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Arranged Marriage and Arabian Society

What Is It Like to Be a Saudi Woman?

She wasn’t given enough time to check him out, let alone love him. He turned out to have no merits except coming from a brand-name family. He has a shallow, childish personality, who lets his mother run all his affairs and make all his decisions. She couldn’t communicate or meet at any intellectual or emotional level with him from day one.

No one understood her reasons to demand divorce.

Of course not. As long as a husband has money and doesn't mistreat the wife, then all is fine. The emotional maturity and smartness of the groom is often immaterial to the family of the bride.

Somewhat related: A few years ago, I heard about a new Pakistani couple near where we lived in Saudi Arabia. The duo were childless at the time. My mother had met the bride and learned that the groom was a jerk. Rarely did he take her outside. So, this woman couldn't even come to our home for a chat with my mom.

Do understand that in Saudi Arabia, a woman cannot go in public alone. She must have a male relative as a companion. So, this Pakistani woman stayed indoors all day while the husband went to work. After his daily job, he would rest and ignore the requests of his wife for some fresh air. Even the evening temperatures in the high 30s (that's Celsius) is better than being cooped up inside all day.

Another aspect that is often ignored in such situations is the utter loneliness of women. Husbands can go to work and go outside with their friends whereas the women are largely denied this opportunity. This is especially harsh on women who are newly married since they can only rely on their husbands for accompanying them in public.

Imagine what you would do with the emptiness in a country where you were, in essence, prisoned in your own home for at least 40 hours a week?


David Goldberg

This reminds me of a recent conversation I had with a friend. She was talking about the inherint racism in the west bla bla bla etc, and how the women studies class talks about gender aparthied (LOL) that still goes on today. I laughed and said, you know If you lived in Saudi Arabia you couldn't go outside without a male relative. Utter silence, Oh so typical. University edumication at its finest.

Isaac Schrödinger

That really gets me. Such women have "all the heart" when it comes to trashing institutions and supposed pathologies in the West but for some reason when they are presented with blatant women-hatred in the non-West, they go mum.

Take a crime: Rape. Western society offers help to the women victims and harsh punishments for the perpetrators.


However, in Saudi Arabia, a woman who is raped gets lashings as "punishment". Her rape = adultery or sex outside marriage.

Why don't Western women stand up for their sisters in Arabia? Forget giving aid or money, mere rhetorical support is not forthcoming.

It really shows the ugly side of such women.

David Goldberg

I've often wondered the same thing, but you know there is so much crazyness in the world nothing shocks me anymore. What pisses me off is that it seems so many of my friends who go to university take what there professors say and just repeat it back without thinking critically or researching for themself. I suppose it doesn't fit the narrative that all the problems in the world are because of America, Christianity/Judaism and by extension western civilization. Its the same thing when I asked her about Israel. She of course is more sympathetic with the Palestinians. Of course Im not cold or uncaring regarding the hardships people go through - but when I see pictures of people cheering when the planes hit the world trade center as Im watching people falling to their death, it really chills me to the bone. Plus I honestly believe if palestinians could just get over this drive the jews into the sea mantra and truly try for peace their lives would improve extremely quickly.

Isaac Schrödinger

"...if palestinians could just get over this drive the jews into the sea mantra..."

Keyword: If.

Jew-hatred is intertwined in Islamic teachings. Whenever Muslims are taught about the Prophet Muhammed and his relations with non-Muslims in Arabia, the Jews are always shown to be disrespectful of Muhammed.

Now, even if all that is true, it's the next leap that is disconcerting: These teachers connect the behavior of Jews from 1400 years ago to modern times. So, instead of having some guy who was a Jew who didn't like Muhammed, we get JEWS loath Islam and will FOREVER be against the Muslims. EXHIBIT A: Israel.

I have yet to see any Islamic text / sect that is, at best, indifferent to the Jews. Just take a look at Saudi Arabia. No Jews are allowed. In fact, if one were to enter Arabia with a Jewish-authored book, it will be confiscated.

What we have is a majority people, culture, and religion that hates Jews. For most of them, Jews are just abstract things, not flesh and blood--many haven't even come in contact with a Jewish person. And when one shuns the people who've won 40% of Nobel prizes, the end result is a decrepit society.

David Goldberg

So true Isaac, its really sad when I think about it - keyword if indeed. Being a jew i've experiance some anti-semtism, although usually not to extreme it still bothers me and I've gotten in to a few heated exchanges with people - still amazes me how many people really believe jews control the earth, banks, media etc. Like I always say, I guess my monthly zionist payment just gets lost in the mail. Back to the main topic of your post though, I read this over at LGF via

Its pretty jarring stuff, and illustrates the fact that women in muslim countries bare as much blame as the men for their continued oppresion. What I never get is that it seems these people parents on the whole understand why they left their home country and came her yet their younger children hold these extreme views that have no place in this or frankly any other country.

Isaac Schrödinger

It is, indeed, jarring. One of images I'll never forget was of Pakistani woman publically supporting the Taliban! This was in late 2001.

Can you imagine a crowd of black people marching in favor of the KKK? It would make about as much sense.

About the kids of immigrants: It's all learned. They either got that from the family, friends, or their teachers. It has little connection with reality--it's just a part of their religion. You'll often see a Muslim who stands up for the West and for his/her Western country is in turn called a sellout. Basically, the "extreme" views are the norm.

David Goldberg

Man I really need to use a spellchecker or proofread what I've posted. Just reread some of my posts and boy its scary :)

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