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Aug 15 2012

Fuck you, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia wants to build women-only cities.

Dear Saudi Women,

When I first heard of Saudi Arabia’s plan to build women-only cities, I got so angry that I shouted, ‘What the fuck! you wanna build a women-only city, like a black-only ghetto? You force women to wear burqa, they have no face, no identity, no rights! Now you wanna dump them? You have been apartheiding women big time! Fuck you, Saudi Arabia, go build your ass-only city!’

I am not angry anymore. I have been thinking a lot about women-only city. I have also been thinking of your country and your religion. They both hate you, they treat you like a piece of shit. You should know that burqa-only city is regressive, women-only city is double regressive. If you allow a pinch of humiliation, you will ultimately allow tons of humiliations! You know that you can’t say, NO. You already prove that you are not able to change anti-women system you are living under. You got support from all over the world, but you could not go out in public without burqa, you could not drive your car on your Driving Day campaign. You are afraid of being flogged. You failed to challenge an oppressive regime. You are now going to get a women-only city, you will then get a women-only land. They have created a prison for you. The prison is getting larger and larger. But dear sisters, think positive. More than 100 years ago, a Muslim woman called Begum Rokeya dreamed of a women’s land. Please read an excerpt from her classic ‘Sultana's Dream’.

When walking I found to my surprise that it was a fine morning. The town was fully awake and the streets alive with bustling crowds. I was feeling very shy, thinking I was walking in the street in broad daylight, but there was not a single man visible.

Some of the passers-by made jokes at me. Though I could not understand their language, yet I felt sure they were joking. I asked my friend, “What do they say?”

“The women say that you look very mannish.”

“Mannish?” said I, “What do they mean by that?”

“They mean that you are shy and timid like men.”

“Shy and timid like men?” It was really a joke. I became very nervous, when I found that my companion was not Sister Sara, but a stranger. Oh, what a fool had I been to mistake this lady for my dear old friend, Sister Sara.

She felt my fingers tremble in her hand, as we were walking hand in hand.

“What is the matter, dear?” she said affectionately. “I feel somewhat awkward,” I said in a rather apologizing tone, “as being a veiled woman I am not accustomed to walking abut unveiled.”

“You need not be afraid of coming across a man here. This is Ladyland, free from sin and harm. Virtue herself reigns here.”

By and by I was enjoying the scenery. Really it was very grand. I mistook a patch of green grass for a velvet cushion. Feeling as if I were walking on a soft carpet, I looked down and found the path covered with moss and flowers.

“How nice it is,” said I.

I became very curious to know where the men were. I met more than a hundred women while walking there, but not a single man.

“Where are the men?” I asked her.

“In their proper places, where they ought to be.”

“Let me know what you mean by ‘their proper places’.”

“O, I see my mistake, you cannot know our customs, as you were never here before. We shut our men indoors.”

“Just as we are kept in the zenana?”

“Exactly so.”

“How funny,” I burst into a laugh. Sister Sara laughed too.

“But dear Sultana, how unfair it is to shut in the harmless women and let loose the men.”

“Why? It is not safe for us to come out of the zenana, as we are naturally weak.”

“Yes, it is not safe so long as there are men about the streets, nor is it so when a wild animal enters a marketplace.”

“Of course not.”

“Suppose, some lunatics escape from the asylum and begin to do all sorts of mischief to men, horses and other creatures; in that case what will your countrymen do?”

“They will try to capture them and put them back into their asylum.”

“Thank you! And you do not think it wise to keep sane people inside an asylum and let loose the insane?”

“Of course not!” said I laughing lightly.

“As a matter of fact, in your country this very thing is done! Men, who do or at least are capable of doing no end of mischief, are let loose and the innocent women, shut up in the zenana! How can you trust those untrained men out of doors?”

“We have no hand or voice in the management of our social affairs. In India man is lord and master, he has taken to himself all powers and privileges and shut up the women in the zenana.”

“Why do you allow yourselves to be shut up?”

“Because it cannot be helped as they as stronger than women.”

“A lion is stronger than a man, but it does not enable him to dominate the human race. You have neglected the duty you owe to yourselves and you have lost your natural rights by shutting your eyes to your own interests.”

“But my dear sister Sara, if we do everything by ourselves, what will the men do then?”

“They should not do anything, excuse me; they are fit for nothing. Only catch them and put them into the zenana.”

“But would it be very easy to catch and put them inside the four walls?” said I. “And even if this were done, would all their business, political and commercial – also go with them into the zenana?”

Sister Sara made no reply. She only smiled sweetly. Perhaps she thought it useless to argue with one who was no better than a frog in a well.

We talked on various subjects, and I learned that they were not subject to any kind of epidemic disease, nor did they suffer from mosquito bites as we do. I was very much astonished to hear that in Ladyland no one died in youth except by rare accident.

