Attention Blue Abaya readers all over the world! I’m going to go ahead and post this, despite the chances that Blue Abaya website will be blocked by the “Magic Internet Fairy” in Saudi Arabia, who absolutely detests seeing anything related to the Saudi Women Driving Campaign. I guess he’s the “Our women are Queens, the Most Precious Pearls, who we pamper with drivers and want to protect from the dangerous traffic and bad drivers out there” -type of guy. He might have been the Master-Mind behind last year’s ANTI Women Driving Campaign. Read about it in this post: “26th October, The Day the World Almost Came to an End“.
Why am I posting this? Because that’s just how I roll. I can’t stay silent if I see blatant human right’s violations or any kind of injustice or discrimination based on race, religion or as in this case, gender. I’m also not the type to bury my head in the sand dunes whenever something goes wrong or gets too complicated.
And who am I kidding here? The women (not) driving issue is one of the most, if not THE most debilitating, humiliating, oppressing and life quality-diminishing aspect of living as a female in Saudi Arabia. So this is personal, ya’ll.
And I know I’m not alone. There are thousands of men and women, Saudi and non-Saudi residents, who are fed up and want change.
Really. Enough is enough. It’s 2014.
Women need to start driving yesterday. We need to take our kids to school. We need to go to work, meetings and doctors appointments.
We need to have this basic human right NOW.
We are tired of being forced to rely on the unreliable drivers. We are fed up with taxi drivers that treat us like dirt.
We are really sick and tired of the perverts that cohabit that tiny space with us, and we have no other choice of getting to where we NEED to go but to deal with it.
We are done dealing with drivers lying, yelling or cursing at us. Not picking up their phones or showing up, leaving us in trouble. How many women have been dumped in the middle of roads because the driver had a bad day? If we found the rare gem driver who actually knows AND follows the traffic rules, he for sure will not be following our directions or wishes. Why? Because knows he has that power over us. And he will take full advantage of it.
How many women have been stuck at home with a sick kid, waiting for a driver for what seems to be forever? Worse yet if there’s a medical emergency? The despair and feeling of complete helplessness is unfathomable.
Only women living in Saudi Arabia will know exactly how utterly frustrating it is, seeing that little boy driving a car right beside us. While we are sitting in a car which we would be fully licensed, capable and WILLING to drive, yet find ourselves hurdled in the backseat, behind the blackened windows, feeling almost as if we don’t even exist.
For crying out loud how does a male sexual organ license a person to drive?
Because a bee-nis is really the only defining factor for persons to be allowed to drive cars in Saudi Arabia.
It doesn’t matter if you’re underaged, heck even a kid.
No need for a driving license either. Everyone knows males were born licensed.
Driving skills? Who needs them if you’ve got the right chromosome! That means you have natural talent.
How about owning a car, valid international driver’s license and maybe even an exceptionally clean driving record? Nope ,they will not guarantee you can drive, if you lack that certain extra asset.
How did it become Islamically acceptable anyway, that this unrelated male, basically a stranger, that doesn’t even share a common language with us, who doesn’t even have a valid driver’s license from his country of origin, let alone a local one, is driving us around, among thousands other unskilled drivers such as him?
How on earth did this become the ‘safest’ option?
Is this not totally absurd?
Is this how Queens are treated, really?
If women in Saudi Arabia are treated like the Queens they say we are, then why are we, more often than not, spoken to and treated like children?
Queens have power. Queens are respected. A Queen’s word is the last word.
I have the feeling there are no real Queens in Saudi Arabia. Only Princesses, driven around in carriages, that’s all. The elite 5% of the princesses might be lucky to have a golden carriage and a knight in shining armor driving it, but the rest of us pheasants are stuck with the pumpkins and trolls.
And then we have these nay sayers, telling us that allowing women to drive on the Saudi roads will cause problems such as, more cars on the roads, more traffic congestion.
Well here’s a simple math lesson for you:
Driver takes woman to work in the morning, drives car back home. Goes again in the afternoon to pick up woman from work, drives her home. In the evening driver takes woman to her parents house, goes back home. Comes late in the evening to pick up woman, drives her home again.
TOTAL= 8 car rides.
Woman drives to work in the morning. Drives home in afternoon. Drives to parents house. Stays a couple of hours, drives herself back home.
TOTAL= 4 car rides.
See? It’s actually the other way around, dummies!
And that’s just one hypothetical situation, it could be even more rides back and forth with the driver.
How about the type of guy I mentioned at the beginning of this post? That guy who wants to keep his jewels protected? He doesn’t want women to drive nor will he allow his female relatives to drive themselves because…
The Saudi roads are SO dangerous! How could she possibly drive among those crazy, bad drivers?
YES indeed! Those EXACT same crazy and/or unlicensed drivers and dangerous roads where she is currently riding on, in the passenger seat.
How the heck is that different? Same traffic, roads and same crazy drivers! Actually, if women were driving on the roads, I bet you they would be far less crazy, less congested and less ridden with accidents.
Whoever came up with this genius excuse deserves the Nobel prize for Illogicality.
If you believe that women in Saudi Arabia who want to drive (not everyone does, but so what), should have the CHOICE to do so IF they wish (nobody will be forced to drive), then there’s something you can do to help.
#Oct26Driving campaign needs YOUR help! In addition to signing the petition, here’s what all you amazing, awesome people out there can do to help women finally get behind the wheel in KSA!!
“Please support the Oct 26 Saudi Women driving campaign by sending a video of yourself talking about the ban and calling for it to be lifted. Not more than a minute and to ask others to do the same. It can be in any language you like. And it should be about a minute or two long.”
Send them your support videos to this email: Oct26driving@gmail.com
Read more from Susie of Arabia’s fabulous blog here: Send in Your Video to Support Saudi Women Driving!
Campaign site and petition here:
My dream is to one day be able to hop in the car with my kids and take them out to the desert to explore the beauty out there. My dream is feeling free and having a sense of security. My dream is to start living life to the fullest.
Please help the Queens of Saudi Arabia!
She says on her website about the Saudi Queens:
“A Queen, But…” series tells a story of Queen who views the crown as a symbol of her power, and the suggestion that everything is under control of the crown. This Queen in fact is powerless and is treated like juvenile. In this series, you can capture the irony of how this “Queen” is perceived by herself and others. Sometime she feels her situation is perfectly acceptable and doesn’t understands that her rights are being suppressed, but in her depth she always knows there is something wrong in her life.”