And we think WE have it bad in the West, as we sashay our way through London’s streets on Slutwalk, protesting a woman’s right to dress pretty much as she wishes. The lede par, taken from independent Egypt-based news site Bikya Masr pretty much says it all:
Women with sexy eyes in Saudi Arabia may be forced to cover them up, according to the spokesperson of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) in the conservative Gulf kingdom.
Yeah, right. Under sharia law, presumably interpreted to the max, its just not on for a woman to be dressed in a skimpy burka and niqab. She must be fully covered. Or else.
Or else, presumably, those poor helpless men creatures are overcome by lust and can’t do other than rip their clothes off and rape them. Or something.
Seems like a pretty low view of men, to me…but there it is. At least one official body in Saudi Arabia seems to think so.
The full timeline for this rather nasty piece of misogyny began some days back. A man was involved in a fight with a member of Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) “when he ordered his wife to cover her eyes. The husband was then stabbed twice in the hand – and admitted to hospital”.
Actually, the grammar there is a bit dodgy. Who ordered the woman to cover her eyes? The husband? Or the committee member? And who stabbed whom? My first thought was that the woman was particularly incensed by this final affront to her dignity, and snapped.
But maybe it was the committee member. Anyone with closer news, i’d be interested to know (and no: please don’t rely on write-ups in the UK and US press compiled days after the event…they haven’t done any real investigating of their own).
Still, the affair rumbles on. A certain Sheikh Motlab al-Nabet jumped up to say that the committee has the right to stop a women whose eyes seem “tempting” and order her to cover them immediately.
This would be in addition to existing restrictions on Saudi women, which includes the wearing of a loose black dress, covering their hair and in some areas, also covering their face in public or risk fines or worse – perhaps a public lashing.
Now. Will someone please remind me: why did we intervene in Iraq against Saddam? Oh, yes. Something to do with women’s rights, amongst other issues. And who else was on our side. Er, the Saudis.
Funny old world, innit?