All the dumb things

A cautionary tale in development

Sexual politics. Morocco. 1982

Posted by razzbuffnik on April 23, 2007

This photo speaks volumes about the position of women in Morocco.


The little boy seems to have more status than his (I presume) mother. The boy, like a little prince sits with a confident air, like someone who knows he is the heir apparent, in western clothing while the woman is bowed down by the weight of her responsibilities, face covered. 

I know the reason for the veil and the woman’s clothing, but it seems to me, strange that a male child has more freedom of self expression than a fully grown woman. Where did the idea of female inferiority come from in the first place?  Some feminists would have one believe that it’s the men who oppress the women, but isn’t it women who raise the men?

I’m surrounded by smart, strong women and I just don’t get it.


2 Responses to “Sexual politics. Morocco. 1982”

  1. Asiya said

    ….but isn’t it the women who raise the men?

    yes, exactly. these attitudes are thoroughly ingrained in women too which is why they are so damn hard to get rid of. It’s often women who are the harshest critics of other women who defy the status quo and try and change things.

    But you know, when I was in Morocco, I was struck by just how much agency the women do have (well the ones I met anyway). The thing is, there are accepted spheres where women have influence. Inside her home, she often reigns like a queen but outside she may be led by her infant son. Many women are happy to accept the defined roles, it’s just frustrating and difficult for those who want to extend their influence into the outside world.

  2. razzbuffnik said

    Thanks for your (insider’s) insight.

    Due to the culture, the only Moroccan women I came into contact with, were vendors in markets (which were a commercial exchange rather than a cultural one). In the 3 or 4 months I was in Morocco, I never got to see Moroccan women in their own homes where “she often reigns like a queen”.

    I will be writing quite a bit more about Morocco and the experiences that I had there. I can assure you that my experiences will help a little to explain why, some of us here in the west, feel that there is such a wide gap between our cultures.

    Hearing from you, helps bring understanding.

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