The titillation of concealment

18 01 2008

OK, one nice lady-blogger described her experiences after returning to KSA on the continual harassments she has to endure, other people replied with their own sometimes very amusing stories. So, wearing an Abaya and niqab doesn’t help in the harassment department. At all. It demonstrably makes it worse! Leaving it off is no option, culturally and lawfully.

Why this excitement? Because the un-known has such mysterious attraction? What is underneath? For some reason they clearly never imagine you covered in scales with a cows’tail hanging down your back. Let’s be real: there could be anything hidden underneath an abaya and niqab!

queen-of-the-damned2.jpg

So: it must be the imagined allure of a covered beauty, and the erotic atmosphere of Riyad, (google some pictures: it’s a dusty dead place) which send the senses reeling!

There is another option: Extend the rules a bit so that the male half of the population also covers up. In my opinion this is not only fair, it improves the view considerably. I have always maintained that any man looks his best in a leather motor-suit and closed helmet. You see quite a lot of them around here. As some of them are my friends, I can also vouch for it that, although they look so very well in full gear: it is useless to unwrap them. That only causes disappointment. So the men need not worry: we will not start to harass them.

stigmotorsuit.jpg

MEN:

  • You will be horribly hot and uncomfortable, but there, you are not the only ones.
  • You can still drive a car.
  • Less injuries when you crash another car, when the drifting goes wrong again.
  • Leather is also strong and easy to clean.
  • You can get special masks to help you breathe while wearing a closed helmet.
  • You will look so much better!
  • The helmet will protect you from the beatings with handbags you normally receive from the ladies you harass.
  • And, as it will be impossible to follow and/or harass a lady for any length of time, before you’ll go down with heatstroke, everybody will be a lot happier.

stig1.jpg

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13 responses

18 01 2008
Tasmaniac

I know I would look much better wearing a closed helmet…
I had to ‘Google images’ an Abaya as I didn’t know what it was. I had seen them before but didn’t know what they are called. Would not be comfy in hot countries, Perhaps they have Brown Underpants concealed underneath, Ha Ha 🙂

18 01 2008
Aafke

Yes, Tasmaniac: go get a helmet and do your portrait again! }:)

Stop describing your Foundation Garments! Your own blog is bad enough! It is clear you’re never going to wear anything else!

20 01 2008
Lofter

I very much prefer cotton rather than leather. How about a kittel, with a prayer shawl to wrap around the face? I find it interesting that in the Jewish culture, a man wears a kittel at his wedding AND at his funeral. This is very validating, as I see a strong connection between the two! :->

20 01 2008
Aafke

You don’t know your blessings, that much is clear!
You should have lived a couple of thousand years in the past: with any luck your wife would have been buried with you! }:)

No, sorry, it has to be leather. And although there are two pictures of ”The Stig” (because I’m a fan of The Stig) in white, it also has to be BLACK leather.
We are talking Saudi Arabia here. And I think it’s pretty selfish to choose cool white cotton for yourselves, and stifling hot black rayon for the others.
Time for some justice.

20 01 2008
Lofter

But think on it for a moment… if such attire is mandated by law and by religious conviction in KSA, then it should be according to the prophet who required it initially. And, my friend, there was no rayon those many years ago. So, I submit for your consideration, that the abandonment of cotton attire – cotton, which lets you breathe and be covered at the same time – could possibly be in error.
However, if I (as a man) were forced to wear leather, I must concur that it would have to be black. While it may be, in fact, much hotter, it definitely looks much cooler! :->
And, for the record, “the imagined allure of a covered beauty”… (very wonderfully written, by the way)… such will always be greater than the reality which exists beneath the veils. It’s the curse of the human mind. The blessing which offsets such a curse is usually found by the doorway, and commonly referred to as a light switch! 😀

20 01 2008
Aafke

Ok, ok, you get them in all different sorts of materials, bit of poetic exaggeration! 🙂

Basically you are required to cover up, according to Islam, but interpretations vary: some say: éverything, that means even gloves (at 40’C)!!! On the other side of the spectrum I’ve heard: you can let your head/hair free, but it is better to cover.
What is important is niyyah; intent. If you are forced to a good behaviour, but don’t really want to do it, it means nothing. Islam leaves it to yourself, and your relation to God, Following any rule under force, or merely as a front, will not get you anywhere with God.

