Friday, February 12, 2010

What's cyber porn got to do with it? 

"Cyber cafes" in Morocco are filled with young boys and men surfing pornography sites.  Satellite TV, a standard in every home from the richest down to the poorest, is a source of porn bombardment.  And so, what about it, you may ask.  Check out the very good article in the link above that explains how constant exposure to cyber sex creates isolation, addiction and eventual inability to function in a human relationship.  Men become obsessed with acts and images and ideas that are not only psychologically unhealthy for them, but dangerous to those who live with them.  They develop unrealistic expectations and make demands that are impossible to satisfy.  The women in their lives become objects to be used and abused. 

It is not a quantum leap from considering what heavy exposure to porn does in a sexually repressed society to realizing it is directly connected to bad behavior with women.  This is not a problem unique to Morocco, or to Muslim societies, but a worldwide problem.  It's another facet of the complex dynamic of sexual harassment and abusive behavior.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

In the last two posts, I touched on the touchy subjects of sexual harassment and the marriage lottery. What happens if you don't want to play the game?  In a word, retaliation.  Insults are flung, outrage is expressed, and the whole thing is your fault as woman.  You lack good humor and inner beauty and are not pleasing to men.  Your job is to leave your house each day with the intention of making all men happy to be around you and offering some titillation in their boring workaday worlds.  When you fail to do that, you are defying a basic principle of the universe.

The thing is, Moroccan women do handle this demeaning treatment with smiles and laughs and tolerance.  They do provide the beauty and titillation.  They don't like it, but accept it as normal male behavior and right.  When you come from another place that tells you women deserve respect and equal treatment and have the God-given right to say NO, it's confusing to see the opposite happening around you.  Especially when these same men, in charming mode, tell you how the world lies at the feet of mothers. They pump up the fantasy of how a woman is respected in the home and glorified by motherhood.  Fact is, like women everywhere, they are working mulitple jobs with about as much appreciation as those donkeys you see in the street.

Foreign women have a special persona in the world of sex, love and marriage, too.  Thanks to internet porn and satellite TV, it is well-known fact all foreign women are sex-hungry and indiscriminate about how they feed that appetite.  Because they are not bound to Moroccan standards, they can be free and act like men.  It's easy to charm them into relationships.  It's easy to convince them of how unfortunate and unfair life is to the average hardly-working man in Morocco.  Foreign women are happy to trade their money and their passport for some pleasure in the sack.  The true general perception is that foreign women only like trash and prefer men who are poorly educated, dirty and unemployed.  Of course, a well-educated man with a decent job and a life isn't going to be trolling the streets or the internet looking for a woman to get him out of Morocco.  He doesn't need a helping hand or a woman to support him, so he just isn't going to be available. 

Cross-cultural relationships are difficult at best on many levels.  When the basis of the relationship is you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours, I have to wonder about the tears and heartbreak later; the ranting about the unfairness of it all because the men are trash.  There is actually a Facebook page about trash men in Morocco. You get what you pay for and that applies to everything in life.  The question is, should you be paying to begin with?

Friday, February 5, 2010

There may be some readers from yesterday who imagine I am bitter or hate men, but be assured that is not the case at all.  I love my dad, I forgave my ex and we are friends, and I have daily chats with both my brothers and I am proud to death of my sons.  I love men!  What I say here is based on long experience observing over and over the same situations ending with  the same results.  I read somewhere that a definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over expecting different results.  That seems to be the case in Morocco with some relationship situations.

One thing I failed to mention about street harassment yesterday is that a Moroccan woman told me the street is the meeting place in Morocco.  Women go there to meet men and harassment is the opening bid.  So far nobody I have asked has agreed with this, but it must be true for some women since she said it.  Another good reason why you should tolerate advances from strange men.  They just want to date you.

So lets' talk now about passport marriages.  There is a lottery in Morocco and anybody who has been here any length of time will support this statement.  If the guys who want out ask enough women, eventually one is bound to say yes.  I have seen it happen.  Most of the hustlers on the street when my son was here five years ago are now married to foreign women.  Those who aren't are still hanging around foreign women, knowing it's just a matter of time.

