The Middle East is a place with a wide range of ethnic diversity many of which have migrated a century ago, among them are the Chechens, who came from the Caucasus in the early twentieth century, settling in countries like Turkey, Syrian and Jordan. Almost all of the Chechens are Muslims. Many of their communities kept their traditions and culture they brought with them from their country of origin, such as traditions in marriage, cuisine, and Chechens of Jordan still keep to a great extent with their mother tongue as well.
A growing phenomenon has been taking place on social media, with the appearance of pages and accounts claiming to facilitate marriage and connect Arab men with Chechen women, these pages are filled with images of women objectifying them as brides. This trend has risen in large scale where it starts to form a stereotype about women of Chechen origin, especially in the Arab world as most of these pages are in Arabic. By looking closely to what these pages are posting it’s no longer a group of people admiring the beauty of women from a certain ethnic background but rather promoting them as women to fulfill sexual desires and the fantasy of a Halal marriage as they claim. I have undertaken a research to unravel this phenomenon and I am presenting in this article my findings:
I found the practices by the founders of these pages reflect harmful intentions and agenda setting, starting with the ambiguity they present, where there is a large number of pages created, mostly in Arabic, with page name like Chechen women for marriage, or just Chechen women, when you browse through the page you will find a large number of photos of women, with a large number of following, ranging from 82 to 114000 followers (luckily this last one has been removed).
Moving on to what this means? Why do they do this? Who are these people doing this?
Women bodies have been exploited for a long time and objectifying them as sexual creatures have been done throughout the ages, but this time it has taken a shift, my researched posts show how systematic the creators of these pages are and how they are operating with a purpose and hidden agenda.
Although it is customary in Arab societies that young men and women can be introduced to one another through friends and family with the purpose of getting married, it is also known and clear that posting girls images just like what these pages are doing is offensive and degrading, so any claim by these pages that they act from a moral purpose and they are providing a community service is false and a big lie.
Exploiting the image of women, and portraying her as an exotic creature that needs to be explored has been done before in various forms. Areas, where Muslim women have been contested, was highlighted by Dr.Leila Abu Lughud in a lecture at Columbia Global Centers in Amman, Abu Lughud is also the author of the book “Do Muslim Women Need Saving?” where she pinpointed that there are numerous books that highlight this tendency of representing women as a person that needs to be saved, such books are; “The Princess” and “Married by Force” or “Without Mercy: A Novel” just to name a few. Only this time Chechen Muslim women are exploited as a source for pleasure through marriage.
I want to focus my discussion on the issue of why ‘through marriage’ why those who invented these posts didn’t state ‘women for sex’, but ‘No’ they wouldn’t, it would not have the same effect, the posts would have been treated like any pornographic material, gazed upon in the underground areas of cyberspace to be dismissed afterwards and only exist in the fantasy of the observer, where he is consciously aware of that, thus not creating the interest and allure that was intended, presenting the idea that you can be with this woman provides more enthusiasm and encourages the observer to take action to achieve this goal, and social media makes this accessible with a click of a button or by downloading an app or sending a message where you get in touch with whoever on the other side of the page to fulfill your dream and make it a reality. Sexual desires can be a great motive to make someone take action. Another reason why they might not be explicit in stating their intentions is because the social media platform will shut down their pages, and I think they know that, as I said they seem to have acquired good knowledge of social media and how it operates, and this is where they take advantage of it, knowing the ability of this platform to spread their content.
The last question I asked, who are these people? although I can’t identify by providing a clear name, I can state that they are people with no morality, driven by purpose and know what they are doing, they are not just young kids having a good time at the expense of others, the photos posted have taken a lot of time to be gathered, and I found some photos can be found on several pages which can indicate that the same person is managing more than one page, I can tell at some instances that many of them are not for Chechen women, when I tracked one photo I found it’s for a sports blogger from Latin American origins when I saw this I thought to myself how idiotically smart these people are, tracing a photo does not take much, but this is what the creators of these pages rely on, the ignorance of others to seduce them with images of beautiful women combined with a promise that you can be with her.
Last, I say this to any guy seeking to find a life partner, perhaps he should rely on trusted sources like his friends and family where they can be of great assistance in this regard to introduce him to a nice girl, as people with mischievous intents have grown in size on social media.