Susie of Arabia

Mirror, Signal, Man-Oeuvre: Driving Claims Women’s Innocence – Saudi Cleric

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In one heavyweight punch aimed at keeping Saudi women out of the driver’s seat in Saudi Arabia, the country’s religious establishment has apparently conducted a “scientific study” with surprising results, leaving the rest of the world reeling at the absurdity of it all.

In the continuing saga of the controversial battle between those who want to keep Saudi women at home (or in the back seat) and those who want to see Saudi women sitting behind the wheel, the study’s findings seemingly show conclusive evidence that allowing Saudi women to drive would result in the loss of their virginity. How this magically happens is not exactly clear. But Saudi Arabia’s religious scholars are convinced that in all other countries of the world where women DO drive, there are no more virgins left – so they can only assume that this would occur in Saudi Arabia too if letting women drive were permitted.

Saudi Arabian experts have long maintained that in the rest of the world where women can drive, all these women drivers have become immoral sluts – and now these experts allegedly have “scientific evidence” to back up these claims. Not only that, the study also supposedly proves that lifting the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia would also cause KSA to suffer other effects of moral decline as well, such as a rise in homosexuality, pornography, unmarried sex, and divorce rates.

With a divorce rate already as high as a jaw-dropping 62%, letting women drive in Saudi Arabia would spell certain disaster for the sanctity of marriage in KSA. On the other hand, since the divorce rate is already so high, maybe women drivers would have the reverse effect, who knows? Probably not though, since their study was “scientific,” after all.

The campaign for women driving has gained steam over this past year, with women all over the country quietly taking to the wheel despite the ban. Earlier this year Manal al Sharif was jailed for ten days for driving, and another woman, Shaiman Jastaniya, was sentenced to ten lashes for daring to drive in Saudi Arabia, but was spared that fate by the Saudi king.

Saudi women must rely on male family members for their transportation needs, or are forced to hire drivers or take taxis – situations which place Saudi women in the precarious position of being alone in a car with an unrelated male, which is forbidden by the strict Saudi interpretations of Islam.

In a country where religious police are necessary to keep the population in line morally, this latest “scientific study” comes as no surprise. One of my first thoughts when I read about this study was that if women ever do gain the right to drive in Saudi Arabia, the old perverts in the country will flaunt this study to justify marrying 8 year old girls because there weren’t any other virgins available.

Do they know how ridiculous all of this sounds to the rest of the world, or do they just not care what the rest of the world thinks?


One Response to Mirror, Signal, Man-Oeuvre: Driving Claims Women’s Innocence – Saudi Cleric

  1. JCWS 05/12/2011 at 2:31 PM

    I cannnot fathom this. The only way I can try to relate to any of this, is if I imagine that the custom for women to be driven arises in the same way that we have customs that we should open the door for women, or those other acts of chivalry in an age where men cannot go out as knights on white horses! In this way, the whole thing can be seen as quite “sweet” and kind. BUT and it is a big BUT, surely the system should be that women are allowed to drive if they want to. That must be the legal framweork. The culture of providing a chauffeur for women can continue, just as we open doors for women in the UK. Who can argue with that? But that is NOT to say that women should not be able to choose to drive as and when required. Women are not imprisoned if they choose not to allow a man to open the door for them! How can it make sense to imprison a prison sentence or any form of approbation on a human being for driving? This is not an East West issue, it just doesn’t make any logical sense, or legal sense, or basic human sense, if you belive that the fundamentals of any society should be freedom and equality before the law and within the home. Is that really such a bad thing? To put it it in its converse, what is the justification for legally or culturally entrenching positions that place women as inferior to, or second class, to men? I do not belive that the general Saudi cultural or legal consensus is that driving makes women promiscuous. That would make Kingdom men stupid, and they are not. There probably at the core of all this iss some fundamentl acre and respect for women; men aprobably belive they are doing the right thing. But they are not, because they do not allow women the right to choose for men to exercise this kindness. That iss the point. Kindness, is only kindness, when it can be accepted and not imposed. Otherwise it becomes an agression. If these silly laws were taken away, I am quite certain most women would far rather be driven by their (reliable!) husbands, brothers, fathers, chauffers or taxi drivers. But they have to be able to choose this. Don’t they?

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