Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

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Oscar Namechange
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Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

Post by Oscar Namechange »

spot;1393893 wrote: I'm interested to see what MilkMoon has to say about these assorted points of view.

.


As you keep saying yet she made It perfectly clear In her OP that this was a conflict of choice between her and her parents.

She asked for advice as to how she could persuede her parents Into seeing their way to allow her choice. I don't think she asked for a debate on East and West morality which Is the agenda you have shown here.

Perhaps she won't return now to this thread for being put off by a self Imposed know It all telling her she should be grateful for what she has In her ' Paradise'. Instead of the plain advice she asked for. Then what If she does return? It'll just give another chance to batter her Into submission....

Or you are awaiting her return In the hope that she will state that we are all wrong and you are right... That's the usual format with you.
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Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

Post by MilkMoon »

spot;1393843 wrote: I think what should change is you, to be honest. You appear to ignore all the advantages your society's upbringing has brought you. You've been brought up in one of the safest countries in the world, protected from an immense amount of physical and mental violence which is endemic practically everywhere else.


spot;1393868 wrote: What I wrote is that it's selfish of her to do so, it would be detrimental to her society. The benefits to her of growing up in that country far outweigh the patrician insensitivity her culture and her national law displays when it claims the right to restrict her lifestyle. It's saved her from half-naked hookers strolling around red light districts, it's saved her and her cohort from theft and rape and forced exposure to unlimited and unavoidable pornographic imagery. Saudi Arabia is a cultural oasis compared to most of the planet - I'm thinking particularly of Mardi Gras here. Long may it continue that way.


spot;1393877 wrote: Compared to most girls, Western or otherwise, she's been brought up in paradise.


gmc;1393892 wrote: What utter bollocks. That is like arguing that slaves should accept their lot because overall the society in which they live benefits from their situation. You also seem to have the puritans obsession with sex and pornography.

A family and culture can be like a cocoon to keep you safe but it is also a prison with bars of familial obligation and tradition instead of steel and you can waste a lifetime trying to make other people happy before you realise their happiness was at your expense.


oscar;1393899 wrote: She asked for advice as to how she could persuede her parents Into seeing their way to allow her choice. I don't think she asked for a debate on East and West morality which Is the agenda you have shown here..


Well now, this is interesting. I'd only been gone for about a day, and there are three more pages to this thread already. When I first started this thread, I was wondering what kind of people would respond. I must admit, I'm rather pleased to find that most people here are friendly, reasonable, and unprejudiced. It appears that you, spot, are the only exception. So far.

You know, when I saw your first post, I began responding immediately. I'd typed about 800 words before I stopped and thought that perhaps I should ask you to elaborate further, just to confirm my suspicions. I hadn't the time yesterday, and reading your responses now, I find myself pretty unsurprised. It was just as I thought. You are one of those people who think that Saudi Arabia is so much 'safer' and 'protected' than any other country because of its Victorian prudishness. I'm also assuming that you are one of those people who think that rape happens in dark alleyways by complete strangers, and that there's no such thing as forced prostitution or otherwise in this country. I find it rather arrogant and presumptuous of you to talk about the Kingdom like you know everything about it, when you clearly don't. Even if you have been to Saudi Arabia, you will not have gotten a true image of it by living on a compound, where most - if not all - British or American expats live.

Are you aware that there is no social security in this country? That it is virtually impossible to sue anybody or anyone here? That mental illness is often treated with exorcisms or other extreme methods? That there are no hotlines of any sort? That homosexuals are sentenced to death (yes, beheaded, as someone had asked)? That there is very little/no consumer protection? That certain ethnic groups (or just non-Saudis) have undergone horrendous abuse for so long by their employers, to the extent that some countries like the Philippines have banned their citizens from coming here to work, because it was so bad? That if you are wronged by a rich and/or important member of society, there's nothing you can do about it (e.g. take them to court), no matter how severe the case? That members of government are elected based on their names and their relationship with the King, NOT based on whether they are capable or not? That the health care here is terrible, and whoever wants proper care goes abroad, if they can afford it?

And as for 'protected from physical and mental violence', I'll argue that in terms of women's rights, just because I know more about it, because it does - or may - affect me directly, and because you happened to mention rape, a touchy subject for me. For your information, women here:


Can be married against their will no matter their age, which is basically rape (and if the girl is young enough, child abuse)

Undergo FGM- aka, Female Genital Mutilation - often by force, which often involves the removal of the clitoris and other vaginal parts to ensure 'purity'. It occurs predominantly in the lower class families, usually without anesthetic.

Can be raped by their husband, relative, or by a religious sheik and not have anything done about it, especially since the 'culture' you speak so highly of cares more about the honor of the family name than the safety of the actual family members.

Have no access to basic reproductive health care

Will undergo a punishment of 100 lashings if they report a rape and the man accused denies it, because by Islamic law a woman's word is worth half that of a man's, and the punishment of accusing an "innocent" person of rape is 100 lashings (though the sheiks can tweak that number as they see fit)

Can't control a bank account, leave the country, get surgery that can have a sexual nature (e.g. a mastectomy), or do other things that should be basic rights, without the consent of a 'wali al amr', or male guardian.

Can't drive, meaning that she has to either rely on either a male relative or taxi to drive her everywhere. There are several implications to this. The first is that many Saudi women have male relatives that refuse to take them places and/or let them get into a taxi, and that many, many Saudi women give up half their salaries to their relatives just because they drive them to work. The second would be that the woman would have to order, wait, and pay for a taxi to go anywhere, which is not only expensive, but also potentially dangerous. A lot of women get abducted this way.




