A reading in the psychology of Arabic sexual swearing

by Maha Al Aswad

“The son/daughter of a man who was screwed” is considered swearing in the Egyptian context. A man that is being screwed means he must be gay. Unfortunately, homosexuality is considered a big shame in this part of the world. Homosexuals are mostly considered “less men” than heterosexuals in conservative people minds ( a majority). But then what  exactly is manhood? To be able to screw around without being screwed?

What I don’t really understand is why “The son/daughter of a woman who was screwed” is considered Egyptian swearing while it only states a biological fact. I guess here the physical act itself indicates inferiority in case of the person who is being screwed, let it be a male or a female. But the superiority will always be for males in all cases ( since they are the ones who are capable of physically screwing around).

The second phrase is the one that is most commonly used- at least in the Egyptian context. Furthermore, just mentioning the slang Arabic name for the female genitals of someone’s mother/sister is considered swearing. Yes. Just that. Without describing it or anything. Just mentioning it is considered a huge insult for men. My own interpretation is that it works as a reminder to men of where they originally came from: a “poor weak” woman’s vagina that must had been screwed before.

On the other hand, mentioning someone’s male genitals is not considered an insult. Actually,  if you are a male, mentioning your own penis can offend anyone you want to insult. For example, to say ” My penis on something/someone ” means you are indicating you are powerful and you can actually screw anything and anyone you don’t like. Unfortunately, females can’t do the same. A female can’t go on and say ” My vagina on…”. It simply doesn’t make sense. Vaginas can’t screw anyone, they are meant to be screwed which is a shame in the public mind.

When a football team wins a game, supporters would say: “we screwed them really hard!”  I remember there was a football magazine cover that featured a photo of the coach of the Egyptian national team in a groom’s tuxedo getting married to the coach of the other team who lost the game the other night, of course in the bride’s gown.

So having a female’s genitals means you can be screwed and means you are vulnerable and weak. Having a male’s genitals means you can screw around and means you have the power.

I personally find Freud’s psycosexual development theory sexist and rather pathetic. Nevertheless, Arabs after all the years are proving the Freudian complexes right. In the Arab men’s sub/conscious, it is all about having a penis- and NOT being screwed, which is highly reflected in their swearing.