Constructing the National Body through Public Homophobia: A Disourse Analysis of Egyptian Media Coverage of the 'Rainbow Flag Case' in 2017
Ameling, Ricarda – 2022
Since the revolution in 2011 and the reconstitution of authoritarian military rule under Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in 2013, various moral panics shook Egypt and were accompanied by the policing of bodies, sexuality and sexual identities. The so-called ‘Rainbow Flag case’ was a notable illustration of such policing. After youths waved a rainbow flag at a concert in Cairo in 2017, state-controlled media led a vicious campaign against homosexuality that was part of a massive state crackdown on LGBTIQ+ people. Building on previous feminist research on gendered nationalism, this paper uses a discourse analysis methodology to examine state-controlled media coverage after the event to explore the discursive repertoires that constitute LGBTIQ+ people, especially homosexuals, as others within the Egyptian nation. It becomes evident that the regime - needing to reconsolidate and strengthen its authoritarian rule - promotes and supports a self-legitimising gendered nationalism, generating power by re-establishing heteronormative identities. Furthermore, the crackdown, repression, and discourse aim to restore the patriarchal order after the revolution in 2011.