Saudis to build women-only city; the feminists are generally fine with it

16 Aug

In his latest post, ElectricAngel mentions a conversation he had with a feminist who complained about misogyny in Muslim countries:

an older feminist mentioned something about misogyny in Muslim societies (I consider Muslims to be potential Patriactionaries, but my colleagues often demur.) I rather angrily responded with the line of argument that just WALLOPED me when dropped on me by a Muslim colleague: what could be more anti-woman than a society that forces women to work and school during their young, fertile years, and denies too many of them of the pleasures of life from times immemorial for women: husband and family.


Alas, as readers of the Spearhead will already know, Saudi Arabia has decided, in the interests of finding a way to employ women but keep them segregated from men (according to Islamic mores), to build a city exclusively for women, so they can work and move about freely within it; according to the news article:

The inaugural one in Hofuf is essentially a female-only industrial zone that’s expected to employ about 5,000 Saudi women in the textile, pharmaceutical, and food-processing industries. Women will run the companies and factories.

I see this as a capitulation by the Saudi kingdom to the forces of secularist, progressive modernity, ultimately not in line with their Islamic heritage, despite their ingenious attempt to both ‘modernize’ and hold to their values, or so they think, in doing this.


Because of (a) the reasons why they’re doing this, and (b) the impact it will likely have, ultimately, on their society.

Why are they doing this?

According to the linked news article:

Who came up with the idea?
A group of Saudi businesswomen, according to the business newspaper Al Eqtisadiah. But Saudi Arabia’s ruling monarchy embraced the concept as a way to lower female unemployment while staying “consistent with the privacy of women according to Islamic guidelines and regulations,” Modon said in a statement. The government had little choice, says Sarah Goodyear at The Atlantic. “Restrictions on women’s lives and productivity there are so extreme — Saudi women need a male guardian’s permission to travel, seek employment, or marry — that the country is in effect letting a potentially huge sector of the productive economy sit idle.” About 60 percent of college graduates in the country are women, and 78 percent of them are unemployed, according to recent surveys; only 15 percent of the Saudi workforce is female.

That article puts it as “only 15 percent of the Saudi workforce is female”, but this one emphasizes it differently, noting:

Saudi Sharia law says that a woman’s essential duties should be in the home and  forbids her to work a job. But despite the ancient law, more and more women are  coming into the workforce. According to the Daily Mail, nearly 15 percent of the  workforce in Saudi Arabia is comprised of women.

And the first article noted:

Saudi Arabia already has all-female factories and the largest women-only university in the world

So, despite Sharia, i.e. Islamic Law (which is ostensibly the basis for Saudi law), encouraging women to be homemakers, already, 15 percent of women in Saudi Arabia work outside the home (some in all female-factories), and many more have had post-secondary-school education (more than half the country’s college graduates are women – 60%, in fact), many of whom (78% of which, in total) remain unemployed…

So no wonder they feel compelled to address the issue; having allowed access to higher education to women, now comes social pressure (not political, Saudi Arabia not being a democracy, but nevertheless real social and economic pressure) to open up the world of work to women.  And so they’re giving in, to a request from a group of businesswomen…  According to this article:

”The new industrial city should have a specialized training center to help women develop their talents and train them to work at factories. This is essential to cut unemployment among our female graduates,” businesswoman Hussa al-Aun told the Saudi business daily Al Eqtisadiah, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

So, apparently it is critical to move to lessen unemployment amongst female graduates; I suppose most of them aren’t interested in remaining homemakers, are they…

What will the impact be?  Well, what do the feminists think?  Reaction is mixed; some compare it to apartheid, and bemoan it.  But others (and even one of those who see it as a form of apartheid) are looking forward, and seeing the ‘bright side’:

Actually, I think “Hofuf will be exceedingly productive,” says Zoe Williams at Britain’s The Guardian. For one thing, “as an industrial town with no men in it, it will presumably contain none of those mini-impediments to productivity known as ‘children.'”

