We used to watch TV together, cry at the end of sad cartoons together, and we grew a bit older, we began to study for our classes together. Whenever we’d fight we used to threaten the other that we’d tell on them to the teacher. We used to play practical jokes on one another, we’d laugh with all our hearts.
Now my cousin and I are staring outside the window. We are looking at the garden where my male cousin and his friends are playing. This is the garden where we used to play together. They used to be our friends once upon a time, these are the boys we used to play with. But what happened? Why are we prisoners at home, while they play ball outside with all freedom? What did we do? Did we grow older? Did our bodies change? Did we become an object of temptation that needs to be covered from people’s eyes? Aren’t those the boys we knew since we were children? What changed? Why are we strangers? Why do I run and hide whenever I hear one of their voices? Is it just because the pitch of his voice changed? Is that why we aren’t friends anymore? Are we supposed to act differently towards one another? Different to how we acted just yesterday? We started to act shy and anxious whenever we’d speak and we stopped playing with one another. My cousin and I began spending our spare time watching Mexican soap operas, as if we were in our 50s.
I am at school and we are learning about what a woman should cover. Her hair is temptation, her eyebrows are temptation. I remembered my favorite male singer -- his eyes were beautiful too. His hair is beautiful -- but why doesn’t he veil? I asked myself this question, but I couldn’t find the answer. I remembered that I was banned from playing in the garden because I hit puberty. However, my male friends weren’t. Didn’t they hit puberty too? Why weren’t they imprisoned at home? I also couldn’t find the answer. I hear it all the time: “A woman is a jewel that needs to be protected (i.e. covered),” and sometimes it is even said that a woman is like candy “if you remove the wrapper (i.e. the cover) the flies will swarm around her”. I turn on the TV and find that favorite male singer that I am so fond of brushing his soft silky hair and flaunting his handsomeness: his arms are bare, his chest is bare -- why isn’t this object of temptation covered? Why isn’t he imprisoned at home? Why aren’t women tempted by him? Some might claim that a woman shouldn’t look at this… then shouldn’t men shield their gaze when looking at a tempting female “object”? I couldn’t find the answer.