When many people think of Saudi Arabia, what comes to mind is the lack of certain rights. Amongst the most vocal ones heard in most probably every country int he world is that in 2012, a person is not allowed to drive while woman. What does that mean? Simple, if you were born of the Female Sex, you will not be allowed to be behind the wheel. This i must admit has become one of the hardest things for me to accept and get used to while living here in Riyadh. Its been 8 years, and I still can't totally grasp the idea that simply because one was born as a female, she is NOT allowed to be behind the wheel. One may ask how can that happen? How in the world can a country in this day and age practice such blatant discrimination. When someone has that answer, please feel free to drop me a note. But I will warn you the following will not work on me...
- I will not accept any religious arguments, as this has NOTHING to do with religion,
- I will not accept woman being incapable of being behind the wheel.
- I will not accept the argument that some women who support the ban state that they feel more comfortable having a driver or a family member that chauffeurs her around, you can have that choice, let me make my own decision, and my own grown u choice to be behind the wheel or in the back seat.
- I also refuse to accept that statement that I as a women worry about such a trivial matter when there are wars going on in the world, my answer to that, give me your car keys, let me control your life, and we'll discuss trivial matters at that point in time.
- Oh, and the oh so famous, the streets are not safe enough for woman. Well I have the answer for that one, let us replace all the men who can't drive with capable female drivers!
- Oh, and I will ignore any arguments that a women is unpatriotic because she is not bowing down and accepting these rules. There is a difference between wanting a positive change for your country and being unpatriotic.
Yes, I am annoyed. And you want to know why? I will say it a million times over and over again, till this non law is officially swiped off the face of this earth. I want to control my life, I don't need to have a man from God knows where who has NEVER controlled a car hold the life of my children and I in their hands. I as a women, first drove a car at 15, and believe I have more rights to be behind the wheel then HALF the Men on the streets of this country. Not to mention the 12 year old boys who become chauffeurs for their mothers, simply because their adult mother is not 'Adult' enough to be trusted behind the wheel. It sickens me that I am 33 year old woman may be arrested for driving on any one of our busy Riyadh streets, when a 12 year old who obviously does not have a license would be completely ignored. I will admit I have had my bouts of rebellion, where I have taken my husbands car (without his knowledge) and simply driven around the block... such a small act felt a bit liberating!
As some of you may have heard, Saudi Arabia has now supposedly taken back their promise to allow female Olympians. Not sure why it is happening now? Was it a political stunt allowing them in the first place, for fear of being banned from the games completely? I don't get it. Funny thing is I don't even blame the government of Saudi Arabia for half these lame rules, I blame some of the misogynistic IDIOTS they rule! Some man who fears that he will become less of a man if he allows the females of the country to be treated like adults.
Yes, I know this is not a new post topic of mine, but I am growing more and more annoyed by this. I am getting more and more annoyed by how slow things are changing. Yes, the voting issue is a great one. But will I e a 60 year old before I am allowed to be behind the wheel of a car in this country? Will my daughter not be ale to become the best that she can be, because this country does a great job at holding females back? Have they not seen how many Saudi women have left the country all together and have moved to neighboring Gulf states for the mere fact that they can actually live a normal life anywhere but the home they love? I know I have grown to love this country, and want to make it my final home, but things need to change. Serious REAL changes, not cosmetic ones, or ones that closely resemble a mirage...
Olympic outrage at Saudi ban on women athletes