androcentrism smells like fish

December 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’ve said this before, and I think that anyone who has ever prefixed their sentences with “what I meant to say” would agree, mistakes are constitutive of learning. After three and a half months, the didactic half-succeeding of a cultural immersion testifies that learning is an ongoing process.  I had expected my language to be much more developed by this point. However in the absence of any given dominant language, it has been difficult to mimic the language immersion experience I hear so many people idealize.  To clarify, most people speak derija, the Moroccan dialectical Arabic but on any given day I hear loads of French and English; on Tuesdays and Thursdays I hear classical Arabic, but only for a few short hours. The result is only minor gains in all, in lieu of my hopes to have been extremely affluent in one.  My classical Arabic courses will end this week, and I have decided that I will not continue them. Certainly in another time or another place I will resume, but for the remainder of my time here I hope to focus on the Moroccan dialect Arabic and French.

Sunday means my walk through the medina to Lisa’s house will be fragranced by fish. The vendors in their stoops proudly exhibit the fresh catch, waving their arms excitedly as much to attract eyes as to waft the scents. Lisa, Louis, and I are having an “end of Arabic lessons/Christmas party” today so this morning I walked through the busy street with my arms at my chest, protecting a plastic bag of six eggs and powdered sugar.  We will be making Christmas cookies to celebrate the season.

I love spending time at Lisa’s house in the Kasbah. I can’t help but loose myself in how warm it makes me feel, as though the house is the sun itself. Mostly it is the company and the atmosphere that gives it that vibe. We sat on her terrace for a few hours, doing homework. And all the while, the sizzle of fresh anchovies from the neighbor’s porch contributed to my musings that gender-biased, systematic mistakes in society are rather fishy. I was rereading an article on gender and economics in which it is argued that the neoclassical approach simply reinforces the stereotypes that have neglected women to the margins of a socially constructed economy.

Perhaps I will take some pictures of our Christmas cookies.


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