In his Saudi Gazette column, Khaled Batarfi writes about the willingness of some Saudis to inject themselves into the affairs of others. They take themselves as the standards of righteousness, propriety, probity, all things good, and set anyone who disagrees among the weeds of ignorance, if not out-and-out evil. The only basis they have for this is that they see themselves as beyond criticism.
There’s a great deal of mansplaining going on, when men presume to know what women think, need, or want. Because the man cannot see the need or want, it must not be real. At most, it’s just hormonal or something. We know that not to be true because when Saudi women express their thoughts, they’re coherent and reasoned… and often better informed than the men doing the opining.
Batarfi continues and points out that people behave like herd animals in many situations. That which disrupts the herd is automatically seen as bad; it is feared. But shepherds have it tough these days. The sheep have sources of information outside that which the shepherd might allow. Bad news for the shepherd… he’s losing control of the herd or flock. Good news for the sheep… they find they don’t actually need a shepherd to manage their every movement.
Social intruders: Mind your own business!
Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi
THE man interviewed on Arabic TV Channel, MBC1, was explaining why women don’t need to drive. “Look around you; I have three cars in my garage: One for me, the other for my son, and a third for the family with a driver,” he was boasting.
Good for you, I thought, but you are answering the wrong question. It wasn’t whether “your” women need to drive, but why women, in general, need to. Again, the question is raised and answered the same way about women’s need to work. Those who are well off decide for the rest of us.
Their argument is that men should take care of their families, but what about those who don’t have men to take care of them? Some women are actually taking care of their families – parents and children, and even unemployed husbands. Besides, why should work be associated with financial need? What about work for work, work for experience, work for social service? What is the use of female education if it ends up with a certificate hanging on the wall of a kitchen?
The same logic goes with any and everything. The idea is that “your business is my business, but mine is not yours.” Why? Because, I am more religious, conservative and patriotic than you are. I know what is going on, even in your head and heart. I am aware of the conspiracy of local and global liberals to destroy this society. Since I am the self-appointed guard of virtue, it is my holy duty to fight you and your fellow conspirators with all means, even if not holy.