Going directly to the Williams essay at the Guardian, she also says:

While it doesn’t seem to have been devised with female empowerment in mind, that doesn’t mean Ladytown won’t boost women in unintended ways. Saudi Arabian women are often very highly educated (the country also has the world’s largest women-only university) but then barred from the jobs market – and when you educate people, refuse to let them work and then suddenly unleash them, en masse, into economic productivity, that’s almost an open invitation to them to be better than you.

I don’t know that the women will be better than the men, but she has a point about the impossibility of encouraging women to pursue higher education but then barring the door to them; it just can’t be done; the social pressure will become too great for any society, even one founded on Sharia, to resist…

Another commenter at the original article I linked:

Look, in this kingdom, this is the only opportunity for women “to have an income, be financially independent,” at least for now, Saudi radio host Samar Fatany tells ABC News.

Indeed, it will do just that.  And lastly, a male feminist at that site I’ll never link to, and will remove the link from, notes:

Putting women to work feels inevitable, even in Saudi Arabia, says Doug Barry at Jezebel. And “everyone should have the right to fall into the daily grind, because only then can all people truly appreciate how awesome it will be when robots do all our work for us.”

Yes, so Saudi women ought to slug it out in the daily grind just like the men do, because female equality demands that, according to feminist dogma…

I think it’s fair to say that notwithstanding a bit of grumbling about superficialities like appearances (comments about ‘apartheid’, etc.), that feminists are generally on board with this, and certainly aren’t vigorously opposing it, in any real way.

But where are Saudi Arabia’s imams, the Islamic preachers and theologians, on this?  Why are they not opposing this creeping form of feminist, secularist Westernization (because that is, what it truly is)?  Why are they not echoing Sayyid Qutb?


32 responses to “Saudis to build women-only city; the feminists are generally fine with it

  1. electricangel1978

    August 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    “What will the impact be? ”

    Will, when you take all those young women, put them in the same place with all of them working together, what you will get is MASSIVE cyclical coordination. Think of a city with 5000 women all getting PMS at the same time! Think of being the lucky man nearby when they’re all ovulating and desiring the bad boy?

    I now understand Islam a bit better after reading your OP. Consider this quote: “The whole purpose of successful religions is to protect the reproductive rights (of) beta males, and the modern church has failed in that duty.”

    Given the way the Saudis are rolling over, it looks like Islam was even MORE something put together by beta males to protect their reproductive rights. Now, the inclusion of polygyny in htat religion makes it less optimal than Christianity, but we must recall the times in which Islam was founded: a lot of war killing off a LOT of men, so the sexual balance might have REQUIRED polygyny.

    Recall that one result of the Iran-Iraq war was increased calls for polygyny: “In the early 1990s, then-President Rafsanjani announced that there was nothing wrong with temporary marriage. A negative reaction ensued, and the president added that he only referred to temporary marriage as a good solution for war widows.”

  2. Will S.

    August 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    @ EA: Well, no doubt a guy walking by a female city when they’re ovulating will make out like a bandit. 😉

    But as for the impact of this on Saudi society, I think it will prove disastrous to their society. They have chosen to reject the sounder teachings of theologians like Sayyid Qutb, and instead are following the West down its road to destruction, too…

    Yes, Iran still has those ‘temporary marriages’, and progressive types, like a guy I knew here in Canada who was a refugee from Iran, actually welcome those, because it basically allows a boyfriend and girlfriend to ‘shack up’ together just like they do in the West, without long-term commitment; his liberal mullah (anti-government, progressive type) back in Iran actually encouraged young people in his congregation to do them!

    So even Iran, like Saudi Arabia, is not safe from secularist ‘progressive’ feminist modernization…

  3. chesterpoe

    August 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    @ Will: No one is safe anymore. If there was any place on earth which could resist the destructive cultural influences of the West it was the Arab lands. There is no other religion as threatening to modernity as Islam, at least on Modernity’s core tenets. When the Left overthrows Islamic rule we will see a hostility toward religion worse than even the hatred towards Christianity in the West. Hopefully the entire system collapses before that is able to occur.

