Do you think Saudi females should always have a guardian?

This is an interesting blog that I am reblogging from Saudi woman’s Blog.  It’s a blog that will make you think and create a lot of conversation.  This is a topic that Princess Sultana and I bring into clarity in the latest in the series of books about her life:  Princess, More tears to Cry:  Here’s the book images (UK and USA publishers)

 

UK edition of the latest about Saudi women through the voice of Princess Sultana

UK edition of the latest about Saudi women through the voice of Princess Sultana

USA EDITION of my latest book about Saudi women

USA EDITION of my latest book about Saudi women

I’d love to hear from readers about this topic:  (NOTE:  This is not my blog, this blog is from the Saudiwoman’s blog, so I am giving her full credit.)

“My Guardian Knows What’s Best for Me”

In August a campaign was launched titled “My Guardian Knows What’s Best for Me”. The aim of the campaign is to stand against women who are demanding to be treated as adults. Yes you read it right, a campaign that demands that the status qou remains as is. The campaign is headed by two  princesses and has two rivaling websites. And since it has gotten a lot of attention and some rumors that the two princesses were fighting over whose idea it was, the “Who are we” page has been taken down on one of them. The goal of the campaign is to gather one million signatures from Saudi women who support it. On the bottom of the main page of the weaker website is a button that says click to vote and when you click it, it automatically counts as a vote of support! The other website’s button actually asks for specifics like name and city. The stronger website is here and the weaker one here.

Below I’ve translated Dr. Elham Manea’s piece on the how and why of this campaign:

I swear I almost smiled, but how could I smile?
Then I said to myself, that people are people, in their wisdom or weakness, here or there, no difference.
So I contemplated rather than smile.

Some Saudi women have decided to express themselves.
They wanted to take a stand against human rights activists calling for Saudi Arabia to give women some (not all) of the rights that are enjoyed by their Arab counterparts in neighboring countries. So they came out with a new campaign titled “My Guardian Knows What’s Best for Me”.
Do we blame them? All they wanted was to fix a problem they know nothing of, and thus made it worse.  It would be strange to expect anything else from them. You cannot miss what you’ve never had.

Most of them belong to the Saudi aristocrats. Their leader is a princess. Their hands are velvet. They live in palaces and villas. How could we blame them for not knowing the reality of average Saudi women?

These campaigner are only worried about Saudi women. They are protecting women from themselves.They are protecting us from activists, activists who have lived the reality of being a Saudi woman in the East, West, North and South of Saudi Arabia. They know how we suffer, and how we are subjected to humiliation on a daily basis. Luckily, these activists are not princesses.

These activists believe we should be treated as adults and humans and not as children and minors, and not as digraces to be covered. Activists who are tired of this reality of suffering and daily humiliation and so they call for the guardian system to be absolved.

These campaigners who stand againsts activists see nothing strange in the fact that we are the only Muslim country that bans women driving. Isn’t it funny that Saudi Arabia is unique in this odd religious aspect? But it has always been so. They don’t wonder as to how a woman’s freedom in our country has been choked and strangled a thousand times over,so that the poor soul cannot make a move without a male’s permission, a male who’s only distinction is his genitals. To the degree that we see nothing weird about a twenty year old being reprimanded by her ten year old brother.

My guardian knows what’s best for me, seriously?!

They do not see anything strange in that the women of their country cannot make the smallest move without their guardian’s permission. They have no right to leave their houses, to study, to go to a clinic…without their guardian’s permission. And the guardian is a woman’s father, brother or any related male until she marries. And then her guardian becomes her husband until either one of them dies. Her guardian may marry her off at ten, hit her, abuse her or may be kind to her, it’s all up to luck. Her life like a watermelon, it might open up to be red and sweet or bitter and rotten.

These campaigners live like princesses and the restrictions that stifle average women daily, do not apply to them. Have they ever faced a PVPV  commission member who stole their very breath. If a PVPV commission member even set his eyes on them, he would shake from fear, because the only power that the PVPV recognize is the power of your guardian. These men know nothing of religion.

My guardian knows what’s best for me, seriously?!

They never wonder and they never question. Instead in a naiveness that is to be envied, naiveness reminiscent of Marie Antoinette, they are bothered by the demands of the women who have suffered. And so they send to the king, asking him that this system of injustice be maintained.

They say “Who said we need to be human?”
“We do not want rights that contradict our customs!”

“Stop their demands!”

“Cut their tongues!”

“Silence their voices!”

“Leave us as we are!”

