Achraf Hakimi: When Mothers Are Exploited in Patriarchal Fraud
In recent weeks, the extent of masculine celebration has amplified. Moroccan footballer Achraf Hakimi and his divorce from Spanish-Tunisian actress Hiba Abouk have sparked controversy. After the circulation of the divorce court ruling, Hakimi made headlines and social media trends inciting women’s anger on the one hand, and misogynist celebration on the other. The reason men and women had different feelings about Hakimi’s divorce is due to the player’s ceding his property to his mother to avoid sharing it with his ex-wife Hiba Abouk.
The case of Hakimi and Hiba Abouk’s divorce revealed many conspicuous aspects to most of us. However, it even gets more terrifying when we see millions of people from Muslim backgrounds and Arabic-speaking countries celebrating men despite their involvement in rape cases.
The crowds rejoice for any victory achieved by a man, even if this “victory” is won by circumventing and caressing emotions using the maternity card. This is in addition, of course, to lying to the partner and betting on masculine values that do not see the man – God forbid – wrong at all.
The mother always forms an aura of holiness around men, and through her, the man and his social goodness are valued, regardless of how corrupt or criminal he is.
Lying and lack of transparency in marriage turn into a patriarchal victory
Divorce cases in some European countries are a real “trap” for many who refuse transparency in marriage. The laws of countries, such as Spain and France, require the spouse-to-be to sign a prenuptial agreement that guarantees the rights of all parties in the event of separation. By agreeing to share property after divorce or separation, the economic and social rights of both parties are guaranteed.
This agreement obliges both parties, if they agree to the division of property and debts, to disclose all their property before the court, and for the parties to receive what was agreed upon before marriage. These legal proceedings are the result of the complexity of separation, alimony, and custody issues for parents, and to secure children’s rights.
This matter, however simple, seemed very complex and unfair to men, according to social media users in Arabic-speaking countries.
After the Spanish and French newspapers circulated the court proceedings in which Achraf Hakimi and Hiba Abouk were pursuing their divorce case, news spread that Hakimi’s entire property was registered in his mother’s name. Thus, he does not have anything to share with Hiba Abouk, as was agreed before marriage. Many rejoiced at the news because Hiba Abouk would not get anything from the rich player’s property, rather, she would have to share her property with him, an explicit reference as they say to Hakimi’s coldness and cunningness.
Smart men, by patriarchal standards, are the ones who can prevent women from getting their money, considering them materialistic and greedy by the same logic. However, the foundational values of truthfulness, transparency, and honesty upon which marriage and partnership are built, are easily banished and completely ignored if they seemed in favor of women.
They don’t care that Hakimi tricked his wife by lying to her and trapping her into sharing her property with him, while he broke their agreement. As long as this will lead to the loss of a woman, whoever the woman is.
Using mothers for male gimmicks, a successful recipe
Achraf Hakimi won the praise of male audiences in different parts of the world and was celebrated as a hero. This hero is a man who triumphed for the men suffering from women’s slyness; women who appear in this narrative as greedy golddiggers. In this view, Hakimi shattered his ex-wife’s chance of “seizing” his million-dollar fortune, just as he shattered his rival team’s chances of winning. To legitimize deception, he used the trump card of “honoring one’s parents” to add to his victory.
This patriarchal celebration of Achraf Hakimi was preceded by a wave of justification and defense after he was accused of committing rape in France earlier this year. The defense culminated in supporting him when the divorce case reached the stage of property sharing, which is part of Hakimi’s agreement with Hiba Abouk. The goal that Hakimi scored this time was the news that all his property was registered in his mother’s name, even his salary and financial dues were received through her.
It was not difficult for a mother to be the protective model for her son in this recurring patriarchal scenario. A large part of the family upbringing process is related to protection and the provision of support and assistance to children. But that sounds even stranger when we look at the essential role of mother and son in patriarchal societies.
Mothers are transformed into shields to protect, hearts to pray, and bodies to serve their children. Male children are the heirs to the family’s authority and inheritors of its weapons in patriarchal system negotiations, and it is their duty as “mothers” to realize patriarchal values through their sons. Those values say that men do not commit mistakes. They are always taken advantage of by women, and only mothers will stand against this injustice. They are the amulet that protects the sons, and they are the wall against which all accountability is shielded.
According to the code of patriarchal customs, he who appreciates his mother does not underestimate another woman
It is not difficult to give examples where mothers defended their male sons who committed crimes against women. They’re always innocent in their eyes.
