Lebanese sexologist hits back at hosts for degrading, minimising her on television
Dr. Sandrine Atallah appeared on the MTV Lebanon show ‘On Another Planet’ to promote educational videos she had produced about sexual issues and sexual health.
However, the show’s male presenters, mocked the doctor and made derogatory comments.
“Sometimes it’s sexual education, sometimes it’s sexy, I don’t know,” said one of the hosts while laughing.
“The way she is talking is very arousing ... your mind goes somewhere else,” said the other.
Following its broadcast, social media users took to Twitter to express their outrage at the treatment of Atallah on the show and lay scorn on its male hosts.
“Pierre Rabbat and co accusing Dr Sandrine Atallah of being seductive while doing her job have the same IQ level of a boy who wants to become and OBGYN so he can touch and see boobs,” said one user.
“Full support to Dr Sandrine Atallah. We believe in science, not in bullying and not in shallow tv shows where unprofessional masochistic men are judging science and education. Dr Atallah is a pioneer in the field of sexual health education in the region. Proud of her,” said another.
After the outcry, one of the hosts, Pierre Rabbat, took to Twitter himself to apologise.
“What happened on Sunday’s episode while talking about sex education videos and debating about their availability for general public, went unintentionally in the wrong way…And on a pure personal level, I would like to express my apologies for what happened with Dr. Sandrine Atallah during this segment,” he wrote.
Atallah was however, not in a forgiving mood.
“Apologies received but not accepted. You could have: checked your facts instead of sharing fake news about my videos & my previous show. Silenced your anchors instead of encouraging them by saying I was seductive. Given me a space to express myself instead of interrupting me,” she replied.
Despite the liberal nature of Lebanon, especially when compared to its regional neighbours, sexual education in schools is almost non existent.
“Women, especially, often have no idea. They think that there is a wall that needs to be broken by the man the first time they have sex. I’ve had patients saying they don’t know which is the correct hole,” Atallah told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
In addition to her work at American University of Beirut Hospital, Atallah also hosts a podcast called ‘Straight Talk’, which secures more than 100,000 downloads a month, mainly in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
She is also active on TikTok, where she boasts a quarter of a million followers and half a million likes.