Gender segregation and the male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia are issues that I have complained about many times in the past. Just when one might think things are improving for women here, this male domination and control mentality rears its ugly head again.
Earlier this week, it was reported in the news here that women are no longer permitted to go out with girlfriends to enjoy smoking shisha, unless she is accompanied by her legal male guardian who must order it for her.
The ramifications of this are really confusing, as many hasty decisions here in KSA are. If every woman who wishes to smoke shisha has to drag her husband, brother or son with her, the result will be scores of men and women mingling together in public! Didn't they think of that?
The message here is that women are not capable of making their own decisions and that men are more intelligent and superior in every way and must decide what is best for their wives, daughters, and sisters, regardless of the women’s wishes. I don’t buy into the BS that a man needs to decide what is best for me.
By now we all know the harm that smoking can cause to humans. But as long as there is no law against smoking, adults should have the right to decide for themselves whether to smoke or not. I am an adult and I am perfectly capable of making my own decisions regarding my life, my image, and my health.
Ahmed Al-Shammari tweeted, “I am totally supporting this idea because it is sad when I see young women smoking shisha in public. It makes them look cheap and easy.” It’s okay for men to smoke shisha because it makes them look cool, or what? Sadly this is the mentality of so many ignorant and backward men in Saudi Arabia.
I’m so tired of these double standards for men and women.
Gender segregation is carried to such an unhealthy extreme in this country, it has resulted in an alarmingly high divorce rate, daily harassment of women, and immature men who misbehave. This gender segregation policy actually enables men to continue behaving badly instead of allowing them to behave normally.
The real issue here is control. Men here want to control the lives of women in every way they possibly can. It’s insulting, tiresome, and more ridiculous as times goes on.