Driving Out Saudi Arabia’s Virgins?

Frank Crimi is a San Diego-based writer and author of the book Raining Frogs and Heart Attacks. You can read more of Frank's work at his blog,www.politicallyunbalanced.com.


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Yet, as oppressive as life may be for Saudi women, it should be noted that many women are truly divided about whether the country’s rulers should ease restrictive gender policies, fearful they might have to assume responsibilities they are incapable of undertaking.

As one Saudi woman said, “I see how American women have to run around the city running errands, and I don’t want to open that door. As long as women driving are banned, no one will have these expectations for me.”

That viewpoint came to the forefront in a 2009 effort to urge King Abdullah to not give in to local activists and international human rights organizations regarding Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system.

Under current Saudi law, a Saudi woman must have a male “guardian,” be it her father, brother, husband or even son. These guardians are responsible for deciding every woman’s major life decisions, from choosing whom to marry to taking a job to travelling abroad.

Yet, in 2009 a Saudi woman in collaboration with members of the Saudi royal family organized a campaign to strengthen the Saudi guardianship system called “My Guardian Knows What’s Best for Me.”

Still, despite cultural, religious and political obstacles, small steps are being made to lift Saudi women out from beneath the leaden heel of Saudi men.

The most recent example came when Saudi Arabia faced a threatened ban on its participation at the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games for not allowing female athletes to join its all-male contingent, a daunting demand given Saudi Arabia forbids women from participating in sports.

It should be noted, however, that Saudi Arabian reluctance to have girls participate in sports has an interesting justification in Sunni eyes. As one Saudi journalist explained, “Clerics have warned that running and jumping can damage a woman’s hymen and ruin her chances of getting married.”

Nevertheless, the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee (SAOC) managed to overcome the issue when it announced that a woman could join the Saudi Olympic team, albeit with the caveat that they be living abroad.

As such, Dalma Rushdi Malhas, an 18-year-old equestrienne who won a bronze medal in the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympics, will reportedly be Saudi Arabia’s first Olympic female athlete, a brilliant choice that should pose no problems for the religious folk back home as horseback riders are fully clothed and expose only their hands and faces.

So, now, having won the right to ride a horse in public, all eyes are focused on seeing if Saudi women can take the next natural step and drive a motorized vehicle.

That decision can’t come soon enough for Shaima Jastaniya, a 34-year-old Saudi woman, who was arrested recently for having driven her car in the Saudi city of Jeddah and sentenced to 10 lashes.

However, Shaima, the Rosa Parks of Saudi Arabia, wasn’t driving to draw attention to the driving ban nor trolling for men as Professor Subhi may believe. Instead, she was trying to get to a hospital but couldn’t find a male relative to drive her.

While her case is on appeal, Shaima, according to a friend, “is frightened and very confused.” If it’s any comfort to Shaima, there are millions of other Saudi women who feel the same way.

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  • meekee

    The way some women drive perhaps the Saudis have a point!!

    • vatipaaperkele

      Idiot. The way you "think" perhaps you should move to S-arabia to live with your soulmates.

  • bugstopper

    perhaps as the veil of oppression, subjugation, and ignorance is lifted from women in the muslim world they will find out what useless pieces of crap many muslim men are.

    • nasir

      haha you sound like someone just flushed the toilet into your head … hate monger

  • nasir

    Hey Frank, seems like you have a very light hand on presenting factually incorrect argument … i lived in saudi arabia … you cant touch a women there mate … its a tribal society … you get screwed if you even lay an eye on her … women there rule … the most police can do is stop them and then let em go … for a change try living there and maybe you would decide to make a more honest attempt at journalism ….

  • http://madaboutmahound.blogspot.com/ Gary Rumain

    Don't they marry their sharmutas off at 6? Just make the legal driving age older than that and no problemo.

  • Johnson

    Not that you actually have to live somewhere to have a valid opinion, but just to clarify up front, I did live there for 3 years. It will never be about having something practical for women. It will always be about control of one half of the society over the other half. There is nothing in Islam or the Koran that says women can't drive, because cars would not be invented for another 1250 years. It is all about power and control. Men fear women, and as long as they control them, they do not have to be accountable for their actions. As far as losing all the virgins go, I'm not sure where they would go. The author obviously has no idea of the headaches and paperwork involved in getting into neighboring countries on the Saudi border. It definitely would not be as easy as he seems to think for the "virgins" to get out of the country.

  • Kim

    @ Johnson – I don't think he was implying that the "virgins" would leave the country, he was implying that letting women drive would cause them to have pre-marital sex and lose their virginity. By giving women the freedom to drive themselves places, they would be able to meet up with men and have sex easier.

  • PAthena

    President Obama bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia at the beginning of his term of office. But his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just criticized Israel because Orthodox Jews there insist on separating the sexes.

    • No Dhimmi

      Maybe if Israel had loads of oil, Clinton would have bowed to the Orthodox Jews.

  • No Dhimmi

    These lunatics are obsessed with female virginity – they are promised, after all, with 72 VIRGINS if they murder infidels. The whole cult seems to be based on preserving a female's virginity – that shallow nonsense seems to be all there is to it.

    It's a mental illness, period. The problem is that this mental illness is spreading around the globe at frightening speed.

    • Questions

      You're right. But don't think for a minute any of this lets orthodox Christians and Jews off the hook. They believe the same crapola about virginity that the Muslims do. They just enforce their strictures with a less heavy hand.

  • curmudgeon_1

    the islamonazis may have a valid point. in the u.s., girls get their licenses at age 16, and by age 17 there is hardly a virgin to be found. even worshipers of an evil god and venerators of a criminal prophet can be right every century or so.

  • Texasron

    The Saudis have it all wrong. Women driving will hasten Global Warming.

  • http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/ ApolloSpeaks

    If women are allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia the KIngdom will have no virgins in ten years? Does this mean that if women are allowed to drive today that all virgins who remain untouched by men will miraculously lose their virginity within the next ten years? And that all female babies will be born non-virgins, as punishment from Allah?

    Still, I don't get it. If Mohammad's wives were allowed by their husband to ride camels and horses independently then why can't Saudi women drive cars? What was allowed by the prophet should be lawful for all Moslems and respected by all Moslem clerics and rulers, no?

  • Joe

    All this nonsense reveals the filthiness of the male Muslim mind. They don't seem capable of controlling themselves sexually but then, so much of their religion is influenced by sex
    e.g. Mo was a pedophile and rapist and paradise consists of 72 virgins or pretty boys in the case of homos. This is why terrorists are prepared to kill themselves – for sex !!!

  • Amused

    Gee how many male virgins are there ? Oh wait ! Men dont have hymens so how could anyone tell ? Hey this is all about muslim men and the urge for women they can not control ,ergo they seek to enslave and demean that which controls their desires . They rape ,and then blame the woman .Or the woman gets raped and then gets punished for being the victim . Truly a peversion of moral code .

    • Walter E. Welton

      A couple of months ago I read an article that stated so many men of the Islamic faith had enjoyed homosexual sex for so long, that when they eventually got married, they had no idea as to how to consummate the union nor how to procreate children. It is no wonder then why those of that faith are so into porn – it is truly basic sexual education for the illiterate and uneducated!