Thursday, June 02, 2005

Ok, I'm depressed.

So I'm reading a news story (shut it ... yes I should be working) entitled Saudis angry over plan to OK women drivers. The article says that this one Consultative Council member Mohammad al-Zulfa filed a proposal in which it would be okay for women to drive (under certain conditions) and that it has unleased a fury against him. He's getting text messages "calling on Allah to freeze his blood"! And "there even have been calls to kick al-Zulfa from the council and strip him of his Saudi nationality." How crazy is this??

I guess there are conservatives there who believe "women should be shielded from strange men" [hell, I'd like to be shielded from strange men too ..... oh wait ... they mean "strange" as in "not known" ... nevermind] and who say that "driving will allow a woman to leave home whenever she pleases and go wherever she wishes". [why, we can't have that!] Some say "it will present her with opportunities to violate Islamic law, such as exposing her eyes while driving" [I know ... we can resolve that by having them drive blindfolded!!!] or "interacting with strange men, like police officers or mechanics" [uhh, been there - done that ... that should be avoided! :)].

"Driving by women leads to evil," Munir al-Shahrani wrote in a letter to the editor of the Al-Watan daily. "Can you imagine what it will be like if her car broke down? She would have to seek help from men." [or Allah-forbid ... fix it herself!]

So apparently without written permission from a male guardian, women may not travel, get an education or work. And regardless of permission, they are not allowed to mix with men in public. And get this ....... "The driving prohibition has forced families to hire live-in drivers, who, strangely, are allowed to be alone with women. Al-Zulfa said clerics have deemed this a lesser evil than driving." Did ya HEAR that?? ... the lesser of two evils! As in ... having a non-related man live in the same home is better than having a woman out and about driving. Because surely there is MUCH less opportunity to have sex with a strange man you are driving by than one you get to know who is living with you. Yep, makes sense to me!

Anyway, okay, okay, okay ... here's the part I find depressing. Al-Zulfa suggested that "only women over age 35 or 40 be allowed to drive". Ya know why? Because he figures they are TOO OLD to be tempting to men. I mean, he doesn't SAY that explicity .... but I know that's what he's suggesting! The bastard! And here I was thinking he was a good guy!!


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