As for prostitution, women are sold into it by their own relatives all the time. If they are discovered, they are sentenced to death or lashed, even if it was against their will. Besides, in my personal opinion, prostitution doesn't always have to follow the 'traditional' route of street-walking and red-light districts. The definition of prostitution is "a person, typically a woman, who engages in sexual activity for payment." Education is not compulsory in Saudi Arabia, last I checked. So even a woman does get educated, it's still highly unlikely she will get employed, especially if her guardian refuses. Families steer their womenfolk into getting married, and drill the idea into them before they can even walk. Many families actually tell their women that if they do not get married, they will be thrown out onto the streets. So, in order to survive, and have some form of financial support, what do most women have to do? Get married. What does marriage usually entail? Sex. What does this mean? Women, in a way, sell themselves in order to keep from being thrown onto the streets, which is, to me, just a more socially acceptable method of prostitution.

Another reason you might think that Saudi Arabia is an 'oasis' in comparison to other places is because everything is here is swept under the carpet, and people learn from very early on to keep their mouths shut, especially against the government. They censor a lot here, and not just sexually explicit content, but also religious and political sources of information. It's hard to know what's actually going on unless you're living here as a citizen, and even then, you'd still know very little.

Also, there is something called 'the dark figure' of crime. It refers to crimes that do not make into the statistics, because they are unreported, recorded, or both. You would be a fool to think that just because the rape rate is ridiculously low in Saudi Arabia that it doesn't happen here. Even in the US and the UK, majority of rapes go unreported, and most of them are perpetrated by someone the victim knows.

I'd listed mostly talked about the big issues above, but there's also something to be said about little things that make living somewhere enjoyable. No parks, no cinema, no amusement parks anywhere nearby, only one bookshop which isn't even a proper one and has a very small selection of books, few forms of entertainment…they even stopped selling music and magazines in some places. Did you know that? You can't stop by some coffee shop with your friends, either, or take the dog for a walk, go on a date… Oh, and if you're a woman, forget about sports, because not only does it involve 'exposure', but also, many people are concerned that strenuous physical activity will or can result in the woman's hymen breaking. That's why they do not have gym class in girl's schools.

I've heard of many British people leaving the UK because of the weather. So why is it to "selfish" of me to want to leave my country because it treats women like ****, and because I want to be independent, and maybe even happy?
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Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

Post by MilkMoon »

P.S. I'm not sure if any of this will actually affect your response or not. For some reason, I don't see you as the type of person who cares about women's rights, child abuse, racism, or homosexuals.
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Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

Post by Oscar Namechange »

Thank You for your Insight Into Saudi life Milkmoon...

I did watch a documentary Into how women are treated In Saudi some time ago but I confess It was not as Informed as hearing It first hand from a Saudi Lady.

The difficult part here Is that your parents want what they feel Is best for you but you wish to follow your own choices.

It's difficult for us to comprehend living In the freedom of the West but one thing I am sure of, Is that If you had to leave your country and persue the career of your choice, your parents would still be proud of you and what you achieve.

Anyone In the West with a similar situation, I would advise to take work weekends and evenings to pay their own way but I know how difficult It Is for a woman to gain employment In your country.

Be proud of yourself and stand by the courage of your convictions. It's only when women like yourself give In to repression that nothing changes.
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Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

Post by MilkMoon »

Thank you for your support. I doubt they would be proud of me, but I think I know that I've already made my choice.
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Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

Post by spot »

MilkMoon;1393911 wrote: You are one of those people who think that Saudi Arabia is so much 'safer' and 'protected' than any other country because of its Victorian prudishness. I'm also assuming that you are one of those people who think that rape happens in dark alleyways by complete strangers, and that there's no such thing as forced prostitution or otherwise in this country. I find it rather arrogant and presumptuous of you to talk about the Kingdom like you know everything about it, when you clearly don't.Thank you for taking the time to type in your informative and detailed response to my suggestions. I have no doubt in my mind that you're a Saudi citizen and as such it's interesting to hear facts from the ground rather than newspaper bias and anti-Muslim prejudice. If you've taken away an impression that I'm unfriendly, unreasonable and prejudiced then you're not the first to do so.

I certainly think that Saudi Arabia is 'safer' and 'protected' compared with many other countries though not because of "Victorian prudishness" - I doubt whether Saudi culture has been influenced even slightly by the opinions of 19th century England. It's influenced by a thousand years of Islamic practice which may also be hung up on sexual mores but for quite different reasons. If you tell me that Saudi Arabia is not, in fact, 'safer' and its citizens better 'protected' compared with many other countries then you surprise me but then, before you started this thread I had no idea there were any sixteen year old girls capable of writing in the style you've brought here, much less Saudi ones. Perhaps that's judgmental on my part but then, so was your final paragraph as regards my own "type".

Your description of Saudi Arabia may well be remarkably accurate, I'll assume it is. Either it can be changed from within or by an external imposition of an alien culture. If you're running off and leaving your sisters to their fate then I suppose it will have to be the unIslamic West which pummels your rulers into conformity with the values you want imported. I think it's important that such an outcome be resisted, even if it inconveniences your personal comfort.
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Post by Oscar Namechange »

spot;1393919 wrote:

Your description of Saudi Arabia may well be remarkably accurate, I'll assume it is. Either it can be changed from within or by an external imposition of an alien culture. If you're running off and leaving your sisters to their fate then I suppose it will have to be the unIslamic West which pummels your rulers into conformity with the values you want imported. I think it's important that such an outcome be resisted, even if it inconveniences your personal comfort.