“An object in a degree closer to the animal! (With all due respect to animals)”

And surprisingly, I am not surprised. Not surprised by the campaign.
And you know why?
Because the history of  movements demanding women’s rights throughout the world, was full of similar campaigns to this “My guardian knows what’s best for me”. For every woman who demanded her rights, stood more women who cursed her, in the name of tradition, in the name of customs, in the name of religion (whatever that religion may be), and shamed her for seeking change.
This campaign is not strange.
It is similar to another campaign carried out by women in Switzerland in the twenties and then again in the fifties and sixties against women’s right to vote. They too used religion, customs and traditions as an excuse to stop development.

Even in this, they are not unique.
People, as I said before are people,in their wisdom, and strength and in their weakness and simplicity.
Here or there. No difference.

But my guardian does not know what’s best for me.
I am worthy of making my own decisions.
And only I know what’s best for me, even as I bow my head in respect to my father.

Those campaigners insist on staying minors.
That is their decision. But who said that they speak on behalf of Saudi women?

 

FROM JEAN SASSON:  I couldn’t have said it better!

 

About jeansasson

I'm a woman with a keen interest in a wide range of topics including women's issues; animal rights issues; humanitarian issues and political movements, such as the events currently sweeping the Middle East. I am an avid reader and collector of books, mainly about travelers of the 18th and 19th centuries. I have enormous curiosity about other people and relish hearing about lives and opinions of people from all over the world. I’m the author of the PRINCESS series, GROWING UP BIN LADEN, MAYADA DAUGHTER OF IRAQ, FOR THE LOVE OF A SON, and more. Over the past two years the princess and I have met and worked together to bring out a 4th and a 5th book in the PRINCESS SERIES. The 4th is titled: PRINCESS, MORE TEARS TO CRY while the 5th, which was recently released, is titled: PRINCESS, SECRETS TO SHARE. I am currently working on my 14th book. Details to be released soon. You can visit my website (http://www.jeansasson.com/) or check out my books on Amazon for more info.
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8 Responses to Do you think Saudi females should always have a guardian?

  1. Shovna Atri says:

    I can’t believe that these women are acting out of their own accord. I am sure there is tremendous patriarchal pressure on them to create an alternate or counter-campaign. There is the Stockholm syndrome too, to be considered. Sometimes, some women like to be ‘helpless’, it actually gives them a sense of power as a supposedly helpless woman (completely dependent on her guardian) can arouse her partner in a powerful manner. Whatever be the case…it is really upsetting to read this.

  2. Mariam Ali says:

    Why on earth a Women should require a guardian? She is an independent person who make her own choices. Women should break all the obstacles coming in its path. After all Women’s are not bad in making decisions. They are subjected to more and more humiliation on a daily basis.
    Men should always give some space to Women in their life. Men should not forget our rights in society. We will definitely use our freedom in a corrective manner.
    All cheers to Womanhood.

  3. No Saudi Women should not have a male guardian they are old enough to know what they want when they get older throw away that veil. for good

  4. Kat Canfield says:

    Reblogged this on Thoughts of Kat Canfield and commented:
    Sometimes, we don’t know how good we have it. Even with the “War On Women” as expressed by the Obama Administration and the liberal media, American women live quite well compared to our Saudi cousins. Appreciate, Ladies, what you have and work to improve the lives of ALL women in the world.

  5. lydia7777 says:

    If women can have children they can make there own decisions, It’s time that women in Saudi Arabia have their freedom ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  6. suehrs says:

    Why would a grown women want to be treated as child and have someone else make her life decisions. Then what would be the spiritual purpose of her life? How would she grow spiritually by understanding the consequences of her decisions if she doesn’t make them? Then there are many more examples of how too many die or are abused because they are not allowed to make their own decisions. Well said by this women.

  7. prjdeacon@yahoo.com says:

    Are these women who state my guardian knows what is best for me afraid to take responsibility for their own lives ? Do they believe that males care in general about their quality of life or even value them as individuals These women are lazy, they blindly trust a fellow being to respect and care for them A fellow being who maybe very nice,but still just a fellow being whose judgement wether they like it or not is no better then their own. It is a fact that they will have to come to grips with if they want to see the world as it really is and although they are resisting in becoming full participants and long to remain as perpetual children They cannot escape the fact forever that they are needed as adults to help there country as the men have made a mess of it without them
    Wake up your men are floundering , they need you to provide balance, they have been indulged too long! and are lacking in maturity because of this.

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