Where the glories of life have kept me from blogging for a few weeks, I was hoping to have an inspirational piece to present. But, alas, this story was irresistible.
Sabotaging Our Cause
I’ve been talking with friends of late about the lack of solidarity among women. This can be seen on many levels of society. Take the workplace, for example. Women are often intimidated by or rude to other women simply because one is confident and capable. But does this not just bring the entire gender down? It would seem that the moment we feel compelled to compete with one another is the same moment that we sabotage our cause.
Then there is violence against women, or male degredation of women generally. Too many women either don’t stand up for what they believe is right, allow men to degrade women or, worse, joke about the injustices women deal with. Check out this Ms. Magazine post about why it’s never ok to joke about rape.
But a Kuwaiti woman, Salwa al Mutairi, takes the cake.
Mutairi, a TV host and former Parlaimentary candidate, has called for the legalization of sex slaves to abate the likelihood that men will commit adultery. Think it can’t get worse? How about this: she recommends taking women who are prisoners of war in other countries, thinking this will “improve” their situation.
“Captives” might “just die over there,” she stated.
Mutairi argued that allowing men to buy a sex slave will protect these devout, “virile” men from adultery. She even suggested opening offices akin to those that provide housemaids to sell these women.
Concubines, she said, are the only solution for a “decent” man who has the means and is incapable of overpowering his desires.
Her argument also included the notion that Islam does not, in fact, forbid such acts. “There was no shame in it and it is not haram (forbidden) under Islamic Sharia law,” she claimed.
These comments first surfaced on YouTube and have caused outrage in the Gulf states.
“Wonder how Mutairi would’ve felt if during the occupation [of Kuwait] by Iraqi forces, she was sold as ‘war booty,'” tweeted one Kuwaiti woman. Another labeled Mutairi a “disgrace to women everywhere.”
A United Front
I can’t imagine where Mutairi learned that these vile ideas coming out of her mouth might actually be a positive option for society. Even more so, I can’t imagine, as a woman, suggesting, and believing, that being sold as a sex slave to “decent” men who can’t control their desires is a legitimate alternative. To anything.
As women, we should be a united front. We need to understand the respective challenges we face as women, because we are women, and work in concert to overcome them. It is beyond my comprehension that women like Mutairi are to be taken seriously; but it is heartening to hear the cries of other Kuwaiti women who vehemently disagree.
Check back here often for more on 4WomenWorldwide’s new campaign, A United Front. And thanks for reading!