So are you basically saying repression of women In Islamic East Is tough luck to any female born there?
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spot;1393919 wrote: Thank you for taking the time to type in your informative and detailed response to my suggestions. I have no doubt in my mind that you're a Saudi citizen and as such it's interesting to hear facts from the ground rather than newspaper bias and anti-Muslim prejudice. If you've taken away an impression that I'm unfriendly, unreasonable and prejudiced then you're not the first to do so.


Perhaps calling you prejudiced may have been too harsh, 'ignorant' may have been a better term to describe your previous comments. You claimed that Saudi is protected, and free of physical and mental violence, though you have no evidence to prove your claims. Then, you didn't just stop there. You went on to say that Saudi women are brought up in paradise in comparison to women in other countries, and that the restriction of our lifestyles by culture and law is irrelevant when comparison to your perceived benefits, which were all unfounded.



I certainly think that Saudi Arabia is 'safer' and 'protected' compared with many other countries though not because of "Victorian prudishness" - I doubt whether Saudi culture has been influenced even slightly by the opinions of 19th century England.


You misunderstood. When I used the term 'Victorian prudishness' I did not mean to imply that Saudi Arabia was influenced by 19th century England, instead I was comparing the attitudes and norms of Saudi culture to those present in the Victorian period. And also, what makes you still so sure that Saudi is safer, despite my previous post?

Your description of Saudi Arabia may well be remarkably accurate, I'll assume it is. Either it can be changed from within or by an external imposition of an alien culture. If you're running off and leaving your sisters to their fate then I suppose it will have to be the unIslamic West which pummels your rulers into conformity with the values you want imported. I think it's important that such an outcome be resisted, even if it inconveniences your personal comfort.


You see now, you could have said this from the start. All your other posts were quite the eyebrow-raiser for me, but your quote right here, I can see the logic in. I have thought about this long before I ever started this thread, and have come up with several questions. How exactly can I go about fighting for change, when my own family are standing in the way? Even if they weren't, how does one even start? There are people here who've been fighting for years and years for an important cause, for something as simple as starting an animal shelter, to no avail. So imagine a small group of women fighting to change the law, especially law that has an Islamic basis (like the lashings one above). Didn't you just say that the majority will not be in favour of something like that?

And also, why the change in tune? Weren't you just saying that "I think what should change is you, to be honest", and "The benefits to her of growing up in that country far outweigh the patrician insensitivity her culture and her national law displays when it claims the right to restrict her lifestyle", and not to mention "Long may it continue that way". Why are suddenly in favour of change and suggesting that I should stay with my other "sisters" to fight for change instead of the West doing so, whereas just a few posts ago, you were practically encouraging me to roll over and submit?
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Who is being selfish: me or my parents?

Post by spot »

oscar;1393921 wrote: So are you basically saying repression of women In Islamic East Is tough luck to any female born there?


I don't recall England's suffragists being handed women's rights on a plate, do you? Nor that the Pankhursts emigrated. If internal change takes fifty years then it takes fifty years and it's time to get started.
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MilkMoon;1393923 wrote: Perhaps calling you prejudiced may have been too harsh, 'ignorant' may have been a better term to describe your previous comments. You claimed that Saudi is protected, and free of physical and mental violence, though you have no evidence to prove your claims.
If you're going to misquote me or misrepresent what I wrote then we'll not make much progress. What I wrote was "You've been brought up in one of the safest countries in the world, protected from an immense amount of physical and mental violence which is endemic practically everywhere else" and I still think that's true. My statement is relative and comparative, your misrepresentation is absolute - I would neither say that nor defend it nor think it true.
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Thank you Milkmoon for so eloquently explaining your situation.

Most peculiar response from the Spotmiester.

He appears to accept MilkMoon's reply, while still condemning her for being selfish and abandoning her sisters.

Perhaps if the country looses it's bright youth, who later return home, the culture will evolve rather than be supplanted by an alien one.

Seems Milkmoons reply was a verbose version of gmc's opening sentence.
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spot;1393924 wrote: I don't recall England's suffragists being handed women's rights on a plate, do you? Nor that the Pankhursts emigrated. If internal change takes fifty years then it takes fifty years and it's time to get started.


Your protests may have some relevance should you highlight the sheer hypocrisy of Saudi Arabia..... Whilst Internal changes may take another 50 years and while repressed women fight for the vote, to be able to drive a car etc etc. Saudi Arabia panders to the west.

If It was a case of fighting to keep their Islamic culture untainted from the West, then you explain to me why Saudi Casino's and Saudi horse racing Is big business out there?

Glorious hotels are built with one thing In mind...... to attract the tourists from the West....... and property tycoons also vie for Western Investment.... Yet they continue to repress women. Don't tell me It's the Islamic faith for If It were, none of the above would take place...... It's sheer hypocrisy and you buy Into It because yu are In deed Ignorant of the whole picture and the facts.
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MilkMoon;1393923 wrote: You see now, you could have said this from the start. All your other posts were quite the eyebrow-raiser for me, but your quote right here, I can see the logic in. I have thought about this long before I ever started this thread, and have come up with several questions. How exactly can I go about fighting for change, when my own family are standing in the way? Even if they weren't, how does one even start? There are people here who've been fighting for years and years for an important cause, for something as simple as starting an animal shelter, to no avail. So imagine a small group of women fighting to change the law, especially law that has an Islamic basis (like the lashings one above). Didn't you just say that the majority will not be in favour of something like that?

