Th anti-domestic violence campaign, “No More Abuse,” has been launched in the desert of women’s rights: Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is not known for it draught of gender parity. Just last month it was considered a “victory” of sorts that women were allowed to ride bicycles. (Granted the privilege comes with a lengthy post script: in a full abaya, with a male relative present, in designated spaces.) Keep reading »
Remember the old “Saturday Night Live” sketch about Antonio Banderas? He’d start to take off his shirt and his back up band would warn “too sexy, too sexy.” Well the real-life version of that sort of happened to Omar Borkan Al Gala. Omar is an actor, poet and musician from Dubai. Last week, he was attending the Jenadrivah Heritage & Culture Festival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where officials there deemed his male beauty THFSA (too hot for Saudi Arabia). Omar, along with three of his fellow festival attendees, were all deported back to the United Arab Emirates, on the claim that their attractiveness would provoke female attendees into fits of sexual fervor. Keep reading »
A Saudi Arabian cleric raised eyebrows over his WTF suggestion on a TV program six months ago that baby girls should be covered head-to-toe in burqas to protect them from sexual assault. It is one thing to suggest, however ludicrously, that veiled women prevent men from being tempted to rape (because we know men are all rapists and must be thwarted at every turn, amirite?), though I obviously don’t agree with forcing or coercing women to wear the burqa. But the mere suggestion that little baby girls might be lascivious if they’re not completely covered? Now, that’s just disgusting. Sheikh Abdullah Daoud’s “burqas for babies” idea has been criticized by other Saudis, who say he is making the Islamic faith look bad. I’m inclined to agree! [Daily Mail UK]
Photoshop, you beast! Look at all the problems you cause.
I kid, I kid. The real problem here is Saudi Arabia’s backwards attitude towards women, which is the reason why IKEA airbrushed all the women out of its Saudi catalog. As you can see from these side-by-side photos which landed on the cover of Stockholm’s Metro newspaper, a charming domestic scene lost the female model so as to be deemed acceptable.
It’s just like the time an Orthodox Jewish newspaper Photoshopped Secretary of State Hillary Clinton out of a photo taken inside the Situation Room … only with a frykantig and a dagstorp. [Al-Jazeera]
Two women made history at the 2012 Olympics for being the first-ever female Saudi Arabians to compete in the Games.
But one of those young women, Wojdan Shakerkai, who competed in judo (and lost), has paid dearly for being a trailblazer: the 16-year-old girl has been lambasted as a “prostitute” by misogynists back home. Keep reading »
A Spanish court dismissed a rape case against a Saudi prince and billionaire, after it was decided there was not sufficient evidence to press charges. Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, 57, the nephew of King Abdullah, had been accused of raping a Spanish model on a yacht owned by the Saudi royal family off the island of Ibiza in August 2008. The prince claimed he had not been in Ibiza at the time and had in fact been in France with his family, which dozens of witnesses can allegedly confirm, his lawyers claim. It does not seem to be in dispute that the then-20-year-old woman was attacked, however. She sent a text message to a friend on the night of the alleged attack saying she thought her drink had been spiked; when the victim was examined afterwards, her urine contained a sleep-inducing tranquilizer and semen. Apparently that DNA evidence has never been tested against the prince’s DNA. The victim claims that the case — which was already dismissed once before by a lower court for lack of evidence — is not being handled with due seriousness because the man she has accused is one of the richest, most powerful men in the world with stakes in NewsCorp and CitiGroup.
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