Besides not being able to drive, women in Saudi Arabia are apparently not allowed to work out either. The government has been cracking down on gyms, and doesn't even allow women or girls to participate in sports in public schools because they "might lose their virginity." Yes, this all goes back to some twisted fucking sense that a guy needs a virgin, something I never understood, because do you really want someone who has no idea what they're doing? But that's another post entirely.
Saudi Arabia clamps down on unlicensed female gymsIn fact, Saudi Arabia is the only country not to allow any women to participate in the Olympics, and yet they're allowed to compete. I really can't believe that the IOC allows that. Everyone was protesting allowing China to host the games, but it's a real toss up when it comes to human rights violations between the two. I can't decide which one is worse. I didn't see anyone protesting about Saudi Arabia's participation. And you know what? Our government is really good friends with Saudi Arabia. We invade Iraq, a secular country, and what happens? They're now ruled by religious fanatics. America FTW! Not.
Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:45pm EDT
By Asma Alsharif
JEDDAH (Reuters) - "Let her get fat!" is the slogan women in Saudi Arabia are using to challenge a clampdown on female-only gyms. Unhappy at the growing number of unlicensed female gyms, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs recently closed two in the Red Sea city of Jeddah and one in the city of Dammam on the Gulf Arab coast for not having a license...
Female participation in sports has long been a controversial issue in the kingdom, with physical education banned from public girls' schools and clerics issuing religious prohibitions on female participation in sports... "The idea of female fitness is non-existent within our government," said Fouziah Alouni, a prominent women's rights campaigner...
The result has been high rates of diabetes and even bone frailty among women, which the Ministry of Health says it wants to combat. "Football and basketball are sports that require a lot of movement and jumping," Sheikh Abdullah al-Maneea, member of the official Supreme Council of Religious Scholars, said in a religious opinion published in Okaz newspaper Thursday.
He said such excessive movement may harm girls who are still virgins, possibly causing them to lose their virginity... Women's gyms can only exist inside hospitals as "health centres" supervised by the Ministry of Health but prices are so high, at least 1,000 riyals ($266) a month, that only the affluent can afford membership.
Cheaper versions have sprung up under name "beauty salon" or "studio" but now their future is in doubt. Madawi Al-Hassoun of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce said the chamber has been trying for three years to find a government body prepared to take on board licensing female gyms. "Some people don't like women to go out of their homes. This is a common struggle for female businesses in Saudi," she said.
(Editing by Andrew Hammond and Paul Casciato)
I have read other articles in the past, where women who would go jogging would get harassed by the religious police. I suppose that a lot of why they allow themselves to be denigrated to second class citizens has to do with brainwashing. When you're told all your life that you are nothing, that you are not equal, you will more than likely believe it. It's a pity really, that you deny half your adult population any rights. What if one of them, if they had been allowed to do so, came up with the cure for cancer, or any number of other things.
Indeed, organized religion has been a drain on this entire planet. It has set us back a thousand years. The Catholic Church burned people at the stake for putting forth scientific ideas that contradicted the Bible, or in the case of Galileo forced him to recant his "errors" that the earth revolved around the sun. They would have burned Galileo if he'd been willing to die for what he believed and refused to recant, but he wasn't. I suppose he was content to go back to his house, where he spent the rest of his life under house arrest, and ponder on how the joke was on the Chruch, because the earth revolved around the sun anyway.