Moroccan Women and Body as a Means of Power

Moroccan Women and Body as a Means of Power

By Hassan Aboulouafa

Morocco World News

Kenitra, Morocco, June 2, 2012

Women have celebrated in the last decades their emancipation from the constraints of a traditionally man’s world. The «fair sex» has proven itself in many domains. Women have become engaged in politics and so are able to take part in defending their rights and creating change, though what change is required is understood differently among different groups. Women have been in the media thanks to the hard work of many years to empower their gender in the Arab world.

Some Moroccan women have used their bodies as part of a feminist agenda. After years of fighting political and social constraints, a new form of protest has arisen. In Morocco, some women have shown up semi-nude and others threatened to appear nude in the streets or on TV to challenge the Islamists that dominate the newly nominated govenment of BenKirane, the leader of PJD.

For example, the Moroccan celebrity, actress Latifa Ahrar, showed  her shaved legs and breasts to national and international cameras at the Marrakesh Film Festival. And she has commented that she won’t stop performing in a semi-nude theater role, which serves as a challenge to the Islamic party PJD. Ahrar has already played a theater role in a play called «Kafara Naoum,» requiring semi-nudity.

Another example of women using their body as a means of power can be seen in some new Moroccan movies. For instance, the erotic role played by Fatima El Ayachi in «El Maouchouma.». El Ayachi said that she was challenging convention, and that she is ready to play other bold roles. She also commented that «the body and indecency are not the same, » and that she is proud of this movie and herself as a Muslim Moroccan Amazigh woman.

In this way,a woman’s body has functioned as a tool of protest against any patriarch who claims that the her body is shameful and indecent and should be hidden from public view. Some women, like those mentioned previously, have used their bodies as a means of honor and power to call for freedom from oppression and from injustice against their sex. They have utilised their beauty to provoke the Islamists, who have been called misogynists. Protest in the shape of a woman’s body has raised many questions about the teachings of Islam and the social conventions of Moroccan society.

Edited by Jasmine Davey

Hassan Aboulouafa is a contributor to Morocco World News

© Morocco World News

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