Here’s a provocative piece from Saudi Gazette, translating an article from the Arabic-language daily Okaz. In it, the writer wonders whether the word “My” might not have two separate meanings in Saudi Arabia when it is applied to men or women. He finds that it does. When used as a possessive adjective applied to men, it means, “In a kinship or other relation to…” When it comes to women, though, it’s just simple possession, the same as would be applied to an automobile or a job.
Mahram: Ownership or kinship?
Salih Al-Twairqi | Okaz newspaper
Every time the issue of the rights of women in our country is brought up, we dig deep into history to bring examples from other civilizations and creeds where the woman was considered an irrational creature who had no right to do whatever she wanted to do with her money without the permission of her husband.
We conclude by saying that Islam has given the woman all her rights and ensured her complete financial independence.
We then go on to say, “the woman is my mother, sister and daughter,” without defining the word “my” and if it means blood relationship or something else. Does this utterance look much like when we say, “man is my father, brother and son,” or are there differences between the two?