Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Politics and Nipples

As I strolled through the Medina on Saturday in search of drugs (the prescription kind) and yogurt (the Greek kind) walking side by side through the crowded streets were politics and nipples.

I consider myself European in most of my outlook but in I did grow up in the Highlands and carry whatever prudery that entails and I acknowledge that. I had a French nanny however and was exposed to the rather revealing Hindu arts at an early age. All to say I am more nudist than not – but in private people, in private. Perhaps it is a cultural thing, perhaps an age thing, but I do not enjoy having another woman’s nipples thrust into my view – especially a woman MY age, and worse, one who needs to drop thirty pounds. Put those things under cover! Offensive enough in the West but here? Are they mental? I passed no less than five women on my walk with tiny clinging t-shirts and nipples to the wind. I remember some years ago attending a very posh affair, everyone in tuxedo and gowns, where one not-so-young woman wore a gown that showcased her nipples above all. It was impossible to ignore them, as you tried, while shaking hands and conversing. I do not find this sexy. Perhaps the chaps do? That being said it is not appropriate for a Saturday walk in the Rabat Medina two weeks before Ramadan. Get a grip. Look at a map. Think where you are. I am neither Moroccan nor Muslim and it offended ME.

The young men are out everywhere handing out the flyers for the elections, and the old men are sitting in the shade reading the paper about the elections. I passed one very heated, but in good fun, exchange up near the market between a man and a woman both from what I could tell extolling the virtues of their candidate. There are rallies through the streets (under my window) noisy but thankfully (unlike India) not violent. The little hand carried Moroccan drums - doumbec and tam-tams are out in abundance, some of the carriers are just making noise but some of them are quite good at stirring the blood with the beat.

The nice woman at the apothecary tells me it is two weeks to Ramadan. I must check my calendar as I intend to fast again this year. I found it a very spiritual experience last year. The comradely of the entire country honoring the spirit of Ramadan is uplifting. In spite of this effect, our friend Rebecca, who is a Muslim, had her wallet stolen during Ramadan last year. I loved her reaction, she yelled after the thief, “I’m a Muslim you bastard, and it’s Ramadan!” So not everyone perhaps is feeling the spirit, but for me it serves as an excellent reminder of my beliefs. There are no Buddhist Temples here, but I have my altar, and love and compassion are the same no matter the religion yes?

I called the bank again on Friday – The Compass Bank – as I still don’t have my card. I have at this time given up somewhat on getting my money back. When in doubt go for the personal touch so instead of calling the number I was given, I called the branch of my bank. Those Southern men are very helpful. Mr. Alex Doss (I promised I would mention him by name) listened to my tale of woe and said, “I see no problem Mam’. I will Fed-Ex you the card today. There may be some delay because of the holiday but it will be there by the middle of next week.” Assuming all will go as he said, Mr. Doss is my hero.

Then sitting at my desk that night I heard a ruckus (really, the only word) in the street under the window. I stick my head out to observe yet another political-rally-parade coming down the street. Drums, bells, and some banging thing, that looked very much like a big bowl, accompanied the clapping and singing of the men, women, and babes in arms as they passed through my street handing out flyers as they passed. Elections are a very joyful experience here.

I am WAITING again today. I don’t do waiting well when it feels like being trapped, like there is nothing I can do – yes, the truth is I get very out of sorts when my fate is in the hands of others. Besides, angst is not good for my face so I try to avoid it!



Anonymous said...

Obviously I am in favour of nipples being on display and I have obtained a dress , photo here Nipple Dress

I trust you would like to borrow it?

lady macleod said...

I've had a look and I fear there is a better chance of Gordon Brown and George Bush wearing that dress than me, but I do appreciate the thought sweetie.

thank you for coming by.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I bet Mr. Doss luuuvvved your accent and thought what an exotic woman you must be, living in Morocco. But I bet even he didn't go so far as to picture you in mutley's dress. Mutley, you should keep the dress and wear it this Halloween.

Ian Lidster said...

Lady M, as a male, I must confess, I love nipples and all their implications. But, I am also of the generation that believe in a certain amount of discretion. Under the right intimate circumstances, oh yes. In public, absolutely know. Why turn something lovely into a vulgarity. This is a convoluted way of saying I agree with you utterly. Love your posts.
Oh, and enjoy Surrey. Not exactly a cultural mecca, but it has some virtues.

jmb said...