  4. Will S.

    August 16, 2012 at 2:06 pm

  5. Will S.

    August 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    @ Chesterpoe: Yes; ’tis disheartening to see even Islam beginning to crumble… I shudder to try to imagine today’s Muslims turned basically Marxist in their view of religion; they’d make Irish ex-Catholics like Sinead O’Connor look rather mild, in comparison…

  6. Will S.

    August 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    @ Chesterpoe: But what about the Red Chinese? They remain fairly traditionalist in their sexual views. Though not as much as the Muslims. But many of them are coming to Christ…

  7. chesterpoe

    August 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    @Will: The Chinese situation is uniquely different though for a number of reasons, most notably though is their lack of a truly organized religion and ancestor reverence. The latter reason is also what prevented Christianity from taking root there during the first century of missionary work. Leftism relies heavily upon denigration of ancestors, which is completely at odds with Chinese civilization. A reverence for ancestors thus compels a strict view of the family. Us Westerners used to cherish our ancestors but not since the pagan times did were basically worship them.

  8. Convert_chica

    August 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Hey Will,

    You shouldn’t take news articles as reality about the muslim world because they generally aren’t accurate. I’m muslim, and most muslim ladies I know, esp. devout muslims, choose not to work. Its usually the ones who are more western and non-practicing that mimic the west by working and eschewing family. But in Muslim societies, the women who do this are looked at as losers—-that is what the article does not tell you. Men don’t usually marry women like that—why would they when they can have their pick of women (the majority) who want to stay home to raise a family?

    Just thought I’d add a muslim perspective.

    Not to mention in most of our societies, people still desire to get married young (18-25) and have lots of kids…..the pleasures of life like your co-worker said 🙂

  9. Will S.

    August 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    @ Chesterpoe: Indeed.

    I’m encouraged by the growth of the Church in China in current times; I think that portends well for their future, ultimately.

  10. Convert_chica

    August 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Our Ulema have talked about these issues in the past and they still talk about them today, I guess it isn’t front page new material though. If you would like some links to modern popular scholars who discuss this, I can forward them to you.

  11. Will S.

    August 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    @ Convert_chica: “Not All Muslim Women Are Like That!” is NOT a valid argument; do you have stats that oppose those given in several media outlets that 60% of Saudi graduates are women? And what is incorrect about this news story that has been shared; is this city NOT being built?

    What is factually wrong with this story, as reported? 15% of women, in a society that claims to follow the Sharia, are already working. What does that tell you about their mindset?

    Good for you and your Muslim women friends who eschew work, in favour of family; good on the 85% of Saudi women who still do so. But do you honestly think that the percentage of working Saudi women ISN’T going to go up, as a result of the effect of places like this coming city? Of the 78% of female Saudi college grads who are unemployed, how many of them DON’T want to take advantage of opportunities like this?

    And indeed, you’re right that men over there don’t usually marry women like that, and will continue to not do so – but do you think the women who are working and supporting themselves will initially care about that, or perhaps, as with Western women, not until they realize “Oh shit; my bio-clock is ticking; I’d better attend to that!”, by which time in many cases, it’s too late?

  12. Will S.

    August 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    @ CC: No, I don’t care what your Ulema says; I’m interested not in what’s happening in your anecdotal evidence of the small circle of people you move about in, but what’s happening in the wider trend in your society, and the news media has shown, with this story, what is happening. Saudi Arabia is intending to follow the West, in its own way, of course. But following us, they clearly are…

  13. Will S.

    August 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    @ Chesterpoe: Good video; thanks for sharing.

  14. Convert_chica

    August 16, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Will,

    I’m not claiming NAMWALT 🙂 ok, maybe just a little, lol.

