No Gynopolis after all

Correction time. Al Arabiya says the “Saudis planning to build a city for women only” was a dud. Says it ain’t true.

Mind you, the real story isn’t very attractive either – the city will be for men and women but there will be lots of segregated facilities, so women will have more job opportunities.

Still separate but equal, in other words. Good that they don’t actually have to go live in WomenOnlyWorld in order to have a job, but bad that they have to work there, since separate is not equal.

It all started with a press release by MODON, the Saudi Industrial Property Authority. The title of this press release reads: “’MODON’ begins Planning and Development for the First Industrial City being readied for Women in the Kingdom.”

It seems that no one read past that title. The subhead of the press release, set in italics, reads: “Al-Ahsa 2nd Industrial City will create job opportunities for both men and women.”

Yes, both men and women.

The second paragraph clearly states that the city “is not intended for women only.”

MODON clarified the issue further on Tuesday.

“It’s a city like any other city, where men and women work. But special sections and production halls will be reserved for women within the factories,” the Authority told Al Arabiya English via Twitter.

Special sections and production halls; lucky them.

But still – correction where correction is due.

H/t to Chris Stedman for pointing this out.


  1. says

    Yes, in some ways – no abaya! No nagging, no shouting in the street.

    But I assume some women want husbands and male children around. (I have to limit it to that because we know they’re not allowed to interact with any other men, apart from close relatives – which is so fucking weird I can never get my head around it.)

  2. Moxiequz says

    The very fact that the story was plausibly believable (i.e. not immediately dismissed with normal bullshit filtering in place) is still a damning mark against Saudi Arabia. Really, when you think about it, is it so far removed from something like religious police letting girls die in a fire by stopping men from trying to save them from a burning building?

  3. Brad says

    Someone should call them and tell them the US tried separate but equal for a good long while, and that it doesn’t work.

  4. says

    The very fact that the story was plausibly believable (i.e. not immediately dismissed with normal bullshit filtering in place) is still a damning mark against Saudi Arabia

    …And not a damning mark against those who accepted the story? Really?

  5. Albert Bakker says

    Not really, since the picture in this new information is hardly distinguishable from the picture of total segregation anyway. That it was indeed very plausible, not contended even by defenders of anything muslim no matter how backward, antihuman or plain stupid – even the rhetorically gifted ones among them – indeed tells us something about the state of affairs as it is today in the medieval kingdom. And more perhaps. I think it is therefore hardly advisable to rejoice in the fact that the situation is perhaps slightly less abominable than it appeared to be and point the finger at those who feared it did.

  6. Godless Heathen says

    This is a country that doesn’t let women drive. That didn’t care that it sent two women to the Olympics for the first time ever this year. That doesn’t let their women participate in athletics, so one of those two women was a dual US-Saudi citizen living in California rather than Riyadh.

    It’s not a stretch at all to think they would really do something like this. It’s not mark against us, it’s mark against them.

  7. aziraphale says

    “A study conducted by consulting firm Booz and Co.”

    Yes, I totally believe it. You couldn’t make that up.

  8. Bob-B says

    Maybe they could split the country in two and have a men only country and a women only country. They would to make some special arrangements to allow procreation to take place, but it shouldn’t be beyond their ‘scholars’ to come up with something.

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