Friday, April 28, 2006

Saudi men beaten by their wives? Why whatever for? 

Arab News has a story about increasing domestic violence against men in Saudi Arabia:

The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has sounded an alarm bell about the increasing instances of domestic violence against men being reported in the Kingdom.

An increasing number of men have been complaining about their wives beating them up or pouring boiling oil on them, Al-Watan newspaper reported yesterday.
Saudi women are beating up their husbands and pouring boiling oil on them. I can't imagine why. Hmmmm. Let's see, maybe the article can explain this shocking phenomenon, this inversion of the natural order:

Al-Angari attributed the tendency among women to be cruel against their men to such factors as a forceful personality, the age difference, marriages in which men seek financial dependence on women and the couple being a total mismatch. [...]

Saeed Al-Amri, a scholar, told the paper that women who abuse their husbands take advantage of the men’s weaknesses.

"Some women do not know the basic principles of a married life, particularly the working women who exploit their husbands' poverty or weak personality," said Al-Amri. [...]
Working women exploiting their husbands' poverty? That sounds bad.

This decay of moral fibre must not be allowed to continue. But what can be done?

"Some of my friends are afraid to go home," said Hassan Al-Asiri, a government employee. "Instead they prefer to stay in some hotels unknown to their wives, presumably to escape violence."
Presumably. I hope they do not have to hide out from their wives in these hotels all alone. It would be cruel for a man, separated from his family by fear of spousal violence not to have the comfort of companionship.

But is there nothing that can be done, other than for a man to hole up like a frightened little mouse?

Abdullah Al-Humaid, director of endowments, call and guidance in the Asir region, said, "Islam calls upon all believers to build their families on a strong foundation. It designates man as the family's supporter. Man is responsible for the family expenses and holding the unit together. Therefore he should possess a strong personality with commonsense and he should never create a situation in which a woman is allowed to dominate him. It does not mean that he should be rough and brutal in treating his wife. The relationship should always be seasoned with wisdom, patience and rationality."
No, do not be rough and brutal. Pick one or the other, but not both.

In all fairness, I must say I'm slightly puzzled to see this craziness published this way in Arab News -- straight up. While I disagree with much of its editorial line regarding the essentials of my existence, nevertheless, I have found quite a few past articles in Arab News casting a spotlight on some of the darker corners of the Kingdom's treatment of it's veiled citizens.

Hopefully there is some subtlety here that is simply lost on me.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: