Women are always expendable

Did you hear that Ikea had airbrushed all women out of their Saudi Arabian catalogue?

Ikea released a statement expressing regret over the issue: “We should have reacted and realised that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the Ikea Group values.”

Starbucks it seems also removed the long-haired woman from its logo, keeping only her crown, when it opened a store in Saudi.

It seems women are easily expendable when it comes to profits. Oh and also for ‘religious tolerance’, ‘respect’, and ‘not causing offence’ and in order to ‘stop discrimination’, ‘end racism’, and of course ‘prevent Islamophobia’ and what not…


  1. wholething says

    It is my understanding that Islamic art does not allow people or animals to be drawn and that would be why the Starbucks logo would be changed even if it was a male image.

    • Ingrid EM says

      If this was true there would not be any humans at all in the IKEA catalogue for Saudi. However, only the women were deleted. Boys and men are still there.

      • Ben Millwood says

        Both men and women were removed from the catalogue, from what I saw. However, in some cases women were removed when men weren’t. It may be the case that only men remained, but it is not true that only women were removed.

      • wholething says

        I am not an expert but i think most cultures’ art has animals, people, and human-like creatures but Islamic art has none of those going back hundreds of years. Photography sees to be a different matter. IKEA bowed to sexist pressure but i think Starbucks gave into a more general bias. Both biases are irrational but noe is more harmful to members of the society. How do we distinguish between the two in Starbucks case before hurling a false accusation?

        • says

          Ikea specifically isn’t their culture, but like a lot of conservative religious folks they want the world filtered so that they don’t have to ever be reminded that there are people who do not follow their cultural norms.

    • F says

      This is one of those rules which is violated regularly when convenient. Back in the day, lots of Muslims had a thing about photography, as it creates the same issue with an image of a human or animal. They got over that in a hurry. (Except, you know, with womnen. Can’t be seeing them now.)

      In fact, when I was much younger, I recall surprise at the fact that crowds were carrying signs with images of Ayatollah Khomeini (or whoever was the political flavor of the day in some countries).

  2. smipowell says

    Some years ago, some Christians in the US forced Proctor and Gamble to remove their company logo that featured a moon and stars as they considered it to be satanic. Religious sensibilities can be silly.

  3. No Light says

    The same thing’s happening in Israel too, where the haredim are apparently in competition with the Wahabi Muslims.

    Any public image of a woman or girl is immediately torn down. Buses which feature images of women are fire-bombed.

    Women’s magazines feature no pictures of women or girls, women are cropped or airbrushed out of pictures in newspapers. Even line drawings or graphic representations of the female form in logos on packaging are removed or covered.

    A health leaflet about breast cancer was recently released. It talks only of the “yeni machla (badness) of that place”!

    It’s quites! possible for little girls to grow up without ever seeing another girl or woman, except in person. They’re erased.

    The right is on the rise everywhere, it’s terrifying.

    • Rebekah says

      “The same thing’s happening in Israel too,”

      No Lights’ response represents typical leftist dishonesty when it comes to Islam: the patently absurd equivaency.

      In this case a Western company from a nation that is an exemplar of gender equality, Sweden, is actively appeasing gender apartheid, the official state policy of Saudi Arabia rooted in Islamic tradition.

      The Haredim incidents you mention are one of the following: illegal acts as in cases of vandalism, censorship of items in their personal possession, or local newstand censorship in Haredi neighbourhoods, almost certainly without approval of the publisher.

      It takes a deliberate dishonest, possibly antisemitic mind to compare these two phenomenon. Even if you are fully justified in fearing the Haredim, and you are, it does not validate such atrocious thinking.

      • No Light says

        I’ll explain this simply, as you seem to be somewhat lacking. This is backed up by your use of “leftist” as an insult.

        It is not “Items in their personal possession” being censored, Did you read the part about GOVERNMENT health leaflets at the chupat? Textbooks distributed to schools?

        You also clearly don’t understand the Tal law, which exempted ALL haredim from army service. It was repealed last month, but the government won’t draft them, thanks to Shas having so much power.

        You know nothing about me. I believe Islam, Judaism and Christianity are cancers. Let’s guess, you’re a Talibangelist who thinks getting all the Jews back to Israel will bring Yoshke back?

        I abhor the erasure and subjugation of women wherever it occurs.

