#NoWomanNoDrive – #sexissues – Equality Dead or Alive?
This week finds yet another benefit of social media and the collective consciousness united through the internet. Courageous women who are fighting the female driving ban in Saudi Arabia. Although Saudi Arabia has no written ban on women driving, Saudi law requires citizens to use a locally issued license while in the country. Such licenses are not issued to women, thus making it effectively illegal for women to drive. This makes Saudi Arabia the only country in the World that prohibits women from driving. Women must also have their legal guardian with them when they leave the home. This is often a father, brother or other close male relative. This is to prevent mixing of them with non-mahram males, basically anyone who is not family. To bring the world into awareness of this issue a comical satire video was created by Saudi comedian Hisham Fageeh re-writing Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry, to No Woman No Drive. He’s not explicitly said he is on one side of the debate or the other, but it is obvious, it’s not funny otherwise! –
This driving ban is not new – On 6 Nov 1990, about 20 Saudi women illegally drove the streets of Riyadh in protest of the ban on Saudi women drivers. The women were eventually surrounded by curious onlookers and stopped by traffic cops, who took them into custody. They were released after their male guardians signed statements that they would not drive again, but thousands of leaflets with their names and their husbands’ names – with “whores” and “pimps” scrawled next to them – circulated around the city. The women were suspended from jobs, had their passports confiscated, and were told not to speak to the press. About a year after the protest, they returned to work and received their passports, but they were kept under surveillance and passed over for promotions.
Some of the reasons given for females not driving are:
Driving a car involves uncovering the face.
Driving a car may lead women to go out of the house more often.
Driving a car may lead women to have interaction with non-mahram males, for example at traffic accidents.
Women driving cars may lead to overcrowding the streets and many young men may be deprived of the opportunity to drive.
Driving would be the first step in an erosion of traditional values, such as gender segregation.
Another one is of course you can damage your womb by driving and thus have disabled children!!
The continued suppression of women, mostly in Muslim based cultures, can only be due to fear. As discussed in a previous article with regards to Russell Brand’s interview with Paxman, he claimed the system is corrupted and the top 1% control the majority of the wealth, land and decision making. I suggested this greed for control emerges from fear of not having enough & nothing be safe enough. As such, I suggest the oppression of female rights is also due to the same fear of loosing control, honour, family, respectability.
Saudi activist Wajeha Al-Huwaider agrees as she compares the male guardianship and oppression to slavery.
“Ownership of the woman is passed from the father or the brother to another man, the husband. The woman is merely a piece of merchandise, which is passed over to someone else—her guardian … Ultimately, I think women are greatly feared”
The amusing thing is we have been convinced this suppression, be it rich to poor or male to female is actually for our own good and there’s nothing we can do about it. There are women inside these systems that actually support the oppression of their freedoms thinking that it makes them special, important, valuable. They have been brainwashed and even heart washed into the belief that they are living, truly within how nature works.
In a New York Times interview in 2010 Noura Abdulrahman, a female employee of the Saudi Ministry of Education, defended male guardianship as providing protection and love.
“In Saudi culture, women have their integrity and a special life that is separate from men….The image in the West is that we are dominated by men, but they always forget the aspect of love.”
This aspect of ‘love’ is a possessive one akin to being a jealous husband who kills any man who looks at his wife. The wife might look upon that and say, ‘arr he loves me so dearly that is why he protects me’ or she might equally say ‘what a lunatic, insecure, fear driven man I have found myself with’.
This fear of equality amongst females and males and the subsequent brain washing confusion to the females in power is not new. British Queen Victoria said:
“I am most anxious to enlist everyone who can speak or write to join in checking this mad, wicked folly of ‘Women’s Rights,’ with all its attendant horrors, on which her poor feeble sex is bent, forgetting every sense of womanly feelings and propriety. Feminists ought to get a good whipping. Were woman to ‘unsex’ themselves by claiming equality with men, they would become the most hateful, heathen and disgusting of beings and would surely perish without male protection.”
This confusion of equality with being equal is common, especially amongst the women who support their own supression. This brings up a debate I recently found myself in which lead to someone, who clearly never wanted a debate, to feel the need to delete me from facebook. Oh the joys of people wanting to stay comfortable in their own little worlds! Change hurts, I know, but this is what we call evolution The issue is not that men and women are the same. Men generally will be physically stronger and with better innate spatial awareness skills. Women generally are more caring, empathetic with better linguistic (and non verbal) communication and social skills. These are simply left over artifacts from our evolution, where our ancestors needed to have better skills in those areas so they could work as a team unit. Men out hunting, women managing the family, tribal social unit and language development.
Now fast forward. Evolution is still about advancing your genes and continuing on your ‘bloodline’. Male fear of loosing their prize breeder to another tribe led them to fortify and protect their environment. In the modern world this looked like women not having a say in politics, not having the vote or being able to leave the country without male approval. After the wonderful work of women’s rights came the ‘power woman’ of the 80s in the West, the Margaret Thatchers of this world. My mother was and still is one of them. She beat men at their own game, playing within the system that males created to ‘fight’ how they fought.
Now we have evolved to a new stage, where women can be empowered but not just because they play the male aggressive game, but by being divinely feminine. For this to flourish we must allow a freedom and safety of people to express their desires, discover for themselves how they can evolve their truths and become useful to a socially evolving system. This is not about women taking men’s power, this is about sharing of a collaborative understanding that when we united equally powerful opposites we enchant the very nature of the Universe. Nikola Tesla knew about this principle and still to this day his ideas and inventions are trying to be understood.
This is not a fight for yang (male) based domination over the yin (female). This is an energetic dance of equal yet completely different parts. The mixing of opposites creates equality.
Comparing this to the Western world of rich and poor debate allows us to see that Russell Brand was right, we’re asleep and there needs to reach a turning point for us to wake up. I have high hopes on the female equality front that it will reach such disparity, such a disgusting level people will no longer stand for it and revolt. This is the basis of the Arab spring, this is the basis of the Occupy movement. I have a sneaky suspicion that the highly educated females in Persia, who never traditionally lived in suppression, will lead the way. However what is happening in Saudi Arabia will also contribute.
Trust and faith are the keys to the Universe, with the etymology of the latter coming from ‘to join with’. We are not creatures of separation, we are all joined in a collective unconscious (as one of my heroes Carl Jung would say). We are at a turning point and evolution waits for no man or woman.