    Women going to school is fine in Sharia, everyone is encouraged to do so—male, female, old, and young. No problem there. But what I wonder at in the article is this—–they are claiming that 15% of Saudi women are working, well ok, but what do they mean by work? When you go to Saudi and other muslim countries women ‘working’ usually means that they run a hair salon, a henna shop, a lingerie store, a book store, or they help out at their family’s pharmacy or something family owned. Their work hours are more or less whenever they feel like working, lol. I kid you not. Like maybe from 11am to 3pm? And they’re home when the kiddos are home from school, and if one is home sick…..mama doesn’t go to work. And for the ones that work as teachers they are usually unmarried and working at a girls’ school until they get set up with a good man—-and then they quit. Women working in muslim countries, esp. Arab countries does not = women’s career gal 9-5 and over time of the western woman.

    Stats are hard to come by, but travel and personal experience are what I can offer. Really I just wanted to offer an ‘on the ground’ perspective, because I always giggle at articles like this.

    BTW—your website is pretty interesting, I am glad I stopped by 🙂

  15. The Man Who Was . . .

    August 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    1. The efficiency of the capitalist system has undercut the value of the home economy. All that is really left for women to do is take care of children.
    2. Most women are, in fact, not interested in full time child care. Like most people, they find it boring.
    3. The women who are not interested in full time child care will often want to work, if for no other reason than to get more stuff. Hobbies and charity work won’t cut it.
    4. You can try to curb the effects of this with sex segregation of the professions, but its unstable. Knowing that they are capable of the work (and usually they are), women will want to make more money in higher paying professions. Higher IQ and higher ambition women will be bored or frustrated in less challenging professions and will want access to the more prestigious ones.

    Thus, you come to modern feminism. Marriage has become a consumption unit, not a production unit, and there doesn’t seem much that can be done about it.

    A couple more points:

    1. Husbands will often abet this when the wife isn’t really doing a whole lot at home, but can bring in income that enriches the whole household.
    2. The division between “career women” and “child care workers” goes back to hunter gatherer times where some women would mostly take care of children and others would do more gathering, depending on individual temperament and status.

  16. The Man Who Was . . .

    August 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Sayyid Qutb was a modernist. A far-right modernist, but a modernist all the same.

    I made the same point in comments to this post:

  17. Convert_chica

    August 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    One last comment, I promise I won’t bother you after this:

    “The news media has shown with this article…..” That’s your problem right there. Do you honestly believe the ‘news media’ about anything? The news media also say that its just fine to put your babies at daycare, don’t worry they’ll be fine. The ‘news media’ also tell you that statins are the bestest of the best since sliced bread. The ‘news media’ also tells you that women can and do ‘have it all’——even though you and I KNOW that isn’t true and never will be.

    Its often better to ignore mainstream media/ news media and use your OWN eyes to observe the reality of our world. I have been blessed to travel and see with my own eyes, and what I have personally seen very rarely matches up with what is reported in magazines, newspapers, and on tv. Just sayin’.

  18. Will S.

    August 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    @ CC: I’m glad to hear that most women’s work today over there is fairly traditional still; that’s good.

    But what do you think this development portends?

    Are you not in the slightest concerned, about the potential implications?

    Glad you enjoy our site.

    “Do you honestly believe the ‘news media’ about anything?”

    When they report the bare facts about something happening, yes, certainly!

    Is this city being built, or is it not being built? Do you cast doubt on the existence of the plans to build it? Do you doubt they will see it through? What exactly in my reportage of this, do you specifically object to?

    I don’t believe the MSM’s opinions on anything, certainly; they’re all liberals / leftists / feminists, and their opinions mean squat.

    “Its often better to ignore mainstream media/ news media and use your OWN eyes to observe the reality of our world.”

