jeudi 31 mars 2016

First experience?! Hell no, you got raped!

“So tell me all about your first sexual intercourse, when did you lose your virginity, where how and to whom?”

“Well, it is a long time ago. I still remember it vividly. I remember I was around 9 years old. I was on a summer vacation with my family in a cottage nearby a beach. Given that the cottage wasn’t furnished with a stove, we had to go to our other house to cook bread. It is like 10 min away on foot. My mother used to take charge of this task whereas the others do the remaining housekeeping tasks. One day my mother couldn’t make it, so she asked someone else to do it, and so it happened and so it began.”

Since primary and secondary school, I had always wondered how puberty worked. During natural sciences courses, female puberty was autopsied, genital diagrams and illustrations about puberty and what happens for girls mostly. Breasts growth, pubic hair, blood, cramps,….etc; but what about guys? Board shoulders, mustache, deep voice, pubic hair and that’s it. No one ever told me that puberty hits boys for real when they experience their first ejaculation.

“That morning after breakfast, my Mom said that she had other errands to make and that she won’t bake bread like usual. She decided to assign the task to someone else. Given that that someone else does not know where the house was, I had to accompany her.

So we went to the other house, she took off her Djellaba and started her task. I noticed that under the Djellaba, she was wearing a little; nothing left for my imagination to wonder. I went to play in the other room; she joined me after a while. I looked up and she was looking at me weirdly. As if I am a piece of cake or candy, as if I am a piece of jewelry, as if I am a puppy, as if I am a lion. She started taking off the little clothes she had on, stripping in front of my eyes, inticing me. All I could do is watch, with wide-open mouth and eyes.

Things started to rush down my system, weirdly, sweetly, crazily. I didn’t know what my body was up to, my heart beating faster, my breath heavier. She never broke eye contact, neither did I! and it happened, I remember her saying that I did it like a grown-up man.

- How old was she?
- I can’t tell, but much much older, now she is married with two kids
- What happened afterwards?
- It went on and on all summer long
- You never got caught?
- No, never. She always volunteered for the bread baking and I was the only companion she would rather take along as I was ‘very calm’, ‘polite’ and ‘obedient’.
- You are proud of yourself, I can tell!
- Who wouldn’t? I started earlier than any other guy I know and I didn’t even ask for it. She threw herself at me and I couldn’t refuse, even if I could, she, in that state of mind, wouldn’t have taken no for an answer.
- Are you aware that you got raped?

- Well, it’s called a rape when a man does it but not when a woman does.

*Just as a lil chitchat with a friend!

lundi 28 mars 2016

“Que du bonheur”

“Que du bonheur”, she keeps saying, “Que du Bonheur”
(Happiness only, Happiness only)

A big smile on her lips, dreamy eyes contoured with Kohl, dark red lock of hair escaping from underneath her scarf, an X-large sweatshirt with her picture and her name, this is how I will always remember her. A free spirit, a forever young spirit. Tata Milouda.

I met her for the first time during a cultural event organized by “Café Slam Tanger”. Honestly, I’ve never heard of her until I saw the event poster. Who’s this Tata Milouda? During the event rehearsal, I saw her. I shied away, I did not know how to approach her, I did not know what to say nor what to do. Whenever I looked at her, she smiled immediately as if the world is in peace, as if humanity is regained, as if… Opportunity presented itself, and I found myself in a 7 min walk with her.

“Are you a slam artist?” she asked me. And the conversation began.

Originally from the region of Settat, mother of six children, married at the age of 14 years old to a much older man, Tata Milouda left her village to work in France as a maid. Arrived in France, with only few French tricks in her hat, deprived from her liberty, she worked very hard. She endured such  hardship to fulfill the needs of her children, she deprived herself from seeing her children growing up in front of her eyes to fulfill the greed of a husband, she waived her right of freedom just to meet other’s people needs. Her monthly salary was sent straight back to Morocco, to her husband at that time, who built himself a house and put it under his own name.

“As a little girl, I’d been dreaming; as a grown up, I’d been dreaming; as a young woman, I’d been dreaming about a notebook and a pen; back then I couldn’t find my notebook and my pen. But now, at 50 years old, I’ve finally found my notebook and my pen.”

One incident brought up the change forever wanted. Tata Milouda asked a man to read for her the instructions mentioned on a subway board, and the man refused to do so. This incident brought up Tata Milouda’s deep yearning for learning. She truly found her notebook, her pen, and her liberty. Her writings, mainly in French, are tainted with old memories, wounds from her past, happiness from her present and hope and ambitions for her future and the future of women, especially her fellow citizens back in her hometown.

She was awarded with the price of “Chevalier d’ordre des Arts et Letters” by the French Ministry of Culture, along with Grand Corps Malade and others. She has performed in many cultural events throughout France, USA and other countries. Tens of videos of her performances are available in Youtube, shot by amateurs of poetry, and professionals. She also played roles in movies and advertisements. She promised me that there will be more of her works Inshaa Allah and I promised that I will follow every single work of hers henceforth.

“I am not the only woman,” she says, “there are other women who are still suffering; I am not the first, I am not the last”. If a woman like Tata Milouda wouldn’t set the example for other women, who would? For women who still have "dreams to remember", who still have dreams to fulfill, no matter how big or small their dreams are, no matter how old they are, no matter where they are. A woman like Tata Milouda who has never been requested by a Moroccan organization, excluding the French Institute, to perform in here, in Morocco, before her fellow citizens, before her own gender, until the event of Café Slam Tanger (which took place on Saturday 19th, 2016 at Salle Bahnini in Rabat). A woman, like Tata Milouda, who is calling discreetly for women empowerment, for women’s rights and freedom; a woman, like Tata Milouda, who might be a threat to the society norms of my beloved country, where the dreams of women are still shattered to conform to the patriarchal society; A woman, like Tata Milouda, should set the example for many women, of all ages, who would eventually follow her lead; Tata Milouda, a voice that needs to be heard, Tata Milouda, a leader that must be followed. Like Tata Milouda, these women will be criticized for following their dreams; they will be laughed at, their dreams will be mocked, yet, those are their own dreams, their own.

“Que du Bonheur”
©Photo Credit: Jungleno Photographie