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Apr 09 2013

Saudi women are allowed to cycle, but not to go anywhere

cycle

Women are allowed to cycle, but not to go anywhere: They have to be nowhere else but in parks, to be dressed in full Islamic body coverings and accompanied by a male relative. They are allowed to bike for recreational purposes only, not as a primary mode of transportation.

I would have thought women were not allowed to drive but allowed to cycle in Saudi Arabia if I did not read the recent news on lifting ban on women’s cycling. Now I know that Saudi women did not have the right to cycle until this week. I now know that it is a crime for them to cycle to a nearby park without accompanied by a male relative, and even if they are accompanied by a male relative it is a crime for women to cycle to a nearby hospital to see their sick parents or children.

I tell you what exactly happened in Saudi Arabia. Women who are in prison cells for their crime being women are now allowed to walk on a narrow and dark prison cell corridor while they are heavily shackled and guarded by the prison guard.

15 comments

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  1. 1
    Guy Otten

    Why do women in Saudi Arabia put up with this sort of oppression?

    1. 1.1
      Taslima Nasreen

      I ask the same question. I understand that they have been brainwashed to be slave of men. But there should be some brains difficult to get washed. Why don’t they start revolution against Islam and misogyny? They will probably do, but in our lifetime.

    2. 1.2
      M can help you with that.

      That’s the thing (well, one among many) about forms of oppression that keep the oppressed people isolated: it makes organizing to resist the oppression extraordinarily difficult. Not impossible, but still.

    3. 1.3
      Febin

      Unfortunate cultural evolution…..emancipation of women is a slow process….even in the most ‘advanced of countries gender-bias is still prevalent if not to this degree….in a decade or so as the net babies bloom and take reigns of power we can hope a better situation unfolds

  2. 2
    Sagar

    ridding cycle it’s impossible in KSA. bcz in Saudi Arabia’s weather is very very hot.

    1. 2.1
      Taslima Nasreen

      Are men not allowed to cycle because it is very very hot?

    2. 2.2
      David Hart

      If this is true, then it’s all the more important that everyone be allowed to drive, surely?

    3. 2.3
      michaelbusch

      No. Where I live in New Mexico, I can and do ride my bicycle to work every day of the year (unless we get a thunderstorm). It is somewhat cooler here than in Riyadh in the summer, but warmer than it is there for 8 months out of the year. Bicycling is entirely possible in Saudi Arabia. Just be sure to drink plenty of water.

      It would not be a particularly good idea to cycle there while covered in lots of loose-fitting black cloth, at least not while going at any very great speed. That’s both because black clothes lead to more sweating when you’re in the sunlight and because loose hanging fabric getting stuck in a bicycle chain is bad. But dress codes are separate from women being allowed and able to ride, although both are parts of the larger problem.

      1. michaelbusch

        And a bit of Googling informs me that there is a fairly large bicycle club in Jubail (albeit mainly expatriates) that has organized several long bicycle races during the middle of summer.

  3. 3
    soafree

    LOL!! I am expecting a reply from Mr. Sagol, ops! Sagar.

  4. 4
    Hamilton Jacobi

    They should just be honest about their intentions and put up big exercise wheels for the hamsters women to run on.

  5. 5
    Offer Binshtok

    :) true or a joke :) ???

  6. 6
    Gareth

    Saudis are doing it wrong, I’ve been to the Netherlands and seen how its done, the woman sits sideways on the back, and the man does the pedaling. They’ll never achieve mass cycling in KSA this way.

  7. 7
    Mriganka Bhattacharyya

    I share your posts in Facebook. But I know my western liberal friends would like to ignore such posts. So far as I know about the western liberals, the more you support the the Islamic fundamentalists, the more peaceful and open-minded you will be called. Now-a-days I like FTB more than FB. I often get pissed off by the angles’ stories, ‘don’t judge anyone’ kind of posts in Facebook and switch to FTB to hear some truth. Truth can hurt you but cannot harm you. :)

  8. 8

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