Sightseeing the Women

Anna Maria DiDio
2 min readMar 13, 2020

Tracking Gender Roles is My Tourist Tic

Over the past year, I have traveled to diverse and interesting locations. One of my activities as I walk, ride, jog, eat, shop, etc. is to note the gender roles in various countries.

In Morroco cities Marrakech and Casablanca, I compiled my division of labor and leisure list between men and women. If you have been to this area of the world, I am interested in your experience.

MEN:

Drive taxis, buses, scooters, cars, vans.

Sit in coffee shops to drink coffee and smoke while engaging in loud conversation.

Play guitars, banjo, bongo and other instruments alone or in groups for fun and money.

Wear ripped jeans, polo shirts, tee shirts, khaki pants.

Own shops and put on the hard sell when anyone indicates even a mild interest in the merchandise.

Cook in restaurants and in mobile street food carts.

Take tickets on trains and tourist attractions.

Weave.

Make bread.

Wait tables, clear tables, bartend, seat patrons in restaurants.

Direct tour groups

WOMEN

Wear clothing covering all body parts.

Tote grocery bags of all sizes sometimes while carrying children or pulling a cart full of merchandise.

Hold babies.

Collect trash in a uniform that covers all body parts.

Squat next to a small tray of pastries for sale and say nothing.

Beg for money exhibiting an injury or malady and say nothing.

Mix argan oil for tourist demonstration — and say nothing.

Belly Dance.

Sometimes it was hard to watch. I had to believe that there was a modern section of Morocco with a bustling downtown full of men and women scurrying off to an office — lawyers, bankers, business managers. But I never saw that.

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Anna Maria DiDio

Children's book author who also writes about the wonder and mystery of everyday grown-up life: www.amdidio.com