The other day, I received a call from my ex-professor. When I heard his name through my screen reader on my phone, I was delighted to reconnect, hoping that he had changed his views. Outside of a few random acts of kindness, I really struggled in Morocco. My professor was hard on me and forced me to do translation work but he never paid me. He also threatened to fail me if I complained and made him look bad. But now that I have accomplished so many things I truly thought that he might see me as an equal. That is the main reason that I answered his call. Unfortunately, I soon discovered that was not his intention.
Him: “How are you? How old are you?”
Me: “Ahh…..I am 31 why?”
Him: “Good… good, you are still young.”
I was speechless. My heart started beating so fast, my mind lost in thoughts of being scared that my professor who is in his late 60s was going to ask me to marry him because that is how things go in our culture. He took my silence as encouragement for him to talk.
Him: “I have a son; he is handsome not blind and he can help you have children. He can guide you and be your eyes. He also fears god and will never betray you.”
Me: “I am very sorry but I am also sad that you are calling me to use me and my disability. I have no need for your son. I can have children on my own if I want to. I don't need a guide and I am not in need for your godly son.”
Frustrated and wanted to end the call. I told him something that I thought would make him hang up.
Me: “I am an atheist”
This didn’t affect him at all. He already had in his mind a plan.
Him: “We are going to bring you back and teach you how to be a good wife and the true Islam. You just had a hard life that is why you don't believe in God. You will one day.”
Me: “I will never forget this call. Please do not call me again because I left religion and I will never go back. Aren't you ashamed of being an asshole? Go and teach your son how to be a successful person on his own. Don't try to use other people, Ok!!? Enough of misogyny. Women are now free; we are no longer sex objects nor baby machines.”
Out of breath from speaking, I paused. My face felt flushed with heat from the frustration and disappointment.
He still wasn’t embarrassed or put off by my words. He continued from another approach.
Him: “Can you please find him an American? Please tell her we are good people. We will take care of her and she can come to Morocco for the wedding then they can go back to America together.”
Me: “You idiot. Never call me again Ok?!”
I hung up and blocked him.
My overall thoughts are that I am very disappointed about a situation that keeps repeating itself. I am unhappy that my Professor didn’t respect my boundaries or see my accomplishments but instead he thought that he could exploit me as he could before. There are many who have tried to deceive me for their own gain. Under the guise of marriage proposals, religious ideologies or pity. But I choose to make my own decisions. I am responsible for my life.
Some only see me as a lonely, blind and weak womb. Isolated and desperate for help in a foreign country. But I am not alone. There are those that respect, value and appreciate me as a human. I have all my needs met and more thanks to education through accessibility and my support network. I am growing, learning and challenging myself with no need for a Prince Charming.