Women who fly, men who anchor

torah-brightWatching the women athletes at Sochi, I was amazed at the physical and mental courage of the competitors, male and female. And then it occurred to me: what must the Taliban be thinking in Afghanistan, what must they think in Saudi Arabia, seeing women do death defying ski jumps?

When I see the aerial skiing jumps, the bobsleigh rides, the ice hockey, the figure skating, I understand women can do almost anything physically that a man can do, and sometimes better. The thought that women should be locked away because of some ancient tribal law, or interpretation of a religious edict, is offensive.

And yet, in Saudi women are not allowed to drive cars — for their own protection, of course! They are faced with all kinds of restrictions, such as not being allowed out of the house without a male relative to supervise them. Traveling on public transport is banned, but not enforced.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban say girls must not go to school. Reading is okay for boys, but evil for girls. I don’t understand where these beliefs came from, but they sound suspiciously familiar: the same laws that were applied to slaves in America, Jews under the Nazis, or females under strict Sharia law.

What is it all about? They say it is for the protection of the women, to keep them pure, holy.
From whom? Uh, well from men who would attack them sully them, defile them. So yes, sorry, we have to lock all females up because men cannot control themselves, but rest assured it’s for your own good.

Perhaps they have got the wrong end of the stick. Instead of quarantining all the women, they should look at the behavior of their menfolk. After all these are the ones the authorities, the religious leaders, don’t trust to behave themselves.

Consider this, women are allowed to look at men’s faces, but men are not allowed to look at women’s faces. So it would seem that it is the men who cannot control themselves. The women don’t go berserk when they see a male face. So why notBurqa_Afghanistan place the restrictions on the wayward men? The women are behaving, so give them their freedom.

Better yet, why not just restrict all the men? Make them wear a burka when they go out in public, where they must be accompanied by two grandparents at all times. Allow the women to drive, go to college, work at whatever job they wish, dress as they wish, participate in whichever sport they wish. And keep the men locked up in their bedroom, for use in case breeding is required.

Let me quote from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

“Religious Saudis believe it is forbidden for a woman to eat in public, as part of her face would be exposed, so in most restaurants barriers are present to conceal women.

Taliban treatment of women
Afghan women were forced to wear the burqa at all times in public, because, according to one Taliban spokesman, “the face of a woman is a source of corruption” for men not related to them. In a systematic segregation sometimes referred to as gender apartheid, women were not allowed to work, they were not allowed to be educated after the age of eight, and until then were permitted only to study the Qur’an.

Women seeking an education were forced to attend underground schools, where they and their teachers risked execution if caught. They were not allowed to be treated by male doctors unless accompanied by a male chaperone, which led to illnesses remaining untreated. They faced public flogging and execution for violations of the Taliban’s laws. The Taliban allowed and in some cases encouraged marriage for girls under the age of 16. Amnesty International reported that 80% of Afghan marriages were considered to be arranged by force.

Gender roles in Saudi society come from Sharia (Islamic law) and tribal culture. Islamic law (sharia) is based on the Quran and hadith (teachings of Prophet Muhammad). In Saudi culture, the Sharia is interpreted according to a strict Sunni form known as the way of the Salaf (righteous predecessors). The law is mostly unwritten, leaving judges with significant discretionary power which they usually exercise in favor of tribal customs. The variation of interpretation often leads to controversy. For example, Sheikh Ahmad Qassim Al-Ghamdi, chief of the Mecca region’s mutaween (religious police), has said prohibiting ikhtilat (gender mixing) has no basis in Sharia. Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdul Rahman al-Barrak, another prominent cleric, issued a fatwa (religious opinion) that proponents of ikhtilat should be killed.

Saudi Arabia was one of the few countries in the 2008 Olympics without a female delegation — although women teams do exist.

In June 2012, the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London announced that female athletes would compete in the Olympics in 2012 in London, England for the first time.”

As it happened there were two women competitors.

“In 2013, Saudi women were first allowed to ride bicycles, although only around parks and other “recreational areas”. They must also be dressed in full body coverings and be accompanied by a male relative. Also in 2013, the Saudi government sanctioned sports for girls in private schools for the first time.

Commonly given reasons for the prohibition on women driving include:

Driving a car involves uncovering the face.
Driving a car may lead women to go out of the house more often.
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.
Women are generally discouraged from using public transport. It is technically forbidden, but unenforced.”
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So there you have it if women drove, many young men may be deprived of the opportunity to drive.

How absurd, every other country in the world has zillions of young men, along with zillions of young women driving. And note the inference, young men driving is more important than women driving. Which sums up the whole argument: men are important, God/Allah is male; women are the maidservants.
Say no more.

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