“Your achievements are very wonderful indeed! But tell me, how you managed to put the men of your country into the zenana. Did you entrap them first?”

“No.”

“It is not likely that they would surrender their free and open air life of their own accord and confine themselves within the four walls of the zenana! They must have been overpowered.”

“Yes, they have been!”

“By whom? By some lady warriors, I suppose?”

“No, not by arms.”

“Yes, it cannot be so. Men’s arms are stronger than women’s. Then?”

“By brain.”

“Even their brains are bigger and heavier than women’s. Are they not?”

“Yes, but what of that? An elephant also has got a bigger and heavier brain than a man has. Yet man can enchain elephants and employ them, according to their own wishes.

Saudi women! You have been forced to live in mobile prisons for fucking 1400 years. You have now no options left. You have to make a land for women where you will not be prisoners, you will enjoy your complete freedom. You are unable to make small changes. Why don’t you get ready to make a big change? You probably do not like reforms, you want a revolution. If you want to survive, you have to occupy the land, and you have to make ‘Sultana’s Dream’ come true. Use your brains and lock those insane sons of bitches up.

Sisterhood is forever.

Sincerely yours,
Taslima

72 comments

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  1. 1
    Adnan

    Tsk tsk tak Taslima!

    Isnt Feminism also about “Women Only”? Just because it is by Saudia, it does not mean it is bad. I guess in a world where males always ready to hunt women this is a true thing. Women can roam freely and what not.

    I guess haterd against Islam has lost you and you hardly make sense.

    1. 1.1
      ema

      Isnt Feminism also about “Women Only”?

      No, it’s not.

    2. 1.2
      F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

      I’m afraid it is you who is not making sense.

    3. 1.3
      Me

      No, feminism is NOT about Women Only.

      1. Adnan

        Oh Comeon! it’s all about Women Women and Women, preparing them against men and making them independent.

        1. ema

          Once it’s been pointed out to you, repeatedly, that you’re a drunk, it’s best to take a moment and do a quick reality check.

        2. Mary2

          Adnan, interesting that you use ‘independent’ as a bad thing.

        3. F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

          You know nothing of feminism except the lies made by anti-feminists. Information is readily available, so educate yourself before spouting more bullshit. And then if you have a misunderstanding or substantive disagreement, we can discuss that.

        4. LykeX

          It’s also about men who care about women and have no desire to oppress them. In fact, a lot of us would very much prefer a more equal society and despise the thought of locking women up.

          Men can be feminists too and smart ones usually are.

          1. Haley

            LykeX, thank you. You are the man that civilization needs.

            Oh, and Adnan? Check out LykeX, because THIS is the kind of guy that women WANT. And when women WANT a man, he becomes more of a man.

            When women FEAR you, it means nothing except that YOU are fearful, thus you are less of a man.

  2. 2
    eric

    Sherri Tepper explored similar themes in The Gate To Women’s Country. Though that story’s background is post-apocalyptic west, not Islam.

  3. 3
    Phillip Helbig

    Why is “fuck you” considered a curse and not a blessing? In expressing disapproval, I choose terms which I personally don’t enjoy myself.

    1. 3.1
      Rilian

      I have an idea. It goes along with the idea that it is shameful to be fucked. One with a penis fucks another person and it’s violent and dominating, so the fucked one is weak. “Fuck you” is like “rape you, dominate you”.

      1. F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

        The other idea is that “fuck” has only ever referred to sex in limited circumstances. In fact, it is just like the much-hated phrase, “I’d hit that”.

  4. 4
    Sam C

    I don’t disagree with any of your opinions about how horrible Saudi Arabia is to women. Its rulers, both religious and secular, are vile, amoral, misogynistic, murdering creeps. They (the rulers) should not be allowed out of the country until they allow the people of the country to consider entering the 21st century… or at least make a start on the 20th.

    But the women-only city is not necessarily a bad thing in this context.

    It will allow women to do as they wish, to cooperate, collaborate, innovate, talk, laugh. Many Saudi women are well-educated, with tons of unused talent and energy waiting to burst out. They will succeed, unfettered by the aggravation of bullying male idiots trying to mess up their lives.

    Saudi women are in prison. They should be free. But they are not going to be free, not for a while. This is a much better sort of prison and might be a step on the right path. I welcome it in the absence of proper reform.

    1. 4.1
      mynameischeese

      “They will succeed, unfettered by the aggravation of bullying male idiots trying to mess up their lives.”

      Yeah. Or else they will live in this city until the bullying idiots show up to pick them out like you would cattle at the mart.

      You always have to be wary of ideas that look like “seperate but equal.”

