Saudi Arabia lifts its female driving ban

Occasionally, this blog veers away from naturist related content and seems more focused on ‘equality’ or ‘women’s rights’ issues. They aren’t, in the broader sense, unconnected. Naturist rights are in largely the same place as women’s rights. That is to say, on the back burner or ignored in their entirety. So when I get angry about the treatment handed out to the naturist community, I’m identifying with other ‘minority’ groups whose rights are trampled on. That’s why LGBT rights, or women’s rights, sometime take front and centre on the blog.

I’m afraid I sort of missed it at the time (family life and all that), but thanks to reader ‘Faisal’ (not his real or SL name) who has adopted the name in solidarity with his ‘brother’ Faisal BaDughaish, who this week tweeted a photo of himself teaching his wife to drive, just days after King Salman lifted a ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia.

Faisal BaDughaish’s tweet ran as follows….

I don’t speak or read Arabic, but thankfully the BBC reported the story, and Faisal’s tweet reads “I started teaching my wife how to drive in one of the private parking spaces in a safe and legal way, preparing for the law to take effect.”

Immediately, Faisal was taken to task (but, hey, isn’t Twitter a social largely for angry people to express their anger) with comments like “Don’t you feel embarrassed or protective of her when posting her picture?. Shame on you.” (apparently in relation to the fact that Faisal’s wife’s face wasn’t covered).

Well, Mrs. BaDughaish seems entirely happy to be learning to drive and take a step on the road to personal freedom and equality. She also appears to be taking an entirely pragmatic approach to driving by abandoning her niqab to improve her peripheral vision, a thing I’d have said was relatively important when driving.

That led our ‘Faisal’ (who isn’t Saudi Arabian, incidentally, but lives in the Arab world and is a keen reader of the blog) to send me a photo he took of himself and his friend in an SL car showroom, to express support for Mr. BaDughaish and support for the change in Saudi’s laws.

‘There is a lot of misconceptions about the Arab world’, he writes, ‘and some of it justified. I know this isn’t your usual type of postings, but I’ve read some of your blog postings on female rights and I just wanted to say that not everyone in the Arab world thinks the same way on many issues, from driving bans to terrorism. Please, Ella, if you can publish my photo in support of equal rights, please do so’.

Happy to do so, ‘Faisal’

And here are Faisal and friend, buying a new car, for her, in that SL car showroom.


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