Welcome to the world of Femme… No matter what your nationality, age, sexual or gender identification is, I am here to take you on a tour of what it is like to live a day in a woman’s body – specifically in Lebanon of the MENA region.
As an eight-year old girl in this region growing up, in many familial situations you are banned of your right to ride a bicycle or to go horse-back riding as these activities may take your virginity. However, you are strictly advised to cross your hands over your chest while taking the garbage down the road, in case you are not wearing a bra, or if you happen to be wearing what is considered to be a shirt that could be a ‘reasonable factor’ for a man to rape you. As you are aware by now, females in Lebanon are not as blessed as a guy whose dad takes pride in him showing off his ‘package of honor’. Rather, you are a femme – so you better act like one. Sit straight, act decent, and make sure to always look good. Remember, your mama’s friends believe you are a virgin, and might be interested in introducing you to their sons of whom they take pride in their multiple sexual encounters. That is surely regardless of whether or not you are interested, because after all what other dreams might a girl have besides getting married, right?
In case you are one of the girls who claim yourself, “uninterested” in marriage, make sure your tires are new, tough, and ready to take you on the journey I will lead your imagination on. Here in this region, not getting married is a huge misfortune. First and foremost, we have a word to shame you for it “عانس” (which translates to old maid), and second that is the only social acceptable way for you to experience your body, discover your sexuality, and learn how not to say no. After all what better way is there to teach a minor girl with a veil on her head, and a coffin around her future dreams, that “NO” is a full sentence she should use whenever she does not want the body of her middle-aged spouse on her. Also, be ready to get shot in the head, in case you do not bleed your first time having sex, because men in this country have not heard that not all rainbows spill, and not all planets have ozone-layers. They, as well, are willing to ban anyone who tries to educate this generation on the issue. A prominent example being Dr. Sandrine Atallah – Lebanese Clinical Sexologist who was banned from the Tik-Tok application after posting videos on sex-education.
Unlike your brother, whom your dad had payed for his sixteenth birthday’s sex-worker, as a woman, everyone here is entitled to own your body on your behalf. As a reaction to their entitlement, don’t you dare speak out for your rights, or else everybody would assume that the reason you are going crazy is because it is ‘that time of the month’. When push comes to shove, if you are a woman who ever decides, (and god-forbids) to ever lose her virginity (like there is no greater loss), make sure to remember that the honor of the family shines from the very between of your thighs. That by daring to take this personal step, you are not only ruining your mom’s and sister’s reputation, but also the invincible legacy of your whole family-tree will evaporate right when you reach orgasm. That is only, if your partner is aware of how-to make you reach orgasm, because sex—education is as far from our curriculum as the moon, and the only way most Lebanese people learn about sex is through porn. It is, after all, very beneficial to learn how to drive watching Fast and Furious, isn’t it?
In a nutshell, I would like to thank the women of my entourage for teaching me that a girl should shrink her entire being to avoid scratching a man’s ego. The men, for enlightening me about the “fact” that girls who lose their virginities, lose their dignities right with them. For my middle-school principle who almost fired me for greeting my friend with a hug, for my P.E. teacher who did not allow me to play soccer because it is a game for boys, for all the people who negatively comment on my articles with statements I would not have received had I been a man. As I would also like to thank You, the reader, for noting the sarcasm in my article, and for being here with me as I decide to take all that my entourage has taught me about my body, to waste. Because after all, if embracing the right to own my body might scratch your fragile ego, then a sadist is what I aspire to become.