      1. Mike

        What makes you think there won’t be religious police in this “Women Only” city. Somebody will start thinking that they’ll have to put a regime in place to keep all those women from running away with their emotions. The “Women Only” thing won’t last long and the women will be buried even farther underground than they already are.

      2. Mike

        Sorry, Hit the wrong reply button.

    2. 4.2
      Adnan

      Oh Yeah and Obama and Bush showered Roses over citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan. That is other things that they were lethal enough that it killed people.

      1. badweasel

        I don’t think you’d find many people here who support either the war in Afghanistan or Iraq.

        But please, what is the point you’re trying to make?

    3. 4.3
      leebrimmicombe-wood

      I don’t understand how a ghetto reprsents some kind of freedom?

  5. 5
    usingreason

    Who will drive in the city? I guess it will be pedestrian only.

  6. 6
    Ace of Sevens

    So it’s like “A Room of Her Own,” only more so?

    1. 6.1
      Taslima Nasreen

      A city of our own. Virginia Woolf would be very happy that not a room, we get offers to get an entire city of our own.

  7. 7
    Albert Bakker

    This idea is so dumb I don’t even know what to say. Man, future historians are not going to believe this and there’s a lot that’s hard to swallow.

  8. 8
    skeptifem

    I am surprised that no one is scared of the women teaming up and fighting back.

    1. 8.1
      Kausik Datta

      That is not surprising if you consider that this is a patriarchy which considers women to be sub-human chattel, perhaps even less valuable that livestock. After all, have you ever been afraid of, say, cows teaming together and fighting back (by asking people to eat more chicken) outside of those strange Chic-fil-A commercials? As Taslima rightly points out:

      I have also been thinking of your country and your religion. They both hate you, they treat you like a piece of shit.

      But some day…

      1. iknklast

        You need to see this…

        Cows with Guns.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQMbXvn2RNI

        Be afraid. Be very afraid. Maybe the women of Saudi Arabia will get their own “great cow guru”. Women aren’t cattle, and sooner or later, they’ll rebel, but I can understand the fear they feel. I was never forced into a burqua, but I did live most of my life in fear. Even now, I find myself having trouble standing up for myself, and I don’t have to deal with anything near what these women do. I will say with Taslima “FUCK YOU, SAUDI ARABIA!!!”

  9. 9
    kimberlymcguire

    Fuck Saudi Arabia!

  10. 10
    S Mukherjee

    I wonder, if every woman in Saudi Arabia came out on the street and tore off her burkha, what would happen. How many women would the religious police be able to put in jail?

    1. 10.1
      Kausik Datta

      That’s an august thought. But it is difficult to conceive of such a possibility in that country. Remember that the Middle East has already had over a century of secular feminist movements. Why are the women of these countries still oppressed, why does the world find that they are still denied their human right, their emancipation? Shahrzad Mozab and Amir Hassanpour, both professors at the University of Toronto, have argued that, aided by an absurd cultural relativism of the educated Western élite, the Islamic fundamentalist patriarchies in power in the Middle Eastern nations have been able to facilely reject feminism as a “derivative discourse” and “Western conspiracy”, thereby undermining and delegitimizing the voice of women and their struggle for human rights.

      In addition, chronic, systemic oppression can dehumanize people so much that they can, at times, be desensitized to the abuse and start siding with the oppressors. Haven’t you, for example, heard of the Islamic “Obedient Wives Clubs” gaining popularity in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Kazakhstan and Jordan?

    2. 10.2
      eric

      The first one would be punished. The second, punished harder. When authorities realized they had a full-scale movement on their hands, there would be blood in the streets.

      Not everyone is willing to give the ultimate sacrifice for political freedom. Authoritarian regimes know this. As the number of people protesting goes up, so does the viciousness of the response, precisely in order to prevent ‘what if everyone did it’ from happening. Everyone will not do it when the response ramps up to “kill without hesitation if they even look like they’re going to do it.”

    3. 10.3
      ik

      Whole populations never do things like that at the same time. Ever.

  11. 11
    Adnan

    Worrying about Saudia but not about backyard? :-)

    Allah has His own ways, something which Abu Lahab, Abu Jahal, Pharoroah, Nimroad and Taslima did not learn at all.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9rdah343dg

    1. 11.1
      Indo-athiest

      Why do Muslims have to advertise their ignorance and arrogance in the same breath? you need a different planet to kill each other and leave us mortals alone.

    2. 11.2
      ema

      Allah told me to tell you it’s in dire need of a GPS, seeing how it misplaced the last three ones it had.

      1. Adnan

        @Ema Don’t troll please, oh well it seems video has made you restless. You worry about Saudia while USA is going to be “Niqab COmpliant” sooner or later, inshaAllah.

        1. F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

          You are beyond hilarious.

        2. ema

          Dude, forget the video, I’m getting messages from Allah. And you calling Allah’s communiques trolling, tsk, tsk, tsk.

