Sunday, November 14, 2010

Her Eyes Are Too Sexy!

Photo Credit: The Daily Telegraph
Saudi Woman wrote a post about a disturbing incident that happened a few days ago in Ha'il, a very conservative agricultural province in Saudi Arabia:
"The Commision for Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue, (PVPV), has done it again. On Thursday in Ha’il, a region North West of Riyadh, a PVPV member was scouting this very conservative area for vice to prevent. He saw a woman shopping with a man and felt that her eyes (the only part of her that was showing) were too seductive and starting shouting orders at her to cover her eyes. According to her husband, he says that he heard this muttawa behind him shouting and paid him no mind until he realized that the PVPV member was addressing his wife. He turned around and told him to mind his own business. Then insults were exchanged until the PVPV member pulled out a knife and slashed the husband’s arm and stabbed him in the back, puncturing his lungs. So far, so terrible but we could at least say that this PVPV member would be rejected and held at arms length by the commission. First day the report came out, the spokesperson, sheikh Mutlaq Al Nabit claimed that they still don’t have the details of what happened except that there was an attack on the PVPV and that was followed by an altercation and the PVPV member has not admitted that he had stabbed the citizen. The next day another report came out from the same spokesperson, Shiekh Al Nabit claiming that PVPV members have every right to order women to cover their eyes if they are seductive, seditious and could push a man to sin. He also denied that the commission gave permission to the PVPV member to get into a fight and carry a weapon and claimed that all PVPV members are responsible and deserving of trust."


The more I stew about this incident, the madder I get. Women here in KSA must wear black tents when they appear in public, and their hair and necks are also covered. The only visible parts of a female allowed in public here are the face and the hands. A high percentage of Saudi women also wear a veil over their faces, and some even add black gloves. But even at that, some men here don't seem to be able to control themselves, and it is always the women's fault for that. There has even been discussion about women covering one eye and only having one eye visible because seeing two eyes peeking out from behind a black veil is too much for some men to bear - and apparently this PVPV guy is one of them. Believe me, it's hard enough navigating my way around wearing a big full length tent - you have no idea how many times I have stepped on the hem and tripped going up stairs while carrying groceries! If I had to cover one eye too, forget it!

Another thing is that in public, both men and women are supposed to lower their gazes and not look directly at a member of the opposite sex - so why was this guy looking at her in the first place? He still finds a married woman's eyes too sexy when she is minding her own business, wearing a veil and a tent, AND accompanied by her husband? This guy is really sick - and out of control!
Credit: Polyp Cartoon
But I tried discussing this with my husband and got even further distressed. He was of the opinion that the husband in this case should have told his wife to cover her eyes and cooperate with the outlandish order of the religious police guy. My hubby told me that if we were ever in that situation, he would tell me to cover and we would then immediately remove ourselves from the situation. He feels that he is old and feeble now since his heart surgery and doesn't want to get into any fights, no matter how unfair the situation is. Ok, I understand that, especially if you don't know that the erratic psycho has a hidden knife and is chomping at the bit to stab someone who is unarmed and innocent. But my feeling is that this would be letting this unreasonable, irrational, sex-obsessed bully win - and this would only give him the green light to continue intimidating law abiding people this way.

When in the world are Saudi men ever going to be held responsible for their actions and control themselves around women, instead of blaming and punishing women for every little nasty thought they have? And when is the PVPV going to stop making excuses for their out-of-control employees who are no more than sex-crazed thugs who like to exert and abuse whatever authority they are given? I am totally disgusted.

44 comments:

  1. That is absolute craziness.

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  2. I am so, so sick of hearing about all this nonsense coming out of the country, despite their claim that they are propagating the "true Islam". The VERY FIRST THING mentioned in the verses about modesty in the Qur'an is the order for men (and women) to LOWER THEIR GAZES. Staring at people is not appropriate, and doing it to point out their faults in public is a double no-no (not even going to mention the fact that he physically harmed someone in the process). I agree with your husband that in situations like that it is, unfortunately, sometimes best to just do what they say to avoid something even worse (especially if you are weak and want to avoid fighting), but that doesn't make that guy's behavior any more acceptable. Ugh, I just get so angry when I hear that people are turning my beloved religion into something totally crazy. May ALLAH guide us all, Ameen!

