There’s an old American folk song, “The Wagoner’s Lad,” which begins with this verse:
Oh hard is the fortune of all womankind
They’re always controlled, they’re always confined;
Controlled by their parents until they are wives
Then slaves to their husbands for the rest of their lives.
It’s a heartbreaking song with a beautiful tune (I first heard it in the Kingston Trio’s version), but, thank Ceiling Cat, life has changed since that song was written on the American frontier. Well, it has in America, but the verse above exactly describes life in Saudi Arabia.
That country is our ally, and yet we don’t protest when they treat their women like chattel, which in fact is exactly what they are under law. It’s hard for us to change things there, but social media can help—if only to let us know how desperate many of these women are.
There’s a new Twitter site, #stopenslavingsaudiwomen, designed to allow Saudi women to post anonymously about their situation, which, as we know, isn’t conducive to happiness.
Some of the messages are heartbreaking, and you should go see for yourself. (The Sister Hood site mentioned below also explains in brief the many ways the country subjugates and infantilizes women through the odious institution of “male guardianship”).
Nearly all the women posting from inside the country are both anonymous and have their faces covered, which itself tells you what things are like there. I’ll post a few messages and then the site’s video. (Some of the messages are reposted by “Isaac Cohen,” obviously a conduit for these women.)
Meanwhile, the site Sister Hood has posted what it calls “the first English language video created by women inside Saudi for their #StopEnslavingSaudiWomen campaign.”