I decided not to have any contact with men when I was 17 years old.
Some people told me, “You’ve become too conservative.”
While others told me, “May God bless you.”
And a lot of my friends stopped talking to me altogether.
But no one told me how to deal with my fiance.
My friend and I—whom my mother chose for me because he was “well-behaved”—used to frequent each other’s houses for private tutoring lessons.
He asked me one time before the lesson about masturbation—something I knew nothing about.
He insisted on doing it in front of me.
sex, sex education, sexuality, masculinity, body image
There were a lot of women of different ages on the stairs,
And everywhere else.
They were all gathered in front of a specific room.
I was terrified.
I didn’t know what was happening.
Then, a tall, chubby man came out,
Carrying the older girl’s sister.
She wasn’t wearing any pants,
And she was bandaged up.
We were in middle school.
It wasn’t a very good school—Omar el-Khattab School.
Sadly, it never lived up to its name.
A third grade teacher was molested in class.
Everyone heard about the incident.
She saw some students masturbating in class,
gender violence, sexual violence, harassment, mass sexual assault, sex, school, sex education
It didn’t feel normal or spontaneous.
Between being scolded by your conservative [female] relative for doing something “immodest” and listening to your friends whispering about touching certain [private] areas on maids’ and female cousins’ bodies, you eventually learn to associate the opposite sex’s body with shame.
There has got to be something shameful about it.
I was in the seventh grade,
When mama and baba told me:
“You’ve grown up and you need to be circumcised.”
I didn’t understand what was going to happen,
Or what exactly they were going to do.
All I understood was that if I didn’t remove that specific part,
It was going to grow to look like a male part.
I’m starting to believe that men see women merely as something that serves their pleasure.
Very few of them treat women as human beings,
Who have their own dreams, and desires,
And could be useful in things other than pleasure.
And you should ask me about men,
Because she who raises a monkey knows their games!
gender violence, hijab, romantic relationships, parents, social pressure, sex, body image, sexuality, consent
We went with them,
And I don’t remember anything about that day,
Except for the doctor yelling at me.
She told me to take off my pants,
But I refused.
They gave me anesthesia,
And cut off a part of me.
I regained consciousness when I had become a “woman.”
Everything changed after that day.
Gender violence; sexual violence; physical violence; FGM; sex
I thought I’d ask my science teacher since he probably knew about these things.
I showed him the book.
But turns out the things I couldn’t understand in the book were problematic.
He sent me to the school principal.
“I don’t know where she got this book. We need to call her parents,” he said.
sex, sex education, school