The article put at least one woman in a tizzy - she doesn't use her real name, instead chooses to go by the name of a gazillion other Arab women, Umm Muhammad [umm, meaning "mother of" and Muhammed - one of her sons, obviously - which has twenty or so different spellings]. I'll call her UM.
Here is what UM has to say:
If you want to understand why 'ikhilat' or mixing between the xeses is banned in Saudi Arabia... you should read the article... Because there is little mixing of the xeses in Saudi Arabia, you do not find problems like teenage pregnancies, rape, fatherless children, xesual harassment, infidelity and work place 'romances' like you do in my country America and other countries.
UM said what?!! Oh, she is right that there is no mixing of the xeses. We all know that that is haram. Very bad. Very, very bad. But to say that "you do not find problems like teenage pregnancies, rape, fatherless children, xesual harassment, infidelity and work place 'romances' here, in the Sandbox, made me snort Diet Coke out my nose! Is she phukking kidding? Actually, I don't think she is.
Here's the thing, UM. You are right about the no mixing part. But, here, in Saudi Arabia "teenage pregnancies" are the norm. For goodness sake, girls are married off at ten and twelve years old. UM is confused. In the States it is called pedophilia. Teenage pregnancies happen later on in a girl's life.
To say that "rape" doesn't happen is just an outright lie. It happens. There are posts and posts on it in my archives - if UM cares to do any research at all now that she has spouted off about something she knows absolutely zilch about. Oh, and it is not just rape of little girls - young women - maids, etc. What about all of the boys that are raped? Mixing of the xeses has nothing to do with rape which is a violent crime... Doesn't happen here. What color is the sky in YOUR world, UM?
Fatherless children? Pluheeze. Plenty of those, here, too. And what kind of father can you be when you have children by four different wives and have four different households. Yeah. Those children may not be quite as fatherless as a particular group of children - a certain demographic - in the States, but I bet if someone asked them what they thought of their father who they see once a week, at most, twice they wouldn't speak very postively about the situation. No need to be out skanking around when you can have four different wives. Call it whatever you want. It is infidelity.
As to xesual harrassment? Do you ever read the newpapers from this side of the world, UM? Ever?! Articles about xesual harassment are printed all of the time. Men are lashed and sent to jail for it. Here it is called blackmail. Google it.
And, finally, as to "work place 'romances'" that is something I can't speak to about first-hand as I have no experience with the work place, here. I'm going to bet that it happens more often than we realize, though. I know that that too has been addressed in articles in our newspapers here.
Get your head out of your a$$, UM! Mixing of xeses? Regardless of whether it is not allowed here in Saudi Arabia it still happens. All of the time. Get your facts right. You are either ignorant or void of a brain. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, this time, and go with ignorant.
Read the comments at the article, of which at this posting, there were only three...
From Robyn Graves, "When you try to put an unnatural wall between the xeses, you instill ignorance, fear... This social experiment is a failure. Most expats working in Saudi find far more respect for racial and gender difference in their home countries than in Saudi Arabia." Oh my gosh, "This social experiment is a failure." Funny stuff, Robyn. Funny stuff. It is interesting to note that Ms. Graves had the guts to use her real name when writing to the paper and that UM did not.
Mohammed says "that women are being abused in this part of the world, but compare [sic] to western world, it is negligible, where women are raped in broad daylight in public places." Oh, really? Care to back that up with a specific example, Mohammed? Just when - and where - was the last report of a woman being "raped in broad daylight in a public place?" Inquiring minds want to know.
Scarlett touches on another aspect of this that I only barely mentioned: "Rape do [sic] exist here in the middle east, even here in saudi arabia where arab employers rape their servants/household workers. you only have to go to the embassies and get the statistics..." Spot on, Scarlett. Spot on.
The HIHA* award of the day goes to Umm Muhammad. For being so incredibly wrong on each and every level of her explanation and for so inaccurately attempting to educate those of us here, in the Sandbox, as to the benefit of xesual segregation. Care to try again?
HIHA = Head In Her A$$