A few days ago, I almost chocked, reading an article that was published in the Swiss ’20 minutes’: it basically said that female politicians in Saudi Arabia have submitted for the first time a request to be allowed to drive (see below).
Three questions came to my mind:
1) WHAT?? (Reflex question – I might have even thought WTF…)
2) THE FIRST TIME? How can it be the first time? What were women in Saudi Arabia waiting for?!
And 3) FEMALE POLITICIANS OK BUT DRIVERS NOT OK? How can the Saudi Arabia men tolerate/ welcome women in politics but not let them drive?!
This struck me as another sexist paradox of the world.
One of my favorite examples belongs to France: women can do pretty much whatever please them BUT the constitution forbade them to wear pants (for all my British friends yes I mean trousers) until last January – it only took the French women 214 years to be legally and officially granted that simple right!
Yes, no French woman has ever been sent to jail in the modern times for wearing pants but really they couldn’t find two minutes to amend a sexist constitution?! So much for la Liberté, l’égalité et la fraternité (just saying).
I am not a feminist per se and I don’t intend to become one. I consider that the extreme feminists are somehow unrealistic in their expectations and behaviors. I’m very often embarrassed by their public actions and declarations.
To some extend I can however relate to one of their demands: the salary parity.
When you are a career oriented woman, confident, focused and appraised by your peers, you do wonder what on earth justifies the huge difference in salary between men and women.
Since we are allowed to work, should this mean that we must accept to be paid less? We earn less than our male peers but it is fine because they let us work?! Let me think… Still thinking, rethinking… Ääää I don’t think so! *sigh* & *disapproval head shaking*
But then does the same reason apply to those female politicians in Saudi Arabia? Grateful to be allowed to be politically active, those women accepted for years not to be able to drive a car? Your own personal driver might have contributed to this delayed request.
I guess driving appears to me as fundamental as voting since it gives me the much needed feeling of independence and freedom. I actually still cannot believe that Switzerland (that people want to call the best democracy on the world) only granted his female citizens the right to vote recently (in the 90s) along with Qatar and Kazakstan.
All in all, without being an active feminist, I appreciate what was done in the past to grant us the rights we have today. I mostly disagree with the feminists’ methods (one of the most recent being to appear to gatherings naked…) but cannot help deep down to feel grateful.
We do have to admit that we need them to protect us from a patriarch society and from ourselves who are taking all our rights for granted.
So thank you ladies (don’t overdo it tho!) and good luck to all of you around the world, especially the ladies in Saudi Arabia. May you be able to drive soon!
Happy trails and remember: Carpe Diem!