A Tainted Life
On the 5th day of December 2013 Arabic CNN posted this news article about a young female Saudi University student who allegedly attacked her female Professor after finding out that her husband had taken on the professor as a second wife. The picture shows a female in a public arena kneeling on the ground while surrounded by 4 male police authority figures. One is holding a cane/stick and striking her with it, or at least getting ready to.
Not much is known or being told outside of this one single news article and what circulates social media. On Twitter you can find the Hash-tag #جلد_فتاة_جامعة_رفحاء which will reveal similar pictures to the one posted by the article as well as a myriad of comments some in English and many in Arabic. I found many of the comments to be quite interesting to say the least.
Media Black out as usual.
The story as is being conveyed through social media goes as follows; The woman seen in the picture received a sum of 80 lashes in the (all female) university she attends. The punishment was delivered by a religious judge after the accused attacked a female professor on site whom her husband took on as a second wife. Her alleged attack of the professor resulted in a miscarriage as the professor ( the second wife) was apparently pregnant.
The volume of outrage I felt and continue to feel regarding this story I find to be overwhelming. As I post more on here and as you read more from me you will soon come to find out my personal chronicle of abduction, imprisonment, false accusations followed by punishment that I experienced during my dejected state of existence on the soil of Saudi Arabia where one can do nothing more but simply survive.
I would like to hear from readers on this one. Read the article, search the Twitter Hash-Tag and read the comments. Then come here and tell me what you think about it all. While you do this allow me to give you my 2 cents worth of outrage.
Consider, if you may, that you are a woman in a country like Saudi Arabia which practices one of the worst forms of Sharia law on this planet (Wahhabi Islam.) So here you are in a country that incapacitates your entity by religious laws which bind you to a male guardian in every aspect of your function to a point of severe and probably harmful restriction.
Basic things like movement, travel, schooling, obtaining a passport, going to dinner in a restaurant, working, getting married…etc cannot be done without – in many cases – the signed consent of that male guardian. You have very little say in your own life and how it is lived.
What would you do if this was you?
Place your self physically & emotionally in that situation where a man (e.g. your husband) knows he has this magnitude of power over you. This man by default is privileged by this system, who on top of the power it grants him over you as a female, allows him full range to abuse this power. The female on the other hand is taught to thank god she has a male guardian to look after her and to count her lucky stars!
In this system a man can marry up to 4 women without as much as informing any of them who he is married to or how many women he has as wives. Add to that the weakened position of the female where she cannot simply ask or go out to the courts and file for a divorce….but that is another story we won’t get into today.
The term used best to describe this system is misogyny or, if you prefer, outright slavery. A system which creates a passage way for abhorrent deception and a genuine power imbalance that certainly devises a fracture in the society as well as the family living in it. Can you imagine the psychological and emotional harm inflicted on a woman in this environment and her children?
Imagine the defense mechanisms one must master to live like this. Imagine how chemically depleted one could get from the chronic stress of such a life.The defeat one must feel to be marginalized by an entire system and it’s people. Imagine how little tiny problems could turn into catastrophic events that ruin lives…
Regardless what the details are of this story the big picture should not be overlooked.
The system being practiced here is against women. Not only that but it is against humanity. There is no other version of this crisis where the woman comes out on top or a winner. There just isn’t. A woman down on her knees in a public arena being lashed by men in a supposedly all female university is a boorish display of a very one sided collapsed justice system and no I do not care what it is she did, she does not deserve THIS PUNISHMENT.
I was once this woman…this broken person wrapped in black being beaten down to a vacant state of existence. I am this woman no more…and I hope she too finds the inner strength to overcome this frightful life she has been forced to consent to.