Saudi Arabia finally gave in to pressure and “allowed” Saudi women – a whole entire two of them – to compete in the Olympics, but it really really hated doing it.
The ministry of education bans physical education for girls. The rationale behind the ban ranges from claims that sport will lead to corrupt morals and lesbianism, to it being masculine and damaging for female health and psyche.
The main rationale, though, is that introducing physical education is a slippery slope that will eventually lead it to becoming common to see Saudi women practise and compete in sports publicly in front of men. In a country where all state schools mandate fully covering the face , the thought of Saudi women running in a conservative tracksuit with the face showing is simply too much for many to handle.
Saudi Arabia thinks everything is damaging for female health and psyche, apart from being fucked and bearing children. It’s as if women were both fragile as crystal and infectious as Ebola, while still being tragically necessary because fucking and reproduction.
Imagine not being allowed to do any kind of sport. Imagine not being allowed to go outside unless you’re buried in a bag and have a male relative along. Imagine not being allowed to go into banks, shops, restaurants because women are banned.
Once it was announced that two women would be joining the Saudi delegation, many criticised the minister of sports, Prince Nawaf al-Faisal, for allowing it. However, the inclusion of women proceeded, and when those opposing the move saw that they could not get the minister to retract, they changed strategy and focused on the female athletes instead.
Photos of Sarah Attar on the running track from her university website in California emerged on Twitter and Facebook with her face, arms and legs blurred so that all a person can see is that it is a woman in shorts. These photos were captioned with statements of how this goes against the minister’s promise to ensure that Saudi women would participate in hijab.
As if the Saudi minister of sport gets to promise that a girl in California will wear what he says she’ll wear. As if it were the world’s business what she wears.
Meanwhile, judo competitor Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani‘s father received insults that included racial abuse and comments questioning his manhood, his honour and even his citizenship.
Both women were featured under an Arabic Twitter hashtag that translates as “Olympic whores“.
Aren’t people lovely.