The baby is dead. It took only a few seconds. The doctor said he did not suffer. The opening sentences of Leila Slimani’s The Perfect Nanny
Put together by Roger Childs
Leila Slimani has just brought out a novel and the title says it all: Sex and Lies: Sexual Life in Morocco.
Her earlier book: The Perfect Nanny, won a number of prizes including France’s highest literary award: The Goncourt Prize.
In a recent interview in the San Francisco Chronicle with Stanford professor, Cecile Aduly, she spoke frankly about the appalling treatment of women today in Morocco, a third world Muslin country.
Sex and Lies
Here are some of Slimani’s observations about women in Morocco.
Moroccan society teaches people that in order to survive, one has to lie.
The culture of shame and lies in Morocco creates lots of victims: the women who have an abortion illegally – 600 abortions per day! – the single mothers who are thrown out because they are considered shameful.
You’re 18 and you want to invite your girl friend to have an orange juice on a terrace, A cop can come and humiliate you publicly because you don’t have the right to be with her …
Philosophically, the Muslim world lives fundamentally in the negation of everything that is positive about sexuality. We never speak of love, tenderness, joy, pleasure.
… sex outside marriage is illegal, but if you hide well enough, we won’t go after you.
… many young women tell me, ‘I was beaten up by my husband. I went to my parents and they told me to be quiet and go back to my husband.’
Today it is more shameful to be raped than be a rapist.
Speaking of her books: Words are tools to win back some dignity.
(Material drawn from an interview in the April 22-28 Sunday Datebook, San Francisco Chronicle)