A Moroccan sexologist has called for single women and men to participate in speed dating in order to help curtail the rising number of single women and the rising marriage age in the country.
Mustafa Rasi, a prominent sexologist, argued that speed dating could help solve the problem of marriage in the country and claimed there was nothing prohibiting the practice in Islam, as long as it is done in the right manner.
Rasi, in an article published by al-Massae newspaper, said that young people “waste” time during the pre-marriage stages that often includes a number of meetings between the couple, their families and lengthy discussions over what a marriage between the two would look like.
“At the end of all this, it is very likely that the marriage might not happen,” Rasi wrote.
He then went on to argue that in order to alleviate this long and arduous process, speed dating could be introduced.
“In speed dating, meetings are to be arranged between men and women who have several things in common like age group, social status, educational level, and financial condition. They would sit together and talk over a cup of tea for no longer than seven minutes,” he continued.
Much like speed dating in Western countries, after a period of minutes, a bell would be rung and partners would be swapped for the discussions to continue. Men, however, would be the only ones moving seats.
“The women are to remain in their places and men would move to other tables so that each man and woman is able to meet several potential partners,” said Rasi.
Rasi added that all participants are to write their feedback about each of the persons he/she met in one short sentence: “I want to meet him/her again” or “I do not want to meet him/her again.”
The organizers would receive the feedback and sort all the papers to decide who wants to meet who again then contact the relevant participants for another date.
With the conservative nature of Moroccan society and Islamic countries in general, Rasi sees no harm in allowing a third party to accompany the women, as long as they do not interfere with the conversations.
Rasi called upon social organizations to start adopting this proposal and to encourage youths to engage in it.
“This is a fast and safe option that would be very successful in Morocco and in the Arab world in general because it revives old customs in a more sophisticated form.”
But not all Moroccans are supportive of the idea, including the more liberally minded women in the country, who feel it is a coercive idea to force women to marry at a younger age.
“I have been living my whole life here in Morocco and I don’t think there is a problem with women marrying older,” said Samira Juma’a, a 26-year-old single woman currently working at an advertising agency in Casablanca. “Why should women be forced into marriage? It isn’t like Morocco is facing a huge crisis, women are just being smarter and want to live a little before marriage,” she told Bikyamasr.com via telephone.
For Juma’a and others, the idea of speed dating, is part of the patriarchal society that has come to be synonymous with the Islamic world.
“We are individuals and when we want to get married we will,” said Salma Ibrahim, a 22-year-old university student in Rababt, who told Bikyamasr.com that she turned down marriage proposals because she wants to finish schooling first.
“My parents are pressuring me all the time to find a man, but I haven’t found him yet and don’t want to be put in a position where I have to get married. That isn’t right,” she argued.
By Jonathan Teny