The pervasive inequality between men and women, in all domains of life, has remained a proof of the patriarchy’s propaganda and poisonous sphere of influence. Although women’s rights remain underdeveloped and nonchalantly dismissed in all parts of the world, Saudi Arabia is one country that has demonstrated an extremely aberrant and abominable depiction of male dominance over women.
For far too long, the women of Saudi Arabia have been subjected to systematic suppression and subjugation, all in the name of an ultra radical interpretation of Islam, which allows no flexibility for alternative views or open discussion. Forced to conceal their bodies and answer to the designated male guardians, the women are deemed little more than reproductive organs which are measured by their capacity to birth sons, obedience to orders and conformity to socially constructed conventions. Any woman who desires to explore her own path is immediately branded as a traitor and deviant who should be punished for her manifestation of volition.
Although inhumane and unjust, the patriarchally theocratic punishments forcibly imposed on women, in line with numerous restrictions, have deterred many from daring to voice their grievances with the way that their lives are only measured by the wills and standards of men. Hidden behind legally mandatory veils, the outward appearance of Saudi women is grotesquely reflective of the merciless impositions subduing their minds and hearts. Even after condemning women to a colourless and limited existence, the Saudi patriarchy insisted on deepening the violation by making it mandatory to retain a primitively feudal and archaic custom of entire body coverage. It is important to remember that no other Islamic country imposes the veil through legal enforcement like Saudi Arabia does.
The atrocious situation for women in Saudi Arabia is evocative of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaiden’s Tale novel which depicted a dystopian future where men ruled over women’s bodies and minds with total impunity, measuring their value through fertility, desirability and obedience to male agendas. Human rights groups have routinely complained about the pervasive injustices and prejudice that Saudi women face from an inflexible and unwavering form of misogyny.
However, in recent months Saudi Arabia has come under the spotlight for planning a wide array of alleged ‘reforms’. One of the main points of interest was the recent relinquishment of the driving ban on women. Although some are optimistic about Saudi Arabia’s apparently changing attitude, there are serious concerns that these gestures are illusory devices to distract the female population from the overarching control continuing to encroach in their lives. The recent arrests and stigmatisation of female activists in Saudi Arabia is evidence of how the patriarchy remains indomitably insistent on perpetuating their brand of culturally myopic misogyny on women. Despite all the rhetoric about improving equality and enhancing women’s positions, the elitists did not hesitate to invasively seize ardent female rights activists and stigmatise them as traitors to the public. There are reports that they could be facing numerous years in jail for allegedly conspiring to foment unrest and instability in the country. Women’s voices are so threatening to the regime that they will resort to petulant fabrications to defame any opposition to their precious dominion of control.
To justify their overwhelming suppression of women, the Saudi patriarchy use a twisted form religious fundamentalism to rationalise their regulations. This demonstrates how rationalism is highly vulnerable to fallacious premises and primitive impulses adorned in pseudo-sophisticated arguments by tyrannical elitists who assert control through pervasive indoctrination. Although rationalism is associated with logical thinking and deduction, it cannot remain independent of an ever-increasing myriad of egocentric ideas reconfigured to support the status quo of any particular environment. Higher reflection and humanistic compassion are negated by a dogged rationalism which has been implemented to justify the degrading treatment of women as a result of misogynistic premises, enforced by societal conventions to promote a specific array of ideals that are categorised as the purpose of life. Rationalism is inherently vulnerable to the hypotheses, claims and doctrines of those in a position to justify and enforce their agendas, and the Saudi patriarchy has exploited this to subjugate women
Anyone can use logic and reason to justify any system of thought like the idea that women’s menstrual cycles and reproductive abilities make them inherently inferior and more emotional than men, hence justifying men’s dominion and rule over them. We can move onto to conclude that God is a masculine figure based on this idea, or how about we liken any deviations from this view as comparable to viruses and diseases that must be eradicated to maintain purity of society. Consequently, we arrive at the blueprints for ideological extremism of any kind and it is justified through a twisted form of reasoning. To truly establish any type of reform, the Saudi patriarch must reflect on the warped ideas that have led to unjust treatment towards females.
The Saudi patriarch is offering illusory visions of change to repress the rising rebellion of the young, female population. They know that the female spirit of resilience grows fiercer in the upcoming youth, and they are desperately seeking to distract them whilst regaining total control. Empty platitudes and promises of reformation characterise their attempt to win over the disillusioned parts of their population, but anyone who believes these propositions will be bitterly disappointed, for the guardianship system is the true scourge that needs to be vanquished to the footnotes of history as a calamitous abomination of human error and tyranny. Until this oppressive system, that implicitly classes women as inferior possessions of men, is eradicated, there will be no true change in the rights for women in Saudi. Every woman who lives in that country deserves to have a voice and a face, and the justified rebels need to remain vigilant of the subversion and subterfuge used by the bigots in power.