She responded with the butt of her rifle

iraq, originally uploaded by soldiersmediacenter.

By way of the Advice Goddess, I came across this story in the LA Times: In Saudi Arabia, A View From Behind The Veil. So many thoughts run through my mind when I read a story like this — noting how human rights so often take a back seat to other agendas in politics; wondering why feminist organizations like NOW expend almost no energy on the subjection of women in other countries to almost bestial levels; musing about the upheaval that will occur in the Middle East when either the oil runs out or the world finds alternative sources of energy — either way, the money and the attention will stop.

Sharia law. Coming to a country near you.

I’m reminded of a piece of message traffic on the read board one morning about half-way through the first Gulf War. It was a daily summary of incidents in a certain area, mostly humdrum reporting. Several entries down came this gem: a pair of female soldiers were walking down a street, in the same uniform that the men were wearing that day, camo pants and brown t-shirts. They were accosted by the local religious police, who harangued them about their immodest dress and attempted to force them off the street. According to the final line of the report, one of the soldiers “responded with the butt of her rifle.”

I’d sure like to buy that gal the cold beverage of her choice.



  1. Very thought-provoking post, Kim. What an amazing piece in the LA Times…thanks for posting the link. I’ve never been able to understand the attitude of Saudi Arabian women, and that article just reinforces my confusion…I just keep wanting to ask why? Why would anyone willingly accept second class status? How can they just go along with that attitude that women are somehow dangerous or distracting if they are alone in public? So strange, so foreign, so insane!

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