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Sexism in Morroco???
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Muff Daddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Posts: 15
Location: CaNaDa

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 3:21 am    Post subject: Sexism in Morroco??? Reply with quote

Hello, I was wondering if you could tell me how sexist it is for a female caucasian to work as a ESL teacher in Morroco? I understand it is a Muslim country, and probably quite conservative. Are women teachers taken advantage of? Will they be sexually harassed? Should they travel there to teach with a friend as opposed to alone? Or am I over-reacting? Shocked I am an outspoken Exclamation 24-year-old female from Canada who is an atheist and a feminist...how much trouble will I get my butt in if I go teach there???

Rolling Eyes

ps. what about Tunisia or other Magreb countries?
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Brooks



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1369
Location: Sagamihara

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a man who used to work in Morocco. I used to work with women, so let me see...
Since you are an atheist, keep that to yourself. Moroccans can be religious.
As a feminist there are things that will probably bother you.
But there are liberal Moroccan women there, so if you could meet them, you would probably like their company.

I recommend reading books by Fatima Mernissi. She is a Moroccan writer, and what she has written about Morocco would probably interest you.

Illiteracy is high. If more women and girls could read, it would be beneficial for society.
Well there is sexism there, because of some traditional attitudes, but I think compared to other Muslim countries, Morocco is liberal.
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Muff Daddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Posts: 15
Location: CaNaDa

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 8:42 pm    Post subject: Teaching Women & Children in la Magreb Reply with quote

Thank you for your reply on Morrocan treatment of women.

You mentioned a good point, about the literacy of women and children and I wonder now if anyone has any info about agencies that enable ESL teachers to teach specifically women and young girls in countries where sexism does exist?

I would be interested in educating and enlightening such less fortunate women who otherwise would not have opportunities to learn English.

I assume however that such jobs would not pay well???

Shocked
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Brooks



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1369
Location: Sagamihara

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

unfortunately, there is sexism everywhere.
I work in Japan, and there is quite a bit of it here.

No you won`t make much money in Morocco. I think most teachers make between $900-$1000 a month. That is how much I made there.
Of course it depends where you work.

The students I taught all knew Arabic and French. Some might have known Berber as well.
The illiteracy rate is high for women. It must be over 60%. Of course, they need to learn Arabic first. Most won`t learn English. EFL teachers tend to teach in cities, where the educated tend to live.
The school year starts in October so now is a good time to start thinking about work for the fall.


Last edited by Brooks on Mon Mar 10, 2003 7:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Brooks



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1369
Location: Sagamihara

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

since I am a man, it is harder for me to say but one woman I worked with in Rabat had an ok time. She was independent and used to travel by herself in northern Morocco. In the north they know Spanish, so it was useful for her. But in Rabat and to the south French is used.
I remember a Canadian woman who was spat on once.
She left before her contract finished, but later she went to work in Pakistan for a couple years.
Pakistan must be more conservative than Morocco.

It is easier to be a man here, but some women manage to do well.

I wouldn`t recommend going to Algeria because of the political situation, although Chirac recently visited, which is a positive sign.
Tunisia sounds good, but it is harder to get a job there.
There is work in Libya too, but not for Americans.
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Muff Daddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Posts: 15
Location: CaNaDa

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 12:27 am    Post subject: thank you Reply with quote

Thanks for all your help. Unfortunately I cannot succumb to sexism and would probably end up getting my ass stoned or something! (haha) I am not good at faking an acceptance of my "subordinate" position. However more than this, I need money to pay back student loans so I shouldn't probably go to Morroco now anyway...although I would love to go there one day. Oh and luckily I am a Canadian...or do they hate us too? Rolling Eyes
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Brooks



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1369
Location: Sagamihara

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

not all Moroccans hate Americans. I don`t think they hate Canadians.
I remember a protest in Casablanca about what was going on in Iraq in 1998, but it wasn`t big. Just some people marching down a street.