    No doubt, but (a) I trust the media is telling the truth when they report bare facts, like the planned erection of this city in Saudi Arabia, and (b) I can’t fricking afford to travel to every country in the world to see what’s going on; so I rely on the media and the blogosphere to give me at least the bare facts about events happening in far away places; I will then make up my own mind, from the facts, as to what I think they mean.


  19. Will S.

    August 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    See, CC, the problem with many of you women is you believe that your anecdotal evidence, of your own personal experiences and that of your small social circle, disproves wider trends / actual true observations about events happening in the wider world. And so you tell me not to believe what I read in the media, when they’re simply reporting an event, because you don’t think it’s a big deal, and/or think I’m interpreting it incorrectly. Well it is a big deal. I trust them to at least get the basic info. right, and I’ll interpret it how I like, regardless of how they, or you, think I should. And will ignore emotional NAWALT! type objections, because they are generally bullshit.

    BTW, I know you said you’re done commenting for now, but for future reference, please read our ‘About’ section; it outlines our commenting policies; just so you’ll know. Cheers.

  20. Will S.

    August 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    @ Thursday: Good points, all.

    We’re all well and truly hooped.

  21. Will S.

    August 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    @ Thursday: Re: “Sayyid Qutb was a modernist. A far-right modernist, but a modernist all the same.”

    Fair enough, but they’ve certainly gone far, far beyond him, now, haven’t they?

  22. Will S.

    August 16, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    “They are going to discover that the principal oppressor of young women is, and always has been, older women.”

    Now that’ll be interesting, indeed, to see how that plays out…

  23. Columnist

    August 17, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Saudi women are never raped by their drivers (you know that women in Saudi-Arabia aren’t allowed to drive alone). Saudi women are never raped by their lingerie salesmen (you know lingerie salesmen are required to be MALE). So isn’t the separation of the sexes completely overdone?
    As regards the rights of the beta males, did you realize that most Saudi women are more sexually experienced than their husbands? Remember Mohammed bin Laden, who gave his underlings his sexual leftovers?

  24. Will S.

    August 17, 2012 at 10:19 am

    I don’t care enough to defend their ways; I guess I’m functionally relativist, in that having societies that reject Christ, I don’t really care along what lines they set their societies up, except that I may note certain ways in which they have thus far avoided going down some of the unfortunate roads we have, and I may be saddened, as I am, to see them also capitulating in them now, too…

  25. imnobody

    August 19, 2012 at 11:29 am

    As regards the rights of the beta males, did you realize that most Saudi women are more sexually experienced than their husbands? Remember Mohammed bin Laden, who gave his underlings his sexual leftovers?

    Of course, beta males are always sexual losers, in any civilization. Religions ensure that their loserdoom is mild (like having a homely woman instead of no woman, so they can reproduce). Western civilization is way past this stage.

    • Columnist

      August 19, 2012 at 11:36 am

      But this is in America far more the case than in Europe, at least that is the impression I get.

  26. Will S.

    August 19, 2012 at 11:39 am

    imnobody, the sharp division between alpha males and beta males is really a phenomenon of our dysfunctional times; indeed, in a properly ordered civilization, religion supports a system wherein far larger numbers of men are able to find a mate, and where women’s natural hypergamous instincts are held in check, partly by the way of keeping them out of the workforce, so that even ordinary joes are men they can potentially look up to, instead of shooting for the top alpha dogs, because ordinary joes no longer cut it, as is often the case today. Western civilization is in its decline phase, so now it’s all disordered…

    I don’t agree with your assertation that the non-top-tier men, in the past, had to make do with ‘homely’ women, but they did have to make do with non-top-tier women, certainly. We aren’t all movie stars, and not all of us, even under more ideal circumstances, can expect to attract women far above our own level of attractiveness; men who are higher in the pecking order will always get them…

    We don’t share your view that religions, esp. Christianity, keep men down; properly followed, they do not. Today, churchianity, i.e. deformed religion, serves misandrist, feminist interests, unwittingly, and we call them on that, here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s