Saudi Intellectual: Women In U.S. Drive Because They “Don’t Care If They Are Raped”

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 10.58.34 AMWe have yet another example of the twisted view of women in the Saudi Kingdom and the equally twisted view of what appears to pass for an intellectual in Saudi Arabia. Saudi historian Saleh Al-Saadoon told the Saudi news show Rotana Khalijiyya that the reason women in the West drive is that they “don’t care if they are raped on the roadside.” It was particularly offensive from a Saudi academic in a country long accused of having a culture that excuses rape.

When I first saw this interview, I seriously considered the possibility that this was a hilarious spoof on Saudi laws and logic. Then I read news accounts that said that Al-Saadoon was actually serious. It is funny until you consider that a whole nation of women are being kept from equal rights under this type of pseudo-logic.

The statement of Al-Saadoon came in explaining the difference is between women riding camels and driving cars.

During an interview on the Saudi news show Rotana Khalijiyya in January, historian Saleh Al-Saadoon explained that there was a difference between riding camels and driving cars: “If a woman drives from one city to another and her car breaks down, what will become of her?” This led to the obvious observation from the female interviewer: “Well, women drive in America, in Europe, and in the Arab world.”

Al-Saadoon explained that the reason is equally obvious: “They don’t care if they are raped on the roadside, but we do.”

This led the interviewer to say, “Hold on. Who told you they don’t care about getting raped on the roadside?”

Al-Saadoon explained that “It’s not a big deal for them beyond the damage to their morale. In our case, however, the problem is of a social and religious nature.” Oh that explains it.

The next question is a bit confusing but the answer is consistent and equally absurd:

Host: “What is rape if not a blow to the morale of a woman? That goes deeper than the social damage.”

Al-Saadoon: “But in our case it affects the family.”

Host: “What, society and the family are more important than the woman’s morale?”

Al-Saadoon after saying that morale was only “part of the problem”: “Saudi women are driven around by their husbands, sons and brothers. Everybody is at their service. They are like queens. A queen without a chauffeur has the honor of being driven around by her husband, brother, son and nephews. They are at the ready when she gestures with her hands.”

Of course, as we have been discussing, many women would like to forego Al-Saadoon’s royal treatment for a modicum of equal rights.

The host then tried again to return Al-Saadoon to a modicum of sanity: “You are afraid that a woman might be raped by the roadside by soldiers, but you are not afraid that she might be raped by her chauffeur?” the host pointed out.

Al-Saadoon responded: “Of course, I am. There is a solution but the government officials and clerics refuse to hear of it. The solution is to bring female foreign chauffeurs to drive our wives.”


This is when the host appears to cover her mouth in laughter for good reason. Rather than recognizing equal rights, Al-Saadoon believes it is easier to import “foreign chauffeurs” to prevent Saudi women from being raped by men serving as their own drivers.

As you might imagine, Al-Saadoon was not deterred by the laughter, which I expect he is used to:

Al-Saadon: “Why not? Are you with me on this? There might be some considerable opposition to this, but…”

Host: “Female foreign chauffeurs? Seriously?”

Yes, he is serious. That is precisely the problem.

Here is the video:

45 thoughts on “Saudi Intellectual: Women In U.S. Drive Because They “Don’t Care If They Are Raped””

  1. They are like queens I tell you, like queens. Yes, that the ticket like queens. Of Course queens locked in the Tower of London but Queens. And this is one of our allied. Good grief!

  2. After watching women drivers in action, I think Saudi Arabia might actually be right about not letting women drive.

  3. If for no other reason than to get rid of out dependence on Saudi Arabia for Oil, we need to get after the alternative fuel market before China gets ahead of us. Why? We can’t change those people. If we withdraw our wealth, perhaps they will change their ways. It is a national disgrace how they got that way in the first place.

  4. itchinBayDog here. I dont get on the blog much anymore. I have been helping my blind human pal ride to grocery stores and whatnot. When I saw the guy with the tent on his head saying such things I had to jump in and bark. They eat dogs in Saudi Arabia. For an American to go there on business or as a tourist is really dumb. No American women should go near that place. It is a shame that they have so much oil.

  5. Aridog – I knew an Afghani who said that his family used to take evening strolls around the square in Kabul, pre-Taliban. That was what the neighborhood did, gather outside in the evenings and socialize. Women had more freedom back then, and he remembered it as family oriented.