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  3. Susie, I second that disgust! The problems in SA...ALL the problems, stem from the men in that culture. They are self centered and must be very weak not to control themselves or take responsibility for their sick actions. With due respect, your husband should stick up for you in a situation like that. After living all those years in the states, he knows what kind of life you are used to and should respect you more...just my humble opinion. I could never "give in" to a lifestyle of fear and disregard. You are some woman to stick this out. I would be so gone. (And I don't imagine your son is happy with the life you have to lead either). It's good that you are able to communicate with him often, to get some pleasure out of life.
    Sorry for being so blunt...but this cover one eye thing is ridiculous. How high can I make you jump? Fools! Any woman who thinks this is acceptable must be afraid....

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  4. Susie, well written. No religion can fee confident that they have never done wrong. All extremists are that: extreme.

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  5. I agree with banana Anna! Saudi Arabia is such a disgrace when it comes to representing islam. Most of what non muslims know about islam is what they learn from the media and what goes on in saudi arabia. The Saudi government is sexist and often makes teir own rules that have nothing to do with islam (women not being allowed to drive, only wearing black, women only allowed to marry saudi men but saudi men can marry anyone etc). Another reason I dislike the Saudi government is they turn their backs on muslims in need (palestine etc) and side with the U.S. and israel (thats anoter issue). The man who claims the womans eyes are too sexy should be punished for staring at her in the first place. Imagine if a woman accused a man of having eyes that are too sexy and telling the wife of the man to have her husband cover his eyes! It would never happen. These men want nothing more than to control women and find any excuse to do it! The religious police whether its in saudi or morocco are corrupt and sometimes its best to not fight them and just try to keep peace even though it brings about injustice.

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  6. This is absolutely RIDICULOUS. It's the same situation in Iran, where all the repressive prohibitions and the constant preoccupation with sex make men behave like dogs in heat at any sign of female sexuality (by whatever stretch of the imagination they may *think* they see it). I don't think Saudi men or Muslim men are inherently any less capable of controlling their sexual urges than other men - it's just that all this repression and fear about women's bodies causing fitna is totally and completely counterproductive. What makes my blood boil is that it's always the woman who bears the burden of keeping a man's impulses at bay. Whatever weaknesses or issues he may have, she's at fault. She has to cover herself more, she has to make herself invisible. I REFUSE this logic of blaming women for all the troubles of civilization and turning our bodies into the battleground for any and every socio-political/ cultural conflict.

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  7. oh my....what´s coming next?? I am asking myself if there is any chance to stop this crazieness in this country one day??? speechless another time...

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  8. Very Sad :( and there is no excuse for the knife jazz.

    I have never personally had a run in with in mutawwa, but i think it is important for both them and anyone else, a job advising people should be done in a kind manner if its to make effect.
    If someone told me something like that (especially a man hehe) even if i think they are right id find it hard to respect and listen to such a person

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  9. Yes, it's ridiculous. Most brothers I know, including myself, don't understand it either. Must be a special mindset. If I see a woman in hijab, much less niqab, I look away, because that's the point of wearing hijab. It's simple respect. Also my own religious obligation...

    But your husband is wise, sometimes it's best to pick one's battles.

    I disagree with Lori, though, you should know that most men are nowhere near this crazy. Most Saudi men, however, are guilty of letting these things happen, even though (I think) the vast majority do disagree.

    And please PersianGirl don't think all (or most) men are "weak". How many thousands of men crossed that woman's path who didn't go crazy and start stabbing people? That generalization is the same thinking of the bullies: "most women are sexual beings and 'weak' and therefore must be controlled..." See what I mean? ;)

    Personally I think single men should be segregated from family environments. That insane guy had no business even seeing that woman, let alone speak to her... "police" or not.

    But yeah, Saudi Arabia has some serious social problems. When bullies are in power, a society deteriorates quickly.

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  10. I do not know how they can justify such violent actions.

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  11. Anonymous...I would be delighted to know that all men in SA are not like this. Unfortunately, as I become aware of the "rules" and "traditions" they are usually demeaning to woman. If so many men disagree, why don't they do something about it? Living with threats and intimidation is not right. Men should be able to control themselves...why is it always put on women? Is there no respect for them? Is saving face the issue? would they not stick up for their wives? Is this all about power? Where does integrity fit into the picture? To me (right or wrong) it is an extremely sad situation. To always turn the other cheek, and give in to unfair demands, implies that someone is being intimidated. To have different standards for men and women (human beings) is very difficult for me to understand.
    I do not wish to demean the culture, but I certainly don't understand it from a human rights point of view.

