OK.... so my rant will naturally begin with us women and driving in Saudi. Yes I know, this rant is
As I sit silently in my husbands car watching as every car that drives by is driven by a man, it could be a husband, or a driver. The cars that have drivers, are usually tinted black so that other drivers can't see the woman folk inside. Don't get me wrong, dark windows have helped me breastfeed my babies without a care in the world. But what I really can't get into my head, is how in the world it is deemed safer and more permissible in Islam for a women to sit with a NON- related male in her car alone at times (remember when a man and a women are alone the third person there is the devil...). Yet a women is NOT allowed to drive herself around. Some men (and women) may argue that this is for the safety of the women folk, for surely a women can not take care of herself, and is seen as meat waiting to be devoured by every single man that sees her. I don't believe that is even close to the reason, I believe it is more about Control. Control. Control. Control.
A women can not step out of her house without some man taking her out, whether it is her husband/brother/father/driver/ some random taxi driver. In essence we are to bow down to any man in order to get anything done. It is extremely frustrating, when you see children driving because they were born with that oh so worshipped outy! And a women who has driven around the world is not seen as being fit to be behind the wheel. What bothers me even more is all the rumours that keep circulating claiming that women will be driving in a couple of months, by the end of the year at the very latest.
Saudi Arabia is to lift the ban on women drivers in an attempt to stem a rising suffragette-style movement in the kingdom.
Women in the only country in the world which still bans women from driving want to put their best foot forward – on the accelerator.
I see all this as nothing more then smoke, to keep us women from actually doing something about our position in this male worshipped society. I will clarify, that it has nothing to do with religion and EVERY BLOODY THING to do with men using TRADITION to keep women prisoners psychologically. I am talking from personal experience here, that ever since I have been here, I truly feel like I have lost a bit of myself every single day. I once used to be a bubbly, fun, outgoing, full of adventure kinda gal. And now, I have a hard time doing anything alone (for the most part because in this lovely country, women are usually not allowed into many places for fear of arousing men by our mere presence). I am sick of people claiming that we are treated like princesses here, because that is not the case, what is the point of being treated like a princess, when you are being treated like a 3 year old one? Last night my daughter told me she wanted to drive, and I told her.. 7abeebti, you are too young, when you're older enshallah. Deep inside I pray that by the time she is of driving age, that she will not be subject to this sexist state we women are forced to live in, I pray that she will be of the new era, where they are allowed to dream, where they are allowed to want a better Saudi without fingers pointing at them and accusing them of hating the country I know we all love.
Here is an article on how the ban is also affecting the men in our family. I do agree with this as well, because due to this moronic ban, our husbands/sons/brothers/ etc must also become our drivers... I know my husband would love it, if I could go out and run a few of the errands without him. I know there is always a driver, but it is simply not the same. Being able to go where ever you want whenever you want is simply not possible even with a driver. The only way out of this rut is for the ban to end, once and for all. And I truly believe that maybe, just maybe the only way it will end is if we as the women of this country, stand up and let our voices be heard. (can you hear the music playing)
They’re on Riyadh’s Ring Road, headed for IKEA. The women’s shopping list includes mirrors, lamps, and bath mats, and since they’ve been aiming to get to the popular store for three months, Sabah, 22, and Nora, 20, are piling up the purchases.
Alright, I think I need to stop right there, I won't even bother to reread what I just wrote, and just have my fingers crossed that my fingers caught up with my brain and that I actually make some sort of sense here.