Monday, October 13, 2014

Send in Your Video in Support of Saudi Women Driving

I have written so many times about the fact that women are banned from driving here in Saudi Arabia.  I have been very vocal about my objections to this unfair driving ban based solely on gender discrimination.  

I personally drove safely in the United States for more than 40 years before moving to this country, yet despite my clean driving record and decades of driving experience, I am denied the right to drive in Saudi Arabia simply because I am female.  To me, this is the stupidest possible excuse imaginable. 

However the continuous stream of feeble excuses given by Saudi religious clerics for why women shouldn't drive here is beyond comprehension. Excuses like "Driving damages women's ovaries and pelvises," or that "Children of mothers who drive are born with disorders of varying degrees."  Oh, and then there's the one that claims a scientific study in countries where women drive caused an upsurge in homosexuality, prostitution, divorce, AND pornography.  Oh, yeah, and let's not forget their claim that within 10 years of allowing women to get behind the wheel in Saudi Arabia, there would not be a single virgin to be found within the kingdom.  And then there are the concerned men who try to convince us women that we are lucky to be being chauffeured around like queens or that we won't be able to handle a flat tire or broken down car and if that happens, it opens us up to all kinds of dangers.  And on and on and on ...


What really galls me here is the fact that it seems to be perfectly okay for little boys as young as 8 years old to drive here - because I see them driving all the time!  No one can tell me that an 8 year old boy behind the wheel is safer than someone like me driving just because he was born with a penis and I wasn't.  

This is 2014 and Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that prohibits women from driving.  The Saudi government has taken drastic measures to ensure its "No Woman No Drive" policy is enforced yet the movement continues to gain strength in spite of the repercussions.  CLICK HERE to read "10 Ways the Saudi Government Punishes People Who Defy the Ban on Women Driving," ranging from public reprimands to prison, and from impounding cars to lashings.

I'm tired of being made to feel that somehow I am inferior to a man or that I cannot be trusted to operate a vehicle in this country!  I'm tired of having to depend on a man here in Saudi Arabia just to take me to the store or the doctor's office! I'm tired of wasting so much of my valuable time waiting for a ride or canceling plans at the last minute because the driver didn't show up!  I'm tired of being treated like a child in this place when I am in my 60s!  I'm tired of ALL the ridiculous excuses!!!



NOW is your chance to show your support for the campaign for Saudi women to drive!

It doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman, or what country you live in - you now have the opportunity to stand side by side with women in Saudi Arabia who are banned from driving their own cars in their own country. 

Here is all you need to do:  

Make a video of yourself calling for the ban on women driving to be lifted.
Start off by stating your name and what country you are from in your native language.
State in your own words your reasons for why you think the driving ban on Saudi women should be lifted and why you feel the women of Saudi Arabia should be allowed the right to drive.  
Ask your friends to do the same!

Email your video as soon as possible to:  Oct26driving@gmail.com

Here is the campaign's website and petition: https://oct26driving.com/english-petition

Thank you for your support.

7 comments:

  1. Hi Susie, I lived in KSA for 12 years. I truly understand the frustrations of not being able to drive there and having to wait around until a driver is available. It is a waste of my valuable time. I, too, witnessed 8 year olds driving...scared both my husband and myself to death. It is too bad that Saudi society only values the penis, (as though male brains and skills really reside in that region). As we need enlightened MEN in US to stand up for equal pay for equal work, the enlightened Men of the KSA need to truly send their message of support for driving as one voice.

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    1. It's frustrating for me because I can't even get my husband to stand up for this campaign. When we are in the states, he has no problem with me driving him around everywhere we go, yet he won't lend his voice to support the movement to allow women to drive in his own country. I don't get it.

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  2. Hello Susie, I have added my voice to the mix in an emailed attachment - hopefully my MP4 file works and doesn't take too long to open - I also mistakenly sent an earlier message without an attachment. To whomever is sorting through the messages, I'm sorry! Anyway, it must be maddening to be in your position with such a long and careful driving history to see young boys driving. I hope the articulate, intelligent and amazingly courageous women you have profiled driving achieve their dream of driving and otherwise being independent people.
    All the best from Australia!
    Kristina

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  3. Their culture is so different. We'll never be able to understand them entirely and vice versa.

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  4. Hi Susie,

    just checking in after a long hiatus... caught up on all your posts. I've been reading for a long time (at least seven years) and it's been great to take this journey with you. Thanks for sharing! I admire your choices, your coping skills, and your approach to life in KSA. You're very fair and level-headed about everything, in spite of the frustrations. Best wishes to you and your family - good luck with all of your projects!

    (Oh, and I admit, I wonder how your son is getting on, and how the transition back to the States -- now quite some time ago -- went for him. Any chance you might update us on how his perspectives have developed? Of course I want to respect your privacy and his, but when I read your blog, I do think of him and I hope that he is well. :) )

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  5. http://informationlwj.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/why-saudi-arabia-does-not-let-women.html

    (makes you understand why things are as they are in KSA )

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