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  12. Anon- I think you misunderstood my comment. I definitely DON'T think all men are "weak" at all. But, I do think that extreme sexual segregation and an excessive preoccupation with policing women's sexuality is very unhealthy for men and completely unfair to women.

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  13. Susie:
    I do worry about you in that country. Is there no way of taking your family to somewhere more SANE?

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  14. asalaamu alaikum,
    trust me I understand 100% where you are coming from and the anger you are trying to describe! I lived in Khobar for a year last year with my husband and son, and yes I felt such anger towards a LOT of these very, very very very very unfair attitudes towards women. Infact I STOPPED wearing niqab because the men there just go bonkers for it and instead switched back to what I usually wore in the US...a abaya and a regular scarf...which incidently meant I was no longer the focus of such creepy, weird behavior. Alhamdullah.

    BUT I digress, I dont think its right to call womens abayaat "tents" they arent tents...LOL...and kind of like again-I understand your frustration-I felt it too, but many Muslim women all around the world wear overgarments like abayat or jilbabs and they arent tents, yes maybe most are shapeless but that doesnt mean they are stupid or ridiculous...or tents...LOL...back before going to Saudi, I walked up many a stairwell with groceries and in an abaya and one learns how to walk in one if one is used to it.

    I just wanted to throw this out there because while yes its utterly retarded the attitude of that haia guy and infact of much of the society when it comes to women...still

    ...it just gives a bad association when it comes to overgarments like abayaat and these creepos behavior, which are NOT related.

    anyway, just my 2 cents...

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  15. Persian girl...well, Ive lived in both Iran and Saudi and I can tell you, Saudi is like 100% worse than Iran is. I'm a conservative Muslim woman, I cover-Ive always covered since I was a teenager because I think its the required thing for a Muslim woman AND man (who have their own hejab to follow)...and yes, your right, segregation like what occurs in Saudi makes people really, really freaky. Iran is NOT nearly so bad, Unlike in Saudi...in Iran you do see women in public, engaged in society, working, attending school, out shopping and basically living normal lives...even women from very traditional families lead public lives. Unlike in Saudi where women tend to live very sequestred and cloistered existence...like the mall or a wedding party is the big thing to do! yes there are some families in Iran that do think women need to be hidden away and the less seen the better and yadda, yadda, yadda...as one relative told me...the reason for wearing hejab is that the hair emits vibrations that cause men to go wild...I was like...what?!? Are you kidding me? Obv. I sat down and had a long talk with her about how thats a load of kr@p and the REAL purpose behind hejab-which is to publically visible as a practicing Muslim and for modesty infront of the opposite sex (again, men have hejab too!) and before God and that its not all on us women. Again, I cover fully...like overhead abaya (chador), hejab, everything not because I give a flying rats butt about what some guy may or may not think, but because of what God wants of me as a practcing Muslim woman and I want to be seen and known as a Muslim woman so i'm not bothered with things that do not concern me.

    anyway, again just my 2 cents

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  16. So – did I mention the story of the US Woman soldier who arrived in Saudi with the US Army to defent the PVPV and their ilk.
    Of course the first interesting ting is that women soldiers were driving in Saudi – while the Saudi women ,who during the same period, drove in Riyadh were locked up while amazingly Bedu women in Saudi drive today without any problem.
    But why not let the US women soldiers drive – far better than to actually defend your own country and horror of horrors get killed or injured . So you see any policy is not rigid – it only is there to preserve their power, if the policy gets in the way of keeping power; oh lets confidently forget it till our relative strength is increased.
    Any way, back to the story.
    In the eastern province during one of the numerous Gulf Wars a PVPV enforcer saw US army woman unveiled in the middle of town . So he went up to her and ranted unintelligibly at her. As he was small she did what any self respecting woman US soldier would do – she picked him up so he could look her in the eye . His rants and raves stopped remarkably quickly .
    Could it be that the PVPV only pick on people they can control ?
    People whose life can be ruined with contempt by the PVPV as with less powerful town’s women
    People who body can be smashed with contempt by the PVPV as with the stabbed man
    People whose lives can be ended by the PVPV as with the Jeddah girls
    People who know the PVPV are wrong but cant be bothered to fight back because for a century they have been cowed by an organisation and government whose only doctrine is power over others to preserve their position

