The word "mozzah" in the Egyptian slang dialect stands for "sexy chick" or "diva". And when used as an adjective - as in "that girl is mozzah"- it basically means, "she's hot". But the word "mozzah", whether used as a noun or an adjective, is not really a good word in Arabic. Actually, it is a very clear example of how our modern language itself reflects how the Egyptian society views females nowadays. This word is a live expression of all the negative feelings and disrespect that men have in the back of their minds while dealing with women.. even those they find to be attractive or stunning.
Mozzah was initially used by men of lower classes and those who work in manual labor. This particular social group, as you would expect, had a very narrow prespective.. and its view of women was totally physical. Therefore, when a mechanic used to tell his fiancée that she was a mozzah, all he meant was to praise her beauty and her feminine appeal. It didn't sound inappropriate or vulgar at the time. And girls who were considered "mozaz" (plural) usually had lots of confidence, knowing that they are desired by men. That was due to 2 reasons: 1) Those girls mainly belonged to the same social class. 2) The word itself did not use to have the strikingly negative associations it expresses nowadays. Thus, the word existed peacefully in the vocabulary of this group, and was merely considered a bit crude by those who happen to hear it from outside it.
When combined with the possessive pronoun "my", mozzah becomes "mozzeti", which meant my sweetheart (the old term for girlfriend). Men used to tell their male friends in the neighborhood about their emotional commitments, so that none of those friends would have a crush on their sweethearts. The girl labelled as someone's mozzah was in fact protected by this declaration, and automatically conceived of as this person's future wife. Other men usually kept their limits and would never ever attempt to court such a girl or annoy her. By no means could a man dare do that, except if he was an enemy of that girl's boyfriend. By flattering with someone's mozzah, a man was sending a message of open hatred, and his clear aim was inviting her boyfriend to fight. Having said that, I should add that a mistress was never described as mozzah, or given the title of being somebody's mozzah. Men of those classes were very serious about differntiating between girls for fun (easy girls that were notorious for their multiple relationships) and those they truly loved and wished to marry.
That was just a brief "historical" background. Of course I'm kidding.. It wasn't that long ago anyway. What I meant to say is: that was a thing of the past.
Due to the political and economic factors which were altering very rapidly during the previous decades, many social changes took place.. The most observable of which was what happened to the Egyptian social pyramid, causing it to turn up-side-down. This had its huge impact on all the facets of Egyptian life.. And I would have loved to go through them all, except that there is no room for that here. What concerns us, though, is the disappearance of the Egyptian middle class, which used to hold the whole social structure together.. as well as bearing the responsibility of directing the whole society. The middle class - with its well-defined value system, cultural interests, political involvement, and high awareness - is an indespensible component in maintaining balance and deciding the general social frame of any country. Thus, the collapse of the middle class in Egypt led to massive chaos in the social scene.Hearing the language spoken in the Egyptian street nowadays, one will notice that it is a hybrid mixture of different classes, different cultures, different backgrounds, different languages, that have absolutely nothing in common; neither between one another, nor between them and their original sources. At the heart of this linguistic mess comes the word "mozzah" to summarize the modern social scene with its explicit definition of the current relationship between genders. It sums up how today's patriarchal society thinks about females, and manifests how words receive different meanings according to the prevailing culture/mentality.
The modern use of the word mozzah has absolutely nothing to do with social class. Moreover, it is commonly used by young Egyptian men while talking about females in general.. in a way where the word "female" became actually replaced by the word "mozzah". It is not categorized as an offensive word, in spite of the fact that it is considered as a kind of verbal harassment when it takes the form of a loud remark from a male stranger. Being called "mozzah" while walking down the street is enough to make any girl turn red and run away. The word now has a straight sexual meaning, and it is used for indecent flirting, or at least with a clear aim of embarrassing girls who are chosen to be victims of those loud flirtatous advancements. When used for this purpose, a guy usually follows it by a sound of a kiss, or a wink, or any similar gesture that would stress its sexual connotation and cause the biggest possible amount of embarrassment to his victim.
