It’s the best possible ending to the most disgusting marriage I’ve ever heard of. A 12-year-old Saudi girl is seeking a divorce from her 80-year-old cousin-turned-husband. That was not a typo. She’s 12; he’s 80. And yes … they are related. She was sold … err … married to him for $30,000 against the wishes of her mother. How is this even legal, you ask? Saudi law does not specify a minimum age for marriage. But the Saudi Human Rights Commission thinks the marriage is wrong and has decided to take a stand and help the little girl obtain a divorce. Thank God! Here’s hoping that the ruling in this case will set a precedent which will make Saudi officials reevaluate the law when it comes to legal marriage age. [Newser] Keep reading »
Being covered in robes and veils from head to toe is not stopping women in Saudi Arabia from getting plastic surgery. Surprisingly, liposuction, breast augmentations, and nose jobs are drawing females to the plastic surgeon’s at the same rate as in other parts of the world. It seems that self-consciousness can grow even when people can’t see your features. The only time Saudi women can show off their clothes and haircuts are for their husbands, at women’s parties, and when abroad. Whereas 10 years ago, a plastic surgeon was quite the rarity in the Arab nation, now 35 surgical treatment centers exist. But the religious values that govern the majority of Saudi lives are not being overlooked when it comes to these procedures. Three years ago clergymen and plastic surgeons met to create a consensus on tampering with God’s natural creations. The result was that “undergoing an unsafe procedure or changing the shape of a ‘perfect nose’ just to resemble a singer or actress” was haram, or forbidden, while “small breasts, fixing features that are causing a person grief, or reverse damage from an accident” is halal, or sanctioned. Keep reading »
Despite the fact that French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed a ban on burqas in France last week, saying the body coverings imprison women, Paris held a fashion show showcasing specially made designer abayas, the black overgarments worn by some Muslim women. Keep reading »
Talk about sticking it to the man. A group of 26 women in Saudi Arabia are now “lingerie graduates.” At a 10-day retreat led by an Australian woman, the group spent 40 hours learning how to correctly fit a bra, display merchandise, and deal with customers. Victoria’s Secret even donated bras to help out with the undie education.
So why was this training needed? In Saudi Arabia, only men can work at malls, meaning that most lingerie stores are staffed by dudes. And come on, who wants their chest measured by some fumbling man who doesn’t know what he’s doing? Plus, there are no fitting rooms in Saudi stores because a woman is prohibited to undress outside her home. Keep reading »
Have you ever spent so much money you wanted slap yourself? Well, now you don’t have to! Thanks to a Saudi Arabian court, if a wife spends too much of her man’s dough, he can put her in her place for her. What a savings!
Many of the local men, and now the courts, have been hitting wives hard because of how they choose to use cash. Saudi Arabian women like Princess Adila bint Abdullah, deputy chairperson of the National Family Safety Program, as well as international human rights groups, have complained about the seemingly court-sanctioned spike in
domestic violence justice. If you offer Judge Hamad Al-Razine a penny for his thoughts, he’ll tell you that women are the ones doing the shopping, “but nobody puts even a fraction of blame on them.” The judge argues that men are just reacting to the financial sitch and someone has got to knock some sense into these women, right? Keep reading »
American beauty pageants are all about the long legs, shiny teeth and not saying anything too dense when asked, “How would you make the world a better place?” But at the Miss Beautiful Morals pageant in Saudi Arabia, there’s no swimsuit competition.
Instead, in that deeply Islamic country where women are covered from head to toe in long robes called abayas, contestants vie to see who is most obedient of her parents. A hundred girls ranging in age from 15 to 25 will compete for the Miss Beautiful Morals crown. The queen wins $2,600, and each runner up wins $1,300. The real prize, those involved in the pageant say, is strengthening their devotion to their families. Keep reading »
Gotta love that Saudi Arabia. Not only do ladies have to fully cover up, now they have to let their bodies go, too. With religious clerics holding so much sway over the government, Saudi gyms are legally segregated by gender—male gyms get licenses from the government, but there is no authority to grant licenses to women’s fitness hubs. Now, female gyms operating as “beauty salons” (wink, wink) are being shut down. Hey, don’t deprive a woman of her hand weights! [Reuters via Yahoo!]
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When I first started developing in the chest department, my mother dragged me to Victoria’s Secret’s semi-annual sale to get measured so I would have proper fitting undergarments. I absolutely hated the experience. How embarrassing to strip down and have a stranger measure your assets! Luckily, I grew up, and bra shopping is no longer awkward. For women in Saudi Arabia, however, the experience is still an uncomfortable one.
The people who work in lingerie stores are largely male, contrary to a law that has been in effect since 2006 saying that only female staff can be employed in women’s stores. There are a few reasons that it hasn’t been enforced: employing women would mean even more than 10 percent of the countries male population would be unemployed, and many in the religious establishment oppose allowing women to work in places where men and women can mix, such as malls. Keep reading »