No really. It’s a thing. I had no idea.
Never mind that I’ve been to Saudi Arabia. That, even though I should have been way too young to understand, I picked up on the fact that my mother was being treated like a piece of meat by Saudi men for daring to expose her face while accompanied only by my younger sister and me (i.e. not a man). That, recently, I refused a free trip to that particular Gulf nation because I knew that going there would essentially make me legal property of my father, not to mention would put into harm’s way as an apostate. That I not only know what Wahhabism is, but that it touched and warped my upbringing.
Nope. I, like all the other privileged Western feminists, used to walk around wholly unaware that there is mistreatment of women in Saudi Arabia. Thanks to a truly brave hero at CONvergence this past weekend, this grand oversight has been fully rectified. I now am fully cognizant of the fact that bad things happen to women in Saudi Arabia (though I’m still not sure what a defeated Mormon presidential candidate has to do with it).
Now that I know that women in Saudi Arabia have it bad, what am I supposed to do about it? Again, I look to only the bravest of the brave heroes to tell me exactly what I am supposed to do about the fact that women are mistreated in Saudi Arabia. I thought that I would hear more about what I could do for those poor Saudi women if I kept up my disguise as an ignorant, whiny, Westernized feminist. I mean, they wouldn’t just mention Saudi Arabia to feminists for no reason, right? There must be some purpose.
As it turns out, they mention Saudi Arabia as a counterpoint to the criticisms of sexism in the United States. I was mistaken — it isn’t about helping out women worldwide, it’s about making us uppity Western feminists realize that our concerns are trivial and meaningless compared to those of women in Saudi Arabia.
Consider this my official thank you to Western men for not behaving as badly as they tend to in Saudi Arabia. I am incredibly grateful that you choose to so mercifully allow me to do things like drive and walk around showing my face. I should really count my blessings and not expect any more or better out of you. My mistake for assuming that you were capable of more above and beyond simply not treating me the way women are treated in Saudi Arabia.