june 21, 2011 by camille hayes leave a comment
Saudi Arabia is seriously the worst. Of all the many, many places on earth where it thoroughly sucks to be female, they rank impressively high. Basically women there have the legal status of minors, only permanently. Women can’t vote, they can’t go out in public unless accompanied by a man; they can’t even get a job without written permission from a male “guardian” which, what the hell? And as many now know because of last Friday’s protests, Saudi Arabian women are not allowed to drive. Anywhere, ever. I mean, they can, but they get arrested for it, which is a pretty good deterrent. When weighing the costs and benefits of a trip to the grocery store, I’m guessing “will go to jail” is a fairly convincing argument against running errands.
But errands are important, as it turns out. The women of Saudi Arabia need toilet paper! So on Friday, a handful of spunky females climbed behind the wheel in protest of the ban, and amassed an international following on Twitter and Facebook in the process. News stories were written; voices were raised in outrage. Noticeably absent from the outpouring of support was any kind of meaningful gesture from the Unites States, because we’re a craven, oil-enslaved BFF to the Saudi royal family. Hillary Clinton, famous defender of women’s rights, took to the airwaves describing the driving ban protestors as “brave,” which they definitely are. But after a strong start, her statement became noticeably less awesome, as she added: “I want to underscore the fact that this is not coming from outside of their country. This is the women themselves seeking to be recognized.”
In other words, brave Saudi women, please do not expect America to stand behind your fight to secure a basic right granted every semi-literate teenager in our country, because we won’t be doing that anytime soon. Unfortunately for you, your government is swimming in oil, and we have places we need to drive our SUVs. We’re a nation on the go! Our work commute is, like, an hour each way. So as much as we sympathize with your plight, we can’t really help you because we’re stuck in traffic right now, probably on the way to Costco or something. We think you’re super, though! We will totally friend you on Facebook.