Time: October 10, 2018
THE Vision 2030 came with the promise of a new era for Saudi women, who have proved their competence a long time ago. Now that the curtains are drawn and we can see more of them, it is important that we firmly establish the etiquettes of interaction between men and women because our entry into the «normal world” came after years of seclusion and «womanophobia».
Even women may fall into self-esteem and self-awareness issues, which may affect their role in the community by becoming week and fragile.
Here I will not discuss the difference between identity and community role but in short, identity is anything that comes from within you and represents you while community role is the role assigned to you by others and is done for others.
Many men and women don›t understand the difference between «Who I am» and «What I am» and from this point, we can see how dangerous had been the lack of normal interaction between men and women in Saudi society. Interaction between men and women should be based on mutual respect and appreciation rather than dark doubts and delusions that have no truth to them. I say this to both men and women because some women would consider the slightest form of appreciation as an act of harassment or romantic interest, and the same goes for men with the delusion of a romantic invite whenever a woman says, «Good morning» in passing.
Sure, these things happen in any society, but maybe what sets us apart is the religious aspect, which I consider as a very strong shield.
The challenge is to deepen the perception of self-control of human nature. Community influences may affect the core spirit of religion, which orders us to show goodwill and distance from sin. Hence, this is an introduction to explain how men interact with women. A man with good morals and values will not be intimidated by the success of women but he will offer support and directions. There are lots of men like that in our community, men who not only believe in the role of women but also demand to empower her and for her to be heard.
The great feminist author Mohammad Al-Khazim, who published many articles about women and their education, once said, «Women are the ones who solve women›s issues.»
In an article about Princess Nourah University, he talked about the dangers of isolating women and limiting them to only one entity. I strongly agree with him because it is not enough to have just one university director they should open the door for applying for a role in the university management. The number of female university students in small towns is more than male students.
On the other hand, there is the other type of man, which is «the womanizer» and this man demands the empowerment of women yet it is not because he believes in women but because he is obsessed with them and you can hear his tongue slips every time he describes a woman. So, when he calls a woman «Miss», you will find out that he calls his wife «Hey you». He will never hesitate to offer his services as a social consultant, or text to check up on women, or whenever a girl smiles he will say your smile have made my day.
That is how this type of man becomes like a clown by imposing himself and hoping to get any girl›s attention, while his wife waits for a message from him all day.
It is important for women to be cautious around this player and liar who not only resents women deeply, but also he sees their presence and participation in society as bad parenting and seduction. This is not the kind of man you want to start a family with. What is even worse is for a girl to have fake people around her at work who pretend to be classy and respectful but their only goal is to seduce her.
Yes, the study of human relations is very complicated subject and our expertise in leading a normal life is very little. Still, I don›t know the reason why we are far behind in adopting philosophy and other social sciences.
That is why we have social problems that created the phobia between men and women and enabled immoral people to openly practice indiscretion at the cost of society›s health and stability.
The solution now is in the hands of the law and the first step is not only to prosecute this group but also to expose them. The efforts and recommendations made by the Shoura Council deserve praise, and we encourage them to keep up this civilized movement. The recommendations were temporarily dropped, but it doesn›t mean that they won›t make a strong come back with the leaders of this country standing behind them, just like what happened with issues such as women driving and many others.