Saudi women are becoming bold
I am not a rebel. Although I like to think I am controversial, in reality if push came to shove, I would probably retreat to the safety of conformity rather than suffer an ignoble fate. It’s why I find the following story so striking: It’s an article in the Saudi Gazette about all girl coffee shops, which is where today’s young Saudi girls are going to let loose, have fun, and enjoy life. All of this is highly subversive, and there are lots of people who want to see them shut down.
Women have no real rights in this country. They instead have duties and responsibilities, most of them unpleasant and restrictive, that do not allow them to truly enjoy life. Although they make up about 70% of University graduates, they make up only 5% of the workforce. So to escape their shitty lives, young women are retreating from this cold reality by going to these all girl coffee shops, putting on makeup, and smoking shisha until their throats hurt.
Government officials and religious clergy are aghast at this type of behavior, which they see as the corrupting influence of the west. They aren’t wrong. We believe individuals are free to pursue their own interests, regardless of gender. But to the Saudi, this type of rebellion is usually met with swift and brutal action. I wouldn’t be surprised if these types of places were soon shut down, and the women who frequent these establishments were punished. It’s just the way things are in that part of the world.
The human need to rebel is strong, and some of these women may not realize to what degree they are challenging their country’s social mores. I hope this all ends positively, but considering women still aren’t allowed to drive in that part of the world, it doesn’t look too promising.