Yes Woman, Yes Drive

Can comedy do what common sense can’t?

In case you somehow missed it, this video mildly satirizing the Saudi regime’s absurd ban on women driving has gone totally viral since it was posted on Saturday:

That thing about ovaries?  The Sauds seem to imagine that driving can make a woman infertile.  I kid you not.  Being a back-seat passenger has no such effect, it seems.

Could this possibly have anything to do with the idea of control?

(In case you’re amazed at how uniquely backward the Sauds are with respect to women, by the way, you might consider this ironic detail:  exactly the same argument was used in Israel for decades to stop women from flying planes.  Again, being a passenger was held to have no such effect — just being at the controls.  As a result, the first group of female Israeli air-force pilots graduated not in the ’70s or the ’80s or the ’90s, but all of two years ago, in 2011.)

So who is the guy in the No-Woman-No-Drive video?  He’s Hisham Fageeh, he’s a Riyadh-based stand-up comic who’s studied religion, and thanks to Mother Jones magazine, there’s more on him here.  And if you need a sense of what the dozens of women who defied the ban this past weekend were risking, here’s a TED talk by the wonderful Manal al-Sharif, who went to jail for doing it.

Meanwhile, I’m taking to the road (and the air) through mid-November, with Bob Marley on my playlist. But will I ever be able to listen to ‘No Woman, No Cry’ the same way again?

4 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Reaching Out and commented:
    Brilliant! Love this! :D

  2. We see a lot of ads for ‘low t’, which is a non disease that a lot of drugs are being marketed for. One wonders if steering wheels or brake pedals now contain that medication?

  3. Agreed Lesley. Old traditiond however unrealistic die hard. Pakistan is a moderate Islamic state and we too have many women air force jet pilots, paratroopers, mountain (Everest) climbers, sports women and ofcourse car drivers by the thosands as also wonmen Prime Minister, Speaker National Assembley, legislators, court judges…the list is long
    -and last but not the least, Malala Yousufzai! The Prophet’s wifes lady Khadijah was an accomplished business woman and Ayesha too had a public life including leading an army once. The Saudis are a cloistered people like many Orthodox Jews and share a semitic brotherhood.

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