And also, why the change in tune? Weren't you just saying that "I think what should change is you, to be honest", and "The benefits to her of growing up in that country far outweigh the patrician insensitivity her culture and her national law displays when it claims the right to restrict her lifestyle", and not to mention "Long may it continue that way". Why are suddenly in favour of change and suggesting that I should stay with my other "sisters" to fight for change instead of the West doing so, whereas just a few posts ago, you were practically encouraging me to roll over and submit?
I criticized, ignorantly and with insufficient information, your condemnation of the state of women's safety in Saudi Arabia. You tell me that the female citizens of Saudi Arabia are physically less safe than their counterparts elsewhere in the world and while I find that astonishingly unlikely I'm in no position to say you're wrong since you're giving first-hand evidence.

I suggested that the cultural inheritance of Saudi citizens is valuable and not to be thrown out in exchange for the wholesale adoption of Western rights, attitudes and lifestyle. You evidently disagree. I'm all in favour of an internal rebalancing of attitudes and the legal system, women in England faced all the problems you've listed between 1870 and the 1920s and that's how long it took them to establish the first few legal changes. You'd rather be given a replacement society by the external overthrow of the House of Saud? That's your affair. I'd happily see it destroyed from within but that's evolution as opposed to assimilation. What you actually do about any of it is your own affair, I hope.
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oscar;1393927 wrote: Glorious hotels are built with one thing In mind...... to attract the tourists from the West.......
What??

I had no idea at all that Western tourism (as opposed to Muslim observance of the obligation of Hajj) was even allowed in Saudi Arabia, much less encouraged. Speaking on subjects I'm so totally uninformed about is something I must avoid in future.
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Post by rajakrsna »

We have no problem dealing with Muslims here in our place. Why? Because we were Muslims before Spain converted us to Christianity. We used to worship God Bathala & this was what looked like. The icon is not found in the Bible but he can be found in the book Srimad Bhagavatam.



My point is it will take a long time to convert culturally Saudi Arabians to our so-called modern way of life ( girls wearing bikinis in public, etc ).
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spot;1393933 wrote: What??

I had no idea at all that Western tourism (as opposed to Muslim observance of the obligation of Hajj) was even allowed in Saudi Arabia, much less encouraged. Speaking on subjects I'm so totally uninformed about is something I must avoid in future.


Weather in Saudi Arabia - Lonely Planet Travel Information

http://www.marriott.co.uk/search/findHotels.mi

Crime in Saudi Arabia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As Milkmoon suggested... perhaps some research on your behalf would be beneficial before waxing lyrical.
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oscar;1393941 wrote: As Milkmoon suggested... perhaps some research on your behalf would be beneficial before waxing lyrical.Oscar, are you seriously going to try to pretend that the "one thing In mind" the Saudis have when building hotels is "the tourists from the West......."? You just quoted from the Lonely Planet Guide!:Saudi Arabia is one of the most difficult places in the world to visit. Note that Jews are not granted visas to the Kingdom. During the last six years the Saudi authorities have started tentatively to issue tourist visas, but only for those willing to travel as part of a group (minimum four people) organised by a recognised tour company (including dive companies).

[...] women under 30 years old must be accompanied by their husband or brother (who must also arrive and leave Saudi Arabia at the same time). Note that men and women are only allowed to travel together (and granted a visa to do so) if they are (a) married (with an official marriage licence) or (b) form part of a group. I also note that destinations are rigorously limited for Western tourists. I applied under Saudi citizen sponsorship a while ago to visit Asir - the Saudi western seacoast - and got turned down permanently and immediately, they didn't even get to asking me whether I'd spent any time in Israel.
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spot;1393945 wrote: Oscar, are you seriously going to try to pretend that the "one thing In mind" the Saudis have when building hotels is "the tourists from the West......."? You just quoted from the Lonely Planet Guide!:Saudi Arabia is one of the most difficult places in the world to visit. Note that Jews are not granted visas to the Kingdom. During the last six years the Saudi authorities have started tentatively to issue tourist visas, but only for those willing to travel as part of a group (minimum four people) organised by a recognised tour company (including dive companies).

[...] women under 30 years old must be accompanied by their husband or brother (who must also arrive and leave Saudi Arabia at the same time). Note that men and women are only allowed to travel together (and granted a visa to do so) if they are (a) married (with an official marriage licence) or (b) form part of a group. I also note that destinations are rigorously limited for Western tourists. I applied under Saudi citizen sponsorship a while ago to visit Asir - the Saudi western seacoast - and got turned down permanently and immediately, they didn't even get to asking me whether I'd spent any time in Israel.


I pretend nothing.....There Is enough evidence on the web that Saudi has been attracting more western tourism and Investment..... Yes, there are restrictions but you are the one who claimed It was a 'paradise' untainted by the west.

Hotel chains bullish about Saudi hospitality sector despite terror scare | ehotelier.com News Archives

Hotel chains bullish about Saudi hospitality sector despite terror scare | ehotelier.com News Archives
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Post by spot »

Go and try booking a trip, and then come back and tell us. That's how I found out.

I made no such claim, your paraphrase is (as so often happens) grotesquely untrue. By all means go back and check.
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spot;1393947 wrote: Go and try booking a trip, and then come back and tell us. That's how I found out.

I made no such claim, your paraphrase is (as so often happens) grotesquely untrue. By all means go back and check.


Posted by Spot

"Of course I "accept that a young lady from Saudi may wish to have the same freedom of choice that the West enjoys". What I wrote is that it's selfish of her to do so, it would be detrimental to her society. The benefits to her of growing up in that country far outweigh the patrician insensitivity her culture and her national law displays when it claims the right to restrict her lifestyle. It's saved her from half-naked hookers strolling around red light districts, it's saved her and her cohort from theft and rape and forced exposure to unlimited and unavoidable pornographic imagery. Saudi Arabia is a cultural oasis compared to most of the planet - I'm thinking particularly of Mardi Gras here. Long may it continue that way."

