One would be forgiven for thinking that living in modern day Saudi Arabia is like living in the dark ages, but perhaps the way the country regards its women says more about its adherence to scripture, political expediency and the threat that allowing women certain freedom may lead to other unwelcome freedoms…
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are banned from driving.
The academics, working in conjunction with Kamal Subhi, a former professor at the conservative King Fahd University, produced the conclusions in a report for the country’s legislative assembly, the Shura Council.
It warned that allowing women to drive would “provoke a surge in prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce”.
Within 10 years of the ban being lifted, it claimed, there would be “no more virgins” in the Islamic kingdom.
No more virgins? Is a society to be deemed worthy and pure only if there is an abundance of virgins? Isn’t this really just a convenient smokescreen to deny half the population their rights and a fear amongst the corridors of power acceding certain rights or let’s even call them privileges may lead to the pressing demand for more privileges, say like being able to have a drink or walk down the street without a burqa?
Can one wonder really if the strict interpretation of Islamic law is by design an effort to deny women their equal rights and really just a shield to a kind of assimilation of virtues and sensibilities well received in the west but heavily discouraged in Islamic cultures?
How are we to believe granting women the privilege to drive will also correlate to her now turning to prostitution? Her having multiple sex partners? A united front to now pursue homosexuality (one wonders if one is imbued with homosexual desires that they are already acting on such tendencies and are hardly waiting for a repeal on a woman’s ability to drive automobiles before turning to same sex participation).
It pointed out that “moral decline” could already be seen in those other Muslim countries in which women are allowed to drive.
In the report Prof Subhi described sitting in a coffee shop in an unnamed Arab state where “all the women were looking at me”.
“One made a gesture that made it clear that she was available,” he said. “This is what happens when women are allowed to drive.”
Once again isn’t this wishful rhetoric designed to maintain the cloak of secrecy of behavior, of political power and keep it firmly sequestrated in certain quarters. At best the report condones the disregard of women and their interests and aspirations. At worst it condones the continual subjugation of women’s rights and the portrayal of them as the carriers of sin and the things that a society should purportedly guard against- moral decay, social transgression and sexual debasement.