Few op­tions for Saudi women

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “When flee­ing abuse is a crime,” July 30, and “The se­cret apart­ment,” July 31

Your front-page ar­ti­cle talked of the guardian­ship sys­tem in Saudi Ara­bia where women are not their own per­sons and may even be abused by their guardians.

A re­cent op-ed in your opin­ion sec­tion spoke of still­births in El Sal­vador be­ing treated as il­le­gal abor­tions with young moth­ers be­ing sen­tenced to pri­son terms.

A news ar­ti­cle de­scribed the men in a vil­lage in In­dia de­cree­ing the rape of the sis­ter of a boy who had raped an­other vil­lage girl.

Your pa­per has also spo­ken out re­cently on “Trumpian” gag rules and cuts to in­ter­na­tional re­pro­duc­tive health and fam­ily plan­ning.

All th­ese sto­ries are pieces in a puz­zle named gen­der inequal­ity, which is, in its breadth and depth, the great­est hu­man rights scourge on the planet to­day. Jane Roberts Red­lands

Your ar­ti­cle on the plight of girls and women liv­ing in Saudi Ara­bia, a coun­try that Trump not only praises but also sells bil­lions in arms, a text­book sce­nario of what hap­pens when a male-cen­tric fab­ri­cated re­li­gion con­trols the gov­ern­ment.

How truly sad to be a fe­male liv­ing in that coun­try.

This is why our Con­sti­tu­tion puts up an un­bend­ing wall be­tween church and state.

But a mi­nor­ity of so­called Amer­i­cans would do ex­actly the same if given the chance. S.R. Fis­cher Los Angeles

I am glad we live in a so­ci­ety that rec­og­nizes the equal value of all cul­tures and re­fuses to be­lieve some cul­tures are su­pe­rior to others.

I am glad we have evolved to the point where we rec­og­nize the phrase “Western cul­ture” as a dog-whis­tle for white, male priv­i­lege.

Oth­er­wise, I would have con­cluded that life of Maha Al­mu­tairi, the Saudi woman who must live a se­cret life to es­cape the dic­ta­to­rial con­trol of her male guardian, is some­how in­fe­rior to our world.

I am sure Al­mu­tairi would be hap­pier if she learns to ap­pre­ci­ate the in­her­ent value of Saudi cul­ture and un­der­stands that it is just dif­fer­ent, not in­fe­rior, to Western cul­ture and the life women live here.

Saudi cul­ture places her guardian in a su­pe­rior po­si­tion. Who is she (or we) to buck cul­tural con­ven­tion? Jerry Travers Los Angeles

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