So how does this work?  Guy sees girl and starts the harassment.  He says nice things like Gazelle and I love you and You are so beautiful.   It's funny at first, especially the part about paying your parents in camels.  Young women, and older women, find this quite charming.  They feel like they should respond and the game begins.  But, believe me, love as you know it, especially love at first sight, does not exist in Morocco when you are talking marriage or lifelong companionship.  And, how can you determine a life partner's qualification in just a matter of weeks or months?  How can you decide that your future tied to a man with an elementary school education is going to work?  Even a literary education in university lacks all background in science and math.  Not at all well-rounded.  Consider this, no math and science background means one cannot pass the basic GRE.

Frankl;y, the most common reason I hear for marrying a Moroccan is that he needs "help" or a "helpng hand" or that the woman can "make a difference in somebody's life".  My advice? Go find a charity or an NGO and sign on to help if you are so inclined.  That is hardly a reason to marry someone and go through the hassle of bringing them to your home country.  Years ago, I brought home a box of muumuu dresses from Hawaii.  I had loved them dearly in Hawaii and they were beautiful, but outside of Hawaii they were quite ridiculous.  Since they were only pieces of fabric, it was easy to put them back in the box and send them home.  Not so easy with a human being.

Back in the day, my friends all got married because they were in love or they wanted to settle down and raise a family.  I don't hear that here.  I don't hear women say they want to settle in Morocco or raise little Moroccans. They want to take their man home and give him a socio-economic boost. He "deserves" better than what he can get here.  The idea of turning up with an exotic hubby is romantic.  The idea of turning up with man young enough to be your son . . . let's not go there.  Fact is, this is Morocco and it was made for and made by Moroccans.  Sorry, but they are not fish out of water in their own country no matter how much of a bleeding-heart you want to be. 

I love Morocco and I have enjoyed all of my time in this country.  I love the people I have befriended and the ones I consider family and I am grateful for all that I have learned, shared and experienced here.  What I like about my frineds is that they feel the same way.  They love Morocco and they are proud of their country and their culture.  They make no excuses for the bad and take it alongside the good because that is life.  No place is perfect, no place is going to solve your problems for you.  A passport marriage to a place you can't possibly imagine, where streets are paved of gold and a woman supports you while playing housemaid ... let's not go there. 


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Okay, here it is, the tell-all you have been asking about, waiting for and wondering about.  The unvarnished truth about sex and love in Morocco.  Let's start with sexual harassment and work up (or down) from there in future installments.

Believe it or not, there is no "sex culture" in Morocco according to what people say.  Even so, it is on the minds of most men 24/7 and they don't try to hide it by seeming more interested in something else.  Every woman is a target for their unsatisfied desires.  And yes, those desires are so obviously unsatisfied it is pathetic.  According to information I have accumulated there are several reasons for sexual harassment on the streets and in the workplace, but the main reason is that women want it.  Yes, they do; and they dress to get it and they wouldn't be out there on the street or on the job if they weren't looking for it.  This is according to men.  These men also insist that if they didn't comment, groan, snort, lick or whatever these women would be very crestfallen by the lack of notice.  Their efforts at being beautiful would fall on a sterile ground.

Besides that, those ornery women who don't respond in a pleasant and welcoming manner are just being ugly, frigid and difficult.  They need to be taught a lesson and street harassment is just the way to do it because they will become more patient and develop a good sense of humor.  No man is willing to tolerate a scowling and unhappy woman in his presence. 

Now we all know that all women want male attention all the time and saying no is just part of the game to get it.  No man wants a woman who says yes the first time.  Of course, if she does say yes the second, the third or the twentieth time, the minute she does she becomes a prostitute.  But that's another subject.  So, to wrap up this lesson on appropriate street behavior for women, remember to smile, laugh and enjoy this unwanted and often aggressive male attention.  Take it in stride because you are a woman, a walking temptation that Moroccan men cannot seem able to control their impulses toward and it's all your fault anyway.  You are just getting what you deserve!

Next time, let's discuss love and marriage and how  Moroccan men experience a coup de foudre, if there is a passport in the picture.