We are all familiar with the separation of the sexes in Saudi Arabia and in other Islamic countries and with the many laws restricting and limiting the rights and activities of women.

While many of the Sharia laws are ostensibly to protect women from the prying eyes and other inappropriate gestures or advances by men, curiously women shopping for panties, bras, negligees, etc. had to endure the embarrassment — and perhaps other inconveniences — of having to hear sales pitches on and purchasing their most intimate garments from, you guessed it, men.

A delicate sign of progress, however, has come to the Kingdom. Coming through on a list of promises he made last summer to “improve the status of women” King Abdullah has finally implemented a decree that such intimate apparel salesmen must be replaced by saleswomen.

According to the Jerusalem Post:

The kingdom’s lingerie shops are expected to hire some 28,000 women to take over jobs from men in over 7,300 shops. The move is expected to boost employment for the country’s women, even if they still have to be driven to their place of work because the country still bans female drivers.

However, not everyone is happy with the news: “Saudi’s top cleric, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, blasted the new ruling for contradicting Islamic law, or sharia.” His problem is that the women employed in these lingerie stores will now have to “interact with men.” You see, men buying lingerie for their wives will now have to deal with saleswomen — apparently “a crime” according to the Grand Mufti.

And now there is the additional problem of an absence of dressing rooms for women in most clothing stores. The Post quotes an American expatriate in Saudi Arabia:

Since most sales positions in [Saudi Arabia] are jobs almost exclusively limited to men, even in women’s clothing and lingerie stores, there are just too many wild X-rated possibilities that could conceivably happen in these changing rooms.

Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to sell lingerie.

Image: shutterstock.com

Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
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Copyright 2012 The Moderate Voice
  • Allen

    Bizarre

    Maybe that’s why Arab men go rape crazy at every opportunity. Or do they go rape crazy because the law allows them to blame it on the woman?

  • zephyr

    Baby steps . . . I guess. As for sharia law? Well good grief! Which century is this again?? (I guess that doesn’t matter when superstition is king)

  • slamfu

    It also matters less when your head of state IS a king.

  • PJBFan

    Baby steps…well, barely baby steps.

  • rudi

    The crazies aren’t limited to the Islamic world. Ultra-Ortyhodox jews in Israel attack an eight year old girl on her way to school.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/israeli-minister-warns-religious-secular-tensions-tear-country-society-article-1.1001049?localLinksEnabled=false

    The minister, Yaacov Margy, decried to Reuters an incident last month in which ultra-Orthodox men harassed and spat on 8-year-old girl Naama Margolese, who attends a religious girls’ school in Beit Shemesh, a city that has been a flashpoint in the tensions.

    The men claimed she was dressed immodestly — her attire did not meet their specifications of propriety — and called her a whore. The ultra-Orthodox protesters see the school as an intrusion on their traditional neighborhood.

    Calling an 8 year old a whore…

  • The_Ohioan

    How soon will we see incidents like this here? Prepare ye the way of the lord!

  • Allen

    Religion is not the culprit. It’s the fallible interpretation of God’s word that man creates that is the culprit. Bigotry made against all faith for the sake of a few actors is an immorality in itself.

  • zephyr

    Sorry Allen, but you’re just opening an even bigger can of worms when you talk about “interpretation of God’s word”. Whose interpretation? (that’s a rhetorical question btw – it doesn’t require an answer) Anytime you talk about religion, you open the door to the “fallible”. Morality is not dependent on religion.

  • Allen

    zephyr-

    No, you are wrong.

    Running away from a subject has never enlightened anyone. Religion is the very reason for morality. Self introspection is the basis of religion. Try it.