"Saudi women 'kept in childhood' " article. Good read.
It is a tricky situation. We need Human Rights Watch groups to keep reminding us about them so we won't forget, unfortunately, I can see how the U.S./western powers may use that in the future to occupy that part of the middle east...like "liberating Afghani women from the Taliban" and "liberating Iraqis! Free them, and let them fly away!" In our current foreign policy of "WMD"...War Makes Democracy...we are treating them like pawns of our democratic monopoly.
Anyways, that is just speculation.
I still strongly believe that the change must come from within, and right now, the majority of the Saudis seem content with their separation, because of their lavish lifestyle and free benefits if you are a citizen. I know my relatives are split, some believe in the oppression, or are indifferent to it (grandmother, an aunt and two female cousins at the least) and some are against it.. (the rest of the family, including my father and my late grandfather... my father did say we moved here because I would get an equal education and be seen as achieving the same status as male, that is why he taught me to hunt and pushed me
into high professions, (a.k.a. professions that make $$$ and notoriety...opposite of my chosen profession), and he also did not believe in segregation of the sexes, even in the mosque, he did not create a dividing wall as some/most mosques do)
...but when you are provided for, why try to kill the gift horse?
I don't believe the US or any "western" power should invade, or force beliefs and "liberate the women, because it will be seen as imperialism, look how our other occupations worked out... and an insult to the religion itself ("Christian", secular nations invading the "heart of Islam" is reminiscent of the Crusades, that is what likely comes to mind for the Muslim , ....and yes, I am forcefully ignoringanti-relativist, such as anti-relativist Maryam Namazie who says by denying some practices while authorizing others, it won't be seen as a form of imperialism that will create a backlash...I'm sorry, but this case shouldn't compare to banning child pornography, where she says "it is as ridiculous... , it is like saying if we ban child pornography there is going to be more of it out there." Since her quote pertains to the issue of this post, I will have to say that it is an ignorant example that innocently skips through any analyzation. It deserves a critique. Child pornographers/abusers harbor a type of mental disillusion, almost a desperate sickness, that is not tied to a learned cultural belief system, it is tied to individual experiences,
and is not taught to them. Otherwise, if it was a learned cultural belief like a religious cultural belief, everyone (a majority) would be able to be persuaded into child pornography, and would be indifferent to the issue...but there is something inherent that
makes the basic human being against it, and human beings, for the most part, are inclined to protect the innocent instead of violating it. So that excuse has hollow evidence.
Anyways, I think that the oil has to either dry up, or the rest of the world has to STOP buying oil from that country, but it has to be a collective agreement with other Islamic nations in the decision process, not just he U.N./United States puppet, So it won't be seen as a "western" persuasion against the Islamic culture. Once the gift horse is drying out, the entire people will be uncomfortable enough to start a revolution in their own hands. I know it sounds slow, but that is what I believe will be the best way, and a way to UNITE Muslims for a cause within themselves,
not dividing Muslims into siding with "western/secular" powers or "fanatical/religious zealots"
For the time being, it is important for human rights campaigns to stabilize the current situation by helping to establish and push for SAFE houses that are really SAFE, and continuing to increase the transparency of abuses. I think actual SAFE communities would be necessary,
like a compound for women, and these need to be established from the inside, with transparency and government cooperation with the outside. Compounds are like mini nations in Saudi, mostly for families of the richer class, like my family where they work for the King's Hospital, and women and young girls are able to walk around freely in them, I only needed a hijab and not an abayyah...I didn't mind the compound, but once we were on the streets of Dammam, that is where we were oppressed and the it was like walking on eggshells.
I know people want a swift, "let's now go save the women!" move, but I think that would create a stronger divide, and add more ignorance of what is really needed, and what the people want, not what the west wants for the people.
These views might sound harsh at a time where anything hinting of cultural relativism is being gagged by staunch anti-relativists, but I'm looking at the long term health of the culture and the people themselves, instead of just instantly homogenizing it into a secular nation like all others. After all, are we not our beliefs? Do you create your beliefs, or do your beliefs really create you? What is beyond our animalistic physical being, what is beyond eating, sleeping, and fucking? Beliefs are beyond this. Values are beyond the animalistic nature, but in the end are reduced to just products of beliefs. I could see how the US could hijack this article/issue for future moves. I also can sadly see how the US population will be appeased with the move if it means better oil prices and
"liberating," cuz after all, "peace is our profession?" We like to chew on the excuse of "liberation" and then poop it out into "democratizing" the country. I love how women's rights in Islam weren't noticed until after 9/11, until after we saw how "unfree" those Afghanis were. Before 9/11, the Middle East was in the realm of "Arabian Nights," a place where it was so different, so far away, it didn't matter. Now, We are so free, we want others to be free too! ha, funny it is
coming from a republic. o, perhaps this country to rust out with all this irony. End