What I have done Is highlight the hypocricy where Saudi now has a western tourism Industry, yes, albeit with restrictions, western Investment and operates horse racing and casino's whilst continuing to repress women. I have provided links to show there Is tourism after you wrote:

" I had no idea at all that Western tourism (as opposed to Muslim observance of the obligation of Hajj) was even allowed in Saudi Arabia, much less encouraged. "
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Post by Bruv »

spot;1393945 wrote:

I applied under Saudi citizen sponsorship a while ago to visit Asir - the Saudi western seacoast - and got turned down permanently and immediately, they didn't even get to asking me whether I'd spent any time in Israel.


It's not all bad then ?
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Post by gmc »

posted by spot

I'll be interested to hear her opinion, since it will be well-informed. What she says will add to my understanding of the issue.




spot;1393925 wrote: If you're going to misquote me or misrepresent what I wrote then we'll not make much progress. What I wrote was "You've been brought up in one of the safest countries in the world, protected from an immense amount of physical and mental violence which is endemic practically everywhere else" and I still think that's true. My statement is relative and comparative, your misrepresentation is absolute - I would neither say that nor defend it nor think it true.


posted by spot

If you tell me that Saudi Arabia is not, in fact, 'safer' and its citizens better 'protected' compared with many other countries then you surprise me but then, before you started this thread I had no idea there were any sixteen year old girls capable of writing in the style you've brought here, much less Saudi ones. Perhaps that's judgmental on my part but then, so was your final paragraph as regards my own "type".


posted by spot

I criticized, ignorantly and with insufficient information, your condemnation of the state of women's safety in Saudi Arabia. You tell me that the female citizens of Saudi Arabia are physically less safe than their counterparts elsewhere in the world and while I find that astonishingly unlikely I'm in no position to say you're wrong since you're giving first-hand evidence.


She gave a very clear and concise explanation as to why your impression was very wrong yet you seem unprepared to even consider that perhaps you have hold of the wrong end if the stick and that indeed for women living in saudi arabia is anything but nice and safe. Why ask someone's opinion if you are then going to regard it so lightly? Sometimes you have to bow down and accept that someone may have greater knowledge than you and you need to reconsider your opinion. That comment about sixteen year old girls is enlightening personally I would expect any reasonably educated male or female sixteen year old to be capable of expressing themselves in an articulate manner written or otherwise. You are a closet misogynist perhaps?

posted by spot

As for "the saudis aren't preserving their culture they are pandering to backward religious misogynists in order to keep power because they don't have the nerve to allow their people the vote", two points. Saudi Arabia doesn't allow its citizens to amend the constitution but then, that's true of the UK too. We're both monarchies. We both have local and national parliaments with elected members. We both have regular elections with full adult suffrage.


Not really relevant to this thread but we are not a monarchy in the full sense of the word, we have no written constitution and are a parliamentary democracy, parliament is the sovereign power with the queen as a figurehead unlike the saudi monarch who has real political power. Your comparison is spurious. We led the way in executing royalty and curbing their power - the mother of parliaments has very bloody hands.
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Post by spot »

You're quite mistaken in saying I've not accepted MilkMoon's evidence in the thread as an accurate reflection of her experience. I have because, without evidence to the contrary, we've a convention of believing people are who they claim to be. The confidence of the site was nastily burned by a male in his sixties posing as a teenage girl some while back but that's the nature of Internet forums. MilkMoon is, as far as I'm concerned, a sixteen year old homeschooled Saudi Arabian girl whose ability in a second language and grasp of her material is unparallelled.

As to whether someone in that position should abandon her country or attempt, at personal cost, to change it, there's a difference of opinion. Women's legal rights have never been doled out historically unless a small proportion of women have been sufficiently determined to acquire them for everyone. In the past that involved lawbreaking. These days perhaps argument might be more powerful than it used to be.
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Post by rajakrsna »

Actor Patrick Bergin





I met Patrick Bergin in Cebu City while they were filming an Indi film, " Dance with the Jail Bars, " at the Cebu Provincial Detention Center & Rehab about 2 years ago. His blood pressure went up so he was taken to the detention clinic where I was the doctor. We became friends later when I asked him about Julia Roberts in the movie, " Sleeping with the Enemy". Patrick Bergin comes from Ireland. During our conversations we touched on religion & this is what he said to me that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today. Then I said to him, " Is it true that Saudi Arabians once inside their homes they take off their clothes running around with nothing on?" Patrick answered me only with a smile.
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Post by Snooz »

That was a charming non sequitur.
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Post by gmc »

posted by spot

Women's legal rights have never been doled out historically unless a small proportion of women have been sufficiently determined to acquire them for everyone. In the past that involved lawbreaking. These days perhaps argument might be more powerful than it used to be.


The same could be said of men's rights. Rights are not doled out to anyone they have to be fought for and maintained by every generation. What helped end apartheid in south africa was the opprobrium of all the other nations and refusal to trade with them by other people's (left to the governments of the likes of reagan and thatcher there would never have been sanctions) . If we didn't need their oil the government of saudi arabia would be pariahs arguably milkmoon could do a lot of good by getting out and telling people what it is really like.
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Post by koan »

Who is being selfish? That was the original question.

It doesn't matter where you live or what the circumstances are, regarding what you want to do and what is stopping you, most likely your parents are being frightened. It's not selfish when you live in fear of insignificance. It's just reactionary. You are young and still feel like you can make a difference. That's good. If you're really clever you'll never lose that feeling. Your parents seem to have lost it, so all they have is an attachment to you and having produced someone who will bring them pride. What is pride? Meeting the expectations of your peers. Why do you care what they think? Because they are your guide to attaining a sense of meaning. If you can't please them what use are you? Parents are supposed to love you no matter what. If your parents threaten to reject you what chance at meaning do you have?

