Posted by: hannahchenault | January 22, 2015

No Women, No Drive

About two years ago a Saudi Comedian made a video in response to a handful of Saudi women who defied a ban that Saudi Arabia Law had on driving. While I have already seen this video, I have taken a look at it once again since starting this women in leadership class.  A little to my surprise, I have held a much different opinion about this video now than I did in the past.  When I first saw this video I though it was hilarious and I did not think much about the message being conveyed by the video.  Now I have come to the realization that this video addresses the significant issue of gender inequality.

This video is a direct example of what the social role theory looks like in “real-life” application.  Based off of this video it is evident that the Saudi Arabia society has a distinct gender roles for men and women.  In this particular video women’s  gender roles are relayed.  Based on the video’s comments that women cannot drive, should make babies, and that they cook meals, it is evident that the social role of women in Saudi Arabian culture is that they are inferior to men and that they should possess communal, non-agentic traits.

I encourage everyone to take a quick look at this short article (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24711649). It gives more background about the video.  Additionally, this article brings up an interesting point and that is that the maker of this video never explained which side he was on. Was he a proponent for women driving or was he an opponent?  I am going to hypothesize that he was a proponent of women driving due to the fact that he made a comedic video and that he appeared to be young.  Being young in a way indicates that he might have a moral liberal view of traditional Saudi Arabia norms and the fact that he is a comedian indicates that he didn’t mean for the video to be taken seriously.  These are all pure speculations of mine. What is you all’s thoughts on this video and the Saudi comedians intentions behind the video?


Responses

  1. I see this video as being supportive of Saudi Arabian women driving. I think because the video is so sarcastic and satirical it must be in some ways making fun of the Saudi Arabians who are against women driving. I think this is especially true because Fageeh more or less says, but don’t worry, we’ll trust you to have our children and make our meals, but nothing beyond that. As the article says, I think Fageeh is just worried what kind of backlash he will receive if he states he is supportive of women driving.

  2. This topic gets to the issue that we touched upon in class the other day regarding whether or not it is reasonable or acceptable to prescribe your own, or your society’s, values and ideologies about gender roles and social roles to other people and societies.

  3. Since he is a comedian I also think he is being satirical about women driving and supports that women should drive. I agree because he mentions in the beginning of his video that he has been to America which probably had an influenced on how he perceives women, but at the same time he can get in trouble for saying he wants women rights in his country. Though, Dr. Shollen brought up a good point, is it right for us to push our beliefs and opinions on to others. I think that if women in Saudi Arabia want to change then he is not pushing his beliefs on to the society, but supporting it. Also, if we should not push our values on to other people, then is it right for leaders to push for their own political or personal agenda on to their followers?

  4. I think comedians are a great addition to any controversial topic. They make things known without offending anyone (or at least not directly offending anyone). They make tough subjects laughable and show people that sometimes things that we argue about are actually pointless. It gets people thinking “Hey that’s actually not okay” without having to sit through some boring presidential speech or news program. I think it also shows the politicians or the subject of the joke that popular culture doesn’t agree with their views and it shows them how their constituents or subjects are feeling.

  5. I thought this was a really interesting issue that I hadn’t really heard of before watching that video and reading that article. It’s interesting to see how the gender stereotypes differ between differing cultures, but women are still considered inferior to men or incompetent in nearly all cultures. In America, I subconsciously consider driving to be more of a woman’s job than men’s because it seems like women are always the ones carting children around in mini vans to go to school or soccer practice. It’s strange to me that women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia because it seems that it would cause more of a hassle to men if they need to drive women around. I feel like the only purpose of preventing women from driving there is only to remove yet another right from females, without actually having any sort of positive effect on the society.

  6. I believe that the comedian’s introduction to the piece as a social activist and one that understands American ideas would suggest that he is a supporter of women having not only the right to drive, but also for women breaking stereotypes in general. I think it brings up the issue as Dr. Shollen brought up that is it right to impose our moral values on another culture? I would in a way disagree with Lesley, as historically speaking driving has been a masculine role, with many women not even having their license. In modern day time it is very uncommon for women to not be driving, but I think that largely deals with the transition of women’s roles in society, as well as growing equality. I still do believe that women in America are hindered by stereotypes related to driving, such as that women are bad drivers.

  7. I think that in addition to making fun of the idea that woman cannot drive I also think that there was some fun being made of the fake respect in the culture. He mentions one of the excuses for woman not driving is that the Queen doesn’t drive yet immediately after goes into how the woman are the one that cooks the meals for the household.


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