  12. 12
    Kahfre

    Fuck you Australia, too, for all those women-only swimming pools and gyms. Pardon me, I must be drunk,,,,….

    1. 12.1
      Kausik Datta

      Yes, you must be. If you had been in your senses, you probably would have realized how insanely ridiculous it is to compare between the proposed ghetto-like segregation of the already disempowered, abused women of Saudi Arabia by a sexist patriarchal authority, and the provision of separate exercise facilities to women in Australia where they can exercise in peace.

      1. Kahfre

        You don’t know much about the Western world, do you? Do you appreciate Saudi Arabia for not allowing alcohol in the country? No alcohol related violence and other problems. None whatsoever! How about not allowing gambling and porn and violence-infested movies and games? If you do, don’t think in black and white terms. Saudi Arabia has its many positive aspects, as do Western societies have their countless negative aspects. Both are a combination of Good and Bad.

        And just because women like Mariyam Namazee are dying to expose their breasts, it doesn’t mean every woman in the world wants to do that. I would say most women in Saudi Arabia would be more than happy with their lifestyles and their culture.

        1. Forbidden Snowflake

          Forbidding alcohol, gambling and porn is mostly stupid, since these things can be made/done illegally with few resources.
          Your attempt to feign caring about what SA women feel about the absurd modesty laws is fooling no one.

          1. Kahfre

            Forbidding alcohol, gambling and porn is mostly stupid, since these things can be made/done illegally with few resources.
            Your attempt to feign caring about what SA women feel about the absurd modesty laws is fooling no one.

            If you ask me, forbidding anything is stupid. But if you thought Western countries were not forbidding anything, just have a look at the drug laws in Western countries. Do you know how the US government managed to ban ecstasy in the early 80s?

            My guess is, most people in Western societies believe these bans on drugs are doing more good than harm, especially those who have young children. My other guess is, most Muslims in Muslim countries believe bans on things like alcohol, gambling, porn, and violence are doing much more good than harm. And I believe both parties have quite valid reasons to have such beliefs.

        2. badweasel

          I would assume that you have spoken with representative sample of Saudi Arabian women to make that assertion?

          Please list those positive aspects of Saudi Arabia.

          I would also like to see your arguments for why, if most Saudi women are happy in their situation, those that want more independance and be able to make choices in tehir life should be prevented from doing so.

          And please don’t use the argument that because the west bans some things its just as bad as SA. The west is not pefect by any means but its not medieval either.

          1. Kahfre

            I would assume that you have spoken with representative sample of Saudi Arabian women to make that assertion?

            Please list those positive aspects of Saudi Arabia.

            What assertion? That most of them women in Saudi Arabia would be happy with their culture?

            As for the positive aspects of Saudi Arabia, look at all the problems in Western societies that are associated with drinking alcohol, and gambling. These problems do not, or should not, exist in Saudi Arabia, because there is no alcohol and there is no gambling there.

            I would also like to see your arguments for why, if most Saudi women are happy in their situation, those that want more independance and be able to make choices in tehir life should be prevented from doing so.

            I never said that those women, or people, who want a change should be prevented from expressing their desires, or taking peaceful actions. If Saudi Arabia, for example, do not allow people to demonstrate on streets, then this is one of Saudi society’s negative aspects.

            But, if Saudi Arabia forces women to wear the burqa, then it should be seen within the context of that society, and not within the context of a typical Western society. Men, for example, in Western countries are quite used to the sight of females with bare legs and short tops with deep necklines, but such a sight would, or should, create intense sensational feelings in a typical Saudi man. It would be the equivalent of a young female walking naked in a public place in some Western country. What would be the chances of her being raped if she doesn’t get arrested? This is why most women would, or should, feel OK to wear a burqa there. To avoid those penetrating eyes, you know. It’s part of their culture. Just like wearing some clothes at all times in public places is part of Western culture, and most women are quite comfortable with this practice, and only a very small minority considers it a breach of their freedom.

            So, I wouldn’t say Saudi Arabia is doing a bad thing here by forcing women to wear the burqa.

            And please don’t use the argument that because the west bans some things its just as bad as SA. The west is not pefect by any means but its not medieval either.

            Of course not. There is obviously much more freedom in the West, especially when it comes to freedom of expressing yourself. This is one of West’s positive aspects. But then, if you have no need to not express yourself, then you would be quite content regardless of where you are.

            By the way, have you ever thought about speeding in a car or on a bike? Tell you what, the free West feels like a giant prison when it comes to speeding. Speeding kills, they say. Yeah right….Don’t speed, and you are fine and free. Speed too much, and you are behind the bars. Where is freedom in all of this?

          2. badweasel

            What assertion? That most of them women in Saudi Arabia would be happy with their culture?

