Archive for October 22nd, 2011

Drive Me To The Moon

In a reluctant attempt to move into something resembling the 20th Century, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recently decreed that women will be allowed, here and there, to vote.

Driving, however, remains out of the question. Under Saudi law, women are prohibited from driving; it is forbidden for x-chromes even to ride a bicycle. And they’re pretty serious about it. One Shaima Jastaina was recently sentenced to 10 lashes for defying the nation’s driving ban; the sentence was not carried out only because 87-year-old King Abdullah intervened.

Jastaina is part of the intertubular Women2Drive campaign, in which uppity females get behind the wheel and go rolling across the desert, law or no law. Saudi mossbacks are getting active in return, gathering on oppositional Facebook sites to ululate about the Horrors and Dangers of women drivers. Below are some excerpts from their postings, which I nicked from the November 2011 edition of Harper’s.

I’m not against women driving so much as the chaos that’ll occur.

It women tried simultaneously to direct their family’s upbringing, guide the nation’s moral education, and, on top of all this, drive a car—this country would record the highest mortality rates in the world.

It is the Saudi man, with his intense love for his wife, who provides her with a chauffeur. And yet they reject this part of his charity and love.

It is obvious to any sane person that to empower women with driving will rob the man of his household role. This will increase the divorce rate—already high—and scatter families, children. Girls will be lost, trampled by extortion.

The economists say that money spent on car insurance for women will be at least ten times more than what is now spent on women’s transportation, private and public. And the notion is still raised! They say, “What does the West say about us? They’ve landed on the moon! Let’s catch up!” The West did not get to the moon with women’s driving!


When I Worked

October 2011
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