Across the street from our building there are some shops, one of which is a small supermarket. My 2 older kids often go to buy stuff from there and sometimes I'll send them down to get something we need. Dawood's been going for years, Zayneb recently and Salwa goes only with one of them with her. I never thought anything of it, I just remind them to look both ways and be careful crossing.
Recently, my neighbor told me that I shouldn't let Zayneb go so much. She said that there are lots of men sitting at the cafe and working at the shops there that look at her. She said they are "See3eedi", meaning they were from villages and that to them she was nearly a woman even if Zayneb is a kid and runs carefree, and doesn't understand. She even mentioned that Zayneb is "prettty and white" and the guys could bother her.
I'm a little conflicted about this now. I hate the idea of treating boys and girls differently but what she said bothered me. Of course the idea of creepy guys oogling my 10 year old is very uncomfortable, but am I supposed to keep her locked up? Because of depraved weirdos? If you've ever been to Egypt you know boys and men cat call girls/women like it's the national past time. This just seems like punishing the victim.
Today she went to go get something and I told her, as I often do, don't talk to anyone and if anyone bothers you or says anything, don't look their way and ignore it. She came back and said that some guy was psspssspsssing at her and Salwa, but that they ignored it.
I think, unfortunately, living here, she's going to have to learn how to react to this stuff on a daily basis. That they are trying to get a reaction. A giggle, a look, whatever and if she keeps looking ahead of her and ignores them, that's the best thing to do. Thoughts?