In what seems to be yet another demonstration of patriarchal sadism, a cleric from Saudi Arabia has recently been arrested for saying women do not deserve to have the right to drive because they possess just a quarter of the brain. The cleric, Sheikh Saad-al-Hijri, has been banned by the state from his position and debarred from carrying out any religious events due to his outrageous comments.
Al-Hijri made these preposterous comments while delivering a lecture on ‘The Evils of Women Driving’. Although he has been ripped off his duties later, women are actually banned from driving in this notoriously conservative country, with numerable women being jailed for attempting to drive.
According to news reports, Al-Hijri claimed that women have only half a brain. However, when she indulges in further shopping, that half of a brain further shrinks till the woman is left with just a quarter of a brain.
When the video of Al-Hijri’s extremely obnoxious sexist musings was circulated online, it provoked a backlash from many sections of the society, including from many of his own country. A hashtag, ‘Al-Hijri says women have a quarter of a brain’, was also started by the protesters to voice their angst.
One irate social media user was seen as saying:
She became pregnant with him, gave birth to him, raised him, spent sleepless nights for him until he grew up and now he calls her a woman with a quarter of a brain. He and his like must be banned from appearing anywhere.
While another person said:
I swear to God those who have a quarter of a brain are you and your likes who handed you platforms to deliver hardline views. It is the woman who raises man and she is the core of success.
It has to be remembered that despite being an absolutist monarchist country known for harboring an intrinsic masochistic view of women, Saudi Arabia is a permanent member of the UN Human Rights Council and the Women’s Rights Commission.
However, funnily enough, the government of Saudi this time took the initiative to rectify what the cleric said. And in doing so, it set up a “girl’s council” consisting of only male dignitaries.