            Yes that assertion. Quite clearly I mean that assertion. But don’t forget to answer the ‘lifestyle’ bit too.

            I would say most women in Saudi Arabia would be more than happy with their lifestyles and their culture.

            Now that is out of the way, do you want to reply to:

            I would assume that you have spoken with representative sample of Saudi Arabian women to make that assertion??

            Once you’ve done that we can move on.

            Men, for example, in Western countries are quite used to the sight of females with bare legs and short tops with deep necklines, but such a sight would, or should, create intense sensational feelings in a typical Saudi man. It would be the equivalent of a young female walking naked in a public place in some Western country. What would be the chances of her being raped if she doesn’t get arrested? This is why most women would, or should, feel OK to wear a burqa there. To avoid those penetrating eyes, you know. It’s part of their culture.

            Ah, so its the women who should be locked up to pretect them from the feels that you sat Saudi mesn should feel. I get ya. It is a woman’s fault if she gets raped or assaulted and it is her that should cover up to prevent that. Not that the men should change their behaviour. Oh no. Never ever should the men have to change.

            As for the positive aspects of Saudi Arabia, look at all the problems in Western societies that are associated with drinking alcohol, and gambling. These problems do not, or should not, exist in Saudi Arabia, because there is no alcohol and there is no gambling there.

            Utter bullshit!: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/07/wikileaks-cables-saudi-princes-parties Those problems exist in Saudi Arabia like they exist everywhere else. Denying a whole population their freedoms and rights to prevent some people developing an addiction is not a positive aspect.

            But then, if you have no need to not express yourself, then you would be quite content regardless of where you are.

            Why would you think people do not have a reason to express themselves? We all do. You are expressing yourself here? Do you think you or anyone has the right to prevent other people doing one of the most basic of human rights based aon the unproven assumption that not everyone does. Its part of being human, despite Saudi Arabia’s intent on reducing women to the role of bipedal breeding chattel.
            Anyway, I moved your previous quote near the end here to point out your false equivalance.

            By the way, have you ever thought about speeding in a car or on a bike? Tell you what, the free West feels like a giant prison when it comes to speeding. Speeding kills, they say. Yeah right….Don’t speed, and you are fine and free. Speed too much, and you are behind the bars. Where is freedom in all of this?

            Really. That is the best you can do? Lets see. If I speed then I am putting other people in danger. I am pushing my driving skills to the limit and doing the same to my car’s handling and I am more likely to crash. This is a good reason why there are speed limits and why they need to be enforced. When I drink I don’t put anybody at risk therefore the mere act of drinking should not be illegal. There should be specific laws in place in case I tried to drive drunk or became disorderly and violent. What a consenting adult does to themselves should not fall under the judgement of law. However that should change only if they put other people at risk.

            You sit there and say ‘well SA has its bad points but then not everyone there wants to do xxxx so therefore its okay that’s banned.’ Or ‘The West bans this so its okay that SA bans that’. That’s not an argument.
            Saudi Arabia needs to change and it won’t ever change if it maintains the status quo. But then I don’t think you want it to change.

          3. Kahfre

            What assertion? That most of them women in Saudi Arabia would be happy with their culture?

            I don’t know for sure. As you said, it’s just an assertion. But maybe the reason I made this assertion is because, for starters, they have these restrictions enforced mainly because of their religion, Islam, and as you would know, Muslims are generally very protective of their religion. In the end, I would say they would be as much happy or unhappy with their culture as average Westerners would be happy or unhappy with their cultures. This is because the West is more free only if we make a comparison with the East. Relatively free. Like, women in the West can wear shorter clothes and they don’t have to cover themselves in a burqa; but women in the West certainly cannot walk naked in public places? What if we had a culture here that allowed men and women to walk naked on the streets, and have sex, and we had some very annoying people in that culture who were preaching the Westerners to give their citizens more freedom by allowing them to walk naked and have sex in the public? All of the a sudden, the free West would feel like a very constrictive place, wouldn’t it?

            The point is, a society’s values and customs should be seen within the context of that society first to understand why they exist in the first place. Then, find a suitable way to change them if changing them is required.

            I would say most women in Saudi Arabia would be more than happy with their lifestyles and their culture.

            Now that is out of the way, do you want to reply to:

            I would assume that you have spoken with representative sample of Saudi Arabian women to make that assertion??

            I repeat. It is just an assertion. Not a fact. It is very hard to admit, but I admit nevertheless… I could be completely wrong here.

            Once you’ve done that we can move on.

            Ah, so its the women who should be locked up to pretect them from the feels that you sat Saudi mesn should feel. I get ya. It is a woman’s fault if she gets raped or assaulted and it is her that should cover up to prevent that. Not that the men should change their behaviour. Oh no. Never ever should the men have to change.

