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The women’s condition in Saudi Arabia from an American Feminists point of v
The women’s condition in Saudi Arabia from an American Feminists point of view
Anne Frank once said “Despite everything, I believe people are really good at heart”. I have researched Saudi Arabia a lot in the past month or so, and I am sad to say that the more I found about Women’s discrimination the more I came to dislike this country. Not all aspects of this country are bad that’s not what I’m trying to say. I have no respect for those who treat women like possessions instead of human beings. The rules against women are not only rruthlessbut demining. How can any women from Saudi Arabia or any other country ever expect to be perfect? It’s enough to drive you crazy.
America’s track record is far from spotless; our country however over the years had the opportunity to rise above such issues. What is Saudi Arabia gaining for their outrage less laws against women? Segregated theme parks, public transportation and beaches even female tourists are forced to cover up in public for fear of the “religious police” or “secret police” patrolling the streets of Saudi Arabia. Who often beat and torture whoever stands in their way. Every woman in Saudi Arabia must have a male guardian which dictates everything she does; from marriage to divorce even travel and education to the simple task of opening a bank account is dictated. Women cannot drive in Saudi Arabia; which is the only country to make this illegal. Women are often forced into unwanted customs and lives are constantly controlled. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for every aspect of my life to be decided for me by my male relatives like a bidding war where the prize is just out of reach. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if not of the luxury of free speech and my expression through writing. Feminism does not exist in Saudi Arabia it cannot be a learned ideal because you cannot make something out of thin air. It is impossible.
There was a time in our history where women were thought as caregivers and nothing more. As we progresses as a nation we came to see than women can be powerful beings. We can be wrathful, murderous villains when we or our young are endangered but also a loving, kind person and empathetic mothers. Never is a woman angrier when you put her down for her gender. Women in Saudi Arabia are severely singled out; especially by men. In one article I read fifteen young girls died during a fire at their school because they were “improperly dressed”. The “secret police” stopped the rescue effort. Several witness heard and seen the police beating the girls when trying to flee the flames. "It is a sinful to approach them" one onlooker heard the police say. A school is a place of freedom somewhat of a sanctuary for these girls whose lives will be written for them. The girls died in fain for a law without reason. For not wearing their hajab (headscarf) or abayas (Traditional black Islamic cover ups) required by Saudi Arabia strict interpretation of Islam. The school was locked at the time the fire broke out. Needless to say the families of the fallen are furious but are unable to do anything in fear of the “secret police”. Such cased rarely go to court. I was wondering why any women would put up with such segregated ideals but an answer occurred to me, it is all they know.
“I love the looks of you, the lure of you
the sweet of you, and the pure of you
the eyes, the arms, and the mouth of you
the east, west, north, and the south of you”
This poem expresses the freedom that we as woman have in America. To choose a fate that is entirely your own is exactly what the women of Saudi Arabia lack. The Committee For the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is probably not a fan of Cole Porter because they’ve now issued the law that they can cover the eyes of any women with “tempting eyes”. What are tempting eyes you ask? The very definition of tempting is having great appeal. Which makes me think when has being beautiful ever been a bad thing, and why do these men of this so called committee have the right to say something so profoundly insufferable? These men must have a deep hated for women to view them purely as possessions, which begins to strip away all human characteristics until there is nothing left but a china doll on a small shelve with a half life, empty of happiness. I don’t know about you but if a man ever told me to cover my eyes because they were “tempting” they’d wish they were never born. After my mom tock they’re egos down a few notches. It would surely be a sight to see. Though this “committee” and I use that word loosely is as intolerable as it gets the people of Saudi Arabia are too afraid to speak out against them because of their intimidation. The “Committee” is supported by all sides most importantly the king Abdullah. As he just donated 22 million riyals about 53 million dollars to this worthy cause, and I say that with about as much sarcasm as I can manage. I know in my heart that God or Allah or any other god wouldn’t want us to segregate ourselves like this. Women should be equal but this committee will see to that never happening in Saudi Arabia.
I believe deep down in my bones that without women as equals in Saudi Arabia, women all over the world will not be taken seriously. We are not little porcelain china dolls and to treat us as such would be foolish. We are strong and powerful. The women of Saudi Arabia do not know of our customs and have neglected to see such beauties. The movement of women’s rights in 1852 headed by Susan B. Anthony and various other women shows the world how strong we can be when we fight for something we believe in, Why not the same for the woman of Saudi Arabia. They deserve better. Saudi Arabia is not a bad country, but to repress woman is to shame them, and no one deserves to be repressed.
BBC News http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1874471.stm “Saudi police 'stopped' fire rescue” (15 March 2002)
The Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/saudiarabia/8529945/Restrictions-on-women-in-Saudi-Arabia.html “Restrictions on women in Saudi Arabia” (23 May 2011)
David Keys the Daily Beast, read this skip that http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/11/19/saudi-arabia-s-religious-police-outlaw-tempting-eyes.html ‘Saudi Arabia’s Religious police ‘Tempting eyes’ (19 November 2011)
Susan B. Anthony house http://susanbanthonyhouse.org/index.php Enjoy!