In casual male conversation, however, "mozzah" can be used to refer to any girl, or to describe a physically attactive babe, or as an indirect way of describing certain seductive features of the female body. The word is seldom used in its possessive form.. and in this case it may refer to the guy's own girlfriend! Yes, you read it correctly.. but it is a way of expressing that the relationship is pure dating.. nothing serious involved. Thus, in fact, it gives the total opposite message that was intended by the original "mozzeti". This time the person speaking is declaring that he does not really care about his mozzah (his girlfriend) . It is anindirect invitation to his friends to consider dating that girl after he gets bored with her, and a green light for those friends if they wish to tell jokes about that girl or exchange any negative remarks about her with her boyfriend!
So, as you have seen, our patriarchal culture has borrowed a word from the low-class dictionary, changed its usage, colored it with various negative paints, made it entirely sexual, and turned it into a weapon against females. Yet, it is not a hidden weapon that circles among men during their private chats.. nor is it condemned by society for its negative implications.. nor is it rejected by the media or movie makers. On the contrary.. It is welcomed into our daily lives and is openly exchanged between people everywhere.. It is now a most used word in Egyptian vocabulary.. and has become closely related to the Egyptian dialect! Now what does that tell you?The word's influence didn't stop here, though. For as long as the usual scenario goes, whatever is imposed by the patriarchal society is automatically accepted by the vulnerable followers. It becomes a matter of fact. That's exactly what happened with Egyptian females who readily digusted the word as part of their cultural environment. Yes, "mozzah" is undeniably an anti-female word, aiming mainly to humiliate women and destroy their self-esteem. Its purpose is to objectify women and turn them into the purely physical/sexual dolls. They are plainly conceived of as only bodies, made up of flesh that is both desired and despised. A girl gets trapped inside this narrow tunnel.. She has to be mozzah in order to be appealing to men, and at the same time she is humiliated for being one. She has to be objectified twice: as a sexual body, and as an object of verbal abuse.. a source of shame.. a passive recpient of patriarchal violence and hostility.
In spite of all that, Egyptian girls do use the word mozzah in their speech, just like parrots. However, they prefer to live in denial.. and they use it to praise the beauty of each other, or to refer to THEMSELVES when talking about looking exceptionally stunning. For example, a girl might tell her friend that she was a mozzah (looking really good) the previous night, when she was dressed up for a party.. Or she might seek to compliment her friend by telling her that she is a mozzah, instead of saying "you look great". In doing so, girls are responding to the social stress and the constant demand that they should be physically attractive. They know that society wants them to be sexually appealing. And instinctly, those girls need to feel accepted, desired and loved. To achieve that, they are forced to follow the criteria defined by their society. Before anything else, a girl has to be a mozzah. Yet, likewise, Egyptian girls are aware of the lusty, indecent, abusive, degrading, and hostile nature of the word.. That's why in their current vulnerable position, they had to come up with this tactic of self-deceit which enables them to accept the concept of mozzah, while escaping it as a verbal phenomenon. They have reflected their own desperate need for admiration, along with their inability to face the powerful tools which patriarchy uses against them, on the word itself. Just as girls are torn between those two pressures, they split "mozzah" in half. But how far will this self-deceit actually lead them?
To every Egyptian Mozzah reading this: Burying your head in the sand will only make you weaker, more disrespected, more vulnerable, and more shameful. You are not a body, girl. You are not a piece of dilicious meat, or a sexy doll! As long as you don't believe that.. as long as you don't realize that you deserve a better treatment.. as long as you surrender to such assaults and degradation.. as long as you are not ready to stand up for yourself and defend your dignity.. as long as you don't value your mind and soul.. as long as you are following your oppressors.. as long as you don't have the courage to say NO.. as long as you accept being a mozzah.. YOU WILL NEVER BE A HUMAN BEING!