The key, imo, is realizing that you don't choose your parents or other family. You choose your friends. Your family are the people you're stuck with if you care about history.

That being said, I live in a place where I can disown my family and still be free to eke out my own existence. You live somewhere where you are not free. So my answer is thus: they are being selfish. You are trapped.

I'm trapped by other things. We're all trapped. You might think this is your big problem right now but it isn't. The big problem is that other societies (like mine) have allowed Capitalism to gain control over the wellness of our planet and the economy of all human beings. We are all being butt ****ed by The Corporation. Whether or not you are a doctor of the body or mind is irrelevant because there will be no meaningful existence for you or anyone anywhere else on the planet unless we destroy the current distribution of power.

Welcome to the world of "I don't give a **** what your parents think because we're all about to die."
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Post by MilkMoon »

Spot is correct in saying that tourism is not encouraged or accepted in Saudi Arabia, and I agree that there is no way of knowing who you're really talking to over the internet, but those are not really the main issues here.

spot;1393951 wrote: suggested that the cultural inheritance of Saudi citizens is valuable and not to be thrown out in exchange for the wholesale adoption of Western rights, attitudes and lifestyle. You evidently disagree. I'm all in favour of an internal rebalancing of attitudes and the legal system


Ah, but you see, the culture of Saudi Arabia that you call valuable is, unfortunately, tied in with the attitudes and legal system you claim to disagree with. King Faisal made education for girls possible, and as a result, tighter security had to be placed around his palace, as his own people were threatening him and trying to break in. The only way he placated them was by making a religious council (I'm not sure what the proper term in English would be) in charge of girls' schools. The same council that prohibited gym glass, by the way.

The government of Saudi Arabia follows a very demagogic approach, which means that the laws cannot change unless the culture, and the people in it, change. No 'rebalancing' can occur until then.

Also, unless I have misunderstood somehow, your quote above seems very contradictory. In the first sentence you 'disapprove of the cultural inheritance of Saudi citizens' being thrown out in exchange for 'the wholesale adoption of Western rights, attitudes, and lifestyle'. Then suddenly you switch and say 'I'm all in favour of an internal rebalancing of attitudes'. Which one is it? If the Saudi people keep their attitudes instead of taking on 'Western' ones, that means that all the problems I listed in my previous post will be here to stay.

Besides, what is so valuable about Saudi culture, other than the lack of pornography (as that's the only accurate statement you claimed besides the the rape and theft one)? I'm curious.



P.S. Whether or not your statement of 'physical and mental violence', etc. was relative and comparative or absolute doesn't matter, as you would be wrong either way.
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Post by MilkMoon »

As to whether someone in that position should abandon her country or attempt, at personal cost, to change it


And there you go again. I noticed that you never addressed the last part of my previous post properly, so I will repeat my question. Why the change in tune? From the start, it was very clear that you believed that I was the one who had to change, that I was being ungrateful to all the benefits my society had to offer, that I was living in paradise, etc... Now, you seem to be in favour of change, and I quote "I'm all in favour of an internal rebalancing of attitudes and the legal system", as well as talking about me and other women fighting for change instead of letting the West do it.

Is it because you did not realize that the attitudes of the people and the legal system are tied in with the culture? I find that hard to believe.
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Post by fuzzywuzzy »

Milk moon? how old are you ? and being Saudi you type english extremely well. None of my other friends on the net who are also Saudi are as elequent in their grammar.
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Post by Betty Boop »

Milkmoon, you type incredibly wonderful English, you put me to shame!

Change takes lots of years and I think I agree with some of what spot is saying, not all. I think freedoms need to roll out over time as you women over there start to stand up and be heard, just in the same way the feminists in the west had to fight their battles. What I don't think is possible is that western feminism can just suddenly be rolled out around the world and I don't think it should be. I just don't think everywhere should be become a copy cat nation of the west and other places looking to apply an equality to the sexes should learn from the west and go about it such a way that they arrive at equalisim without going through all the extreme feminist stuff first.

I can also recognise how trapped some women must feel in Saudi too, how restricting it must be for you having to wait and see if your brother will attend uni so you maybe allowed to go too. Then the worry that you'll be restricted as to what you can study depending on the courses available at his choice of university. Do many of your friends or family hold the same aspirations as yourself or do they accept their life is set out for them and feel little need to fight the oppression?
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Post by Clodhopper »

Had a bit of a dig back through MilkMoon's posts (not every one, but a fair sample) in the light of the suggestions she may not be who she says she is, and apart from an unusual sophistication found nothing to suggest this.

Mid/late teen girls can be very sophisticated in their ideas, very often much more than boys of a similar age. And if they haven't that much to do other than read or study and are that way inclined can pick up a lot very fast. Don't know what the education system is like for most girls but I would guess at an expensive education for this one, or a very hardworking student (probably both).

We can't know that any of us are who we say we are. As it happens I've met spot, so I'm pretty sure he exists, but gmc, now - he could be a complete myth! And all our American posters could be a CIA plot to deceive us all. But I think MilkMoon is who she says she is. I didn't, by the way, see any reference to her age in any of the posts I read, or on her profile, so I don't know where that figure came from other than spot. I'd have guessed a couple of years older than 16, but it's an age it's easy to guess wrong at.

edit: Actually, wasn't an expensive education referred to? So I don't have to guess that, but it fit the profile.
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Post by spot »

MilkMoon;1394016 wrote: And there you go again. I noticed that you never addressed the last part of my previous post properly, so I will repeat my question. Why the change in tune? From the start, it was very clear that you believed that I was the one who had to change, that I was being ungrateful to all the benefits my society had to offer, that I was living in paradise, etc... Now, you seem to be in favour of change, and I quote "I'm all in favour of an internal rebalancing of attitudes and the legal system", as well as talking about me and other women fighting for change instead of letting the West do it.