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  17. Umm Ibrahim - I enjoyed your comment. I've never been to Saudi Arabia, but I have no doubt that it is worse than Iran in terms of the degree of women's repression. I was just drawing the parallel because both are places in which women are FORCED to veil, and in which the corrupt regimes that run each country impose sexual segregation in a way that only makes men more obsessed with sex. And the preoccupations of these clerics and "morality police" with so-called "Islamic law" has NOTHING to do with spirituality or helping their people get closer to God. It's just a tool of social control and, in most cases, an expression of deep misogyny and fear of women's sexual power. If you knew the ridiculous things that Khomeini and other clerics in Iran have "debated" - from how to wipe your a•• to the hypothetical scenario in which a man, during an earthquake, falls through the floor of his apartment, and onto a woman in bed in the apartment below, and (because, obviously, what else could he do?) has sex with her, whether that would be considered fornication - you would be disgusted by the way your sincere faith is being exploited to serve the most base and twisted ideas.

    Seriously, people who actually expend so much mental energy pondering things like the degree of sexiness of a woman's ankles, or all the possible ways in which a man might "accidentally" penetrate a woman, are SICK, plain and simple. And I really think they would be less sick if they lived in a society that didn't turn every feature of the female body into a fetish object.

    Incidentally, the "chador" the conservative veil (not face-covering) worn in Iran actually DOES literally mean "tent."

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  18. I'm wondering there's something in the air/water in KSA that send men in a frenzy if they saw TWO eyes of woman...sorry but from the reaction of the PVPV jerks it seem that there's something in the air water only in KSA in the sane world men and women mingle together and women can go to the beach in a bikini without fear of being jumped by every male over 10....

    Why men said nothing against those jerks (women of course can't do nothing...but i remmeber a KSA woman who decked one of those jerks).

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  19. I am Saudi and I am ashamed of what those religious people are doing.

    If you asked people in the Saudi street they will be surprised about the whole story.

    We are here in Saudi are boiling and I think one day we will explode because of all this non seances. Those people are making us so small in others eyes which is untrue.

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  20. Still mulling this over, I come to the conclusion that these PVPV's are starved for affection. Have you hugged a PVPV today? How will they find love if they only emit hate?

    Seriously, perhaps a man could say to them "O my brother, rejoice, for Allah is most benevolent, ever merciful."

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  21. A Canadian ReaderNov 15, 2010, 10:00:00 PM

    Susie, I find your blog more and more disturbing. You describe a world gone insane and yet you continue to live there.

    I was talking to my husband about your blog just yesterday and I asked him whether he would consider moving to KSA if he were offered the job of a lifetime (i.e. bags of money in addition to it being a profession he adores) and he said yes. I was appalled, until he said that with all that money, I could live in Europe and he'd come home to see me on the weekends.

    If it's love that keeps you in Saudi Arabia, Susie, then I say that this is a total perversion of love. You're suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Get out. Now.

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  22. Greetings,

    This is a message for the webmaster/admin here at susiesbigadventure.blogspot.com.

    Can I use part of the information from your post right above if I provide a link back to this site?

    Thanks,
    Daniel

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  23. TO Canadian Reader: LOL! A little dramatic, don't you think? RUN....For your...LIFFFFE....Sussssssssie...

    Why are you attacking her and her family? Stockholm syndrome is a "paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express adulation and have positive feelings towards their captors that appear irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, essentially mistaking a lack of abuse from their captors as an act of kindness." Did her husband stab Susie? Does he make her stay in Saudi with him? From what I gather, NO!

    You seem to be another example of those you only look at the negative. Look at all the good things Susie has posted about...the Breast Cancer awareness, that store's program getting women to work, the youth group cleaning up the city, the modern metro. Wow! As a Canadian, you will know that Quebec woman did not even gain suffrage until 1940! Ultramodern human rights promoting politically correct Switzerland gave women that right in, oh, what was it, 1971? So as opposed to these western nations, for a THIRD WORLD country, Saudi looks like there is definitely progressing. Don't you agree?

    There are statistics showing that Saudi Arabia is one of the safest places to live-Susie herself has stated her feeling of security there. From what I gather, the violence that "police" man used is not acceptable there either and is very unusual.

    Do you have the same reaction when these things happen in Canada? Look at our own country first!! How many innocent people have the RCMP killed? With tasers alone? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ8hbCAu2ks

    The man was wrong to do this, no doubt. Saudi is not perfect, I get it. But these things happen in Canada. It is disgusting. The difference is that our country is first world and our officers have intense advanced western training, yet this is still not good enough to help them make good decisions when on duty.

