Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Girls Night In

Back when Cat in Rabat was ready to leave the family litter and enter the hallowed halls of academia, her parents felt it a sound option to send her into residence. The dormitory life would act as a natural transitional period between leaving the nest and building her own (I'm mixing up animal metaphors here, I know) - minimising the endless nights that the parental units would have to stay up late, gnawing at their claws, in fear of what she might be up to.

So off to residence I went & I enjoyed it enough to stay in various dorms over 3 years. I "socialised", (maybe even caroused a bit), drank myself into staggering stupours, and passed countless margarita-enduced nights during which my girlfriends and I jumped up and down on our beds, engaging in pillow fights wearing only frilly panties and flowery bras and pink bunny slippers. Wait - no - that's my husband's phantasy (sorry honey: we really did have them!) Anyway, it was a great deal of fun, and I even managed to learn a few things along the way.

So, I must confess that my job smacked the floor when this e-mail, drawn from the front page of the Assabah, was read to me; I reproduce it here (italics & pretty colours are mine) for your reading horror pleasure:

Amongst the wonders of this wonderful Morocco is that at a time when the Kingdom of Morocco was elected member of the UN Human Rights Council, one of the basic rights of humans was being trampled in Rabat. I mean the right to sleep. What happened on Tuesday night in Souissi University Campus is really disgusting. Girls were sleeping safely in their rooms when all of a sudden the horror forces - because they do not deserve to be called security forces - raided the rooms ...

Ahhh, surely this is a panty raid? Harmless co-ed fun, no?

... and started to indiscriminately kick innocent students. They broke the arm of one girl. Others suffered injuries in all parts of their bodies. Girls were expelled out of the dormitory in their pyjamas. Others were sexually harassed in bathrooms. Their mobile phones and digital cameras were stolen. A girl lost her PC that had her post-graduate research paper on engineering. One student was thrown out of the window and she is now in the intensive care unit in a hospital. They destroyed everything they found on their way like vandals. This is (the) Morocco that has been elected member to the UN Human Rights Council.

Wow. Makes my frosh week pale in comparison. Climbing back into my time machine, I can safely say that there were no incidents of violence, sexual harassment, theft, or - for lack of a better word - terrorizing behaviour. Visits to the hospital tended to coincide with slightly dangerous levels of alcohol. But liquor can't be blamed - this is a nice respectable Muslim university where parents send their daughters to be educated and to be safe - not to be paraded out of doors in their nighties, or to be thrown out of windows. By campus security.

I think back fondly to my old beau, Crazy Scott (I believe I've mentioned him elsewhere in my blog) who himself was a campus security officer. To the best of my knowledge, Crazy Scott (who didn't become crazy & institutionalised until we broke up) never laid a hand on anyone (male or female) unless excessive amounts of alcohol were involved in conjunction with the singing of any or all verses of Stairway to Heaven. Even so, he was never violent. He broke no bones. He had a commanding presence but was as gentle as a lamb. But these cretins, these subhumans, should be expelled and criminally charged. Odds are they'll graduate with honours and enter Morocco's secret police force. Grrrrrrrrrr ... I am swallowing a potent cocktail of particularly nasty expletives (lots of f's and c's and mf's) as I tippity-type this posting; nice words cannot express how furious I was reading this - how furious I still am "sharing" it with you.

So what happened that night - or rather, why did it happen? I don't know. I invite anyone who has more information to post here. I can only speculate that perhaps the campus gestapo unit (clearly Not Nice Men in training) of sexually-repressed misogynistic
Untermenschen raided the dorm on suspicion of male visitors or alcohol - who the hell knows - and not finding anything, went beserk. I have no clue. Worse yet - and even I'm not willing to entertain the thought - maybe it was planned thus from the beginning.

All I know is that if I were a parent of one of these girls, I'd be hauling them out of residence, sending them to a shrink, calling my lawyer, and speaking to every journalist that I could lay my hands on. Funny thing is, I'm having problems finding anything written about it in the English or French press. Go figure, eh?

I think I'm having a week-long Bad Morocco Day.


Blogger knarf said...

Scott? Institutionalized? After you guys broke up? Is there a causal nexus here? LOL

Need Mr. Cat in Rabat be worried?

6:07 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Is that all you took from the post??
... Crazy Scott checked himself into the NS for a spell, a few days after HE broke up with ME. There is no causal nexus ... perhaps a cautionary tale to Chrisso.

10:27 p.m.  
Blogger ByronB said...

Can't find any reference in the press - is this someone trying to make trouble? Maybe it's connected with THIS, and the time-line has been 'adjusted' to make it more - erm - pertinent. Not that it makes it right, just that there may be another side to it.

ps poor old Scott.

8:37 a.m.  
Anonymous chrisso said...

Well, byronb, having read both C in R's post and the story from your link I can see bits of both sides here. However, throwing someone out of a window and confiscating cellphones and otherwise terrorizing students (presumably both male and female) in response to possibly throwing stones at police is totally inexcusable.

12:36 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

The email came from someone with ties to the British embassy - it was distributed internally & sent to me.

12:58 p.m.  
Blogger ByronB said...

Not Nice Men? That is one fine haiku - I might get it tattooed on my rear end just in case!
BTW, that web site you recommended - Cat-O-Nine-Tails-in-Rabat is very revealing!

2:09 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...

C in R, I didn't mean to say that the Scott situation was the "only thing I got out of" your post. It was just the only thing I had an immediate question to.

I was actually quite dumbfounded by the rest of it, and didn't know what to say or how to react. It's a horrific situation.

I suppose, sadly, that we ought to be used to it by now, because violence against women, even by those who are supposed to be there to "protect" them, is nothing new.

Just the other day here in Toronto, yet another woman was stabbed to death by an apparently jealous or possessive or obsessive ex-boyfriend. As so often happens, there was a history of past violence, with a conviction against him for assaulting her, and he was on probabation with a term to have no contact with her.

And so it goes. Violence against women is so pervasive around the world that one hardly knows how to react anymore (other than with rage).

2:40 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Hey Byron:
I should remember to register Cat-O-Nine-Tails-in-Rabat as a website before it's taken!

9:54 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

I was joking .... surely the fact that anyone would break up with me is dumbfounding and newsworthy!

9:56 p.m.  
Blogger ByronB said...

Did you like Manuel? Being a cat person, I thought you would appreciate him!

8:37 p.m.  

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