20 01 2008
Lofter

Well said, my friend… and something that Islam and Christianity surely do have in common.
And I enjoy a bit of poetic exaggeration!

21 01 2008
Aliyah

Now I want to know which blog you are talking about. Is it Saudi Bridget Jones?

21 01 2008
Aafke

Hi, Aliyah, Yes it’s about Saudi Bridget Jones; The post: ”Why is that Stupid Man in the Car Beside Us Staring at US with that Stupid Smile?” And all the other weird stories I’ve read.
You know, one isn’t surprised to be harassed over here, especially if I have to cross the centre of town of an evening when people have been drinking, but then I can deal with that. But when you’re all properly attired, just going about your business in broad daylight? weird.
It just made me angry on her behalf.
Because it is injustice.
Because I cant’t hop over and knock the bozo down for her I just wrote this. It’s also supposed to be funny. My way of dealing with stuff. I do hope you found it funny?

25 01 2008
Aliyah

I thought it was Saudi Bridget Jones. I read that blog; what a loser that guy was.

Yes, I saw your humor straight away – seemed to have touched a nerve with you….

I believe that a woman has the right not to be harassed by men, regardless what she is (or isn’t) wearing. Some men will flirt or harass women because they perceives something about her (her type of clothing, makeup or her body language) is sending off ‘signals’.

You would think that in the Middle East (or other countries where people wear more clothing than is normal in the West) there would be less harrassment and flirting going on. Maybe less, but it still happens. I’ve seen women in niqab flirting! So maybe the guy thinks that he has to at least give it a try (to see if the woman flirts back).

You might find these blog entries and the comments interesting:

http://saudistepfordwife.blogspot.com/2007/10/souk-make-up_10.html

http://saudistepfordwife.blogspot.com/2007/07/great-abaya-debate-head-vs-shoulders_24.html

When everyone wears a type of uniform (abaya, hijab), the little individual differences become more noticeable to the trained eye.

27 01 2008
Aafke

Oh, come on, men harrass women because they are women, nothing more is needed.
Well, flirting is one thing, and then if you say ”sodd off” and they do go.
It’s harrassment, of the kind described by SB that I object to.
I must say I’ve usually heard from women travellers in the Middle East that they are treated with a lot of curtesy, so yeah, these stories from real saudi women surprise me.

I think one eyes come out most beautifully in a niqab! So I can imagine that one could do some pretty succesful flirting. But if you don’t, you should be left alone!

I agree with you on the details coming out more succesfully if everybody wears more or less the same uniform. Some abayas are really pretty! In the nineteenth century men in Europe apparently could go beserk over the ”Provocative hint of an ankle” Also the reason why in western etiquette men always ascend the staircase in front of the ladies; otherwise they might see their ankles!!!

Thank you for the links to Saudi stepforth wife: I think she’s very funny! 🙂 And I hadn’t read the post on the abaya dispute.

28 01 2008
Aliyah

Yeah, you are right!! Men think ALL women want them and are sending off secret signals, hahaha *joke* And yes, a ‘get lost’ should be quite enough to stop ‘flirting’ progressing into harassment. Then the stupid ones just think she’s playing hard to get.

The men might see a little bit more nowadays if they ascend after the (some) ladies, lol, like what they had for breakfast perhaps, uggh.

You’re welcome, for the links, I like her insights too.

28 01 2008
Aafke

Sometimes I think it must be wonderful to be a man.
Never any doubts, the world is a lovely simple place, you are great, all women are just crazy about you…..even if they say they are not….
Sometimes I wish I could be like that.

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