            This is a complete distortion of what I said. I was just describing, in general terms, how sexually evolved a certain culture is. It is no one’s fault that Saudi men would find it extremely hard to control their sexual impulses when they see women in revealing clothes. This is the way they are. And since this is the way they are, it makes sense to avoid any possibility which would unleash powerful and uncontrollable sexual urges in those men. Doesn’t it?

            Plus, the second part is, if we would like to see a change there, then I think it makes sense to let them take small baby steps toward the change. For example, instead of expecting Saudi Women to jump straight from the burqa to the bikini or mini skirts, and expect Saudi men to comply accordingly, expect something like this: Burqa–> Small Burqa –> Smaller Burqa –> No Burqa –> No head coverings or veils –> Bare arms Bare legs –> A little cleavage –> More cleavage –> Even more cleavage –> The Bikini –> Topless beaches, and so on and so forth.

            Unless, of course, you were expecting a revolution there, in which case, we may expect anything.

            Utter bullshit!: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/07/wikileaks-cables-saudi-princes-parties Those problems exist in Saudi Arabia like they exist everywhere else. Denying a whole population their freedoms and rights to prevent some people developing an addiction is not a positive aspect.

            Oh no. That Guardian article is utter bullshit if you think it represents the whole nation. There are no casinos, no bars, no pubs, no alcohol in Saudi Arabia. True, they could never ever completely eliminate anything by banning it, but the country in general is free of such problems. Especially, considering that all of such activities are also forbidden by Islam and carry heavy penalties, which may include losing one of your limbs. Do you think gambling or drinking alcohol is worth the risk of losing your limb?

            Why would you think people do not have a reason to express themselves? We all do. You are expressing yourself here? Do you think you or anyone has the right to prevent other people doing one of the most basic of human rights based aon the unproven assumption that not everyone does. Its part of being human, despite Saudi Arabia’s intent on reducing women to the role of bipedal breeding chattel.

            I have already said I do not support Saudi Arabia, or the entire Middle East, on this. The West has far more freedom, gives far more rights to its citizens, and has far less corruption. There is no comparison here. What I meant was, there are people amongst us to whom other aspects of life are far more important than idealogical issues like humans rights, freedom of expression, female rights, and so on. Like, half the population of India, around 600 million people, would be far more concerned about finding decent food and shelter and clothes than anything else.

            Really. That is the best you can do? Lets see. If I speed then I am putting other people in danger. I am pushing my driving skills to the limit and doing the same to my car’s handling and I am more likely to crash. This is a good reason why there are speed limits and why they need to be enforced. When I drink I don’t put anybody at risk therefore the mere act of drinking should not be illegal. There should be specific laws in place in case I tried to drive drunk or became disorderly and violent. What a consenting adult does to themselves should not fall under the judgement of law. However that should change only if they put other people at risk.

            Oh yeah I agree. Speeding too much is obviously a risk to everybody on the road. But in the city where I live, they have damn cameras on every major damn road. They have fixed cameras, mobile cameras, red light cameras, railway crossings cameras, and God knows what else cameras. Some of it makes sense. But, at 5′o clock in the morning, on an empty city road, where the speed limit is 60 kmH, what if you get busted for doing 67 kmH on a mighty powerful car! And the next thing you know, you get a love letter asking you to deposit 150 dollars in your lover’s bank account. This is insanity. If going 7kmh over the limit of 60kmH is so bloody dangerous, why not destroy all the cars and go back to those horse and doneky carts? No, some of it makes no sense, except that it is way for governments to make money cheaply and easily. You know they have no speed limits on the Autobahn in Germany? And they have far less traffic accidents as compared to those countries that enforce speed limits like mad dogs?

            You sit there and say ‘well SA has its bad points but then not everyone there wants to do xxxx so therefore its okay that’s banned.’ Or ‘The West bans this so its okay that SA bans that’. That’s not an argument.
            Saudi Arabia needs to change and it won’t ever change if it maintains the status quo. But then I don’t think you want it to change.

            Oh, I do want them to change. Actually, if you ask me, a no-casualty revolution would not be a bad idea there. Take all the money from those playboy kings and princes and distribute it evenly amongst the citizens. But, since the Saudi people are not demanding such a change en masse, it means their urge to remain in their current state is stronger than their urge to go to a different state. When all is said and done, it is up to them to decide how they want to live. I am only trying to make some observations here, as an impartial observer!

          4. jmst

            I’m not going to address much of the rest, especially since I’m not seeing a lot of new argumentst that badweasel hasn’t already addressed, but there’s one particularly bad non sequitur I have to call you out for:

            But, since the Saudi people are not demanding such a change en masse, it means their urge to remain in their current state is stronger than their urge to go to a different state.