    Why don't we try to fix our own county before attacking others? :)

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  24. I tend to agree with Canadian Reader. I asked my husband if he'd consider living in Saudi where his family live and he said absolutely not ... not for all the money he could make. He figured it would be the beginning of the end for us. During my extended visit to Saudi I saw how men get sucked into the male dominated way of life whether they want to or not and I didn't like what I saw. My husband didn't like the segregation and how it affects his family and even us for our short time there.
    I hope you will visit your son for very long and extended stays, Susie. When you started your blog at the beginning of your life in KSA you sounded so happy and now I am quite worried about you as I see reality is taking it's toll.

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  25. Since women don't have to cover their faces, I think she should have ripped the face mask off completely instead of trying to comply with that silly guy by covering one of her sexy eyes.

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  26. Me and my husband talked about this incident at length. The government gives the mutawwa a little power over people and unfortunately some of them abuse it because of their mentality. They are there to remind people but the problem is HOW they remind them. When you remind people, you approach them in a respectful manner and gently advise them. Otherwise they are going to be offended, reject what you said and run away. Worse yet if you are mean to them, they will be mean right back! There is no compulsion in Islam and you can't force people to do something they don't want to do. My husband said that the mutawwa should have pulled the man aside and asked him in a nice way that his wife cover her eyes. Then if he chose not to do so then to leave them alone because you have given them a reminder so then it is between them and Allah. They should respect the fact that not all Muslims follow the same interpretation of hijab/niqab. My husband and I decided that if I was in that situation, Allah forbid, I would ignore the mutawwa and keep walking. They can follow me and shout at me until they are blue in the face. I will not give them power over me by stopping to listen to them. Why would I stop...I have committed no crime!

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  27. A Canadian ReaderNov 17, 2010, 2:50:00 AM

    Anonymous,

    I would not take back a single word of what I wrote. KSA is a giant gulag for women, including the women who stay there willingly.

    Of course, my country is not perfect. No country is, but I would be typing until next November if I were to list how much better it is for women in Canada as opposed to KSA. So I'll just stop here.

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  28. "Shiekh Al Nabit claiming that PVPV members have every right to order women to cover their eyes if they are seductive, seditious and could push a man to sin"

    Then the same needs to be applied to men and their "sexy" eyes. Because as this "sheikh" states, the eyes can lead a man to sin so a woman can be lead to sin by a mans eyes...
    Saudis and their "sheikhs" who are also sexist always put the blame on women. If a man commits a sin its because of women. They never take responsibility for their own actions. The saudi government reminds me of how men were before Islam came (oppressive and sexist toward women).
    The Saudi men who disagree with the religious police and "sheikhs" need to stand up for the women because saudi is controlled by men. The only way anything is going to change is if the men speak up!!!
    Susie, I dont know how you do it! Im a muslim and I would never live in Saudi. You are a very patient and strong woman for staying there!

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  29. What craziness! What next?
    Jessie

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  30. Canadian Reader,

    It is silly for any of us to compare a third world country to one in the first world anyway. This is not done in academia so I see no need to do it here.

    You will not even take back telling Susie she has Stockholm Syndrome, though it is evident you are unaware of what Stockholm Syndrome is?

    If not, Susie, I, and all readers of this blog would be wise to simply disregard any comment you make as it is apparent there is not informed person writing it.

    Thank you.

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  31. Hi Susie and Eid Mubarak!
    I've had many run ins with Haia lately and it seems to me as if their behavior has become worse. They've been literally harassing me and my friends..
    I wrote a post about it because I was so upset as to why they are staring at us, following us around and shouting in the first place.They are a disgrace to islam!
    What I've done now is to either ignore them totally (but in these cases it didnt work) or then say back to them "lower your gaze" which is what they are supposed to be doing!
    I told my husband about it and he just laughed, although I think his tactic would also be to leave the scene. For me fighting this nonsense is a better option, because Ive done nothing wrong and I believe in standing up for oneself and fighting oppression. Running away would be to like giving up and accepting their bullying..

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  32. Anonymous ... I'm quite sure that Canadian Reader has a much better understanding of what 'Stockholm Syndrome' is than most people reading this blog. She has a good point and she understands why Susie got her son out. Anyway, I guess it's for Susie to say and not us.

