By Dhruv Arora:
What a ridiculous time to be alive.
Before you go ahead with reading this, let me warn you that this is not a news report, but an all-out rant.
The latest in patriarchy today is that a bunch of men in Saudi Arabia who like to run around and call themselves Saudi Arabian Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (who are, I imagine, often falsely abbreviated as the PENIS squad) are now seeking a ban on “tempting eyes” of women. This absurd move wants to make it necessary for women with “attractive eyes” to be forced to wear a full veil, seemingly for medieval reasons (unconfirmed). The group seems to be committed to drive home this agenda and claim that they “have the right (sic)” to force women to cover up anything that they may wake up with the realisation of having offense with. (Source)
This is supposed to somehow promote virtue and prevent vice, as the groups’ name suggests. In case you are wondering who qualifies as a woman with attractive eyes, an unnamed journalist from the country has broken it down for you. It may apply to women with‘uncovered eyes with a nice shape and makeup’, which was later broadened to ‘even without makeup’. ‘If they are beautiful, the woman will be in trouble,’ he added.
This isn’t owing to a misled idea of liberation, while many may have the opinion that veils should be okay as long as they are being worn consensually (here, consensually is both the keyword and the word most oft ignored), consent is not even a talking point here. Or perhaps it is, between the men in the society, because it really does not seem to matter what the women’s opinions may be in this situation. Women with opinions? Blasphemy!
The idea that men “have the right” over women in the society to make them go through hoops in order to not “invite trouble” is not a new concept, but even people who may support that preposterous notion may see that this truly is a whole new level of stupid. What adds to this problem is the unequal representation in positions of power, which often ends up being the reason why such moronic notions are actually accepted as norms and laws into societies.
To sum it up, let me break down the appeal and paraphrase it in order to add two words that might make this entire debacle much simpler to understand: “We have the right to do, so force women to cover up, because penis”.