Sunday, 17 October 2010

Female Cashiers and Lust

"There are female cashiers working in a HyperPanda Supermarket in Jeddah".  Woohoo!!
This big news?

Well, to put it simply, women aren't supposed to work. That was actually Glenn’s trump card in getting me here though after 4 months, I’d had enough of this trump card – it’s boring as here with nothing meaningful to do.  It is possible to do lots of non-meaningful things, but that’s like trading myself in for something I’m not…

Anyway, I understand the Quran specifically states that men are the 'providers and maintainers of women' meaning they bring home the bacon – turkey bacon that is because pork bacon is off the menu in this country.

Saudi women in particular are dissuaded from working. I'm presuming that somewhere the Quran specifically states a woman's sole function in life is to marry, reproduce, look after the kids and serve their men.

That being said, there are a number of Saudi women I know of who do work, but largely behind the scenes in business or in female specific areas – like the ladies only section of the bank or girls schools.   The majority of the Saudi ladies I know (not huge numbers by any means) gave up working when they got married.

Women most definitely should not work out in the public where the general population (men) can see them and, OMG!, possibly interact with them.

The media here often rabbits on about the fear behind interaction - that men may not be able to control their lust towards women .  Additionally, the male Saudi is concerned, probably because he has been wrongly informed by the Powers That Speak For Them Bearded Types, that should a man approach a female for any reason at all, her mental wiring is such that she will interpret that approach as an offer of sex.  And being such a delicate flower and totally socially inept, she is far to weak to be able to deal with such emotions.

Oh pa..lleease!

Advanced civilizations, those that put women on a more equal footing with men, have managed to deal with men’s uncontrollable, constant and all consuming lust.  What does this say about Saudi as an advancing country? (The ‘females are weak’ argument is such nonsense it doesn’t even count, so I’m not even bothering to debate that).

This article from Business Intelligence, Middle East, is a good read on Saudi women’s current and future role in Saudi’s economy.  Looks like they have a way to go, but H'Panda initiatives are heading in the right direction to get women fully participating in and contributing to Saudi economy - other than just shopping at malls.

Hyper Panda got a bit of flack over this little initiative, from the religious conservatives, but they (H’Panda) have the support of the current King, long may he live, and to date, all reports appear to be positive.

I heard that when satellite dishes first came to the Kingdom religious conservatives weren't too keen on them either, so they used to go round shooting at them.  but a glance at rooftops today shows the will of the people has prevailed and satellite dishes are everywhere.  Though I haven't been here long, I sense the will of the people isn't that inclined to sabotage the 'woman at work' experiment in Jeddah either.

There are few rules for the women working at HyperPanda - This Gulf News article gives an overview with some interesting comments.

Basically the women have to be Saudi, over 28 years of age, divorced or widowed and they have to wear the accepted dress code. I wondered why they chose this age but, it seems it's highly possible for Saudi women to have been married and divorced or widowed by the time they are 28. 

Due to Saudi Arabia'a apparently extremely high divorce rate, and the shocking road stats, there shouldn't be any shortage of applicants for the jobs. 

Who knows, one day soon this 'Big News' will be common place because female cashiers will be all over Jeddah - fingers crossed.

Ka Kite,

1 comment:

  1. Kia Ora and Salaam Why not read Quran - the English version so you know what it says rather than assuming what it says. You may discover that most of what is followed by Muslims is not in Quran and comes from man made hadith (written by those jockeying for power 200 years after Prophet Muhammed's death) or alternatively you will find that verses are interpreted in a fundamentalist literal way and taken out of the context in which they were written and revealed eg. verbal and physical attacks on Prophet Muhammed and his followers by the leaders of Quraysh tribe which became all out war and necessitated folowing specific rules & actions if they were to survive that may no longer be necessary. This similar for instance, to the continuation of Maori tapu practices that helped the tribes survival in past history but are still being enforced in modern times although it is no longer necessary to survival. True Islam started with Allah (God)'s contract with Abraham(Ibrahim. What is practiced by most Muslim's today is a corrupted form of the religion and not True Islam as revealed by Prophet Muhammed. from Middle East Kiwi


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