Is it because you did not realize that the attitudes of the people and the legal system are tied in with the culture? I find that hard to believe.


I think what drives my opinion in this matter is our agreed position that the majority of adult Saudis support the status quo, and that the overwhelming pressure to push Western reforms into Saudi law comes from outside the country and not from within it. I see the Saudis as underdogs being bullied into giving up their cultural heritage.
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Post by Clodhopper »

I think freedoms need to roll out over time as you women over there start to stand up and be heard, just in the same way the feminists in the west had to fight their battles.


I wonder if the two systems are at similar enough stages for this to work at the moment. When the Suffragettes protested, they might in some eyes be going against God's order, but they weren't going to get burned or stoned by the State and a free press was going to report on it. I am of course open to correction in any of this, and I don't at all want to take away from the courage of the Emmeline Pankhursts who gained freedoms our whole society has benefited from, but I'm not sure the parallels are really there.

Either that or English women are particularly bolshy. Which, now I come to think of it...:sneaky:
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Post by Bruv »

spot;1394033 wrote: I think what drives my opinion in this matter is our agreed position that the majority of adult Saudis support the status quo, and that the overwhelming pressure to push Western reforms into Saudi law comes from outside the country and not from within it. I see the Saudis as underdogs being bullied into giving up their cultural heritage.
Going by your previous 'beliefs' it might be time for a reassessment.
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Post by spot »

Bruv;1394041 wrote: Going by your previous 'beliefs' it might be time for a reassessment.


Could you explain why, given that "the majority of adult Saudis support the status quo"? That's not my "previous belief", as you put it, that's agreed common ground between MilkMoon and myself.
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Post by Betty Boop »

Clodhopper;1394037 wrote: I wonder if the two systems are at similar enough stages for this to work at the moment. When the Suffragettes protested, they might in some eyes be going against God's order, but they weren't going to get burned or stoned by the State and a free press was going to report on it. I am of course open to correction in any of this, and I don't at all want to take away from the courage of the Emmeline Pankhursts who gained freedoms our whole society has benefited from, but I'm not sure the parallels are really there.

Either that or English women are particularly bolshy. Which, now I come to think of it...:sneaky:


That's the point, Saudi is not at the same stage we were, hence my point that western ideas of feminism cannot be applied to all areas of the world no matter how much western women shout and declare that women all over the world should be allowed the same freedoms.

English women weren't bolshy though were they, they became bolshy over time to a point now where most females think feminism is akin to behaving like a man - ie binge drinking then throwing up all over the streets, behaving in an aggressive manner to anyone etc. We've come too far, or maybe we've come the wrong way as we still don't have equal rights in the workplace, far from it. When you think of how far we've come in those terms you can understand why another culture such as that in Saudi would be reluctant to allow western feminism to take over.

I don't want anyone thinking that I don't want freedom for someone in Milkmoon's situation, I do, I don't know the answer to how these women are going to make some movements from within but I do think they will slowly but surely.
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Post by Bruv »

Going by your previous 'beliefs' it might be time for a reassessment.
spot;1394042 wrote: Could you explain.......
It was the bullied Saudis that caught my eye.

spot;1394033 wrote: I see the Saudis as underdogs being bullied into giving up their cultural heritage.
It is just the opposite of what I think.

I see them as more the bulliers, using their oil wealth and religious influence as a lever, the ultimate use of PC for their own ends. Who can argue with them ?
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Post by spot »

But they're not trying to change the culture of any other country, are they? Maybe they are and I missed it. Maybe they're targeting Secular Islamic Republics like Gaddafi's Libya, and Syria, and I hadn't noticed - there was me thinking it was the Americans again.

There's an argument to be made that a majority in its own country shouldn't be allowed to persecute a minority but Saudi women aren't a minority. Homosexuals are, but women surely aren't. It's a majority of Saudi women supporting the ruling elite in retaining this repression of all Saudi women, if we agree to call it a repression. You think external pressure should be brought to bear to force the rulers to liberalize the laws. I think all change should be forced from inside the country even if it takes a hundred years to create equality. Both are opinions, perhaps you could say why you think yours is better.
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spot;1394055 wrote: But they're not trying to change the culture of any other country, are they? Maybe they are and I missed it. Maybe they're targeting Secular Islamic Republics like Gaddafi's Libya, and Syria, and I hadn't noticed - there was me thinking it was the Americans again.
I thought they were funding schools etc. around the world, promoting the spread of Islam, not so in your face as America, and probably much cleverer and affective long term

You think external pressure should be brought to bear to force the rulers to liberalize the laws. I think all change should be forced from inside the country even if it takes a hundred years to create equality. Both are opinions, perhaps you could say why you think yours is better.
Where did I say that ?

It would be nice if they had the courage of their convictions and allowed a relaxation of such a closed society.

I suspect the majority are subject to massive pressure to conform, it is not that easy to be a rebel in such circumstances.
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spot;1394055 wrote: It's a majority of Saudi women supporting the ruling elite in retaining this repression of all Saudi women, if we agree to call it a repression. You think external pressure should be brought to bear to force the rulers to liberalize the laws. I think all change should be forced from inside the country even if it takes a hundred years to create equality. Both are opinions, perhaps you could say why you think yours is better.


