Sex for money, women, and feminities in Morocco: An ambivalent autonomy

Meriam Cheikh

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In Morocco, having sexual practices outside marriage is becoming more and more common; as well as the marriage itself, these practices are a way for women to earn money: intimacy has an economic value and selling it can become an occupation. This situation has led to a redefinition of female identities. Nonetheless, the trivialization of those practices does not amount to their public acceptance; nor does it result in the anchorage of new and stable female identities. Single women or divorced ones who work in different sectors (house staff, prostitution, factories, services etc.) often share apartments. This form of habitation, even though it results from economic difficulties, allows women to date men and live in a different way their initimate life, far from family control and, as a consequence, gives rise to unexpected feminities. However, the development of those female subjectivities is impeded by the hesitation between individuation, which weakens the social position of women, and the search for stability and honor that entails the reaffirmation of the gender norms considered as traditional. Feminities are permanently created and reshaped.
Translated title of the contributionSex for money, women, and feminities in Morocco: An ambivalent autonomy
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)173-188
Number of pages15
Issue number49
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Morocco
  • women
  • sexuality
  • money
  • transgression
  • prostitution
  • identity
  • gender


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