            Nothing like that follows. It could mean that their urge to stay alive is stronger than their urge to go to a different state, or that they lack belief that a change of state is even possible at this point. People will only go for change when (a) they wish for change, (b) they think that change is achievable, and (c) their assessment is that the cost of fighting for change is worth the prize. General tranquility among the populace does not imply that all of these factors are missing, it only implies that at least one is absent, and you have no grounds for claiming that the one that’s most wanting is (a). You are not going to claim that Egyptians in December 2010, or Russian workers in January 1917, or the Polish in the months before Solidarność took steam, loved the status quo, are you? What changed was mostly factor (b) – change, which had previously looked like an unachievable utopia, suddenly looked like a realistic possibility which one could help bring about with one’s own deeds.

          5. Kahfre

            Nothing like that follows. It could mean that their urge to stay alive is stronger than their urge to go to a different state, or that they lack belief that a change of state is even possible at this point. People will only go for change when (a) they wish for change, (b) they think that change is achievable, and (c) their assessment is that the cost of fighting for change is worth the prize. General tranquility among the populace does not imply that all of these factors are missing, it only implies that at least one is absent, and you have no grounds for claiming that the one that’s most wanting is (a). You are not going to claim that Egyptians in December 2010, or Russian workers in January 1917, or the Polish in the months before Solidarność took steam, loved the status quo, are you? What changed was mostly factor (b) – change, which had previously looked like an unachievable utopia, suddenly looked like a realistic possibility which one could help bring about with one’s own deeds.

            Yeah, I agree. What I said was simple, but what you said sheds more light on it, and expands it.

        3. Haley

          Kahfre,
          In one of your responses below, you assert that Saudi Arabian men basically can’t help themselves when they see a scantily clad woman. So, you pretty much just admitted that Saudi Arabian men lack the ability to control themselves and must be controlled. We women will happily take that control off your hands since you can’t seem to mitigate your sexual desires to act like normal, civilized human beings!
          Oh, and by the way? The female revolution is already happening. It can’t be undone. So get ready and accept it.

    2. 12.2
      F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

      Or just proudly ignorant.

  13. 13
    mas528

    I doubt that what I am going to say is half right, but:

    I am going to try a positive interpretation, although I don’t really believe it. It isn’t “separate but equal” either.

    Maybe its a step, but only a step in the right direction.

    This is SA. A socially regressive nation. I cannot even imagine how regressive.

    Women cannot do anything without permission.

    The people there are not going to change into a western style democracy in the next (abitrary timespan) years.

    This city (if it actually is women only, no male mayor, police force or religious police) might allow them tp drive, to go outside, to work, to not wear burka.

    It may give Saudi progressives an example to work. “women drive, go to cafes, and go without burka there, why not here?”

    I guess to get the citizenry used to the idea.

    This is the most positive spin I can put on this development.

    This again, assumes that this really is women only and not women overseen by men. .

    1. 13.1
      eric

      This city (if it actually is women only, no male mayor, police force or religious police) might allow them tp drive, to go outside, to work, to not wear burka.

      Do you really think SA is going to give women political self-governance in these enclaves? If so, I have a bridge city to sell you.

    2. 13.2
      ik

      They might do it accidentally.

  14. 14
    cello

    I don’t know that it is much of a parallel but WWII brought U.S. women into the work force, mostly in the absence of men. And that did turn out to be a turning point wrt women’s rights. I am not so negative on this – could turn out to be quite the opportunity.

  15. 15
    Ihab Ismail

    I think the term is not well understood. In Saudi Arabia they are calling the word “City” on Academy or Complex containing some sort of grouping, such as “Knowledge City” or “Talent City” …etc.
    The new city is supposed to open opportunity for women to manage their businesses in more freedom that the current conditions. Even if we don’t fully agree with the idea, but you may see it as one step forward for women to get more freedom.

    1. 15.1
      Albert Bakker

      Yeah I think history has proven the idea of housing laborers in closed communities in the immediate vicinity of factories has always been very conducive to the ideal of personal freedom.

      I suspect in this case also the complete segregation of women in labor camps, excuse me cities, and banishment from Saudi public life will do wonders for the promotion of gender equality in the medieval kingdom.

  16. 16
    ashleybell

    I always suspected the men there were all of the gay women-hating variety. Once the women are under lockdown, the homosexual orgy can begin! I mean, there can be no other explanation. I love having women conspicuously in my world. I like having them as friends, I like flirting, and dating, and on top of that, I really adore my mom and sisters. I guess the loveless hate-fucking that these men commit with their women will have to do until the dirty bitches are all locked up and the men-only suck and fuck fest can begin!

    1. 16.1
      steve84

      I read an article once that same-sex behavior is very common in SA. Not because people are actually gay, but because of the extreme gender segregation for many it’s the only way to get some sex. It’s like in prison. Without any options, people will turn to their own gender.

