Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sexual Harassment and FutureMe

  • Today I was taking part in a heated debate with one of my male relatives.

I have alot of respect for that guy, I think he's brilliant.
But today I proved my point; Men (especially Saudis) cannot in a million years understand the hell we women go through. He is quite the sophisticate, and he's very resonable and smart, but I won that battle! *Evil grin*
Ofcourse, the whole family had to get in on the action, and I ended up getting that tired "There are perverts all over the world! Don't be one of those idiots who thinks perversion is exclusive to Saudis!"

Ahem.

Sexual harassment is a crime all over the world. Authorities take action when notified of an indecent act in public. The assailant is usually arrested.
However, in Saudi Arabia, it is rather strange not to be sexualy harrased atleast five times a day (when you're a female). Two out of those five times infront of a policeman. Heck, the policeman might very well be doing the harrassing himself!
And that is the difference between sexual harassment in Saudi Arabia, and in the rest of the world. Here it is the unpunished norm. Every where else it is inacceptable.

Last summer in London I was having a delightful dinner with a few girl friends, when out of nowhere a rather drunk (Arab) man jumps one of the girls, shakes her violently, and whispers the most utterly disgusting things I have ever heard. Ofcourse I, being the drama queen that I am, ran into the restaurant demanding to see the manager. He came, and after hearing about what happened, he appologized a million times and placed a very large, scary looking man at the table next to ours to act as our body guard.

Here, a similar thing happens at almost every restaurant, almost every night, and the manager shrugs it off and says "You girls brought it on yourselves! Tsk tsk. Going out alone! You were almost begging that poor boy to assault you!"

  • On a much lighter note, I have come across the most interesting page I've seen since, well, a few hours ago: FutureMe.org.
It's pretty much self explanatory.. You write an Email, and they send it to you whenever you want, whether that be a year or thirty years later. (Assuming you're using the same Email adress. I doubt you will be. Anyway, it's all in the name of fun, my good people!)
You can also browse random (anonymous) people's letters to their future selves (I desperately need a life, I know).
I have come across a few Gems:

"Hello to whoever is reading this. If you are in any way familiar my future self, I hope he isn't a total cockass. I also hope that he still thinks it is funny to use words like "cockass." Furthermore, I hope he is a pompous prick who uses words like "furthermore" in casual conversation. I have high expectations for myself."

"µ¹2010¦~ªº¦Û¤v¡G«¢«¢«¢~§A¦n§r~18·³¬J§Ú~ÁÙ°O±o¤µ¤Ñ¬O¤°»ò¤é¤l¹À~?! (§Ñ°O¤F´N¤£­n·Q°_) ²{¦b¦³¦ñ¤F¨S¦³~?!¬O¤£¬O05¦~4Aªº±i¬Y~!? (¥Õ·ö)XXD"

"Hope your lazy ass got a job by now. If not, kill yourself. Now.

...

Now."

My letter to my future self was alot less.. Errr... Colorful.


ubergirl

29 comments:

Baroque said...

omg! if that happened to me i would have fallen dead :P that must be scary and nerve wrecking!

that doesn't only happen in saudi, in kuwait it's just the same.. but here guys are sometimes blamed too.. if they don't harrass upfront, they use words.. its disgusting! and barbaric..

but not all guys are this perverted and uncivilised..some are normal, but sadly they are a minority..

ubergirl87 said...

You know what I think?
I think (as I've said on this blog a million times before) that Saudi (and apparently all Khaleeji) males are brain washed by our societies to think that it's okay for them to treat girls like this. They think it's fun, therefore; they're idiots, lol.

Mochness said...

The Safeway we always shop at kicks ass! One day this guy was "talking on his cell" and every time he passed by me, he repeated his number in one fast breath. I've no idea how he managed to do that :S Anyway, mom was with me, but she was at the veggies section and I was a bit far away from her and so I felt obliged to get someone to kick his ass *evil grin* I went to the security guard who was hanging around the cashiers, told him about the problem, took him till he could see the guy at the veggies section, pointed him out, then innocently walked to mom while the security guard kicked that guy out of the grocery-store. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA!!!

ubergirl87 said...

hehe...
Even if his lack of groceries causes him to starve to death, he deserved that!
Rock on!

