Home » Amr Gharbeia, Gamal Eid, مؤتمر, مظاهرة, ندى ثابت

Did I ever tell you about my first kiss? x

A couple of years ago, we set up a drama group at work. We were asked to write monologues to practice on. I wrote the piece below. I felt its time to be shared. 

 

Did I ever tell you about my first kiss?

I was seven, maybe eight years old and I was invited to a birthday party. I loved hanging out with my school friends. That day I was very excited. I loved parties. This one was special. All my close friends were going to be there and to make sure I come, my friend’s parents arranged for their driver to take me home after the party was over.

 

This was a special event. It was my first costume party. I spent the whole day with my parents thinking of what to wear. Funnily enough, we agreed I dress as a man. My mother took her time putting makeup on and drawing a moustache on my upper lip. I looked so funny… It was great.

 

Now I was ready. I had a jelbab on and a moustache… all ready to play with my friends… my very special friends.

 

I have always been a friendly child. I had lots of friends. Wherever I went I made friends. Everyone liked me, even the grownups. I was a good girl!

 

After spending a splendid time with my friends, the driver took me home. And like most grown-ups he kept telling me how sweet and cute I was. Every time someone told me that I would fly up in the sky and feel good.

 

It was night and since I was his responsibility he insisted that he should take me up to my doorstep. It’s all for my own safety…

 

So up the elevator and through seven floors, the driver, an old man, kept telling me how wonderful I was… I was a good girl, he said. And because I am a good girl, I deserved a kiss.

 

As I gave him my cheek he held my face with his two big hands and pulled me towards him as he stuck his lips on mine and forced his tongue into my mouth.

 

I remember very clearly how I felt. I was terrified … it was wrong what he did … bad … very bad!

 

I wanted to tell my father but I knew that if I did that would mean no more parties for me. I will be punished. For six years, this was my deepest secret and for six years every time I took that elevator and stood before my door, my heart would jump a beat and I would feel the guilt.

 

When I was fourteen, I had a friend … a best friend. Her father thought I was a good girl! I had spent the whole day with her and her family. They were driving me home, again late at night. In the car… and before the eyes of his only daughter, my best friend, he touched me up my thighs till he reached my crotch. And there his hands remained. I didn’t know what to do … how do I get myself out of this situation without hurting my friend? I silently tried to pull his hands away but he was very determined.

 

Again, I was afraid to tell my father. If I tell him, I would probably be denied going out after school. What can a father do to protect his child these days? I will be punished. A new guilt was burdened onto my shoulders. For many years, I have suffered anxieties from what I thought were my deepest secrets, my ultimate sins. I was guilty simply for being female… for being a good girl! If anyone finds out, I will be locked up so that it would never happen to me again.

 

Year after year, as I grew I understood my fears. To protect me, my life will be restricted. This is how society thinks. This is how my father would have reacted had I ran to him, looking for an explanation and assurance. Because in the mind of a child this was a punishment, I knew then that I must have been wrong. I must have done something wrong for this to happen to me. Why else would I be punished?   

 

In many different contexts, I read between the lines how people should avoid certain situations. In my mind, these situations should not actually happen or else we are creating a prison for the innocent. The vulnerable ones are punished by emphasising their vulnerability rather than empowering them!

 

It all came to me when I heard this woman responding to sexual harassment in Egypt by insisting that women should simply avoid being sexually harassed?? Yes, let’s create a prison for the innocent. Back home, I am verbally harassed from the moment I leave a place to the moment I am into another. I walk across men who want to touch me up, who think I am a whore, who would love to fuck me all day and night. But of course to many it’s the victim who is responsible. We must have behaved indecently. It was what we were wearing … how we were walking … we must have smiled or laughed out loud. Maybe I should cover myself in a tent? But even covered women are not spared….

 

It’s a power game and what easier way to break me than to overburden me with guilt: publicly humiliate me, violate the sanctity of my body and then let the whole world testify that it was my fault.

 

Today, I say I am who I am and I rid myself of any guilt!! I will not be imprisoned and I will not change. You will not break me.

 

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