“Are we respected? Are we believed? Are we equal?”
I am wearing an abaya from Saudi Arabia and thought that today is the day to pay tribute to a woman’s right to drive her own car; say wha
t she needs to say; stand up for herself and her country.
Just a year ago, on September 23 2017, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman issued a royal decree allowing the government to issue driver’s licenses to women, which would liberate many women from needing to hire a male driver to travel to work. The intention was to invite more women into the workforce. A beginning; women will earn money, buy their cars, take on their own journey. Still, many other restrictions on women’s everyday lives remain in place under the male guardianship system — including the right to marry, work or travel.
Can we compare what’s happening right now in the United Staes–the appointment process for Supreme Court Justice– an exercise in American ‘male guardianship’? Can we say Dr. Christine Ford Blasey’s account of her harassment exposed an enormous gulf between the country’s political institutions and the outlook and rights of American women? Has her accusation brought out all the ‘male guardians’ who want to push women in the backseat and take away the keys?
I think it’s been a particularly heavy, oppressive week for American women, no matter what side of the political spectrum they may reside.