Mochness said...

:P I've more stories, remind me to tell you some of them tomorrow. If you're still online then please log-into the messenger :)

taqo said...

My friend got Harassed by a taxi driver(saudi) last week. When they got to her house, he jacked the price up. And my friend was like "No" ofcourse. And he kept insisting, until she like, had to scream at him. Then he just gave her this weird look, and was like "6ayib, ok, go...bs mra thaniyah, dont scream at me kitha"
And then he ran his hand up her leg and grinned!! *mtgarifah* My friend jumped out of the taxi, and ran into her house. ya 3mry miskeena, r7mtaha.

I would never use futureMe. a7is my expectations for myself are too high, and it would just piss me off 20 yrs frm now, cuz id probably end up being a loser! lol.

Megan said...

Wow. Thank you very much for the compliment. I am very sorry that you have such a hard time in your country with the whole opinion expressing thing.

And I think that feminism could do a lot of good in Saudi Arabia. You seem like you do a lot of good, and I agree with you whole-heartedly as well.

The fact that sexual harrassment could be brushed off by anyone at any time, to me, is absolutely appalling. Keep fightin', though, and remember:

Well behaved women rarely make history! :)

BaSSeM said...

i could tell you thousands.. no,make it millions of stories of such harrassments that i saw occur in front of me or to anyone with me!

and ohhh.. the "you brought it on yourself" thing! it just pisses me off! i mean everywhere in the world girls are walking around with revealing clothes, does that mean it's alright to harras them?! hell no!

if you want to get mad.. of course you know the alnahdhah tunnel incident.. i read in 3okaz like more than a month ago this "shai5" who's in "alhai2ah al3olia lleda3wah wa alershad" saying that it was the girls' fault! that because if they had stayed home and not gotten out in the first place none of this would've happened! i was like WTF?!

u don't wanna hera my stories!

sharif said...

also in saudi if any female screams and accuses a guy of doing or saying something to her he will be arrested in the spot and the police will never ask the girl who she is. the guy usually ends up in jail just because a girl accused him of something.

That does not mean that we guys don't really do anything to girls.

By the way, other than the pretty image you have of the west have your really talked to lets say an American or Brazilian working class woman? They can tell you what really takes place there and it's does not look at all like what we think.

sharif said...

do you see Mochness's story up there? it tells you that what i have said is true. the guy was kicked out just because a female Mochness in this case accused him of something. they did not even watch the security video jsut kicked him out because a female said so.:)

taqo said...

Hey, Ubergirl! ...Is that you their talking about on the back page of arab news?!

Mochness said...

Sharif, the kid was giving me his number and kept going around me in circles while giving me his number. If you can't understand that that's considered harassment, then it's up to you!
As for girls who lie for the sake of getting guys in trouble, well I don't think that many girls would do that to spite you guys, unless you were really harassing them.

ubergirl87 said...

Sharif: NOBODY lies to get guys into trouble! And even if they do, the number of unreported assault cases far overshadow that itty-bitty minority who maybe might get innocent guys into trouble.

mariam said...

As a saudi girl living in new york, i can tell you that there is no where near the amount of harrassment that exists in the ME.
The guys here just accept women as part of the environment, not some freak show. Of course, sometimes shit happens but doesn't it always?
As you can imagine, i dress modestly compared to most western women and as such, am accorded a great deal of respect, even in school with my(male)classmates. It's really a shame that our society does not allow us to know each other in a nonsexual way. Sounds weird i know, but think about it.

[Lily.] said...

Helloooo. I have to say, you have a very nice blog. Wonderful posts.

I agree with you completley! Girls are strong!

Have a nice day. =)

-Lily-

$uper MO said...

I wonder how some ppl can say it's the girl's fault!!!
I mean WHO is spinning el shawar3, eating @ every restaurant, visiting every mall, day & night, none-stop, WAITING to spot a black abaya miles away???

Jo said...

People here have this belief that whatever a man does he cannot be held responsible for it because ya 7aram, miskeen he's only a victim of his hormones. Man this pisses me off bcuz I got hormones too but am not sexually harassing every d**k i spot (well not yet anyway ;))

Talal said...

