Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Saudi Ban on Women Drivers Is Stupid

Put everything aside and answer this, if women cannot drive themselves, how will they get around? Maybe some in Saudi Arabia don't trust their ladies to get around, but what happens is the following:

The family hires a foreigner who is humble enough to act as a driver for the household. Those foreign drivers are no saints, they are many stories and incidents where the drivers have made a pass at the women they are driving. Two things are possibly the outcome the outcome:

  1. The woman talks, damages her own reputation and the foreign driver gets executed.
  2. The women keeps silent to preserve herself from shame and embarrassment (crazy I know), the driver keeps harassing other people or become more aggressive.
Not all drivers in the Kingdom are sexual predator, but the chances of this happening is real and to argue otherwise is burring ones head in the sand. Sure the driver is often underpaid, and cannot afford to bring his own family to live with him.

What if the family does not have a private driver (those are often a sing of social status and prestige) The female has to ask a male relative to take her to run her errands. The male can always say no or use that as an advantage point to get the female to do him favors or act nicely toward him. So if she wants to go visit her girlfriend in Saudi Arabia, a male has to take her there. Which in turn teaches young girls not to be independent and to be an extension of some male figure.

I have known a lot of Saudis throughout my life and come to conclude that many of them are intelligent and capable people who want to shatter those taboos. To me the ban in Saudi Arabia is about male ego and outdated social customs that have no place in today's world.

P.S. I do not personally drive and never have, so I know what it means to be in need of a ride!




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