      1. ashleybell

        You know, I actually suspected that. It’s just such an alien and unhealthy approach to women that I can’t wrap my head around it. And so the men are miserable too which is even more tragic in that they are the ones who can stop it. Culture can be a real motherfucker

      2. ik

        Do you have any specific sources for that? I have wondered about that sort of thing SOOOOOO much. Unlike a lot of societies where premarital sex had severe consequences if there was evidence of it or if the lovers failed to marry, yet was still common, the super-conservative Islamic nations have a system that might prevent any such dalliances.

      3. Haley

        Steve84,
        I read that article, too! http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/05/the-kingdom-in-the-closet/305774/

  17. 17
    gordon Penny

    Dear Taslima,

    The classic vision of a womans only land ‘Sultana’s Dream’ by Begum Rokeya, inspired writing indeed.
    Sounds like not such a bad thing for the ladies to get their own city, better still if they are granted a complete part of Saudi Arabia to themselves, a woman only province, governed and run by women, with a proportunate share of the oil revinues of the country. How nice for the ladies to be able to go to a clothes shop and have other ladies do a bra fitting for them, instead of the current crazy system of only men serving them. Free to walk about with nice fashionable clothes, no men to stare at them and treat them like dogs. No forced sex. Free to run their own businesses without male interference. Drive round in a nice car to a restaurant etc. Perhaps free to have the choice of a lovingh lesbian relationship. Sounds like heaven to me compared to these ladies current status !!

    1. 17.1
      eric

      Wow gordon Penny, you have convinced me of the wonders of such a place. I only have one question for you: do you think the women should call their place a “reservation” or a “ghetto?”

      [/snark]. In theory it might work. But look at history. In practice, whether by intentional design or just poor implementation, it never actually does work. Always, always, always, the isolated group gets the shaft.

  18. 18
    gordon Penny

    Allah would not like this at all, he likes women to be nothing more than domestics, sex slaves and concubines !!
    Perhaps take it one step further and divide the whole country up into male and female provinces. I bet the female part would prosper and be crime free , whilst the male part would collapse quickly unless they had third world servants to do all their work for them, imagine saudi men having to cook , clean and do the everyday household chores, whilst going to work as well, useless creeps.

    1. 18.1
      ik

      I kind of doubt that. People can adapt just fine. More likely, the women’s parts would develop in such ways as to crush feminism’s dreams. Which is kind of sad.

  19. 19
    Fille

    Thank God I live in Saudi Arabia. Its so safe for women. Not like other countries where women are used like playing objects in the name of giving them independence. The west was so good till about 6 or 7 decades ago, when women were dressed completely, they were looked upon with respect. But today women in the west uncover themselves for these men in the name of fashion and they are looked upon with lustfull eyes of wild animals under the skin of Humans. Thank god again … I live in a country where women are covered, respected and safe.

  20. 20
    Fille

    Read the bible … it says to cover women and not uncover them.
    Whats the use of saying this, its sad that todays generation has no religious ethics. Girls as well as boys are on a miserable path of enjoyment that leads them to nowhere but Hell. Have a nice trip all u independent guys…. No plans to see you all again.. Enjoy your Hell.

    1. 20.1
      Bernard Hurley

      What a nasty piece of work you are, Fille. You actually enjoy the idea of your stupid God torturing people for ever for no good reason. It’s because people have sick fantasies like that that the world is such a terrible place. What right have you to say things like this to people you don’t know and have never met? Do you want to make enemies of decent human beings?

  21. 21
    naked pictures

    It’s truly a great and useful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  22. 22
    Miss Andrist

    Fuck Saudi Arabia. Seriously. Just… Fuck that country. It is the worst place in the world. Honestly, I’d much rather be Frollo’s sex slave that live in that dirty, misogynous country. Oh yeah, I wrote that! I’d rather be Frollo’s sex slave! (Or Borat’s; I guess it doesn’t matter.) Whoever outlawed women’s rights in Saudi Arabia is pure evil, plain and simple. If I were offered to mass murder every man in Saudi Arabia and put all the women on a barge headed for one of our philogynous first-world countries, I’d jump at the chance right away. You know? Because these women deserve better than to live in a separate town like they’re a fucking minority.

    (P.S. if you’re a Saudi man and you’re reading this right now, I’d like to say, fuck you, and fuck your sexist country. If I had the power to damn people to hell, I’d do just that to you and your people. You sick fucks. And yes, I did mean to offend you. Live with it. Get a fucking life. End of story. >:( )

  1. 23
    A city in a ditch | Butterflies and Wheels

    [...] very pissed off at Saudi Arabia, and rightly so. It’s planning to build women-only cities, Caroline Davies reports. A [...]

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