I googled “Saudi Women Driving” just now, and here is a representative sample of headlines from publications from both the East and West over the last few days:
I then googled “Saudi Men Support” Saudi Women Driving, and here is a representative sample of headlines:
That’s right— nothing. I found no headline announcing the support of Saudi men for Saudi women driving. There’s something wrong here.
Saudi Arabia is a country controlled by men. Women, especially, are controlled by men. These women who drive are not doing so except with the permission of men. The men of the households of the women who drive either support them outright, permit their participation in the campaign, or, at least do not forbid it, so why are reporters not writing about them? Why are the men, themselves, not speaking out— or are they, and I simply haven’t seen the reports?
Am I to understand that the men are more afraid of the religious fatwa-makers than the women? I think not. I think that the men are, indeed, working behind the scenes to influence whose who need to be influenced so that women will be allowed to drive soon.
I also think writers are missing the boat when they focus exclusively on women’s determination, bravery, passion, etc., while they ignore the most important part of the issue– the men who are making it all possible. Of course, no one wants to hear that the success of the driving campaign rests upon the shoulders of men, but how else can the problem be resolved, except by the will of the men? Does anyone really think that a bunch of Saudi women can demand something like the right to drive, and get it without strong support of men? Let’s get real about Saudi Arabia. If men want women to drive, women will drive. If they don’t, they won’t.