The first day in Morocco, I saw a woman dressed in traditional conservative clothing, and by that I mean the only part of HER that I saw, other than her defined form underneath a tent-like cloth, was the slightest slit of dark brown eyes, a one inch sneak peak in. The only part of her body that found the light of day was the center of each of her eyes. The look, unintentional I’m sure, was menacing.
After she passed us, Hans asked if I had seen her. Oh yeah, I told him, I had seen her. She looked creepy, I told him.
Whereas our aforementioned “racy” gal showed off a sliver of her eyes, another woman, in a cerulean blue kaftan-like garment, had a black grill over her entire face. She could see out, but we certainly couldn’t see in. Its restrictiveness was shocking. She seemed imprisoned by her own clothing.
Not every Moroccan woman wears such clothing. Some of the young women just cover their hair and encircle their heads with a pretty scarf. Others do nothing special. But many, many females are in the frumpy-looking djellabah (a hooded flowing robe).
I will say right now that body image sure wouldn’t be such a big thing if American women wore what many of the Islamic women wore. But then, no matter how many yards of pink fabric a woman wears, it seems, at least to me, that there is something decidedly feminine missing in the gesture that she has to be covered up in the first place.
Our taxi driver who took us into the Atlas Mountains outside of Marrakesh had a very interesting take on marriage and femalehood. He needed to learn French so he could make more money, so he married a French woman. When he had learned the language, he divorced her. He didn’t see anything wrong with that. To top that, he somehow managed to convince his second wife, a Moroccan woman, to sign a contract with him before the got married that would allow him to leave her for another woman. Apparently the new King of Morocco, in an effort to try and help offset the crushingly unfair situation for women who are divorced in the country, (mainly that they have zero change of getting remarried and the husband doesn’t even have to tell the wife he is divorcing her), made it only possible for a couple to divorce only “if the wife gives the husband permission.” This, according to our taxi driver, allowed a women to make her husband’s life a living hell if he wanted to get out of the marriage. He didn’t want to deal with any such sticky situation, so he promised his bride to be that he would give her his house (which would ensure her a place to live out her life, although not any chance of happy life companionship) if she would let him walk away.