callicrates: (Default)
[personal profile] callicrates
From an article about a clampdown on women's gyms in Saudia Arabia:

"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.

My brain is flatly refusing to process this. It's syntactically correct. All the pronouns and such agree. However, I cannot get my head around the distortion necessary for it to make sense.

Date: 2009-05-04 03:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This isn't as completely crazy as it seems. In some (insert appropriate adjectives like "ridiculously primitive" here) cultures, a woman has to be able to "prove" her virginity by bleeding at first intercourse. Engaging in active sports can apparently cause this first blood to be shed elsewhere, causing her to no longer be verifiably a virgin, despite, unquestionably by all reasonable measures, actually *being* a virgin.

Date: 2009-05-04 08:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, OK, I can't deny that some cultures do this. But I'm not willing to pretend all cultural values are equally valid on this kind of subject. Not only is it incredibly demeaning, it's not even accurate. There are plenty of reasons a woman wouldn't produce measurable first blood, even if she jealously guarded her hymen until the right moment.

Date: 2009-05-04 04:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm familiar with that custom and, well, I still think it's completely crazy. Even if I stipulate that being a virgin is an OK make-or-break criterion for a woman's worthiness as a bride, which I personally think is ridiculous, that's a particularly stupid way of going about it because of its utter unreliability.

I'll get off my soapbox now. This one just seemed too egregious to let pass without comment.

Date: 2009-05-04 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Makes just about as much sense as the pope telling Africans that condoms help spread AIDS, or whatever his crazy quote was. Or genital mutilation of both genders. Gasp, someone might get AROUSED! Let's cut off sensitive tissue.

Date: 2009-05-04 05:43 am (UTC)
merlinofchaos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] merlinofchaos
Break the hymen, no longer a virgin. In our culture we tend to think of virginity as never having had intercourse, but in cultures that actually value it...and, well, treat women as the property of the family...the physical aspect of it matters. I find it deplorable, and there hasn't been enough pressure from the outside for Saudi Arabia to stop treating women like chattel.

Date: 2009-05-04 06:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Um yeah. It's carved from a single block of Stupid, that's why.

Date: 2009-05-04 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And let's not forget the political pressure more enlightened (and scientific) minds might put on the subject from outside Saudi Arabia... but the Western world won't cos they might stop giving us oil.



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