Since you want to pay off your loans, you probably would want to go to Asia, but you might not like Korea, since it can be hierarchical, thanks to Confucianism. Japan is not as extreme as Korea.
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run-jp



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Posts: 60
Location: now rushin for kabsa 'tween prayer calls

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2003 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These posts sound pretty accurate about the place, but remember, that given the town and even the neighborhood (students social class) ideas vary a lot.. While working at the dreaded KG In Rabat in '96, i was shocked to see girls in Paris fashions in the Place Bourgogne, regular pizza and beer bistos...but then nothing but big mamas in djellebas hanging laundry or buying merguez across town. remember people who can pay for ESL are maybe quite francophile and have read more of feminists like de Beauvoir or M Duras
than Western people... i.e. The girl from the family next door sponatneously drove me to a bar one night! (...rare for me at home!) At least in my case, I met educated people and I got around fine with only French. The Atlas, the desert, any poor places are different I well imagine.
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That Lisa Girl
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a fellow young Canadian feminist teacher, M.D., I sympathize with your concerns. I lived in Israel for some time, and during my first visit, stayed in the Muslim quarters of Old Jerusalem and Akko, and had to put up with a lot of harrassment. Having said that, I also got harrassed by Israeli men, though not as much. I think it's a given that in many parts of the Middle East and North Africa, this is to be expected, to a certain degree, you have to develop a thicker skin if you want to live in these places; one of the hardest challenges for a teacher I think is to accept cultural differences, particularly racial or sexist prejudices that we, as Westerns, find abhorrent. Yes, a teacher can educate her students, and maybe show them a different perspective, but by the same token, you'll also need to accept that they're only so much you can do. One person cannot erase years of social conditioning....and trying to do so will cause you a lot of distress in the end, I'm afraid.

Quote:
You mentioned a good point, about the literacy of women and children and I wonder now if anyone has any info about agencies that enable ESL teachers to teach specifically women and young girls in countries where sexism does exist?

I don't know of any organization like this, but maybe you should start one! Smile

I wish you the best of luck, my dear.

Lisa
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usfemme



Joined: 04 Apr 2003
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With all due respect, I would never use the word "feminist" to describe yourself because in some circles, the word has an extremely negative connotation due to militant and extreme feminism. Being a feminist in North America is often quite different from the being a feminist in other cultures.
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elfriede



Joined: 02 Jul 2004
Posts: 3
Location: uk

PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 11:29 am    Post subject: teaching in North Africa Reply with quote

I find it quite amusing to read these messages about feminists wishing to teach in Islamic societies. These years of "conditioning" are the same as your years of "conditioning". Why should North Africans adjust to you? You think of going there so adapt - when in Rome......
by the way.. why do you presume that any woman who lives in these societies is worse off in some way. Muslim women are fascinating, interesting and of all those I've encountered INCREDIBLY friendly. If you are an atheist do you have to upset them by stating your lack of belief.

If you don't like the society don't go.
Confused
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 962
Location: Home

PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 11:59 pm    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

Muff Daddy, please let me first apologise, not wholeheartedly mind, for appearing a bit rude. You're the sort of women who could start politically-correct arguments in an empty room.

But I digress. Yes, you'll get hassled in Morocco, but you'll have one advantage. With luck, you'd find a Moroccan boyfriend and be able to have a normal relationship. If a western guy tried to do the same, however, he'd be in for a world of hurt.

This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
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Trojan Horse



Joined: 30 Dec 2003
Posts: 61
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well off Moroccan girls that you might have in your classes can turn up in hipster jeans, skin-tight little tops that bare the midriff and things you probably wouldn't be seen dead in. They get away with it because they're rich and never on their own. You can still move about reasonably freely in Morocco but Moroccan girls/women don't move about on their own, that's the difference. I think as a woman it's well worth investing in a cheap second-hand car so you can travel about more easily.

I wore a wedding ring when I was there and it nipped most problematical situations in the bud. They do arise. If the wedding ring doesn't work, whip out some photos of your kids (anyone's). Moroccans have great respect for mothers.

I agree with other posters who advised you to perhaps not mention that you don't believe in God. They're fairly relaxed liberal people there on the whole but they don't understand atheism.

I was there several years ago and in the present climate perhaps things are different.

Alexandra
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 962
Location: Home

PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trojan Horse wrote:
I agree with other posters who advised you to perhaps not mention that you don't believe in God. They're fairly relaxed liberal people there on the whole but they don't understand atheism.


Although I loathe doing so, my Moroccan colleagues love discussing religion, and I'm not talking light-hearted chats here. If you're an atheist and you tell Moroccans that you believe in god, they'll soon find out you're faking it. There's no reason at all to lie about your religion, or lack of it. I'm a teacher, not a missionary.
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juststeven



Joined: 18 Aug 2004
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A woman calling herself 'Muff Daddy' that is an atheist and 'feminist'. By that do you mean you are a 'vaginaterian'? No problem, I'm not judging, but if you go to a muslim country, play by their rules or something unfortunate could happen.
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