First Saudi women were upset for not being allowed to go workout in gyms; now they’re upset because they don’t like being leered at by salesmen at lingerie shops. They better be careful lest a fierce fatwa descend upon them, condemning them for being so “uppity.” After all, according to Koran 4:34: “Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient.”
“Saudi girls fume over salesmen in lingerie shops,” from the Times of India, March 27:
RIYADH: Before her wedding last year, Huda Batterjee went abroad to buy her bridal lingerie she just couldn’t bear the humiliation of discussing her most intimate apparel with a man.
She had little choice: there are almost no saleswomen in Saudi Arabia.
Now a group of Saudi women sick of having to deal with male sales staff when buying bras or panties, not to mention frilly negligees or thongs have launched a campaign this week to boycott lingerie stores until they employ women. It’s an irony of the kingdom’s strict segregation of the sexes. Only men are employed as sales staff to keep women from having to deal with male customers or work around men.
But in lingerie stores, that means men are talking to women about bras or thongs, looking them up and down to determine their cup sizes, even rubbing the underwear to show how stains can be washed out.
The result is mortifying for everyone involved shoppers, salesmen, even the male relatives who accompany the women.
“When I buy underwear in Saudi, some salesmen say, “˜This is not the right size for you,” said Batterjee. “You feel almost taken advantage of. Why is he looking at me in this way?” So for her wedding trousseau, she went to neighbouring Dubai to shop. She now lives in Virginia with her husband.
Heba al-Akki, a businesswoman who supports the boycott, said when she shops for underwear, “I go to a store, pick this, this and that and leave quickly. It’s as if I”m buying illegal stuff.”…