A smart effort, documenting the “real” Saudi women, not the” westernized”, “liberal”, “feminist” ones like myself that can afford a driver but believe in our right to have a choice, but the ones that have to turn down jobs, miss out on opportunities that they NEED, because they have no way to get there or its too expensive.
Many anti-women driving claim that the ban is to protect her, because she is a “Queen”with any male relative at her back and call. Not everyone has male relatives, not all men will be eager to take all his sisters to work all around town before his own job and pick them up after. And not all male relatives are supportive and helpful. Is letting these women suffer in poverty or joblessness and make them depend on charities and relatives very Queen-like?
Yet I can’t help asking myself: Would these women be able to afford a car and its maintenance? Typically anywhere around the world this part of society, the “working class” so to speak, or the underprivileged as well, would prefer cheap public transportation like buses and trams and metro. But at the absence of those, it’s still safe to assume that making cheap monthly payments for a cheap car (and gas is cheap in Saudi as well) would be more economical and practical for them as well. Money towards a taxi or a driver is money down the drain, while installments will end in two or three years and maintenance is sometimes part of the car’s warranty and still – it empowers them to take control of their lives. Feel stronger and safer. And accept jobs that don’t pay that much, but enough to make a living, while with a driver her salary will go straight to him.
I found it really telling though that the 1st woman (for those of you who might not understand Arabic or if her accent was too heavy) couldn’t voice an opinion about whether there were and religious objections to women driving. To her, if the government approves it, then there its okay by God, and if they don’t then it’s probably not. And that says a lot about her generation. One that doesn’t question religious or ethical issues and instead, has complete faith that the governing powers will tell them what to think. Even when asked what her opinion was, she said ” if our rulers say its okay then it’s okay “.
Cute. But sad. Opinionated old ladies are a lot cuter.