        Gey kak affen yam

        • Rebekah says

          Your explanation does nothing to back your initial unsupportable equivalency. I will agree it appears the government may be making disturbing concessions to the Haredi, a minority community in the context of Israel, again not comparable to Saudi Arabia’s universal state policy. Your mention of vandalism and violence are still completely illegitimate, as those are unequivocally illegal in Israel, a point you do not contest.

          I agree that the three Abrahamic religions are deplorable and detrimental to humanity. That does not make the constant assertion that they are ‘equally as bad’ supportable. That is a form of political correctness among leftist atheists that needs to be put to rest as once again exemplified in the wake of worldwide Islamic uproar over an amateur film.

          Really your comment is a perfect example of far left Islam apologetics. Of course you cannot defend Islam directly, so you disrupt articles on Islam with constant deflections (to the US, Israel, West in general or Christianity) or recriminations. I will grant that you are a step above the worst of your ilk, the person whose only response is shrieking ‘Islamophobia’ without any information of substance. You do highlight a real problem in Israel, but a problem that has nothing to do with the Ikea-Saudi situation and which has no business being brought up in this article.

          And if you truly do not see how your actions draw attention away from Islam, then you should consider the reverse situation. I imagine you would be apoplectic if someone disrupted an article on Haredi human rights abuses with references to Islam. In fact i have seen that done and the results are usually the usual the above mentioned shrieks of Islamophobia, racism and rightwinger. Speaking of which:

          “Let’s guess, you’re a Talibangelist who thinks getting all the Jews back to Israel will bring Yoshke back?”

          Such an extremist, childish rebuttal again exemplifies your entire problem.

          The alternative to “leftist” is not right-wing. The fact you see the world in that way explains your myopia and inability to construct a rational comparison.

          In fact I am a centre-left voter thank you very much. I am also a secular Jew of Sephardic origin. I criticise the far left because in many cases you have abandoned core liberal values when it suits your political agenda. The leftist-Islamist alliance exemplifies the perverse extent this trend can reach.

          • Mary2 says

            Oh puhlease! Enough with the faux-outrage.

            No Light brought in Jewish extremists to highlight the rise in this kind of religious intolerance across the board: not to somehow excuse Islamic extremism.

            In case you hadn’t noticed, the people at fault in this instance are Swedes not Saudis. I think your own prejudice is showing. (and no, I am not part of the leftist-Islamic alliance – whatever that is).

        • Rebekah says

          “This is backed up by your use of “leftist” as an insult.”

          Only in you paranoid mind is that the case. “Leftist” is a neutral term, unless you are saying to me that you are ashamed of your own politics. You are a leftist from my perspective as a liberal. We are perhaps both leftists from the perspective of a conservative. I am sorry if I did not mollify your ego by referring to you as a “progressive” or whatever self-serving label you prefer.

          I note again you reach for the childish hyperbole of “Talibangelist”, which is moreover another example of Islam apologetics via false equivalency. If you really believe American evangelicals are comparable to the Taliban then you have completely abandoned reason to reactive, paranoid politics.

    • Rebekah says

      Let me be crystal clear. The state of Israel has no policies that validate Haredi gender apartheid. There is the controversial exemption from military service for conservative women, but Israel is hardly alone in not treating men and women the same in terms of military duties among developed nations.

      The perverse actions you mention are either unequivocally illegal or taken under the aegis of ‘religious freedom’. The same thing happens in America where they have a bunch of religious nutters, Amish, polygamous Mormons, etc. with similar behaviours. So why not mention them if you insist on changing the subject away from Islam (as certain leftist love to do)?

      Singling out Israel and Haredi is precisely the sort of attitude that exemplifies left antisemitism.

      • Mary2 says

        Why is it no one is allowed to criticise Israel (or even a tiny segment of it’s population) without being anti-Semitic?

  4. Jay says

    Recently stumbled across your blog, all I can say is keep up the good work! I might not believe in everything you stand for, but I believe in your right to do so. I actually do believe in a good bit of what you write though……..

  5. says

    I think it is better to stay out of the market than strip every image of a person from your catalog because people in that market hate women.

  6. andrewhayes says

    And there is relatively little medieval religious art in England, compared to other Xtian lands in Europe, because Puritan iconoclasts (spiritual ancestors of evangelicals) rampaged thru churches and abbeys in the 16th century, smashing or burning every image they could find.


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