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  33. Well, with Adnan's health as it is you really don't have any choice I think.
    The are alll madman, and the best thing is not to wear too much, If you don't wear a scarf it is, ''Cover your hair'', if you wear a scarf it will be ''Cover your face'' And when you cover your face it will be cover your eyes, etc.

    Oh well there isn't much more you can cover.
    Anyway, these guys are raving madman, and as we see here, quite capable of stabbing an unarmed man in the back, meaning he attacked from the back, the coward.
    And they are the ones protected by the government, not you.
    So unless you are sure you cand knkock him down, you ahve no choice, you live in a sick theocratic tyrannic dysfunctional madhouse. Better realize it.

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  34. Interestingly, Veeds of Arabia is currently Veeds of Southern Ontario (Canada) for another few days where the women are as covered up as a proper Saudi...due of course to the delightful continual combination of cold rain and wind.

    I believe there is an absolutely fundamental difference in cultural mindset that separates Saudi men's behavior from both Western and even other Gulf Staters. That is, in certain cultures such as KSA the enforcement of social norms is externally oriented whereas Western cultures require internal regulation. In other words, in many Western cultures, each man is responsible for his own thoughts and behaviors whereas in KSA we confer that regulatory action on the surrounding society...notably the muttawa, who are simply surrogates or stand-ins for the rest of society. Much like the old model of an American small town where citizens daren't act out because there was a whole network of neighbors and townspeople to "punish" transgressors and keep them from giving in to what they would consider immoral impulses. Thus, in KSA society, the individual is freed of the need to rein in his impulses because he is fully aware that society (in the form of muttawa as well as other tut-tutters) is ever on guard. The muttawa are the safety net for the tightrope walkers who might otherwise be lured by the seduction of two naked eyes.

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  35. djd, hularious!!!! *Have you hugged a pvpv today*!!!!!!

    Woehahahahahaaa! I can see some movies in my head now which are pretty funny!!!!!
    Hihihihihhiiiiii
    I think this could be a good cartoon!!!

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  36. From what I understand the villagers should be more afraid for their farm animals. I guess burros in black and those poor sheep are on the next hit list. hee haw......

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  37. salaam and hello. For those who have not lived in Saudi its very very very hard to undrstand the situation there. Yes this stuff does happen, but its not all black and white. When I was there both dh and I hated the overt sexism/racism which is so blatant, but its not like every Saudi is like that. We grew close to many Saudi families and they totally adopted us and they found this "haia" behavior totally ludacris.

    Also Saudi is a huge country and different regions have different cultures, Islamic slants and backgrounds. Like in the central portion, the nejd the "haia" have a lot more power as its more accepted there. In the EP where I was, the Shia community is huge as there is also a huge Expat community so frankly, you dont see members of the "haia" acting as they would maybe in Riyadh. Its just not OK. Also, not all "haia" are bad, uneducated creeps...dh taught at a University and had a few guys who were haia in his classes and although he didnt agree with their viewpoints, they actually all got together a few times to have discussions on Islam. DH and I are both practicing Muslims but not of the same madhab as them, and dh was surprised at how many of them have a understanding and love for like Rumi and Hafez...LOL, many had lived abroad...the biggest difference is they were raised to believe that their slant on Islam was the 100% true/accurate one and they felt it was their duty to teach it to other Muslims to "save them" and bring them to the right madhab. Overall dh said he enjoyed discussions with them, although they didnt sway him one bit, but kind of socializing with them a bit heled him to understand their mentality. I obv freaked out when I heard this, but hey...they are human like anyone else.

    And one major erk to their presence is that during the times when they are out and about in malls or suqs, there is less skeezy behavior from Saudi men. Like they wont stalk and harrass women as much because they know the haia are around.

    So eh, Saudi is a mixed bag.

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  38. Hi Susie, I'm glad I found your blog. I love Arabic culture and I will move to the Middle East in the summer, after one year living in China.
    I respect all traditions and am more than ready to adapt to any custom. I am adapting to Chinese culture and especially at the beginning it hasn't been easy!
    I must say, however, that sometimes the news from Saudi Arabia leave me speechless. I myself find disturbing if women walk half-naked in the streets, but I think a too restrictive society is frustrating both for women and men.

    I guess all extremes are negative and to be avoided as much as possible.

    Let alone the stepping-on-the-tent part, when I visited Sheikh Zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi I kept stepping on the abayah, probably it's a matter of getting used to it...