It is difficult for mothers to support their daughters who break patriarchal rules. The daughters are rather punished when they live their lives as they want. However, mothers are expected to be merciful to their male sons, even when they commit mistakes. They should make efforts to protect them, even if this means participating in fraud and lying.
Patriarchal values and authority are based on many hierarchies that normalize violence and harm. But they also use women themselves to establish more domination and normalize patriarchy. One of the most prominent of these mechanisms is the use of mothers to legitimize patriarchy. This mechanism is unquestionable. In patriarchy, motherhood is fundamentally linked to the mother’s ability to transmit masculine values and hierarchies, maintain the authority of men through their upbringing, and protect them from accountability.
This aspect is very evident in the case of Achraf Hakimi, who was keen to introduce his mother to the media and tell her personal story and how she contributed to making him a successful man and player.
Hakimi’s mother was an exemplary model for mothers in our countries. She is a working-class woman who labored and sacrificed for her children. A mother who defends the successful son accused of rape before the media, and guards his wealth from any accountability that may affect him. She is the female element whose image improves by her presence next to him. Mothers always create an aura of holiness around men, with which men and their social goodness are valued, no matter how corrupt or criminal they are.
Hakimi’s behavior which the media talked about, i.e. writing his property in his mother’s name was not spontaneous and innocent. Rather, it was a typical misogynist scheme that men resorted to, whenever they felt competition from a woman, using the card of righteousness and mother’s love.
The bet here is to divert the attention and criticism from the fact that Hiba Abouk filed for divorce after Hakimi was involved in a rape case.
Misogynist masses thirsty to break women
Hakimi succeeded in diverting attention from the actual reason for his divorce, placing his mother face to face against his wife, and choosing a patriarchal tool that turns Hiba Abouk into the villain in the narrative. Here, she is the crone wife who abandoned him because she’s after his property, but his filial piety towards his mother saved him.
It is a recurrent narrative in patriarchal societies. It isn’t like a Xiao to wrong his mother, nor can he harm another woman. If his relationship with his mother is good, this is sufficient evidence that he’s untouchable, and the testimony of any other woman who talks about his abuse or violence is thus non-valid.
It is difficult today to turn a blind eye to any news about the incursion of misogyny, and the enormous ability of societies to normalize and even ridicule any situation in which women are in a state of brokenness or pain. Social media contributes to hundreds of posts satirizing women and celebrating men, even if they are rapists. It is also hard to overlook the immense jubilation of Hakimi, and Johnny Depp, or any man who has been involved in a case of violence or faces a woman in a public trial.
We see the publications glorifying Achraf Hakimi, and how he triumphed for the dignity of oppressed men over “materialistic women.” Electronic masculine groups also like to name any woman whose case is linked to an economic aspect, a “Golddigger”.
Clips and memes have spread ridiculing Hiba Abouk’s loss in the marriage agreement. Trends increase the wealth of the player accused of rape and defrauding his ex-wife. Through these clips and memes, irony and humor are also inseparable from masculinity.
Imagine, for example, that the court took another turn without Hakimi’s manipulation, and he adhered to the marriage agreement, giving his ex-wife and children half of his property. Of course, the ridicule will turn into masculine tears that talk about the conspiracy that befell him, because of his fame and success in football.
An oppressed man and an unjust woman
The phenomenon of a man aggrieved by a woman who seeks to separate from him, claims her right or reveals his violence against her, has recently spread significantly. Although it has always been the norm, we are now witnessing it in an organized manner. It is as if there is a prior agreement between thousands of identifiers from different countries in the region, stating that any man involved in a case of sexual violence, domestic violence, or misogynist act, is necessarily wronged.
Thousands of people on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat celebrated Hakimi’s registration of his property in his mother’s name and mocked Hiba Abouk’s loss of the agreement that obligated him to share his property equally with her. The biggest joy was that Hakimi was now the one who would benefit from Hiba’s property and get half of it.
Hakimi’s move to register his property in his mother’s name, if true, was not the problem. But the real problem is to trick his wife and use the best patriarchal tool to win any battle, and that is placing two women face to face against each other, and betting on the image of the ideal mother versus the disobedient wife who is after wealth and separation.
Thus, betting here is to divert attention and criticism from the fact that Hiba Abouk filed for divorce after Hakimi was involved in a rape case. This facilitates the closure of any social accountability and winning the masculine public.
The problem always lies in patriarchal values that dehumanize women and consider targeting them, deceiving them, violence against them, and their use against one another as a victory for the morals and values of society. They are the same values that consider a rapist, liar, and a fraudulent man better than a woman defending her right.