Click HERE for 2 minute video with captions
Dear Gatnet Friends
Before we get to the content of what the eminent Saudi Historian has to say on this relevant topic of women who want to be raped, let me take you quickly to our Gatnet 2.0 site and show you how you can put to work one of the special tools we have developed to support the collaborative work at Gatnet. Happily, these rather simple tools are also more generally to anyone anywhere who happens to share our interest in the complex topic of women, transport and equity in our oh so different societies.
The particular tool I would like to draw to your attention today is our so-call KNOOGLE (yes, an ugly word) combined search engine, to which you can go directly here – – https://gatnet.wordpress.com/links-sources-2/searching-all-links/.
Now, to show you a sample of how this works, this morning I wanted to know more about the site of the local elections in Saudi Arabia where for the first time 130,000 women registered to vote and when the ballots were counted more than a dozen of these heroes have been elected to local office — for the first time.
So I scrolled down on the right menu here where it indicates KNOOLGE, and popped in the single key word “Saudi” which called up a very large number of entries, with coverage of the latest developments in the voting situation right up top. With the eminent Saudi historian’s remarks toward the end of the first page of entries.
And now if you wish, let’s take a look at that article and see if we can understand what the good gentleman has in mind:
Saudi Historian Says U.S. Women Drive Because They Don’t Care If They’re Raped
Click HERE for 2 minute video with captions
A Saudi Arabian historian trying to justify the nation’s ban on female drivers sayswomen who drive in other countries such as the United States don’t care if they’re raped and that sexual violence “is no big deal to them.”
Saleh al-Saadoon claimed in a recent TV interview that women can be raped when a car breaks down, but unlike other countries, Saudi Arabia protects its women from that risk by not allowing them to drive in the first place, according to a translation posted online by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
“They don’t care if they are raped on the roadside, but we do,” al-Saadoon said on Saudi Rotana Khalijiyya TV.
“Hold on. Who told you they don’t care about getting raped on the roadside?” asked the host, a woman who is not named in the transcript.
“It’s no big deal for them beyond the damage to their morale,” al-Saadoon replied. “In our case, however, the problem is of a social and religious nature.”
Two other guests on the show — a man and a woman — appeared to be in shock over his comments. Al-Saadoon said they were out of touch.
“They should listen to me and get used to what society thinks,” al-Saadoon said.
Since the rape argument didn’t seem to be convincing anyone, al-Saadoon tried another approach, claiming that women are treated “like queens” in Saudi Arabia because they are driven around by the men of the family and male chauffeurs. That led the host to ask if he wasn’t afraid that women might be raped by their chauffeurs.
“There is a solution, but the government officials and the clerics refuse to hear of it,” he said. “The solution is to bring in female foreign chauffeurs to drive our wives.”
That caused the female host to laugh and cover her face with her palm.
“Female foreign chauffeurs?” she said. “Seriously?”
Saudi women face serious penalties if they are caught driving, including lashing. Two women who defied the ban on driving last year, Loujain al-Hathloul and Maysa al-Amoudi, are being tried in a court that handles terror cases.
(h/t Raw Story)
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My objective is to share this with those interested in testing one concrete example of how the KNOOGLE browser can be put to work for efficient research purposes. I have to say here that I take no great joy in the extreme words of the speaker, our historian, but what is important for us as agents of social change is to be able to listen to the full range of points of view, biases and fears. Even those that we may deplore. One characteristic of most human beings is that they really are basically change-averse. Thus, the first step to actually bringing about change is to understand their pont of view, and then to piece together a necessarily complex solutoin — or barring that a path or process toward a solution — that just may take a bit of time.
But let’s today celebrate a first victory for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, in the knowledge that this is just one step in a long process.
“At least 18 women elected to municipal councils in Saudi Arabia’s first poll open to female voters and candidates.” 14 Dec 2015. http://www.aljazeera.com/
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About the editor:
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Bio: Educated as an international development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at https://goo.gl/9CJXTh and @ericbritton
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