    I really appreciate your blog, very useful to understand a country little mentioned otherwise.

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  39. This article had to be one of the very worst ever showcasing “perfect Islamic” Saudi Arabia.

    The very idea that women, whether Muslim or not, are forced to cover themselves in a black tent so that the barbaric, sex obsessed Saudi males do not get tempted is revolting! The majority of the people on the planet seem to be doing just fine and do not have to place their women into walking prisons or control them at every waking and sleeping moment.

    Susie asks:

    “When in the world are Saudi men ever going to be held responsible for their actions and control themselves around women, instead of blaming and punishing women for every little nasty thought they have?”

    The answer is:

    When Muslims in general are held responsible for their own actions, instead of blaming others for their fate. No doubt, that will on the Last Day.


    I cannot agree with your husband’s stance, Susie. It is cowardly to my mind. No Western male would permit his wife being humiliated in such a manner.

    ynotoman stated: ”In the eastern province during one of the numerous Gulf Wars a PVPV enforcer saw US army woman unveiled in the middle of town . So he went up to her and ranted unintelligibly at her. As he was small she did what any self respecting woman US soldier would do – she picked him up so he could look her in the eye . His rants and raves stopped remarkably quickly .
Could it be that the PVPV only pick on people they can control ?”

    Reading my mind.

    As a woman I would arm myself with a stick at the very least under that black-sack, as have a number of Muslim women, and strike back if such a crazy religious supremacist were to attack me. I demand respect! Evidently, Muslim women, especially Saudi women do not.

    How you and other women in KSA tolerate this oppression is simply beyond me.

    “...single men should be segregated from family environments” says one of your readers. One asks: Why should men be treated like savages? That seems to be at the root of the problem, that neither women or men are treated or expected to behave like responsible human beings.

    Why don’t the men cover themselves in a bag and put blinders on so that they are not “tempted” to sin, since their fevered brains appear to be consumed by sin? Saudi men are notorious for sinning both inside and outside of KSA. They go to Dubai, to India, to Thailand, to the West and indulge their decadent fantasies, yet they support the Saudi prison system?


    There is no hope for such people still living in the dark ages, who accomplish nothing but want to control everything.

    One can get physically ill just thinking about this revolting custom. It appears that the whole society needs a psychiatrist!

    I agree with A Canadian Reader who said: ”...You're suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Get out. Now.”

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  40. Angela,

    I think the only thing revolting around here is you.

    And please put your own house in order, before you come around fixing other people home.

    Just by the tone and aggression of your post, you reveal yourself as the biggoted, racist person you're..

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  41. Susie - FYI - I assume you have retained your US Citizenship, right? Then if your husband isn't willing to stand up for you in a confrontation with the PVPV, know that the US Government is.

    From the US State Dept Web site - "U.S. citizens who are involved in an incident with the Mutawwa should report the incident to the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh or the U.S. Consulates General in Jeddah or Dhahran."
    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1012.html#country.

    I keep their numbers on my cell phone and a copy of the Saudi Embassy's dress code directive for non-Muslim women in KSA in my purse in English and Arabic.

    I appreciate your circumstances are somewhat different, but again, as an American citizen, there's no need to sit back and take it.

    As far as the PVPV, they will keep pushing for more and more control over women until Saudi Arabs - both men and women - say enough is enough and stop allowing themselves to be intimidated. That day isn't here yet, but every stupid move by the PVPV brings it closer. This one included.

    Take care - Lori

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  42. Right. He accuses her of immorality, and stabs her husband with a knife to prove his point. Typical ideologue. They have no self knowledge.

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  43. Hello Susie, I'm an Black American woman. The way Saudi women are treated in very disturbing to me. I know this isn't following w/the exact conversation here, but what happens to American women there if there spouses pass away. I will join later, just curious about it. A co-worker told me about your site today & it just furthers my stance that this world as a whole better change soon. My heart breaks for these women.

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  44. To Anon @ 12:08 AM - I did write a 4-part series about a British woman I know who was "Widowed in Saudi Arabia" a while back. She was trapped in a nightmare being stuck in Saudi Arabia for many years. She finally escaped this past year with her two children and is now safe and free.
    The 1st post will take you to the rest of the installments, as well as the final update, written many months later.
    http://susiesbigadventure.blogspot.com/2009/04/widowed-in-saudi-arabia-part-1.html

    ReplyDelete

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