Too Little, Too Late
Did any of you notice a news story last month? The one about Saudi Arabia finally allowing women to drive? As in cars. Well, in June 2018, Saudi women will be allowed to drive cars. Fawziah al-Bakr, a university professor, participated in the first protest against the driving ban in 1990. She is quoted in the New York Times saying, “We have been waiting for a very long time.”
There could be a variety of reactions to this news. One might be amazement that this is happening, because many people might not even be aware that women are so oppressed in a wealthy, supposedly sophisticated and advanced country. Another is along the lines of the ever popular victim blaming approach. “Why on earth do those women put up with this?!” Yet another option is to wonder how, in 2017, in a world with internet, an awareness of human rights, and general progress, there are so.many.men that still think it is acceptable to treat half of humanity like this.
As I was thinking about this advancement, not feeling heady with excitement because this is only a baby step towards equality, my reaction was a little bit “meh”.
I realized it was very similar to my response to news that women can now pray in General Conference. Or news that women who work in the Church Office Building can now wear pants. Really. PANTS. In 2017. Really. It is reasonable for people reading that news to react like I did to the end of the Saudi driving ban. Meh. Like Saudi women, LDS women have been waiting for a very long time.
Too little, too late.