Saudi women wearing their abayas inside out to protest religiously-mandated covering

The BBC (and Quartz) report that there’s a new form of female protest against religiously-mandated clothing restrictions in Islamic countries. (Click on screenshot).

In March the murderous crown prince Mohammed bin Salman decreed that the traditional abaya, a full-length covering gown, was no longer required wear for women in public, and could be replaced by “modest” dress. As the Prince decreed:

“The laws are very clear and stipulated in the laws of Sharia [Islamic law]: that women wear decent, respectful clothing, like men,” he told CBS TV.

“This, however, does not particularly specify a black abaya or black head cover. The decision is entirely left for women to decide what type of decent and respectful attire she chooses to wear.”

Nevertheless, as Quartz reports, “In practice, however, wearing the abaya is all but compulsory—and Saudi women have had enough.” And so, like the “White Wednesdays” and “My Stealthy Freedom” Twitter sites from Iran, Saudi women are protesting the covering by creating their own hashtag cite (in Arabic): , which apparently means “inside-out abaya”.  Yes, the women are wearing their abayas inside out as a protest. Here are a few Tweets from that site:

This is a clever protest, for wearing your abaya inside out violates no rules, but it a definite sign of protest. I hope for the day that Saudi women no longer need to do this.

h/t: Jószef

27 Comments

  1. ploubere
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Someone send this news to Linda Sarsour.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted November 22, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      +1

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    These women, and like-minded freedom-strivers, not the perfidious and barbaric royal family, are the Saudis the United States should be standing behind.

    Hell, the very idea of having, in the 21st century, a “royal family” (especially one that performs anything more than strictly ceremonial functions, which is bad enough) is inimical to all the Enlightenment stands for.

    • Posted November 22, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      + 1

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted November 22, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      +2

      • Mike
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        Any Royal Family is inimical in the 21st or any other Century.

    • phil brown
      Posted November 22, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      I have to say I’m getting more and more acquiescent about having a ceremonial monarch as head of state, considering most of the alternatives on offer. It’s an anachronism, but they’re mostly harmless, and enjoy popular support.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 22, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      But can’t you see that having a hereditary royal family is the model which Trump aspires to for himself and his dynasty. Can’t you see why he so loves KSA?

    • Diane G
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:46 am | Permalink

      +3

  3. Tom Besson
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Having spent over seven years living in Saudi Arabia, I have witnessed the extreme warpage of reality that Saudi men have in regards to how they treat women. Saudi women have a hard time bucking the delusion that it’s their appearance that is the problem, not what Saudi males believe about them.

  4. BJ
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I hope this is a large movement, but I’ve become very cynical when reading articles like the BBC’s. The article says, “About 5,000 tweets using the hashtag have been sent, most from Saudi Arabia.” That’s a very small number, and who knows what “most” means. The only other evidence of this “movement” is the hashtags and a few tweets that they’ve reproduced in the article, and some photographs floating around.

    Of course, I understand why Saudi women who support a change in the many horribly oppressive laws that affect them might be hesitant to protest for their rights. Then again, considering the religiosity of the population, I’d be curious to know how many Saudi women actually want changes to the law that would allow, for example, women to wear whatever they choose. Religion is very good at creating perverse incentives and thought patterns to act against one’s self-interest.

    The best hope for Saudi women and women in most other Middle East theocracies is for reformers to come to power. If a country has a highly religious population that generally follows its religious leaders, the greatest threat to their religious oppression is religious and governmental leaders who will push reform. This can be prompted by protests, so protests can be very helpful, if they are large enough and sustained.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 22, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Can’t start a fire without a spark, BJ — the Boss (no, the other one) told me that. 🙂

      We oughta be fanning the flames, not pissing on the embers.

      • BJ
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Hey, I don’t mean to piss on the embers. Like I said, I hope this protest is bigger than it seems, and protests can spur change.

        I’m just a cynical bastard. It’s a medical condition that seems to worsen with my age.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted November 22, 2018 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

          *improve* with age, BJ. Not ‘worsen’.

          Think positive! 😎

          cr

    • Diane G
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:50 am | Permalink

      “The best hope for Saudi women and women in most other Middle East theocracies is for reformers to come to power. ”

      The best hope for Saudi women is for their male counterparts to recognize their second-class citizenship and protest on their behalf.

      • BJ
        Posted November 24, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        I thiknk you’re talking about an “is” vs. “ought” here.

  5. Posted November 22, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I am very sorry for these women doomed to spend their one and only life with heads and bodies wrapped in black bags.
    I read yesterday horrifying news that the imprisoned women activists who struggled for women’s right to drive have been tortured and sexually abused, treatment until now reserved for male prisoners; at least one of the victims made multiple suicide attempts, and one was pregnant from rape.

  6. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I think Mr MBS is a kind of reformer, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to give up his inherited despotism. As we clearly saw recently.
    I think he wants to ‘modernise ‘ the KSA and especially appear a bit more ‘liberal’. It looks as if the KSA is moving toward a kind of “Arab (economic and other) Community” comprising an alliance with the US (the ‘West’) and Israel, counterbalancing Iran. Looking too Medieval is not good PR.

  7. Heather Hastie
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Good on these women. Saudi Arabian women have the highest suicide rate in the developed world, and things like the enforced encasement in a black bag are one of the reasons. I hope this protest grows until men can no longer ignore it and women are able to choose what they wear without fear of repercussion.

    • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Does SA really count as developed?

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted November 25, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Not socially in terms of women’s rights, but in the usual ways we use to determine that it does. 52% of university graduates there are women for example. It’s just that they can’t work because of the archaic religious rules. Their literacy rate is over 95%, life expectancy 74.5 years. We see them as backward because of Sharia, but if they had a normal, fair legal system instead of Sharia, they’d be little different from most Western countries and better than many.

  8. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    wearing your abaya inside out violates no rules, but it a definite sign of protest.

    Dissenting – with or without definite external signs of protest it is the crime. And if it gains any traction, there will be retribution until the signs of dissent stop. The KSA have the ear (and wallet) of the government of the USA, and he’s not going to be swayed by things like mere public opinion. Even less when he launches his second term programme to repeal the 22nd amendment in favour of the next members of the dynasty.

    • Posted November 23, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      There is no dynasty. And no program to repeal the 22 amendment. Trump will be gone before you know it and there will be no permanent damage.

  9. Jim Jones
    Posted November 22, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    > I hope for the day that Saudi women no longer need to do this.

    I hope for the day that the Saud family of gangsters is gone from the peninsula.

  10. Posted November 23, 2018 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, but why is the pound sign on the left in Arabic hashtags? Doesn’t it make it harder to search?

    • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Changes between left-to-right and right-to-left can be an interesting programming exercise.

    • Diane G
      Posted November 24, 2018 at 2:24 am | Permalink

      Because Arabic reads from right to left?


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] via Saudi women wearing their abayas inside out to protest religiously-mandated covering — Why Evoluti… […]

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *
*
*

%d bloggers like this: