In times of crisis and trouble, some people rise to the occasion and show the best of what humanity can be and inspire. And some people…don’t. Twitter account Everyday Sexism posted a screenshot of a post by website The Daily Caller, “13 Syrian Refugees We’d Take Immediately.” The post is a collection of screengrabs from an Instagram account called @syrian_girls, which features photos of attractive Syrian women mugging for the camera in full makeup and styled hair. “These women are Syria-sly hot,” the post drools.
This absurdly sexist post comes at a time when Syrian refugees are finding doors slammed on them at a time they most need help. Additionally, some of these images are two years old or older. There’s every possibility that some of these women are indeed refugees at this point, as more than 4 million Syrians have fled their country. The post doesn’t just hint, it says outright that American politicians should be more welcoming of "hot" girls — which implies that women should trade on their sexuality for safety. Refugee women are at a heightened risk of both sexual assault and forced prostitution due to their lack of stability and resources. The Huffington Post reports that some displaced Syrian women are already turning to prostitution or exploitative relationships to survive. Last summer, Vice News did a series of interviews with displaced Syrian women working as prostitutes in Lebanon. Last month, Reuters reported on rumors that German refugee shelters were covering up accusations of rape and sexual assault in their camps. The fear of assault or exploitation is real for refugee women. They deserve more than being reduced to just another in a string of pretty faces for someone else to enjoy.