Interesting post as ever Lady Mac. Sometimes I wonder if these people look in the mirror before going in public. Or if that is the look they desire to portray. Mutley's dress is a little more than a nipple showcaser but I do prefer it to his previous post's image as I peruse Pageflakes.
Those bank people will surely be losing your account. Being the micromanager that I am, I have two bank accounts and two bank cards, and two charge cards in case of the worst.

debio said...

I witness, daily, the inappropriately dressed; inappropriate not merely because this is a Muslim country and our hosts should be respected but also because such lack of style and manners is mind-blowing.

I was brought up to appreciate that manners should be displayed for the benefit of others and because it represents one of the upsides of civilisation.

Some should keep their free-thinking to themselves...

Omega Mum said...

Probably not prudery but anyone who grows up in Scotland is unlikely to be exposed to much in the way of nipples. The climate tends to work against them. Also the residual Calvinism.

Mopsa said...

We could really get into the area of far too much information, but if your lovely ladies had naturally pokey out nipples, summer clothing can make their camouflaging rather difficult. Those of us with ones that are softer at rest can only chortle sympathetically at those who show erect even in the heat of the day. That was so TMI!

Winchester whisperer said...

Are Westerners allowed to sunbathe topless on the beaches?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

With you on the nipples thing, how insensitive. Hmmm, yes, but this from me who sunbathed topless in Tunisia and could not for the life of me understand why two men positioned themselves 5 metres away and sat there for a couple of hours....
Cringe. (I was young at the time)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Yes, those women must be mad, considering where they are. Elections sound very jolly down your way! "Love and compassion are the same whatever the religion" - they should be, Lady M. If only more people thought like that. Auguri

Ellee Seymour said...

This is a great headline - I can see it attracted mutley too - he is such a scream.
I do love your writing, so very evocative.

my said...

i was overseas n i saw some women bathing topless on the beach..i really didnt know what to do. it seems so inappropriate to look :)

nutmeg said...

I must be honest, I often flash people my nipples and I'm not young anymore. I am, however, a nursing mother. I just can't muster up concern for people who have a problem with this. I can not believe the issue is being brought to congress. WE ARE SO SCREWED UP! I would not wear the dress mutleythedog is selling - even just to nurse!

Lady Latte said...

Nipples always create an interest. . . it is worse in Swedish as I posted on under the title of Lust in translation!!

KarenO said...

I totally abhor waiting. I want to write that word in caps, bold AND underlined. But it seems to hunt me down and find me everywhere. And I totally share your sentiments on other womens' nipples: there is a time and place for everything, and my time for that is never and the place nowhere :)

lady macleod said...


Yes waiting (excuse me) waits for us all.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

lady latte

I should say so! Good to know the Swedes are awake.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


NURSING MOTHERS ARE EXEMPT from my comments. I was a nursing mother, and any discussion of THAT subject will find me firmly on the side on the babies and the moms. It is NOT a legal matter. I am amazed at the patriarchial currents in Western society that continue to take their shot at regulating when and what a woman can do with her body.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


It does present a problem of what to do with one's eyes. I don't have a problem with nude sunbathing, I can go to another beach if I want. I object when it is in an inapppropriate enviroment.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

ellee seymour

Thank you for the kind words. Mutley is indeed a scream, and other adjectives..

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

welshcakes limoncello

"Mad" indeed! Yes they are still parading and beating the drums here. I believe the elections go right up until Ramadan.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


As I said below, on the beach doesn't bother me - albeit Tunisia? Really? he he

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


I don't believe ANYONE is allowed to sunbathe nude here, but down on Tamara beach they may - I have not been there yet.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


TMI but really funny! And I 'm sure you are correct and thank you for bringing that up, but I can assure you that in the cases I saw on that day it was intended to be exposed... um yes.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

omega mum

This is indeed true! More likely to find me in a full wet suit in my youth.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


The best definition of manners I have heard is from my governess Mrs. Davidson who said, "Manners are what you do to make the other person comfortable."
I think she would have agreeded with you entirely.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


Exactly! the bit about the mirror enters my mind as well. I love a woman with a back-up plan!

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


Well said sir!

I am looking forward to Surrey and jmb is going to show me some of the better sites.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


nice suggestion for Mutley! I like the way your mind works.

thank you for coming by.

Lady Anne said...

This is really good to have a furniture assembly at home with this kind of style and decorations at home