had to pay a price for it.
I don't care who you are. I don't care about your color, your heritage, your history, your religion, your gender, your status quo... If you are a United States Citizen, don't you dare say you are oppressed when shit like what Salma al-Shimi is going through... and so many more like her... are happening in other parts of the world.
Cardi B, J-Lo, Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Madonna, Ashley Judd, Michelle Obama, Oprah, etc... including Women's March, Moms Demand Action, etc... all women of differing backgrounds. All very, VERY successful. Several being women of color (another minority status check off). All of them claim they are oppressed women in the United States.
Can't help but wonder if they'll go to bat for Salma...
Remember that the next time you have an extra can of spray paint and you think a statue you don't like is looking at you funny because of what you look like! Salma would LOOOOOOVE someone to spray paint her name in the sand.