What Is It then ?

Why do you continue to take this route when Milkmoon has written In detail and In far greater knowledge than you could ever possibly have, and with more clarity and eloquence ?

If you had read her posts, why do you not accept what she Is saying?

If It's not repression, then what exactly Is a Saudi woman being denied work, forced to cover her head, unable to drive a car, often forced Into arranged marraige, and even lashed should she look the wrong way?

Go on Spot.... tell us
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Post by spot »

I accept what MilkMoon has said in its entirety. So far she's not indicated what Saudi society should change to accommodate her preferences. If she does, I'll ask what will cause such a change - maybe the answer will actually be pressure from Saudi citizens rather than pressure from parts of Western society. I'd still prefer to see her supporting whatever Saudi cultural values she finds attractive. As you say, it's a society about which she knows more than I do.
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Post by Oscar Namechange »

spot;1394068 wrote: I accept what MilkMoon has said in its entirety. So far she's not indicated what Saudi society should change to accommodate her preferences. If she does, I'll ask what will cause such a change - maybe the answer will actually be pressure from Saudi citizens rather than pressure from parts of Western society. I'd still prefer to see her supporting whatever Saudi cultural values she finds attractive. As you say, it's a society about which she known more than I do.


It can not be can It ?

If women are denied the vote, then half of Saudi Citizens are denied a voice...... that Is repression !
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oscar;1394071 wrote: It can not be can It ?

If women are denied the vote, then half of Saudi Citizens are denied a voice...... that Is repression !


So, go and look it up. Are men able to vote for anything that women can't vote for in Saudi Arabia?

If you have trouble finding the answer, it's "no". Women and men in Saudi Arabia have the same voting rights.

There were several phases of women's suffrage in England. The illegal protests were during the time women had no vote. Then once they had it in the 1920s they pressed successively for employment opportunity, equal pay, non-discrimination in the workplace and finally the authority to officiate at the Sacraments of the State Church. That's a time-frame of a hundred and forty years.
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Post by Bruv »

spot;1394074 wrote: So, go and look it up. Are men able to vote for anything that women can't vote for in Saudi Arabia?

If you have trouble finding the answer, it's "no". Women and men in Saudi Arabia have the same voting rights.




In that Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, what are the voters actually voting for ?

More a question for MilkMoon than the Spotmiester.

Now for Spot.....would you consider the right to vote in meaningful elections the minimum a citizen is entitled to(Without any funny references to our lot)
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Post by Bruv »

Bruv;1394083 wrote: In that Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, what are the voters actually voting for ?


Have done my own research..........the answer is bugger all.
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Post by spot »

Bruv;1394083 wrote: Now for Spot.....would you consider the right to vote in meaningful elections the minimum a citizen is entitled to(Without any funny references to our lot)


As you say, it depends on what your representative is capable of doing for you. I can't remember when a policy in England was last determined in Parliament for example. We have national elections which determine which party provides the executive. The executive, since 1980 at least, is solely responsible for policy and completely unaffected by any parliamentary representative or vote. All a representative in our national parliament does, in practice, is to become a component of the executive or acts locally on behalf of constituents - contributing to debate from the back benches is a thankless and futile prospect.

Saudi Arabia may be exactly the same in this regard, I'd not be at all surprised. The difference is the ability to eject the current executive once every five years, which isn't an option in Saudi Arabia. It's not an option in the USA either as far as the world's concerned, since both Democrat and Republican executives have identical foreign policies. Maybe it has an effect domestically though I have my doubts there too.

Would I prefer that all adult citizens have a meaningful input into national government policy? Probably not, since adult citizens tend to be even more influenced by the raving tabloid press than the existing executive members are likely to be. I despise opinion when it's determined by ambitions of profit on the part of news managers.

I do think that the adult franchise is eroded. There are too many "unless" clauses. You can vote for a national representative unless. Unless you're designated mad by those who control the law. Unless you're resident abroad and not being paid by the government. Unless you've been jailed by those who control the law. Unless you sit in the House of Lords where you have a direct rather than represented vote on national affairs, though doing the same thing in the House of Commons doesn't disenfranchise an MP for some reason. Unless you're not an EU citizen even though you may be resident in the UK - I think that's an exclusion but I'd not swear to it. The Saudi franchise seems at first glance to be wider than that in England.
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Post by Bruv »

To be honest I don't really understand what you are waffling on about.

Think it boiled down to we don't have a lot of choice between political parties, and they don't do what we want.

Oh....and the customary dig at the yanks.

But at least we get the illusion of a chance for change, and theoretically if we really really really want a change.....we can vote for whoever we want.



Saudi Constitution

Saudi Elections

We can even vote for Sharia Law if we so wish......theoretically.....now ain't that ironic ?
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Post by spot »

No you can't. All you can do is elect a representative once every five years, and your elected representative will make up his mind how to vote on your behalf on a question like adopting Sharia law or anything else, and as I said I can't remember the last time an elected representative's vote made a difference to the decision of the executive. It's a very simple notion, if you refuse to understand it then that's your own affair.
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Post by Bruv »

spot;1394099 wrote: ....... I can't remember the last time an elected representative's vote made a difference to the decision of the executive. It's a very simple notion, if you refuse to understand it then that's your own affair.


It si not a case of refusing to understand, it is a lack of understanding what exactly you mean.

I am assuming the 'executive' is the ruling party or Cabinet including the Prime Minister, all of whom are elected.

Are you saying the electors are wasting their time voting ?

And that public opinion has never caused government to change course ?
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