“Saudi Men Support” Saudi Women Driving

I googled “Saudi Women Driving” just now, and here is a representative sample of headlines from publications from both the East and West over the last few days:

Saudi Women Flaunt The Driving Ban

The Dilemma of Saudi Women Drivers

Saudi women: Driven to succeed

Saudi women deserve the right to drive

Today’s Lady News: Saudi Women Flaunt The Driving Ban

Saudi Women Demand Right To Drive 

Pot of emotions for Saudi woman driver 

Women turn to technology to demand change in Arab revolution

Two more Saudi women defy driving ban 

Women driving campaign

I then googled “Saudi Men Support” Saudi Women Driving, and here is a representative sample of headlines:



That’s right— nothing. I found no headline announcing the support of Saudi men for Saudi women driving. There’s something wrong here.

Saudi Arabia is a country controlled by men. Women, especially, are controlled by men. These women who drive are not doing so except with the permission of men. The men of the households of the women who drive either support them outright, permit their participation in the campaign, or, at least do not forbid it, so why are reporters not writing about them? Why are the men, themselves, not speaking out— or are they, and I simply haven’t seen the reports?

Am I to understand that the men are more afraid of the religious fatwa-makers than the women? I think not. I think that the men are, indeed, working behind the scenes to influence whose who need to be influenced so that women will be allowed to drive soon.

I also think writers are missing the boat when they focus exclusively on women’s determination, bravery, passion, etc., while they ignore the most important part of the issue– the men who are making it all possible. Of course, no one wants to hear that the success of the driving campaign rests upon the shoulders of men, but how else can the problem be resolved, except by the will of the men? Does anyone really think that a bunch of Saudi women can demand something like the right to drive, and get it without strong support of men?  Let’s get real about Saudi Arabia. If men want women to drive, women will drive. If they don’t, they won’t.





About Marahm

At first glance, I may appear to be a middle-aged American woman with kids, grandkids, retired from a job in a hospital, gratefully relieved from the responsibilities that come with all of that. Behind the image, which is true enough, I am fairly unhinged from much of American mainstream living, having spent twelve years in Saudi Arabia, years that sprung me from societal and familial impositions, and narrow bands of truth. I have learned to embrace my identity as a seeker, an artist, and a writer. I study Arabic and Italian language, because I love them, and I love their people. I still dream of spending more time in the Middle East and Italy, though the dreaming now seems more real than the possibilities. I am a photographer. I write, and sometimes publish, flash memoir, and now a blog or two.
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1 Response to “Saudi Men Support” Saudi Women Driving

  1. Issam says:

    There are many Saudi men who support the right of Saudi women to drive. Actually I think most of the supporters are men. It is just that such news is not controversial and so more likely would not hit the news.

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