Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Dear Saudi Arabia,

How are you? I am fine.

Okay, now that the pleasantries are out of the way – I think we need to have a little talk. I couldn’t help but notice that you’ve had some problems with your image lately. All these stories in the news about little girls married off to men old enough to be their grandfathers are REALLY not helping. And now it has come to my attention that you are “mulling over” a ban on marriages to children. Um, seriously, Saudi Arbaia? You’re MULLING IT OVER?? What, exactly, is there to mull? Call me crazy, but I don’t think forcing eight-year-old children to marry disgusting 50-year-old pedophiles is a practice that warrants a lot of “mulling over.” It’s WRONG. End of story.

Look, Saudi Arabia – I like you. I really do. You can be quite mysterious and beautiful when you want to be. You probably haven’t heard a lot of terms of endearment lately, and that’s a shame. But let’s be honest – isn’t it kind of your own fault? You can’t expect people to be showering you with accolades when you’re advocating this sort of child abuse… especially if you have to “mull over” the criminalization of said abuse. Get with it, Saudi Arabia – just because something has been mired in outdated “tradition” doesn’t mean it should be embraced.

And don’t get me wrong – I’m fine with many of your traditions. Your cultural practices aren’t for everyone, to be certain – but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re outright wrong. Hey, I can respect the call for modesty… I would have no problem covering head to toe and maneuvering incognito amongst the population – a population that would, no doubt, deem me invisible or at least inconsequential. But I hate being the center of attention anyway – so invisibility holds a certain appeal for me. I’ll even give you a free pass for the driving thing – I don’t much like to drive, either, so if I was required to be carted around by a man, I suppose I could get used to it…

I have a little less tolerance for your apparent assumption that women are perpetually children, however. I AM perfectly capable of leaving my house without a male relative to accompany me. I AM perfectly capable of traveling by myself. I AM an adult, believe it or not. What I can’t help but wonder is, if all these rules and regulations are in place to prevent inciting the insatiable desires of men (what kind of men do you HAVE over there, exactly??), why is it always the WOMEN who are punished for indiscretions? Why not require that all MEN are accompanied by a gaggle of FEMALE relatives every time THEY leave the house, so their sisters and aunts can keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t do anything stupid??? I’m just sayin’…

But even this practice (although slightly insulting to my intelligence) is one I would respect, if I happened to be within your borders and found myself in need of a trip to the grocery store or a Starbucks (because yes, Saudi Arabia – even YOU have Starbucks…). But this child marriage thing – c’mon, SA, use your brain… er, or whatever passes for a “brain” when you’re talking about a country. I want to love you Saudi Arabia, but sometimes you make it so difficult. It pains me that we’ll probably never meet face-to-face, and yet I wish you could be more welcoming and protective of your current residents – especially the children.

Think about it, Saudi Arabia…

Love and very chaste little air kisses, Lisa

5 comments:

G said...

Common sense is in rather short supply there.

Kind of vanished when they struck oil all those years ago.

Lisa said...

Yeah, definitely no common sense usage in this situation. I just couldn't believe the wording of that article -- they're mulling it over?? This should be a no-brainer...

eric said...

I'm mulling over breathing today. Sure on other days it's been the right thing to do...but it's a new day and sometimes breathing gets in the way of my blinking I think. I'll let you know what I decide. Just gonna mull.

Jannie Funster said...

I am soooooo glad I live in The West.

I don't see some places ever changing, that's just how it goes.

G said...

Gotta remember, change in Saudia Arabia is a very bad thing.

So when they gotta do it, it's only by force (kicking and screaming).

Like when those dozen schoolgirls died in a fire because the religious police wouldn't let the fire brigade put the fire out becaue it would involve THE HORROR mixing of males and females.