Feminism is like nightmare for many Muslim countries. If all of a sudden Muslim women are allowed to do everything that Muslim men can do, the Muslim world will turn upside down. This is probably one of the reasons why women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive. It seems that local authorities assume that driving gives women too much independence.
The scandal in the country occurred after a local citizen, a female, committed an unacceptable act: she dared to drive a car. The woman filmed her test drive, uploaded the video on the Internet and urged other women in Saudi Arabia to follow her example.
The woman was arrested soon afterwards. Many of those, who were enraged with the challenging act, opened a special group on Facebook. The campaign was called Ikal - after the rope, which Saudi men use as belts. Group members believe that such freedom-loving women should be punished with ikals for their actions. On June 17, Ikal activists are going to organize a demonstration to protest against feminism.
It is not hard to understand Saudi men: they are not used to dealing with free and independent women. A Saudi woman may play the leading role at home, but she can hardly breathe outside her house without her husband's permission. Saudi women are not allowed to drive or hitchhike in the streets. What is worse, they are not allowed to ride a car as a passenger alone, without the company of a male relative.
Saudi women were allowed to work and make their living, but it happened just a while ago. If a woman wants to work, she must receive a permission from her husband for it in the first place. If allowed, women can work mostly in either education and healthcare, where they will not be able to interact with other men. As for communication with men, Saudi women are only allowed to communicate with male relatives, their family members.
More than a half of Saudi females with higher education do not work. When going out, a Saudi woman is supposed to cover her face with clothes. If a woman aged under 45 wants to leave the country for a journey, she is supposed to obtain a permission for it from a man. To put it in a nutshell, a Saudi woman can not exist without a man.
All of those rules touch upon each and every woman in the country, young and elderly alike. A couple of years ago, a 75-year-old widow was sentenced to 40 lashes, four months in jail and deportation from the country. The woman was punished so just because she asked her nephew and his friend to bring her some bread. The nephew's father claimed that the elderly woman dared to communicate with young men. The men were lashed and jailed too.
What about Saudi women? Are they happy with what they have in their homeland? Many European women, who visited the Kingdom and had to observe local laws and traditions there, said that being a woman in Saudi Arabia was quite enjoyable. There are many stores and beauty salons in the country. If a woman has a good husband, she lives a happy life.
However, even Oriental women may show their teeth at times. Several years ago, a group of women urged their female countrywomen to boycott women's underwear stores. The reason for the boycott was a remarkable one indeed. The women were concerned about the fact that only men were allowed to work in the stores selling women's lingerie. Female customers were thus forced to discuss intimate and delicate things with male strangers.