    KSA is more strict than its neighbors regarding women driving.

  6. All I can say vis a vis the KSA is that I was once offered a very lucrative defense related job, but it required I live in the KSA. Very little research was required for me to turn that offer down. As it turned out I missed out on chasing tanks across the desert to maintain and sustain them in Gen. Schwarzkopf’s big left hook maneuver.

    That said, I know female civilians and soldiers who have served successfully in Afghanistan and Iraq, and made fast friends among the populations there. So, perhaps I was wrong in turning down an opportunity to learn because it seemed inconvenient to me at the time.

    It is notable to me that the majority of the women in my community here in the USA drive everywhere with their husbands’ consent….said community in my neighborhood is 90% Arab Muslim of Lebanese, Iraqi, Yemeni, and Palestinian Arabs. Very few adhere to what the KSA does, and they do so more or less alone within the larger community.

    1. Aridog – if it makes you feel any better, I get to drive almost everywhere with my wife’s consent.

  7. I do not think it is fair to criticize a male for dressing up in a dress with a funny tent hat on so as to look like a woman. But I do not think it fair to allow such a male to be such a bigot when it comes to the rights of women. If you are going to dress like one then stick up for them. These Saudi pirates! Thank Dog they are not in the Caribbean.

  8. The interviewer is like a Saudi version of Megyn Kelly or Rachel Maddow. I was sorta impressed that she challenged him and just didn’t take his BS at face value. Goes against stereotype.

    Ironically, Megyn Kelly probably has a foreign born chauffer drive her home in a limo after work every night. Kelly’s civil liberty is being restricted because the oppressive regime that is NYC government makes it illegal for her to hop on a camel and ride it home after work.

  9. There has been a rash of Muslim gang rapes in the UK, because the perpetrators believe, as Boko Haram does, that the Qu’ran allows men to make sexual slaves of non believers.

    Apparently, Al-Saddoon is of the impression that his fellow countrymen would interpret this to apply to all women. Otherwise, all Muslim women would be completely safe, regardless of the state of their vehicle, in this devout country.

    It is unfortunate whenever immigrants fail to incorporate their new country’s values and laws, and hold on to old prejudices, or when people take on a new faith as license to commit atrocities.

    Al-Saddoon was subject to the same lifelong brainwashing about the inferiority of women, and what behavior is allowed towards them, that has led to the abuses of women throughout many areas of the Middle East. It is so difficult to overcome a lifetime of brainwashing.

    In any culture where women are inferior socially and legally with men, whether for religious or cultural reasons, those women will suffer abuse.

  10. Sure, they’re like queens . . . queens who can be thrown in solitary confinement at the whim of their mad king husbands, and have zero self determination.

    So, is he not concerned in this hotbed of rape that the foreign female chauffeurs would be raped? Or do they not matter because they are “other women?”

    Let this be a lesson in governments limiting your rights “for your own good.”

    And this is the most “moderate” country, because the shah’s limit the power of the clergy at least somewhat.

    My father watched two gay men get beheaded in Saudi Arabia, under Sharia Law. The Middle East is not a paragon for human rights. It’s uninformed for apologists to claim Christianity is just as bad.

  11. The very title of the topic is a contradiction in terms. A Saudi cannot be an “intellectual” if he or she still lives in Saudi Arabia and is allowed to speak in public.

  12. patriot-

    It has nothing to do with religion. Religion doesn’t influence the actions of leaders, only of followers. Religion will always be twisted to the aims of the heads of state, and when it isn’t, it’s outlawed. I’m sure that the Saudi royal family is just as Muslim as out congress and senate are christian

  13. I think the problem is that we aren’t completely understand and tolerant of their viewpoint. How dare we act as if our culture is better than theirs by laughing at them.

  14. You have got to love these guys! How much do we send them?? How big is Hillary’s allowance now??? Maybe someday people will wake up and have enough of them and ISIL operatives.

  15. Why do most people here support the status quo relationship our country has with Saudi Arabia. Sounds like a confederacy of conspirators.

  16. Hello.
    Why is it that women should be concerned about getting raped?
    Shouldn’t men be concerned about NOT raping anybody?
    The 21st century is looking twisted like the caveman era.

    Thanks for the moderation.

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