I agree with mariam, the fact that the sexes are extremlly segregated is one of the biggest reasons men disrespect women in our society.

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fonder/plastic_goddess said...

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Freak Of Nature said...

I know what you mean.
I am a GUY living in saudi arabia and I can see what your going through.

Iv'e seen every thing they do,but don't blame every guy in saudi arabia,you could say most of them but not all.
Don't blame us only,they made every mall,every market and everything else only for families.
so guys go there and fight for there rights and goof off a little bit,or a lot.(you may have a point)

You dont see malls in london or anywhere else in the world only for FAMILIES.
This suck not just for you it sucks for every guy & every girl,

Malik Jeddah said...

intresting subject, but like my lil broher "Freak" said "Don't blame us only,they made every mall,every market and everything else only for families" so when guys go into a mall and see girls they go crazy
And guys dont have a lot of activeties to do , right ? or in another words guys in saudi arabia dont like to do any thing !

ps.
i am not talking about all saudi guys , there are a lot of initiative guys here.

ubergirl87 said...

Thanks for your comments everyone! It'd be hard for me to reply to each one seperately; so I'll try and address everything in one reply:

Jo is right; we have hormones too! And yet, when we see a guy we do NOT go crazy and jump on top of him, now do we?
So the whole "they've never seen a woman before" arguement isn't really valid.
The point is, if we want to lower the rate of harassment in this country, we need to undo all this brainwashing!
In other words; both males and females need to be re-educated when it comes to everything that has to do witht the opposite sex.

And to the people who think that they have an aruguement with the fact that malls are for families only: First let me clear one thing up: I DO NOT AGREE WITH THIS ARRANGMENT, ALRIGHT?
I am merely expressing my point of veiw here. And that is that you are not considering the WHOLE picture:
Malls are only exclusive to families on Thursdays and Fridays. Can't you guys go shopping any other day of the week!?
And don't think when I, as a female, go shopping that I have the time of my life!
I am hounded by the Muttawas and other FEMALES for not being 'properly veiled'.
And what about restaurants!? I can't get into restaurants at all!! While guys hang out there 'till the break of dawn.
Wanna talk about unfair?
Trying being in possession of a uterus in Saudi Arabia.

Thanks again for your feedback! Keep it comin'!

ruba duba said...

"You dont see malls in london or anywhere else in the world only for FAMILIES"

U DONT SEE ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD THAT ALLOWS ((((ONLY)))MEN 2 DRIVE BUT OUR LOVING COUNTRY, THE LAND OF SAUDI ARABIA!

DONT TRY 2 TWIST THIS AND TURN YOU GUYS INTO VICTIMS!!!
ITS A KNOWN FACT, SAUDI ARABIA IS PARADISE 2 MEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ubergirl87 said...

Yeah, Ruba makes an excellent point.

Malik Jeddah said...

ubergirl: bishwaish 3aleena

"Malls are only exclusive to families on Thursdays and Fridays" who thell told you that?! malls DONT let guys get in without thier family in any day

look, i know that if anyone doesn't have something he will try to have it, right ? so most guys do not have girls , so they will try to get any girl even if he was playing, believe me , i know what i'm talking about.

ubergirl87 said...

Malik Jeddah: What do you mean "bishwaish 3aleena"? Did you NOT want my opinion?
Here in Riyadh malls are open to guys all the time except on weekends. I don't know how it is in Jeddah, though.
And please be honest, what do most guys do in shopping malls? My experience tells me they're only there to harass poor girls.

"look, i know that if anyone doesn't have something he will try to have it, right ? so most guys do not have girls , so they will try to get any girl even if he was playing, believe me , i know what i'm talking about. "
What does that have to do with anything? That's common knowledge :p. I never said otherwise.

Jo said...

Malls are not exclusive to families only. That is only the case in Riyadh. In shargyah, Al-rashed is open for all and men are still harrassing women so stop BSin us...

Anonymous said...

I have to say something here
who's raising all these men to act this way? The women are, If the average saudi mother treated her young son with respect instead of an erotic object, then as adults these men wouldn't turn around and do the same with women out on the street. Saudi women are not just victims they are also victimizers.